Wednesday 16 December 2015

Last 24 Hours of the A3 Grid Pad Kickstarter

There's just 1 day left to grab some of our premium grid pads at special Kickstarter prices. The campaign closes tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm GMT.

Thursday 10 December 2015

A3 Grid Pad Kickstarter 1 Week Only!

A lighning-fast, pre-Christmas campaign to reprint an improved version of our A3 grid pads. Here's a link to the project page:

Thursday 3 December 2015

Dragonmeet Saturday 5th December

This Saturday Squarehex has a stand at Dragonmeet in London. I'm presently busy packing stock for the show. Here's a selection of what will be on offer:

  • Call of Cthulhu book posters £5
  • Mountains of Madness book posters £8
  • Set of both Lovecraft book posters £10
  • Random Dungeon Posters £10
  • B/X Monster Reference Index £3
  • Geomorphic Beermats 12 for £2 or 125 for £15
  • Box of Tricks (3 only) £10
  • A5 Gamers' Notebooks £4each or 2 for £7
  • A6 Gamers' Notebooks £3each or 2 for £5
  • Pencil +1 £1each or 3 for £2
  • Inked Adventures Map and Dice Playing Cards £8
  • Dwimmermount books and tracker package (1 only) £50
  • LotFP Carcosa 1st Printing (2 only*) £30
  • LotFP A Red and Pleasant Land  (4 only*) £30
  • Full range of Squarehex Mapping Pads and Character Sheets
  • A selection of OSR books
  • A selection of Savage Worlds books
  • A selection of board and card games
  • A big selection of Reaper Bones monster miniatures
*LotFP have a stand at the show so these are the only LotFP items I'm bringing from my stock. James will have the reprinted version of Carcosa and some Red and Pleasant Land stock but if you want a first print copy of Carcosa or he runs out of R&PL we have them.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Free Printed City Maps

A few weeks ago I was toying with ideas for large format printed maps and decided that I wanted to do a test print run. I found a large, highly-detailed city map (it's a map of Galway from 1651 so totally in the public domain) and sent it off to the printers.  I removed the title from the map to allow it to be renamed as required for gaming purposes.

Today I got the test prints back. I only ordered 25 but they sent me a few extras. The prints are B2-sized which is 707mmx500mm (28"x19.5") and have been litho-printed on to 115gsm affiche paper. the paper has a nice smooth matt finish that is easy to write and draw on. The images below are photos of the finished prints.

If you'd like a free copy of the map there are 2 ways to get one:

1) Place any order at and send me a note saying you'd like one and I'll include it free with your order. If you order a poster or map sheet that needs to be posted in a tube then I'll roll the map with it. If not, then I'll fold the map to the same size as the other items you order.

2) If you come to the Squarehex stand at Dragonmeet you can just ask for one, no purchase necessary.

Free maps are strictly one per person, and are only available while stocks last.


Friday 2 October 2015

B/X Monster Reference Kickstarter Final 48 Hours!

There's just under 2 days left to run for the B/X Monster Reference Index Kickstarter. The project is also closing on the next Stretch Goal with just £90 to go. If you've not already seen it, then please check out the project page here:

If we can hit the Stretch Goal, which adds 4 extra pages, it will make this a reference with a whole lot more than the 500 monsters it contains. Backers that pledge for 2 copies or more also get extra loot in the form of B/X bookmarks and Business Card Character Sheets.

Friday 25 September 2015

B/X Bookmarks

I designed a B/X Bookmark several months ago and went ahead and ordered a test print-run of them. They are really intended for a future Kickstarter project, but as I'll need to print them in larger quantities for that, I've decided to add them to my current B/X Monster Reference Index Kickstarter as a little bonus item along with some of my B/X Business Card Character Sheets.

If you would like to get one or more of them, take a look at the Kickstarter page for more details:

Monster Index: C is for...

...Camel and 30 others.

Here's a list of all the C entries in my B/X Monster Reference Index. I plan to add a list for each letter of the alphabet between now and the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

Camel, Carbuncle, Carcass Scavenger, Caryatid Column, Cat (Cheetah), Cat (Lion), Cat (Mountain Lion), Cat (Panther), Cat (Sabre-tooth Tiger), Cat (Tiger), Cave Fisher, Cave Moray, Centaur, Centipede (Giant), Centipede (Megalo-), Centipede (Stega-), Chimera, Clubneck, Cockatrice, Coffer Corpse, Cooshee, Couatl, Crab (Giant), Crabman, Crayfish (Giant), Crocodile, Crocodile (Large), Crocodile (Giant), Crypt Thing, Crystal Ooze, Cyclops.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Monster Index: B is for...

...Babbler and 37 others.

Here's a list of all the B entries in my B/X Monster Reference Index. I plan to add a list for each letter of the alphabet between now and the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

Babbler, Baboon, Baboon (Higher), Badger, Badger (Giant), Banderlog, Basalisk, Basalisk (Greater), Bat, Bat (Giant), Bat (Mobat), Bear (Black), Bear (Grizzly), Bear (Polar), Bear (Cave), Bee (Giant Killer), Beetle (Gt.Boring), Beetle (Gt.Carnivorous), Beetle (Gt.Deathwatch), Beetle (Gt.Fire), Beetle (Gt. Rhinoceros), Beetle (Gt.Slicer), Beetle (Gt.Spitting), Beetle (Gt.Stag), Beetle (Gt.Water), Black Pudding, Blindheim, Blink Dog, Blood Hawk, Boalisk, Boar, Boar (Giant), Boar (Warthog), Boggart, Bonesnapper, Brownie, Bugbear, Bulette.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Monster Index: A is for...

...Aboleth and 16 others.

Here's a list of all the A entries in my B/X Monster Reference Index. I plan to add a list for each letter of the alphabet between now and the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

Aboleth, Adherer, Aerial Servant, Afanc, Algoid, Ankheg, Ant (Giant), Ant Lion, Ape (Albino), Ape (Chimpanzee), Ape (Gorilla), Ape (Man-Eating), Apparition, Archer Bush, Ascomoid, Assassin Bug (Giant), and Axe Beak.

The index has only had minimal proofing so far, but if you spot something that is mispelled or out of alphabetical order, feel free to let me know.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Revised Monster Index Sample Page

I've been tweaking the page layout for the B/X Monster Reference Index. Each entry now includes a superscript 2 character reference to help identify the books the monsters come from. I've also added ascending AC values in brackets after the descending AC value.

Here's the reworked layout:

B/X Monster Reference Index Sources

My Monster Index Kickstarter had a great first 24 hours and has now passed double the initial goal amount. Today I wanted to explain the approach I've followed for selecting monsters to include in the index. My main collection of books with monsters looks like this:

For the index I've used the 300ish monsters in the two Labyrinth Lord books as a base. I've then worked through my copy of Tome of Horrors Complete adding all the monsters from it that also appear in any of the First Edition monster books. The end result is list of just over 500 monsters. Ideally they should cover 90%+ of all the B/X and 1st Edition Monsters that are easily identified as Open Content. I've resisted adding some animals, and limited the dinosaur entries to those found in the Labyrinth Lord books.

The index will include a reference to show which book one should look at for the full entry of a monster.

  • L1 = Labyrinth Lord
  • L2 = Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion
  • M1 = 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual
  • M2 = 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual 2
  • FF = 1st Edition AD&D Fiend Folio
  • CC = D&D Creature Catalog
  • TH = Tome of Horrors Complete Swords & Wizardy Edition

From tomorrow, I'll start posting lists of monsters by letter with a view to getting through them all before the end of the campaign. I'll add a link here from the Kickstarter main page and post links in the Kicstarter comments to the lists of monsters here as I post them.

Monday 21 September 2015

B/X Monster Reference Index Kickstarter is Live!

I've just launched my 14th Kickstarter project. The B/X Monster Reference Index will be an A5-sized, spiral-bound index, with stats for over 500 b/x monsters.

The project runs until Sunday 4th Ocober and can be found here:

Here's a sample page from the index:

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Dragondaze Show Offers

Dragondaze in Newport is this Saturday. The Squarehex stand will have lots of Reaper Bones Minis, Mapping Pads & Books, Cthulhu & Random Dungeon Posters, OSR RPGs, Savage Worlds RPG Books, and a selection of board and card games.

Here's a few selected offers on popular games and a few hard-to-find items. Everything is limited stock (most items 1 or 2 only):

  • X-Wing Core Set £22
  • X-Wing Millenium Falcon £20
  • X-Wing Slave I £20
  • Colt Express £24
  • Pandemic £24
  • Love Letter £7
  • Coup £10
  • Dungeon Roll £12
  • LotFP Carcosa £30
  • LotFP Red and Pleasant Land £28
  • Dwimmermount Package £50
  • Warpstone Issue #30 £9
  • Creature Compendium £6.90
  • Petty Gods Softcover £12
  • Scarlet Heroes Hardcover £20
  • DCC Chained Coffin Boxed Set £24
  • Castle of the Mad Archmage Package £30
  • Classified Spy Retroclone £10
  • Fight On! 1-4 Compendium £13.90
  • Fight On! 5-8 Compendium £13.90
  • Labyrinth Lord Hardcover £20
  • Labyrinth Lord AEC Hardcover £20

All items are first-come, first-served. See you at the show!

Friday 11 September 2015

General Update

I've been a bit quiet for the last couple of months as I decided to take the summer off. However, now we're in September, I'm really looking forward to getting back to some gaming projects.

Tomorrow (Saturday 12th September), I'll be at Concrete Cow in Milton Keynes with a small stand.

Next Saturday (19th September), I'll be at Dragondaze in Newport with a slightly bigger stand.

Then the first weekend in October, I'll be at the Derby World Wargames show in Castle Donington with a even bigger stand.

I'll also have a stand at Dragonmeet in December.

I've started work on a new Kickstarter campaign and I hope to launch it later this month. It will be an A5-sized, spiral bound B/X Monster Reference Index. It's influenced by the monster index in the back of the 1st ed AD&D DM's Guide. Should have 400, possibly 500 monsters and a selection of handy reference tables.

Here's a sample page:

Friday 31 July 2015

Lovecraft Posters Now in Stock

The posters from my recent H.P.Lovecraft Book Poster Kickstarter campaign are now available for purchase from

Each poster features the entire text of a classic H.P.Lovecraft story. The 4-5 point text on the poster is super sharp, and readable even without any magnification.

The first A1-sized poster contains the entire text of At The Mountains of Madness and costs £9.
The second A2-sized poster contains the entire text of The Call of Cthulhu and costs £6.

Monday 29 June 2015

Trap Geomorph Contest Entry

Here's my entry for the latest round of Inkwell Ideas #GeomorphMaContest.

It's called Block Runner. Here's the blurb for it:

All the entrances of the geomorph open into a large chamber. Running along the length of the middle of the chamber are 8 giant blocks. In the floor, beneath each one, are channels that run the entire width of the room. In each corner, there is an alcove. Inside each alcove is a large metal lever. As soon as someone walks 3 squares into the chamber from any direction each block begins moving rapidly along its channel. The blocks start moving in the direction shown by the arrows, and then change direction when they reach the end of their channels. The blocks move 1d6 per round. Any character hit by a block will take a lot of damage, but you may allow a saving throw or similar and let them dodge a block that crosses their path.

There are alcoves in the middle of the perimeter walls that offer some respite from the sliding blocks. However, two of the levers in the corner alcoves have the potential to make them just as deadly as the blocks.

If the levers are pulled they have the following effects:

Lever 1 - Doubles the speed of the blocks.
Lever 2 - Halves the speed of the blocks.
Lever 3 - Pushes spikes through the wall at A and B.
Lever 4 - Releases poisonous gas in a 20' radius at C and D.

The trap resets 10 minutes after all movement (other than the blocks) in the room has ceased.

Monday 22 June 2015

'Neath the Shadow Zine

+Kristian Richards of Crooked Staff Publishing kindly sent me an advance copy of his new zine 'Neath the Shadow last week. It's contents is intended for use with Kristian's The Age of Shadow RPG. However, almost all of it would be very easy to convert for use with other games.

The first thing that struck me is that this is very polished looking first issue. My advance copy is printed in black and white, but the PDF version on RPGNow is a full colour version. Anyone familiar with Kristian's other work will be well aware of his talent for producing maps, and you get four of them in this issue. The zine runs to 24 A5 pages plus the cover and contains the following:

  • The Hideout (mini-adventure)
  • Filiki's Axe (magic item)
  • Cavern Crawlers (monsters)
  • Arengar's House (encounter location)
  • Oath Rules
  • NPC Name Tables
  • What the Guards have to Say
My favourite article is the last one about Guards. It includes a map for a guard post that could be dropped into almost any dungeon. There's a simple table to determine how alert the guards, but the best part is the collection of six sample conversations that a party might overhear if they approach the guard post unobserved.

You can get the PDF of 'Neath the Shadows from RPGNow here:

and in print from Lulu here:

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Lichway Update

I got a great response to my post on Sunday about my dream of republishing The Lichway. Since then, I've gone through all the comments on the Blog post, Google+ and also replied to people that have sent emails. All of them have been extremely helpful in working out how best to proceed.

Today I've done some more ground work, and I will post another update as soon as I have something to report. If in the meantime anyone has any further leads or contacts, please feel free to share them publicly or privately.

To finish I'd like to share this video link of Albie playing D&D that Zhu Bajiee of sent me. I have seen the footage before but it was great to be reminded of it.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Cthulhu Book Posters Latecomer Options

The Cthulhu Book Poster Kickstarter has ended. If you missed it then you can still get either or both of the posters from Squarehex here:

I Wish I Could Publish The Lichway

Every time I think about this classic adventure, I can't help but daydream about how cool it would be to publish it as a standalone B/X module.

I'm not sure who owns the rights. It's possible that they were owned by the author, the late Albie Fiore and became part of his estate. Or they might be owned by Games Workshop/White Dwarf where Albie worked. Either way, if anyone reading this has any ideas about how the rights might be acquired, or permission gained to publish it, I'd love to hear from them.

I'd be very happy to publish it as a free PDF and an at cost print product. It's just something that shouldn't be left in old copies of White Dwarf.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Water Geomorph #2 The Fishbowl

I've finished my second Water Geomorph for the +GeomorphMapContest. It's called The Fishbowl.

"Years ago the Dwarves discovered this natural cavern while mining, and found that it was plentiful with fish. Now the Dwarves are gone, and goblins live in the once splendid Dwarvern Halls. The goblins don't fish in the cave's waters though. Something terrible now lurks under the water. Long, suckered tentacles lie coiled beneath the surface, ready to snatch anything that dares to cross the bridge above. The goblins use the bridge as a test to initiate young warriors. Arrows are fired across the bridge and the goblins dash across to retrieve them to earn their places as warriors of the tribe."

I might do a full write-up of this one too.

Water Geomorph #2 Work in Progress

This the second Water Geomorph that I'm working on for the +GeomorphMapContest. The original pencil sketch can be found here.

For this one I actually drew the bridge on a separate sheet, scanned it, and placed it on the main outline. Next I'll print the combined drawing 6up on a sheet and sketch details multiple times. Then I'll scan the best versions of the new elements, clean them up, and drop them in one-by-one.

Friday 12 June 2015

Cthulhu Book Posters - Last 2 Days!

There's just a couple of days left to run for the Cthulhu Book Posters Kickstarter. The campaign has been a huge success. The posters got a paper upgrade very early on in the campaign, but now they will be further enhanced with a matt UV coating. This improves contrast, and give the posters a lovely finish. It also makes them tougher which is a bonus.

Here's a link to the campaign:

Taking photographs of mostly white posters in a glass frame is very tricky, but I've had a go anyway. These photos don't do the actual items justice but I wanted to show something more than just flat images.

A2 The Call of Cthulhu Poster

A1 At the Mountains of Madness Poster

Finished Water Geomorph

I've finished the first of my water geomorphs for the +GeomorphMapContest. I posted the pencil sketch of it a couple of days ago here.

I redrew the basic layout in pen the scanned and added flat grey fills. I then drew a collection of items on a separate sheet so it wouldn't matter if I made mistakes. This also allowed me to carefully move objects around until I was happy with their positions on the map.

It features a baker's cellar that houses a large water wheel that drives a stone to grind wheat. I've not decided whether the Baker is aware of the cultists that meet next door, and the secret passageway that connects the two cellars. I'll probably write this up for the next issue of Oubliette.

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Water Geomorph Drafts

Couple of drafts for the water round of the +GeomorphMapContest Both drawn in the park this afternoon while my Daughter and her friends were playing after school.

The first one features and underground water wheel where a baker grinds flour for bread, completely oblivious to the cultists that meet next door.

The second is a subterranean, water filled cavern with a pretty treacherous rope bridge crossing. I'll do pen versions of these over the next few days. The contest is running until Monday.

Postcard from Simon Forster

I'm a big fan of the maps that +Simon Forster posts regularly on Google+. This morning I got a very pleasant surprise in the form of a postcard from Simon with a very cool hand-drawn map. It would make a very nice little side trek in an adventure. The party make camp for the night in a ruined village, only to be awoken in the night by strange noise coming from the cliffs above...

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Geomorph Using New Template

I've drawn one of the previous three Geomorphs again using the new template. It took about twice as long to draw, but I think it was worth the effort. The lines look a lot straighter, yet it still looks hand-drawn.

Here's a scan of the drawing:

And here it is cleaned up ready for printing.

Geomorph Template

Using arcane knowledge gleaned from the long lost Games Workshop Dungeon Mapping Sheets, I've created a handy geomorph template with a double line grid. I've left the entry/exit points as single lines so they are easy to spot. I'll draw my previous three geomorphs on these and see how they look.

Three Geomporphs

I've decided to redraw all my beermat and other old geomorphs in a uniform style and size. The three pictured below are drawn on 7mm grid paper (cut from one of my larger pads). I'm going to print a couple of alternative grid sizes and draw the same three tiles. I'll then scan them all and see how they print at different sizes.

I'd say there's about a 90% chance that I'll have another geomorph related Kickstarter before the end of the summer.

Monday 8 June 2015

Geomorphic Beermat Poster

I didn't have time to make a big display for the Geomorphic Beermats at the UK Expo. Since then I've been scribbling a few geomorphs each evening. The end result is the poster below, which contains 48 geomorphs (24 full tiles and 24 edges/corners). I'll be taking this with to shows in future to promote the mats.

The Beermats are all now live again on the Squrehex site ready to order, so if you missed the Kickstarter now's your chance to grab some.

Trying to Decode Kicktraq's Hot List

I was very pleased this morning to see my Cthulhu poster project had made it back to the #1 slot on Kicktraq's Art Hot List. The project has been somewhere on the list for most of its run, but it hasn't broken through to the main Hot List. Its jump to #1 on the Art list today seems to be purely down to the fact that the project hit 1000% of its original goal.

What's got me puzzled is that it hasn't shown up anywhere on the main Hot List. I've had previous projects on the main Hot List and some even got close to the top for brief periods. The current project is outperforming anything I've done before, but doesn't seem to be registering. I then realized that the arcane formula used to calculate the Hot List must have a weighting element for different categories. All my previous projects have been in the Games category, whereas the poster are in Art.

I don't have a problem with it either way, and remain a great fan of Kicktraq regardless. Anyone else noticed any quirks with Kicktraq's math?

Tuesday 2 June 2015

UK Games Expo Report

We had a very busy three days in Birmingham last weekend. This year we had a 50% bigger stand than in 2014, but we gave up the corner location we had last year so the extra space only cost about 30% more. I'm delighted to report that it was a worthwhile upgrade as sales were up almost exactly 30% too.

Although about 50% of our takings were from sales of miniatures, we sold lots of OSR books and more paper pads, notebooks and mapping sheets than we have at any show to date. We also sold lots of Cthulhu posters from the test print-run for the Kickstarter.

The stand was so busy that it was the first year that I didn't get a chance to do a quick walk around the show. Lots of previous customers and kickstarter backers stopped by to say chat though, and they all seemed to be really enjoying the show.

Next year the Expo trade halls move to the NEC. I'm a bit wary about that as the gaming component of the show will remain in the hotel some 10 minutes walk away. However, it remains the most important gaming show in the UK so I'm sure we'll be back.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Squarehex UK Expo Pricelist

I've printed a price list for the last couple of UK Games Expos. This year's is the biggest yet. There's lots more of our own products, but there's still room for plenty of OSR, Savage Worlds, Miniatures, and a few board and card games.

We'll be re-stocking the stand every day,but a few of the items are limited to just 1 or 2 copies. If you spot something you particularly want get to us as early as you can. If you can't see something on the stand please ask as I'm not sure they'll be room to display everything.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Cthulhu Book Posters Project is Live!

I've just launched my 13th Kickstarter project. This time I'm funding a print run of two posters, each featuring the full text of a H.P.Lovecraft story. 

The first poster is A2-sized (420x594mm/16.5x23.4inches) and contains the entire text of The Call of CthulhuThe second poster is A1-sized (594x841mm/23.4x33.1inches) and contains the entire text of At the Mountains of Madness.

Here's a link to the project page:

If you are at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham (29th-31st May), then you can take a look at them on the Squarehex stand. I'll also be selling my very limited test print-run stock of the posters at the show.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Petty Gods Print Copies

I was very surprised to get a parcel from Lulu this morning. In it three hot off the press copies of Petty Gods. I got two hardbacks and one softcover of what is a very hefty book.

I'm keeping one of the hardbacks but will take the other two copies with me to the UK Games Expo at the end of the month. If anybody going wants a copy I'm happy to sell them at £22 (Lulu price £18.98 + postage) for the hardback and £12 (Lulu price £9.98) for the softcover. Those prices are based on what I paid including a discount code and postage rounded up to the nearest pound.

Well done to Richard LeBlanc and everyone else involved for getting this wayward project to completion. I'm really looking forward to giving it a proper read over several evenings. I hope the OSR can produce another project of this scale, and I would be very keen to submit material again.

Here's photos of the books side-by-side. The second photo shows a randomly selected (it just happened to be the one with my entry on it) spread of the contents.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Watercolour Hex Map

This is an A2 map painted with a set of watercolour paints (the hard block type) that I borrowed from my daughter's art supplies.

To start with I simply drew a rough line to mark the coast and the island. Then I laid down a thin wash of blue for the sea and light green for the land. Once dry I applied extra washes of; grey for the mountain, darker green for the forests, ochre for the swamps/marshes, and a slightly stronger blue for deeper areas of the sea. The rivers and mountain details were added in with a slightly thicker paint mix, and roads/settlements were added with rough dark pencil. At this stage the map was very powdery so to stop the colour rubbing off I sealed with a thin mix of water and PVA glue.

The A2 sheets are available from the Squarehex site here:

Sunday 17 May 2015

Finished Car Wars Map

I've finished the Car Wars map that I posted as a work-in-progress here. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I got a couple of other ideas whilst drawing it, but it might be a few weeks before I get time to draw any of them.  I also thought it would be cool to print some paper with the grey shading of the old Car Wars maps so that cut out buildings drawn on the white sheets can be placed on it. I'll add that to my long list of future mapping sheets.

The blank mapping sheets can be found here.

Friday 15 May 2015

Shrine Geomorph Contest Entry

I'm really enjoying the bi-weekly Geomorph contest run by Inkwell Ideas. I'm using the contest as catalyst for not only spending more time drawing maps, but also to try out new ways of creating them. For my shrine entry, I created the whole map using Scribus (free DTP software). There's not a single bit of drawing on it. Everything is just lines and shapes added one-by-one.

The map is called The Shrine of Collected Confessions. Worshipers place a coin in one of the fonts situated at the corner, and the door opposite opens as if by magic, to grant them access to one of the shrines four private chambers. They can then say their prayers, and confess their sins. Of course they are blissfully unaware that anything juicy that they reveal is recorded by the scribes in the secret chamber at the centre of the shrine.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

WIP Car Wars Map

Although my stock of A2 quarter inch grid sheets turned up on Friday (pre-orders were all posted on Saturday), I've only just had a chance to draw something on one of them.

I'm drawing a map of a compound similar in style to the one featured in Truck Stop Car Wars supplement. I'm adding features that will feature in an adventure I've put together. I'll probably run the game using Savage Worlds rather than Car Wars but I'll still add some Car Wars elements.

I'll try and do some more work on it over the next couple of days.

Thursday 7 May 2015

Pen Wars Round 2

Following on from Tuesday's post which compared Unipin and Micron pens, here's a follow-up test.

This time I've drawn the same boxes, but I first drew pencil outlines. I then went over the pencil lines with the pens, let the ink dry for an hour and erased the pencil. The test was suggested by Del Teigler in the Google+ comments for the post. It makes quite a lot of sense as many maps will be drawn in ink over a pencil outline.

The results were similar to the first test, but I think the Micron pens have done a better job of covering the pencil. On some of the boxes drawn with the Unipin pens there seems to be some shine coming though from the pencil (probably made worse by the scanner).

I think overall the Microns are the better pens. In the UK they are slightly more expensive than the Unipins, which may be an issue if you're a heavy user. I hope to review some more pens and pencils in the future, and possibly some other stationery items too.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Pen Wars UniPin v Micron

Like many old school mappers I do like my pens. I'm not overly fussy about them though, and at the £1-£2 each price range I'll happily try anything that comes along.

For the last year or so I've mostly been using UniPins, but recently I picked up a full set of Microns and decided to see how they compare in a crude test.

Here's a 600dpi scan of some text (more to show which pen is which) and some boxes. All the pens have been used for a while, but the Microns slightly less than the UniPins. The Staedtler Triplus is included as a sort of control as I think it is a good all round choice that is not only cheap and widely available, but also comes in 30 different colours.

My initial thoughts are that the UniPins give smoother lines,but the Microns produce better black levels.