Sunday, 8 August 2010

The road to better photography, and a Wolf!

Always open with a picture they say, though I rarely do
Since this post is largely about pictures though, it seems appropriate. Apropos, here is the home made Space Wolf you saw a few weeks ago.
There are, as always some things I am pleased with, and some that need a great deal of work. I’m very happy with the way my sculpted parts have come together, I’m pleased with the final colour, and I’m happy with his face.
The grey paint I used, well, lets say i need to learn my way round the sombre grey. it was difficult to find the right dilution and as such I had some separation and chalkiness, sadly this is visible on the finished model. but as a “test model” for a small, (hopefully) well painted wolf force I think it’s passable. Oh and that “tattooed leather” needs some rethinking :)
Again, I eschewed metallics totally, and I think the gold came out well. I used oils for the blade and weapon, and wasn't able to be as neat as usual due to the thickness of the paint and the small surface areas, but I think the results here, though rough, show the potential of continuing with this method.
Props must go to  to Eingestellt von Androsch at Tower of Heroes whose painting I admire and from whom I totally stole the idea of contra-coloured shadows for this fig :)
Here are some more pictures -
DSC_5829 DSC_5830 DSC_5831 DSC_5832
On the subject of photography, I’m now very happy with the diffuse nature of the light provided by my Ikea bin, so many thanks to Roman at Massive Voodoo for that and many other amazing tips in his tutorial section.
as you can see from these pictures my remaining issue is with the quality of light.
This first one has the best colour reproduction, but is far too dark.
much better with a lamp on, but a bit one-sided, and very “yellow”
With two lamps we are approaching the right amount of illumination, but the warm light is terrible.
To that end I have some much colder bulbs on order, which should be close to daylight. once they arrive, I should have cracked the photos *crosses fingers*
Thank you all for reading, I look forward to reading your comments!


  1. Don't use yellow light and never mix two types of light.

  2. I find white light or natural sunlight is best - I think your background may be a problem though. Your first pic is best, but appears washed out slightly due to the large white spot behind it.

    I would recommend repositioning your light lower and using a white background. If you don't want to take the time and space for a photography box (basically a white box with holes for lights / camera - there's lots of tutorials online) then do what I do - use a few layers of blank white paper curved up behind the mini to create a base and background. (For a larger mini, you might have to get some 11"x17" paper or just a white cloth backdrop)

  3. Actually, I should also mention that if you want to use the background, use stronger lights from further away, or position the model and light so that the spotlight effect on the background will be at an angle and out of frame from where you're taking your picture.

  4. Hi Guys, and thanks for the advice.

    I've actually been using a home built light box for a while now, with a nice blue b/g, and my photos were pretty decent with that set up.

    I used three lights, some diffusing scrim and so on, - always manaully set my white balance.

    But with this recent batch of guys I've been painting more sublte graduations and I found that my old setup wasnt cutting it.

    The plastic bin is actually a stunning little light diffusion box. of the three pics you see there the first was taken in natural light. not enough penetrated the bin though and the ensuing contrast was too high, so that when I adjusted the brightness so that it was visible, the white disc as you pointed out Dave was tooo intense.

    I've got the cooler bulbs now and the ensuing photographs should be much improved, I'll take some pics and post results :)


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