14 January 2018

Presenting the Freshly Rebased Frederick II and von Seydlitz!!!

 Frederick II and von Seydlitz Chew the Fat I


 Frederick II and von Seydlitz Chew the Fat II


Well, here we are.  The newly rebased Minden Frederick II and von Seydlitz figures.  I am reasonably well pleased with the way things turned out.  The 3mm ply Litko base looks much better than the old hand-cut base that was roughly square in shape and, frustratingly, warped later.  Not very fitting for King Frederick II and his officers you'll agree.  

Litko Game Accessories, by the way, sells a number of different amorphously shaped 'terrain' bases that are perfect for command vignettes, small copses, a building or two, or other basing needs that might need something a bit different than the usual square and rectangular bases on which we typically mount our combat troops.  I used a bunch of these to mount my collection of Zvezda Fir and cake decoration Birch trees back in June 2016 with the help of the Young Master shortly before he finished 1st Grade.  To view bases like the kind I used, and other precision-cut bases, visit Litko Game Accessories by clicking here

Anyway, I opted not to crowd the new base with any addition small tufts of greenery or brambles, sticking with just the discarded sword, chunk of cannon wheel, and the tree stump.  The latter came originally from our old front yard in Bloomington, Illinois quite a few years back before we decamped for Mid-Michigan in 2015.

I picked up an interesting piece of advice recently while reading online about photographing military miniatures and wargame figures.  The particular blog, whose name now escapes me, advised focusing on the faces of the figures, which will yield the most visually pleasing results.  I've tried to do so in these two informal snaps taken atop my painting table.  The profiles and facial details of the two figures show up remarkably well although I never do more than give faces a wash of alkyd oil fleshtone over a white undercoat.  Richard Ansell, the original sculptor for the Minden line, is an extremely talented individual.  

Another photographic tip that  am finally coming to grips with is the distance between camera lens and subject.  In short, don't get so close to your figures with the camera that your macro setting kicks in.  This will mess up the focus because, apparently, macro photography is more useful for items even smaller than 30mm soldiers.  Think insects, the centers of flowers, grains of rice, and earthworms here.  You'll get better photographic results for military miniatures if you back up a bit and instead zoom in carefully with your lens.  Later -- after adjusting your auto levels, brightening, whitening, sharpening the image, etc. -- crop the photograph(s) you decide to post to your blog, website, or send along with an article submission to remove any superfluous items that you do not want to show up in your pictures.   Assuming, of course, that you have not already used a light box or light tent and special backdrops to both isolate and illuminate your subject more effectively.

On that note, a new 24" x 24" light tent, backdrops, mini-spotlights, and mini-reflectors with light diffusers are on their way from Amazon as we speak.  A late arriving gift from Mom and Stepdad, courtesy of their online Christmas gift card last month.  These items should kick my more careful photographs into the stratosphere once I get the hang of using everything.  

Long-time visitors might recall that I have experimented the last few years with a makeshift light box, made from pieces of white foamcore board.  In general, though not always I hasten to add, these experiments have yielded much nicer photographs that have sometimes appeared here as well as with several magazine articles.  I finally figured it was time to upgrade to some purpose-made equipment since I find photographing my figures and games to be as much fun as the painting and gaming.

-- Stokes

3 comments:

Paul Robinson said...

Nice work Stokes. Interesting thoughts on the photography. Especially given the comments in this months Miniature Wargames review of the Wargames Annual (the editor complains about the lack of depth in some of the photographs - this from a magazine that has several very poor photographs in it every month).

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you, Paul! Most of my own photos in the new WA are darker than I would have liked, and I should have added additional diffused light in the light box to brighten things up to begin with with. There is only so much one can do to the images after the fact sadly.

Best Regards,

Stokes

Wellington Man said...

Very pretty indeed, Stokes.
Best regards
WM

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