I realized that if I’m going to try to take any real photos, I’m going to need better lighting. The light is either too harsh and reflects off the paint, or the model isn’t lit well enough. The natural thing to do is just build a cheap lightbox. All I used was a cardboard box, parchment paper, packing tape and a little glue. I started placing the box on its side, and then cutting out the panels out for the top, back, and sides. It’s probably easiest to use a craft knife, and as always be careful and remember to cut away from yourself.
I left about an inch of margin and reinforced the columns with tape so that the box would have a little strength to it.
Then using a combination of tape and glue, I covered the cut-out sections with the parchment paper. That’s pretty much it, total time was only about 30 minutes. The next thing I’d like to do is get a better backdrop, although this will do for now.
The point of the paper sides is to let some light through, but it is diffused and much softer. You do need some strong-ish light sources positioned above and to the sides of it. I’m still experimenting with it, but so far it’s a pretty big difference. If you have any tips to make it better, please share them in the comments! Keep in mind this is a quick-and-dirty lightbox, and I’m sure it won’t compare to real photography equipment.