Rainbow Ducky

Pastel ducky

Today I wanted to talk about my keyboard.

My relationship with keyboards has been an interesting one because I have always been very particular but not always very discerning. When I first built my desktop back in 2013, I didn’t want to bother spending any extra money on peripherals so I just used things that my dad already had lying around. Among these was an old dell rubber dome whose grip pads had already peeled off. Over time, as I became used to it, I also grew attached to it. In retrospect this was terrible because it truly was an awful keyboard. The lack of grip pads was especially problematic because I needed it to be positioned on my desk in a very specific way otherwise I would feel severely handicapped in whatever game I was playing. My brother would always tease me about how I was so attached to something so crappy and he could never understand why I wouldn’t just buy a new one.

One day I woke up and decided that I wanted a keyboard with a backlit keys. I didn’t care about the specs and I didn’t know the difference between a rubber dome or a mech; all I knew is that backlighting looked pretty so I needed it. Still not wanting to spend much on a keyboard, I turned to CraigsList where I found a CM Storm Trigger with Cherry MX Browns for a very reasonable price. This was my foray into mechanical keyboards.. It wasn’t gaming, it wasn’t coding, it wasn’t even stumbling upon r/mk and discovering the endless possibilities for customization. Nope. I accidentally converted myself to mechanical simply by being cheap and superficial.

Pretty in pastel

Once I got used to that keyboard, I knew that there was no way I could go back to using mushy rubber domes which posed a new challenge when it came time to re-design my room. Like I said, i’m a very particular person so that meant every aspect of my room had to be perfect. This resulted in me buying a new monitor, tower case, and mousepad. I wasn’t able to find a white or mint green speaker system so I sewed matching covers for my existing one. My headset was already white so all that was left was my keyboard and my mouse. The only mouse i’ve used so far that properly fits my grip is the Razer DeathAdder but unfortunately it only comes in black. I ended up finding an older one (with the blue backlight instead of green), again on CraigsList, and I will be taking it apart and painting it glossy white in the future. For my keyboard, the process was a little bit more complex.

After discovering r/mk, I became very excited with all the possibilities available for customization. Things like custom cables, keysets, and artisan keycaps..really just so many opportunities to turn it from a hunk of metal and plastic into a work of art. I already knew that I wanted a white keyboard–that was a given–with Cherry MX Browns, as I loved the feel of my CM Trigger, but how could I allow myself to see all these other wonderful possibilities for customization without capitalizing on any of them? That just wouldn’t be right.

Other matching peripherals

I knew that this time for backlighting, I wanted more colours than just red. Ideally I would have liked my keyboard to have the full spectrum available but I was okay with just red and blue as long as they could be mixed to make various hues of pink and purple. I wanted it full-sized for no other reason than just having more space for pretty keys. I’ve always thought that artisans look impractical so I figured the extra numpad could be used as a place to put them if I ever became (i.e. had the resources to become) a collector. I also stumbled upon a beautiful set of pastel rainbow keycaps and once I had seen it, I had to have it. You see, the world of mechanical keyboards is a world of no turning back; once you’ve entered it, you continue to discover more and more things that you want until your wallet is empty and your desk is full.

I ended up buying my keyboard on MechMarket, a beautiful white-cased Duck Shine 4 with Cherry MX Brown switches. It wasn’t cheap but it was what I wanted and i’m very happy that I sprung for it. For the keycaps, I bought the front-printed NPKC Rainbow Keycaps from MassDrop. I actually think that the blank ones look a lot prettier but i’m not familiar enough with key content to fly blind like that. Front-printed allowed me to have the beauty of the blanks when viewed from above while still having the option to easily see what’s on each key. I also bought three Gen.S Gem Artisan Keycaps from MassDrop in Rose, Turquoise, and Jade and was able to win a raffle with Bad News! Keycaps; the cap I got was quite simple but it has a pearly opalescent shine to it which is one of my favourite things. It now sits proudly atop the ESC key. Lastly, I ordered a custom USB cable from 90N1NE and I am very happy with it. It is a beautiful teal colour that perfectly matches my storage boxes and it looks great with the gem artisans and rainbow keycaps. He also let me order some extra teal sleeving which I plan to use on the cable for my mouse when I finally get around to it.

Discovering r/mk has also ignited another fire in me and that is artisan keycaps. They look so beautiful and I have always liked the idea of working on small scale things like that. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head for caps that I want to make. When I have time, I’d like to learn to create silicone molds and also learn resin-casting so that is a project I will look forward to doing in the future. Another thing to mention about r/mk is that it’s one of the friendliest and most welcoming Reddit communities that I’ve stumbled across. Of course I’m sure there are exceptions, but overall, their community seems to consist of a lot less snarky and catty people than I’d typically expect to encounter on a hobby-based subreddit.

As far as MassDrop goes, i’ve participated in 3 drops and have had a good experience with all of them. Everything that i’ve ordered has been great quality and has arrived either earlier or exactly when it was supposed to. The gem keycaps took a while to be prepared and ship out but I already knew the expected timeline when I committed to the drop. Recently i’ve been seeing reviews from people who have had terrible experiences with drops so be sure to do your due diligence and conduct thorough research before committing to anything.

Overall, i’m thrilled with how my keyboard turned out. It makes me happy to be surrounded by pretty things and I can now proudly say that my keyboard is not only pleasing to the touch, but pleasing to the eyes as well.

Bad News! Caps pearly ESC key

Gen.S Gem Artisan Keycaps

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  • I’m starstruck by how pretty your keyboard is!

    I wanted a pink keyboard but realised that nothing about my computer setup would match so I shelved the idea. I was gifted not too long after Chroma keyboard and mouse so I can make the back lighting pink.

    What a pity there aren’t more white coloured peripherals ):

    • Sarah

      I agree, I was so sad when I couldn’t find a white mouse I liked. Ahhh, pink backlighting is nice!

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