- New for 2016
- Have a chisel nib and a brush nib
- only availably in sets
- 157 colors
This new marker from the US is called the, not to impressive name, Master Marker. I normally associated that kind of name with something very cheap. And the markers are very cheap indeed. Even with expensive shipping to Sweden they still are among the cheapest marker I ever had. There are some things were the price is reflected but with that said these markers also pleasantly surprised me!
I own the whole collection of Master marker, mainly because the shipping to Sweden, where I live, was ridicules expensive and the difference between buying a 24 set and all of them was very small. It is interesting to have a full collection and see how the color collection actually looks.
|The chisel nib|
|The brush nib|
The reason I wanted these pens were because they offer a brush nib on one side and a chisel nib on the other. That is my favorite combination. I also like that they have a unique barrel. They are much longer than the average marker.
|Master Marker case|
At the moment (spring 2017) you can only buy Master Markers in either 24 sets (there are four sets available, that overlap each other) or in an 80 set. There are also sets of three but only for black and colorless blender (and you get either of them). The 80 sets come in two different 80 set. The primary set (A) and the secondary set (B). They have however distributed all the colors so that the two sets are very evenly in kind of colors. You get approximately as many greens, blues, red and so one in both sets. If you want all colors, you buy both set A and B. The full set is 157 unique colors and three duplicates: Black, blender and Slate (314). The 80 set comes in a nice plastic case.
|Set A and B|
A couple of things that reflects the price
A typical cheap marker sign is that there are two different blue colors that bear the same name: sky blue. One is a lighter blue and they have different numbers (144 and 76). It just feels sloppy.
The brush nib is not the worst I have used by no means, but it is certainly not the best brush nib either. It is quite hard but becomes flimsy after some use. I can tell that they might not hold their whole lifetime if you only use the brush side. The chisel nib is very good though.
A full set of 157 colors is more than most brands offer. Therefore, there are also a very good variety of colors. Since I live in Sweden, a set of good Caucasian skin colors is always appreciated, and surprisingly rare among a lot of brands. Master Markers have a lot of different tints and shades that are perfect for all kind of skin colors. They are a bit heavy on the green side in my opinion, and it is among the greens I found most colors that just look too much alike. I think that some of the greens could have been exchanged to some more blues. Most collections have a good variety of blues (mainly I think, because blues comes in so many hues) but Master Marker is lacking somewhat on that front considering the vast range of colors they have. With that said I feel that you will get a good set of colors.
|Master Marker color chart on paper from Letraset|
|Master Marker color chart on paper from X-press it|
All in all, Master marker have 17 different grays. 8 warm grays, 7 cool greys and one green gray (with the number 5 which feels a bit random since it is the only green gray) and one blue gray (with the number 1). One of the things I always look for in grays is how the value scale looks. They should have the same hue and only change in value, but that is rarely the case. Master markers do have almost a perfect value scale for their warm and cool grays. There is a slight hue change in the warm grey 3, but I think I am being picky to bring that up!
In every sets of gray that I have owned, there have always been a couple of grays that are so close in hue and value that you really don´t need both of them. Master marker is no exception. Warm gray number 5 and 6 is very close and the green gray looks almost identically to cool gray 7. But utter than that I am very pleased with the grays.
Nothing is more important than the ink, to me at least. The ink isn´t as good as some more expensive markers, but it isn’t bad either. They blend well enough and depending on the paper they have almost no graininess. I have made two different color charts. One on thin layout marker paper (from Letraset), and one on thicker paper from (X-press it blending card). On Letraset’s marker paper the colors look really great, maybe not as vibrant as other more expensive brands, but still very good. On the X-press it blending card the colors became a bit grainy but I have seen much worse.
One color behaved a bit strange (but I have seen it before in other brands and in the exact same color). From a violet color called lavender (145) a pink separates itself and creates a ring around the color sample.
|Note the pink ring around the sample|
Even though, there are some smaller things that I didn’t love about Master Markers, I don´t think you can get a better marker for the price. You really get much for your money.