I've been road testing a new 'painting tool' over the weekend, and its one that a few years ago I would never have considered. With the arrival of my latest batch of 6mm models in the post I decided that I needed to admit defeat and buy myself some magnification for painting. These models are so damned small that any real attempt at detail is beyond me and I need a little help. I hasten to add it's not my eyesight which is causing the problem just the scale I'm working in. Honest.
The visor comes with four different lenses that provide increasing levels of magnification starting with a modest 1.2x lens and stepping up through a 1.8x, 2.5x and a 3.5x lens. These come in a sealed box to protect them from scratches and are easily fitted into the visor where they can be flipped up when not required. There are two positions for the lenses so if you wear glasses the visor can still be used. This also means you can put two lenses in and flip them both down to get even more magnification. I have to say the quality of the optics, despite being plastic, is very good with no distortion to the image when using them. The only thing I'd suggest is a degree of paranoia over protecting the lenses from scratches.
The only downside from a miniature painters point of view is the rather poor LED light on the top. It is powered by two AAA batteries, so its not too heavy, and is directionally adjustable. But being such a small LED it's not very powerful and it doesn't have a very good colour balance (it has a distinct bluish hue) and is probably best left turned off. I already use a powerful Daylight Lamp for painting and have no need of the LED on this visor so I have removed the batteries to reduce the visors weight slightly.
I bought this magnifying visor set from Maplins and after giving it a workout over the weekend I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I won't be using it all the time, most of the work that goes into painting a miniature can be done at arms length, such as basing and undercoating etc. But when I start on detail work and pull out the 0000 brush I'll also reach for my shiny new magnification visor.
How very interesting, I may take a look into that.ReplyDelete
I forgot to mention, this was just £14.99 from Maplins but I'm sure I've seen it cheaper still on the web somewhere.Delete
Welcome to the club;) I use such lenses for exactly two years now and they are essential part of my workshop... just like good quality brushes and paints:)ReplyDelete
Its the magnification I need, especially as I'm now working with 6mm models. Now I just need a tool to help stabalise my hand when painting and I'll be sorted!Delete
I have an optivisor but do not have to use it at the moment.ReplyDelete
That's because you're not as old as Lee or as blind?Delete
I have a magnifying visor and find it is indispensable. I don't wear it all the time but when I do need it, it's a vital tool.ReplyDelete
Have to look into this, as small fiddly things are always problematic. I use reading glasses and also a lamp with integrated magnifying glass. But this could be a better idea.ReplyDelete
Very good post!
Being desperately short sighted I have yet to resort to these type of devices. But I fear it is only a matter of time before I do.....Gulp!ReplyDelete
I hope it works for you.
Great find Lee, I was going to get an optivisor but the cost is stupidReplyDelete
I use reading glasses, cos I can peer over them at the TV (a lazy painter, moi!). But I wouldn't rule out one of these in the future.ReplyDelete
The wife and I purchased something similar recently. Still testing the lenses - it seems that the least powerful magnification is easiest to use for myself...ReplyDelete
Dare I call you Robolee or possibly the Leeminater - either way, you'll be back....;-)
Hasta la vista,
I started using an optivisor (similar device) about 2 years ago. I was able to start painting again. I had not been able to see well enough the detail. It literally gave me my hobby back.ReplyDelete
I recently found that if I paint without my contact lenses or glasses everything is 20-30% bigger. Granted that I can't see anything more than six inches from my nose, which makes brush and paint selection interesting, but at least I can see the details of my figures.ReplyDelete