LED Lamp for Miniature Painting & Photography

LED Lamp for Miniature Painting & Photography

In this post, I review an excellent LED Lamp for Miniature Painting and Photography. GameCraft Miniatures sent me this product for review on this website. If you haven’t seen this before, this lamp is the LED Workbench Light, Double Wide, Extra Tall.

This is a product that I did not think I would like as much as I do. It was an item that I was hoping to review and pass along to a friend. I ended up liking it so much, I don’t think it will be leaving my place.

As a note, this is a fairly comprehensive review. If you prefer I have a video review of the product on YouTube and it is embedded at the end of this post too.

Disclaimer: GameCraft Miniatures sent me this lamp for review. While I accept review products, I am in no other way compensated for my posts and reserve the right to give positive and negative reviews.

Building the Lamp

A GameCraft Miniatures LED Workbench lamp in its shipping package.
This is exactly how it ships. Pretty much pre-built.
Building my GameCraft Miniatures LED Light for Miniature painting
All I had to do was attach the feet. So for construction, this lamp is super easy.
LED Lamp for Miniature building and painting
Once I attach the feet the lamp is ready to go. A LED lamp for miniature painting ready just like that!

An Admitted Bias

I must admit, that the timing of this lamp really helps my bias towards the product. Let me explain.

You may have seen on my website that this is my painting area. It is a calming and beautiful place to work. Unfortunately I lost this space due to the pandemic. My paint station is now nomadic across three spaces in my home.

HobbyZone Desk
My workstation before the pandemic.

Being nomadic in my hobby setup, I am really appreciating this lamp.

When I first lost my dedicated hobby space, I carried those lamps around with me to light up my work area. They are bulky and two extra trips to get things going. The tall one on the right also happens to be flimsy, so I don’t want to move it around much. Now I move around just the LED lamp for miniature hobby work. So much easier!

I just grab this light by GameCraft Miniatures and I am happy as I move around the house. It is so much friendlier to carry along with me.

This Lamp is Great!

I also found that when I turned off that desk light, that it makes the miniatures under it look great. The daylight temperature light comes out diffused and hits the model at all angles. It literally bathes your miniatures in light. On top of that, I find that my hands don’t get in the way of this light like they do with the desk lamps that I previously used.

A miniature under the Gamecraft Miniatures LED Lamp
An image taken under the GameCraft Miniatures Lamp.

It also works very well for photography. I am going to give away some of the magic of my images in the section to come, but my entire Wargames Atlantic Skeleton Warriors Review was done with this lamp.

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Skeleton Warriors Miniatures Review
All of the miniatures pictured in the above review I took under a GameCraft Miniatures LED Workbench Light. For most of the photos, the LED lamp is the only one I used for the photograph.

Depending on the subject matter, I may use just this lamp for pictures, or I may add in a few more. I have an analysis of that further on in this article.

For my working space, I currently use this lamp and leave on whatever ambient light is there. It is nice to work with because my hands don’t get in the way of the light as it is lit from all directions.

I also made a great amount of use of this lamp for my Train station Review. This terrain kit by Things from the Basement will be the subject of the rest of this review showing you this lamp being used for photography.

WW2 28mm train station review
I took the pictures of this Train Station Review using the GameCraft Miniatures LED Workbench Light.

Photography Basics – Colour Temperature

Now, let’s discuss photography and the GameCraft Miniatures LED Lamp.

Photography is an art and one of the most important elements is how you light your subject. In this picture, I am using two utility lights each with 100W equivalent daylight temperature bulbs diffused by tissue paper.

The temperature of your lights is important. If you mix your lights, the daylight ones will come across as blue and your regular ones will come across as orange. There is more technicalities to it than that, but we are going to try to keep it simple for this review. You want to keep the colour temperature of your lights the same when you are taking pictures, and I find using “daylight” temperature bulbs works the best to get the crispest photos.

It so happens that the GameCraft Miniatures LED Lamp is daylight temperature.

The Photographs

Using an LED Lamp for Miniature photography
Now, I add it in as a back light for my photograph. It looks awesome! This illuminates the sides and really pops the subject off of the background.

Here is my workspace in the garage. You can partly see the two utility lamps I talked about earlier. Each have a daylight temperature LED bulb in them that is the equivalent of 100 Watts. To the side and slightly behind my model, I added in the GameCraft Miniatures Lamp.

LED Lamp for Miniature photography. Who needs a light box!?
A further out shoot of my photography session for the MDF Terrain Station Review.
How not to use the light for photography. Miniature Photography Basics.
When I turn off the utility lamps, the image does not look nearly as nice. This is because I have the GameCraft miniatures lamp in the wrong spot.

For lighting in photography, you need your main lights in front of the subject matter. Take a look at what I can achieve with just the GameCraft Miniatures lamp. This works pretty good for photography and I shot my entire Skeletons review using this method of lighting. I used just the GameCraft Miniatures lamp for most of those pictures.

Lighting for miniature photography
This is a shot of the train station using only the GameCraft miniatures LED Lamp for lighting.

That said, I personally find the amount of light that this produces as a top light to be a bit too much, so for the review of this train station, I turned the utility lights back on and used all three lamps together.

Things from the Basement WW2 Train Station under a GameCraft Miniatures LED Workbench light.
When I turn on all three lamps, the light instantly paints the types of shades and shadows that I want on my model to showcase the product.

Personally, I liked this approach the best where I used the GameCraft Miniatures lamp slightly behind the subject matter to provide backlight and some side fill too.

A Better Comparison

Now, to bring those shots together for a better comparison.

Lighting for miniature and terrain photography. How to photograph Wargame models.
A comparison image for different lighting setups for miniature photography.

So first up, we have just two 100 Watt lamps with diffusers aimed at the train station, pretty much head on.

Next we have just the GameCraft Miniature lamp behind the subject matter. If you get an image like this, pull the lamp in front of what you are taking a picture of.

I did exactly that and this is the terrain model with just the GameCraft Miniature LED Lamp in front of the model. It looks great and for many of my photos, I go with just this.

Finally, I turned on the two 100 Watt lamps with the GameCraft Miniatures lamp still on. I moved the lamp back a bit to provide both a top light and side illumination to the terrain piece. By doing this, I create a separation between the background and the train station. This is the set up to go with when going for the best beauty shots.

My Thoughts on the LED Workbench Light by GameCraft Miniatures

Now, I will say that I really miss my dedicated hobby space. When it returns, the GameCraft Miniatures Lamp will make its home onto my desk too. It is fantastic for lighting up my working area while painting and building models and miniatures. While I currently use the GameCraft Miniatures LED Lamp just on its own while doing hobby work, I may end up using a couple of extra lights in addition to it for extra illumination.

I really like the GameCraft LED Lamp for miniature work because my hands don’t block the light while I am working on a project and the pictures taken underneath it appear fantastic. For a showcaser and reviewer, this lamp is perfect. For a modeler and a painter, I believe that you will really enjoy the benefits of this lamp too.

The only draw back that I see with the lamp is that there is no off or on switch. For now, I just plug and unplug it as needed. When I get a dedicated hobby area again, I will likely toss it on to a power bar and use that to turn the lamp on and off.

And if you are painting nomad like I am now, the fact that you just have to carry around this light for an optimal set up is really helpful. I find that it is good on its own, and works even better if you have just a little bit of ambient light going with it.

When I first lost my work space, I was honestly carrying around that desk lamp and floor lamp I showed you earlier from space to space to light up my work area. Carrying around just this one LED lamp is so much easier. That said, I don’t think I would travel around the city with this light because I would be worried about breaking it, but it does feel sturdier than my floor lamp. This LED light is more than good enough for moving from room to room in my house.

For when I switch modes from modeler to photographer mode I turn off my ambient lights and use either the GameCraft Miniatures LED on its own, or pair it with a couple of lamps with daylight temperature bulbs to light up my showcase pieces for some really spectacular photos.

The Review on YouTube

My Video Review of the product over on YouTube. Great for those who do not want to read, and for those who want to see more pictures of the product.

Wrapping it up…

Thank you very much for joining me in this review of the GameCraft Miniatures LED Workbench light. This again is the Double wide Double tall version and I am really enjoying it. It works really well on its on and in combination with other lights to provide a well lit working area. Best of all, your hands are not so much an issue under this light. It also works great for miniature photography too.

Special thanks goes out again to GameCraft Miniatures for sending me this lamp for review. This is an excellent LED Lamp for miniature building, painting and photography.

Until next time, Happy gaming everyone!!!

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