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.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Set building (In Miniature)

Today we started the build for an upcoming kids toy commercial! I love miniature setwork!
We worked the whole weekend finishing the bits and pieces for the NDA TV show.
Jody finished the last of the welding for that, so it's just paint really now. I'm diggin' her "Ghost Rider" visor!

The first miniature set is 8' X 12' and is a tropical/desert dinosaur set. This will be sculpted styrofoam, covered in scenic mud, with rocky pop-outs all over. We'll be keeping the center space free for the dinosaurs to move around in.

We're building about 15 miniature palm trees for this set. Don't know if we'll use all or any yet, but they take awhile, so we got started on them right away. Jody and Anna spent an awful lot of time cutting the palm bows from heavy-weight paper.
We're using thin wire taped down the back of the leaf for support, and to pose the leaf on the tree.
These were the first color run, just to see how they might turn out. Because the palm leaves are paper, the color is very deceiving after it has absorbed into the paper and dried.
The fronds were then cut into the overall leaf shape.

The bark was done with long strips of painted and ripped craft paper wrapped around a cedar stick.
So far the tree test has been pretty good!
Now onto the other 14 trees X 14 branches each = 196 that need fronds cut into them. Thank goodness for the miniature tree fairies! They're the same as the painting fairies, but they make trees now instead.


  1. Jamie and jody - you guys are unreal. that tree is awesome. you are very creative and I hope people appreciate your talents.

  2. Thank you soo much! Very nice of you to post my friend!

  3. Just found your site recently and have been reading the "behind the scenes" work. I really enjoyed the "time machine" and "Death Machine". I recently began my own adventures in cnc work, and always find inspiration in creative pieces being generated by others. From sculpting to cnc and fabrication and painting, I'm enjoying your work.

  4. Thanks Doug! It certainly is different every day here. Although some jobs can feel like work at times :)