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After struggling like crazy with the application of cantrail lines to diesel locos and black/gold lining on GWR coaches, I think its about time that I bought a lining pen.   

 

However it is looking soemthing of a minefield given so much choice, and limited opportunity to actually get hold of one to try before buying.

 

So I am torn between buying a Bob Moore pen or a bow pen, on the latter seeing a recomendation from Ian Rathborn in another thread for a Haff 288 however I have not had any luck finding one for sale.

 

I'd love to hear pros / cons (and in the case of bow pens some advice as to where to source one.)

 

I am certainly a little concerned reading the Bob Moore pen is tricky to clean (and requires cellulose thinners to clean which I recall as being a bit nasty).

 

 

 

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Using a bow pen is fairly straightforward. I used one when lining the Rails Dynamometer Car:

 

 

Mine is a Kern pen purchased as part of a drawing set from ebay.

 

As the video suggests, you do need to hone a bow pen to get the best results from it. See also this thread: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/15815-using-a-ruling-pen/

Edited by MikeTrice
  • Informative/Useful 1
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I bought a bow pen set from Golden Arrow a couple of years ago. He sells reconditioned antique sets. You can get cheap pens from art shops or on line. I do have one of these but replaced it with the aforementioned set.

link here

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  • RMweb Gold

I bought a bow pen set from Golden Arrow a couple of years ago. He sells reconditioned antique sets. You can get cheap pens from art shops or on line. I do have one of these but replaced it with the aforementioned set.

link here

Is it. Case of emailing and finding out what stock he has available?

 

I have had a look on eBay, but without knowledge of quality etc I’m finding it hard to tell if something is a good purchase.

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You can buy bow pens quite easily but the issue is that most pens are not honed when you buy them. Haff pens are already honed so you can use them straight out of the box.

Honing and maintaining the condition is critical and as far as I am concerned, not easy. Put it this way, it's easier to get it wrong than to get it right.

 

My experience with lining has been rewarding and disappointing in equal measures. I just don't seem to be able to develop a consistent technique. However, with a cheap or unprepared pen, you've got no chance.

 

Ian Rathbone preaches the 3 p's. Practice, patience and perseverance. That about sums it up. I need to concentrate on all three.

 

Good luck.

 

PS I can lend you a pen if you want to try before you buy. 

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How do you find the finess of the lines you get with it? From what I’ve read before it sounded better suited to 7mm scale

The finest nib is 0.25mm which equates to 0.75 inches in the real world in 4mm scale (my maths?).

 

Fine enough for me, but I model for me, not for exhibiting etc., so if it looks right to me, it is right!

 

Davey

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This thread may be of use (jeez - was that really 8 years ago?):

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/7925-width-of-loco-carriage-lining/

 

....and no, I haven't done anything about making a smaller nib yet  :(

(In fact, I'll look into it again in the next few days)

 

P.s. I know Coachmann was exiled :nono: but has he appeared again on another Forum anywhere?  I really miss his advice and knowledge :(

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This thread may be of use (jeez - was that really 8 years ago?):

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/7925-width-of-loco-carriage-lining/

 

....and no, I haven't done anything about making a smaller nib yet  :(

(In fact, I'll look into it again in the next few days)

 

P.s. I know Coachmann was exiled :nono: but has he appeared again on another Forum anywhere?  I really miss his advice and knowledge :(

 

He is on the LNER Forum, as a occasional poster.

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Update:

 

I spoke to Easi-Liner (Chris Arundel) earlier regarding the feasibility of a smaller stylus for 4mm; it seems that extensive tests were done during the development stage and 0.25mm was the smallest practical size, otherwise the paint won't flow.

However, did Chris mention that thinning the paint a little (lighter fluid) and drawing a faster line results in a thinner line; it's an acquired technique and needs a little practice, apparently.

HTH

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The Bob Moore funnel-pens are quite easy to use. Even I can get something out of them, and I've never managed a useful line with a bow pen. The BM pens have two inherent problems that lead to them clogging. First, the nib digs into the surface, even with quite light pressure, and clogs itself with flakes of body colour. Second, any paint with more than minimal particle-size easily blocks the nib internally. One can readily clean the nib with the wire, but it's a faff: draw one line, clean, draw half a line, clean, etc.

 

Rotring-style pens (including the cheaper brands) may also have a role if the right ink can be found. While trying to line GWR coaches, I accidentally mixed bright-yellow ink with a residue of black and found that it gave an impression of gold for the edges of the mouldings. This will be my preferred method unless something magical arrives. I used Windsor and Newton inks. The main problem with these is that they are water based and like to bead on gloss surfaces. I need to experiment with adding detergent to reduce the surface tension. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just out of interest, the stock at 'Golden Arrow is quite good at the moment. Most of the pens in stock will draw at the worst a 0.15mm line, while the best will go down to 0.05-ish.. I find that even Haff pens straight from the factory can be improved with a little careful work...

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  • 6 months later...

There are some technical stencil pens on eBay at the moment for less than a fiver including post. 0.45mm line. The Bob Moore pens are this type. There is an interesting note at the bottom of the eBay entry re model railways.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Faber-Castell-technical-stencil-pen-nib-53s-feeder-pen-or-model-railway-lining/250927192289?hash=item3a6c6d18e1:g:wLAAAOSwf-VWVeMS

 

I used these extensively with indian ink and stencils while working temporarily in  a drawing office in the 1960s and still have a box full, with bow pens, somewhere as my mother was a draughtswoman,  but I have resorted to eBay as it is easier than finding them!

 

I bought a bow pen on eBay for £3 and after grinding to a point and then working on it with fine emery paper it works excellently for lining. I use it with templates for corners made from filed lolly sticks (or cornflake box cardboard for cab fronts and backs) with Humbrol enamel. There is no need to pay for expensive bow pens as they were for day in day out use by professionals and not the odd loco.

 

I buy O gauge locos which are well built but badly painted relatively cheaply, strip them to the brass and repaint them,  ending  up with beautiful locos which would normally be beyond my means.

 

 

 

 

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