How-To: Mini Photography Part 2: Lighting Setup

Lighting Setup and Cheap Alternatives

 
Welcome to the second section of Basic Mini Photography. This section will help you to get the best look to your minis once completed. A lot of great minis and good photography is ruined by bad lighting. Now this section will not be a long one but it's not one to overlook.

Let’s look at the different ways to light your minis.

The first way is the pricier, yet higher quality method. Go buy a 3 light set with umbrellas, diffusers, and light stands. They start at around $200 and will provide the best well balanced lighting. Buying a setup will make it easy to make sure all of the bulbs are balanced and with the deflectors diffused.

Here is a link to look at:
Link

If you are going to buy a kit this is the kind I prefer due to the boom arm on "5 inch light.

Most of you may not have $200 to spend on lighting, so let’s look at a less expensive setup that can be gathered at your local hardware store.

1Three metal 8" shop reflectors like this usually $8 when bought separate.
Link
2Three decent light bulbs all must be the same (when one burns out make sure to replace it with the exact same kind of bulb as the other two).... $12 bucks for three The revel bulbs are good lights but finding daylight balanced are a better choice but do cost more.
Link
3A yard of thin white muslin cloth or 3 large sheets of tracing paper. I prefer the muslin to the paper because it is reusable.
4Tape or large rubber bands.
5Tripod
6Some kind of system to clamp the lights to at equal distance from the mini. This may require you to build something or improvise like I do. I clamp two of the lights to the back of kitchen chairs and one to an old tripod set above the table.
 
Now for the setup:

You need to place the lights as seen in the diagram above. Then place the muslin over the lights to diffuse the overall intensity and to knock down any hot spots. Watch your lights if the muslin gets to hot it could burn so check your lights often.

In the near future I am going to build a free standing light setup that will allow easy modifications and proper spacing of the lights so check back and I will add the plans for it here.

Part 3: Camera Setup

Assembling WoB Spectral Omnifighters

 I recently picked up the three miniatures for the three Word of Blake Spectral Omnifighters. When I sat down to assemble the models, I realized that they have a large number of pieces and that telling the difference between the various fins and wings could be challenging, especially for someone new to assembling and painting minis. In fact, it seemed like there were way more pieces than should reasonably fit on an aerospace fighter.

Use of Pigments

To players and hobbyists, the art of painting miniatures can feel overwhelming. There are so many choices to make - choosing the mini, the scheme, paint brands, paint brushes, and techniques. It seems never-ending, like there’s another whole world that you don’t understand each time you try a new project. Even once you have started to grow in the hobby and have some basics under your belt, the more advanced techniques can feel like an insurmountable wall. My aim here is to break down one of those walls and take some of the fear out of trying something new. My subject today is applying dry pigments.

 

Assembling the Tonbo

Assembling the Tonbo

As part of the CSO Team's effort to support Iron Wind Metals website updates, I recently received a copy of the Tonbo Superheavy Transport VTOL, as described in Catalyst Game Labs' Technical Readout 3085, pages 52-53.

I opened the baggie to find...

Assembling the Tonbo

As part of the CSO Team's effort to support Iron Wind Metals website updates, I recently received a copy of the Tonbo Superheavy Transport VTOL, as described in Catalyst Game Labs' Technical Readout 3085, pages 52-53.

I opened the baggie to find...

How-To: Weathering

 Battletech Miniature Weathering
 For me weathering is something that truly makes a Mech ‘come alive’. I just love it as it can add so much detail and character to a miniature. A couple of times I have tried to paint a clean Mech with a shiny ‘out-of-the-factory’ scheme, but I can’t. I always come back and add at least a little bit of wear and tear. Hey, even with Jamie Wolf as the pilot the paint scheme will suffer scratches and wear around the feet just moving out of the factory. 

Battletech Miniature Weathering

For me weathering is something that truly makes a Mech ‘come alive’. I just love it as it can add so much detail and character to a miniature. A couple of times I have tried to paint a clean Mech with a shiny ‘out-of-the-factory’ scheme, but I can’t. I always come back and add at least a little bit of wear and tear. Hey, even with Jamie Wolf as the pilot the paint scheme will suffer scratches and wear around the feet just moving out of the factory.

Painting a Clan Wolverine Scheme

A writeup on painting a Clan Wolverine Scheme

Painting a Clan Wolverine Scheme

A writeup on painting a Clan Wolverine Scheme

Painting a Not-Named Clan Mech

Painting a Not-Named Mech

Long awaited for practically decades, the paint schemes of the Not-Named Clan’s various units will soon be revealed.

Painting a Not-Named Clan Mech

Long awaited for practically decades, the paint schemes of the Not-Named Clan’s various units will soon be revealed.

IIkasur Shogunate Walkthrough

A tutorial for painting a Shogunate scheme.

Small Terrain Boards

A tutorial on how to make small terrain boards for mini photography

Paints, Lights, Cameras and Colors

 An overview of various techniques that you can use to improve each of the key areas mentioned.

Painting a Clan Coyote scheme

A brief writeup on how to paint a Clan Coyote scheme.

Painting a Clan Jade Falcon scheme

A brief writeup on how to paint a Clan Jade Falcon scheme.

Hastur! Hastur! Hastur!

A Painting Tutorial for Operation Klondike

The colors of the Nation of Hastur are yellow ochre and black, the latter usually being added as wavy lines. Many warriors place their interpretation of the Yellow Sign in a prominent place on their machines. The Yellow Sign consists of an irregular three-armed cross, with no two exactly alike.

Painting a Clan Hell's Horses scheme

A brief writeup on how to paint a Clan Hell's Horses scheme.

Painting a Clan Nova Cat Scheme

A brief writeup on how to paint a Clan Nova Cat scheme.

Painting a Clan Wolf Scheme

A brief writeup on how to paint a Clan Wolf scheme.

Painting a Clan Blood Spirit Scheme

A brief writeup on how to paint the Clan Blood Spirit Alpha Galaxy scheme.