When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Leaving for Vacation!

I got another 3d model to build before we leave on Friday, so there will be no more fabrication in the shop until I return. I did get lots done though.
I started this morning with the weathering on the pectoral fin and bow thruster cap. I had already painted them a rust colour yesterday. The above photo looks pretty strange, that's for sure. This is how I'm going to "chip" the paint. Basically I dampened down the areas of the model with a bit of water mixed with dish soap to break the surface tension. Dabbed it where I wanted the chipping and sprinkled table salt on it. The water makes the salt stick to the parts. The salt basically becomes the spray mask. Then I very gently air-brushed the colour on. I started with a deep red colour, then air brushed a very watery black to tone the red down.
This is what I ended up with after the top coat was done.
After the paint had dried, I just brushed off the salt, exposing the underlying rust colour. This technique can be used with multiple coats of different color paint, exposing the layers of time.

Heres the pectoral fin assembled. I just need to touch up the seam, and it'll be done.
The bow thruster is almost done as well. The fan is mounted, and the screen has been glued in. Looks pretty cool I think!
Finally, I finished the brass on the text. When I came in this morning, the gloss enamel black had dried past the point of being able to apply the powder. This means I had to re-coat everything again. Boy, gloss black on gloss black can be very hard to see where you've painted already! After a couple of hours it was ready for the powder. I just buffed it on and voila! Done. This part of the sign is now finished, with the exception of a few small touchups.
Looks pretty good!

Well, soon I will be diving in Cozumel. I love diving!
But some of us aren't as excited to see me leave for a week. At least I'll be missed.


  1. that is very cool.
    can't wait for you to show these methods at the camp.
    have a great vacation.

  2. It's going to be a great camp! I should come a month early!!