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PhotoPearls, also known as the bottle beads

 
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saturnine13
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: PhotoPearls, also known as the bottle beads Reply with quote

Nabbi's bottle beads are now available for purchase in the United States! Called PhotoPearls, they're being sold by The Beadery both in a starter kit and separately in refill bottles.

I've already purchased a starter kit with one of every color, and since it arrived this morning I'll share my preliminary research.

Unfortunately, my camera broke, so I have no pictures to share (also the reason why I haven't been posting much lately. T^T).



The Beads Themselves and How They Melt:

First off, the dimensions are extremely close to Hama beads in diameter, thickness, and height, so they're easily interchangeable with both Hama and Perler.

You'll notice right off the bat that the beads are made of a harder plastic, they have no give like the other brands of beads. I have tested them out, and yes, they don't melt quite as fast as the other beads, but they WILL melt, and without much, if any, discrepancy in hole size in the finished product. I was perfectly satisfied with the results.

Interestingly, the company that sells these beads do not recommend melting the beads together. Instead they sell adhesive stickers -- you flip your source image, put the beads on the pegboards, then smooth the sticker over the beads, put a piece of cardboard on top, flip, and then take off the pegboards. I haven't tried it but I think I much prefer the melting.



The 30 Colors: (picture reference)

01 Black
Nigh indistinguishable from Perler Black, except... to my eye, under both sunlight and incandescent light, it's a little lighter. Almost a very very very dark grey. Maybe my eyes are tricking me.

02 Dark Brown
Very close to Hama Dark Brown, which is darker than Perler's.

03 Brown (same name as 27, but this is darker)
A more saturated, milk-chocolatey Perler Dark Brown.

04 Maroon
A darker shade of Perler Raspberry, lighter than Hama Burgundy. I think you could use this as a dark red.

05 Caramel
A tiny bit darker than Perler Butterscotch, not usefully distinct.

06 Khaki
Here's an interesting, hard to categorize color. This is a light, almost completely desaturated Hama Beige/Perler Tan.

07 Sand
A lighter shade of Perler Tan. It's too close to Hama Beige to shade with that, but it could work with Tan.

08 Grey
Close to Perler Grey in brightness, but a dusty kind of color. Perler's Grey is more of a steel grey, this is more of a granite grey.

09 Hunter Green
One shade darker than Perler Dark Green/Hama Green. Much much brighter than Hama Army Green.

10 Light Grey
While this isn't the light grey of my dreams, that one right between Grey and White, but this is an off white I can see being very useful.

11 Purple
If Hama Transparent Purple weren't transparent, it would pretty much be this. A very blue purple.

12 Ivory
Lighter than Creme, on the beige end of the spectrum rather than yellow.

13 Orange
A shade brighter than Hama Orange, which is itself half a shade brighter than Perler Orange. Could be shadeable.

14 Yellow
Slightly more orange than Perler Yellow, roughly as bright.

15 White
White is white.

16 Dark Green
A shade lighter than Perler Dark Green/Hama Green, possibly shadeable.

17 Blue Tropic
Practically indistinguishable from Perler Light Blue.

18 Cream
Not at ALL like Perler/Hama Creme, this is practically indistinguishable from Perler Peach.

19 Red
Very different from Perler Red and not shadeable with it. It's a purer red, though compared to Perler's it's kind of orangy.

20 Light Brown
Very close to Hama Beige/Perler Tan, a touch darker.

21 Light Yellow
Just the faintest touch lighter than Perler Pastel Yellow, but pretty much indistinguishable.

22 Lime
Like Hama's Neon and Fluorescent Green (in color and translucency), only more olive.

23 Blue
Quite close to Hama/Perler Pastel Blue.

24 Lavender
A couple shades lighter than Perler Pastel Lavender, a dream come true.

25 Pink
Exactly like Perler Bubblegum.

26 Peach
Several shades lighter than Perler Butterscotch, reminds me of orange sherbert.

27 Brown (same name as 02, this is lighter)
Right between Perler Dark Brown and Perler Light Brown.

28 Sky Blue
Lighter than Hama/Perler Pastel Blue, about as bright as Perler Toothpaste but this is a pure blue, whereas Toothpaste is a teal. Nicely shadeable.

29 Golden
A lot like Perler's Cheddar, only kinda translucenty like Hama and Perler's Neon/Fluorescent colors.

30 Kiwi
A rather light olive, I could only describe it as a greenish Perler Yellow.


Errata:

I've tried out the software, and it seems pretty useful for converting non-pixel art, like photos, CG artwork, etc., into beadable pieces. It's not at all difficult to use, and it installs easily.

The pegboards are the same size as Perler (6 inches) and they interlock with each other (but not with any other brands', of course). The pegs are closer together, so they fit 30 by 30 pegs per board, versus Perler's 29 by 29.

The bead refills, so far, only come in bottles of 3500 at $8 each, so these beads are pretty darned expensive.
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Yoshi
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Nice Find Surprised But very overpriced but they have some nice looking colors maybe I'll invest in some Very Happy
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Oobgarm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried making a small test piece using all 3 brands together? How well does the new brand assimilate with Perler and Hama?

I tried a newer bead type(Creative Kids) that was of a harder plastic and had no luck getting it to fuse with the others. It'd be close but they would just fall right off if you touched them.
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saturnine13
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oobgarm wrote:
Have you tried making a small test piece using all 3 brands together? How well does the new brand assimilate with Perler and Hama?

I tried a newer bead type(Creative Kids) that was of a harder plastic and had no luck getting it to fuse with the others. It'd be close but they would just fall right off if you touched them.

It was the first thing I did once I opened up the package. :D I have also made several FFVI characters with them, and am pleased with the results. If my camera were working, I could show you.

Since the beads are the same size as the Hama beads, and they melt much more easily than the hardness would indicate, there's no problems with interchanging the beads with other brands.
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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, great...more beads I need to buy, and pretty expensive at that...

It's my own fault! Crying or Very sad I need to have ALL the colors! Confused
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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I abuse my VISA card further, I have some annoying questions for you...

I've pretty much decided on getting the following Nabbi colors based on your excellent descriptions of the differences between their colors and Perler's and Hama's:
09 Hunter Green, 10 Light Grey, 11 Purple, 12 Ivory, 13 Orange, 24 Lavender, 26 Peach, 27 Brown, 28 Sky Blue, 30 Kiwi...Do you think any of these would be a particular waste of my money?

RE 02 Dark Brown, is this slightly lighter than or slightly darker than Hama Dark Brown?

RE 03 Brown, is this similar to Hama Coffee Brown? Is this significantly different from Perler Dark Brown to justify the expense?

RE 04 Marroon, how does this compare to Hama Dark Red? Again, do you think it's worth the expense?

RE 06 Khaki vs. 07 Sand, between these two, which is more significantly different from Perler Tan?

RE 08 Grey, although you mention that it is close to Perler Grey in brightness, do you think it would provide a useful addition to the "grey palette?"

RE 16 Dark Green, how different is this from Perler's Bright (Pain-in-My-Ass-to-Find) Green?

RE 19 Red, would this be a useful addition to the "orange palette?"

Thank you so much in advance for your answers and sorry for the exacting nature of my questions, but I just don't want to throw away money on any of the above-listed colors if the differences aren't signficant enough...
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Yoshi
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Poor visa cards Laughing
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saturnine13
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These questions aren't annoying in the least, I am very glad to help! I am currently working on a very tricky project using the new colors, so my opinions on several colors have changed through better acquaintance.


Worth buying

04 Maroon (Way darker than Hama Dark Red.)
06 Khaki (This is a very light brown, doesn't shade with Beige, but still useful.)
09 Hunter Green
11 Purple
12 Ivory
13 Orange
16 Dark Green (Darker than Bright Green and very shadeable with.)
24 Lavender
26 Peach
27 Brown
28 Sky Blue
30 Kiwi


NOT worth the money, unless you're rich:

02 Dark Brown & 03 Brown (These... are really hard to fit into the brown spectrum, since they are so close to Hama & Perler Light Brown. I would say, for now, stay away from them.)
07 Sand (Not different enough from Perler Tan/Hama Beige.)
08 Grey (Not different enough from Perler Grey.)
10 Light Grey (It's just so light, it's hard to distinguish from white, but it IS different and I can think of one sprite I'd use it for.)
19 Red (Not different enough from Perler Red.)


Any other questions are quite welcome!
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rgcainmd
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturnine:

Thank you so much for your quick reply!!!

I'm going to follow your recommendations and order those colors. What "tricky" Laughing project are you working on?

Thanks again!
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saturnine13
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rgcainmd wrote:
Saturnine:

Thank you so much for your quick reply!!!

I'm going to follow your recommendations and order those colors. What "tricky" :lol: project are you working on?

Thanks again!

You're very welcome!

It's Queklain (or Cuchulainn) from Final Fantasy Tactics. The colors are impossible to replicate, but I'm experimenting to see if I can make it work. :D
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