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Old 07-30-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers?

I understand these markers are supposed to be alcohol markers for "crafters" rather than artists...has anyone tried them yet? Certainly a lot more affordable...6 for around $10.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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Ohhh, I just googled them. They look very interesting. Hope someone here can try them soon.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:33 AM   #3
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I ordered a pack of six yesterday to try out (they've just been released here in the UK too). Hopefully I'll get them early next week so I'll come back and let you know how I like them. I use Copics at the moment so I'll be looking at how well they blend with those.

The nib configuration and barrel look very much like the Copic Original so I'm guessing they'll work in the airbrush grip as well.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:15 AM   #4
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In the meantime, there's an introdcutory video up on YouTube if anyone's interested: Introducing the Spectrum Noir Pen System

I just read on a UK forum that the refills will be available soon, they're just doing some checking on the design of the bottle.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:08 AM   #5
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So will these markers be released in the US? I just went to the UK site and they're offering a great deal on all 12 sets. If they sell them here for the same amount it is a smoking deal!
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klh54 View Post
So will these markers be released in the US?
Presumably yes since the OP quoted a price of $10 for six markers so presumably she must have seen them somewhere in US currency.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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I have copics, promarkers and a pack of turquoise spectrum noirs. Pricewise in the UK they are half the cost of a copic ciao and a bit less than promarkers so are a really affordable pen.

For those who love promarkers and really don't like the copic brush tip you *might* like them as they have a hard bullet tip. They're fatter than a promarker and being square barrelled they made my hands hurt. The numbering system doesnt seem to make any sense although after promarkers and copic ciaos it's nice to have a pen that doesnt roll and with numbers on the caps.

In use I found them a very wet pen, prone to bleeding even on neenah and the colour groupings arent imho as good as they should be. The coloured ends of the pen are a pretty accurate plastic version of the colour and those that know their colours may be inclined to think that they havent got the right shades together, to my eyes some of the sets look badly mismatched. The lighter 2 shades in the turquoise were reminiscent of an 000 and 00 copic type intensity and the next tone up was more akin to a 5 which left far too big a difference for a true graduation of tone. Even on the tv shows this week (createandcraft in the UK) almost all of the samples had very distinct lines not the truly seamless blending you see on for eg the kennyk dt blogs. I didnt find them easy to blend and side by side colouring an identical image with copic bg01, 05 & 09 I spent 3 times as long trying to blend away lines with the SNs.

Would I buy another set? I doubt it very much and I don't think many experienced copic users will be fans either. I'm not great with copics, bit worse with promarkers but I am seeing an (and want to see more) improvement in my colouring, whereas I felt I was taking huge steps backwards with spectrum noirs.

Copic sketch are over 5 times the price per pen in the uk but although my budget really doesnt stretch to more than 1 or 2 a month I'd rather get a couple of pens I know I'll get good results from than I would waste my money on yet another product from crafters companion that I'm not happy with. Sorry.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:05 PM   #8
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I've just noticed the spectrum noirs are identical looking to the shinhan touch twin marker sets that you guys already have in the US. If I had to lay a bet I'd say they were the same.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suplayingwithpaper View Post
I've just noticed the spectrum noirs are identical looking to the shinhan touch twin marker sets that you guys already have in the US. If I had to lay a bet I'd say they were the same.
Ditto. As soon as I saw them and watched the video I said the same thing to myself.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suplayingwithpaper View Post
I've just noticed the spectrum noirs are identical looking to the shinhan touch twin marker sets that you guys already have in the US. If I had to lay a bet I'd say they were the same.
The Spectrums are made in China and the ShinHan Touch are manufactured in Korea.

I emailed the ShinHan folks and though they look very similar to their older style markers (that's why I emailed with the nosey butt question..lol) they were not made by ShinHan.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:38 PM   #11
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Wonder if CC have got a licensing agreement to replicate them then. I honestly thought they were the same pens, even down to the way the colour sets are made up.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suplayingwithpaper View Post
I have copics, promarkers and a pack of turquoise spectrum noirs.
Interestingly I went for the turquoise set too so I'll be able to take your review as a direct reference point when I try mine out - thanks!
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:38 AM   #13
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Thanks suplayingwithpaper for your insightful input...even though I am a bit disappointed. Why does it always end up being true that "you get what you pay for"? LOL! I think CC does say that the markers were made for "crafters, not artists". Perhaps if we want "blending" capabilities, we are expecting too much for this price point. Myself, I have no artisitic talent or "eye" for the detail needed to really "Copic" color, I just like to well....color! Now as far as the mismatching of shades, I will trust your more experienced eye on that one! I have been purchasing some Promarkers and trying to accumulate colors which will blend. I spent another two hours coloring last evening and I still don't think I have the right shades for blending. I guess this is why Copics come in soooo many colors. It will be interesting to see what others think about the SN pens in the future!
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dflora3168 View Post
I think CC does say that the markers were made for "crafters, not artists". Perhaps if we want "blending" capabilities, we are expecting too much for this price point.
But CC also talk about "seamless blending" of colours so presumably we're entitled to expect that, regardless of the price point.

I think they're saying the markers are produced specifically for crafters, not for artists as a selling point, not a potential limitation (the implication being that crafters have different needs and those are not always well served by tools designed for artists).
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:51 AM   #15
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Wonder if CC have got a licensing agreement to replicate them then. I honestly thought they were the same pens, even down to the way the colour sets are made up.
Me too... that's why I emailed. The ShinHan people said they had nothing to do with them.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:07 AM   #16
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I had a couple of crafting friends over today and they had a play with the spectrums and some neenah card. One's a promarker fan, the other just dabbles occasionally owning just a few copics, she was hoping to like them as a cheaper alternative.

Neither were impressed with the pens and wont be buying. Both said the colours werent blending smoothly at all and they could see the join. One of them could see the penstrokes even when she'd stayed with one pen and 1 layer. I was a wee bit relieved that it wasnt just me not being impressed with them but also a bit disappointed as if they'd got on alright I could have possibly mastered them.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:30 PM   #17
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Check out the coloring on this blog...she doesn't seem to be having trouble blending! Her coloring is beautiful...no matter what she uses! (IMO...LOL!)

Cats Whiskers
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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She's definitely a very talented lady and I'd love to colour like her. I prefer her work before she got the pens though
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:27 AM   #19
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suplayingwithpaper...I went back and looked at "Cat Whiskers" site again...at the Copic cards and the SN cards. I definitely see a "softness" in the Copic coloring that I don't see in the SN items, but am wondering what you "see" that you like better in the Copic work. I am asking, because I HAVE NO ARTISTIC ABILITY and would be really interested in another's "vision"... TIA!
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dflora3168 View Post
suplayingwithpaper...I went back and looked at "Cat Whiskers" site again...at the Copic cards and the SN cards. I definitely see a "softness" in the Copic coloring that I don't see in the SN items, but am wondering what you "see" that you like better in the Copic work. I am asking, because I HAVE NO ARTISTIC ABILITY and would be really interested in another's "vision"... TIA!
I see a softness too. That's harder to get without a brush nib.

I have a feeling that lady could color with just about anything. She does beautiful work.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:18 AM   #21
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It's that softness that I'm looking for when I colour. If I want there to be a true gradiant of colour I know I can (ocassionally, as I'm not good with colouring) get that with a copic, I don't want to see the line where I've added a different marker if I don't want to. Best way I can describe it really is a pic from the quixotic blog Quixotic Inspirations: SCACD Fun Collection - a card oozing warmth if you zoom in you'll see the green of the top is beautifully blended with barely any hint of a colour change even though she's probably used at least 4 pens. The dt team at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz are also amazing with colouring specially seeing as a lot of the images lend themselves to deep reds which are notoriously difficult with most colouring mediums.

I think for me the biggest annoyance with the spectrums wasnt that the pens werent as good as they could be, rather that the marketing was over egging what they could and couldnt do. Plus they're sold in colour blending families at 6ish, great buy and in theory it should make it super easy to know which to use together but in practise you have to buy either the pastel or light set, each at 25, just to get a pen that bridges the light and medium shade in the six quid set.

The phrasing for crafters doesnt help either but then the snob factor that can exist between craft and art is one of my big bugbears and guaranteed to get me on my high horse faster than anything else. afaic just because we make cards/stamp/scrapbook why should it be called craft not art and why shouldnt we use artist quality tools. Sorry I'm starting to get off on one lol.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:26 AM   #22
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oh no, another thing I'm gonna want hahaha
can't wait to see what you guys think of them.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:20 PM   #23
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I'm always a bit cautious when something is marketed to the "Crafter" instead of as a quality art tool. It seems to me that many times they are interchanging the "crafter" with "children's" art supplies (the kind you use a couple times and then throw out). The last thing I want to invest in is throwaway tools.

I always think of cruddy vinyl stamps compared to the great quality photopolymer stamps.

Or the fun foam stamps compared to rubber.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #24
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Um, crafters ARE artists
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #25
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Um, crafters ARE artists
Exactly! Really sticks in my throat when other crafters say different, specially when they're apologetic for asking a couple of bucks for a few hours work making a card, or even worse moaning that someone's managed to get a decent sum on the auction sites for a stamped card.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #26
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An artist can use a cheap box of crayons and create a masterpiece.
Don Marco - The Master Crayon Artist
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatarinaM View Post
An artist can use a cheap box of crayons and create a masterpiece.
Don Marco - The Master Crayon Artist

Amazing!!!
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:01 PM   #28
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Very true Katarina, for newcomers though often artist quality mediums are easier to use and get a better result. Specially true for watercolour papers which will allow a more even wash and prisma pencils which are so easy to blend.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
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An artist can use a cheap box of crayons and create a masterpiece.
Don Marco - The Master Crayon Artist
But he's using the GOOD crayons...lol
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #30
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Quote:
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An artist can use a cheap box of crayons and create a masterpiece.
Don Marco - The Master Crayon Artist
WOW!!
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:25 PM   #31
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I just bought one set. The skin tones one. And since I live in the USA. It cost me $15.31 for one set plus shipping.

From what I see they do not have them in the USA according to there US website.

I just wanted to see how they compare to Copic Markers. testing to see the different in person.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:37 PM   #32
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Interesting. I have all the ShinHan Touch Twin markers (not the newest ones or the brush ones) and the Spectrum even use the same name and number for the colors that ShinHan uses.

I heard there where Touch knock-off's, when talking to people who went to PaperWorld in Germany.

I suspect the fact that they are not advertising them as art markers does mean the ink and nib quality is not on the level of art markers such as Shinhan Touch and Copics.

I do large art pieces with my ShinHan markers (and copics sometimes but I like Shinhan better). The difference in quality would probably show in a large piece. Shinhan just came out with new markers, I wonder if these could be bodies of the old markers?
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:33 PM   #33
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I noticed the similarities too, but was told by the ShinHan people that they didn't make the markers.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #34
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I emailed ShinHan also and they believe these markers are made in China and the style is definitely pirated.

Once HUGE concern is these markers do not have the USA AP safety seal or the european CE equivelent.
This means these have not been evaluated as non-toxic or safe. And they are alcohol based yet being marketed as a "craft" marker which may make one think they would be safe for kids or to breath the fumes (even though are markers like Copic and ShinHan are "oderless" they all have a mild smell). I have some old Design2 markers which are VERY toxic smelling and require a lot of ventilation.

Here is the link to the AP safety certification Safety.

I know Noir are being marketed as non-toxic but without any official certifications, I question it, especially since the US has had tainted and toxic items from China before.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #35
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If the style is pirated I would hope Shinhan would do something about it. Without you guys saying that Shinhan hadnt made these I'd have thought they had and would never consider buying anything else they'd made.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:18 PM   #36
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just googled them and man I want to try now
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:23 PM   #37
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Shinhan said "this item infringes China has not been respectful with intellectual property of others" and it sounds like they have notified whoever enforces this type of thing. I have no real knowledge but I'm sure it probably isn't easy to deal with international problems like this.

Now if I could get my hand on some of the REAL new Shinhan Touch and brush markers! I can't wait to try out the brush markers.

And I know Shinhan really are non-toxic and safe. These Noir markers are just too unknown for me. Last thing I need is more toxic markers after using Design2 markers for years. Blech.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:02 AM   #38
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In use I found them a very wet pen, prone to bleeding even on neenah and the colour groupings arent imho as good as they should be. The coloured ends of the pen are a pretty accurate plastic version of the colour and those that know their colours may be inclined to think that they havent got the right shades together, to my eyes some of the sets look badly mismatched. The lighter 2 shades in the turquoise were reminiscent of an 000 and 00 copic type intensity and the next tone up was more akin to a 5 which left far too big a difference for a true graduation of tone. Even on the tv shows this week (createandcraft in the UK) almost all of the samples had very distinct lines not the truly seamless blending you see on for eg the kennyk dt blogs. I didnt find them easy to blend and side by side colouring an identical image with copic bg01, 05 & 09 I spent 3 times as long trying to blend away lines with the SNs.
I'm kind of disappointed to say that I agree with Suplayingwithpaper's experience here - not because I don't want to agree with her but because I wanted to like the markers! I found blending really difficult and it seemed to me that if you go over with the light marker in an attempt to improve the blending, it shifts the pigment around and leaves a speckled finish. There's definitely too big of a gap between some of the colours in this turquoise set and I'm guessing the fact that the colours in the sets of 24 markers don't contain any repeats of the small set might go some way to explaining that and might well mean it applies to all the six marker sets.

My other dislike is one I really should have anticipated - I have always preferred the feel of the Ciao or Sketch markers to the square barrel of the Original and I like the brush nib better than the firmer bullet one. No different with the Spectrum Noir, I just didn't like the nibs as much.

If you're looking for an up side, they do fit into the Copic Air Grip (it's a slightly tight fit but it does go in and the nib is in the right position for the air stream) so if you want a cheaper marker for airbrushing these might fit the bill.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:36 AM   #39
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I know exactly what you meant Joanne, I wanted to like them as well. I didnt even give a thought about trying them in the airbrush, wonder if the promarkers will as well then?

On a slightly different note did you see the new promarker flexmarkers on createandcraft yesterday? They looked really good but as always with c&c overpriced so I'm hanging on til JoannaSheen gets some next month.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #40
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ahhh good to hear, thanks for your input on the markers
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