More info and pictures on http://www.elizafrye.com/wordpress/?p=1745
In typical Japanese fashion, the pen is packaged better than most Christmas
presents. It comes in a slipcase box with gold foil details, and just opening it
made me feel special. Look at that rice paper hang tag! I’m a professional
The pen comes with three cartridges, and the ink itself is actually pretty
decent. It’s water based and flows beautifully through the pen. Not quite as
opaque as I would like, but then I find almost all inks disappointing in that
regard. Luckily using the Platinum Converter the pen can be filled with any type
of ink. Pretty awesome! Replacement Brush tips are also available. I feel better
about a tool when I can replace its key parts.
The pen itself has a really sleek matte finish that just feels good in your
hands. The response of the brush is very similar to the other Kuretake brush
pens, but better in all the ways you would expect from natural hair. It holds a
nice point and produces gorgeous line quality. Quick strokes result in a dry
brush effect that I found especially pleasing. The pen’s versatility of line
is definitely it’s strongest feature. I used it for all of my Mid-Ohio Comic
Con sketches, and could only have been happier if the tip were slightly larger,
specifically size #6 like my favorite Isabey brush.
Like any natural hair brush, the No. 40 will be your best friend for life if you
pamper it just a little. The instruction booklet recommends washing out the
brush tip if it gets stiff or sits unused for a long period of time. ‘A long
period of time’ to me means more than 24 hours, so the one to five day washing
procedure is a little annoying and perhaps the pen’s only downside.
If inking a line with anything besides your favorite sable-haired workhorse
makes your eyebrows crinkle and your mouth scrunch up, this pen is for you. The
No. 40 is beautiful to hold, performs like a champion racehorse, and comes in
elite fancy packaging. However, if you just need a fantastic travel brush, I
recommend the No. 13. I wore mine out and would have bought it again if the No.
40 didn’t mash all of my brush snob buttons. Congratulations Kuretake, you win
the Best Brush Pen Prize. For life.