Well, I got a little crafty again this weekend, and did some hot glue gun slinging to make a new backdrop for action figure photographs. The fun thing about making a backdrop like this is that you don’t need to be precise, and you can use pretty much anything you have laying around.
The first thing I had to do was to make the base. I wanted it to be pretty sturdy, so I attached two 3/4″ plywood boards with some angle brackets, and then glued on some random bits and bobs from the junk pile. The largest part of this backdrop is the casing from my old VCR, may God rest its soul, and there’s also a section of my old carpet cleaner’s hose, and the humidifier that no longer humidified. Throw in a couple of plastic toy parts and voila:
After attaching everything with a hot glue gun, I spray painted everything with flat black, grey, and rust colored paint — nothing fancy, just a random coverage. The transformation always amazes me when you see how a mish mash of items look once they are all painted the same color. You would be hard-pressed to recognize that VCR casing if I didn’t tell you what it was. The trick in creating a backdrop like this is to not get too busy or complicated. This is a backdrop, so it shouldn’t be more detailed than the toys you’re going to photograph on it. Also, the muted colors make your action figures really shine in the pictures.
One of my goals for this backdrop was that I wanted to make something that could be used in a variety of ways and arrangements. Here is one way I can put this backdrop to use:
…or I could flip it over…
…or I could even stand it on its side!
Of course the fun part is when you start taking the pictures and crop in close on the action figure like this…
…of course, you can also get a little creative with Photoshop…
This simple backdrop will give items much more visual interest than a plain white or black cloth, and hopefully these photos will help me to sell a figure or two when I finally get around to putting them up on eBay.
Very cool ..make it into Axis Chemicals with some decals and a big paint can filled with acid.
Great idea! I’ll consider that for the Batman pics. 😉
Hahah this is great! One thing I’ve always wanted to do with my Transformers, GI Joe, He-Man and Star Wars collections is to create an enormous diorama the way a train modeler would for a train set.
I’ve had that idea in my head ever since seeing the Halo diorama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnCs46FEtqA
You should start a site called Cool & Crafty. Love these posts. This thing is Robot Chicken worthy!
Cool & Crafty… I like it! Look out Martha Stewart!
Paxton Holley says
Brian, these backdrops are awesome. Great work. I really like these DIY articles.
Thanks, Paxton. these are probably the most fun articles I do, so it’s nice to hear that they are appreciated.
Wow that is a amazing looking background.
Awesome idea. Also makes your shots more unique, in case someone tries to use them elsewhere.
Hmmm. I never thought of that angle, but that’s a good point. That makes for one hard to remove watermark! 😉