This eye is a good entry-level project since no expensive supplies are really necessary. You can use air-dry plastic like Apoxie Sculpt, apply a printed eye design with Modge Podge, and then seal/gloss using Tamiya X-22 enamel paint or similar. In this case I’m using a base of white resin cast in modeling clay molds, applying the print, and then painting crystal resin on top. The drawbacks are three-fold:
1. Applying prints to the round surface is difficult and prone to failure
2. The round distortion of the design makes eyes much harder to position in the head and obviously very shallow
3. The clear coat is thin and not perfectly smooth (in part due to wrinkles in the paper)
Clearly the best path is the one used by the Japanese dealers; that is to apply the design on a flatter white base and then add a crystal dome using a high quality mold. I’ve found a source for high-quality reusable molds online, saving the trouble of making them in silicone myself, so that will be the next method to try.
From a distance they do look acceptable, I think for one-offs and quick customs it’s ok. Miyuki is modeling a few now :)