Monday 28 March 2016

Roundwood Recommends - Number 5: Daylight Magnifying Lamp


If you've been following my series of posts on my 2mm Thirty Years War project, you might have spotted a number of thoughful commenters worrying about the impact on eyesight when painting 2mm figures.

There's quite a bit of very helpful information about painting and eyesight online, both for wargamers and modellers in general.  Quite a lot of the information discusses good quality lighting as being helpful, with other articles and forums dicussing the merits of magnifying lamps.

In painting 2mm figures and figure blocks, Ihave found using a couple of daylight lamps invaluable. In particular, I've been using a large magnifying lamp from The Daylight Company for almost all of the 2mm figure painting (although the snowy/frosty groundwork I've been painting normally).

The magnifying lamp lends (15cm across) is large enough to easily view the whole of the bases I have been using for my 2mm figures (being either 60mm x 30mm for pike and shot foot or croat cavalry, or 30mm x 30mm bases for other cavalry and commanded shot).  The magnfication is pretty significant, and there's little eyestrain. The main challenge is then brush control and a steady hand.

The Daylight Magnifying Lamp I purchased wasn't cheap.  I ordered mine mail-order about 5 years ago for just under £100.  I also have a large Daylight Company desk lamp (with two Daylight tube bulbs) which cost me about £85 in 2007.  While expensive, both have, in my view, repaid my initial expense and I can't imgine painting without either.  Both lamps have also been very reliable.  I have had to replace the tube bulbs on the 2007 lamp once since 2007 (for £32).  Considering the great pleasure painting and modelling have given me over the years, I think both lamps were money well spent.


So, The Daylight Magnifying Lamp has more than earned its place in my "Roundwood Recommends" list of things which make our hobby even better.  Very warmly recommended.  Great for any figure painting, but almost indispensible for 2mm figures.  


18 comments:

  1. They're a good investment. Used one ever since I discovered neither the dog nor the white stick were any use when painting leads.

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    1. Thanks Gary! Definitely better than squinting!

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  2. I wholeheartedly endorse your recommendations as have also purchased a magnifying lamp from the The Daylight Company many years ago. I have recently moved over to a strip LED, which I feel bathes the working area more evenly.

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    1. Thanks Michael! I should have mentioned that for holiday painting, I got one of the Daylight "Foldi" lamps, which are a foldable, LED-strip light. It works very well, and is very portable. I can see why you like the LED-lighting, Michael!

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  3. I might have to take a look at one of those. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Holy moley Sidney what the heck are you painting with that contraption? That really does look small! Mighty jealous here mate, well done!

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    1. Hi Sander!! In the photo, I'm painting a 30mm x 30mm base of Imperial reiters in 3/4 armour.

      Honestly, mate, they were not that bad to paint with the magnifying lamp - just paint the horses, and then the reiters are painted in a Vallejo black/gunmetal mix to simulate their blackened (rust-proofed) armour. A quick highlight of silver on the top of the helmet (and the pistol if you're feeling inclined), a dab of dark flesh paint on a couple of horsemen to show an open-faced helmet, and you're done. 15 minutes per regiment base, tops - and that's with doing the horses in 2 or 3 colours. In 2mm scale, recreating the Imperial cavalry force (which were significant at Lutzen) isn't anywhere near the long process it would have been in 28mm, or even 10mm.

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  5. It's worth looking at the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) onlibne shop for daylight lamps with magnification. They sell the things at a significant discount.

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    1. Hi Derek. That's a great suggestion! Thank you!

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  6. Good to see you back posting Sidney! What treasures do you have in store for us next?

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    1. And many thanks for dropping by and commenting, Conrad! I'm hoping to post more regularly on the blog. There's some painting from Curt's Challenge, and quite a bit more on the run up to our L├╝tzen game in early June, including the terrain boards.

      Hope you can drop by again and keep me honest as regards my posting schedule!!

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  7. Hmm, up till now I've actually not felt the need for one such piece but your post makes me curious. Thanks for the pointer anyway.

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  8. Excellent recommendation, Adam!
    Indeed I've been using a pretty similar one for the last years and it's priceless help indeed.

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    1. They are absolutely invaluable! I would have been completely stuffed without it over the past two months.

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