Trying to make my own Citadel Black Ink

September 20, 2009

Having found an original bottle of Citadel Black Ink at a sale, I decided that using a little of it in order to make my own ink was an urgent task. I’ve written earlier about Citadel changing their inks. I’m not impressed with their decision to only sell very-watered down inks – you can water down a stronger product but you can’t make a weaker product stronger!

Using some of my recently acquired, now extremely precious Black Ink, I made a colour card to compare it to their new ink called Radab Black. Here’s the colour card:Black ink 1The difference is very noticeable – you can see how much lighter Radab Black is. Very watered down.

Now, I like a mix of about 50% original Black Ink and 50% water for the inking that I do around the hatches of AFVs…the hatch becomes nicely shaded and the vehicle looks much more three-dimensional (as well as more realistic!).

I used 50% Chaos Black paint and 50% water to try to make Citadel Black Ink. Black ink 2 As you can can see from that colour card, 50% paint watered down was too strong. It seemed logical to try a mix half that strength, 25% Chaos Black paint and 75% water, as you can see on that same card. I felt that I was getting closer to the original product, but was still not there quite yet.

I then went right down to a ratio of  (about) 1 part paint to 5 parts water, or about 15%. This was pretty good, as you can see: Black ink 3 but 20% Chaos Black to 80% water is what I’ll comfortably call Citadel Black Ink.

I have sealed the original Black Ink bottle with cellotape and made sure the cap was very tightly screwed on. I did the same with the original brown inks I have. Making my own versions of the brown inks is a task that can wait a little while, as I have two bottles of each so there’s less urgency to do so. I did make a point of sealing them and making sure their caps were extremely tightly screwed on. I may even keep all these in the fridge during the upcoming summer.

As for AFVs – at a different sale I bought a Roden Sd.Kfz. 263. Assembling the wheels (see stage 1 on the assembly instructions Henk has on his website) has been unnecessarily difficult. Each wheel has it’s own axle – and trying to get those axles to sit properly while glueing everything led to me stuffing one up horribly. All I could do was cut all of it away, drill new holes for everything and use some brass rod (secured with Flash Cyanoacrylate glue) as a substitute. It worked much better! Why didn’t they just do one axle, moulded on an angle, for two wheels?! Hasegawa have made assembling their wheels and axles into a pleasure, why can’t Roden?? I’m not sure if I’ll buy any of their 232s if it’s going to so annoying…

Apart from this grizzle, the rest of the kit has been easy. It looks OK…I feel some of the surface detail could have been raised a little more off the surface to make it more distinct – I guess I’ll see if I’m right about that whenI come to paint it.

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