Photographing Terrain: Another Way To Make a Light-box

I don´t know or use Science, only Autumn Stone and Batman do. I don´t understand how the light travels, interacts with colors or make your tomatoes grow faster. But I do understand that when I build something it´s nice to take good pictures of it. So when Autumn Stone wrote this it inspired to make my own light-box for terrain.

The theory behind photographing terrain is 100% same as with miniatures. Only thing that is different is that usually the object is much bigger so you need more space. I thought about constructing Autumn Stone´s version of light-box but a) I thought it would be too small and b) I didn’t have any wire coat-hangers, only the wooden kind which my wife hid quickly! So I went back to my drawing board and sketched something else.

I had limited resource and an urge to have something finished in one night so I turned my attention to an empty cardboard box.

I realized that I can’t store the whole thing anywhere so I sliced it open and reinforced the edges with tape. Now I can flatten the whole box and stuff it on top of some cabinet.

I don´t know what name you use for this multi-use tape but we Finns call it Jesus-tape. It solves all your problems and works even in our hobby!

Then I cut holes for the light and again used some tape on the edges to prevent all kind of damage from use.

Following Autumn Stone´s instructions I took some baking paper and taped it over the holes.

Because nothing holds the box together, I used a stapler to attach some elastic bands behind the box. When I tighten this up the whole box is sturdy enough for photographing purposes.


Then just grab your camera, add light and some terrain. I really have to acquire more lights with daylight bulbs but even with these lights the results were quite nice. I just have to find some nice colored material for behind the object. Here is my current photo set-up.

I think that this method could be also used with bigger armies or very big monsters, like Colossals. It´s easy to make, extremely cheap and in my opinion works like a charm.


On request here are some model shots. First one is taken on my worktable with one big overhead lamp (my normal working light)

And then inside of the lightbox with one light source on top, one on the side and with nice background from Massive voodoo-site. I used same camera settings on both of the pictures.

That´s all folks!!




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  1. Mugu said:

    Any chances of an update to the article with some example pics of the house you have in the lightbox and/or models. For example, “Here is a Cygnar troop model with just a light overhead in Picture A and here it is in Picture B using the lightbox.”

  2. HarmoniousBorealis said:

    I was curious if you had any issues with the duct tape (“Jesus tape” is a good name too!) not sticking to the parchment paper? It may just have been the poor quality of the tape we had hanging around.

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