Saturday, July 12, 2014

Just Hangin' around

Having been a miniature painter for quite a while now, I find it very interesting how the innovations in this particular field are moving along at an astonishing rate.

This makes my life a whole lot easier!  And it makes everything about miniature painting more fun.

You have seen me expound on the value of such innovators like Raging Heroes, Secret Weapon Miniatures, Reaper, Happy Seppuku, Wild West Exodus, and so many others.

That expanding list is joined by Hangar 18, with their stunning photo backdrops.

These may not be quite as new for many of you, but today was my first opportunity to work with some of them.

Here are some images right out of the tube... starting with a very familiar backdrop.  Yes, the blue/white fade!  However, this 'small' drop is 11 x 17, which is as large as my biggest current backdrop!

Here are some more backgrounds which I had always wanted to make for myself, but never had the ink to spare... more 11 x 17's.

Same size again, but some subtle variations.  I have never had a chance to 'choose' a backdrop for a specific miniature or group of miniatures before.  It was always the blue/white fade.

I was struck right away how these things will lay out perfectly flat every time, even when they have been rolled up for a while.  That is amazing!

A size comparison with the biggies.  I can't wait to start photographing the really big stuff on these!!!!

All three of the big drops.  I will definitely try to get more of them, for the same reasons of variety.

I was beside myself with anticipation as I hurriedly set up the first backdrop for testing.

You must keep in mind that I have purchased other photo backdrops over the years, and was so displeased that I continued to use my own drops.  Some of the ones I bought were shiny... which will never be a problem with these!

Also, whenever I attempted to use any kind of darker backdrops, the camera hated it, and the figure was always burned out in the middle tones.

Not so with the incredible Hangar 18 backdrops!  Perfect every time.  Also, far less color correcting in Photoshop, which is going to same me a ton of time.  When you take tens of thousands of images every year, that adds up like crazy.

Also, with bigger items like this Demon Prince from Ultraforge, I had to waste time clone brushing out imperfections in the backdrop, or worse, having to extend it.  I could not believe that I was taking pictures of something this large, and the extra space made me think the figure was only 28mm tall :-)

I will still be using my blue/white fade... but now it will be the Hangar 18 versions.

Now I get to choose color backdrops for my minis!  Wow.

There will be much more to come on these, as I experiment with various colors and sizes.  This is just the beginning!!!

A link to the choices:


  1. Is blue or grey the most versatile/forgiving to try and photograph minis on? Is there another color you'd suggest to start with that will be good for the widest range of paintjobs?

    1. The most universal is the blue/white fade, which is why I made sure to get those. The rest is more up to you and what sort of colors and themes you have in your army...

  2. Thanks for posting this review. I stumbled onto that site a couple months ago and now feel silly for not pulling the trigger to get some. Ordering now.

    1. You will Definitely get a lot of use out of them! :-)

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! I tried the backgrounds, after reading your article, myself: