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Pilot Parallel


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12 replies to this topic

#1 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 04:44

At the LA pen show in February, lost amongst my haul of pens, I acquired a Pilot Parallel. It was Sunday, the last day of the show, and I was slumming. I had already spent a great deal of money so I was just taking in the atmosphere of the general public day and noting the number of dealers who showed up only for Sunday. Amongst them was Ward and Linea of Atelier Gargoyle who were selling the Pilot Parallels. After trying out the pen, I had to have one. Eh. What's one more pen?

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What is a Pilot Parallel you ask? Well, it is an inexpensive calligraphy pen that comes in four sizes of italic 'nib'. The 'nib' really is not a nib but rather two parallel plates where the ink flows between the two closely spaced plates. Thus this pen is called the parallel. Ward Dunham of Atelier Gargoyle calls the Pilot Parallel the first innovation in fountain pens in decades. I would have to agree.

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The pen is made from very cheap plastic similar to what one would find of cheap $1 rollerballs. The pen body is extra long and has a brightly colored cap. The color of the cap corresponds to the width of the nib. The Parallel comes in four sizes, 1.5 mm, 2.4 mm, 3.8 mm, and 6.0 mm. The pen barrel unscrews and one finds a Pilot cartridge and normal Pilot feed. The cartridges are the same size as standard Pilot cartrdges but it is not clear whether the ink is the same. The ink of the Parallel is designed to mix freely. One can take one Parallel with one color ink and touch it to the nib plate of another with a different color ink. The resulting writing will have variable shading between the two colors. Very cool. You can do very creative things with this pen. Someone has even written a book on how to use the Pilot Parallel artistically (Linda Broadbent, Parallel Pen Wizardry). The pen comes with two ink cartridges, converter for flushing the pen, and a plastic tool to clean the plates.

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Basically the pen handles like an italic dip pen nib but doesn't run out of ink. It is very easy to use. Even a beginner can get very nice line variation. It's almost foolproof. That's all there really is to it. With a bit of practice, it is easy to do italic lettering. The corner of the plate can be used to write like an extra fine nib. You are limited by your imagination on how you use this pen.

This pen is highly revolutionary and a lot of fun to use. It is very inexpensive, going for about $11.50 and a good way to learn italic script. You can just concentrate on the lettering without having to dip into ink. Go and buy one now I say.

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#2 79spitfire

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 05:53

Gotta agree! I have 2, 1.5mm and 2.4. I use them to practice Calligraphic scrips and occasionally just doodle! The ink claims to be special. It's cheap enough that buying the carts is no big deal so I don't worry about it!

Yes, get one to try out I got mine for $10 each at a local "Art Store" :thumbup:

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#3 markc

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 06:59

I just bought a set from Atelier Gargoyle last weekend at the Book Fair.. They are AMAZING! :)

The 6mm pen puts out a nice thick wet line and at full speed..

I think jetpens sells them for about $11 each.
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#4 Inky Fingers

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:18

Did you know that if your touch the tip with another one filled with a different colour, you can get 2 colours in your writing? Or touch just the edge of the nib and you'll get 2-tone writing? Great fun!

#5 willprice94

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:30

Pelikan/Rotring graphos have a line of nibs like this, they date back to 1938 i believe, i would assume they predate this. I use them for calligraphy as well. A damn sight more messy though!

Edited by willprice94, 20 May 2010 - 10:38.

Inked and Using:
Reform 1745 - Noodlers Black
Reform 1745 - Diamine Med. Blue
Reform P120 - Diamine Teal
Lamy Safari - Noodlers Black
Lots of Rotring Art Pens for Calligraphy - Diamine inks

#6 drmom777

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:19

I got a couple and use them with noodler's highlighter ink for text highlighting. They work great, and were only $850 on amazon.com, with free shipping because I have amazon prime.

I am using the converter to hold the ink. It works fine, but I wish it held more ink.

#7 79spitfire

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:54

I got a couple and use them with noodler's highlighter ink for text highlighting. They work great, and were only $850 on amazon.com, with free shipping because I have amazon prime.

I am using the converter to hold the ink. It works fine, but I wish it held more ink.


(!) I hope you got free shipping!!

:roflmho:

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#8 SueEllen

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 13:02

Pilot's Parallel Pen easily allows eye-dropper filling. I fill the barrel with Noodler's Bulletproof Black-- I swear it can write forever on a barrel-full. The cap screws on tight (takes five or so turns to cap the pen) so the ink doesn't dry in the pen.

#9 Ed Ronax

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 16:19

Interesting review, I have a number of calligraphy pens but this certainly is different, might just get one.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#10 Silvermink

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 17:19

I had some issues using the "converter" - it ended up leaking. Perhaps it got rattled around or something.

The Parallel's cool, though I wouldn't mind one more size under 1.5mm - maybe 1.0 or 1.1mm.
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#11 drmom777

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 17:35

I got a couple and use them with noodler's highlighter ink for text highlighting. They work great, and were only $850 on amazon.com, with free shipping because I have amazon prime.

I am using the converter to hold the ink. It works fine, but I wish it held more ink.


(!) I hope you got free shipping!!

:roflmho:

Look what happens when you forget a decimal!

#12 lewtwo

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 03:28

The Parallel's cool, though I wouldn't mind one more size under 1.5mm - maybe 1.0 or 1.1mm.


I read in another post where the an individual was regrinding the 1.5 down to .6~.7 width.
"... The only problem I have with them is that the narrowest nib width -- 1.1mm -- is much too wide for my Practical everyday Italic handwriting (notes, correspondence, memoranda, etc.) and bookhand writing (writing out books by hand) and I therefor have to grind them down to .7/.8mm widths. ..."


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#13 79spitfire

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 04:00

I had some issues using the "converter" - it ended up leaking. Perhaps it got rattled around or something.

The Parallel's cool, though I wouldn't mind one more size under 1.5mm - maybe 1.0 or 1.1mm.



The instructions claim the converter is for cleaning only, I'll bet that's why.

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