How to easily refurbish old tires

During refurbishment I do my best to improve look of old tires. This is how I make with everyday and cheap products:

– Fist of all, I clean the tire with washing up liquid and warm water. I’ll try to clean all the dirt and dust from the tire.

refurbish_old_tire_renew refurbish_old_tire_renew

– When the tire is totally dry, I paint the letters on the side with specializes pen. If the paint overflowed, I lets the paint dry and use a toothpick to scratch-off.

refurbish_old_tire_renew– After drying, I spray a plastic renovator on all the tire surface. I let the caoutchoucs tire soak up the product during few days. This kind of spray is use to clean the plastic of real car dashboard and can be easily found in supermarket.

refurbish_old_tire_renew– The final tips to improve the look is to paint the rims. Sometimes the plastic is not opaque enough and there is still a slight transparency. Or it’s looking “Mat” and a coat of paint improves general appearance.

– Even if the plastic rims is white I spray it with white paint. Here Marui Hunter wheels, on the left a set competely raw, on the right a set fully refurbished:


Same goes for the other colors, here a Tamiya Mud Blaster rim:

refurbish_old_tire_renewSometimes I paint the rim, put a sticker and finished with a coat of varnish. Here the rim of a Tamiya Nissan Primera Calsonic:


Here are all my tips to improve the look of your old vintage RC.

David from RC4ON

How to weathering your body like a real military vehicle

This technique was applied on the Tamiya JGSDF LAV lexan body, but it can be applied on ABS bodies too.

58326 Light Armored Vehicle LAV JGSDF

Application of main color:

1- Remove the protection film from the lexan body.

2- Sand with approximately 1200 paper, use warm water and washing up liquid with a piece of wet sand paper that’s been soaked in water for 5 minutes. Make sure to sand all the body creases and don’t miss a part.

3- Rinse and dry thoroughly.

4- Spray with black Tamiya PS-5.

This polycarbonate paint was used like a surface primer for lexan body. For ABS bodyset we can start with the Tamiya Black TS-14 or Tamiya Matt Black TS-6 airspray. Leave for 10 minutes to dry between each spray. Repeat this operation until the black color covers all the surface.

5- Sand again with 1200 paper, rinse and dry.

6- Now you can spray the Tamiya Olive drab TS-70. Leave for 10 minutes between each paint spraying. All the surface should be covered. When it’s dry, sand very carefully and gently.

7- Spray the final coat of Olive drab TS-70 and leave to dry for 24 hours.

8- I also recommend you cut any excess from stickers using a scalpel and metal rule.

Weathering the body :

Weathering is question of experience, testing and patience.

Use a sponge dampened in water and mix with 20% Tamiya Flat black XF-1 paint. Gently apply on the body.

58326 Light Armored Vehicle LAV JGSDF

A paint brush can be used for body creases, lines and recesses. Draw them with the paint brush, wipe with a dry cloth if there is sagging. Work very gently and carefully.

For windscreen weathering, you can draw wiper area on masking tape, all measurements were estimated. Use a compass, pencil, scalpel. Cut out and apply masks, then ever so lightly spray some tack (aka ‘art spray glue’). Next, use Tamiya’s Weathering Master #87079 brush on until you’re happy with the look. Blow off excess, remove masks and bingo!

Another tip for the suspension springs is to use the Tamiya black PS-5. This paint is flexible and does not flake when springs are in motion.



10 Tips to succeed with paint on lexan

1 – The masking tape itself may have caused you some issues. I learned from a professional model builder that you should never use the 2 outside edges of the tape to define the paint border. The tape always has a reasonably rough edge which is covered with dust and other stuff that stick to the tape roll on its sides. To not use those edges, we have to create a new one. I buy a slightly wider tape (10mm), roll down a sufficient long section and stick it on a clean lexan or ABS board. Then I cut the tape in half and create two long stripes with a sharp and clean edge for masking. This way you will reach sufficient results nice side effect and double our tape live.

2 – In the event of a gradation of colors, we must begin with the darkest color to brightest colors.

Dossier Peinture Lexan

Dossier Peinture Lexan

3 – I always heat up the spray-can (or airbrush paint) by putting it on the radiator in my hobby room for 2 hours. This ensures more even mixing of components inside the can (e.g. metallic sprays) and the warm paint can faster evaporate the solvents once landed on the surface. The quicker binding and drying paint reduces tremendously the risk of bleeding and running. During summer period, a pot of warm (not hot!) water does the trick as well.
Another side effect is that the warming of the spray can does increase the internal pressure of the aerosol and this reduces dripping of the can towards its end (thick spots of paint coming out).

4 – I always apply one fine layer of color which supposed to ‘seal’ the masking tape. Once this first layer has dried, the risk of bleeding is down to 0 if your masking tape sticks to the body all along the edges. I always run along the critical edge with the backside of my thumbnail or a similar plastic piece which should not have a sharp edge to avoid tearing the tape.

5 – Put the freshly painted shell upside down on the radiator, so the shell itself warms up which reduces the drying cycle between two layers of coat. This makes your paint process more effective.
You can warm your shell even before painting it, which again supports a faster drying process reducing the risk of running or bleeding paint.

6 – In any case, should you face some minor bleeding, it does not hurt to sensitively scratch off the paint from the lexan using an Ex-acto knife. Yes, the lexan will get matt at this area, but since this is from the inside it does not hurt as long as you paint it afterwards with another color.

7 – To ensure a sharp border to the windows, I always use small black tape stripes to make body lines and window seals. This gives the car a much more realistic look.

Dossier Peinture Lexan

8 – Small punctual repairs can be done if you spray some paint in the lid of the spray can and use a brush to apply the lexan paint locally. But be careful: you may face slight color differences between spray or brush for the same paint after drying – effect by the type of application I guess.

9 – Sometimes it may be easier not to apply the masking tape along the desired border of the color. If the geometry is too difficult, first over-cover some of the area supposed to be painted with tape as well, then cut the desired geometry in the lexan and peel off the surplus tape. This works well in edges and hard corners which are beyond the tapes flexibility. The scratch from the cut in the lexan won’t be visible after painting. You may want to draw the desired geometry with a pen first so you can erase it if it does not suit your desired shape. Follow the pen with your knife and voila!

Dossier Peinture Lexan

10 – For small chrome details, use a “micro line” Special chrome.

My last advice is to be patient, do not rush!

 Matthias Schaub, DEUTSCHLAND.
Contact the Autor