Back to basics with Stuck in Plastic

Sometimes life just gets in the way. Over the last year, I think I can count the number of times I have headed out to take photographs on one hand. I could make any number of excuses, but in real life I just hadn’t felt like it. Work has been busy. Writing and reviewing has been taken a little more energy than I expected. And I just haven’t felt in the mood.

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Getting the full picture: Upgrading the light box

In which I supersede my soft light box with a quick trip to the local hardware shop, for less than the cost of medium size LEGO set…This gives me a place to take pictures of Voltron, who has learned some new moves.

Over the last couple of years, I have used a number of techniques to light and photograph LEGO Models and minifiugres here at the Rambling Brick.

I started out using a relatively minimalistic set up, using a phone, a foldable light with baking paper as a diffuser, and a piece of white paper.

Before too long, I started using a small, reliable ‘Soft box’ – with two compact fluorescent tubes, some diffusing fabric and folding up into a convenient carry case. This has been my mainstay of LEGO® photography over the last few years. It is pretty good for most smaller, which have a footprint of less than a square foot.

A Sizeable Challenge

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Short of breaking Voltron down and stacking the individual lions, I was never going to make this set fit in this box, all at once.

Voltron 31211: this set challenged my sensibilities with regard to what I could fit in the light box. In real life, I don’t have the space for a dedicated studio, with large lights. A bit of bench space in my build room is all I have. (you can read my review here)

But it was time to revisit my photographic setup, ideally while maintaining enough budget to pick up one of the new Powered Up trains. Perhaps I will need to look at the passenger train rather than the freight train now. I took my inspiration from my friend @frostbricks, who recently shared images of his kitchen table photo studio on Instagram.

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Bulking Up with Bane’s Bigfig: Bane™ Toxic Truck Attack

Larger than life characters need larger than life figures. As such, over the last 18 years, the ‘Bigfig’ has been developed to cover situations where a regular minifigure feel a bit… inadequate. Especially useful for Rock Monsters, Snow Monsters and Trolls, they have also been used to represent super sized villains such as Darkseid, Thanos, Gorilla Grodd, Dogshank and Killer Croc, and heroes such as the Hulk and Maui.

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Bane doing his bit for the ramblingbrick marketing department, holding onto a 1×8 brick in the bottom of his hands

Compared with regular mini figures, they have no leg or neck moment, and only in relatively recent years have they had rotating wrists. What they lack in movement, they make up for with an imposing physique.  The degree of sculpted muscular definition varies, as does the amount of printing.

A great hulking(sic) figure, this version of Bane comes from the second wave of The LEGO Batman Movie sets, specifically 70914: Bane Toxic Truck Attack.  I would like to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the moulding of this bigfig in comparison to the smaller figure, with multiple printed muscles.  Fortunately, this set provides us with one of those as well, in the form of the Mutant Gang leader. We will also compare this figure with the only other bigfig currently active in my collection: Maui from Moana. Continue reading

Series 17 Minifigures: Fireside Review

Pictures of the latest series (Number 17) of Collectable Minifigures have been circulating the interwebs like crazy in the run up to their official release this week.  My figures arrived on 2nd of May, and I have to admit, I think this is one of the most appealing series yet  There is something for pretty well everyone…

As autumn has taken control of the weather here (in the USA, you may call it fall although I appreciate it is currently spring in the northern hemisphere), temperatures have dropped and evenings may be spent sitting in front of the fireplace with a nice cup of tea/ glass of whine/ beverage of choice.  While I was sitting down in front of the fireplace, this evening, I opened today’s mail. The camera was in easy reach, and I could not justify moving far from my seat to photograph these figures.

IMG_4873.jpgIf you have seen them already, you know who we have. I’m not up to generating a bag feeling guide tonight, and I know there are a few already out there.

 If you have not yet seen reviews of this series, here is a quick summary: Continue reading

Get the Picture 2: Getting rid of the Living Room Table

Do you ever look at your photos of lego models, or minifigs and think “Why doesn’t that look as good as other photos you have seen on photosharing websites or lego blogs?”

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Why haven’t I been blogged by an important Lego image sharing site?
It took me a while to realise the problem was a relatively busy, untidy environment around my model, and big shadows.  Even when I tried to take a picture on a table next to the wall, it still looked a bit dubious. Shadows were a problem.  I had two options: invest in a swish light box, or improvise.  I chose to improvise (on this occasion!) Continue reading