Hands-on: Painting Pro-Line’s Ambush 4×4 Jeep Wrangler Body Kit

Out of all of the small-scale radio-controlled vehicles in my fleet, the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4 sits atop the heap as one of my favorites. From its compact size to the fun, adventure-ready styling, this has been a terrific “grab & go” vehicle for just about any occasion.

The original body style holds a special place for me, as I’m a fan of the International Scout (although you could argue whether or not the Ambush body is truly a Scout or a Ford Bronco). Even though my love for this lid is strong, I jumped at the opportunity to purchase Pro-Line’s latest option part for this 1/25-scale crawler, a Jeep Wrangler body ($22.91).

A Closer Look at Pro-Line’s Ambush 4×4 Jeep Wrangler Body

My overall R/C body painting experience is…minimal. The first body I painted was for a Traxxas Slash and I experimented with a paint that wasn’t rated for use with polycarbonate material. If you’re looking for ways to paint a body on the cheap, I highly recommend not following my path.

Since that time, I have done a bit of paint work on ABS bodies (Tamiya Grasshopper) as well as some external body painting on a few larger-scale machines. This was my first attempt at a small-scale paint job and I wanted to make sure I headed into battle with a solid selection of materials.

I chose Duratrax polycarbonate paint for this project and after seeing the results, I’m not regretting that decision. My original plan was to apply multiple colors to this vehicle, with base coat being orange and the trim (fenders, hard top, etc) being gun-metal gray or black. After I saw how beautiful the gun-metal color was in person, I decided to paint the entire body that color. Early attempts at masking the inside of the body didn’t pan out, so I chose the all-or-nothing approach to this painting project.

Preparing the Pro-Line Ambush 4x4 Jeep body for paint.

Prepping for Paint

Before you start-up any R/C painting project, it’s a good idea to wash the inside (or outside for ABS) of the body with some warm water and dish soap. This will remove any residue which may have been left over from the mold-forming process.

Applying paint is a straightforward process, but I’ve managed to learn a few tricks in my short time hobby-painting. If you lay down a light coat first, you’ll help establish a nice base layer and can reduce the occurrence of window mask bleeds or runs. Again, I speak from experience when I say don’t rush any painting project. Especially if you want it to look good in the end.

Pro-Line Ambush 4x4 Jeep body painting under way.

After applying multiple (4-5) coats of paint, I was happy with how the body looked. There wasn’t any daylight shining through and the covering appeared to be very solid. I backed the base coat with a few layers of light gray primer, which was also the same color I used for the interior tray.

Pro-Line's Ambush 4x4 Jeep body shining in the sun.

The Body Shop

With the painting complete, the next step was to trim the extra polycarbonate material from the body. This can be a bit time-consuming, however the small size of this model made the process seem quick. After cutting away the material, take sandpaper or a file to the edges to remove any small bits of material or level any uneven areas.

Much to my original dismay, the decals for this body kit aren’t pre-cut. There was some momentary dread at the thought of hand-cutting each tiny decal out, however, this worry was premature as the process wasn’t too complex. Make sure you lay off the caffeine beforehand and you should be fine.

Pro-Line Jeep Wrangler body for the Ambush 4x4

Ready for a Shakedown

If I rushed any part of this project, it was getting the fit of the body to be “just right”. I didn’t pay attention to the fine details in the product photos which Pro-Line posted, which give away some body mounting tips (if you look hard enough). There are no mounting instructions which come with this body kit, so in a sense, you’re on your own.

Getting everything to settle into place doesn’t take long, it just takes patience. With that said, the entire project went smoothly and I’ve very happy with the end result. While the painting portion of this project has wrapped up, I’m nowhere near finished with this body project. More accents and details are coming, but the bulk of the work has been completed.

If you’re an owner of the Pro-Line Ambush 4×4 and want to give it a fresh look, this Jeep Wrangler body kit is worth taking a look at.

Save 10% on your next order at prolineracing.com with coupon code “RCNEWB10”!