Uniball Pen Review – Posca & Uniball Signo Metallics

Hello there!

Today I’m doing a double review. The Posca pens and the Uniball Signo Metallic Gel Pens by Uniball.

I don’t normally do double reviews but all will become clear in a few minutes. First off, I have a story to tell…

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know that I recently reviewed a book called Big Hair Art by Lynne Reeves. I was so inspired by the artist’s illustrations on the first page as shown here:

…I rushed out to buy a white paint marker so I could create the mask effect. I was looking for a white Posca pen but when I found the right section in the shop, I was presented with 2 options: the white Posca pen and the white Uni Paint Marker. Both were manufactured by Uniball and I spent at least 20 minutes trying to decide which one to get. After much consideration, I went for the Uni Paint Marker because honestly, on paper, this seemed to have the better coverage and because it was white ink on white paper, I needed it to stand out a bit more.

I also bought the uni Paint Marker in silver and gold – does anyone remember using these in primary school when you used to make Christmas cards for your mum and dad? There used to be a fight to see who could grab them first!

I used my white paint marker (and the gold and silver…!) and whilst I liked the effects, I found the white pen a little temperamental. The ink wouldn’t flow or too much of it would come out and I really couldn’t seem to get a handle on it. This lead me to thinking : “what IS the difference between the Uni Paint Marker and the Uni Posca marker?”

I took my question to my social media group, thinking that someone would know the answer. Whilst lots of people used Posca markers, no-one seemed to know anything about the white paint marker.

I googled it. I youtubed it. I couldn’t find an answer. So, I took my question to Uniball.

I eventually got a response from them and they said they would very kindly send me some poscas and some gel pens to review/do some colouring with that they could then share with their community.

I was pretty gobsmacked, to be honest (and a bit chuffed too!) that Uniball would want to send little old me some pens to review.

I was even more amazed when they actually arrived in the post (big company = easy to forget things). Even Mr (Non)PenObsessions said: “that’s really made your day, hasn’t it?”

Well, yes it had. Big grin on my face and a package of pens from Uniball. What more could a girl ask for?

So, I will state that I received these pens from Uniball so I could write a review/create a coloured piece but as always, my opinion will be an honest one.

Here is what I was sent:

4 PC-5M pens in: Aqua Green, Lilac, Light Orange and Yellow

2 PC – 3M pens in: Pink and Light Pink.

Pack of 5 Uniball Signo Metallic Gel Pens in: Silver, Pink, Violet, Blue, Green

In order to create a fully informed review, I was also intending on using my Uni Paint Markers in Silver and Gold.

My first task was to choose a page from a colouring book. Having never used Posca pens before, I didn’t want any accidental bleed through, so it was important to choose a single-sided colouring book, just to be on the safe side.

I chose a page from my colouing book of the moment: Big Hair Art by Lynne Reeves (do read the review HERE if you haven’t already and I honestly can’t recommend this book enough).

To colour this page, I was using the Uniball pens exclusively. The only pens I used that weren’t Uniball was a black marker fine liner to re-create the definition of the lines and black glitter gel pen for the outline of the mask.

Here is my finished result:

I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with it.

The Poscas laid down their ink nicely. It was a little harder to work with the PC-5M (as these bullet tips are slightly larger than the PC-3M) and I would definitely recommend PC-3M for finer colouring and the PC-5M for larger areas/background colouring.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, however, I persevered. Not only was I using pens with nibs that were slightly too large for the area I was colouring, I was limited to 10 colours. 10!!

The ink from the Poscas dried quickly. The colours were true and I had no problem with bleeding, feathering or smudging. They layered nicely over one another (I really tried to put these pens through their paces). When I used the black marker pen for detailing, this laid down nicely over the ink. If I coloured the same area in with different coloured pens, there was no running of the ink.

I have to say I was really, really impressed and even Mr (Non)PenObsessions commented on the way my page looked halfway through. He said… “that’s really good, isn’t it? It almost has a paint-like effect…!” Mr (Non)Pen Obsessions gets brownie points for noticing!

The Light Orange deserves a special mention because I was able to layer Aqua Green over this quite nicely, and it is also a fleshy colour. So, rather than cheating and using an actual skin colour pen (which I was going to do) I used the Light Orange to colour in the part of the face you can see.

The Aqua Green was my favourite colour though. It is smooth, creamy and just has really nice tone to it.

The mask was coloured in using the Uni Paint Marker in Gold and Silver. I love these pens. The effect you get from them is pretty amazing. You can use them to highlight, add definition or even make a page “pop”. As an example, here’s one from Hannah Lynn’s Enchanted Halloween:

I used the silver pen to outline the cobwebs and to make them really stand out and I used the gold pen on the trim of the witch’s hat. The colour you get is highly metallic/shiny and I love them for this reason.

The Uni Paint Markers do have a different texture to the Poscas.  They are permanent and are oil based whereas the Poscas are water-based. The Paint Markers have a more glossy effect.

I then moved on to the Uniball Signo Metallic Gel Pens.

Oh my word.

There are gel pens and then there are the Uniball Signo…

When I was about 14, there was a gel pen craze. They were everywhere and everyone had them. The ones to have at the time were the Signo Gel Pens. They were expensive but they were worth it. One year I got a large multi-pack for Christmas and I was made up!

I’ve not owned a Uniball Signo since. I’m not sure if they’ve always been around or if they went away for a bit and came back (especially with the demand for gel pens in adult colouring).

These metallics (Noble Metal) are flawless. The pen itself is sleek and comfortable to hold. They feature a 0.8 mm nib so are perfect for those smaller areas. The colour is really intense.

When you get a metallic gel pen and a sparkly gel pen, it can be a bit hard to tell the difference. Not with these. They’re metallic, all right, and you don’t ever need to doubt it.

Again, there was no bleed through, the colours didn’t run into each other (I’ve had it happen!) and they also dried pretty quickly. Do remember though that these are gel pens and are prone to smudging. I had a couple of small accidents but nothing that I couldn’t fix.

The ink laid down beautifully. There was no “scratchy” feeling (as you can get with cheap, non-branded gel pens occasionally) and the colour was smooth. Once dried, it didn’t look patchy.

The amount of ink that you get in these is generous. I’ve seen gel pens with barrels that aren’t even half-full.

I have to say I am massively impressed with the Poscas, the Metallic gel pens and the Uni Paint Marker in Gold and Silver.

This leads me to a little aside about the Uni White Paint Marker.

As I said before, I found it temperamental. When I come to use it after it’s been stored for a little while, the ink doesn’t seem to flow. I’m not sure if this is maybe a common problem with the white ink. I push the nib down to stimulate the flow to the nib once more, then end up with a puddle in middle of my page.

Despite this, I do like the effect. Here are two pages that I’ve coloured where I’ve tried to create the mask effect. The first, whilst looking a bit textured (because I was getting used to the pen) gave me the overall desired effect (and the gold effect is from the gold paint marker). In the second, I was a bit more heavy handed with the pen to try and get that overall smoothness. To achieve this though, I ended up creating a puddle in the page (deliberately) so I could push the ink across the area I was trying to colour.

(Both these are from Lynne Reeves Big Hair Art).

I may not be getting my desired effect with the white paint marker because I’m expecting too much. For a start, these pens are designed to work on surfaces such as metal or wood, so maybe the fact I can’t quite get it to work on paper is a bit of a moot point.

Second of all, because it is white on white, I might be expecting too much and the ink coming out of the pen is normal but because it’s on white paper, it just looks a bit washed out.

I’m happy to leave my conclusion on the white paint marker at this. It’s done what I wanted it to do (eventually) but I have found it extremely temperamental. I still think it’s a handy pen to have though because you will also be able to use it for detailing.

When I eventually get around to getting a white Posca pen, I’ll be quite happy to compare the two.

I would definitely recommend the POSCAS and the gold and silver paint markers to my fellow adult colourists. I liked the Poscas so much, the full 32 PC-3M set is now on my wish list.

All the uni pens are available widely, online and in stores. The Paint Markers retail at around £2 per pen, maybe slightly more depending on where you buy from.

Poscas range from about £2.30 – £3.50 per pen, again depending on where you buy and the nib size you go for.

The Uni Signo Metallic 5 pack gel pains, retails for around £4.99 and again are widely available online and in stores.


Once again I hope you have enjoyed reading my review.  If you did (or didn’t!) let me know!! You can comment underneath or Contact Me directly.

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