I just recently picked up my first photo backdrop to use in my light box. On the recommendation of Greggles, I went ahead and purchased one from Hangar 18 Miniatures. I had also read a very thorough review by another blogger that sold me on it.
The Hangar 18 Miniatures site is easy enough to use. They have a very large selection of backdrops to choose from. If you can’t find a backdrop you like there then odds are you won’t find one anywhere.
Hangar 18 also offers three different sizes ranging from perfect for a single miniature, to damn near big enough for an army.
The checkout process was quick and painless, just how I like it. Really, the entire process was flawless.
I feel the prices for the photo backdrops are very reasonable. I picked up the A2 size, which is 16″ x 23″, for $24.99. That size easily let me get shots of my Chaos Knight, and should be perfect for doing squads as well.
I felt $25 for a backdrop that should last years, and covers everything I need, was really good.
Shipping & Packaging
The cost of shipping for the backdrop was only $4.60. I don’t think I’ve paid so little for shipping on anything in a good many years. Prices may of course vary. I’m in the US, and so is the company.
The only problem I had was that it took Hangar 18 four days from time of purchase to ship my backdrop. Same day shipping is pretty common at this point, which I don’t expect from every place, but four days is a bit long for my taste.
During those four days I checked the status of the order to find it never changed. I expected to see a status of “preparing for shipment”, “order being fulfilled”, something to acknowledge it was processing. Nothing.
Once the backdrop was finally shipped, which I got an email notice about, it arrived in four days time. I just did USPS shipping, so four days is fair.
Here’s what arrived.
As you can see, the backdrop is secured in the cardboard tube, which is pretty sturdy. The backdrop was in perfect shape when I took it out. It was even rolled in a paper to prevent it from rubbing against itself and wearing the printed side.
I thought it was great that a care sheet was included to let me know how to properly use the backdrop to avoid damage, and how to fix damage that may occur.
My first impression was surprise at how thin the backdrop is. I’m not sure what I was expecting to be honest, this being my first backdrop and all, but this thing is paper-thin.
The care sheet about fixing bends made perfect sense once I saw it.
Despite the backdrop being paper-thin, the material seems strong, so it’s not like it’s going to tear by handling it, or get a crease. I was careful handling it just to be safe.
The backdrop might be thin, but now that I have it set up in my light box it’s unlikely to come out of it unless I buy another to use. So, I don’t see this as much of an issue.
To set up the backdrop I just used clothespins to hold it in place. I clipped it to my previous backdrop, which was just a big piece of white poster board. The poster board has been held firmly in place for over a year with just paint tape, so I figured why rock the boat?
The recommendations that came on the care sheet suggested binder clips, paint tape or velcro on the back to hold it in place. I did have binder clips, but I figured the wooden clothespins were less likely to damage the print than metal binder clips.
The big thing though is how does the backdrop look when in use? Well, here’s a few different types of models to show you.
Prior to this backdrop I was shooting on white. I use my iPhone for my pictures, and a white backdrop with bright lights plays hell with my camera. As you can see, the backdrop is very flat. So, my phone wasn’t struggling to deal with light bouncing around. I was able to focus on the model(s), and get some of the best shots I’ve taken of miniatures. With some more practice on this backdrop, I can only see my picture quality improving.
For a $30 purchase (including shipping), I’m extremely happy with the photo backdrop. I do wish it weren’t so thin, but like I said – it’s set up now, so I won’t be handling it much at all any more. The quality of the pictures though is what matters at the end of the day, and I have no complaints about that.
Despite being very thin, the backdrop photographs great, and for such an affordable price, I would recommend these backdrops to anyone.