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Pilot Namiki Falcon; And Mottishaw's Mod On It!


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14 replies to this topic

#1 mcmc

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:22

Hello,

This is my first fountain pen review! =D Decided to go for the most useful pen I own - a Pilot Namiki Falcon (original black resin version), but with a twist: modified to extra-extra-fine and added flex, by John Mottishaw (of nibs.com).

The Falcon has, as we have all heard, a 'semi-flex,' or 'soft' nib - it does indeed flex, though not quite in the same way as the classic flexible fountain pens. It also has what Pilot calls a 'hooded' nib (though it is not hooded in the same way as say a Parker 51). The Falcon does produce a line of variable width with increased pressure, partly due to the spread of the tines, and partly due to a wetter line put down due to lifting of the nib tip from the feed. A fine pen from the factory, but with a little added touches, it's even better. Step in John Mottishaw, one of the best nib-meisters around!

Mr. Mottishaw's handiwork took off some material from the bottom of the nib, for additional flexing, and also ground down the tip to an XXF point. Now it writes a line thinner than even my .3 Hi-Tec-C, but is able to flex to a med/med-broad. It took a while to get used to writing with, as this was the first flexible pen I used in a daily fashion. But after several weeks, my hand's muscles have an instinctual sense of how much to push down for non-flex writing (super-fine line, no variation - suitable for Moleskines for writing with no bleed), how much to push down and at what times for Spencerian-ish writing, and how much pressure to apply for more ad-hoc 'variable-line cursive' (that is not really any style but just my own handwriting with some flex).

The combo of the original pen plus John's work makes for a wonderful pen! I use it daily for journaling, signing checks, writing cards, and many more uses. It's very versatile since you can write with it like a super-fine pen with fixed width, yet also bust out with the flex for fancy script.

As far as ink goes - I very much like Noodler's Heart of Darkness, but I had a problem with excess flow with that ink, on this pen, and also feathering and bleed. I switched to a Pilot-brand ink, the Iroshizuku line, and then suddenly the pen rocked. No feathering, no bleed, very responsive in the think to thicks, and nice, emotive shading to boot. I'm a fan of mixing things up and getting the cheapest deals on things, but using Pilot ink on this Pilot pen seems to really be the solution. I had a hard time with the thin to thick transitions with the HoD ink.

The furniture is nicely gold-plated, and there is fine filigree work and beautiful text engraved ("Namiki" and "Japan"). Hallmarks of great attention to detail and workmanship. The only gripe I have here, is that the clip, while sturdy in the direction perpendicular to the pen, when pushed from the side, it easily gives way, such that the clip is never quite 'centered' - I always find myself pushing it this way and that, so that it gets centered (to my eye). I think there'd be a way Namiki could better outfit the clip so that it is solid in all directions. But, a minor gripe, especially when considering its visual output =)

Speaking of which, pictures of all of the above are available on my blog here:
http://thepennywrite...odified-by.html

with mostly the same text as this review.

Thanks all - any recommendations on my review, on usage of the pen, my handwriting, or on my blog, all are welcome - thanks!! =D


Verdict: This is an awesome pen, and John Mottishaw's work is awesome as well. Great buy that I am sure I will use til I am gray and old.

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#2 hari317

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:28

Nice review, thanks!
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#3 sotto2

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 14:28

Very nice to read your review and see the pix. I've bought a few things from Mr. Mottishaw with satisfaction. However, I doubt that I will send any of my Falcons off to him for tuning because I will not let them out of my possession! ;-)

One of these days, maybe I'll find a really good deal on one and maybe then I'll send it off to John.

ekfh5f.jpg


#4 watch_art

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 14:36

how does it do with quicker writing/sketching? does it catch on upstrokes? sidestrokes?

nice review.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#5 SnowLeopard

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 21:54

You might want to ponder what's being done to your arrows as irreversible.... albeit for a specific use, and try to find vintage nibs/ pens with the characteristics you desire....for various uses...instead of their "adjustment by deformation". Some of the problems with more modern, saturated, and colorful inks.... might be a result of what's been done to modify these instruments....by those who would glean our $$ by grinding away precious metal. I'd like to have the commission on brokering that dust...worldwide....lol. The challenge is to find, in the wild, those originals... in good enough shape to restore them to active service as can be done with modern methods.Pens of that ilk are becoming very hard to find. The major problem is that pen "brokers" are creating "frankenpens" with parts they purchase in pen "lots" to recreate what used to be yrs. ago. Sometimes their fabrications are accurate, and sometimes they list them as rare variants...which has the added cachet of gleaning higher prices for their sellers. The great manufacturers of old produced pens with very little variation....and very few LE's. So take care out there and do your homework before you take the plunge into the vintage melange. I only have significant issues restored by a pro in that" pen" if the arrow means something important...to me.

Edited by SnowLeopard, 27 June 2010 - 22:15.


#6 watch_art

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 22:39

i don't see what the big deal is. the namiki falcon isn't exactly a "rare bird". there are plenty of them to be had. and if somebody wants to make their pen write a certain way and produce a certain kind of line, that's totally fine. doesn't hurt anything. and maybe i misunderstood you, but this isn't a vintage pen. it's fairly new.

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#7 Margana

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 22:52

You could spend tons of money and many years trying to find a pen that will write as nicely as that modified Namiki Falcon. Instead the Falcon is already at work making its owner happy and enough so to write a great review. Sounds like a great match to me. :)
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#8 mcmc

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 23:48

Very nice to read your review and see the pix. I've bought a few things from Mr. Mottishaw with satisfaction. However, I doubt that I will send any of my Falcons off to him for tuning because I will not let them out of my possession! ;-)

One of these days, maybe I'll find a really good deal on one and maybe then I'll send it off to John.



Thanks sir! What items did you buy from Mr. Mottishaw? One thing with many of the nib-meisters, is that the options and choices are so many, that it's hard to get a good grasp on what end product I can buy for which price...part of the reason I went with a brand new Falcon, which made a lot of the decision making easier. But, turned out to be a godo choice =)

Sad thing I recently (as in two days ago!) bonked the Falcon, tip-first, onto tile =( Now I have to send it off for repair...and I understand now what you mean by not letting them out of your possession! I might not have either, if I had started with the stock one too. Do you have 2 of the originals, or a mix? I'm contemplating picking up another, for precisely this kind of situation where I might be without one. ANy idea where one might be had for a 'good deal'?

#9 mcmc

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 23:51

how does it do with quicker writing/sketching? does it catch on upstrokes? sidestrokes?

nice review.


Hiya,

Good question. On the upstrokes, as it has a slightly 'downcurved' tip (can probably see from one of the pics), if you're not careful, and if it's at a smaller than say 65 degree angle from vertical, it could easily catch. I have run into this only when trying to write really fast though, and when I didn't time my pressure/no-pressure very well. When I sketch with it, I guess I've gotten used to mostly doing downstrokes, and I don't go that quickly (unlike when I sketch with a brush tip for example).

Sidestrokes, there's gentle catching from time to time. Actually sometimes when I do the 'regular handwriting with some line variation' action, part of the variation comes from the nib opening side to side. Probably not the most kosher way, and definitely wasn't intentional (I noticed that's what was happening about halfway through owning the pen), but doesn't seem to hurt the pen alignment. I write thin, medium, thick, and heavy variation samples and compare against similar ones from before, to see if the nib performance is changing at all.

#10 mcmc

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 23:55

i don't see what the big deal is. the namiki falcon isn't exactly a "rare bird". there are plenty of them to be had. and if somebody wants to make their pen write a certain way and produce a certain kind of line, that's totally fine. doesn't hurt anything. and maybe i misunderstood you, but this isn't a vintage pen. it's fairly new.



SnowLeopard - appreciate your desire to shoot out a warning and help out. I think if I were more into vintage pens of high ticket value, what you say would definitely apply more. But, after checking out different sites where the older flex nib pens were sold, reconditioned and in good shape, versus the price to get a new Falcon with the mod, and considering that the newer pens seem less susceptible to temperature and pressure changes, I just decided to go after the Falcon. And it seems to have been a good buy. I don't mind the .002 grams of gold lost in the process - and I don't know that someone could even use it from that small of a grinding. Probably gets contaminated with the grinding tip material if I were to hazard a guess, anyway.

I would definitely like some vintage pens that wrote like this! But it seems like the ones that flex, don't come very often in XXF, so even if I got one, I'd probably send it off to get re-ground smaller anyway. And I actually do have a pair of Watermans that are of decent flex, but the feeds are all clogged up, need new sacs, etc., and I still have not yet gotten around to fixing them. So in that sense, getting the modified Falcon led to my having a month of practice I wouldn't have otherwise had... But again, thanks for your advice!

And watch_art, just quoted you because I think what you say is spot on =)

#11 mcmc

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 23:56

You could spend tons of money and many years trying to find a pen that will write as nicely as that modified Namiki Falcon. Instead the Falcon is already at work making its owner happy and enough so to write a great review. Sounds like a great match to me. :)


My thoughts exactly! =)

Btw, sorry for the multiple replies. I saw the 'multiquote' but didn't have time to figure out how to use it exactly. Will do so next time lol.

#12 sotto2

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 02:21

Very nice to read your review and see the pix. I've bought a few things from Mr. Mottishaw with satisfaction. However, I doubt that I will send any of my Falcons off to him for tuning because I will not let them out of my possession! ;-)

One of these days, maybe I'll find a really good deal on one and maybe then I'll send it off to John.



Thanks sir! What items did you buy from Mr. Mottishaw? One thing with many of the nib-meisters, is that the options and choices are so many, that it's hard to get a good grasp on what end product I can buy for which price...part of the reason I went with a brand new Falcon, which made a lot of the decision making easier. But, turned out to be a godo choice =)

Sad thing I recently (as in two days ago!) bonked the Falcon, tip-first, onto tile =( Now I have to send it off for repair...and I understand now what you mean by not letting them out of your possession! I might not have either, if I had started with the stock one too. Do you have 2 of the originals, or a mix? I'm contemplating picking up another, for precisely this kind of situation where I might be without one. ANy idea where one might be had for a 'good deal'?


mcmc:

I bought some inks and a couple other items from John (I forget the specifics). Yes, you got my point exactly. I won't be letting those metal Falcons out of my possession if I can help it. I love 'em. Re: another Falcon for you to play with, right now there's one in the For Sale subforum, a blue resin one from about 2003 as I recall, at not too bad a price. I'd get it myself if I didn't have one of the new TWSBI Demonstrators in the mail to me along with a Parker 51 someone was kind enough to send me to try.

Edited by sotto2, 29 June 2010 - 02:22.

ekfh5f.jpg


#13 mcmc

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 20:50

Cool, thanks for the heads up - I'll check out that one!
I was curious how thin and flexy the original SF nib was anyway, so while my Mottishaw is off for repair, perhaps a stock one will be good to have on hand...

#14 Silas

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:59

I bought a used Falcon off this forum and sent it to Greg Minuskin for a flex job and an oblique italic. It was originally a fine.

THe finished product was absolutely amazing!! the only issue is that I have to refill it often because it really throws the ink (in a great way!) Private Reserve Supershow Blue was dazzling!

I find the clip has pulled just a tad from the body so it hangs loose in my shirt....which I Don't like!

Otherwise, this really great pen was made even BETTER!! It is a magnificent Signature Pen!

#15 RobC

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 15:52

Verdict: This is an awesome pen, and John Mottishaw's work is awesome as well. Great buy that I am sure I will use til I am gray and old.
[/quote]


Great review thank you so much!

The nibs site list three mods for this pen, which one did you get? Please PN me I can never find the same page twice on these forums.

Thank you






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