94 graphic marker mtn Montana colors

  • New for 2016
  • Have a chisel nib and a bullet nib
  • Only availably in sets
  • 34 colors 

I decided a couple of years ago to only buy new markers if they had a brush nib. There are so many markers out there that I had to limit my expenditure. These markers are an exception.  Montana’s MTN 94 graphic markers have a chisel nib and a bullet nib, so they shouldn't qualify, but consider the well-known brand and the quality look of the marker made me want them anyway. They have a really nice shaped barrel with a quality feel to it. To open and close the cap is like open and close a door on a nice car.
94 Graphic Marker MTN

Montana family
The colors match the spray paint range with the same name. On Montana’s website you can find the names of (some of) the colors, but on the barrel you have only a number that seems to be completely random. A couple of colors have two numbers, most have three and other has four. All colors expect for two starts whit the digits RV. Two of them, the black and a lilac start with R. The numbers are only on the cap, which is a pain to me that so often put the wrong cap on my markers.

The sets
12 set
So far they are only available in sets and if you are trying to collect all colors it is impossible not to end up with duplicates. They have three 12 sets: set 1 has eleven pastels and one blender, set 2 has ten grays, a blender and a black and the last set has eleven main colors and a black. If you buy the 24 sets you have different combinations of these three 12 sets. The case for the 24 set reminds me a lot about the old OTR markers and the case for the 12 set are very common among many brands.

24 set

The colors
94 Graphic marker color chart
There are 34 different colors, which is quite few for a marker brand, even a new one. Of the 34 two blue (or cyan) colors looks pretty much the same, number RV184 and RV245, one is from the pastel set and the other is from the basic or as it also is called: solid color set. In the gray set there are a lot of colors that looks more or less the same and the value difference is far to small.

The ink
So with all this said, it looks like a bad deal to buy them. For me, nothing is ever going to be more important than the quality of the ink. 94 Graphic markers have really good ink. Of course a brush nib would have helped with blending, but they blend beautiful anyhow. I was also surprised how much I could do with so few colors available. The ink is very clear and has no graininess (like white specks that is so common for many alcohol markers). They are very juicy. They bleed quite much which makes them easier to blend but a bit harder to control. I have to say that there is a huge difference between using them on marker paper than on a mixed media paper. On the marker paper they perform much better, which isn´t true for all markers.

The aging process of alcohol markers

If you are like me, you might want to have a lot of colors but may not use all of them that much. Some colors will be unused for months or even years. As an example, my bright green colors are seldom the most used colors but I might want them anyway (or get them in sets unwillingly).

If I compare markers to any other art material that I use, they are without a doubt the most sensitive to aging. Graphite and colored pencils are completely safe to store for a long time, and even watercolors and oil paint can hold for many years.

There are two main things that can happen to a marker over time (except for using the marker).

The first thing is that it dries. The cap may not be secure enough or the barrel might even let air in. The oldest markers I have (that I know for certain) are my old Tria Pantone from Letraset. I think that they stopped their cooperation with Pantone around 2007 so they are at least ten years old. The design of the Tria pantone, that now have become Winsor & Newton Promarker, have proven to hold the ink without any problem. However, I have had markers that dried out before I received them, so I feel that the problem of drying has more to do with the quality of the marker then the aging process. In a large time scale I guess that all markers will dry out, but since alcohol markers isn’t that old, we don´t know yet how long that will take.

The second thing is that the dye in the marker seems to loose its color over time. I bought my first Promarker 2008, in 2010 I bought my first Copic, and the following years I bought a lot of different markers. I luckily made a color chart of all the markers I had in 2011 so I can compare with them I have left. Some brands have undergone a great value and hue change. Other brands haven´t change at all.

It is mostly the skin-colors (the Caucasian skin color) and the grays (especially the warm gray) that have undergone a huge change. When the color is fading it is leaving a very light yellow tone or in some cases even more or less a blender. They can still be juicy. I went back to old drawing I have done in sketchbooks with the markers, but nothing has happened to the ink in the sketchbooks. The problems seem to happen in the barrel. 

Worst of all brands are Touch. I have some Touch in the old barrel (I think from two generations back) and interesting enough they had some changes but less then in the new barrel (from 2012). I bought the new one when they first where launched, and I guess some of them are from that year. Almost all my skin colors have lost more or less all saturation; they look light yellow or have hardly any color at all (read more here: http://markersguild.blogspot.se/2013/11/touch-twin-marker.html). There are a lot of other brands with the same problem. Some brands that I know haven’t had any changes over time are Kurecolor, Letraset and Neopiko. I write more about them on each and every brand in this blog. Of course, newer brands (and brands I haven´t had for long) have yet to prove whether or not they are prone to the same problem.