Optivizor Blues

I’ve been a modeler almost all of my life. I tinkered with some other stuff over time but always fell back to my first love of entertainment, gluing plastic together. Some might subdue a yawn and shout, “boring!” However, I have to disagree. Building models is quite exciting and, yes, educational. But I digress…

I always had a pretty good eyesight. I could spot a fly on the wall thirty yards away or help my mother treading a needle with one eye and continuing reading my book with the other.

So, this was a huge benefit to have while building models. The level of small detail I was able to incorporate into my projects, were the fruits of enjoying the eyeballs of a buzzard!

Then 40 hit me like a brick! A couple things started to go south and one of them was my eyesight! Years went by and the fly on the wall started to get very blurry and eventually invisible. Trying to accentuate a 1/72nd throttle quadrant became almost impossible without smearing paint on everything else in the cockpit!

I’d owned an optivisor for years but never used it. I didn’t need it and it looked nerdy. Who wants to be caught with some optical whatchamacallit buckled to his forehead! Oh no, not me! But I needed help. And fast!

So alone in my model room and with nobody around, I crowned myself the king of the plastic empire and tightened the knob on the back. It felt like a permanent seal and a whole new world of detail became observable. Soon, the magnifier became my new best friend. Pretty quickly I got over the fact that it looked somewhat goofy. I didn’t care anymore and wore the thing all the time. It even made a circular dent around my skull every day that I had to massage out before leaving the house.

One time I found myself inside Walmart wearing it but nobody made a remark. I must have looked intimidating or just plain dumb that no one wanted to socialize with me out of fear I would follow them home!

But at the end of the day, a head magnifier, is one of the most important tools on your bench, whether you like it or not. You have a clear view of the detail you are adding, your paint skills will improve and it even steadies your hand more, gluing a 0.10” rivet on that model’s gunsight.

Just leave it home when you go on a date. I can assure you, it ain’t a chick magnet!




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