CHARLIE “CBUILT” VILLEGAS
Part of racing is having an interesting and distinctive
livery. Professional drivers use their livery to help market
themselves, and a well-thought-out and recognizable
scheme will help them stand out in a crowd. When you
think of legendary drivers like Kinwald, Masami, Tebo,
Cavalieri, or Hara, you know
exactly what their paint scheme
is. It’s something that is ever
present in racing but often taken
for granted. For a lot of us, a single
rattle-can color will su;ce, and
we don’t think about this final
step. We got a chance to sit down
with Charlie “CBuilt” Villegas (also
known as #cbuilt or @carversdad
online) to find out a bit more about paint schemes that go
the extra mile.
RC Car Action: How long have you been painting?
Charlie Villegas: Going on three years now.
Who do you paint for?
Some of the more well-known guys are Tommy Hinz/Team Associated, Jake
;ayer/TLR, Nick Miller/Team Associated, Kurt Wenger/Team Associated
and Schelle Racing Innovations, and Tyler Hicks/Team Associated as well as
local fast guys and SDRC Raceway and OCRC Raceway racers.
From start to finish, how long does it take you to paint a body?
About three hours—tops.
;e detail in Charlie’s bodies is always impressive, and his signature California-inspired
logo can be seen on many of the best bodies in racing. ;is body was used for our Team
Associated B64D review in the July 2017 issue of RC Car Action.
Why do you like to paint race bodies?
It’s part of the hobby that I really enjoy. When I was growing up,
I didn’t have the money to have an airbrush. Now that I have an
airbrush, I can venture o; and do the stu; I always wanted
Do you have a style you’d call your own?
Not really. I know I get a lot of feedback from others who say that my
work all has a similar look and looks like some other painters’. But I try to
put my own twist on a racer’s paint scheme. A lot of the schemes I do are
other painters’ schemes that I’ve modified, or I’ve taken my own ideas
and put my own twist on them.
What type of paint do you like to use?
Water-based mainly because its easier on the equipment and easier to
clean up. I use all Iwata airbrushes. ;ey seem to be consistent, and parts
are easily available. Acrylic is nasty for your health. I like the water-based
because I don’t get complaints about paint chipping, and that’s another
bonus. Also dry time. I flash it with a heat gun, and it goes o; quick. I’m
able to do multiple layers at once. It’s also a little bit cheaper, so materials
aren’t as much. I also usually do anything with chrome used in the paint
scheme; I paint that area first. It takes 24 hours to cure so that I don’t get
any cracking or peeling.
Do you ever go to a track and see a paint job that makes you wonder,
“What was that guy thinking?”
Not really. I kind of give praise to everyone. I wouldn’t want to hear
anything negative about me. When I go to the track and see a really hot
body, I’ll check it out and really analyze it and see what the painter has
done with all the details. I’m not a hater, and it’s another reason why I like
it. I like to see stu; and get ideas from painters all the time.
What racer’s bodies are your favorite to paint?
Right now, Tommy Hinz’s bodies—mainly because of the pink. Most
people tell me to avoid pink; I hear, “Whatever you do, no pink.” But
Tommy’s got pink and he loves it; along with the black splatter, it pops. It’s
like eye candy. [I also like] anything that has a lot of detail where I have to
stop and think; it’s kind of neat. In that aspect, Nick Miller’s are really fun,
and I use my hex pattern that’s becoming my own thing. In his, I also did
a lot of micro dots, and a lot of shading is involved. Another one are the
bodies I do that has a lot of Hot Rod flakes in the background. I use two
di;erent purples. I use a darker purple, and purple shading and magenta
in the back, along with a blue Hot Rod flake. ;at makes it pop and look
really neat. ;e trend right now seems to be variations of blue, black, and
green. I don’t mind it ‘cause I’ve always liked those colors. ✇
Home track: SDRC Race-
way, San Diego, California