How to build a photo box

When I was a kid I loved to build things. My materials of choice were corrugated cardboard boxes and packing tape – good for everything from small drawers to spacecraft. So when I needed a new light box to photograph my miniatures in, I broke out the old cardboard.

This is a microwave box I found in the bin in the basement (one of the joys of living in a large apartment complex). It was a bit too large for my purposes, so I cut it down and made a new floor, which I fastened with regular PVA glue. Hence the huge clamps in the pictures above. The windows in the sides and top were just cut out with a hobby knife.

When the entire thing had dried, I mounted sheets of tissue paper inside the box. Regular tape will hold it fine. The paper is there to diffuse the light over the miniatures, so I won’t get glare and stark shadows from the lamps.

Finally I blu-tacked an A3 paper with a printed gradient on to serve as a backdrop. There are all sorts of technical explanations as to what colours will serve best as background, but I like to think that cyan makes the miniatures stand out.

There you have it – a light box made with stuff I had lying around at home. Cheap and effective. It’s better to spend your money on a good camera, lights and miniatures.

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