Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Today's special: Aluminum & Lead

Today I put the finishing touches on my brand new Light Box (Mk.1). I opted to go with a white background for now (for lack of a colour printer), using a pretty ghetto backdrop of 8.5"x11" pages glued together with double-sided tape.


I got the design from the Warhammer Fantasy Miniatures Gallery blog, which got the design from Corvus' miniatures blog. It's about as basic a design as you can get, but will hopefully do the job. There were lots of other inspiring designs on the web, but all involved a) way more time, b) way more materials, and c) way more money. With my single light source, this seemed to be the best short-to-mid-term option.

It's pretty simple. A cardboard box is cut and taped together, aluminum foil is attached to the side walls (I taped it down with aluminum tape - the kind used to seal ductwork), and a backdrop of some kind is made and fixed to the middle panels at the top and bottom, with a slight curve to create a smoother light transition in the background.

With my fancy new setup, I plan to re-take as many of my original photos as I can. As a sample, here is a side-by-side "before and after" shot:

Less Lame.
I kept the light source in the same place, used the same settings on the camera, and tried to position the miniature in the exact same place as it was in the light box. So, definitely an improvement! A very small investment in time and effort pays big dividends! I still have to play around with my camera settings, but I feel that my future tutorials will surely benefit from a much more controlled lighting environment.

I may still eventually look to getting a "Light Box in-a-box" package from EBay, which includes a translucent, collapsable box and individual light sources, but for now I prefer to spend my hobby budget on actual miniatures.

In other hobby news, I bought some cheap lead fishing weights to be split, hammered down, and affixed to the bottom of my hormagaunt bases for support. Between this tedious task and playing with my new light box, I think I have my day's work cut out for me!

I was hoping to get started on magnetizing some of my Monstrous Creatures, but my FLGS has run out of magnets and I would hate to have to order them online and pay shipping. I will call today and see if they have an ETA for re-stock. If not, I still have dozens of small gribblies to keep me occupied.

That's it for today!


  1. You should diffuse your light to help fight the shadows or put the mini up on a small pedestal to eliminate them from the frame all together. The cheapest way to diffuse the light is get a piece of wax paper and cover the light. It softens the light, but in doing so will also strip away some of the intensity so you may want to either open your iris a stop or if you're set with your depth of field up your ISO/ASA

    1. I looked into light diffusion and may attempt that down the road - at this point I am aiming for simplicity so I may try the pedestal suggestion first. Thanks for the advice!