Train trip for a Titan install and scarification

Last week I took a trip to New York City to get my Titan installed and to have some scarification work done. I backed batch 2 of the Titan, and at that time I didn’t know an installer for it. I searched the partner map and found Brian Decker at Pure Body Arts in NY. I started researching online, and I found his instagram. I discovered Brian did scarification work. I had considered getting a scarification piece for a couple years, but I didn’t have an idea of what I wanted, nor had I spent any effort searching for an artist.

In March I reached out to Brian by email. I inquired about the scarification and if he would be willing to install the Titan. A few days later he emailed me back and said he would be glad to help me with both. In August I finalised the design I wanted. I emailed Brian back and to tell him what I wanted and to schedule an appointment. By some great luck, Brian had a trip canceled just over a month out and was scheduling for that time. I excitedly scheduled my appointment and started working on a plan for the trip.

Planning and travel details

I had only been to New York once before, and that was upstate near Syracuse to help a friend out. That same friend lived in upstate New York for 35+ years and had family in the New Jersey and Long Island area. I had talked to him before about my magnets, xSIIDs, and my future plans. I ended up calling him asking if he wanted to take a couple day trip to NYC to include my installation. He was down for it. He had never been to that area and knew nothing about the public transit there.

Once I knew I had somebody to go with me, I had less than a month to book transport and a place to stay. Neither of us had ridden a long distance train before, and we decided to take an Amtrak train. We had no idea where to stay. My friend talked to his nephew that works in Newark, New Jersey for suggestions on where to stay. Thanks to the suggestions, we finally decided on an Airbnb in West New York, New Jersey. Everything was planned, and I just had to wait for the day to arrive.

Our train was scheduled to depart from Charlotte, North Carolina at 5:31am, day 1. My plan was to wake up at 2am, get ready, go pick up my friend, and take a Lyft from my house to the train station. I tried to go to bed at 7pm the night before, but due to nerves, excitement, and whatever else I did not sleep at all. Our Lyft was right on schedule, and we arrived at the train station over an hour early. Our destination was Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey. The trip was estimated at 12 hours and 16 minutes arriving at 5:47pm.

I had no complaints with the train itself. I had plenty of room, the dining cart had reasonable snacks, and the bathrooms were clean enough. I spent most of the morning trying to sleep, but I only managed about an hour at a time. I brought plenty of snacks, but I was wanting something warm for a late breakfast. A warm cream cheese bagel and orange juice was just enough to help me get a little more sleep afterward. Downloaded movies and shows were definitely a help. The free onboard Wi-Fi would go out occasionally, and my service was just as spotty while onboard. In Washington DC we switched to an electric locomotive. That thing was fast! Using google maps I saw us go as fast as 106 MPH.

We arrived in Newark, NJ and exited the train. Using google maps I was able to find a route to get us to our Airbnb. We got on a PATH light rail for roughly 20 minutes. We got off and walked to Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. We rode that for about 25 minutes. When we got off we had less than a half mile walk to our Airbnb.

Our 2 bedroom Airbnb was definitely smaller than what I was expecting, however I believe it was an average size for the area. There were small stores and restaurants everywhere. Anything we needed was definitely a short walk away. We went and got some supper. We ate and went to bed for the night. I slept for 10 hours straight.

The next day, day 2, my appointment was at 1pm. We left the Airbnb at 10am. We figured 3 hours would be plenty of time to get there. We were navigating public transit with google maps. We walked a little ways and got on a NJ Transit bus. This bus took us through the Lincoln Tunnel and to a bus terminal in New York. We found our way outside. We then wandered around a bit trying to orient ourselves. Thanks to some information booths, we were able to make our way to the subway and get our 7 day unlimited cards. The biggest difficulty we had was knowing which side of the platform to be on. We went the wrong way a few times. We finally reached the shop 10 minutes prior to my appointment. From an outsider’s perspective there is a large learning curve for NY public transit.

The design I had decided on is a compass rose. I had seen it on maps before and it just stuck with me. I wanted to be able to draw out what I wanted, however I am not much of an artist. I relied heavily on a ruler and protractor to get the dimensions and look that I wanted on paper. I also wanted the scar itself to stand out more. So I went and had that side of my chest tattooed solid black.

At the shop Brian greeted us at the door. He let us in and we began talking while Brian prepared the design. The scarification was going to be the longest part and was done first. Brian had me lay back on a table and started the process. Once the design was in place he began making the cuts for the outlines. He then applied some numbing gel that also helps with bleeding and let it sit for a bit. The process he used for removing the skin was with a Surgitron machine. My understanding is this machine uses electricity to “dry out the skin”. This also melts tattoo ink. I layed down on a metal plate connected to the machine. He had a corded pen looking device. The “pen” had a copper tip on it that the electricity flowed through.

The process was awesome just to experience by itself. The whole thing was less painful than the initial tattoo in that area. There were small spikes of discomfort whenever he would start on a new area, but it would rather quickly numb away. I spent the majority of the time just chatting with Brian and watching the smoke rising up off my chest. Brian did a phenomenal job in my opinion. When I stood up to see the results, it far and beyond exceeded what I expected.

The Titan install was next, and it was, I assume, fairly straight forward. Brian used some numbing stuff, let it sit for a bit, and then made an incision in the tip of my finger. He used a few tools to make a sufficient pocket for the Titan. He then used two stitches to close the hole up. I watched the whole thing. It was a surreal feeling to see it all but feel none of it.

I don’t have enough great things to say about Brian. He is great at explaining everything and does great work. He seems like a genuinely great person. I definitely plan on visiting Brian for all my future plans if he is willing to do them.

More traveling and sight seeing

After finishing up, we made our way back to our Airbnb. Getting back was a little easier. I started to understand and notice small things I hadn’t before. At an intersection it would tell you to enter from the NW corner for example. We had planned to use day 3, our last full day, for sightseeing.

Day 3 we took the same bus into NY. We went to several sights. We went to the 9/11 memorial, we saw the Statue of Liberty from lower Manhattan, we took a short trip through Central Park, and we finished off the day at and around Time Square. It was definitely interesting for me since I had never been there before. I wish I had planned a little more time than just seeing something and moving on.

Day 4 was the day of our return train. It was scheduled to leave Newark, NJ at 7:44am and arrive in Charlotte at 8:56pm. I had scheduled our way to the train station the night before. The first bus we needed was supposed to arrive at our stop at 5:51am. We were there 5 minutes early, but the bus showed up almost 15 minutes late. We had to hop off our first bus and wait on another bus. We were able to get on the second bus with no issue, and that took us all the way to the train station.

The return train ride was longer than the first train. I had no complaints about the train again, and everything was similar to the first ride, but it felt so much longer due to me not sleeping away parts of it. In the future I will probably fly. I saw flights at 1.5 hours and roughly the same price. It was definitely something to check off my bucket list, but I’m not sure I’d do it again. I will also next time be staying inside New York. The bus just to get back and forth between NY and NJ was just an unnecessary addition.

Today is 6 days after my appointment. My Titan hasn’t hurt much at all. I am being careful with it, but I’m also doing my normal everyday things. I took my stitches out last night, and the swelling seems to be minimal now.

The scarification takes a good amount of after care. I have kept it covered with a combination of non-stick pads and saran wrap. I clean it a few times a day and don’t let it dry out. I am excited to see what it looks like once it’s fully healed. I am hoping it raises up above the rest of the skin, however that’s dependent on how my body heals.


That’s a great scarification piece, I’m envious. :] Thank you very much for sharing this! How do you like the titan so far?

Yesterday I by accident noticed something with my phone. I was using Instagram and a video came up. Once sound started playing, I felt a tingling with my Titan. It must be related to the bottom speaker. I have 2 other magnets in my left hand, xG3s, but they had never been in a position to feel it before.

I have been trying to let it heal. I haven’t felt the need to mess with it. It is still slightly swollen. I’ll give it another week or two before I try lifting things or messing too much with it.

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You can even hold your magnetic viewing film that came with the titan to your phone and see your speaker :slight_smile:


Great writeup!
And, obviously, a great scarification as well - I really like the design, and it will surely give a great contrast to the full black tattoo when fully healed. Nice idea!

I’m always curious about the different ways of aftercare :wink: How long are you going to do it that way? And do you have any plans or instructions on irritating the wound after initial healing?

I saw the results of a long healed “laser-branding” once (yeah, on my bodmod artist :wink: ), and it was pretty interesting - the skin texture was different, though not as hypertrophic, and the skin was very bright and stayed that way, even when exposed to sunlight. So the design didn’t rise up as much, it mostly attracted attention by being lighter than the rest of the skin.
I am not totally sure about the Surgitron machine (in terms of if it is such a kind of laser-branding / cauterization), have to read myself into that a bit more, but I’m really curious on how your scars will develop.

It’s always just wonderful if you find someone you can trust and who can help you achieve your dreams, bodmod-wise :slight_smile:
Happy you made that great experience!


I had originally planned on keeping it covered until it stops “oozing”. Today is day 10 for healing, and it’s not oozing very much now. I don’t have any plans for irritating the wound. I have just been using anti bacterial soap to wash it during the day and regular body wash in the shower. I’ve been using the palm of my hand just to rub is gently no washcloths or scrubbers.

I forgot to post a picture update. This was 7 days healed.


It’s not for me, but damn that’s good.


Looks freakin’ great! Please keep on updating for the next weeks and months to come, scars tend to take some time :wink:

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Nummy scabs.
Looking great

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Today is day 14 of healing. I have left my scarifocation uncovered. It had dried out. It is itching something fierce most of the time. It also stings a bit when it stretches and compresses.

The Titan has given me no problems at all. The swelling appears to be mostly gone, and I am well satisfied with it.


Should be about one month old now, how are the scar and the Titan developing? Did you survive the first wave of massive itching? :wink:


That’s correct. Tomorrow is one month healed. Everything has been going well. The Titan was no trouble at all. Note the magnet on the outside of my finger is a 3mmx6mm magnet off amazon not a second Titan lol

I have no major complaints with the healing process of the scar. The most difficult part was the scabs. They would sting when stretched and compressed, and when they dried out they could itch pretty bad. A damp washcloth helped some with the itching, if I was in a place to use one. 10 out of 10 satisfied would do again if I find something else that I’d like.


No lime juice?

Looks amazing

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Lime juice? For irritating it?

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I guess so - I used lemons and sugar, but I guess lime would do the same job :wink:

But it’s interesting that there is obviously some difference in aftercare - my scarification didn’t develop any scabs at all, that was very nice and “kinda” comfortable, though it still was itching like hell some days^^

And it looks really really great! :+1:


:pancakes: :tongue:


What @Coma said.

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I was recommended not to irritate it. I would like the scar to be elevated, but in the long run I’d prefer clean straight lines.

I’m not certain that lemon juice or sugar would have affected the lines, but I decided against it.


I’m happy to see that everything’s looking great!

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