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On eye size ...

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Russ, Sep 26, 2021.


At what scale is the detailed painting of eyeballs not worth the effort?

1/72 7 vote(s) 63.6%
1/35 0 vote(s) 0.0%
1/32 2 vote(s) 18.2%
1/24 2 vote(s) 18.2%
  1. Mirofsoft A Fixture


    Fabulous artist work, when you can put a myopic eyes at 50mm from the figurine
    In reality when you see your figurines on your shelves, you see this

    exmple visage au 1 35ième red to 50 pix.jpg
    Babelfish likes this.
  2. Babelfish A Fixture

    Exactly that! Which is why all this "microscopic" eye detail stuff is a load of nonsense.

    - Steve
    Old Pete likes this.
  3. fogie A Fixture

    .............and when you stand on the other side of the room, without
    your specs, you see this.


    Mirofsoft and DaddyO like this.
  4. DaddyO A Fixture

    Ah a question of the ages Russ :D

    Like Mike and others who have chipped in I'll always paint the eyes on a model because they are the thing that convey emotion and draw the viewer in (as has already been said)

    Aside from the obvious challenge of all miniaturists in trying to reproduce the world in a smaller scale the main reason we paint eyes is the same as the reason we add shades and highlights or outlining in that we, as painters, are trying to convey the impression of what the viewer can see on a full sized figure; to help the viewer understand what they are looking at and what they expect to be able to see. Without the eye details (or at least an attempt at an eyeball) the viewer will often dismiss a figure no matter how well researched the details. It's exactly the same in portraiture when it comes to faces the eyes are everything :cool:

    I've mainly worked in 54mm with the odd bust thrown in and often repaint eyes 2 or 3 times to get them right - it ain't easy, but when you get it the sense of achievement is worth all the muttered curses and struggles with optivisors ;)

    Little girl face.jpg eyes 2.jpg eyes 3.jpg View attachment 428879 Celt Warrior 2.jpg
    OldTaff, Nap, Banjer and 5 others like this.
  5. theBaron A Fixture

    At 1/72 scale, I paint more of a line for the eyes, or I'll even cheat and use a wash to pick out sculpted detail. But I don't worry about trying to paint the eyeball itself. Others have mentioned scale and distance, and 1/72 scale figure I've painted have been for dioramas. The viewer is actually a hundred scale feet away or more, and at that distance, you don't really see the whites of someone's eyes, unless the person is surprised. As Shep wrote in his "Tips", people outdoors tend to squint.

    Same goes for 1/48 scale, my favorite scale for airplane models, when I paint the crew figures. I don't worry about painting the eyeball.

    At 54mm, I'll add more detail, because the figure is larger, so the viewer is "closer". At that size, it's worth it to add that detail, and it's not too difficult. Even if I just lay down a light gray for the eyeball, once I have the upper and lower lids painted, that little bit shows.

    I also build 1/20 scale figures. At that scale, I find it necessary to include that bit of detail.

    Hope that helps, prosit!
    winfield likes this.
  6. Ferris A Fixture

    I thought the same thing Steve, but then acquired a figure from Japanese modeller Toshihiro Sano and now have physical evidence in my cabinet that it is possible to paint eyeballs including pupils on 1:35 Alpine figures!

    What surprises me most about the whole thing is not the magnification needed to paint or see this, but how to get such tiny amounts of paint in the right place without the paint drying out on the brush.... Still searching for technical hints here.

    theBaron, Martin64, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  7. Tommy Brown Active Member

    Dotting tools for nail art can be used for painting iris and pupils. Choose the right size and dap the tip into paint and transfer onto the figure eyes.
    Ferris, Billy Dickinson, Nap and 4 others like this.
  8. Babelfish A Fixture

  9. fogie A Fixture

    For us lesser mortals the eyeball itself isn't much of an issue - a carefully shaped
    'blob' can get it done as long as we avoid the dreaded squint (one eye on the pot,
    the other on the mantle piece, as my old grandpa used to say). It's the close detail
    around the iris that causes grief with the smaller scales. Back in the early years I
    found that just an added catchlight created an appropriate illusion............this is a
    1/24th example from 1973.


    Mike - The Kiwi and Martin64 like this.
  10. Billy Dickinson PlanetFigure Supporter

    Well as John G Garret said "If its painted under a magnifying glass, then it should be viewed under a magnifying glass" .... hmmm, good on you John. Now where's my Optivisor ;)
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  11. Ferris A Fixture

    Now you are insulting my expertise Steve... ;-)

    Perhaps it is a relief to you that there are no blood vessels. :)
    Martin64 likes this.
  12. fogie A Fixture

    We shouldn't forget this lot.....1/30th from the miraculous brush
    of Julia Moshura.


  13. Ferris A Fixture

    Bit of a Japanese thing it seems, this eye perfectionism.
    But what’s to expect, the Japanese have surprised the world in a number of domains....
    Mike - The Kiwi and winfield like this.
  14. Babelfish A Fixture

    I don't mean to insult anyone Adrian. It's one thing to do a eyeball and a semblance of an iris in small scale. Even I can manage that on a good day. Maybe not as good as some, but it is do-able. I just call BS on the whole "microscopic" detail thing that some of these Japanese guys claim they do. It's a nonsense.

    - Steve
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  15. theBaron A Fixture

    Hi, Adrian, that's where I reach for my enamels. A tiny blob of enamel will stay wet long enough for me to get it on the target. Or even an oil.

    That might be possible with acrylics and a retarder, I suppose. But I don't use a retarder otherwise, and don't stock it in my paintbox.

  16. Wayneb A Fixture

    Lest we not forget, and it may have been mentioned before, but the better the eyeball is sculpted, the easier it is to paint "in any scale".


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