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Faux 54Th Massachusetts Mix


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When the 54th massachusetts came out, I buy an inkwell in 2013 at Goulet. This ink had a gray color with a little blue, pulling a little on a kind of green-gray or blue-gray more or less dark depending on the trio pen/paper/light. A very dark ink despite everything. It had a perfect behaviour, the flow was good, neither too much nor too little, airlines possible, the ink did not dry on the nib, no nib creep, no particular smell and others. Moreover it was easy to remove from the fingers like the black of the brand, very easily and 100% water-bulletproof. I was convinced that it would replace Noodler’s blue-black I had been using for 8 years.

In 2014 I bought a second bottle. There it was not the same ink. A lighter turquoise-blue-grey color (shaked bottle), an abundant flow to the point of widening the line by at least one size, a strong smell, a propensity to dry very quickly on the nib and difficult to restart, feathers - bleeds through and nib creep. I mixed (~10%) a little black ink from the brand to find the color of the first bottle. But alas the mixture did not take, the ink dissociated in the pen. So I dropped it. In 2015 I took another bottle. But again nothing to do with the first one. I returned to the Noodlers blue-black that had always behaved well.

54th massachusetts is the one with the most color -shades variation I've seen (photos, videos, scans). From a dark medium blue to turquoise-grey and a black grey-teal… .


With the Noodler’s inks that I had left, I started to make some mixtures to find the color of the 1st bottle of 54th acquired in 2013.
So we've got :
- 60% Lexington Gray,
- 32% Air-corp Blue-black,
- 8% La Couleur Royale.

The mix is a very dark blue-greyish blue, the flow is controlled, the ink dries faster than Noodler's blue-black. The resulting mixture is less tealish gray and a little bluer than the first bottle of ink from 2013.

Left 54th 2013, right faux 54th mix.

It can appear more or less grey or blue depending on the paper. For four months, I haven't noticed any precipitation, dissociation, suspicious odor.

A.Colour comparisons recycled paper 70gr/m2

1. Mix noodler’s faux 54th, or « Dark bellicose blue ».
2. Montblanc midnight blue (not iron gall).
3. Pelikan blue-black.
4. 54th massachusetts 2015.
5. Noodler’s blue-black.
6. Sailor Souboku.



On rhodia bloc n018

B.From top to bottom: lamy vista 1,5 mm italic nib / Pelikan m400 B / Pelikan 100n / Lamy safari EF. Recycled paper 70gr/m2.

C.Pelikan 100n

D.Water and bleach test. The water washes out the blue, but it's still very legible, same for bleach.
For my use, its water resistance is satisfying. To get a 100% waterproof ink, you'd have to try to mix legal blue, polar purple, la reine mauve, instead ACBB and LCR ?









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  • jean


  • inkstainedruth


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  • Eclipse157


Wow! Congrats on your mixture, it's very pretty! My 54th behaves exactly like your recent ones (mine was bought in '18) and sits mostly unused...

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Thanks for sharing, this is cool


My bottle 2017 or 18... also bleeds. and feathers... it does it LESS if i shake the bottle like i'm training for a job is as a paint shaker...


Cutting it with water also improves behaviour. But having to do all that means it gets used far less than other inks. Which sucks, because i LOVE the colour of our bottle :(

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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  • 2 weeks later...



I have decided to keep this ink mixture, modifying it a little, making more of it.





The colour reminds me of the iron gall inks I used until 14 years ago. To be more accurate, the colour of the ink when it was still fresh, a little blue, before it oxidizes to grey or black. That's why I use the name Faux Iron Gall for this mix, previously named Faux 54th mix.




At that time (22 years ago) it was mainly the blue-black from Montblanc and Omas (for Omas the inkwell with the green label). Anyway, this subject is very futile… .


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  • 1 year later...

What motivated this search for one of the colors of this 54th massachusetts is the much too abundant flow that made it unusable (2 bottles out of 3) and the dissociation of the ink and the quick drying at the tip of the nib.

But finally Mr. Noodlers, do you measure the surface tension of your inks before putting them in the bottle? If this value of the surface tension of the ink would appear on the labels (let's be crazy ! ), your unfortunate customers would finally know if the ink is more or less dry or wet. Colorverse indicates this value on its site for its inks... . so it is not impossible.

Here's a new mix to match the color of my second bottle of 54th massachusetts:

  • 36% Air-Corp Blue -black,
  • 30% Lexington gray,
  • 20% X-Feather blue (purple batch),
  • 10% Water,
  • 4% X-Feather black.

Note,  that it is much easier to rinse than the real 54th.

In picture:

1 the original ink, 2nd bottle.

2 the original ink, 3rd bottle.

3 the mix (54th massachusetts mix no IV.

When writing the difference is very little noticeable between 1 and 3. The colors of the scan are consistent with what I see on the screen.


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wow... that is a REALLY good mix...you matched the colour pretty much perfectly!


Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm still looking for the 54h colour, which is grey-green-blue, almost black. I suggest another mix which is very similar. After that, depending on the paper and pen, it could be a little more  green, or a little more blue, all more or less dark.

The mix? 6 parts Noodler's black, 4 parts Noodler's Baltimore canyon, 2 parts water.

1.      Photo cardboard placed side by side (right original 54th massachusetts, left mix)


2.      With the Q-tip (cotton swab), the ink appears bluer than when writing.


3.      Comparison with Noodler’s black.



The mixture is 100% water, bleach and UV proof. It dries in 5 to 40 seconds depending on the paper and the amount of ink applied.

Warning! Depending on the density of the Noodler's black in your bottle, the proportion of black may vary. To obtain the same blackness, you may need between 5 - 8 parts of black. Test with a dropper before mixing.

Now if you prefer a bluer ink there is this mix.

6 parts of the previous mix + 1 part X-Feather blue (purple).

I find the colour close to KWZ IG Blue-black when it's not completely oxidised. What reinforces the illusion with an iron gall is that the ink runs blue and blue-grey, becoming darker and greyer as it dries (up to 20 minutes depending on the paper). The fresh blue colour is more visible on pens with low flow rates and broad nibs.

1.    Photo cardboard placed side by side (right KWZ IG BB 2 years old, left the mix).


2.    With the Q-tip (cotton swab), the mix appears lighter and bluer than when writing.


3.    Comparison with Noodler’s black.



Note that the bottle should be shaken before filling. X-F blue seems denser and settles to the bottom. If you don't shake, the colour becomes pure dark blue (without grey).

To avoid this, replace the black with X-F black?


Good mixes to all !




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@jean I remember when I tried a sample of 54th MA.  Then bought a full bottle of it not that much later on, and the difference in the two versions (in just a couple of months) was STAGGERING.  The full bottle was a MUCH brighter turquoise blue/green than the sample.  But I found I actually like it better.

Ironically, I just inked up a pen with Robert Oster Cult Blue (exclusive to Cult Pens in the UK).  The online images of the color made it look dark blue-violet, but the ink itself is a dark grayish blue/blue black -- very similar looking to  your recent photo #3 comparing your mix and black.  (I'll note that your swab of Baltimore Canyon in photo #2 has a much more blue-violet cast to it than my bottle of Baltimore Canyon does....)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Yes, the 54th Massachusetts has the particularity of being in very different shades of blue. Just look at the Goulet pictures, which range from a light (Chinese?) blue to a dark gray-green.


As for the Baltimore Canyon, if I understand correctly, it looks more purplish. I think the screen (and the eyes?) have something to do with this perception. As far as I'm concerned, it looks a little more turquoise than it does...on the screen.


For the Robert Oster, I'll order a sample to compare... although these two blends bring my ink research to a close (let's go for a burgundy!).


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Unfortunately, I'm not sure if you're going to be able to order a sample of Cult Blue (I don't remember offhand if Cult Pens sells ink samples).  And as an exclusive ink to them, you're not going to be able to find it anywhere else.

Not sure what shipping costs are from the UK to the EU these days.  To get free shipping to the US, I ended putting a BIG order to Cult Pens (when I ordered from them, a few months ago, free shipping meant an order of at least $135 US...; which is part of the reason why that ink got thrown into the cart (as well as the black and gold Lamy al-Star SE from a few years ago -- and which I clearly ignored when it originally came out; but in seeing it on their website, I was going, "You know, that's not a bad color combination between the barrel and clip....  And is SOOOOO Pittsburgh, as well...."  

[Being originally from the greater NYC area, I had to learn to "bleed black and gold" when I first moved here....  Because that was the colors for ALL the pro sports teams -- although the Pittsburgh Penguins seem now to be doing light blue and white.... :rolleyes:]

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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  • 2 weeks later...


I'm not going to order from Cult Pens after all. It's not so much the shipping costs (Switzerland is not part of the EU), but above all that I'm happy with the mix, the ink is easy to remove from the fingers, I'm happy with its behaviour, it's 100% resistant to all solvents and UV. I think this quest for ink is coming to an end. I'm keeping these 2 blends plus another in burgundy. That makes 3 inks in all. That's more than enough.  All I need to do now is ask myself: do I really need this ink? The honest answer is no (and I imagine the same applies to other areas of purchasing... ).


Ah yes, a sports team whose colors are close to the 54th Massachusetts?


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