One of my better wargaming purchases in the last few years was a “HQ Portable Mini Camera Photography Lighting Studio”. Basically a small home photography studio and great for taking close ups of wargaming figures.
This particular portable photography studio doesn’t appear to be available any more but there are others that are basically identical. For example check out a very similar one from Amazon (USA, UK, and Canada).
As you can see the kit packs up very small – it is about 54cm a side. Included in the pack are:
- 1 x black colour heavy textile bag
- 1 x Portable Lighting Tent size 50x50x50cm
- 2 x 50 watt Lights with tripod stands
- 1 x Adjustable Weighted Camera Stand
- 4 x coloured background sheets （blue/red/white/black）
The lighting tent and lamps are where the value is for me. The lighting tent folds out from the bag. Basically forms a white box with one open side. The tent means that the light from the lamps is diffuse rather than direct.
At 50 watts the lamps are quite bright enough for the job. But they get very, very hot. You can smell them burning. Don’t touch them – it’ll hurt.
I’m not a fan of the camera stand. It is okay in terms of height but suffers from wobble because the arm is springy. If I adjust the camera it takes a couple of seconds for the stand to stop oscillating. I would recommend getting a gorilla stand instead. Amazon have gorilla tripods (USA, UK, and Canada).
I don’t use the coloured background sheets – of any colour. Instead I use some customised scenery pieces inside the light box. I use my background photo I collected from google of Spanish countryside and a flocked base board. Then, if necessary, I add a house, hedges and trees.
Here is an example of a shot using this set up. In this case Napoleonic Portuguese Line Infantry.
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