Saturday, December 13, 2014

Carbon Effect Hood: HPI RX-8

It takes a little bit if effort, but I really like using the carpet tape method for simulating carbon fiber body panels.  Start things off, by tinting the panel with Tamiya PS-31 "Smoke".  I use 3-4 light coats depending on the desired color at the end.

Next, starts the hard part...The carpet tape is VERY sticky and can be tricky to work with, and apply.  I like to plan all the strips out (it takes multiple strips to do a panel) using paper templates that match the width of the tape roll.  Be sure to make them slightly over sized around the borders of the panels.

One at a time, take each strip, put it over the roll, and mark the cuts.  Cut and apply one piece at a time.  It is really important that the edge of the next strip butts up all the way to the edge of the previous strip, but doesn't overlap.  If there is a gap, it leaves a black line in the middle of the panel, and makes it obvious that strips of tape were used.  Here is the competed panel underneath:

Also, of note, when applying the tape, make sure to press it in place completely, and form around the shapes and edges of the panel while the backing is still on it.  Once the backing is removed, trying to press the tape in place will likely make a mess of it.

The final step is to back it in black.  This finishes off the look.

Here is how it all ends up looking.  Note that the overspray film is still on the body.

Here is the real payoff, though.  Once the overspray film is removed, and the body gets out into the sunlight, it makes for a pretty convincing glossy, carbon fiber panel.  No decal can replicate this.  The pattern even has a reasonable scale size as well.

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