The best photo booth for really small stuff


[Doog] builds plastic models, and like anyone who makes really small stuff, he needed a good photo booth to show off his wares and techniques. He was working with the very common ‘poster board and work light’ setup we’ve all put together, but after photoshopping seam lines one too many times, he decided to upgrade his booth to something a little better.

The new setup consists of an aluminum frame with a 40×80 inch sheet of translucent plexiglass forming the bottom and backdrop of the booth. Two lights in diffuser bags illuminate the subject from the top, while the old worklights are attached to the bottom of the table frame to light the subject from beneath.

Compared to the ‘poster board and work light’ technique of the past, [Doog]‘s new photo booth is absolutely incredible for taking pictures of very small things. This model of a Spitfire looks like it’s floating and this snap of a Thunderbolt is good enough to grace magazine covers.

Of course this photobooth isn’t just limited to models, so if you’re looking at taking some pictures of hand-soldered BGA circuits in the future, you may want to think about upgrading your studio setup.


  1. sneakypoo says:

    Looks like he just bought a factory made table and put it together? Nice results though.

    • Doogs says:

      Yep, it’s a factory table. I looked into building my own, but at the size I need, just the plexi by itself would have cost more than getting the table.

    • Kris Lee says:

      But he shows progress towards it and it is really interesting. Also when you replace the plexiglass with paper then you can put this together either from wood or aluminium frames (for example Hela in Germany sells aluminium frame system where you can join profiles with plastic joints).

  2. Kevin says:

    That dude has mad modeling skills.

  3. vonskippy says:

    From the pixels, you can tell it’s ‘shopped.

    Just kidding, that’s a nice rig (who’d a thunk you could put a sheet of translucent plastic on a stand with lights around/above/under it and make pretty pictures – now that’s a hack!).

  4. Wolfy says:

    Myself, I’m stunned by the paint jobs. Such attention to detail is almost unheard of in this day and age. The sand scoring on the leading edges of the props and wings, as well as the soot stains are incredible! The mud on the belly of the tank was sweet, too. Amazing job!

  5. NeilJB says:

    Could we have a link to the supplier please? There are a few different ones on eBay, it would be useful to know the one you had a good experience with.

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    I used to get some decent results by taking a large piece of poster board and curving it info an infinity wall for my micro rc stuff I was doing at the turn of the century.
    No seams to show then.
    Of course my models were nothing compared to this level of work and dedication wow!

    • Doogs says:

      Strider – thanks for the compliment! Yeah, this table is overkill for smaller scales (though there are smaller tables with the same principles), but for that mid-range between posterboard and 6×9′ studio backdrops, it fills a nice niche I think.

  7. Tom the Brat says:

    Wow. What modeling!
    I just take things out on the porch and shoot them on concrete. Perhaps it’s time I improved. Maybe I should move up to posterboard and work lights ;)

  8. PAVUK says:

    Very nice models. But I am sorry, but I really do not see any hack in it. You go to ebay an buy photo table there for $140. Maybe those two clamp lights underneath the plexiglass are hack?

  9. echodelta says:

    Could the surface be deglossed so the underside reflections are eliminated? Then it’s perfect.
    Perfection: the state at which nothing is to be desired.

  10. reen says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing this! I’ll use it for my small creations too.

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