|Mitsubishi JR Kyushu Train colored pencil set|
During all those days I was sealed up inside the house, avoiding the smoky air, I had time to play with colored pencils, so I have a few new reviews coming up.
First up is probably one of the most unusual and rare sets in my collection: a limited-edition set of Mitsubishi JR Kyushu Train colored pencils. Technically, these aren’t vintage; they are probably only about 10 to 20 years old, according to Kamikokuen, the Etsy vendor I purchased them from. Several Japan Railway train themes were available; I sentimentally chose Kyushu because that’s the region where my mom’s family came from (but I occasionally kick myself for not getting the Shinkansen set . . . I still could if I hurry).
The box lid shows the 18 trains featured on the pencils. All Mitsubishi train sets have pencils with square barrels. Three of the four sides show the top and sides of the train; the fourth indicates the train’s name and the core color in Japanese. A train geek I am not, yet I can still appreciate the attention to detail. (I wonder if these were originally marketed to kids or to adult train buffs?)
I did, however, give myself a couple of weeks to admire them in their unsharpened state of beauty. Then one smoky day when I was frustrated that the unhealthy air was keeping me from sketching outdoors, I decided it was time. Pausing a bit after each pencil to avoid hyperventilation and apoplexy, I eventually got through the whole set. Actually, finding a sharpener that worked well on the square barrel took a while. I tried several before I discovered that the small green one that came with the set turned out to be the most effective.
One reason I passed out each time I sharpened one was that I was recalling a set of genuinely vintage Mitsubishi colored pencils I own that are scratchy, hard and not at all enjoyable to use. Would the train pencils be similarly unsatisfying? Am I sharpening for nothing? (I could have sharpened only one as a tester to see if I liked it before sharpening the others, but that didn’t occur to me until I had sharpened half the box. I guess I tend to go for all-or-nothing.) I left one pencil in a color I knew I wouldn’t use unsharpened for posterity.
|This sharpener didn't do well.|
|The sharpener that came with the set turned out|
to be the best of my many handheld sharpeners.
|Look at that curl!|