View Full Version : Noodler's Qin Shi Huang--Now I get this ink!

January 17th, 2014, 02:10 PM
I bought a bottle of Noodler's Qin Shi Huang from Nathan at the Boston pen show last June. Since then, I've found it to be a chameleon, well nigh unpredictable. When I first got it, I remember thinking it was more of a red than the "terra cotta" I was expecting. I still think it is quite pink, but honestly I think the bottle has "matured" or something. It's strange. I remember my dilution experiments, and how the ink got better behaved and progressively more pink. Now I no longer see it as red at full strength. It's more of vibrant pink that is just slightly reminiscent of terra cotta.

I banished this ink from my regular stable because it throws a precipitate at the drop of a proverbial hat, reacts even with other acidic inks, and doesn't like ammonia. I like color, but I don't need drama. I also thought it smelled pretty bad, and not remembering how it smelled when I got it, I decided to add a few eyedroppers full of 4% phenol. Still smells bad, just slightly phenolic. Anyway, another thread about Preppies got me thinking about the Preppies that I don't use at work. One of them has a medium fountain pen nib and has stayed inked a long time with Sailor Jentle Blue (with a little of something else that I don't recall). Another has had a marker tip, was converted to ED, has a cracked cap, and has allowed the Noodler's Liberty's Elysium in it to progressively evaporate. I use neither, so I decided to move the marker tip to the good sealing (still cartridge-containing) Preppy, clean them both out, and make a cartridge-bearing, marker-tip Preppy with Noodler's Qin Shi Huang in it. I cleaned out the marker tip as best I could, and it was no longer leaving any bluish marks. I decided to refill with QSH.

I'm actually kind of stunned at the result. The sun is at the back of my west-facing office, and the sun hitting the QSH obliquely on the page produces what looks like fluorescent pinkish-red paint on the page. Very vibrant looking. It looks OK on smooth, FP-friendly paper, but it pops on the more absorbent paper of the mead spiral notebook because the less-smooth paper adds texture that the sun at my back brings out. Very cool.

Strange ink, and not really one of my choices for use in fountain pens, but if you're into ink and color, it's worth a gander.

Edit: As I experiment a little more, I don't think my bottle has changed so much as that I am not any longer using a wet pen on FP-friendly paper. If I dump drops of it on paper, it's quite red, very nearly Diamine Red Dragon colored at its darkest (almost but not quite), but this, I would argue, is not its best and most natural concentration.

January 17th, 2014, 04:15 PM
Thanks for that, Mike. There's a sample of QSH in front of me right now, which I've been eying suspiciously for a while (I tend to do that with unknown Noodler's inks). Can you suggest a sensible rate of dilution? - there's probably only enough for one fill so not much scope for experimentation.

January 17th, 2014, 04:43 PM
Can you suggest a sensible rate of dilution?

Well, as I recall, there isn't too much room for dilution before it starts to turn to a simple pink. I want to say 50-50 was way too much dilution. Also, wet pen versus dry pen matters--the dryer the pen, the less water you want to add. I wish I remembered more detail from last summer. I probably used about 1 part water to 4 parts ink.

January 18th, 2014, 07:02 AM
Thanks again. I've just tried it neat in a re-filled cartridge, with a view to diluting if necessary. Can't say I'm bowled over so far, but I'll defer judgment until the sun comes out.