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Subject: Best replacement crayon/marker rss

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oldnewbie
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What is the best replacement crayon or marker to use with an older version of Empire Builder? I want to write directly on the board with no overlays or anything. Thanks.
 
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Sean Conroy
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I switched from the crayons and switched to dry erase markers. I found a small pack with all the colors needed and they even had erasers on the caps!
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Ed Sherman
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I found dry erase markers were a bit of a pain because they get smudged too easily -- also some people reported issues with them leaving marks on the board.

We got some china markers and are quite happy with them (on the original boards, that is -- we use wet-erase markers on the laminated boards you get from Mayfair).
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Stephen Smith
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We use the plain old washable crayola crayons.
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J C Lawrence
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Wet-erase markers. Dry-erase markers will stain.
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Daniel Corban
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chriskj415 wrote:
What is the best replacement crayon or marker to use with an older version of Empire Builder? I want to write directly on the board with no overlays or anything. Thanks.


I have the 1984 versions of Empire Builder and British Rails. Like you, I have recently been on a search for the best thing to use with these boards.

First I used washable crayons. They erase perfectly clean. However, they are difficult to write with. The crayons tend to snap in half. Crayon also does not go on smoothly. Players often had to go over a line a couple times. It also seemed to rub off in places during normal play.

Then I tried wet-erase markers. I didn't play a full game with them, I just tested. The red color did not erase cleanly. Also, if you write near any of the joins in the puzzle board, it leaves permanent marks. Eventually your board would have color all along the joins. Very bad.

Then I tried dry erase markers. Again, I didn't play a full game, I just tested. They seemed to erase cleanly, but my experience with dry erase markers on laminated sheets shows that they tend to leave a buildup of stains over time. They also have the problem where marks near the joins are permanent! Very bad.

Finally, I tried "china markers". They are basically a type of crayon pencil. They write much more smoothly than crayon and erase just as easily as crayon. They do not seem to leave permanent marks, even at the joins. As an added bonus, they are self-sharpening! The pencil is made up of layers, which are pulled off as needed to reveal fresh "lead".

Verdict: china markers. Accept no substitute.

They are anywhere from .60 to 1.00, either online or at a store. They come in red/green/blue/yellow/black, all of which match with the Empire Builder pawn colors.
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Stephen Smith
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Quote:
Finally, I tried "china markers". They are basically a type of crayon pencil. They write much more smoothly than crayon and erase just as easily as crayon. They do not seem to leave permanent marks, even at the joins. As an added bonus, they are self-sharpening! The pencil is made up of layers, which are pulled off as needed to reveal fresh "lead".

Way back when I was trying everything out, I really wanted china markers to be the answer. Unfortunately, our experience was that they did not erase nearly as easily as crayons. They did come off completely, but that extra effort was enough for us to stick with crayons.
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Daniel Corban
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It appears to vary by color. I did some tests today with crayon vs marker. Some colors of crayon were hard to completely remove all trace (yellow in particular for some reason). Some colors of marker were harder than others (green in this case).

I assume it will vary by brand of marker and by color. I noticed faint trade of blue and green from my game last night, but I was able to erase it by rubbing over the areas with a fresh cloth. It seems that is it "dirtier" than crayon (maybe because more of the color actually makes it onto the surface), and requires a fresh spot on the cloth more frequently than crayon.
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oldnewbie
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I guess I will try both the china markers and washable crayons, although single china markers seem to be hard to come by where I live.
 
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Christychan
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Hi, I know this is a bit of a late post, but I wanted to add in that my group also had issues with the crayons breaking, so I bought some fat erasable Crayolas - they have fat round ones and fat triangle-shaped (so they don't roll) crayons for pre-schoolers. I managed to find them on sale - they make a nicer line and none have broken to date. Additionally, I bought some plexiglass at home depot - and used binder clips to sandwich the board in between two sheets (and to keep the lines from moving accidentally), and then we can use markers on that and it eliminates the problem with the edges of the pieces staining from the marker.
 
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Pete Storz
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This may be what Christychan was referring to ... we recently obtained Crayola "DryErase Crayons" which are also described as washable. They are the large size, round. It's a package of 8, the colors used for EB plus orange and purple; included is an "E-Z Erase Mitt" (which worked pretty well) and a sharpener mounted in the box. They crayons work very well, and required very little pressure to get a very clear mark. Both the mitt and paper towel worked well to erase the board after we were done. The cost was about $5 USD.
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Pete Storz
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One good thing about those Crayolas is that the orange crayon shows up well, on Lunar Rails at least, making it a usable substitute for yellow, which is hard to see. Will see next week how well the yellow from that set works on a white background playing board, and if it doesn't how well the orange works on the white background.
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Pete Storz
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It took a bit longer than I expected, but we played EB last week and I used the yellow crayon from that Crayola "DryErase Crayons" set I described above. I didn't love the result, but it was definitely far better than the "normal" yellow crayon included with the game, which I regard as all but unusable.

Speaking of the "normal" crayons included with the games, our most recent acquisition was India Rails. The crayons included in that set were no-name-brand @#$% that were so awful that we didn't use them through the opening drawing turns of the first time we played India Rails! We had been using the crayons from our other EB series games whenever we played India Rails. We bought just one set of the Crayola "DryErase Crayons" and keep them separate to use with whatever game we choose to play. As a further note to my 4 September post, not only do users not have to use as much pressure, but the decreased pressure and the larger diameter mean the crayons don't break as easily - we haven't broken any in about 2 months of usage. The "normal" crayons included with the games don't fare as well. We've also found the "E-Z Erase Mitt" to be very effective and much quicker than the paper towel we had been using. It isn't the major selling point in favor of these crayons from my POV, but the mitt is very nice.

It looks like Crayola products are available in Mexico, Canada, the UK, Italy and Australia. Lest anyone think I'm spamming, I do not and never have worked in the toy or art industries or anything remotely related thereto. I'm just recommending something that has worked really well for us.
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Sio N
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PeteS in CA wrote:
This may be what Christychan was referring to ... we recently obtained Crayola "DryErase Crayons" which are also described as washable. They are the large size, round. It's a package of 8, the colors used for EB plus orange and purple; included is an "E-Z Erase Mitt" (which worked pretty well) and a sharpener mounted in the box. They crayons work very well, and required very little pressure to get a very clear mark. Both the mitt and paper towel worked well to erase the board after we were done. The cost was about $5 USD.


Thanks for the recommendation - I just picked these up and they're fantastic! Now we won't have to keep stealing unbroken crayons from Iron Dragon when we want to play Empire Builder. Hooray! (I got them for $5 CDN.)
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Pete Storz
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Very glad my posts were helpful! We've continued to appreciate the crayons as we've continued using them. The erasing mitt makes end-of-game clean-up a bit quicker. The worst that could be said about the things is that the darker, thicker, lines can obscure the milepost dots, something the black easily broken original crayons also did. I can learn to press less hard, .
 
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Daniel Corban
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Played this again last night and I used my yellow china marker. It shows up just as well as the other colors except on the reddish tinted areas (Scotland or Canada in my games).

For reference, I am using Phano brand china markers.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Empire Builder » Forums » General
Re: Best replacement crayon/marker
PeteS in CA wrote:
We bought just one set of the Crayola "DryErase Crayons" and keep them separate to use with whatever game we choose to play. As a further note to my 4 September post, not only do users not have to use as much pressure, but the decreased pressure and the larger diameter mean the crayons don't break as easily - we haven't broken any in about 2 months of usage. The "normal" crayons included with the games don't fare as well. We've also found the "E-Z Erase Mitt" to be very effective and much quicker than the paper towel we had been using.


I finally gave these "dry erase crayons" a try in a game of Eurorails tonight and I think they are the definitive crayon rail marker! I decided to give them a try since the major china marker companies have all abandoned the color orange.

For $4-5 you get a pack of crayons containing all of the Empire Builder colors. The crayons are fat, so they don't break. They put a relatively heavy layer of color on the board without much pressure. The pack includes a sharpener and the erase "mitt", which works much better for erasing than anything I have used so far. The crayon wipes completely clean from the board with less effort than any previous crayon or china marker I have tried.

And unlike regular washable crayons, the yellow crayon shows up dark enough to make it usable. It is very slightly lighter than my china marker, but still dark and thick enough to see.

I bought a box of these crayons for each one of my games.
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Stephen Smith
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dcorban wrote:
PeteS in CA wrote:
We bought just one set of the Crayola "DryErase Crayons" and keep them separate to use with whatever game we choose to play. As a further note to my 4 September post, not only do users not have to use as much pressure, but the decreased pressure and the larger diameter mean the crayons don't break as easily - we haven't broken any in about 2 months of usage. The "normal" crayons included with the games don't fare as well. We've also found the "E-Z Erase Mitt" to be very effective and much quicker than the paper towel we had been using.


I finally gave these "dry erase crayons" a try in a game of Eurorails tonight and I think they are the definitive crayon rail marker! I decided to give them a try since the major china marker companies have all abandoned the color orange.

For $4-5 you get a pack of crayons containing all of the Empire Builder colors. The crayons are fat, so they don't break. They put a relatively heavy layer of color on the board without much pressure. The pack includes a sharpener and the erase "mitt", which works much better for erasing than anything I have used so far. The crayon wipes completely clean from the board with less effort than any previous crayon or china marker I have tried.

And unlike regular washable crayons, the yellow crayon shows up dark enough to make it usable. It is very slightly lighter than my china marker, but still dark and thick enough to see.

I bought a box of these crayons for each one of my games.

I used some of these earlier this year and really enjoyed them. The only problem I had was that they tended to stain my hands. That's not a problem with anything else I've tried. Still, when I get around to replacing my current washable crayons, I'll likely replace them with these.
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Matthew Manhattan
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Picked up a set of Dry Erase Crayons on this recommendation and they are great. The base set of 8 colors were all great except for yellow which was too light. Easily found in America on Amazon or at local grocery and pharmacies (CVS and Stop and Shop and plenty more out here in the Northeast.)

Oh, and I tried China markers and found that the red and blue that I had left a smudge after wiping. It almost shaded it slightly blue and red. Had to work hard to erase it. Definitely inferior to the ease of wiping the above crayons.
 
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