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, 27 March 2013

Rust makes it better!

Tonight's post is a pretty quick one!
We delivered the prototype for the current show we're working on safe and sound. Once that gets a sign off, were on to a whole bunch of them! Not a lot of tough work to them, but they'll be kinda fun to make.

While we were moving some stuff around to accommodate the build, I found a sample piece I did a couple of years ago, but never got it finished!
Not sure if you remember this from awhile ago, but it was a bit of a time capsule for us!
I decided that there was no point in keeping it if it wasn't going to get finished.
So, we got to work right away making it rusty. Working for film and television allows us to try, try, and try new stuff that we wouldn't normally do. The rust that we use is kind of something that we were forced into in a pinch. We were dealing with a super short deadline a long time ago and had ordered the waterbased paint that rusts with an activator applied to it. No big deal, as you can order it easy enough. BUT.....when we needed the commercially available stuff right away, it got held up in customs....for a week! This led to improvising in a pinch. Knowing how the rust paint is made, we decided to duplicate it as best we could.
This led us to painting the part with a dark grey latex paint, then dusting the surface with iron powder that we already had lots of. We could have put it in the paint, but we decided to go right to the surface to save powder, and time. We learned alot on that job, and decided to apply the exact same thing to our newly found piece!
We sculpted some barnacles to add to the look, although I don't think barnacles are around where the Titanic lies, but it's kinda fun! while the piece was hiding for 2 years, it developed a nasty warp to it, which makes it look even better now!

Tomorrow I start modelling a cartoon F1 car for Grand Prix Montreal. So far we've only been asked to model it, but who knows, maybe we'll get to build it for real!


  1. THat's amazing. Can you tell us the materials used? Also what is the water based one that you are normally accustomed to using?

  2. Thanks MS!
    The piece was carved from MDF, the barnacles were sculpted from 2 part sculpting epoxy, and we 2 kinds of rust paint when were not stuck. The 1st is sophisticated finishes, and the other is called brutal rust. Even using the dedicated paints, the iron powder helps alot!