Category Archives: tutorials

MINIATURE MENTOR, Complete Guide to Photographing Miniatures

Photographing miniatures has always been a major challenge for me.  I have all the right equipment, but my pictures have never turned out quite right.  I’ve read several tutorials on still photography, some even devoted specifically to  miniatures, and the results have always been unsatisfactory to some degree or another.  Then Miniature Mentor released their latest video, The Complete Guide to Photographing Miniatures, and I was saved:

Miniature Mentor is excited to bring you the Complete Guide to Photographing Miniatures in over 7 hours of video!!! Join professional commercial photographer Felix Wedgwood as he guides you through all the steps necessary to create amazing photographs of your miniatures. THIS IS NOT A BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIAL – plenty of those on the net.

NO LIGHT TENTS WERE USED IN THE MAKING OF THIS TUTORIAL!!! We didn’t take the easy way out here – you’ll learn the true art of photography and lighting.This tutorial focuses solely on miniatures and the obstacles of shooting/lighting tiny objects. You’ll learn about lights and lighting, diffraction, depth of field, sensor size, lens resolution, light fall-off and more.

This tutorial is designed for any and all budgets. It is not neccessary to upgrade your existing equipment. The tutorial’s main focus is how to properly light your photographs and how to setup your photo station.

$25 well spent.  Don’t believe me?  I shot these after watching the video, and they are miles ahead of my earlier attempts.  I’m predicting even better results once I get the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.  If you’re serious about miniature photography, I can’t recommend this video enough.

Anakron Miniatures Studio, sculpting a wooden door

Anakron recently uploaded another fantastic video as part of the Free Tutorial Movement, this one on sculpting a worn wooden door with metal fixtures.  The door can be made with a combination of green stuff (duro) and Fimo or Super Sculpey.  Be sure to check it out.

I’m always impressed by how easy Anakron makes this sort of thing look.  It’s  a real treat to see such talent at work and on display.

Anakron Miniatures Studio, sculpting wooden planks

Anakron has uploaded another great tutorial, this time on sculpting wooden planks.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.  There’s no need to worry, if you don’t understand French; the video is so well made, it’s easy to follow what he’s doing.  And he’s more than happy to answer in English any questions you might have about materials and technique in the comments section on his site, or in this thread on the DP forum.  One more thing: it’s possible there will be subtitled versions of these in the future, so stay tuned.

Anakron Miniatures Studio, base tutorial

Anakron recently uploaded an excellent video tutorial for making simple yet highly effective bases for 28mm miniatures.  Click on the image to view the video on his homepage.  And while you’re there, be sure to check out his other offerings, including a variety of hobby tips and a stunning range of extremely limited (only 30 castings per model) resin miniatures.

One word of caution: the video is in French.   That being said, it is so well made that you shouldn’t have any trouble following his instructions.

Anakron recently acquired a special camera mount to make video tutorials of this sort, so you can expect more of the same in the future from one of the industry’s most talented artists.

EDIT: Anakron has kindly shared his paint formulas used in this tutorial.  You should have no trouble substituting similar colors from other brands, should you be so inclined. Don’t forget to check Color Match over at Silicon Dragon when in doubt.

Rocks:
– Dark grey: Prince August 867 Blue Gray
– Medium gray: Prince August Games G50 Cold Gray
– White: White

Grass:
– Dark green: Vallejo Game Color 028 Dark Green
– Light green: Prince August Games G31 Green Camouflage

Sand
– Dark Brown: Prince August 822 German Camouflage
– Medium Brown: Prince August 819 Iraqi Sand
– Light Brown: Prince August 837 Light Sand

EDIT 2:

Plants shown at the end of the tutorial were made using the following:

Grass: static grass, which can be found at any good hobby shop.

Dry desert plants: zeechium, which can also be found at most hobby shops.

Green plants were made using a product called erica foam, which might be available at a local hobby shop, but may require some searching online to locate.  Here is a link to the manufacturer (in French): LINK

Making Snow

Snow bicarbonite

Müller has a great article about making snow on his site Minis from Valhall that is worth checking out.

With all the formulas on making snow out in the world, it would be a good idea to write a page devoted specifically to the topic (note to self).

Meanders of Darkness Painting Challenge

Rackham's Kelt musician

Rackham's Kelt musician

My entry, stage 1.

My entry, stage 1.

I’m taking part in a painting challenge that Dangereux recently started over at the Rackham forums:

“going through these dark times and as winter is coming along soon (for us in the northern hemisphere) I felt it would be appropriate to focus on the Meanders of Darkness for the time beeing.

Rules; Paint a miniature, plastic or metal, square or round base, from either Acheron, Dirz, Mid Nor, Vile Tis, Drunes or Ophidians. Some Cadwallon miniatures would fit here too, like Morzath, Syth, Scarecrow etc (use common sense).”

I took the entire collection of Rackham miniatures that I had with me here in Japan back to the United States in August save one: the Kelt musician.  The LGSs in the Tokyo area have just a handful of R’s miniatures the last time I checked, and I really can’t justify buying another new model for this challenge (my R collection is massive, and I’d rather spend my cash on other things now).  But if I recall correctly, a couple of my LGSs had some Rackham bits floating around, and I might be able to snag something small for the base to qualify my entry.  That’s tomorrow’s adventure.

Anyway, since I’m already uploading stuff on the Rackham forums, I figured I might as well post my WIP here, too.  So far he’s been scraped, filed, sanded, soaped, brushed, and rinsed twice.  Today I’ll pin his feet and gather some bits for the base outside.  If all goes as planned, he’ll be ready for gesso tomorrow evening.

Quite a Big Terrain Project, Lead Adventure Forum

There’s an amazing terrain project in process over at the LAF that is worth checking out.  Educational and inspirational, to say the least.