I’ve been jealous of folks who take photos over a blackdrop: every time I try, it comes out terribly. So, while ordering some flourescent pigments a month or so back, I threw in a Maxx Darth backdrop from Greenstuff World. I’ve noodled around with it a bit.

I’m not sure how it would compare if I ran out to the fabric store and just bought some, but it’s basically just black velvet.

Hangar 18 vs. Maxx Dark

I’ve been using a Hangar 18 (out of business, sadly) backdrop for years untold at this point. I love it: it’s got a great 90’s school photo backdrop vibe, but it works.

Royal Beastflayers in front of Hangar 18 backdrop
Royal Beastflayers in front of Maxx Darth backdrop

So it’s obviously a little smaller and I clearly need to plan around that a bit better. It does really make the minis jump out, which is cool. Things are brighter (good) and yellower (not great), which is interesting.

Lights vs no Lights

I’ve been using a lightbox longer than I’ve had the backdrop. I could probably go back and figure out when I started using it, but feel safe ballparking that at like 15 years.

It came with two little halogen lamps that I normally shine on the subject through the sides of the lightbox to diffuse the light. I’ve got whatever lightbulbs are in my ceiling fan on, my light arch, and lights in my display case (to the left of each mini) on in addition to the side halogen lights. Given the yellowness of the photo above, I tried taking the photo with those lights off.

Skabbik’s Plaguepack with sidelamps on
Skabbik’s Plaguepack with sidelamps off

Wow! I was unprepared for how much of a difference those lamps were making. The bottom photo might as well be “with ambient light” and it looks a lot better. It’s a little cooler than I’d like, but the top photo is entirely too warm.

I need to consider getting some smaller side lamps that aren’t quite so bright, or just not, and taking photos without the side lights at all. I also need to see what results I get with my old backdrop without them, for that matter.