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ShammyB "S" (Somewhere in Northern England)

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OnePlus One Case - Retro Leather Wallet Flip Cover for OnePlus One, Black
OnePlus One Case - Retro Leather Wallet Flip Cover for OnePlus One, Black
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good protection, but less usuable in a hurry than a half cover., 7 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good case. I have two OnePlus One's (one for me, one for my partner) and got two fo these cases. I ending up preferring Diztronic Full Matte Flexible TPU Cover Case for OnePlus One - Teal Blue (Retail Packaging) as it allows me to get to my phone far quicker, but my partner loves this case as it offers better protection and looks smarter.

(I chose Teal for the Diztronic because I'm a web designer and am being ironic, she chose red for the leather wallet because it goes with her personality...).

X: The Experience When Business Meets Design
X: The Experience When Business Meets Design
by Brian Solis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.99

5.0 out of 5 stars UI > UX > CX, 6 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I started out in web design/development (1999-2000) it was all about UI (user interfaces). The big thing was usability. That slowly turned into UX (user experience), where we no longer considered just usability, but user journeys. We do not just want the user to be able to use the interface, but we also want to analyse what they want to do (and also, what we would like them to do), and make it easier for them to take that particular journey in a pleasurable, easy and informed way.

Years ago if I wanted to design a user interface to let you book a holiday, I would look at what information the system needs, and then put it all in a suitable form so that the user doesn't get confused whilst getting it all into the system. That's the UI mindset.

Nowadays, the development team would create user journeys as a starting point; cards with things like ‘As a customer I want to …’, ‘As a site administrator, I need to …’ and ‘As a customer support agent, I need to …’, then quickly build a MVP (minimum viable system) that meets the core needs of each major type of user of a holiday booking system. Finally, we would add additional requirements to make a complete system. Much more holistic, and better at getting a minimum system up and running quickly (because what you think is the solution is rarely the actual implementation, so we need to get something up quickly that can be iterated via informed feedback from real users).

And this is what this book is all about, or rather, the next stage in this progression; CX.

We no longer consider interactions between the user and individual media such as a website. Instead, we consider all interactions between the customer and the company or brand. We look at all places where the customer and company touch (website, advertising, customer service, etc) as almost a single interface, and treat them all as different parts of a common journey.

To do that, we no longer just think of what we want to present to the customer, but also what the customer wants and how they will try to fulfil them, then form a set of interlocking media and services that meets this, giving the customer the journey from need to fulfilment.

So, let’s go with it; how does this book perform as a piece of CX in its own right?

Well, the actual book itself is slick. In terms of content, there’s perhaps a little too much waffle at the start, and the book does not go from evangelising to show and tell until the second half (which is perhaps the better read for someone already in the industry).
There is also the issue of who is the book for? Designers or business people? I would suggest it’s primarily a business marketing book (CX is a business process), but the book seems to be a bit off message; the journey it seems to be promoting is geared to designers. I’ll let that go and give the benefit of the doubt; CX is clearly multidiscipline.

The website to go with the book is ok, but frankly, much less slick that the book. Not even a sample chapter pdf to entice. Misses a few obvious touch points!

There is also some very stiff competition out there that happens to be free. Google ‘Adobe Digital Trends’ to get a quarterly briefing about current cutting edge practices in use. There’s things there that are not in the X book. There’s also some free stuff from Adobe that covers some of the major parts of this book in much more detail. For example, Google ‘Adobe touchpoint marketing’.

Despite all that, this is a good read. Nice, lush graphics, modern look and feel, and well thought out, well written writing. Perhaps a little full of itself, but hey, it’s a marketing book…


L'Oréal Paris True Match Le Crayon Concealer Number 10, Ivory  5 ml
L'Oréal Paris True Match Le Crayon Concealer Number 10, Ivory 5 ml
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for under eyes as it doesnt flake or dry out, 31 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Glides on easily, good coverage and has moisturising action (the more dry, powdery ones flake underneath your eyes). The disadvantage of moisturising concealers is that they don't last as long as dryer ones.

This is used by my partner, and she tells me that she uses it exclusively under eyes when that is all she needs, but uses the dry type when she needs to do other areas of her face. Trouble is that you can't of course mix the two types (now there's an idea for a product...).

Eachine 8000mAh Ultra-Slim Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with with USB Cables & Compartment for Apple Lightning Adapter, for iPhone 6S 6S Plus (Apple adapter is not included) with Micro USB Cable for Samsung S6 Edge Plus and other Android Smartphones(8000mAh Black)
Eachine 8000mAh Ultra-Slim Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with with USB Cables & Compartment for Apple Lightning Adapter, for iPhone 6S 6S Plus (Apple adapter is not included) with Micro USB Cable for Samsung S6 Edge Plus and other Android Smartphones(8000mAh Black)
Offered by Doeracil
Price: £58.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good portable charger that is actually pocketable, 26 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 0:37 Mins

This charger has a number of immediately obvious things going for it;

Firstly, the size. It is one of the few portable chargers that is actually mobile phone size (about the size of my old HTC Desire HD and smaller than my current phone; a OnePlus One). If a phone (of the sort of size most phones were two years ago) fits in your pocket, this charger will too. More importantly, if you need to make an important call on a phone that is about to go, you can easily hold this battery and your phone in the same hand. Very important if you are a household with no land-line and need to make an emergency or long call with a low phone battery!

Secondly, this charger can share the same coat pocket as your phone without scratching it, because it has a rubber coating (the sort of thin coat you see on gaming mice) and rounded edges.

Thirdly, this charger has its own retracting USB cables (both for charging your phone and the battery itself), so you do not need to carry a separate one. If you need to use an external USB cable, there are 2 full size ports at the top, and you can also charge the phone via a micro USB port on the side.

Fourthly, the battery can charge itself whilst charging your phone. If you leave the battery charging your phone whilst at the same time plugged into a wall charger itself, both your phone and battery will be 100% charged by the morning; just the thing if you will be travelling the next day and need both topped up!

Finally, here comes the science bit! The battery is a LiPo and not the more usual (and cheaper to manufacture) LiOn. A LiPo has a number of advantages, the main ones being longer shelf life (both a LiOn and LiPo last the same number of charge cycles, but the LiOn also has a limited shelf life (it will degrade rapidly after about 3 years or the max number of charge cycles, whichever occurs first) whereas a LiPo may last longer because it does not have the 3 year constraint. a A LiPo also has no ‘battery memory’ so you do not have to wait for it to drain before you recharge it.

I have a number of meters around the house that allow me to test the battery, and I can confirm that this one does give out the stated currents and voltages. These batteries do not tend to hold their full charge until a few cycles in, but I expect the stated capacity to be accurate (not least because it is an honest size and weight for an 8000mAh LiPo). I will double check this with a mAh meter after 5 or 6 cycles and report back in the comments to this review to confirm capacity is actually 8000mAh.

Bad points?

It has a 4LED power remaining meter rather than the 0-99% readout we are beginning to see in some more recent portable devices. That’s about it!

Other tips?

Most 10 inch tablets have a 8000mAh battery, but you need larger than 8000mAh to fully charge one (because the transfer is not 100% efficient). Look to a 12000mAh battery if you want to be sure of fully charging a 10 inch iPad or similar.


Recommended. Light, decent capacity, doesn’t require you to carry a USB cable, and actually pocket sized.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2016 3:27 PM GMT

Neewer® Aluminum Film Movie Kit System Rig for Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony and other DSLR Cameras,includes:(1)Video Cage+(1)Top Handle Grip+(2)15mm Rod+(1)Matte Box+(1)Follow Focus+(1)Shoulder Rig
Neewer® Aluminum Film Movie Kit System Rig for Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony and other DSLR Cameras,includes:(1)Video Cage+(1)Top Handle Grip+(2)15mm Rod+(1)Matte Box+(1)Follow Focus+(1)Shoulder Rig

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice expandable budget rig, 25 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 1:07 Mins

Like Camtree/CowboyStudio, Neewer tend to produce video related rigs similar to Kessler, Zacuto and the other more expensive manufacturers, but for much less. You do get some comeback because of the lower price; the metal is always aluminium rather than steel or carbon fibre and so on. All to be expected.

On to the rig itself. It comes as separately boxed sub kits (see video), which you build up to the full product. You actually get more parts than you need; the DSLR cage comes with two 15mm rails that you don’t need to make the full shoulder mount rig (although you should keep them – you can use them if you decide to use the DSLR cage on its own).

I tested the rig with a number of cameras;

A high-bitrate-hacked Panasonic GH2 with a 50mm/f1.4 (shot wide open) feeding into a Sankor anamorphic projector lens. A classic Indie DSLR film setup from a few years ago, and still very relevant today (you just replace the GH2 with a GH3/4). The anamorphic gives you true cinematic widescreen and the f1.4 gives you a nice cinematic DOF.

A Sony Alpha A77 with Tokina 11-16/f2.8. This is a standard DSLR sized camera, but being an SLT, it has the advantage of accurate focus in video (and you can hack it to shoot constant shutter via AEL), so the follow focus is not needed with this camera. Apart from the fact that I am shooting Sony SLT, the APS-C DSLR plus Tokina 11-16 pairing is a classic video combo (NB -its also about the same size as a 5D and 24-70).

A BlackMagic Pocket Cinema camera (BMPCC) with an SLR Magic 12mm/T1.6 (NB - many prefer the Sigma 18-35 and Metabones focal reducer but I did not have that combination available to me on the day as I don’t own it) enclosed in a Camtree protective sub-cage, and with a loupe. This is a little powerhouse for pop videos and films where you expect to be heavily grading, because you can shoot proper intermediate codecs (ProresHQ 4:2:2 and CinemaRaw – which is of course wonderfully gradable 4:4:4 as there is no color subsampling) plus log (and rec709 if you get lazy!).

And finally (and somewhat controversially) a OnePlus One mobile phone in a protective sub-cage. Why?! Because it can shoot desaturated, unsharpened 4k and a higher bitrate 1080p than most unhacked DSLRs. If you use the Cinema FV-5 app, you also get some very nice RGB scopes and other helpers. For video (and ignoring lenses) its actually better for footage than some of the earlier video enabled DSLRs!

For sound, I used a Tascam DR07 with deadcat, and for rig power I used an Anker Pro series 20, 000mAh (neither of which are shown in the video).

I spent half an hour to an hour filming per combination above… so how does it work in practice?

I really like the stability that this rig provides, and it all worked really well on location. I have my own follow focus and preferred that to the one provided (mine has mechanical stops), although I found the Neewer one to be very competent, with a good action. I was a bit wary of the matte box though – it is the most fragile part of the rig, and I expect to replace it with a metal one (to provide protection to the lens in the case of a front-down drop). Good enough for starters though.

I particularly liked the fact that I could Velcro my Anker Pro to the shoulder pad without needing to add a cheeseboard or dedicated battery holder to the rig. Rig power is a big deal, as most cameras give not much more than 20 minutes of constant video before they die but with a decent 15,000 - 20,000mAh pack, you get 5-7 hours, aka a full day of shooting.

The OnePlus 1 required a very a minimal rig (Tascam, Anker Pro, the shoulder mount rods, front handles and my own phone cage) and I was able to produce some very stable video with it.

Bad points?

The matte box is a little small for the Tokina 11-16, and causes vignette at 11mm (its fine by 14mm).

A couple of components were too tight or too loose on the rails. This is something you come to expect with rigs, and a bit of insulation tape or oil on the rods soon fixes the issues – but be prepared to hack about a bit to get it to all fit nicely. You probably wouldn’t have this problem with Zacuto, but then you probably would not have any money left either!

The rig is designed primarily for an old school DSLR, and doesn’t easily allow me to offset the camera position so the camera live-view is more in line with my face (so I can for example use a loupe). The system uses a standard 15mm rod system, so if (like me) you find yourself needing extra parts, just search Amazon with ‘15mm dslr rig’. In this way, I was able to offset the BMPCC.


A nice set if you are getting into DSLR video. This type of rig is much more stable than all the weighted and electronic stabilisers you see everyone going on about on the web; with those you are constantly recalibrating and rebalancing (and I should know – I own about 3 of them, all nice toys but useless for actual production to deadlines!).

This rig is cheap and good for the money. More importantly, you can add to it with standard (and therefore inexpensive if you shop around) additions as your requirements and camera kit change.


I did not try the rig with a monitor (I prefer loupes so don't own one) or lighting (I took some Aputure lighting with me but did not need them).

Veevan Womens Soft Synthetic Leather Dual-Purpose Backpack Handbags (Black)
Veevan Womens Soft Synthetic Leather Dual-Purpose Backpack Handbags (Black)
Offered by VEEVAN
Price: £80.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 24 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 0:52 Mins

My partner has been using this bag for a few weeks now.

This has become my partner’s favourite bag. In my partners words, ‘It is very difficult to get a plain black leather or leather look bag that doesn’t look mumsy… or they go and put something shiny on it and it ends up looking girlie’, but this bag pulls it off; basic and cool at the same time!

It has lots of pockets, all but one of which is zippered and therefore very secure. For your valuables, there is a pocket on the back side of the bag that is very secure, so that’s where to put your phone and valuables.

The bag is supposed to be wearable as a backpack or shoulder bag, although she prefers to use it as either a shoulder bag or tote bag (you get to the latter by pulling the straps right in so they are as possible).

I checked the bag when I first got it and could find no loose threads nor bad stitching. Good build throughout.

Although this is not real leather, it looks like convincing glove leather, and has not cracked like cheaper PVC imitation leather tends to. The material is actually a leather like material sandwiched with a middle layer of cloth, so looks unlikely to crack, and it looks like it will probably wear much like real leather.

Overall, thoroughly recommended. My partner has been using this as her main bag for a while now and its become her favourite. Despite constant use, it has shown no signs of wear, so looks like it will last (I'll update this review if anything goes amiss on that assumption).

Combaterwing 4800 DPI Optical USB Wired Professional Gaming Mouse Programmable 10 Buttons RGB Breathing LED Mice
Combaterwing 4800 DPI Optical USB Wired Professional Gaming Mouse Programmable 10 Buttons RGB Breathing LED Mice

5.0 out of 5 stars Competent gaming mouse, 24 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 0:39 Mins

The video shows my initial unboxing and first look at the mouse.

The combaterwing mouse obviously takes it styling from the much more expensive Mad Catz. The packaging is very basic – a brown box containing the mouse in a bubble wrap bag, plus a driver disk and English/Chinese instructions. Bit of a step change from the large and gaudy boxes certain manufacturers put out, but worth noting the basic packaging if this is intended as a gift.

It is plug and play, although you have to install the driver if you want to remap any buttons or change the DPI presets),

The mouse has 10 buttons in all including basic mouse buttons (left-click, right-click, wheel press) and 7 other buttons (the red buttons you see dotted around the mouse in the video).

There is a dedicated button to change dpi (default presets are 1000, 2500, 3500, 4800, all with a very decent poll rate of 6400fps), so you can change DPI in-game without having to go through a driver screen.

The mouse has a good body quality; a very nice metal chassis and all the black plastic sections are rubber coated so you get good grip and a nice tactile feel. The cable is cloth braided (better than rubber as it snags far less), and the button action feels nice throughout. The mouse wheel is plastic with a rubber insert for grip, and moves with a slight clicked action. It has no freewheel mode (which to be fair, usually comes with productivity mice – I have never seen a gaming mouse with it).

The combaterwing has a thumb rest, which some people can’t do without.

You get the obligatory (for a gaming mouse) coloured, breathing LEDs.

In operation, the mouse feels very capable when used for gaming (I tried it on Arma 3, Batman Arkham Knight and Call of Duty Black Ops 3) and non-gaming (I used it in Adobe Premiere – to edit the first look video). The metal base is aluminium so it is not weighty (the specs say it is 151g).

Overall, the build quality and look and feel is definitely far better than I expected. More surprisingly the driver software was up to the same high standard; no unskinned Windows UI; it looks like the fancy gaming UIs that the likes of Logitech G, Corsair and MadCatz go for.

The mouse looks like it should be physically configurable, but it is not. There are two allen screws holding the left and right body sections, giving the impression that you can swap them to change from left and right handedness but you cannot. You can still use this mouse as a left hander, but of course would have to do without the side buttons (or use your pinkie for them rather than your thumb).
There is also a little metal dial at the back of the mouse that is both impossible to get at without using a long pair of pliers, and once you turn it, seems to do nothing. I’m guessing it is there for show.

Although the chassis is real metal, the upper sliver body parts are plastic sprayed to look like metal.


Visually a very technical looking mouse (looks like one of the much more expensive Mad Catz mice), with some nice features.

In use, the Combaterwing is a nice, competent gaming mouse, and comes at a decent price.


I tested the mouse with my gaming desktop (Alienware Aurora) and laptop (Alienware R17).

Abeast Cinema Mount Professional Universal Smartphone Stabilizer Rig HD Camera Lens Kit with Fisheye Lens Macro Lens and Wide Angle Lens(Black)
Abeast Cinema Mount Professional Universal Smartphone Stabilizer Rig HD Camera Lens Kit with Fisheye Lens Macro Lens and Wide Angle Lens(Black)
Offered by LNSQQKD
Price: £59.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turns your Phone into a 4k web video publishing monster, 21 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 0:59 Mins

I include an unboxing video and my first initial play around with this rig as a video.

A phone is the ultimate in portability; a camera/camcorder that is always with you. Why compromise this with a big rig? After all, you can get a much smaller clip-on device that connects your phone to a tripod for much less cash, and it’s lighter as well.

Here’s why: you need more than just a phone to shoot a feature. A phone on its own will shoot about 5 minutes of video continuously, but if you want to (for example) shoot a pop video for a mate to put on YouTube (and even if you will not be using lights, sound recorder or lens), the one thing you will need is an external battery to last you the 2 to 5 hour shooting day you will need to get through (yes, even for a 3 minute promo video). Pow! You now need a rig.

This issue also affects professional video gear. FWIW I own a BlackMagic Cinema camera and that suffers from the same issue – you need a large external battery to do anything that takes longer than half an hour, and most things do. You also absolutely need to attach a variable ND filter to get cinematic looking footage, and that has to be firmly attached, so again, a clip-on holder misses the point, and again you need a rig.

Finally, once you start adding lenses and lights (as I do in the video), you can see your rig actually starts to fill up, and believing a phone on its own could do the job without a rig to shoot steady professional looking video just starts to look like wishful thinking.

A heavy rig also has one other big advantage over a phone on its own – its less shaky, giving you smoother footage. In fact, this rig on the end of a monopod seemed to give me a nice trade-off between hand held and tripod, not least because it is much more portable and quicker to set up than a tripod, but has almost all the advantages of hand-held minus the camera shake.

The rig has metal rods but the body (the black bits) is plastic rather than metal. However, in the video, I attach a largish lens (a Sankor Anamorphic projector lens, which incidentally is another holy grail for video – 4k Anamorphic video from a phone would have been quite a coup, but unfortunately - and rather expectantly - it isn’t useable off the bat – I need to have a play with diopters on that one!)… but it does prove the rig can handle a heavy video lens.

The rig does hold a modern slim phone securely, but when I tried it with an older, smaller but thicker phone (HTC DesireHD), the holder was not secure because the lip of the clamps did not reach over the side of the phone… so its not quite universal. With the older phone I also got serious vignette with the supplied lenses.

So why not just buy an advanced compact like the Panasonic LX100, Sony RX100 and so on? Well, if you own certain phones such as the OnePlus One, you can shoot raw images (.dng files), 4k video, and unlike the above cameras, you can also shoot ‘flat footage’ (footage that has very little colour in it) which makes it very amenable to post production. You also of course already own a phone, so you’ve already paid for the technology.

You can get some very nice apps such as Camera FV-5/Cinema FV-5 (I strongly recommend that you try them out on your phone before buying this rig if you are Android, as they are pretty fundamental if you want good gradable footage). FV-5 also allows manual exposure, plus the possibility of hacking AutoExposure lock to get close to that 24fps, 1/50s footage you need to get that all important ‘cinematic look’ that DSLRs can do. Something like the OnePlus One also allows you to hack high bitrates, and these are actually higher than at least one of the Advanced Compacts above!

I haven’t tested for any other phones apart from the OnePlus One which is noted for its quality (and very hackable) camera. I don’t know how other models perform for stills/video, but would suggest if you are not able to shoot raw stills and high bitrate (>50Mbit/s) low contrast video, then your phone is probably not good enough to consider buying this rig for. As I say, I don’t know how good other phones are so I’m not been judgemental, just stating minimum values I would look for to get decent output from any video device. Searching for Cinema FV-5 and looking at their recommended list for best phones for video/stills might be your best bet if you don’t have a clue if your phone is good enough. FV-5 is for Android only, and I have no idea for iPhone (I have never owned one, preferring Android because of Cyanogen and its hackability).

Bad points?

The lenses that come with the set are of variable quality. The zoom is soft. The other lenses are ok-ish, but I would not be buying this set because of them – it’s the much more understated C-Mount thread attachment that is important. This lets you use all sorts of cool lenses, especially the Super16 and security camera lenses, plus it lets you attach that all important variable ND filter.

You won’t be able to use most DSLR lenses because of image circle issues. If you must do it, you have to zoom in hard on the phone, causing digital zoom and therefore loss of quality (or you can use the macro attachment in front of the DSLR lens, which gives you massive connector issues – I can’t find any available). You also have to find some way of connecting a DSLR lens to a c mount (most adapters go the other way – DSLR mount to C mount lens).

There are several reasons you would choose an advanced compact camera or DSLR over a phone for your video (and therefore not use this rig); cinematic depth of field, low light noise, many phones have a non-removable piece of protective plastic over the lens (which can make a mockery of 4k video output), better (or in some cases, any!) manual control of shutter and aperture, and more versatile lenses for Advanced compacts/DSLRs. I’ll leave it at that because this review is long enough, and this paragraph is a story in itself: Google is your friend! However the cost of a new camera and associated lenses, high speed SD cards for video, and all the other stuff mounts up (500-3000, and yes, that’s pounds!) vs a phone you already own plus a relatively cheap rig and portable phone battery charger may swing you to the phone as the cheapest option and a good balance between quality and what you are prepared to pay, especially if you are outputting to DVD and the web… other options may be overkill and money better spent on other things that may make your output better than an expensive DSLR camera (phone + video lighting + dedicated sound recorder would beat DSLR + kit lens by a long margin, but the former is far less expensive if you already own a good phone camera).


If you are a low budget, straight to web Indie producer/vBlogger with no budget, this is one to consider especially if you have one of the recommended Phones on the Cinema FV-5 site. This rig, the free-to-download copy of DaVinci Resolve, a portable Phone charger battery, a cheap variable ND filter, and a (now very cheap) Zoom H4n is a nice minimum to get you into production for the web. You also end up with better bragging rights than the next cheapest option (a hacked GH2, 14mm/f2.5, vND and sound recorder) because you can shoot 4k and hey, you shot your feature on a phone!

For the happy enthusiast, this may be a good bet if you don’t want to buy a dedicated camera because you are happy with your phone’s quality especially if the fact that you can send footage straight to the web appeals.

For the semi-pro, the fact that you can have the Adobe Lightroom app on a phone that shoots raw, and can then output straight to the web might in fact make it good as at least a second camera; the best camera is the one you have with you, and even better if you can also take steady shots via a rig, then post edit and finally publish to the web all from one device!

Some additional notes for the video;

NOTE 1 - The connectors I used to attach the sound recorder and video light are not included – you need to buy them separately (but they are very cheap: search Amazon for B00P7BLG3C).
NOTE 2- There is no connector to attach the battery – I use Velcro. That’s actually quite normal for some Indie film rigs I have seen, so not really a disadvantage (but a bit Heath Robinson!).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2016 6:33 PM GMT

NIUTOP 48 Assorted Color Marco Raffine Drawing Art Colored Pencils Supplies with a 48colors Roll UP Washable Canvas Pencil Bag Pouch Wrap Set for Artist Sketch, 2 Direction Buckle for Different Usage (48-colors)
NIUTOP 48 Assorted Color Marco Raffine Drawing Art Colored Pencils Supplies with a 48colors Roll UP Washable Canvas Pencil Bag Pouch Wrap Set for Artist Sketch, 2 Direction Buckle for Different Usage (48-colors)
Offered by toparts2013
Price: £19.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Good set of hard wax colouring pencils, 18 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 0:35 Mins

This review is for the 48 colour set.

There are three types of coloured pencil; waxy (which can be soft and like a wax crayon or hard and more like a lead pencil), watercolour (water soluble, mix well when you rub them with anything damp), or pastel (chalky and mix well when dry).

These pencils are hard waxy; they are most like 2B lead pencils, but with colour, and are probably most like what people expect when they think of coloured pencils (especially if you are a parent, because these are the least messy!).

You get a decent set of colours, with plenty of bright colours, skin-tones, and earthy umbers, as well as neutral greys (black to white). I own both the 48 and 72 pencil sets, and they cover the same colour range, but the 72 set has 24 more pencils *within* that range. I carefully looked to see whether you would lose out when colouring difficult graduations (skin tones and earthy tones) because some of the missing colours might be crucial. It looks like this is not the case. Obviously the process of taking out 24 colours took all that into account! Im assuming the 36 colour set will be the same - same colour range, just fewer unique colours to choose from within that range.

There’s a craze for grown up colouring books at the moment (we have a few in the house), and this set of pencils is a perfect accompaniment to them.

Remembering back to A Level Art (which was a VERY long time ago for me!), hard wax pencil crayons are mixed lightest first, and if you want solid colours (or a fine gradient between two colours), you have to use a very slightly damp brush dipped in turps (too much and the brush pulls the colour off), assuming a good weight of paper. On lighter paper (such as a colouring book) you have enough colours not to need to mix using solvent (and turps would probably ruin the sense of calm that adult colouring books try to engender anyway!). If you want to shade manually (which is the recommended way for most users), the rule with these is lightest colour first, and cross hatch if the colours are very dissimilar.

Parents should of course remember that turps is how you get this stuff off walls – a cloth lightly dipped in it pulls the wax off.

Most of the colours once on paper are as advertised on the pencil, except for some of the brightest colours, which need a touch of solvent to get them nice and solid. That feels acceptable; If you want total colour accuracy straight from the pencil, then you probably need to spend a lot more on a pro set of pencils!


The pencils are numbered with the full (72) colour set in mind, which means for the 48 colour set there are gaps in the numbering.

Overall, a nice set for the non-professional who wants to learn the calming effect of colouring, or the doodler who wants to inject a bit of colour.

Possibly also good for the digital artist who scans in pencil drawings, but would like to add some colour.

Biggest upside is price vs the range and number of colours you get; if you are starting out, you won’t need to buy much else for a while.

Oh, and don’t forget to order a pencil sharpener!

Maybelline Mascara Illegal Length Waterproof - 6.9 ml, Black
Maybelline Mascara Illegal Length Waterproof - 6.9 ml, Black
Price: £6.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent product, heavy on the marketing, 11 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I gave this to my partner to test, and her total review was ‘Well, its just a bog standard mascara; not bad but it has no stand-out feature’, followed by a shrug and ‘Is that enough to go on?’.

Well, yes if it’s an honest appraisal!

So I asked ‘why would you pick this over something else?

‘Well, it’s a reputable brand, so I’d pick it over other reputable brands for a no nonsense product if it was better on price’.

Bottom line; a standard ‘name’ mascara but not ‘illegal length’ (which I assume is phrased to imply ‘gives you an advantage so good it’s almost cheating!’).

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