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Gama's Homage To The Skyline

gama gem and co. madras chennai indian pen ebonite skyline

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86 replies to this topic

#1 hari317

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 06:29

I laid my hands on a new pen sold by Gem and Co in Madras. The pen appears to be a homage to the legendary Skyline pen. The Skyline was a popular pen in India with several clones already made by Indian pen companies like Wilson etc, some of which are documented here:

 

http://www.fountainp...s-with-a-theme/

 

The pen is petite.

 

Closed: 133mm
Open: 122 with nib
Posted: 153mm
Section dia: 9mm tapers down to 8mm and flares up to 9mm again at the base of nib
Barrel dia: 11mm steps down to 10mm for cap
Cap dia: 13mm

 

The pen is very nice to look at and gracefully shaped like the original, but is offered in Ebonite in 4 colors, I bought a set of these pens, one in each color.

 

IMG_0044.jpg

 

IMG_0043.jpg

 

The clip is spring loaded with a lever at the top which can be depressed to open the clip up. The clip is good, but I found the tension a bit floppy. It is easy to re-tension the clip by unscrewing the cap top finial and bending the washer towards the clip.

 

IMG_0046.jpg

 

The Stock pen:

 

The stock pen comes with friction fitted yellow steel nib marked Gama, 5 year point and an extra long ebonite feeder.

 

IMG_0047.jpg

 

IMG_0054.jpg

 

I am not a very big fan of the stock nib, it is an acceptable nib, but requires some tuning to get it to write the way I like(YMMV), so I decided to fit in a Schmidt nib unit instead.

 

My first attempt, with the black pen, was a disaster . :)  There is very little space. The wall thicknesses come out to 0.25mm in some places.

 

IMG_0055.jpg

 

I did not give up and decided to proceed with extreme caution the next time, i decided to hack the green one. Success!

 

IMG_0048.jpg

 

IMG_0049.jpg

 

IMG_0050.jpg

 

IMG_0051.jpg

 

IMG_0052.jpg

 

IMG_0053.jpg

 

Stock Vs Modified:

 

IMG_0056.jpg

 

IMG_0057.jpg

 

There is not enough space in the section as well as the barrel to accept a converter. I am using the modified pen in ED mode with Pelikan black ink. It is my sole pen at work today.

 

Gem have priced this pen very attractively (I purchased from owner of asapens). In my view, it represents a very good value for money, beautiful ebonite pen, despite some shortcomings like a slightly less springy pocket clip and the lack of an inner cap (whether it has any detriment on performance remains to be seen, I have only just begun to use the pen).

 

Cheers!

Hari


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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 08:30

Cool.



#3 mhguda

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 11:50

How did you "hack" this pen? This is exactly what I wanted to do, and the owner of Asapens told me it was not possible. I ordered one anyway. Did you do any modification of the section, or just basically slide it in, however difficult it would go? At least this gives me the hope I can do it myself. It looks like an ideal solution, so I will keep my fingers crossed...


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#4 drvishal

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 11:51

Hi Hari is there any advantage of long feeder used in this pen??

#5 hari317

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 12:19

How did you "hack" this pen? This is exactly what I wanted to do, and the owner of Asapens told me it was not possible. I ordered one anyway. Did you do any modification of the section, or just basically slide it in, however difficult it would go? At least this gives me the hope I can do it myself. It looks like an ideal solution, so I will keep my fingers crossed...

You have been well advised. The section needs rather extensive modification. As you can see, I have broken one pen in the process. After modifying the section suitably, I created threads inside the section to accept the Schmidt nib unit, The nib unit is not simply pushed in but is rather threaded in. 

 

With practice anyone can do it. I suggest you look up  IAP about the basics of pen making, buy the basic tools, practice on some pens, it is a very delicate work to fit this nib unit into this pen. all the best, enjoy!


Edited by hari317, 27 June 2014 - 12:23.

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#6 hari317

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 12:19

Hi Hari is there any advantage of long feeder used in this pen??

none at all. it is enough if it extends just 1mm over the section threads.


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#7 OakIris

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 12:24

I do like the look of those pens!  It is too bad that the stock nib does not match the nice design of the pen with equally good performance.

 

 I, too, am curious as to the purpose of the extra long feed, as well as about the procedure of changing out the nib; hopefully you will share that process with us, Hari.  Having destroyed a 'real' vintage Skyliner when trying to change out its nib, I am a bit reluctant to ruin an ebonite pen, but we will see - at least it won't be a vintage pen that survived 65+ years in perfect shape before meeting up with me!

 

According to the asapens website, Gama calls their new pen the Gama Airborne; it cost $14 in USA currency but I wasn't able to find any info about shipping costs.  They also seem to only have the "light brown-blk marbled" version in stock.

 

I look forward to reading about your further impressions of the pen once you have had a chance to use it for a bit longer, Hari.  Thank you so much for bringing this pen to our attention.  I have been wanting to try out an Indian ebonite pen for a while, and this one is cool enough looking that I am really tempted!

 

Holly  

 

Edit - Hari was busy adding posts while I was writing mine, so already answered the question about the feed and it sounds as if modifying the pen to fit a different nib - at least a Schmidt nib - is quite a bit beyond my skill set.   :(


Edited by OakIris, 27 June 2014 - 13:27.


#8 Abhik

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 12:43

Very well documented Hari. IMHO, green one with modified section a tad longer than already longer section. How does it feal & wirting comfort?

Best,

Abhik



#9 hari317

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 13:59

I do like the look of those pens!  It is too bad that the stock nib does not match the nice design of the pen with equally good performance.

 

 I, too, am curious as to the purpose of the extra long feed, as well as about the procedure of changing out the nib; hopefully you will share that process with us, Hari.  Having destroyed a 'real' vintage Skyliner when trying to change out its nib, I am a bit reluctant to ruin an ebonite pen, but we will see - at least it won't be a vintage pen that survived 65+ years in perfect shape before meeting up with me!

 

According to the asapens website, Gama calls their new pen the Gama Airborne; it cost $14 in USA currency but I wasn't able to find any info about shipping costs.  They also seem to only have the "light brown-blk marbled" version in stock.

 

I look forward to reading about your further impressions of the pen once you have had a chance to use it for a bit longer, Hari.  Thank you so much for bringing this pen to our attention.  I have been wanting to try out an Indian ebonite pen for a while, and this one is cool enough looking that I am really tempted!

 

Holly  

 

Edit - Hari was busy adding posts while I was writing mine, so already answered the question about the feed and it sounds as if modifying the pen to fit a different nib - at least a Schmidt nib - is quite a bit beyond my skill set.   :(

Hi Holly,

 

The feeder of this diameter comes in this length from the feed manufacturer. The pen maker decided to leave it as is and not shorten it. In the case of this pen, a longer feed is no detriment in my view, but it is not serving any special purpose either.

 

The stock nib might prove perfectly acceptable. I do these modifications more to satisfy my pen making urges, I cannot get into full fledged pen making. 

 

If you want this pen with a German nib unit, I have reliable information that such a pen is being made as we speak, to be made available in larger numbers. It will have the "trifold" filler capability. :)

 

I think the pen has been priced so well that you can experiment with little loss.

 

Regards

Hari


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#10 hari317

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 14:34

Very well documented Hari. IMHO, green one with modified section a tad longer than already longer section. How does it feal & wirting comfort?

Best,

Abhik

Dear Abhik, Thank you. This is a very small pen actually. I should take some pics alongside some standard well known pen for giving some idea about the size. 

 

The section length between nib and threads is just 17mm and the total grippable length from the point the barrel steps down to the base of nib is 32mm. I found it comfortable. I also sought comments from two of my FP user colleagues at work,  the opinion was this this is a writer's pen, very comfortable.

 

Best

Hari


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#11 OakIris

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 18:41

Hi Holly,

 

The feeder of this diameter comes in this length from the feed manufacturer. The pen maker decided to leave it as is and not shorten it. In the case of this pen, a longer feed is no detriment in my view, but it is not serving any special purpose either.

 

The stock nib might prove perfectly acceptable. I do these modifications more to satisfy my pen making urges, I cannot get into full fledged pen making. 

 

If you want this pen with a German nib unit, I have reliable information that such a pen is being made as we speak, to be made available in larger numbers. It will have the "trifold" filler capability. :)

 

I think the pen has been priced so well that you can experiment with little loss.

 

Regards

Hari

Leaving the feed that long is an interesting choice, I guess.  Perhaps it doesn't make that much difference, but with it protruding so far into the body of the pen, it seems it would slightly reduce the amount of ink you can fill the pen with.  I suppose you could just cut the extra bit off?? Or just leave it be and not worry about it....

 

What was the problem you found with the stock nib?  Scratchy?  Dry?  

 

Good to hear that Gama will be offering the same design with a different nib - and hopefully they will give us a choice of nib sizes as well, since right now you can have fine or fine.  lol.  By "trifold filler capability" do you mean cartridge/converter/eyedropper?  

 

Intriguing pen!  I look forward to hearing your final verdict after you have used it for a while.

 

Holly



#12 grainweevil

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 18:57

The pen is petite.

 

This made me smile; to me it appears from the spec. to be a normal size pen!  :D Alas, I'd promised myself to stop sending Asa Pens my money just for a little while, and by the time I'd talked myself out of such nonsense the colours I might have chosen were gone. Perhaps it's just as well, given the news of the "trifold" version.

 

Is there any reason not to just replace the nib using friction fit again rather than a threaded unit? I'm assuming not and it's just your personal preference.

 

Cheers, Al



#13 hari317

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 04:36

.

 

What was the problem you found with the stock nib?  Scratchy?  Dry?  

 

I did not try the stock nib at all, i straightaway put in the Schmidt.

 

Good to hear that Gama will be offering the same design with a different nib - and hopefully they will give us a choice of nib sizes as well, since right now you can have fine or fine.  lol.  By "trifold filler capability" do you mean cartridge/converter/eyedropper?  

 

Yes. :)

 

Intriguing pen!  I look forward to hearing your final verdict after you have used it for a while.

 

I will surely post an update after a few months.

.

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#14 hari317

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 04:42

 

.

 

Is there any reason not to just replace the nib using friction fit again rather than a threaded unit? I'm assuming not and it's just your personal preference.

 

Cheers, Al

Hi Al, the stock nib specs are 25mm length from tip to heel and 6.5mm across the shoulders. The feeder diameter is 4.7mm.  A friction fit substitute will be straightforward and true to the spirit of the stock pen. Best, Hari


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#15 grainweevil

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 14:11

Thanks, Hari - very helpful.  :thumbup:

 

Cheers, Al



#16 amk

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 17:05

That's a truly delightful pen. Of course, it's a wonderful anachronism to put ebonite with a "Streamline Era" design, but it works beautifully. I think Indian makers do so well when they take inspiration from the classic pens.

 

And the khaki one looks very "tactical", almost as if it's meant to be desert camouflage.

 

A pity there's no room for a converter or cart, though. I find eyedroppers can be intensely annoying with their burping. Maybe because I have hot hands - I know, because a patissier who took me for a day's workshop told me my hands are way too hot to make fine cakes for a profession!


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#17 hari317

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 17:52

That's a truly delightful pen. Of course, it's a wonderful anachronism to put ebonite with a "Streamline Era" design, but it works beautifully. I think Indian makers do so well when they take inspiration from the classic pens.

 

And the khaki one looks very "tactical", almost as if it's meant to be desert camouflage.

 

A pity there's no room for a converter or cart, though. I find eyedroppers can be intensely annoying with their burping. Maybe because I have hot hands - I know, because a patissier who took me for a day's workshop told me my hands are way too hot to make fine cakes for a profession!

thanks! Khaki is a nice way of describing the color instead of the "light brown" or "olive", i hope the Indian pen sellers adopt this name instead.

 

ETA: hand heat is a factor, but a good feeder should be able to prevent the burping. If you have nothing against the ED filing procedure itself, then one way to go is to fit the pen with an aftermarket modern nib unit with a heavily finned feeder from Pelikan, Schmidt etc. I follow this route. 


Edited by hari317, 29 June 2014 - 14:10.

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#18 hari317

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 14:19

As promised a comparison picture of the stock "petite" :) Gama with the Pelikan M200.

 

IMG_0065.jpg

 

IMG_0066.jpg

 

IMG_0067.jpg

 

The lengths are nearly the same, but the section girth is quite narrow on the Gama.

 

Best

Hari


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#19 mhguda

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 20:02

Thanks for the pictures, they make it very clear. I did think it was a larger pen... oops!


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#20 hari317

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:51

I did some further nib fitting experiments, this time with the Pelikan M150 and M200 nib units. I was able to modify their sections suitably for threading in the nib units, it was scary, but the pens escaped unhurt, here are the results:

 

IMG_0061.jpg

 

IMG_0062.jpg

 

IMG_0063.jpg

 

IMG_0064.jpg

 

Cheers!

Hari


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: gama, gem and co., madras, chennai, indian pen, ebonite, skyline



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