Review: Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori Metallic pens

On a routine pen refill order, I impulsed the Kuretake ZIG fudebiyori metallic pens in gold and silver to make free shipping.

Last year I played around with various gold inks and gold acrylic paint, but other than the tried and true Uni-ball Signo gel ink pens, I haven’t really tried many metallic pens and never a metallic brush pen… These were a lot of fun.

Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori metallic sure is a mouthful.

The pens are felt-tipped, large, and reasonably flexible, allowing for a decent range of stroke widths.

It’s hard to vary the width in a single stroke though, and ending a given stroke on a thinner note is hard unless you’re flicking the brush tip at the end (and giving up control). I found myself trying to fix the ends of strokes quite a lot by going back over them more slowly. Sharp corners are also really hard to achieve if you’re not coloring over a template.

The dry time is more than I’d like — recommend 15-20 seconds at least — but the ink is wonderfully opaque, so it’s worth the trade off, in my opinion.

Gold pen doodle straight in my sketckbook.

The ink has a good amount of shine, and the thick brush makes it easy to put down a lot of ink very quickly. It’s fun to just doodle with, and really great for filling in large, flat areas of gold/silver, but it’s a lot harder to do details or finer accent work.

Very shiny.

Because the ink is so opaque and the brush so big, using it to color parts of an inked drawing runs the risk of covering up some parts of the drawing, and going back over those areas with black pen ink often isn’t enough to hide the shine entirely.

The ink has a significant sheen, making it hard for the page to absorb additional ink from other writing/drawing implements on top of it.

Various other pens ON TOP of the Kuretake ZIG metallics, on ~90lb sketchbook paper.

Putting down all your metallic first and then going it over it with pen turns out pretty cool though, even if you can still tell that the black ink on gold isn’t as black as the black ink on paper. You can see below how well the metallic ink layers too — it looks pretty solid, not much streaking there.

Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori metallic gold & Zebra brush pen (super fine) on textured cardstock.

Unfortunately, I didn’t test whether India ink showed up well on top of the metallic pens, but I did test whether the metallic pens showed up well on top of India ink, and they look great.

Bombay black India ink and Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori metallic on textured cardstock.

The silver pen on India ink looks pretty good too! And by the way, these pens are waterproof.

I was on an eye horror kick. (I’m still on an eye horror kick.)

Though most pens don’t seem to write well on the metallic ink, the two colors I have layer on top of each other nicely. You can still see some gold from under the silver, but I don’t think it’s too bad.

Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori metallics layered on top of each other.

The Kuretake ZIG Fudebiyori line comes in eight different colors, and also metallic black?, but I’m personally only ever interested in traditional gold and silver. The singles are $2.50, so about on par with most disposable brush pens. The pens are pretty juicy and despite dumping out a lot of ink per stroke, seem to last a good amount of time, so I think they’re a pretty good deal!

Really, the only thing that could make this pen better is if there were a smaller brush tip option. I wonder if Kuretake has plans to make a pen that uses the same metallic inks but has a brush tip the size of their Fudegokochi line pens?