Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review

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Magnifying Eyeglass Headband - Featured

Whilst a magnifying eyeglass headband will let you ensure you nail those ultra-tiny bits of detail on your miniatures, the price for using this piece of kit will be exacted not upon your wallet, but upon your self-respect and the impression your loved ones have of you.

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Best Hobby Tools for Miniatures

This article is part of our series looking at The Best Hobby Tools for Miniatures and Wargames Models.

Essential Hobby Tools for Miniatures & Wargames Models

To see all of our guides to the Best Tools for Miniatures, click on the image above.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review – Summary

Whilst there’s no doubt a magnifying eyeglass headband is a useful and surprisingly inexpensive bit of kit to have knocking around, you’ll have to be certain no one is around to see you wearing it.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review – Introduction

This morning, as I do every morning, I woke up and lay in the darkness for about half an hour, scrolling through my phone.

My Facebook feed is full of miniatures great and humble, and interspersed with various outspoken commie university acquaintances of mine sharing SpongeBob SquarePants memes about destroying the bourgeoise. Nothing new, original, or interesting. I check my On This Day on Facebook, or Memories, or whatever it’s called at the moment, and look at a couple of pictures of my girlfriend and I from the last decade.

Once I’d cleared all the notifications from my social feeds and deleted about thirty emails from Groupon trying to sell me hideous folding beds, meat hampers, more wine than a human being could ever imbibe in one lifetime and dozens of enormous boxes of condoms (I should clarify, I’ve only ever brought one thing from Groupon, and that was a box of curry sauces –  how we get from there to Johnnies beats me), I got up and got dressed.

Once dressed, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “You know what I’m going to do today? Start that magnifying glasses headband thing review.” So, I headed downstairs and put on the magnifying eyeglass headband I had been sent.

And then everything started going wrong.

I check the LED light, try out a few of the magnifiers, and hear footsteps behind me.

“What the f*** have you got on your head?”

It’s my girlfriend. She’s up early.

I feel like a thirteen-year-old who has been caught looking at adult books by his parents. My cheeks flush red, I stammer an excuse. “It’s nothing, j-just something FauxHammer sent me…I-…I didn’t mean to put it on, I don’t know how this happened! An accident, it was an accident!” I try to pull the band off my head, but it’s stuck in my hair. I’m trapped, entangled in my own mane and an arcing lump of white plastic shame.

The look of abject horror on her face gives way to uncontrollable mirth, and whilst I stand in my conservatory, headband strapped onto my ever-blushing face, she’s got her phone out and is taking pictures of me.

My WhatsApp buzzes. She’s sent a photo of me in the headband to group chat we have with some of my best friends. As anyone who is blessed/cursed enough to be in a group chat with any of their close friends will be able to imagine, the barrage of insults that follow is akin to a sixteenth-century galleon pulling alongside a fishing boat of the same era and unleashing a full broadside of cannon fire on it. My friends annihilate me. Whatever kudos, whatever power, whatever social position I held in that group has been ripped from me. I am now unequivocally bottom of the pack.

It’s her phone’s turn to buzz. She’s still laughing. She’s sent the picture to the group chat she has with her mum, two aunts, female cousins and grandmother, also to her unwell cousin who needs cheering up – apparently my looks had her in fits of laughter. My in-laws, who I have tried very hard to impress and win over during the last ten years, think I’m a complete idiot and are whispering about having an intervention with my girlfriend.

It’s just a matter of time now before the picture ends up on Facebook. My colleagues will see it. My family will see it. I’ll be fired, disowned, written out of any will I had previously been included in. A pariah, an outcast, utterly alone. I’ll have to move into the woods. I’ll end up looking like some sort of English Bigfoot, but with some stupid bit of white plastic anchored around my head.

It’s done. I’m a ruin of a man. Everything I had has been stripped from me. I am adrift, without power, purpose and cause in a world full of peoples whose brows have not been baptised by the fell hand of a magnifying eyeglass headband.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review – Design

Joking and semi-fabricated stories and analogies aside, what the hell are these?

This headband was clearly made by someone who doesn’t own a mirror. Or have any taste.

My editor has also told me I can’t use the long list of swears and superlatives I want to in order to describe just how f***ing stupid this absolutely hideous piece of equipment makes me – or, for that matter, anyone who wears it – look. So, here’s a picture.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband - Product Image

I look like the sort of surgeon you’d see when on the hunt for cheap body implants. The sort of surgeon who clearly hasn’t sterilised his operating table or his instruments, who stinks of stale cigarette smoke and beer. The sort of surgeon who’d give you uneven bum implants and sepsis before charging you a few grand and making you sign a waiver absolving them of responsibility.

In spite of its utterly hideous look, it’s a reasonably simple contraption to get your head around – or, perhaps, get around your head. The device sits like a pair of glasses, hooked over each ear and resting on your nose via a small, two-pronged bridge. The arms that sit over your ears can also be removed and replaced with an elasticated strap that can be adjusted to fit your head size, which is a nice touch if, for whatever reason, you can’t wear the arms – perhaps they’re uncomfortable for you, or you don’t have ears.

The box comes with a number of different thickness magnifying lenses, and the variable lenses slide in and out of a holder at the front of the apparatus. There’s even an LED light fixed on the projecting frontal piece of the headband so you look like a light-up fool rather than just a regular fool.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review – Testing

First things first, if you’re a glasses wearer, these will probably be a no-go. The headband is designed to sit over your ears, as a pair of glasses would, so if you’re already sporting a pair of specs, you’re going to struggle to get this thing on your head as well. (FauxHammer: Which is exactly why I sent them to Rob, as I could not wear them) Whilst you can swap the glasses-like arms of the thing out for an elasticated headband, this doesn’t have quite the security nor rigidity of the plastic arms – it’s also a bit of a pain to do.

Once the thing is on your head, though, you’ll begin to notice that it’s not all that comfortable to wear. The two prongs that sit on your nose are pretty rigid and unforgiving and if you haven’t had a bridge-narrowing rhinoplasty, or just have a tiny nose, it’s probably going to start hurting after a while, so you’re going to be using this in small bursts – not necessarily a bad thing if you’re only using it to help you with those tiny details.

The model I have comes with five interchangeable lenses of different magnification and, thus, thickness. The first thing I notice once I donned these was that the difference in magnification between the x1.0 and the x1.5, and the x2.0 and the x2.5 wasn’t all that obvious, though. The x3.5 is the good one, and blows your figure up enough for you to not only make those details all the more visible, but also to give you a new appreciation of some of the details that have gone into the sculpt of your miniatures.

The headband did help me affix two halves of a transfer to the badge of my Primaris Lieutenant, painted up for a different review. Having had to snip two transfers in half, lining them up on the small bade was proving quite difficult until I used the headband.

Magnifying Headband Review - Badge Trasnsfer

That said, though, looking through any of these lenses for an extended period of time might start hurting your eyes. A few minutes of looking through the x3.5 and I had to take a break and stare out of the window for a bit as it felt like my eyes were about to roll out of my head.

The LED is a nice, if albeit slightly gimmicky, touch. If you’re trying to paint a detail in a sunken recess – say, an eyeball beneath a particularly deep-set brow – it’ll help cast away any lingering shadows that might make the job all the more difficult, and help pick out that all important raised surface you need to get your tiny bit of white onto. Other than that, though, I can’t really see much of a use for it.

Will Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Improve my Hobby?

Straight off, these aren’t going to make you a better painter.

These goggles of shame don’t actually make your figure bigger, your hand steadier, or you any more talented than you already may be. If you suck at getting paint on details in the first place, these probably aren’t going to be much help – they’re just going to make your mistakes look bigger. Your steady hand is something you’ll need to work on elsewhere.

The level of detail this (utterly ridiculous-looking) contraption will assist you in attaining is not the sort of thing you’re going to be after if you’re just starting out – or, to be honest, if you’re actually starting to get any good. I’m not brilliant at painting super tiny details like eyes, teeth, nostrils, whatever, but I don’t see these helping me all that much in the long run. My failings as a painter are with my fat fingers and inability to line my brush up with the surface I want to. Sure, these helped me see those details all the better, but they don’t actually help me get the damn paint onto the damn figure.

And therein lies what this sort of thing will help you to do: if you’ve an eye for your details already, these are probably something you’ll enjoy as they’ll allow you to take your already detailed figures to another level, and really appreciate what you’re managing to achieve from miniature to miniature. Your achievements will be all the more impressive, and you’ll be able to up your detail significantly – if you’ve already got the skill.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review – Price and Availability

There are a number of very similar products available via Amazon for between £10-£20 ($12-$25/€11-€22), but the price for these is not extracted in the monetary currency of your native country, but upon your soul every time someone laughs at how much of a fool you look wearing them.

Magnifying Eyeglass Headband Review – Final Thoughts

ProsCons
Reasonably inexpensive
Will help you see those smallest details
Will help you appreciate the sculpt and detail of your miniature
Difference in levels of magnification not enormous
Not comfortable to wear
Changeable arms/band a faff
You look like an absolute idiot wearing them.

This review has exacted a heavy toll upon me.

I’ve lost the respect of my friends, my family, and for myself. And what do I have to show for it? Some light-up magnifying specs that, honestly, I could take or leave.

They do feel like a bit of a gimmick, but they aren’t too expensive, so a quick investment on these may be worthwhile if you think you might benefit from them. At best, you might find you’re mastering your details better than ever before. At the very least, they’ll make you appreciate the detail that has gone in to the design and sculpt of your figures, as well as the level of intricacy some people can get to after years of practice.

I’d advise giving them a go and making your mind up for yourself – I imagine you’ll either love them or you’ll hate them.

But the people you live with? They’ll never let you hear the end of it.

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Author

  • Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

Summary
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Reviewed Item
Magnifying Eyeglass Headband
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Product Name
Magnifying Eyeglass Headband
About VoltorRWH 21 Articles
Rob has spent most of the last 15 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

1 Comment

  1. I must disagree I’m afraid. Perhaps if you’re young enough to be worrying about what people think of what you look like, your eyes are good enough to not need these. My eyes are not! My multifocals and reading glasses are not up to the job of helping me see small details. Magnifying headset to the rescue. I can paint tiny mushrooms on my Gloomspite Gitz with these things that I otherwise would not be able to even blending colours etc. I use these for all small details, highlights, neat edges and could not be without them.

    I’ve given up on the light though. I have a nice bright desk lamp and I’ve taken the batteries out the headset so it’s not so heavy on my nose.

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