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Colin Gomez
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F-4J Phantom – photo light booth demo

April 4, 2020 · in How-to · 8 ≡

Hi Guys,
Here are a few pics to demonstrate my simple photo studio. I took these pics inside an Ikea Fabrikor display cabinet, fairly cheap and spacious. It is also quite well sealed against dust when I use it just to hold my models and ongoing projects. I was experimenting with lighting it when I realized it could be used as a light booth. It has glass all around so I can move the LED lighting around to any side and not worry about it coming crashing down on a model.
To turn it into a photo light booth, I just used a large sheet of paper from a flip pad, cut slightly to fit. Even my big 1/32 Tamiya F-4 can be photographed from various angles almost in its entirety. I have included shots of how I used the clone tool in Adobe Photoshop (free version) to fill in a place where the backdrop ran out. All pics were taken with my iPad, so far. It’s nice how the light reflected off simple paper can make an interesting contrasting background when tweaked a bit in Photoshop.
The Maglehult lighting I use so far is also the cheapest and most compact from Ikea. You can see it reflected back in the simpler photos with no paper used inside the cabinet. It’s also great for illuminating cockpit detail, which can fall into shadow in most normally lit photos. Anyway, I was so surprised by what I could do with this simple set-up, I thought I would share. Nice to have some accidental success with photography.
I hope you like the F-4. It has been on display before as shared on Hyperscale forums. I did it over three years or so, filling and sanding the intakes, adjusting the wing angle, and detailing the cockpit, amongst other things. Decaling was a lengthy task, especially the tiny stencils, but it all came out fine in the end.

Happy modeling,

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8 responses

  1. Very nice idea, Colin. I will give it a try using my custom made cabinets, as at the moment I am not very keen on buying expensive equipmen. It seems your idea helps a lot.
    Your phantom is superb! I love the camo too!
    All the best!

  2. That's impressive Collin. Since I work for IKEA as a store builder, I've built quite a few Fabfikor cabinets. That will go down as another IKEA hack by our customers that works. Well done.

    • Thanks, Tom. Yeah ha ha. I may sound like I'm promoting IKEA when I name the specific products so carefully (like the intro to the movie Fight Club, if you've seen that!) . In any case, I think IKEA has great stuff for us modelers. I looked all over for display cabinets until I found the best ones ever at IKEA. Might as well help anyone who wants to do a quick check on the website to see what might work for them.

  3. The model...exquisite.

    • Thanks, Bob. it represents a few years of on and off work. I'm glad I persevered in spite of challenges. I/32 is a huge canvas, so you have to get it right when mistakes really show up to the unaided eye. Those ejection seats, for example, were built up slowly from kit parts, photo-etch, sheet styrene, masking tape, paper and aftermarket decals. The face curtain firing handles were made with solder, masked and airbrushed and then bent into shape. Delicate work.

  4. Love the Phantom - looks great!

  5. Thanks, Greg. I'm glad you like it. I also love the lines of the F-4, especially the J and C models. This is the only one I've built so far but I have many more in the stash.

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