Concession to old age

As age and illness (diabetes) and my hobby have diminished my eyesight somewhat over the years some practicable decisions regarding my painting have to be made. Besides having my eyes checked regularly there are one or two other items that can be used to relieve eyestrain. The first I purchased around 14 months ago, a magnification lamp, not the huge cantilevered, multi articulated monsters  you find on American Detective shows or at the finger nails shops or whatever they are called, more a desk lamp with a 100mm diam lens of 3x magnification. This and my glasses perched on my nose really make kitting out miniatures a breeze and it is easily portable so if I want to watch a bit of telly and deflash and clean up my miniatures it’s no problem to move into the lounge room, after the Missus has gone to bed of course.

magnifier come desk lamp, light provided by LED’s

But figure sculptors being the craftsmen that they are, are always adding more and more fine detail to their little masterpieces and even the magnification lamp was being stretched to bring the fine detail out clearly enough to paint accurately. Enter another invaluable piece of kit, the optivisor. Optivisor is actually a brand name but there are many similar items and they have taken on the generic title of optivisor. I bought mine from a lapidary store for $35 and it came with four different glass magnification lenses and I find it a godsend when working on finely detailed figures particularly 5/6mm and 15/18 mm scale pieces and if I use it with the magnifier lamp ……WOW!

optical visor

Next up I take regular breaks that don’t involve reading, telly or computers, this allows your eye muscles to relax and if you start at this early on in your painting life it can delay loss of close focus and the early need for glasses.

take a break, see if you can coax a possum out during daylight hours with some food 🙂

Finally, and this is a personal choice, I’m slowly moving away from detailed smaller scaled figures and looking to work with 25/28 mm figures.  Made possible by the ever-growing selection of quality cheaper  plastic figures for the bulk of the rank and file. Have to say that because I really can’t resist getting some Calpe Mini’s for much longer and it’s a good excuse.  😉

what do you mean my 5mm lack detail!

thanks for looking 🙂


2 thoughts on “Concession to old age

  1. Any way of avoiding eye strain is beneficial. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 2 thanks to the then NHS approach to correcting glides. Remember the ‘plaster over the lense treatment, or before your time? Thankfully, modern opthalmics are lightyears ahead of when we had in the 50’s, but you only get one pair of eyes so it pays to look after them!

    I use a maginifying lamp or an Optivisor depending on my mood (or idleness) and they take the strain out of the job. I could make do without, but why bother? I agree that resting the eyes (properly) is important.

    I also agree with your move to larger scale figures – I’ve done the same. I still have plenty of 15mm Napoleonics to complete, but they’ll probably be the last I’ll ever buy (except for some of the new Blue Moon range). And, in any case, there’s generally more choice and better quality in 28mm.

    One thing I have done with the 15mm figures is to use dark washes and then highlight over them. Saves time and effort and gives a good result. It’s also less bother than straining to see detail.

    • Thankfully before my time! I didnt need glasses until I was 40 although I could have used them a good 5 years earlier. I know that a few years of intense commission painting was in part responsible, and everyone was gaming in 15mm or 5mm. Damn that blue moon, some of the new stuff I’ve seen is very nice.

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