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Airbrushing a R/C Heli Canopy


I've been dabbling in airbrushing lately painting a lot of BlueCor foamies for friends and myself.

A few have said I should paint up some canopies, but I've never done that, I'm not sure I am ready to do that yet... Well enough pressure from friends and I have some loaner canopies to practice on, only requirement is they go back to the person when I'm done... painted



So here it goes... I've got a 450, 500 and 600 sized canopies. I'm starting with the 500 as it was the worst off in initial condition.

The HDX500 canopy started out with a yellow background, black window. There were many chips, and blems on the window and a large edge from the painting of it.

As you can see, it needs some serious prep to be anywhere near smooth.




I spent some time sanding with 150 then 320 wet and had all the high spots knocked down. Found 2 "cracks" under the paint that may be difficult to get filled properly w/o some type of body filler. I'm not going to bother with the body filler this time around...

Here is the result of the sanding...

Ready to prime.



Put down a few coats of primer then wet sanded most of it back off. Trying to fill those cracks and low spots. Finally a few more coats of primer, light wet sanding with 400grit to smooth things out. A white basecoat was painted on. I had some initial paint issues and ended up having to strip the basecoat off twice.

500_sized_canopy-3Now time to lay out some masks. I recently picked up a vinyl cutter, so I could cut out masks and make logo stickers etc... I first laid out the canopy window, I wanted to do a smaller window than you see on most canopies, because there is just nothing interesting about a big black void in the front of the canopy taking up valuable space. I then took some long cuts of vinyl and masked off the stripes I'll be making down the side, around and under the nose. The top & sides will be a purple/silver with either cogs or just a simple wrinkle finish. The stripes will be yellow base with red faded to orange shot through a fishnet stocking to add an interesting pattern to the stripe. Under the yellow base will be a mask for the logo of the friends company. This will be removed to reveal the white base. I plan on doing a purple fade to black for the canopy window as well.

Here it is masked and ready to be shot. 




First I sprayed down the purple, then sprayed a heavy wet coat of Silver and quickly dabbed it with a wadded up plastic bag to get the wrinkle finish. I then cut out some cogs on the vinyl cutter and placed the masks down, sprayed the purple back around those to make the cogs stand out once the mask was removed. I also added a light black shadow to the purple.

Masked still..





Unmasked and ready to start masking the purple off to lay down the yellow.






I re-masked off the purple and put on the logo masks. Sprayed down a yellow base, then took a set of fishnet stockings and stretched them over one side at a time. I then took a pearlized red and sprayed it through the fishnet keeping it uneven to add a loose look to it. I sprayed the bottom as well the same.

Here it is still masked.





Completely Unmasked and ready to complete the window.






I then went around the window area with 1/4" fineline tape. I then masked off the rest of the canopy using a plastic bag for the bulk of the masking (saves tape). I sprayed purple in the center of the window, then went around that with black to leave a purple tint to the window highlight. A few coats of Clearcoat, and its all done. 



 The Final Product...