Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII FQ-330 – theme

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII FQ-330 – theme

The second of my designs.

The grey design down the side proved trickier than expected and was finally made up of half-a-dozen pieces. Very pleased with this one.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – 2006 Indy 500 Pace Car theme

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – 2006 Indy 500 Pace Car theme

Took the 2006 Indy 500 pace car as my inspiration for the paint job here. I used the photographs at as my reference.

The only thing that turned out odd was the white body colour. It looked really bland, especially when racing. I changed it to one of the very light shades of, er, yellow I think and it looked much much better. Bizarre.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Ferrari 360 Modena – Prancing Horse theme

Ferrari 360 Modena – Prancing Horse them at flickr

Simple job this with the red, white and green of the Italian national flag caressing a Ferrari yellow car festooned with the Ferrari horse and Ferrari logos.

The horse and logos were used by super-sizing the provided Ferrari logo decal and masking off the bits I didn’t want.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Ferrari 355 Challenge – Spyker F1 theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Ferrari 355 Challenge – Spyker F1 theme

Being a big fan of metallic orange in racing games, it may come as no surprise that I really like the Spyker F1 team livery for 2007 which features their traditional orange broken up with silver. They are powered by Ferrari engines during this season and so when I won my first Ferrari in “Forza” I figured I would avoid the traditional red and paint it in the colours of the Spyker F1 team.

Largely this was as straightforward a job as it looks but there are a couple of nice details.

The principle Rotora logo adorning the side has black blocks behind it to make the inner text black. Normally, the text is transparent.

The Bridgestone B on the bonnet was made by using the Bridgestone logo supplied and covering “ridgestone” with a silver panel.

The only other details were that, once again, parts of the side are painted using the roof. Funky.


Then I hit a problem. The reference photographs I had used were of the pre-season livery. Once the season started Spyker politely altered their silveryness to black so as to make their car more distinguishable from the McLaren Mercedes (when viewed on television). I found this out after taking my photos so you can see the original silver next to my new black one. This wasn’t quite as simple as just changing the silver to black as the silver bits had black logos on. So I needed to find all-white logos. Hmm.

As I had plenty of credits and hadn’t upgraded the car in any way, I bought another F355 Challenge and copied the pattern across so I actually had both the black and silver available. This a great feature and a generous bonus.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Lotus Esprit V8 – Bond theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Lotus Esprit V8 – Bond theme

Lotus Esprit? Got to be a Bond theme.

My first idea was to have a bash at reproducing the classic “For Your Eyes Only” legs artwork on the bonnet. While I got quite far with reproducing the tanned skin tones for the legs, as soon as the car was on track it looked awful. Part of the reason is that the texture mapping used on track looks to be about half the resolution of that used in the car painting screens but most of the reason is my lack of artistic ability.

I still wanted a Bond theme and decided to make it a bit more subtle. A giant 007 logo on the side should do the trick. :) I made the logo in a light colour despite the predominantly white paint job. I really like the way that you only see the 007 logo at certain times in the replays.

After doing the 007 I had another go at decorating the bonnet, this time with iconic the gun barrel. This one proved rather trickier than anticipated and in the end I had to settle for what I could achieve. Hopefully, the overall effect works but it is not a very accurate facsimile at all. To create the thin black lines I used offset overlapping circles of the same size – white over black. The trouble was that the white (invisible) circles were necessarily overlapping areas I didn’t really want them to. I couldn’t find any way around that.

After a while with the car I came back and added a little Bond to the gun-barrel. The reference photograph was a Daniel Craig promo for Casino Royale. While he is certainly crude, you get the idea and that, frankly, is the limited of my artistic ability. I probably over-reached myself by adding the bonnet design and the car would still have looked great with only the subtle 007 logo on the side.

In driving, this turned out to be a surprisingly competitive car which came as a nice surprise. In most other racing games, the Esprit looks brilliant but is slow and difficult to control.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Renault Sport Clio – Renault F1 theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Renault Sport Clio – Renault F1 theme

Renault’s ING sponsorship for 2007 has produced a bland car thanks to it’s feeling predominantly white / yellow. I was much more interested in the 2006 model with the highly distinctive gold / dark blue / sky blue.

Remarkably I ran into a major problem with painting the Clio. You can’t paint the centre upright, the upper part of the door! While you probably wouldn’t notice unless someone pointed it, this meant that a dark blue stripe that should be between the gold on the roof and the sky blue of the door is missing. I only ran into this problem after I had nearly finished one side with the car colour set to gold. This meant changing the car colour to sky blue and then re-imagining the decorative construction based upon an entirely different colour. Fortunately I hadn’t produced a terribly complicated pattern but it was still a bit of a shock.

While I’ve tried to maintain the pattern and feel of the Renault F1 2006 car, I don’t feel I managed it. If you looked at it without knowing its inspiration, would you figure it to be a Renault F1 Clio? Anyway, this is a bright, striking car that looks great on track but I am a teensy bit dissatisfied with it and don’t really know why.

I later adjusted the side of the car to its current state. The original had the side pattern as basically square. The revised one has a wavy pattern and is much more interesting. I am much happier with the design now.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Nissan Fairlady Twin Turbo

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Nissan Fairlady Twin Turbo

This design is based on a pattern you can find in Google using the search terms “nissan z32 imsa”. IMSA is the International Motor Sports Association but I couldn’t find anything more specific about the pattern or design.

This was largely straightforward but I had trouble transferring the design from one side to the other as it was transferred higher and to the left. The trickiest bit came when I thought I would pop a Z on the front of the car. First attempt didn’t look right at all. Then I realised that the Nissan Z has pointed corners so I added a couple of triangles and spent some time fiddling and moving and sizing and spinning everything to make the Z look better. I think it’s ended up a bit big but it’ll do.

I ended up being a bit disappointed by how it looked on track but my version looks as intended and I am pleased with that.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Chevrolet Corvette Lingenfelter – 1995 Indy Pace Car theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Chevrolet Corvette Lingenfelter – 1995 Indy Pace Car theme

This design is based on the 1995 Corvette Indy Pace Car.

The main design challenge was getting the effect of interweaving red and white wavy stripes. The key to this was not to try and replicate the original design exactly but to get the feel of it. This was a good step for me because I have perfectionist tendencies which can lead to the state where you never get anything done ‘because it’s not quite right.’

The little insider knowledge regarding the design comes with the Chevrolet logo on the bonnet which was drawn by hand and is not the decal “Forza” supplies. The reason for this is that on the original pace car the logo was the same colour as the car (as I have replicated) whereas the “Forza” logo is a full-colour gold version.

On top of that, this car is amazing to drive. After all the trouble I had getting the Corvette C6 to a drivable state, this one flew right out of the box.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Mazda RX-7 Spirit R – Disabled theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Mazda RX-7 Spirit R – Disabled theme

Figured it would be pretty cool to use the United Kingdom Highway Code Disabled sign as a nice simple design.

I then hit upon the idea of having the driver’s head be the head of the person sitting in the wheelchair. After that, flames burning off the back wheel of the chair was a given. The final touch was my racing number on the bonnet using a similar colour scheme to the disabled sign.

After the racing number was done, I decided to add a couple more signs to the roof showing the disabled sign from above, that is, the head and arms. You’d probably never guess that that is what the pattern on the roof is intended to represent but I think it is a good touch. I have no ability to create those wonderful but seemingly random patterns that are often seen on cars (and on PC desktops, etc) but the obtuseness of those roof patterns add a more creative / random element to the design that I would normally muster.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Chevrolet Corvette C6

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Chevrolet Corvette C6

This style is taken from “Gran Turismo” but with a different body colour (the original was yellow) and my racing number.

The car itself took ages before it became drivable but I got a good deal of satisfaction from winning my first race in it.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Aston Martin DB9 Coupe – World Is Not Enough Bond theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Aston Martin DB9 Coupe – World Is Not Enough Bond theme

Probably the best artwork for any Bond movie of recent years is the Flame Girl / Bond motif used for “The World Is Not Enough”. On the left is a silhouette of Bond in a classic pose. On the right an inverse silhouette reveals the body of a woman in the flames in-between. Very striking, very clever.

My first attempt was to create the motif on the side of the car. The Aston Martin DB9 Coupe presents a minor problem to this in that part of the door is accessed via the roof painting section and part of it via the side painting section. An inconvenience, certainly, but one that can be got around. I principally wanted to see how close I could get as quickly as possible. I wasn’t going for pinpoint accuracy but the general feeling.

The principle was quite straightforward. The car would be black. I would place a block of colour where I wanted the girl and chip away the edges using black primitives leaving only the girl visible. I then replaced the block of colour with a couple of gradients. To my delight, things came together pretty quickly. I was using a lot of the rounded rectangles spun to different angles to create the legs and not leave sharp edges. I didn’t quite get the proportions right and I never quite got the transition from her breasts to her shoulder to her head right. However, the effect was there and on track it looked surprisingly cool.

On top of that, I enjoyed racing this car.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Flames theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Flames theme

Flames. Should be a piece of cake as Forza helpfully supplies a few flame decals. And it was. I was going along merrily with my white-yellow-orange-red fade into flame pattern on this really nice metallic rainbow dark purple / black background when I hit a snag.

You can’t paint all of the Ford Mustang Boss 429. There are little bits on the side and at the front and along the rear wheel flares that you can’t paint! This meant that I had to change the base colour to white as the bits that couldn’t be painted needed to be mostly white. Then I had to create a metallic rainbow effect as best I could. This proved harder than anticipated because none of the paint colours for decals were dark enough. The gradient primitive came to my rescue as I could use part of a black gradient to darken one of the default colours to approximate the deep purple I wanted.

In the end, it turned out great. No racing numbers or manufacturers decals on this one, just a clean custom paint version of that old standby: flames.

That said, I hated driving this car and ended up getting the Drivatar to go through that pain. That let me admire my paint job, I guess! I really dislike driving all American muscle cars in driving games. They look great, though.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Nissan 240 SX SE – Motorstorm theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Nissan 240 SX SE – Motorstorm theme

Motorstorm features a simple racing mask for a logo and bold, chunky gold text thickly outlined in black.

Aware that my last two designs had featured symmetrical patterns, I decided to place a large Motorstorm logo massively off-centre and wrapping slightly over the wing. I also wanted my racing number to reflect the text style of the Motorstorm logo. Both these things were achieved without much difficulty.

I then pondered what to do with the rest of the car. I came up with a ground-sky transition from the bottom of the car to the top. The mud in Motorstorm is distinctive reddy-golden-brown and I set a decal at a slight angle to lead from the bottom of the front spoiler to the top of the rear bumper. Then it was a case of some blue gradient primitives over the blue body paint to make a sky that got progressively lighter. As a finishing touch to the sky I placed some thin white gradient primitives in the middle of the roof and cut out cloud-like shapes using a couple of blue decals stretched and twisted for a more random effect. These clouds took some experimenting with.

Though I had carried the ground / sky effect around the rear bumper it seemed rather blank. I wasn’t intending to put manufacturers decals over this paint job but definitely wanted to break it up. I settled on colouring the registration plate area and made it black.

A tread mark running diagonally across the rear third of the car was to be my final touch. However, looking at the finished car I felt that the racing number was somewhat lonely. A few sponsor logos would help make it look more like a race car.

A smooth job this (and it still took a few hours) with the trickiest bit proving to be trying to get a cloud effect on the roof. Very happy with the logo, I feel it is highly recognisable and am pleased with carrying the Motorsport theme through the racing number and background paint work.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Subaru Impreza 2.5RS Coupe – theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Subaru Impreza 2.5RS Coupe – theme

After experimenting with an attempt at creating a 1999 Subaru WRC car, I returned to my original plan. With permission, I made a Forza version of a design by Russ Schwenkler seen on his site After a couple of paint jobs that had taken quite a while, this one was refreshingly simple, turned out great and, as a bonus, the car was a joy to drive.

The only thing was that the source picture gave no indication as to a design around the rear of the car. I simply placed the bonnet stripe on the rear and stopped it between the rear light clusters. Then I decorated the rear with stickers.

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Pontiac GTO Hardtop – Dukes of Hazzard General Lee theme

Forza Motorsport – My Cars – Pontiac GTO Hardtop – Dukes of Hazzard General Lee theme (2)

For my mind, the only reasons giant American muscle cars exist in racing games is because one of them might be a “Starsky & Hutch” Ford Gran Torino or a “The Dukes of Hazzard” Dodge Charger. I’d just recently done a ‘General Lee’ for “Test Drive: Eve of Destruction” and relished the idea of doing another one in Forza.

Just one problem: no Dodge Charger. Luckily, the Pontiac GTO Hardtop bears more than a passing resemblance thanks to its distinctive front grillwork and overall bodyshape. On top of that, I also found a site detailing the restoration of the original ‘General Lee’ Charger.

The flag was a doddle. It is a blue rectangle laid over a slightly larger white rectangle with four red triangles laid over four slightly larger white triangles. Forza even has little stars, great! Rotated the stars and plonked them down.

The restoration article mentioned a neat touch on the first ‘General Lee’ which I decided to replicate. The chequered flag crossed with the confederate flag on the boot lid of the car. Very happy with that.

Next up, the words “General Lee” on the roof. Here is where I hit a snag and a time vacuum. The problem was that I didn’t have enough layers to write “General Lee” twice on the roof in black letters outlined in white. I tried a number of different ways of reducing the number of layers I’d need but it never worked out. (I had to get a “GENERAL LEE” done in about 25 layers and it took me ten to just do “LEE”.) After a long time, I gave up and decided to leave it blank.

The numbers were the last thing I did, and they didn’t work out too badly. I was using my racing number of 34 instead of the ‘General Lee’s “01”. The four was created using the decal 4 but the three had to be scratch-built. I made sure to get an angle for the upper and lower right corners of the 3. My first attempt at the numbers made them too wide but that was fixable and they looked much better once I thinned them.

Looking on the net to see if anyone else had done a ‘General Lee’, I found two examples. Both were very good. One even had the words “GENERAL LEE” painted correctly on the roof. Neither of them had the chequered / confederate flag motif and both had used the “01” as the car number. The one that didn’t have “GENERAL LEE” written on the roof had used a sponsor decal instead to create the right feeling and I was, erm, inspired by that excellent idea. He had used the all-white “Toyo Tires” logo but I looked for logos that were black and white. I used the “Bridgestone” logo which featured black text outlined in white just like the “GENERAL LEE” text on the original.

The final touch was finding the right wheels. The Flkse Mach V’s matched the ones on the original most closely as they had the same number of spokes of the correct style.

While I spent much more time on this than I anticipated and got a little frustrated with the text on the roof, the whole thing has turned out great. I’ve got my own ‘General Lee’ with own racing number. Now all I need is a trick horn!

My Forza Motorsport Cars – Lancia – 1992 Delta Integrale EVO – Red Martini theme

Forza Motorsport - My Cars - Lancia 1992 Delta Integrale EVO - Red Martini theme
Forza Motorsport – My Cars -Lancia 1992 Delta Integrale EVO – Red Martini theme

Lancia Delta Integrale EVO – Red Martini theme: Obviously the first paint job you think of when someone mentions the Lancia Delta Integrale is the iconic Martini red-blue-blue stripe on white carried on their world rally cars. While that looks terrific, I did want to do something a little different. Turns out that Lancia carried a red version of the artwork for one year and so that became my inspiration.

Finding some reference photos on the internet proved helpful but as I started to try and emulate the staggered bar motif that ran across the car’s rear third I ran into a lack of talent. After some time, I made the decision to cut my losses and go for an ‘inspired-by’ version of the artwork. Using the striped flag-like primitive, I spun and resized it so that it made up the dark blue stripes that run across the rear third of the car. Then I placed orange and light blue rectangles underneath the stripes to fill in the blanks. I replicated this at the front of the car and carried the theme across the bonnet towards the windscreen. I needed some red and black rectangles to mask off bits of the pattern that were protruding where I didn’t want them. This is a case where verisimilitude was unnecessary as the impression is much the same. So far so good.

Sponsor motifs were somewhat tricky as they cannot be coloured in Forza and a lot of them (including Brembo and Pirelli which I wanted to use) do not show up on a red background. The absence of Michelin hurt but there were two usable motifs that were also on the real car: Magneti Marelli and Ferodo. Above that I decided to simply use any motif that was principally white.

A little Italian flag above the registration plate is a fine detail spotted on the references. I also painted in a white registration plate.

The Martini logo is sort-of straightforward. My initial plan was to simply have the circle and rectangle and not do the writing but you know how these things are. Once you’ve started, etc. I decided I wasn’t going to be too fussy about the letters as long as the impression was there. The only thing was that I knew I was going to have to do significant fiddling about when the text gets copied to the other side. At least it should be much simpler than the Star Wars logo on my Acura Integra. At this time, I’ve actually left the Martini text incorrect on the right side of the car. You probably wouldn’t notice in a replay anyway. I’ve spent my time copying the Martini text to the car bonnet instead.

Again, I’m very happy with how this turned out. While my initial ambitions proved to be too much, my second attempt using a simpler stripe motif worked out really well and also taught me how to use the stripes to produce multi-coloured stripes simply and easily.

My Forza Motorsport Cars – Acura – 2001 Integra Type-R – Star Wars Jedi Knight theme

My Cars – Acura – 2001 Integra Type-R – Star Wars Jedi Knight theme.

The artwork for LucasArts “Star Wars Jedi Knight” games is one of the strongest yet devised for a video game. It is reminiscent of a lightsaber but is split in two (reflecting the games choices between the light and the dark side) and the handle is made up of the letters J and K. Very clever. This lightsaber motif was the inspiration for this paint job.

The background colour of the car was to be black. Therefore painting anything black on top of something not black on this car would create a cut-out effect in the visible pattern. This was the first time I have used this inverted technique on any artwork. There’s probably a proper name for the technique but I don’t know it.

However, I started, not with the lightsaber, but with the Star Wars text logo down the side of the car. I intended to see if it was within my ability to create the logo and, a little surprisingly, it was. This was to be text created by cutting out holes of a background. This technique allowed to use a gradiated background for the letters reflecting the Star Wars text used on the Jedi Knight II wallpaper I was using as a reference. The backgroud was made up of two gradients: one light blue covered by one white with each graded in the opposite direction. This gave me an area with which to blank the areas that weren’t text.

It was always debatable whether a good impression of the logo would be able to crafted using the gradient tool available as the flashes of white and blue light emanating from the logo were very subtle. As it turned out, this wasn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem was the three concentric circles that surround the JK. At first I thought I was just going to have to use a thicker single colour circle as that was all I could do with the semi-circle primitive. I twigged that if I placed a slightly larger black semi-circle offset from the first that I could make the original semi-circle primitive appear thin. From that came the natural conclusion that I could cascade the ever-increasing semi-circles to create the white-grey-white-black pattern I needed.

By the time I had created this circles I had already done the JK, one diagonal flash and the background lightsaber. Now I had the circles over the top but I needed the circles to break at the lightsaber and, most annoyingly, the black circle was visible over the lightsaber and diagonal flash. This meant I needed to rearrange the draw order of the layers to make the black circle disappear again. When finished I needed to fill in little bits where the order of the layers couldn’t be helped.

I added a double black / grey gradient to the ‘handle’ of the lightsaber to subtly break up the solid gray block.

Finally I added black gradients to fade out the beams of light toward the front and sides of the car and a couple more to deemphasis the lightsaber light at the rear of the car.

Last job was to get my Star Wars text onto the other side of the car. Forza has a great tool that copies your design from one side to other and on my “Superman Returns” car, it even flipped all the graphics correctly. Considering that the original Star Wars text had taken a couple of hours, imagine my dismay when the text was copied across in reverse order, ie, SRAW RATS. Lesson learned, avoid putting text on the side of future cars. I knew I had all the right pieces to create the logo, they were just all in the wrong place. I nearly decided to leave that side of the car blank but had a break and then got stuck in. It was quite painstaking transplanting all the pieces around to recreate the text but the results were highly pleasing.

Upon looking at the rear quarter of the car I decided it needed a little something. My initial idea was some force lightning but I was very aware that I would need to copy whatever I did by hand as I did not want to be moving a copied Star Wars logo around again. I settled on a simple lightning flash that ties in to the rear light cluster and backed it up with a gradiated blue background that fades out before it gets to the end of the lightning bolt. This only comprised four pieces and was simply to copy across by hand. It also meant that I could wrap around the solid white, gradiated blue around the rear of the car.

This attempt turned out much much better than I had hoped. The Star Wars text logo is highly recognisable and even incorporates the blue / white gradiated background. I was very happy with that. The lightsaber / Jedi Knight motif also turned out nicely though the JK isn’t as clear as I would like. The impression is good though and I got to grips with some nifty ways of using the primitives supplied to create an effect that looked to not be possible (the concentric circles created using overlapping semi-circles).

My Forza Motorsport Cars – Toyota – 1995 Border MR2 Turbo T-bar – Superman Returns theme

My Cars – Toyota – 1995 Border MR2 Turbo T-bar
Originally uploaded by Mister Slimm.

Went for a Superman motif and tried to emulate the darker feeling of the 2006 “Superman Returns” movie promotional material. While the customisation didn’t have exactly the colours I wanted they did look much better on the car while racing than they did in the designer.

This was my first time using the gradient tool as I wanted a blue / black gradient. As with a lot of new tools I probably overused it and added the red skirts. I employed it to much more subtle effect on the yellow background to the Superman logo just to adjust the colour feeling slightly. It’s an effect you wouldn’t notice if it I didn’t mention it but I think it does have a beneficial effect.

After racing with the car, I wondered whether a homage to the American Stars and Stripes flag would help make the rear of the car more interesting. I went with a wavy flag motif but when I started putting stars on in the shape of tiny Toyota logos, I didn’t like it. I replaced the stars with my racing number (34) in white but then hit on the idea of replacing the stars with a white chequered pattern. I did that, then placed my racing number in line with that in the yellow used for the background of the Superman badge.

I briefly toyed with getting my racing number into the Superman badge but didn’t want to lose the hard work I had put into it in case I wouldn’t be happy with the 34 Krypton logo. I’m going to wait until I have enough spare cash to buy another MR2 so I can experiment safely.

My Forza Motorsport Cars – Volkswagen – 1995 Corrado SLC

My Cars – Volkswagen – 1995 Corrado SLC (6)
Originally uploaded by Mister Slimm.

The coolest thing about Forza Motorsport is the ability to customise the paint job on your car to an extent never realised before.

This is my first custom paint job on my first car in the Career mode. It is a 1995 Volkswagen Corrado SLC and it is a racing livery.