I’ve wanted to make the Star Wars Aztec calendar ever since I first saw it, but it’s taken me awhile to build up the knowledge and skills to finally make it. After getting it to work, I went on to make four more: the Marvel, DC, Norse, and actual Mayan/Aztec calendars! It’s been a great learning experience, so I thought I would share what I’ve learned for those that would also like to make them.
First, I have to give credit to Tim Celeski for his YouTube video on finishing. I initially tried to paint these gold and then cover them with black acrylic paint which was wiped off. I felt this left the surface vary dark. So, I switched to Tim’s technique. I start by sanding the MDF to 400-600 grit to make it very smooth. Then I spray it with shellac. I find this gives me a crisper carve. Once carved, I spray a primer (I use grey), followed by flat black. I use Rub n’ Buff metallic wax finish in silver or gold applied with an old t-shirt. I finish it off with another coat of shellac.
I started carving using my Amana 90 degree vee bit which worked ok. I tried an Amana 60 degree see bit, but it didn’t do well. On a recommendation from Instagram, I bought a new Whitesides 60 degree bit (1541) which works great! I couldn’t get the Star Wars design to work with Carbide Create, so I did all of these using Vectric Aspire.
Credit for the designs goes to: Nopal, Sandyeggo, and Story_Board_Draftsman.