Tag Archives: tattoo machine talk

Red Region Blog Posts Focusing On Tattoo Machines

Green Monster Tattoo Machine

Green Monster Tattoo Machine from Eikon
This is the Green Monster Tattoo Machine from Eikon. You can get this in a kit form with instructions and all that jazz. I thought that was cool because a majority of the newer tattooists out there don’t know squat about their tools. This is an easy way to learn a little bit. The soldering is done for you so you needn’t worry if you lack those skills. I went for the long stroke liner. It is green, but no monster. I recently picked this up after talking to a few people and getting mixed reviews. I now know why. I actually think of this a very nice little liner. It is awesome with small groupings, but blows with big ones. I am a detail tattooist so that is groovy for me, but for most guys running 7’s and up it would not do well. It just lacks the juice. Replacing the coils, changing spring angle and a different armature bar would fix that right up, and many have went that route, but I am running it as is.
It runs smooth and soft with triples.
The weird thing here for me is Eikon’s “Tru-Spring armature bars” and their springs which are actually numbered for easy identification. The bars are cut for certain “lifts” (angles) so the springs just poke up at that angle no matter what. I personally have always just bent my springs willy nilly style until they hit and felt right. I know that isn’t the usual method, but it is more usual than this set up. Not being one to dismiss the new without giving it a good try I am now planning to get a bunch of their armature bars and springs to fiddle with on machines I don’t use often or at all. You can get them all in one bulk deal. They come with o-rings though. That makes me think people have trouble with them. O-rings in my opinion are often a crutch for a bad tune. They are not needed and don’t do diddly if you get things right. On the other hand… many use them just to dampen sound.
This machine kit is only a couple hundred bucks and definitely comparable to machines people are selling in the $300-ish range, so you can’t complain of the price. It is a million times nicer than any fifty dollar jobbie off amazon or ebay, but… you can get machines that are as good though less finished for way less than this and… if you are into putting things together like this you can use a dirt cheap Amazon/ebay frame that looks nicer and build a better machine than this for under a hundred bucks.

Green Monster Tattoo Machine Kits are based on the Green Monster project machine featured in Machinegun Magazine. I have never read the articles in the magazine.

Pink Falkfino Machine

Pink Falkfino Tattoo Machine
I just picked up this machine. It was made by Jen Falkfino. It is the first ever machine I have gotten from a female builder.
Women in general are not known for building machines or even being able to tune them.
After I received the machine and started inspecting it a scene from the movie A knight’s Tale came to mind:
William: (on asking Kate to mend his armour) It’s just as well, they told me I was daft for even asking.
Kate: Who?
William: The other armourers.
Kate: Did they say I couldn’t do it because I’m a woman?
William: No, they said you were great with horseshoes, but shite with armour. The fact that you were a woman wasn’t even mentioned.

Anyways… I decided to try out one of her machines because of a recommendation by someone I trusted.
It is a steel framed job. I usually stick to aluminum for liners because I like the enhanced feel and lower weight. I do run a few steel jobs though and find them better suited to heavy shader and color packer machines for the most part.
This though was to be a pre-tuned liner. Short stroke with a medium punch and slow cycle.
On inspecting it I found the stroke much longer than anticipated and the punch pretty darn hard. As I usually run longer strokes I didn’t have a problem with that, just thought it odd the tune didn’t match with what was asked for. I did shorten the stroke a tiny bit because that is what I was wanting it for, but not by much.
The frame is really nice. The machining is cleaner than average for hand built. The welding is average. The paint is mediocre/satisfactory. The build is about average for an American built machine which is really nice considering the builder charges less than the average American builder. It runs smooth down low. I’m guessing I will be fiddling with it for a week or so to get it just right for me. That is to be expected though with any machine. Overall I’d say it is a nice one and I am happy I got it. I will run it for a while and see how she does after some long hours before I make any big judgments. I’m thinking though that I scored by trying a machine from this builder and if it turns out I didn’t… I’m happy with the frame.

As for the appearance of this one… I was obviously going with something macho. What is more macho than bubble gum pink?

Old machines never die

old tattoo machines never die
I rarely retire a tattoo machine I like. On the other hand I rarely like a tattoo machine enough to have it become one of my regulars. This one I liked though. I got it as a tip in 1999 while working J.D. Crowe & Dennis Dwyer’s Tattoo Tour. It was a surprise tip from a guy named Jim that worked for Dwyer’s Precision Tattoo Supply and was always running around like a madman at the shows taking care of Dennis’s stuff and in the case of the Tattoo Tour itself most all of the little details us non show promoting artists never think about. I tattooed the guy back in I think 1997 at one of the Hollywood Ink Slingers Ball conventions (which I used to work every year) and he said he was going to give me a machine as a tip. I saw the guy at maybe a dozen shows around the country between then and 99 and he never mentioned it again. He got another tattoo appointment with me for the Anaheim California Tattoo Tour stop and then later surprised me with this machine after I had pretty much forgot about it. Though it was officially a tip I registered it more as a gift since he also gave me a cash tip and the guy I had working my booth with me also was given a custom machine made to his visual liking. It was if I recall correctly a frame with a wolf or coyote howling at the moon.
I own a total of 7 aluminum framed machines that originated with Dwyer’s precision Tattoo. Of the seven only one is used for shading. The rest are liners. Three of the machines I use semi often.
This particular one I use a few times a month.
When I originally got it I tuned it to have a long stroke with a medium punch and a super slow cycle. I’d guess about 130 per sec or so. It was awesome for thin very black sculpted lines.
I now run it as sketcher. It runs fast, has a medium stroke, close to zero punch, and is one of two machines I use to get soft pencil style looking lines.