Spotlight On: Custom Vinylmation Artist Rust This World

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Once again, we are featuring the work of artist Rust this World. This time, Villains is the theme.

Destination Vinylmation: Disney designed a set of TRON figures, but some characters where missing. You took it upon yourself to create one of those missing… Master Control Program (MCP). A seemingly simple idea for a design, and it works incredibly well on the 9″ Vinyl! What are your thoughts about the finished product?

Rust This World: I am a sucker for the classic Tron, and was disappointed that there was only one classic design in the series. You can’t have a Tron series without Tron the character. So many great figures were skipped over, such as the great villains: Sark and MCP. The collection that I display is primarily villains, and it felt weird without my favorite giant red cylinder. Whenever I do a 9″ figure, I make sure that it is in scale with the 3″ figures. Having a giant MCP looming over the rest of the villains is just awesome.

DV: When designing a Vinylmation, how much thought has to be put into pre-planning what features to paint first and what colors to apply in what order? I feel like I could paint myself into a tough corner even on a design like this.

Rust: I always start with a base coat that’s white or black. If it’s a generally dark character or most of its features are black, I’ll go with black to start. If I want bright vibrant colors, I start with white. For the MCP, I started with a black CYO and taped off the parts that I wanted to stay black and sprayed the rest white because I wanted that bright red. When there’s small features, I always work from the bottom up. The MCP was just a big red shape, then I added the lines down his body on top of the red, then I added the basic features, and then the smaller features like the pupils of the eyes on last. My advice would be to start with the color that covers the most area and work backwards from that.

For MCP, the paint was applied like: White -> Red -> Orange -> Dark red -> White -> Light red

DV: Hydra is a great design. What made you decided to create this creature on a vinyl?

Rust: Again, I mainly collect the villains vinyls and love having having huge monstrous characters like MCP, Hydra, and the official Jafar Genie towering over the rest. I really like the Hydra’s design in the movie and thought I could get creative with the idea of multiple heads fitting into Mickey’s singular head. If there’s an awesome villain that Disney hasn’t gotten to yet, I’m anxious to make it. Right now I’m working on the Weasels from Roger Rabbit and the Vultures from Splash Mountain.

DV: All your designs seem to fit almost too perfectly onto the Mickey shaped canvas. As an artist, do you keep Mickey’s shape in mind while thinking of what to paint next? Or do you get an idea stuck in your head, and not stop until you think of a way to fit it onto the canvas like it always belonged? Or how much of each comes into play? And have you ever abandoned a design because you just couldn’t get it to work?

Rust: I always remind myself of the Project Z teasers that said, “Think outside the mould.” The less I think of the canvas as a cartoon mouse body with ears, arms, feet, the more freedom I have to do something more interesting with the design. To me, it’s a canvas first and a Mickey figure second. Luckily for me, there have been tons of Vinylmation series already released and I can see which designs have worked and which haven’t. My favorites are the designs that do something clever and surprising with the shape, and my least favorites are the ones that take the Mickey shape too literally or just stretch a characters’ features out. Every time I design a new figure I ask myself, what is the most unique way to put this character onto the figure? With the Hydra, I took the idea of it having multiple heads and instead of making one gigantic head take up all of Mickey’s head, I stuck 4 or 5 of them on the head. I’ve scrapped certain designs before if I was unhappy with them, but they never leave the sketch stage unless I’m absolutely in love with the design. The Hydra took about 10 hours to paint and I would have hated to put that much time into it and then been disappointed.

DV: Find out more about artist Rust this World at or you can email him at [email protected] or visit is Facebook page.

About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.