Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

In case you couldn't tell, I am trying to upgrade my current painting gear to something that gives me more capability to expand my skill base.  One thing I have recently considered is magnification.

 

I have heard some folks use reading glasses, and a few that use desk mounted magnifiers.  For those that use them, what makes them worth it? (FWIW, my eyesight is 20/20, I am just trying to get closer without putting the mini right into my face). 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually bought a desk mounted magnifier, even got one with clips that could hold a miniature but just couldn't get used to it. So I'm still just bringing the miniatures up to my face to paint details.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an Optivisor, which is a head mounted contraption, much like what a dentist might use.  Only they're used by hobbyists.  And aren't as expensive as the ones a dentist would purchase.

 

The usual problems with magnifiers that they're usually small (like, 2-ish inches in diameter), so that you tend to use only one eye when looking through them. This destroys your depth perception, in addition to eye fatigue.

 

I tried reading glasses, but my vision was bad enough that I didn't get any benefit from them.  Bifocal glasses help, but as I've aged the Optivisor gets more and more use. 

 

Don't go with the cheap version found at Harbor Freight.  You can find a clone at Michaels for $30, or $15-ish if you use a 50% off coupon.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a fan of the desktop magnifiers.  I think they are hard to use for painting because you have to hold your head at just the right angle, and that can lead to a stiff neck.  Head-mounted magnifiers like the Optivisor are easier to use for me, and since my near vision is not very good, it makes seeing details much easier.  I've used the glass lenses found on the Optivisor as well as the cheaper plastic lenses on a Harbor Freight magnifier.  They both work well enough for me, and I switch back and forth depending on how much magnification I want.  I've read that some people have difficulty using head-mounted mags, but I was able to adjust to one after a short learning period.  

 

If you have 20/20 vision and can see details without any magnification, that's a great place to be.  For you, the main thing I'd be looking for is good light, either natural or daylight lamps.  I like to use one lamp on either side of the desk to minimize shadows.  Then, if you want to try a magnifier, I suggest you try out a pair of reading glasses first.  You'll get some magnification at very little cost, and they don't stick out like the head-mounted mags do.  Depending on where your lamp sits, the head-mounted mags can run into the lamp.  It is something you can adjust to, though.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

First, try an Ott bulb or other form of strong LIGHT. I would say that LIGHT helps more than magnification. 

Harbor Freight has a magnifier, and it's cheap enough (under $10) that you can see whether or not it works for you. I rarely use mine for, say, eyes, but when I need it, I find it useful.

Again, use a magnifier that has LIGHT. Not one that doesn't use light. One that uses LIGHT. LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT.

Repeating myself since the last guy who replied to my recommendation didn't get one with LIGHT<_<

Edited by ced1106
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love my magnifier.  It is easy to keep clean and to position with its extension arm (45 inch reach).  I agree with ced1106 about the importance of the light. I use a magnifier model with a bright fluorescent tube light which is quite cool (bluish).  It's also not hard on the eyes the way I find some of the LED lights mounted on magnifiers to be.  I have a triple fluorescent strip light above my painting desk which has full spectrum bulbs, so the two seem to compliment each other.  I have a daylight lamp as well, but I find lately that I haven't been using it as much because it partly shades out the light from the triple fluorescent.  I do find that I often have to take the miniature away from these lights and bring it close to the natural light from a window to get a sense of what the colours really look like.  When the light is too bright,  I find it tends to make me think the highlights have more contrast than they actually do when viewed under less intense light. 

 

The main problem I find with the magnifier is that I sometimes can't get the right angle with my brush when trying to paint into deep recesses on a miniature because the brush handle collides with the frame of the magnifier.  The other minor problem I had is that the mounting for the lens and bulb is plastic on my model.  I had the tension knobs adjusted too tight so when I went to change its position, the case began to progressively crack and it became less steady.  I glued it back together with epoxy and it's fine now, but I'm thinking that one with a metal case around the lens would be better.   You also have to be careful not to pinch your fingers between the sides of the extension arm when setting it up/taking it down.  There are models available now which have enclosed arms so this is less of a risk. 

 

I'm thinking about getting a visor, but I've only just recently started wearing glasses and I'm still trying to get used to them. 

 

Geoff

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a magnifier lamp. It is adjustable so I can change the angle. I think it is actually for doing embroidery but works fine for painting. I actually have 2. One has a little clip which is nice if I have printed something off for reference, I can clip it and have it right there to look at. I used to have 20/20 vision until I got old! I could paint wearing just my glasses but the combo of light and magnification makes it so much less strenuous on my eyes and let's me see better what little bits and bobs are on the minis.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I used to use an opitvisor  and some low power reading glasses. I was always having to flip it up when ever I needed to mix paint etc. now I just use high power reading glasses and like a lot. Don't get any headaches as before from any bands around my head and I just keep them on the tip of my (big) nose like a granny/grandpa would (which I am the appropriated age for, lol) and when I'm not painting, I'm looking over the lenses at objects, mixing paint, etc.. Oh and I paint with two desk lamps with daylight blulbs about 2680 lumens, one on each side of me.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/21/2018 at 8:13 PM, kazmania7 said:

Well I used to use an opitvisor  and some low power reading glasses. I was always having to flip it up when ever I needed to mix paint etc. now I just use high power reading glasses and like a lot. Don't get any headaches as before from any bands around my head and I just keep them on the tip of my (big) nose like a granny/grandpa would (which I am the appropriated age for, lol) and when I'm not painting, I'm looking over the lenses at objects, mixing paint, etc.. Oh and I paint with two desk lamps with daylight blulbs about 2680 lumens, one on each side of me.

 

That's why I prefer the OptiSight over the OptiVisor. I have tried reading glasses and although it allowed me to focus on objects closer to me it provided no magnification that I noticed. Using the OptiSight, looking through the lens gives me a magnified view of the fixed focal point but looking over, under and around the lens is normal view. The downside for you would be that it is still a headband type but I have modified mine to be a tad more comfortable.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am torn on magnifiers. They are great but I found after I got into the groove of it that I could hardly look at a mini without magnification since it was so powerful. Honestly if you've got a lil cash burning a hole you can cheaply test both head mounted and desk (I picked up one of each for a total of $20, so $10 for each) and I'll probable upgrade to a better headset soon.

I like the headset more then the desktop magnifier; although I'll argue the stiff neck issue a bit. My biggest issue with the desktop is when you find a good spot that allows you to use proper posture it means you'll constantly be putting your arms in the same spot which leads to sore arms. Headset is by far more useful. AND even with hawk-like vision the magnifier (depending how strong) can be so strong you'll legit be watching the very drops of paint transfer from individual brush bristles to the mini, top notch maximum control and a really cool sight to behold. Just be warned it'll spoil you on what minis can look like but it multiplied my skill multiple times over. I went from ok to good just by magnification,

 

edit to add the 2 cheapies I started with: Headset And  Desktop (but is looks like it's priced much higher now and probably not worth it)

Edited by OneBoot
Removed commerce links
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By SparrowMarie
      I'd never felt I had an artistic bone in my body until I started painting minis. Well, now, I decided I'm going to try my hand at 2D art. 
       
      I am following along Bob Ross videos on YouTube. I will note, and this is probably very important, that I am using acrylic paint and not oils. I did not want to spend oil paint prices since this is a new thing for me.
       
      These are the two I've done:
       
      Day 1: I learned a lot, I needed to do something with my paint to extend the drying time. This would have helped with the blending. Overall, happy with it excepting the house.

       
      2: I used some slow dry medium mixed into the paint today. Not sure if it was not mixed well enough or I didn't use enough but it only gave me like 5 minutes or less of extra working time. If anyone has any suggestions for how to use slow dry medium, please, let me know. I'm using heavy bodied acrylic tube paints.
       
      I followed along until the end and I decided to add some darker blue and green. I think that helped a lot.
       

       
      Another note, need to find sturdier paper. While this is holding up it likes to curl slightly while drying. The second one is taped to the desk on the back to try to minimize that problem. I am currently using a mixed media paper.
       
    • By Durham
      So how do I paint something with a marble effect? I have a sepulcher or sarcophagus, primed light grey, and I want to paint it like it was made from marble. Any ideas or tricks? Colors? Anything? Bueller?
      If it helps, its the one from the Horror subset of the Bones 4 Kickstarter.
    • By MoonglowMinis
      Today I wanted to show off some cheap 54mm Vikings that I painted up as Frost Giants.

      I made these guys close to a year ago, and they were among some of the first larger sized minis I had worked on, so they're a little rough, and that's before looking at the quality of model, but if someone else is in need of a lot of giants like I was, then this might be useful to them!
       

       
      So these guys are from Tehnolog, a Russian miniatures company that I know very little about.  The minis are made out of a soft plastic like novelty toys you can buy with tickets at an arcade.  They also have abysmal detail.
       

       
      They're meant for 54mm wargaming, and I believe there's an intended game system that accompanies the line, but my goal was to get some cheap giants for D&D.
       

       
      They fit nicely on a 2in base, and could probably fit in with the smaller Reaper Bones giants, but they're definitely a little undersized.  I remedied this by giving them each a boosted base, with the leader getting two layers.  At a glance, they tower over a standard medium sized mini.
       
      The details were rough and there were some ugly mold lines here and there.  But they're serviceable.  They might work better as a half-giant if you want to use 5e's Huge Frost Giants.
       
      More pictures of each giant below the Spoiler:
       
      Tehnolog also has a few other lines of fantasy-esque minis if you're a fan of cheap minis.  I am still considering getting one of their other lines to convert into cheap-o Fire Giants.
       

       
      What's your favorite obscure miniature substitute?
       
    • By MoonglowMinis
      Hi all.  Still relatively new to the forums but I'm going to try to show off my work more often.

      I was working on an arctic campaign before the pandemic hit and had already started work on a lot of suitable minis.  Not sure when or if that game will ever resume, but in the meantime I've got plenty of minis to paint!

      This time we have the Ice Troll.  I'm satisfied with this.  Especially proud of his ice chunk.  I've never been very successful painting ice or crystals before.

      Hope you enjoy!
       

       

       

    • By BLZeebub
      So after too many years of painting with my bottles just in boxes or standing around on my shelf of shame or in various drawers, I have finally at much cost of labor made paint organizers!  BEHOLD!  I made these to hold up to 204 Reaper dropper sized bottles (Army Painter and Vallejo fit too).  They aren't the only ones I use by any means, but they're the bulk of my paint collection.
       
      Wasn't the hardest thing in the world, but honestly I might try another method if I do this again.  Right now the units are loose, probably going to lean them on the wall--eventually I would put supports on the backs so they can stand up at an angle (think picture frames).  The insane super duper bonus feature is that I can put the two together and transport, or more importantly, SHAKE all my paints at once!  The main purpose was organization though and being able to see each of my paints and, when I've organized and sorted them, see the spectrum at a glance rather than digging through a drawer as I have been doing.  For the chromophiles out there I'll post pics when they're sorted and in their proper places.
       
      To make them, I sized the bottles and figured out the hole size and spacing (bottles are about 1" diameter, I used a 1 1/8" hole saw (paddle bit blew out the back side) and drilled 102 holes (sandwiched the 3/4" boards together).  It took hours as my drills' batteries kept dying and the saw lost its good edge by the 60th holes or so.  I used the "holes" I drilled out as supports (had to chisel the middle supports in half) between the silver parts and the 5mm (yes, civilized world, in the US we know how to use proper/metric, and certain sizes of wood are specified in metric!) plywood base (black, not really visible).  I carefully glued and screwed these together.  Decided to use up some spray paint I had lying around.  Enjoy and be inspired!

  • Who's Online   5 Members, 1 Anonymous, 39 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...