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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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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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