So I've been doing a lot of story boarding recently and in an effort to sharpen up my drawing skills I've switched from using a pencil to a pen. The only problem has been it's much harder to do even fills with a pen than a pencil, so I needed a fat marker, too. But I hate carrying around more junk than I need, and most of the art markers out there have two or more points (prismacolor, tria, copic) but none of them have a point fine enough to do real line work. What's an art director to do? Hack a tria of course...
Step 1: Materials
For the Marker:
-One Tria marker of your color preference
-One Staedler Triplus Fineliner of the same or similar color
-A small chisel (I used an 1/8" Marples)
-A jewelers / hack / scroll saw
-A pair of needle nose pliers
Why a Tria Marker? Yes, you can buy fine nibs for Copic markers, but my art store doesn't carry them. Yes a lot of people like prismacolors. I used a tria marker because I found that of the three the tree showed stroke overlapping the least as well as bled the least. Could you use this hack with other markers? Sure.
Step 2: Prep the Marker
What supposedly makes a Tria marker cool is that it has not two, but three nibs: A broad chisel, a brush, and a fine point. The fine point is more of a medium to me. At some point in looking at the Triplus and Tria fine point I realized that the receiving hole for both these points was the same size, and that the receiving hole for the brush and chisel where much larger. So I started taking both apart. I removed the Tiplus nib by gently pulling on it with a pair of pliers and found that it had a needle like feed that would stick into the felt inkwell. The Tria fine point is actually fed by the broad chisel point via a short sponge (remove this as well by poking at it with a needle or other small pointy thing), and while I could pull out the fine point with pliers, too, I couldn't just shove the Triplus needle feed into the chisel because I wanted to use the chisel. I rarely uses a brush marker over a brush, so I pulled this end entirely off the marker (the new clear plastic design of the Tria makes this fairly easy) and tried fitting the fine point cap on the clear plastic. No dice, some modification would have to take place...
Step 3: Mod the Fine Point Cap.
On closer examination the fine point cap had little ridges on the inside, probably designed to spite people like me. Out comes the chisel and with a few shaves they're gone. Try the fit again and still no good.
Step 4: Mod the Clear Plastic
In looking at the inside of the fine and brush point cpas I noticed the shelf was a little deeper on the brush, so I sawed about an eighth inch of the clear plastic end (yellow line in photo). The fine cap still wouldn't go on, so I pulled out the chisel again. Now on the clear plastic there is a collar like ring, I knew I didn't want to take this all off becasue the lower edge is what keeps the cap on, but I could do without the rest of it, so I chiseled the top portion off (green line in photo).
Step 5: Put It Together
This time I tried the fine cap again and it almost worked, so... I pushed it really hard against a table and it popped into place. (Adjust as you see fit.) I took the Triplus nib and gently pushed it into place, feeling around a bit to make sure the needle got into fresh sponge and not the hole left by the brush point. Awesome! An art marker with an extra fine point and a super fat one, too!