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"Tricks for Painting Eyes" Topic

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Thortrains03 Mar 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

Trouble painting eyes on your miniature figures? Click the link for a couple of tricks that make it easy:


Bashytubits03 Mar 2018 3:04 p.m. PST

Eye see painted "eye" people!

Some good tips there, thanks for posting. wink

Thortrains03 Mar 2018 5:34 p.m. PST

I like the meme!

dBerczerk03 Mar 2018 5:36 p.m. PST

Very helpful!

Baranovich04 Mar 2018 7:33 a.m. PST

Great tip, thanks for sharing!

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2018 12:23 p.m. PST

Helpful – thanks for posting!

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2018 4:34 p.m. PST


Just about all of my forces wear eye protection (glasses or goggles or space helmets), which is a lot easier to paint.

Thortrains05 Mar 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

What I do with goggles is to put a thin dab of Rub N buff silver and then rub it on. it leaves a nice "glass" effect. Practice before using it on a figure. it takes a few tries before you can get the desired effect.

55th Division06 Mar 2018 8:14 a.m. PST

do you have any hints for painting eyes on my 2mm figures ;)

Zephyr106 Mar 2018 3:41 p.m. PST

I'm surpised there isn't more of a market for eye decals in various scales. Or may it's just a techical problem of making decals that small…

Thortrains06 Mar 2018 6:55 p.m. PST

On the goggle trick – first I paint the goggle a gloss black, then when it is dry, I use the Rub N' Buff trick.

Elenderil07 Mar 2018 6:06 a.m. PST

I don't paint in the eyes. In real life when someone is far enough away to be the size of a 25-28mm figure at arms length all you see is a shadow in the area below the forehead as the eyes are set back. Now about the buttons on my 2mm infantry…….

Part time gamer16 Apr 2018 11:06 p.m. PST

Good tips, but I generally follow the same pattern as 'Elenderil';
I just paint, at times not just wash but maybe even add a 'bit' extra wash to the eyes. As many have said, beyond about 10 ft give'r take, you really cant make out the eyes.

Baranovich17 Apr 2018 6:17 a.m. PST

After struggling with eyes while painting a 28mm dwarf army over the past few months I have come to the same conclusion as Elenderil and Part time gamer.

Visually, it's just not worth it from a gaming perspective. Faces in that scale actually look more real if you just shade the eyelids and cheeks properly.

The thing I think people get hung up on is when you have super amazing closeup photography like what GW does in White Dwarf and all their rulebooks and supplements. A photo of a dwarf warrior that allows you to look at it literally like it was an inch in front of your face, well yes THAT close you could actually pick out a narrow bit of white and pupil. But man it's NARROW. Trying to actually paint an eye on a GW plastic dwarf is more like a lucky guess when you try to lay that narrow line of white in the proper place. And the final black dot for the pupil is ridiculous…I mean trying to lay it in the center of the eye so it's not wonky or off center requires blind luck(no pun intended), because the damn brush BLOCKS my view. You just drive yourself crazy in my opinion.

But even pulling back six inches and that eye detail begins to fade. And in the wider GW photos where they are showing two whole armies fighting in a panorama, remember even that photo is showing the models only a couple feet away. And the eyes at that point become nearly moot.

I think eyes don't really become relevant on a model in a wargaming sense until maybe 40mm.

Now if we're talking about larger monster fantasy models or particularly large character models in 28mm like trolls, giants, or ogres, yes in 28mm you can actually visibly see eyes at tabletop height, and putting a dot of color with a white dot for reflection effect, that can be seen.

But I think the main point is that one of the only real practical reasons you would even put eyes on rank and file 28mm soldiers is precisely because you WERE photographing them at GW level for publications.

Admittedly I did attempt to do eyes on the first couple dwarf egiments I painted, and they came out ok but I had to redo alot of them to make them narrower and not look so buggy and wonky.

But then when I painted another unit and saw how they looked with just eyelid shading and no actual eyes, the difference visually between both units was so insignificant that it made eyes feel like an unnecessary waste of my time and effort. Even in a display case the units without actual eyes were not visually less pleasing by any means.

dapeters16 Feb 2022 2:13 p.m. PST

If you have to do eyes…

Zephyr117 Feb 2022 3:34 p.m. PST

Update to my above post from so long ago: I make my own eye 'decals' now, & just glue them in place. Works really well for 1/35th's… ;-)

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