I like to ink things by hand, but don't care much for the lack of line differences you get with fine liner pens and with brushes I have a hard time getting thin lines, as I have a heavy hand when drawing. And so, I decided to go back to using nibs. Whee. When I did use them years ago I used the Hunt 102 for the most part and then the Hunt 107 for the finer lines and small details. The problem with the crow quill nibs, though, is they are a pain to get any flow of ink from them. The two 102 nibs I have gave me problems, but then when I pulled them out yesterday to use they worked fine. I don't get it. But because of the hard time they gave me I wanted a nib that was a 102 equivalent and did some research on various cartooning sites and artists journals. And since I have a heavy hand I was looking for a finer lined and stiffer nib. People mentioned several types they used and loved, so I wrote them down. I then went to www.paperinkarts.com/
and found everything on my list, ordering a total of 12 different nibs. Yesterday I got them and had fun inking with them all. If anyone cares, I will list what I got and what I thought of them.
Hunt 101 - This nib gave me a good variation of line widths, flexible enough to get nice thicker lines, but not so flexible that I had to really try to get thin lines. It had good ink flow and I had no problem getting it to write. The ink also seemed to last a nice while before I had to dip it again.
Hunt 108 - A crow quill nib, I had trouble getting it to write. Only after I burned the outer coating of whatever they put on it did it work, which is sometimes the case with nibs that refuse to work right off. I found this nib to be too flexible for me, having to remind myself not to press down as hard as I normally would to get the nice thin lines. It was also very scratchy on the paper I use for comics, which is just multiuse copy paper.
Brause 66ef - This is a nice nib that is not too stiff and able to give you nice finer line variations. I had no problem to get it to start, but found with the paper it was much too scratchy and would catch. If not for that I would have used this a lot, as it's a nice nib.
Brause Steno 361 - A nice stiff nib that gives you thin to medium lines. This is a large nib which seems like it wouldn't give you such a fine line, but it does. Pressed harder it will give you thick lines, but I felt I was kind of pushing the tines a bit. The ink flowed very nice and there was very little scratching on the copy paper.
Brause 511 - A stiff nib with some flex. This gave me a nice variety of medium to thin lines. I had a hard time getting this one to start, but it eventually did without me having to do anything to it. This had a little bit of scratchyness on the copy paper.
Brause 513 - A stiff nib for fine lines. I had a hard time getting it to start, so had to burn off the coating before it would work. It scratched a lot on the copy paper, but otherwise gave nice consistent fine lines.
Gillott 1950 - This nib is pretty small, so I was expecting a fine line nib, but in my hand it was very flexible and gave me thick lines. I had a hard time getting it to start, but once it did it ran smooth over the paper and gave me medium to thick lines.
Gillott 303 - This was a very nice nib that gave me a good variety of lines, from thick to really thin. It had nice ink flow and isn't too stiff, nor too flexible. I had no problems getting it to start. I really liked it, but found it too scratchy on the copy paper.
Gillott 404 - A nice stiff nib that gave me thick, medium and thin lines. I was easily able to get consistant horizontal and vertical lines with it. It was smooth on the copy paper and a very nice nib to use.
Leonardt Principal - The most expensive nib I got and a very nice nib if you need thick lines. It's very flexible and I found it hard for me to get thin lines. It ran very smooth on the copy paper. I also had no problems getting it to start.
Leonardt Manuscript G - The cheapest nib I got. This was also very flexible and gave me nice thick lines, while making me work to get a thin line or even a medium one. It worked right off, but was a little scratchy on the copy paper.
Nikko G - I read that this was the stiffest G nib out of the three comic/manga G nibs that the site carries, so I got it over the Tachikawa and Zebra nibs. It's a nice stiff nib that worked right off, giving me consistant thin lines. I had to really press down for thicker lines, which is nice for me. It could be a good nib for fine details.
I ended up keeping five nibs out for me to use. Those were the Hunt 101, Brause Steno 361, Brause 511, Gillott 404, and Nikko G nibs. The ones I liked the most for the paper I was using are the Hunt 101 and the Gillott 404, which was the smoothest nib out of the bunch and one I can see being the main nib that I use for inking.
The ink I use is Speedball Super Black, which works great with the copy paper and doesn't bleed through or feather while using the nibs. I also find that it doesn't fade when erasing over it.