15 years ago
rolling stock, or whether they regularly take any items to model railway
clubs for running nights, or to exhibitions to run on other people's
layouts. One thing that has always bugged me is that I have never been able
to find a quick, reliable and clean way of marking an item indelibly on the
underside so I can identify it as mine. Either pens have been useless at
transferring ink to plastic, or the ink simply doesn't show up, or an
engraver has been far too cumbersome and awkward to use, especially on soft
Things may have just changed.
On my trip back from getting my Hornby 'King Arthur' today, I had to pop
into Staples for some bits and pieces. While in there I wandered past the
pens section, and noticed a 'paint' marker. I thought, 'that might work as a
model marker, I'll buy one and see. It's only (GBP) £2.99, so if it turns
out to be a failed experiment it's not like the bank account will have
I got it home and tested it on the underside of one of my Dapol wagons,
which in the past I've had notorious difficulty getting any kind of pen to
write on. Low and behold, after following the instructions on the pack
(shake well then depress tip fully three times), it wrote onto the shiny
plastic first time. After a few minutes, the paint-ink had dried, and though
with vigorous rubbing it could be smudged siginificantly, it would be
obvious if someone tried to clear the mark away. This beat the previous best
I'd found, a silver gel pen which had difficulty transferring ink to the
shiny black plastic of models, and was all too easy to rub away.
The pen is made in Japan, and marketed by Mitsubishi Pencil Co. U.K. Ltd.
It's called 'Uni Paint Marker', and the one I found had a 0.8mm tip, just
small enough to get into some of the tighter (though probably not the
tightest) spaces on the underside of a model. It's 'metallic permanent ink'
(or so the packaging says), and it's silver in colour.
Now, I have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Mitsubishi, I've never
worked for them, and am not getting any money for what reads very much like
an advertisement. All I can say is that I noticed the pen, took a cheap
gamble that it might solve a problem I'd had, and it looks like it's paid
off. For anyone else who's come up against the same, this could be a