“Stop squinting!” I hear it all the time. My wife, my kids, my friends, everyone keeps on me about it. And then I realize, I’m getting vision impaired. It is hard to admit but I have reached or should I say, left, the ranks of the 20/20 jet-set. There was a time when I was much younger, that I got annoyed when people said that they could not read small print or someone needed their glasses to decipher a road sign.
Now, I am one of “them” and I bear the crows-feet from forty years of peeking at models on top of it all. It is even more depressing to disclose that my best friend is an Optivizor. Sad but true. They say once a man hits forty, two things go out the door. One of the two is vision. The other one is material for a blog on a website of a different nature. Still, having declining eyesight can be very problematic, especially when building model kits.
An Optivizor by itself can be very addictive. I recently caught myself reading articles and even a chapter of a book wearing one. Often times, I forget I’m even wearing the ornament until someone (and by someone – I mean my wife) reminds me that I look ridiculous driving the car with it. Then there is the print mark on your forehead when you take it off. That usually lasts a couple hours. Very embarrassing when people look at you and you notice their train of thoughts, trying to figure out of how the dint got there. But at the end of the day, I need it! It is such a simple device and although it looks asinine, where would I be if I was prevented from using one.
Recently I tried strong, generic Walmart brand readers and that worked for a while until I ended up wearing both! In all honestly, Optivizors are a great product and a welcome asset in the world of model building, opening a whole new world of vision and sense for detail.
It still amazes me how I was ever able to construct a kit without any “opti” help. I could add the smallest of small detail to the inside of a 1/72nd cockpit without blinking an eye. I could paint stenciling on a 1/48th ammo crate and pinpoint a drop of superglue in one try. Now I need a #10 lens on a good day! I can’t complain, I guess, I still master a steady hand. Once that goes or when I catch myself watching TV wearing an Optivisor, I might as well hang up the old sprue nipper! And that, my friends, would do me in completely. The thought of never be able to build another kit would be devastating.
But I’m not there yet and the stack of kits in my garage proves it. I am going to enjoy this hobby of mine for a long time to come. Let’s hope they manufacture lenses strong enough!