Creating Realistic RC Car Headlight Lenses

This is incredibly simple, but takes some patience and a very sharp craft knife – you have been warned!

Having a LED light systems adds great realism to most RC Drift cars, but when you get really close that’s when they really just look a bit lame, as older cars didn’t have full on Zenon projector headlights – so here’s how to create some old school looking headlights.

First, buy a set of decals that match your car body, or just use the one’s that come with a new bodyshell.

By the way – it’s worth noting if you’ve already painted over your headlights this method wont work – so you’ll have to start with a new body shell.

By using some of the left over trimming from the Polycarbonate bodyshell, place a piece firmly over the sticker of the headlight.  Mark around the headlight, so that if it does shift slightly you can get it re-aligned quickly.

Then, taking time, carve into the plastic with medium pressure (do you don’t go all the way through) and following the markings of the sticker.

Once completed, cut out the headlight leaving two ‘tabs’ either end, you’ll need to do this to stick the headlight lense to the body of the car on the INSIDE……

Your results should look something like the example I did below. I have yet to get the light buckets for this body – which is having it’s build photographed on this part of the website here

If you have a try at this, let me know and send you pics to be posted in The Gallery!

HPI Toyota Levin AE86; Project D2

Another project now underway……

Best priced I’ve seen for a new HPI AE86 is from here

So when it arrives, what I have planned after it’s bath is similar to the Project D RX7,  but with the following;

Full LED system with indicator turning signal, brake lights and high beam for full speed
I will also attempt some orange lights as indicators along the side if I can pull it off!
Roll cage
Recaro Seats
Full intercooler and mock oil cooler
Mesh grills and inserts
Smoked lights all around
Wing mirrors
Filled arches with offset & cambered wheels

Paint job;

I was thinking of doing this a very dark metallic red, with a black bottom half of the sheel from the bumbers down……that’s alll changed as you’ll see below.

I’ll set it off with some white additions, I’ll try white mesh, and other white highlights to make it really stand out.

Here’s a pic of the standard shell

HPI Toyota Levin AE86 190mm

Here’s what’s arrived so far, still waiting on the Yokomo Light Buckets – fingers crossed they’ll fit!

Part 2

Masking and Painting – I also decided to add a little realism with headlight lenses, the link to that section will be post on here shortly.

Part 3


Part 4

Headlights – see here for details

Part 5

95% Finished
HPI Toyota Corrolla Levin AE86

Tamiya (#51270) Body Set Mazda RX7 FSDS ; Project D: RX7

In keeping with the websites theme of getting into RC Drifting less, it doesn’t come much cheaper than a $26 (£16) body shell!

This has been ordered from eBay shop hosted by Dinball , and this Tamiya RX7 wasn’t the only cheap bodyshell – there are loads!

Get looking now!

Back to topic – I have ordered this Tamiya (#51270) Body Set Mazda RX7 to come up with some new designs, with the idea to get it looking close to reality as possible so it will feature the following;

Full LED system with indicator turning signal, brake lights and high beam for full speed
Roll cage
Full intercooler and mock oil cooler
Mesh grills and inserts
Smoked rear lights
Wing mirrors etc. that come with the body – not sure if I’m going to add spoiler yet
Filled arches with offset & cambered wheels

Paint job……..something like this, but more of a street version;

Here’s what you get once it arrives

Nissan Skyline R34 Nismo Z-Tune……ready for track drifting session

This bodyshell is work in progress, as I’m trying various things out on it to apply to much newer and shiny bodyshells.

The idea is to create a bodyshell that looks like a Street Drifter has taken his car to a track, where you usually see some taped up headlights and different wheels that they use just for drifting.  At some organised events numbers are applied if they enter an amateur event.

After applying a complete real metal mesh grill to the front, I bought a set of Speedway Slidemaster wheels to get the look I wanted, which now on the car look great.  I then applied some BBS stickers from a set that was lying around (I know they are Volk design but hey……they were the only ones I had!)

Here’s the results……..hope you like it!

Tamiya Nissan Skyline R34 Nismo Z Tune / Mesh Grill Mod

This is more practice makes perfect, so the shell is a bit srappy, but cutting out vents and putting in a mesh grill starts to transform most cars. For this I purchased some extra fine mesh for 1/24 scale model cars, and sprayed it with Matt Black BBQ Paint!

…you know, just in case it gets really hot! But as paint goes, it should last and because it’s metal based will look better for longer.

The GTR badge was from the grill I cut out, so it comes with the Tamiya Skyline R32 z-tune Bodykit.

Click on this for a link to an eBay seller – one of the cheapest I found.

Click here for similar mesh can be found from an eBay seller

Then, cut out to shape and stick on with double sided pads. I used this method because if you hard glue it on, and then crash there’s going to be a lot of paint flake off!

So here are the results, and bear in mind practice makes perfect so keep an eye out for Mark 2 soon……

BMW M3 Schnitzer Sport Evo – drift favourite lost and found

This is another body that can be tricky to find on it’s own.  Having searched eBay there are just a bunch of smashed up shells, and the internet searches just come up with complete kits………until now.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU ARE AFTER THIS SHELL! I will get in touch with one of my contacts and get them to order some in, they will be cheap!

Morfars in Denmark have it!  It’s displayed in it’s original Schnitzer paint job, but below are some pics why it’s a drifters dream……

So there’s your inspiration and here’s where you can buy it, literally the only place on the internet!

Click here for the BMW shell at Morfars


Hot Works Realcraft Nissan Skyline GTr Police Car

OK, so not strictly what a street drifer wants to see when out at night….but this is an awesome shell!

ABC Hobby sell the top light bar for about £32UK, so when you see this entire shell is £43UK and not only pre-painted but comes with 24mm RC wheels and display tires, rear spoiler and muffler, exhaust, brake discs and hood, detailed and styled side mirror and door handles on a display base! That’s amazing value – get one and chase your fellow drifters!

Here’s the link to the CML website, there are a few others but these guys seem the cheapest;