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, 9 July 2013

Mountain Survival.....It's in the Details!

With the Molson Ring Toss game gone, it left us to completely focus on the Coors Light Mountain Survival game.
One of the requests was a zipline from the top of the mountain to a pools of sorts at the bottom of the game. The additions are just decorative, not functional.....YaaaY!
Being that our hiker is very cartoony, I wanted the additional elements to be just as silly. I thought that if the little pool was being filled with a garden hose, but the water was leaking out just as fast, it would be kinda neat.
First thing was to pull the angle of the game from the drawings, then build the pool to the size of our little guy. I cut the pool from 1/8" pvc, and scored the boards and woodgrain. I also slit the pvc in spots with an X-acto knife, so they could bend outwards, like they were really old.
The garden hose nozzle that will be filling the pool was spun pretty quick on our little lathe. I have a ton of 1/4" clear acrylic rod, so I used a little bit of that. I also have quite a bit of a textured, transluscent blue I'll be using as the water surface in the pool.
I mounted the spray nozzle to some thick primary wire I have, to replicate the hose section. And as a bonus, it was already green! A quick spray job with brass, and it's almost good to go.
 We sliced our little man at the waist, and cut of his left hand as well. This will look like he's standing in the water. We also had to heat bend his hand into a wave. Clearly he was molded to hold something, but we changed that with a cigarette lighter!
Once posed, it was off to the primer stage. The Rustoleum black primer sticks to the material like glue. This kept the water-based finish coats from beading off the plastic.
Whenever I'm out, and see something interesting, usually at a Dollar Store, or Walmart, I try to pick up a couple, just to have. You never know when it'll fit the bill! I had picked up some kids light up shoelaces last year, and filed them away for future use. I decided that the thick clear "lace" would make amazing streams of water coming out of our little hose. It was a little too thick as is, so i heated it with a torch, stretched it thinner, and cooled it with water to hold the thickness. This made it curl quite severely, but it's so flexible, it's not really an issue.
The end of the plastic lace was glued down to the surface of the water. I have a heavy bodied clear glue that I puddled around the joint, then added small glass spheres to simulate turbulence and splashing in the water. The free end of the water will get connected to the hose when it gets installed.
It's hard to see in the photo, but I also added the "leak" that is springing out of the side of the pool. This will terminate into a puddle, with bull rushes growing around it.
The final step was to get the guys glued into their new home, and add the water ripples with the heavy bodied glue. This is going pretty fun when it's all installed!
I also included a short video we shot last week, just to make sure he was clearing the inside of the mountain. There was some suspicious noises coming from inside the mountain, but it turned out to be some crud in the track. We managed to get it cleared out, but it was NO fun tearing the game apart last week!

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