• March 25, 2023

Transforming A Mazda RX-7 With Manga-Style Paint

  Reading time 9 minutes

Following is a transcript of the video.

Kyle Montero: Whenever I pull up to car shows, car meets wherever, honestly gas stations, it honestly doesn’t even matter, the response every single time is, “Yo! Who did your wrap?” And I tell them it’s spray paint, and then their head literally just explodes. 

I’ve gotten all kinds of responses: “Auto Modellista”, the “Borderlands” definitely, I get that all the time. At the end of the day it’s Initial D themed manga, like that kind of idea is where it came from.

I would say 90% of the cars that you see on my page are just off the top of my head. I just walk up, I see where all the shading and everything needs to be already just when the car is sitting there. I can’t really explain it.

Yo, what’s up guys? My name’s Kyle aka KBmerOne. You can find me on Instagram at KBmerOne. I’m a street artist from Florida. And today we have a RX-7 in the shop we’re gonna be giving a manga makeover. So, let me walk you through the steps.

The first step is we had to rip off the wrap. They weren’t happy with the wrap. It was like lifting in some places. 

At that point we taped off the car to protect moldings and stuff. And then we started sanding it. We just sand it all down, make sure there’s no gloss showing, it’s gotta be frosty, you want the paint to stick. And from that point, we just lay down the paint and go from there.

A lot of people online, they say like, “Oh, you didn’t even prime it and you didn’t even do this, or you didn’t even do that.” But I’m using graffiti spray paint. It’s made to go on anything, basically.

When it comes to that specific style spray paint, It’s a winter proof, weatherproof, everything you think of it promotes it on the side of the can. So they’re not lying. 

People request that they want a specific color. But I also get the people that are just like, “Yo, I just want you to do whatever you want to this thing and make it look sick.”

The monster-ish kind of purple that’s on the car, the one that’s really bright. I started with that. I started on the hood and I just started sectioning off areas that needed to be that specific color and I colored them all in. 

And then I came back with the dark purple and then I started doing the heavy shading where it needed to be, just to give it the look like light is hitting it at all times, even though light’s not hitting it. 

I can see where the shading needs to be on the car already. So I’m just painting the shading, freestyle painting the shading in. Most of my passes on the car are one pass. Whenever I do the shading, I only touch it once. I lay it down and then I don’t touch it anymore. It’s done. The shading is just, it’s just random. It’s where I think it needs to be. It’s really all about how you hold the can and how much pressure you put onto the tip.

Then I came back with a light purple that was even lighter and I started doing some highlights kind of on the fenders. And then I even came back with a white on top of that to make that highlight look even more realistic. 

Which part of the car I’m spraying depends on how I hold my can to prevent overspray from landing on different parts of the car. You don’t want to do too much because if you put too much paint on the car it’ll start building up. Clear coat is more likely to react with it because the paint might be too heavy and then it’s still letting out gasses and stuff underneath.

Then I came in with black down at the very bottom of the car coming out the fenders too, to make it look like there’s a lot of definition in the fenders.

After I laid down all of the actual spray paint, I take my marker and then I go down all the body lines, uh, I go around all the lights, if there’s like a logo on the car or anything like that, it gets marker and to make it look like it’s drawn, like it’s that cartoon effect. 

I was looking at actual references from Initial D on a FD RX 7. So I pretty much copied lines to the T that were like in the image. 

The paint pens that I do use, they’re just made for graffiti writing. They’re chisel tipped, which allow you to get cool strokes depending on which way you hold it.  

I can see the light hitting on the car and where it starts getting darker and it’s normally about where you need to draw your lines.The only thing you do have to think about is the like motion marks and little hashes and dashes, wherever you want to put those, if you wanna put them.

On this specific car we left some carbon fiber showing. So where the carbon fiber was still showing, I switched up the outline color instead of using black that was going over the purple, I switched it to white, that way it would just give it a little bit more of a wow factor.

The manga style of art is sketchy. It’s not solid, you know, “Family Guy” cartoon. The customers that come to me, they already know it’s not perfect. Art’s not perfect. I never know if I’m really finished or not. I’ve learned more in life up to this point that less is more.    

The last thing that we do after laying down all the paint and the lines or all the artwork, guess, I have a good buddy that does paint jobs. He comes in and lays down all my clear coat jobs. He mixes pearls in them. 

If you look closely, especially on the carbon fiber and the light, you can see there’s a purple pearl in the car mixed into the clear coat. 

So I offer no finish if you just want straight up paint, I offer one coat, a two coat, and then I offer a three coat. If you get a full three coat paint job from me, it’s glassy, it looks like glass.

It’s always satisfying to see the clear coat go on. That’s like the cherry on top every time. 

I don’t think anybody’s really tried to combine it with clear coat. I’ve not really ever seen that. So once you put it over, put the clear coat over the paint job, it’s a real paint job and it looks good.

I’m a single man team for the most part. Right now I’m just an artist. I don’t do cars and body work and stuff like that. I just wanted to do graffiti on cars. 

I’d say that street art in my life, it gives me my living. It’s literally my job, which I never thought it would be. It gives me happiness to see a crap wall or a car turn into a piece of work. 

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