I need to do some fine lining work. The problem is I don't know what
implement to use. I wan't something like a quill pen; that is, dip into
acrylic paint rather than have a pen with a reservoir such as a Rotring pen.
As an experiment I tried with a cocktail stick which was fine except that
the tip of the cocktail stick was four or five times thicker than I need.
Is there something on the market that might fit my needs? I've looked into
Rotring pens but while they can go down to the thickness I need they can't
be used for acrylic paint -- they'll clog the needle on first use
I use a pen from the local art supplies shop (Normal Lucas in
Altrincham, Cheshire). There are two types, one is a handle with
separate nibs but I find the nibs too broad in N Gauge. The other is
the stem with a separate nib but this can be reversed to protect the
tip of the nib when not in use. These seem to be the finest available
but I have a total of five and only two work well (they are not that
expensive though) I use Windsor and Newton inks, which need to be
slightly diluted with water but they dry waterproof and mine get
washed over with dirty thinners for weathering and show no ill
If you need yelow do it in white first then go over it - The yellow
ink can also be used over white transfers but I have only done it once
and cannot comment on how well it works (I havent tried washing with
thinners for example). Yellow on white ink works fine and where the
yellow extends beyond the white it hardly shows at all.
You can also use diluted acrilic paint I believe but I havent tried
this with this type of pen (it does work with the larger nibbed type)
Always wash out with water immediately after use, even if only leaving
it for a couple of minutes to get a cup of tea or similar.
If you get a duff pen you will find it tends to give you a blob when
it first touches the surface - close examination with a high powered
lenz and various attempts to 'adjust' the nibs have all failed, the
first one I got worked perfectly which is why I persevered.
I use an eye dropper to transfer some ink to a home made ink well (a
thimble glued to the centre of a plastic jar lid) then add water to
that. This is just deep enough to fill the nib. Using the bottle
proved less satisfactory as the dipping through the top got ink on the
stem, thence onto fingers and thence onto the model. Also you end up
with dried ink on the bottle which makes closing it more difficult.
Note shake the bottle to mix it before opening, after one unfortunate
incident with black ink I hold some tissue over the top when doing
My signwriting is crap but for quite a while there were no transfers
available in N so I tried this method and now I find it is good enough
for my (admittedly rather slapdash) standards. If you get RM mag the
models I made for Tickling (other than the milk van) were all lettered
in this way, there might have been a couple that used transfers but no
more than a couple.