Ripped Checkers RC Heli Canopy

I just finished painting another canopy for my 450's. I planned for so much more than what resulted, but after having problems with paint peeling up I finished it up with minimal masking and had to leave it fairly simple looking. I think one of my primer coats was laid on too thick.



  1. Masked off the jagged edges of the checkered flag.
  2. Masked off the checkers.
  3. Laid on a silver / black blend.
  4. Peeled off the checkers, and shot a drop shadow around the edges of the flag.
  5. I used some liquid mask to mask off my jagged flag. Goes on opaque, dries translucent.
  6. Removed the vinyl masking. Now I see some of the white paint peeling up.
  7. Shoot the fluorescent yellow to fluorescent orange fade.
  8. Shoot a simple black windscreen, and some fluorescent red (turned out looking orange, because I did not want to mask it off and lay down some white for a background.)

Paint Splash and Checkers RC Heli Canopy

This is the first large canopy I ever painted, its an Align 600E canopy, for my Raptor 50 V2. It's also the first time I used my vinyl cutter to make some masks. I got a good deal on the cutter through eBay, and it came with a bunch of pink vinyl.

I did not realize how well regular vinyl would stick, so I managed to pull off some layers of paint when trying to remove my masks. Adhesive residue was left behind in many spots. After trying desperately to remove the residue, with everything from Goo Gone, to denatured alcohol, to Simple Green... I finally gave up and just shot my clear coat over it all before too much dust could stick. This made my canopy look bad up close but its perfectly flyable.

Swept Back Triangles RC Heli Canopy

After lots of doodling and browsing my folder of cool canopy images, I came up with this simple design:

I used fluorescent yellow and fluorescent orange for the background, flourescent red and black for the foreground, and a mix of silver, blue pearl, and black for the windshield area, with black used to fade the edges.

It turned out pretty good, with a few annoying spots where paint got through my masking. Some dust got kicked up when I applied the clear coat, it becomes obvious if you look close. More care will be taken next time.

Flames on a Blue Sky RC Heli Canopy

I decided on a simple cartoon flames design, and again high visibility was the goal. I have two layers of flames, and I attempted to makes the tips of the flames a little darker. I need to work on that as it didn't turn out as planned. The rest of the canopy is blue, with metallic blue mixed in with black to highlight the edges. This was the first canopy I cleared with a two-part clear coat.

When I shot the clear I must not have cleaned the surface enough because I ended up with several small bumps and dimples in the clear. Something to keep in mind for the next canopy.

This was also my first time painting a fiberglass canopy. These photos do the clear coat no justice. The top view really shows the quality of the gloss. In the mornings the sky reflects off of it beautifully. Amazing!

Blue Splash on an Orange RC Heli Canopy

This one turned out decent. Its just a paint splash effect on the nose, with a orange/yellow fade on the rest of the canopy. Unfortunately I shot the orange first, and forgot to shoot the lighter color (yellow) first. This made the yellow very difficult to fade in, as the orange would show through very easily. Oh well, live and learn.

The colors used were: silver, blue pearl, florescent orange, and florescent yellow. I clear coated it with some aerosol stuff. Not as good as a two-part automotive clear, but it's a lot cheaper and simpler.

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