Hey Vince, I hope this comes to you in time.... I wouldn't use fountain pen ink. If you wanted to do it quick and dirty, then I would use sugar free Kool Aid.
There's also RIT dye for a more involved and probably more messy project.
Ronn Lucas Sr has a very good article on his website on Kool Aid dyeing. Go to his site:
Ronn Lucas Sr
and look over under the "Menu
" links on the left hand side of the page. Click on the "Articles, Documents, Ephemera
" link and go to the "Dyeing Feathers 10
1" article in pdf format.
And here's a color chart showing cream colored wool and "natural" colored wool dyed with different sugar free drinks mixes (Kool-Aid and Flavor-Aid) to give you a starting point on flavors:
Depending on the shade of blue you want it could be difficult to achieve with Kool Aid-- a light pastel blue or purplish shade should be easy, whereas a navy or bright blue might be tougher. It may be that you need a more potent dye like Rit, Jacquard, Fly Dye etc. If you're looking for a "blue" as in "blue dun" shades of hackle, then i would consider using something like Lady Clairol hair coloring.
Whatever red you're looking for should be much easier to achieve.
These dyes work best on natural fibers (hair, feathers, wool etc) but not well at all with synthetics. Because of the low cost of thread and the the probability that it will be synthetic (unless you're using silk), I would buy that in whatever colors you're looking for. And since Bucktail typically goes for 5 bucks or so it might be easier to buy it dyed the color you want (if you can find it) unless you've already got a bunch that you've harvested.
Start out with small samples of stuff to see if you can get the shades you want... good luck let us know how this works out for you.
AK Best wrote a book that might be a good investment if you are planning to do a lot of it: