Get your DRIFT on with HPI Racing!

Mon, 8th August 2016

HPI's love of drifting, and drift culture is well known. You know we cant get enough of them! We produce some of the finest RTR drift RC cars on the planet, like these awesome cars that are ready to drive right out of the box:

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#109291 - E10 DRIFT NISSAN S13 DISCOUNT #111664 - E10 DRIFT VGJR FORD MUSTANG #114356 - RS4 SPORT 3 DRIFT SUBARU BRZ

But to really get deeper into 'dorifto' you really need to make the car your own. It's all about individuality and adding your own flair - the crazier the better!

However, there are a few common features to a sick JDM RC street weapon...and to get you started we've produced this handy guide. We'll start with a clear body and then we'll get to painting, stickering, blinging, winging and then lighting it up!

Step 1 - Body & Body Kit

We start off with a standard body and optional body kit.

#17214 - Toyota LEVIN AE86 BODY (190mm) bodyshell
#7131 - STAGE-D LEVIN AE86 BODY KIT (RUN FREE)

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1) First, we cut the body parts out, and cut off the bit on the main body not needed to fit the 'Run Free kit'. This includes the whole front bumper. Use HPI #9084 Curved Scissors to do this, and if you need a guide you can draw the cutting line with a fine-tip permanent marker. Take your time and be careful. For this step and any steps you are unsure about, get help if you can from a friend or parent. 

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2) Cut the body kit out, and mock it up against the bodyshell - this is call 'dry fitting' - so you know it all lines up correctly. When you are happy with where the body kit parts will go, mark where you will need to drill the holes with your marker pen, then pre-drill the holes where you are going to mount it. It's much easier to do this when the shell is clear. Note how the fender flares are marked so we know where they are meant to go once everything is painted!

Do the same dry fitting and hole marking with the wing, if you are adding one - we used the straight wing from the #85197 Type A & B Wing Set for this project! You can also get the #85612 GT Wing Set Type C, #85288 GT Wing Set Type D, or the #30093 GT Wing Set Type E - whatever suits your style.

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3) Wash both the shell and kit really well with soapy hot water. Dry the parts with a lint-free cloth and let them finish drying in the sun if you can.

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4) Draw the design you want on the outside of the body parts and body kit. Again, this will help line up any designs that are going from the bodyshell to the kit and helps make everything look perfect!

5) Dismantle kit, and get it masked up ready for painting. Use good quality masking tape and if you are cutting the design into the tape use a fresh scalpel or hobby knife blade to get a good clean cut. If you are using masking fluid, apply the fluid in multiple thin layers, letting them dry fully between each application. This gives you a nice thick layer of masking in the shortest amount of time. We made sure to mask of the headlights and tail lights for the light set that we'll be installing in step 3!

 

Step 2 - Painting & Stickering

So, you now have a body set in pieces ready to paint.

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1) Always try to paint the darkest colors first. So you must cut your masking material away where you will be painting the darkest colors. This will help the lighter colours look brighter when you paint them later.

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2) Cut away your next section and spray the next lightest color. In our case, this was the bright orange, which we backed with white to make it pop! Spray all the extra pieces at the same time so you end up with the same colour. Remember to let the parts dry first, so leave them about a half hour in the sun to dry between coats of paint

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3) Finish the painting, and back it with a final coating in a solid color to help protect the paint. We have used white, as the main car body is white. Let all the paint fully dry overnight if you can - be patient if you want a top quality job!

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4) Now that everything is dry, you can reassemble the body kit, so its looks like a proper car. Be careful when doing this not to scratch the paint.

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5) Now fully assembled, you can add your stickers. You can go fully stickered up for the race theme, or only have a few, whichever suits your style.

 

Step 3 - Lights!

To give the car a realistic look we wanted to add some headlight and tail lights.

#38762 - LED LIGHT SET

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These are fantastic! You get a mixer, as well as both front and rear lights. They have 14 different modes!

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1) Cut out the supplied light buckets, and make a small hole in the center, just big enough for the bulb. A 3mm or 1/8" drill bit is perfect for these lights.

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2) For the rear lights we had to make or own buckets from some spare piece of lexan cut from the bodyshell. We colored these red.

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3) We used flexible Shoo Goo glue the headlight buckets in to keep them solid and in one place. You can also use silicone adhesive or hot glue (get help with this step if you need).

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4) Stick down the wires neatly, and thread along the bodyshell so they aren't showing. This makes the finished shell look super clean!

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5) Attach the mixer on the top of the bodyshell, plug in all wires, and select which mode you want!

 

Step 4  - Chrome Bling!

We have a complete bodyshell, looking cool with new headlights. What could top it off? Some chrome accessories could!

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#85527 - BODY ACCESSORIES SET (CHROME)

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1) Door mirrors. You have a selection to choose from. One you have picked one, you need to make a small hole in the bodyshell window and slide the mirror through. They are secured with an o-ring and small bodyclip.

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2) Apply the chrome mirror decal that fits the mirror style you are using.

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3) Window wipers - These mount in exactly the same way as the wing mirrors. So drill small hole and use the body clip to secure it.

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4) Exhaust - We tested a couple of positions, and found the right one, which meant cutting out the bumper to make sit flush, and look neat. The mounts on the inside of the shell, and hooks round and underneath.

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Step 5 - Choose Your Wheels and Tires!

With the bodyshell all complete, with extras all added, all that's left to do is pick some wheels to match, and mount them up.

We used:

#114637 - FIFTEEN52 TURBOMAC WHEEL WHITE (26MM/2PCS)
#4425 - FALKEN AZENIS RT615 T-DRIFT TIRE 26MM (2PCS)

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Once mounted we thought they looked awesome! A perfect fit. So now you have the perfect HPI Drift car!

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