This pen currently comes in many different colors (5 that I have been able to identify...black, red, blue/black, red/black, & orange/black). I picked up the black and blue/black versions because I got them at a good price. ($5 for the blue/black and $3 for the black with free shipping). I had contemplated picking up the orange/black and red/black as well since I don't have any pens with that finish, but decided to try the model out first.
My initial thoughts on this pen was that it felt very sturdy and solid overall with a little bit of both thickness and weight (at least compared to many of the ones I already have). They both seemed well built and relatively free of any apparent paint or manufacturing defects. The section feels comfortable to hold for my hand size and the pen has an attractive taper...getting narrower at each end and being thickest in the middle. The parts all seemed well finished and fit together nicely. I was originally a little concerned about the chrome parts and shiny lacquer finish, but in experience didn't have too much issue with fingerprints...although some where apparent here and there. The pen feels well in the hand both posted and un-posted and they both came apart really easily for the initial cleaning that I do with all my pens...including the nib and feed.
I used both of the pens this week and inked one up with the standard Kaigelu black ink that I have the most experience with and the other with Noodler's Baystate Blue. Initially they both wrote pretty well but the nibs were a tad on the scratchy side for my tastes. After using the pens for a few hours I noticed that they started to dry up a little and the pen with the Baystate Blue stopped writing all together. Since I had already cleaned the pens with an ultrasonic cleaner and some liquid hand soap when I first got them, I instead worked on getting the tines tuned up a little better than they were initially and did a little smoothing on the nib with some 12000 grit sanding pads.
After this work, both of the pens wrote beautifully for my tastes with a nice wet flow of ink and the nib moved smoothly across the paper.
Here is where the story gets a little interesting...
The black pen (filled with Kaigelu black ink) wrote beautifully all week after my tuneup to the nib. The blue/black version filled with Noodler's Baystate Blue however wrote amazing immediately after the tuneup...but then after 100-150 words you could start to see the ink drying up a bit on the page...getting lighter and lighter...and the nib would start feeling a little rough. Eventually the pen would choke out and stop writing. A turn or two of the converter would start the ink flowing again and produce a nice wet line...but then after 150 words or so would go through the same process. Instead of messing with the nib and feed more, I decided to try and experiment and instead changed to the standard Kaigelu black ink I am familiar with. After that change...the pen wrote well all week wtihout exhibiting the need to have the converter turned here and there during a writing session.
I had contemplated playing around with the nib a little more and adjusting it for a wetter flow and then trying the Baystate Blue again, but in the end decided not to play around with it and instead to possibly come back to it in the future when I might have learned more. I hesitate to fine-tune a pen to one particular ink if there is any possibility that I might want to change inks at any point.
Interestingly I looked on the internet to see if anyone else had written a review of this model. I came across one and saw that others apparently had the same issue I was having with the blue/black version filled with BSB ink. I did feel good that at least I was able to overcome what might be a slight design flaw, by using my standard ink.
So...if anyone has a similar experience...you may try changing inks.
In the end...I'm not sure at this point if I am interested in picking up additional copies of this model to get the other finish options that I like. If I can overcome and figure out the flow issue and ensure that this model is compatible with many different inks without the need to adjust the converter frequently I think I would be interested. Time and experience will decide.
Some of the other observations I had using this model was that my fingers seemed to regularly become stained with ink. Not horribly bad...but enough that I felt the need to wipe the section down to ensure it was clean. I'm not sure if the ink was coming from my fingers slipping over the lip at the end of the section and touching the feed or if ink was somehow dribbling onto the section while the pen was in my bag being carried back and forth to work. It was more of a conscious observation that I was getting more ink on my fingers with this model than I was used to from other models.
I really love the clip featured on this model too. I like how it archs and also love the springy action it has. When you lift the clip it resembles a lever and actually pivots inside the top of the pen cap rather than being fixed and locked onto the cap itself. (In hindsight I should have taken a picture of this to show). I thought this was awesome and really allows some flexibility for the clip to get clearance over whatever you want to hook it over/on...but then it gribs back firmly again when you release it.
Interstingly...both pens come with Baoer nibs...but one of the pens has "Crocodile" logos on the lower silver trim of the cap. I really don't know the connections between all the companies...but am assuming that Crocodile must be associated with Baoer somehow. I really wish that the model # was featured indiscreetly somewhere on the pen, but that is just my personal preference. I guess I'll just have to remember what model it is if someone ever asks.
I also wish that the blue on the blue/black model was a little more vibrant and had better contrast wtih the black elements. As it is...at various points it's hard to distinguish the blue from the black and it just kind of looks black overall. This was apparent in some of the pictures that I took and transfers to the real life visual experience with the pen as well. Much of this is just personal taste though as I tend to like really vibrant colors with a lot of contrast.
The nib really has no noticeable flex and seems pretty firm.
Overall...I like this model for it's quality and features, but hope I can get it to a point of being better compatible with a wide selection of inks without the need to frequently ajust the converter.