The best Ten Bucks I ever spent on my hobby

In the course of a twitter conversation this week, a fellow hobby painter asked me what I used for the backdrops in my miniature photography. I realized that I had never shared that info here either. It's a tremendously cost effective solution that just about anyone can do!

Order vs Chaos

Firstly there are lots of good articles around the web of setting up makeshift home 'studios' (mine occupies a corner of my living room!). You can find some here, here, and here. (even one here for those who want to use an iPhone camera)

Most of my set-up is fairly straightforward. I use my camera on a simple tripod, and a cheap light-box that you can pick up from Amazon.

The backdrops though? What do I use to create that textured ground / sky effect? It's an improvised and extremely cheap solution that I think makes for fantastic results.

I use the textured reverse sides of this card stock that is sold for arts and crafts hobbyists to use making cards and such. 

You can find it here on Amazon. 

On the surface the sheets don't look that useful. They are patterned and wouldn't make useful backdrops, but the reverse sides are a kind of grunge textured block of different colors. A single pack gives me ten or more different choices to choose from, with a variety of colors. So I can mix and match depending on what is complimentary for the miniature I am shooting.

They also fit just about perfectly into most generic light-boxes that people tend to use for miniature photography. 

Hell, you don't even need the light-box! If you're doing it on a super budget you could just use the sheet and your camera phone!

They work well in multiple set-ups. You can either bend the card gently and use it as single fill as you see below

Eldar Wraithlord

Or you can use two sheets, one for the 'ground plane' and one for the 'sky'

Northkin Fire Eaters

It is seriously the most useful ten bucks I have ever spent on my hobby.

So I figured I'd share and maybe this set-up is useful for you as well! It's certainly a cost effective solution for getting some cool shots of your painted miniatures!