China’s Red: A short review of Noodler’s Qin Shi Huang ink

I’m something of a history nut, though my wife would say I’m just a nut. As such I tend to believe in the adage that if we don’t learn from history we are often condemned to repeat it. So I like things that remind me of history. Noodler’s inks seem to do this on a regular basis, harking back to history for inspiration. This ink is no exception. The ink is named after the first emperor of China, who in preparation for his death created a whole army of terracotta warriors to help him in the afterlife and who also sent a mission to a mythical island for the secret of eternal life.

Presentation: This ink comes in a standard Noodler’s ink box and 3oz bottle. Eloquently functional, the most striking element is the label. The artwork is, as usual remarkable, a beautifully coloured and detailed picture of the ship that the emperor sent on the aforementioned mission.

The bottles are filled to the brim. This is no accident but in a sense just a telltale sign of the value for money philosophy behind Noodler’s ink.

On Test: The main thing that strikes you about this ink is its vibrant colour. The ink is extremely saturated and intense. The colour was intended by the maker to be close to that which actually covered the army of terracotta warriors that the emperor had created. You can see a video description from the producer here. This ink has a fluorescent property under black light which is an interesting property but one I’ve never had the need to check or use. It has some water resistant properties too (and is hard to get off if you happen to stain something with it as I have)

The ink behaves well. It isn’t the quickest drying in the world and it doesn’t possess the most delicate shading properties either but it is just so striking that it is almost overpowering.

Summary: A highly saturated and vibrant ink that stands out in very sense of the word. As stated before when considering Noodler’s inks the only downside to these inks is their lack of availability outside the US. But if you’re looking for a really distinctive ink this is definitely worth some consideration.




7 thoughts on “China’s Red: A short review of Noodler’s Qin Shi Huang ink

  1. Wow. What a vibrant colour. You sure will get noticed writing with that.

    Actually that looks like a great colour to use in a highlighter. In the office I’ve stopped using the good old Stabilo Boss highlighters and instead use Lamy Safaris with 1.9mm Italic nibs. I love the Safari’s design, but the section doesn’t match my grip when writing normally (I’m a left handed overwriter). They’re great for highlighting though. This ink would be a great match for my new Neon Coral coloured pen.

    If only it wasn’t so hard to get a hold of Noodler’s inks.

      1. That’d be really nice. I’d love to give it a go.

        Actually I’m planning on buying a bottle of the new limited edition Montblanc Permanent Grey ink this weekend. So maybe we could do a swap?

        I’m also looking to try some of the Sailor Sky High you reviewed a while back since they’re discontinuing it, and I want to know if it’s worth buying a bottle. Perhaps I could send you some of the other inks I have in trade.

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