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  Supermassive Eraser Round-up, Round 3!Jun 22, 2013 5:06 AM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:My Campus B/HB erasers arrived already, plus I did some comparison testing vs a kneaded eraser, so we're all set for Supermassive Eraser Round-up, round 3--a relatively quick one with lots of pictures, like so:
 
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The first order of business is to test our previous erasing champion of hard H-grade lead erasing (see round 1), the Pentel Ain Dust-Gathering, versus the Kokuyo Campus B/HB Student Eraser, an eraser designed specifically for use against hard lead grades. B and HB are the grades just softer than H; Kokuyo also has a Campus 2B Student Eraser, which is my current champ for daily use on the soft 4B lead I use for A* pages (see round 2), and I threw it in here for the sake of comparison. These first two photos will be of tests done on relatively soft, rough, and thick Canson Illustration Paper, which is what I use for ink work, with the Platinum Pro-Use II 05 drafting pencil seen in the photo above doing the layout work in the ubiquitous Pentel Super Hi-Polymer 0.5 mm H leads.
 
First I tried the three erasers against a big mass of the H lead, to see how well they could clear it away:
 
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All the erasers gathered their shavings together neatly into big rolls. There wasn't a huge difference in their brute cleaning power, but the B/HB cleaned maybe a little more thoroughly, and took less arm work to do it. And although smudging isn't nearly the same huge problem it is when trying to eraser softer grades of lead, smudginess does factor in to how easy it is to erase, even at the harder H grade, so I did a single-swipe smudge test:
 
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The Campus B/HB was the clear winner there, with much less smudging. So that was pretty easy: the Campus B/HB is my new eraser of choice for my 0.5 mm layout work. :) That makes Kokuyo's "Student" erasers my top erasers for both hard and soft pencil work, so kudos to Kokuyo for making some really fine erasers! You just can't beat their stability in particular.
 
Just for funsies I tried the Campus B/HB vs the 2B when up against the softer Tombow Mono 4B lead on the thinner, harder Canson Foundation Bristol I use for daily A* pages:
 
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Sanity prevailed and the 2B was indeed better than the B/HB against soft lead. These things do indeed specialize as advertised!
 
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Meanwhile, the author of the excellent silent, quirky, and sometimes gory fantasy webcomic series Stupid Snake pointed out, in a discussion of what comic authors use to make their comics, that kneaded erasers are pretty keen. As it happens, I picked up a few Prismacolor Kneaded Erasers in recent months, but found they didn't even outperform my old, relatively crummy Staedtler Mars vinyl block eraser for pure paper-cleaning ability. So just to prove it I thought I'd pit the kneaded eraser against the Campus 2B, cleaning the 4B lead off bristol:
 
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As you can see in the upper section, the kneaded eraser is a relatively poor cleaner; it seems to drive the graphite into little pores in the paper where it can't get them out--even the Campus 2B couldn't get them out once the kneaded eraser had driven them in there, so it creates quite a problem!
 
However, this is not to say kneaded erasers don't have their advantages and uses. In the lower section there's a smear test, and while the Campus 2B did smear a little, I just couldn't get the kneaded eraser to smudge at all, even though I tried multiple passes over the thick graphite strip. Kneaded erasers don't leave shavings behind like block erasers do, so there's no mess to brush off your drawing and potentially leave smudges in doing so. You can shape kneaded erasers into various forms, like twisting part of them to a thin point for delicate line work; or you can flatten them out and dab them on the page to create very subtle lightening, or various texture effects. So all in all they're very useful if you're doing intricately shaded work, like the photo copying pencil work that's all the rage on deviantART and YouTube. My style, on the other hand, is more high contrast hack and slash, and for that the graphite-eradicating quality of the block erasers is the most important thing.
 
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As you may have heard me mention earlier, this past Monday the site was switched over to a new, "super-fast" server by my hosting service--but I noticed that at times it was distinctly less than super-fast. :| So I wrote them a note about it, and a day or so later they got back to me and said they'd found and fixed "a drive issue." So far it now *does* seem really super-fast all the time, so that's pretty sweet (I mean, they did this upgrade on their own, I didn't even ask or pay for anything extra :o), and all's well that ends well, hopefully~~
 
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*Next* Monday may be an odd day around these parts: plumbers will in theory be coming to check on an ominous off-color ceiling seepage in my apartment's bathroom (I suspect the plumbing in the apartment above mine may be a bit on the leaky side), and replacement of our building's parking lot is due to begin, which seems likely to involve energetic jack-hammering about twenty feet from my open windows. So possibly my home studio will be uninhabitable, and I'll just have to take shelter with a day pass at the local pinball arcade instead of staying here and slaving away at new A* pages on my drawing table. >_> I don't really think it likely that the horribleness will all come together at once, especially right away in the work week, so probably I'll be able to stick things out here, but one should be prepared for the worst, shouldn't one?
 
 
 
 
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