Monday, April 7, 2014

Portable Light Box

Late last year one of the guys at work came across a project on Kickstarter called the Foldio - The 1st foldable studio. For a start, who knew that Kickstarter was for anything except Tabletop and Computer games??? Anyway, the concept behind Foldio was that it was allowed anybody with a smartphone to easily take high quality pictures by providing a small light box. The light box itself was compact and (thanks to some magnets) able to be folded up when not in use, or easily packed away and carried around.

I am at best a barely competent photographer but I do like playing around a little. I've also been cleaning out the cupboards of excess miniatures so I figured that a small investment was worth it if it would mean that I could start taking some photos at home more easily. My primary use would be for work in progress shots etc because I could use the white table at work for anything more serious, or for taking shots for ebay.

The Foldio turned up on time, which must be a record for any Kickstarter product! Packed nicely, with a functional but pretty boring little carry bag. It was a little bigger than expected at around 28cm-ish square, meaning I could easily fit a Colossal in there. My version came with two little LED light strips and after watching the assembly video (which was not really necessary) I was up and running.
Foldio on the bookcase by the computer.
Picture, straight out of the camera, with no Photoshop wizardry (other than re-sizing etc).
Same photo with a little bit of Photoshop work (as you can tell, barely competent with Photoshop either!)
Same figures on the bookshelf, where the Foldio now sits.
So, thoughts? In life you can have things fast, cheap, or good - pick two. 
  • Foldio is in my opinion quite cheap given that it was around $40 (delivered, with different coloured background sheets, with an extra LED light strip).
  • It is fast - lets substitute quick and easy to use.
  • As for the last one lets say that it is definitely okay, and it is definitely much much better than what I had (which was nothing). The one thing I do not like about it is that it does not provide particularly great source lighting, but what was I expecting for the price. Also I've spent all of 20 minutes playing around with so probably a ways to go yet. I do have a second LED light strip so I thought I would play around with the placement of that to see if I could introduce a little more light.
Closing thoughts - definitely a well design lead project that looks cool and is easy to use. It was never going to be as good as a "proper" (read more expensive) light box solution, but it sits on my shelf out of the way and with a little practice will become a nice addition to the blog toolbox.

As for buying one, in the short term you cannot as they are still shipping out orders from their Kickstarter campaign but you can always jump on their website to find out more about when they will begin production and distribution through conventional channels.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ides of March 2014

Time once again seems to be flying by thanks to work and home, so I have failed to do a follow up to Ideas of March till now. IOM was a great Warmachine weekend with 40 players turning up from all over the country to duel it out. I took my Circle out for a run, using it as an opportunity to get my Woldwrath (pictured below) painted, along with a Druid Wilder and Gnarlhorn Satyr.

List 1:
Baldur the Stonesoul
- Woldwrath
- Megalith
- Woldwyrd

Druids of Orboros (full unit)

Shifting Stones
 - Stone Keeper

List 2:
Kaya the Wildborne
- Druid Wilder
- Feral Warpwolf

- Pureblood Warpwolf
- Warpwolf Stalker
- Gnarlhorn Satyr

Druids of Orboros (full unit)
Shifting Stones
 - Stone Keeper

The weekend went..... even worse than expected on the gaming front! I had played a couple of practice games leading up to the weekend so I thought I had an idea of how to play eBaldur, but I knew Kaya was going to be a little more difficult. In the end though my usual lack of match fitness really cost me. I did however have some truly epic moments with Kaya Spirit Door'ing into pButcher, flailing away, popping her feat and needing to roll up on a couple of attacks, failing badly and dying to his big choppy axe! eBaldur took on a Stormwall and learnt that those bad boys are bad for a reason - also realising that I started that turn with a plan and then threw it out the window a couple of minutes into it. On the positive side the guys that play at the lower end of the table are a great bunch, we all want to win but we also want to have a good time so the games were played in good spirits.

I leave my final placing till after the pictures of the Woldwrath to build the suspense!

So yeah.... highpoint was finishing the Woldwrath, coming 35th (out of 40) was not so great (in the context that we all want to win some games!) but this was evened out by bringing home the Best Sport Trophy - apparently having fun even when you are being curb stomped by a Cryx eGasphy list pays off.
So, great weekend, great organisation, great players.... shame it is 12 months till we get to do it all over again. Maybe I should start thinking about what I want to take and playing a game or two before then!