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Product Review


  More info and pictures..., October 25, 2011
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More info and pictures on http://www.elizafrye.com/wordpress/?p=1745

The Box
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 artist now.

The Ink
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 Brush
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.

The Conclusion
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.
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