If you've been following my series of posts on my 2mm Thirty Years War project, you might have spotted a number of thoughful commenters worrying about the impact on eyesight when painting 2mm figures.
There's quite a bit of very helpful information about painting and eyesight online, both for wargamers and modellers in general. Quite a lot of the information discusses good quality lighting as being helpful, with other articles and forums dicussing the merits of magnifying lamps.
In painting 2mm figures and figure blocks, Ihave found using a couple of daylight lamps invaluable. In particular, I've been using a large magnifying lamp from The Daylight Company for almost all of the 2mm figure painting (although the snowy/frosty groundwork I've been painting normally).
The magnifying lamp lends (15cm across) is large enough to easily view the whole of the bases I have been using for my 2mm figures (being either 60mm x 30mm for pike and shot foot or croat cavalry, or 30mm x 30mm bases for other cavalry and commanded shot). The magnfication is pretty significant, and there's little eyestrain. The main challenge is then brush control and a steady hand.
The Daylight Magnifying Lamp I purchased wasn't cheap. I ordered mine mail-order about 5 years ago for just under £100. I also have a large Daylight Company desk lamp (with two Daylight tube bulbs) which cost me about £85 in 2007. While expensive, both have, in my view, repaid my initial expense and I can't imgine painting without either. Both lamps have also been very reliable. I have had to replace the tube bulbs on the 2007 lamp once since 2007 (for £32). Considering the great pleasure painting and modelling have given me over the years, I think both lamps were money well spent.
So, The Daylight Magnifying Lamp has more than earned its place in my "Roundwood Recommends" list of things which make our hobby even better. Very warmly recommended. Great for any figure painting, but almost indispensible for 2mm figures.