Tutorial: IKEA TERTIAL light improvement

by Andy

Hello everyone,

today I’ll want to show you a simple, easy and cheap way to improve your lighting setup.


Warning: Only do this modification if you’re using lamps with low heat development like e.g. LED-lamps. I’m taking no responsibility for any damage or fire!


I’m using two of the standard IKEA lamps called “TERTIAL” in combination with  11W 5000K LED bulb mainly for photography.

I always thought that the lamps produce a very strong focused, hard light, so I was looking for a possibility to soften it.

One day I strolled through the hardware store and found something called “transparent paper” - which in fact is translucent paper.

This paper looks similar to a diffusor for photography or photo tent material and so I gave it a try to improve the light situation. 

Assembly was relatively easy – take the lampshade, press it on the paper and mark the outer diameter with a pencil. Add 3-5 wings on the outer diameter for attachment.

You need to cut the paper carefully with a scissor otherwise the attachment wings are torn apart. I didn’t cut carefully enough but no worries, just take some clear adhesive tape to repair it and bring it back on.
Bend the wings and glue it to the lampshade with some sticky tape.

Modification done – as simple as that ;)

What’s the benefit of the mod? –> have a look:

                Before -> strong, hard, focused light After -> soft, even, more natural light

Let me know in the comments if you have questions and tell me if you like this small modification 

Thanks for reading, all the best and see you soon


More photo articles needed?

A guide that shows Roman's approach on taking photos.

Need a photobackground for your personal use?

Miniature Photography, part 1
Philip is taking a deep look inside professional equipment. 

Miniature Photography, part 2
Philip explains how to make good photos with a DSLR.

You want to support Massive Voodoo? 

If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

SBS - Necromanceress by Ilyad Games

by Andy

Hello everyone,

Andi here! Remember me? I am the new monkey in the jungle!
Today I want to show you a step-by-step for a small scene I did earlier this year.

Everything started with a miniature exchange with my good hobby-friend Christoph. I had a bit of post-MV astronauts challenge blues and no sense for painting, so it was a good chance to spark new creative energies. We decided to send each other a secret miniature to be painted by the other, with minimal restrictions for the scene and painting. I received the beautiful Necromanceress from Ilyad Games. It’s a relatively rare, out-of-production miniature and I was a bit afraid whether I would be able to paint her in a way Christoph would like in the end.

Christoph's only request was to use a fantasy setting to match his Ilayd collection. Well, I’m not too much into fantasy, so it was a good challenge, which kicked me out of the comfort zone.

I started, like many times, with no idea how to start the project. Sounds pretty silly but it’s true ;)… but there are always tiny things I want to try. For years I have wanted to build a wooden door and had no proper project to implement one - this was my chance.

Measuring the height of the miniature, some calculations and cutting some wooden ice-sticks was pretty much everything I had to do. I attached everything with superglue, added some thin metal wire pieces as door handle and bolts and gently used a steel brush to create the wooden structured surface.

This was a good start, but not a base at all, so I glued the door to a piece of plasticard, created a frame for the door and some basic wooden structure. Again, the steel brush is a good tool for recreating the wood grain.

The free space was filled with Juweela stones, gaps were closed with Vallejo plastic putty and I did a first test on the base. With the wall and door in the background, the story of a zombie huntress, taking her bounty out of the house, developed in my head. At this point I was fully emerged in the project and the base building process began to flow easily .

To get a bit of extra height, I added some cork, filled the floor with chunks of Juweela plaster and used the same plaster to build the roof.

To get some life to the scene, potting soil and miniature plants have been added but it still looked a bit empty so I decided to add a tree. Sometimes I heard Bob Ross in my head saying „some bushes here and a happy little tree there“ :D

The tree was done with Vallejo plastic putty over a wire base and moss for the leaves/treetop.

I used my electrical scroll saw to get clean base edges and covered the whole base with plasticard. Basing work done.

After priming the whole scene with black airbrush primer, I was stuck again. 

How to approach the painting?? 

Thinking about atmosphere, daylight or nighttime, muted neutral colors or bright comic colors… comic colors… comic... sin city part one, the lady with the red dress… and BAM, there was the inspiration for the color scheme. 

And again, once I had the idea in my mind of the overall “feel” of the scene, everything went easy. In total it took about 4-5h to paint the whole scene with grisaille technique. I learned this at Roman's material masterclass workshop - which I highly recommend (some unpaid advertisement here *cough* ;) ).

The last step in the painting was the candy red dress popping out of the whole scene, which was glazed over the black-and-white grisaille with Schmincke AeroColor Brillant Red.

 still WIP but nearly finished

At the beginning of the painting process, I had no idea whether I would be able to handle the black and white scheme and how it would work with the red focus spot... but when he received it, Christoph was pretty happy, and that’s the most important part of the whole project. Thanks my friend for this opportunity;)


If you like the SBS, the result, or if you have any question, please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!



Project diary: 1177 B.C. - 09

by David

Hey all,

welcome to Page Nine of my project diary. If you're wondering what this is, please check the announcement post, in which I explain the motivation and general goals of the diary. At the bottom of that post, you will find a link to all parts of this series (constantly updated as soon as new articles are published).

Finally, the day has arrived... My diary entry today will cover the painting of the sea raider's shield and sword. Let's get some Bronze NMM done! Starting with the shield, however, I first concentrated on the shield's inside. According to the archaeological and historical sources, the Sea Peoples' shields were mostly made of wood, which was covered with a thin sheet of often ornamented bronze. It is not documented whether the wood was also covered on the inside of the shield, for instance with leather. In any case, on the mini the shield's inside was sculpted blank and without any structure. Since I wanted to show the wooden core of the shield, I had to paint it. I started with a nice, warm brown basic tone (VMC Mahogany Brown), and then painted some very dark lines using VMC German Camo Black Brown to portray the wooden strips from which the shield was made. Then, I highlighted the individual strips (adding Tan Yellow and Ivory to the Mahogany Brown), and finally used a very diluted and carefully applied wash of the Black Brown to shade the whole area.

Painting on the strips, first the dividing lines...
... then some highlights...
... and shadows.

Once that was done, I could no longer dodge the NMM bullet - and I started with the shield front. Since I wanted the shield to be a nice, polished bronze, I decided to use the same color combination I already employed for the headband. I started with a slightly green-tinted, ochre-yellow (VMC Japanese Uniform) as the base-color. For the highlights, I used VMC Tan Yellow and Ivory, which were mainly applied in the upper parts of the shield. The outer-lower section was to reflect the ground area a little. For that, I again used VMC German Uniform Black Brown. For the mid-lower part, I wanted the shield to reflect the water (which reflects the blue sky), so I mixed a bit of VMC Turquoise into the Japanese Uniform color. Using these colors, I quickly laid down a first sketch:

Sketching the overall lights and reflections...

I then worked a little back and forth on the sketch, refining the reflections and softening the transitions, and especially I toned down the lower part of that strong very bright "stripe" of highlight in the middle. I also painted the shield rim, making sure to give it a nice edge-highlight where the Mediterranean sun would be hitting the shield directly from the top, and also added a few edge highlights on the little details engraved on the shield. I did not overdo this latter part, as too much of this detail lighting would quickly destroy the overall impression of the reflective surface. In retrospect - and if I ever did this mini again - I would remove the shield completely and replace it with a scratch-build shield made from plastic sheet...

Once I was sufficiently satisfied with the shield, it was time to tackle the sword. Since I wanted the sword's bronze color to differ a bit from the shield's color and have some variance, I started from a different base color, imitating a slightly different combination of tin and copper in the bronze alloy. For the base-tone, I used VMC Tan Yellow, to which I added a bit of VMC Woodgrain Ink, which is a warm reddish-brown tone. For the shadow and light colors, I used the same tones as for the shield, mixing Tan Yellow and Ivory into the base-tone for the lights, and Black Brown for the shadows. The final highlights were painted using pure Ivory. It was a bit of a struggle to find the a light/dark reflection range that looked somewhat realistic but also allowed the slightly reddish color to show. I did three of four attempts, and greatly benefitted from feedback from my MV brothers (special thanks go out to Hansrainer!). Ultimately, I got something done that I was somewhat ok with, even though I was not completely satisfied:

Not totally happy, to be honest...
... but I will return to it (maybe) in the final stages.

And with that, I left the mini as it was for the time being and went on to finalize the base - it was high time for some water effect! Read more on this in the next installment of the project diary. As always, if you like what you read or have questions, drop me a line in the comments. Talk to you soon!

Best, D.