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Merlin Merlina


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10 replies to this topic

#1 jomielll

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 19:37

Although I'm still quite new at 6 pens I decided to post this review since I haven't seen many mention of the Merlina. Please feel free to give me any feedback.

Appearance & Design
The Merlina is a celluloid pen, I bought the storm gray color from richardspens.com. I had purchased it together with a Pelikan m205 and Richard had placed both pens in the Pelikan box--when I opened the box the Merlina seemed quite small, even though m205 is on the small size too.

The golden band and clip on the cap is very slightly polished gold, giving it a great vintage look. The celluloid is smooth and the gray design quite random, so when I post the pen the different streaks matching up gives the optical illusion that the pen is crooked :o

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I like how the nib is small to match the small pen:
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Construction & Quality
I have dropped this pen a few times and it's also ended up at the bottom of my purse, seemed to survive well so far. It's a great size for a purse pen!

Weight & Dimensions
The Merlina is smaller than the Merlin, here are comparisons with a Pelikan m205, Pilot Decimo, and Esterbrook LJ.
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It is not that much smaller in the length than the other pens posted but is much slimmer.
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I like to post my pens and the Merlina has great balance posted. Unposted it feels a tad too small and too light.

Nib & Performance
Richard's Merlins and Merlinas are F-XF and either semi-flex or full flex, and mine turned out to be a XF semi-flex. It's a 14k 585 gold nib. The nib is smooth and has slight feedback if I'm writing on a single sheet of paper. I am enjoying my first semi-flex a lot!

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Filling System & Maintenance
The Merlina is a button filler. The capacity is quite small at around 0.25ml, so it's not a pen for all day writing or school notes. But it is a very enjoyable writing experience that I don't mind that flexing eats up the ink!

So far I've been only refilling it with Pelikan blue-black, but I imagine flushing the ink out will require a lot of patience.... (Any tips?) :hmm1:

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Cost & Value
I bought the Merlina for $55 at richardspens.com and I think it's a pretty good value for a vintage semi-flex.


Its writing:
Unflexed:
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Some flexing:
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Compared to some other pens:
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Conclusion
The Merlina is an excellent pen, I am tempted to buy another! Being new to fountain pens, having a button filler is a little strange, and I think it'll take a long time to flush my pen clean. For the fun of semi-flex though, I'll gladly do it. It's quite slim so if you do not enjoy writing with small pens you might take a look at the larger Merlin. But I like the Merlina a lot precisely because it is small and cute.

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#2 sfs6205

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 20:01

Very nice review. I have the Merlin Merlina also and I concur with your assessment - a very nice pen for very little cost.
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#3 penspouse

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 21:36

Great review. I like smaller (shorter) pens, but like ones with a larger girth. You review has convinced me that I'd like to try the larger Merlin someday.
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#4 jniforat

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 22:01

the merlin33 and merlina are classy, vintage pens. both of mine were great and had great flex, which vary from pen to pen. i sold them for some dumb reason:/

#5 Moynihan

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 02:55

I have 2 of the 33's, Also from Binder's. An exceptional deal. I too say :thumbup:
"I am a dancer who walks for a living" Michael Erard "Reality then, may be an illusion, but the illusion itself is real." Niklas Luhmann

#6 akrishna59

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:32

this is a really cute pen. pity the ink capacity is low, thanks for a cute pen and a cute review.

rgds.

krishna.
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#7 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 21:47

If one learns to write forefinger up...I write "long" finger, so my thumb nail is even with the first joint, and I post. So no pen is too thin, nor thick, nor long.

I had been looking for one for over a year, on German and English Ebay. The one I saw happened when I was broke.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#8 Robert Alan

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 16:53

This is a wonderful review! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Regarding flushing the button-filler, it should not be any different from flushing a lever-filler, for example. Simply fill and empty the pen with cool water. Sometimes, it might be becessary to hold down the button while gently shaking off large drops of water over the sink (Although a different filling system, I do this, sometimes, with my Pilot CON-70 vacuum-filler converter and Parker Vacumatics, too). Much of the ink and water should be evacuated with enough force when the button is depressed. However, it may be a good idea to wrap a tissue around the nib, holding it firmly, but gently around the section (don't put pressure on the nib and feed), and shake out the remaining water into the tissue. Be careful not to throw your pen across the room! Using distilled water would be a good idea if you believe your tap water contains impurities.

If you are not aware of how a button-filler works, It functions on the same principle as a lever or Conklin-type Crescent-filler (depressing a rubber sack). The button filler was invented by Parker, as far as I know, so the company wouldn't have to pay to use the Sheaffer designed lever-filler--or any other filling system. It is quite a clever and serviceable design.

Thanks again for your review.

Regards, Robert

edited a "typo."

Edited by Robert Alan, 05 September 2010 - 16:56.

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#9 Moynihan

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 18:02

This is a wonderful review! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
Regarding flushing the button-filler, ...


I agree. I have two of the larger size Merlin 33's. I love them, but I do find them a little harder to flush comfortably. Nothing to do with the mechanism. Rather, the pen's size is hard for me to hold onto and flush (the vintage material is "slippery, I have medium sized hands).
Great pens though, and i always have one of them inked.
"I am a dancer who walks for a living" Michael Erard "Reality then, may be an illusion, but the illusion itself is real." Niklas Luhmann

#10 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 21:46

nice review! lovely little vintage pen!

#11 Robert Alan

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 21:02

This is a wonderful review! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
Regarding flushing the button-filler, ...


I agree. I have two of the larger size Merlin 33's. I love them, but I do find them a little harder to flush comfortably. Nothing to do with the mechanism. Rather, the pen's size is hard for me to hold onto and flush (the vintage material is "slippery, I have medium sized hands).
Great pens though, and i always have one of them inked.


Hello again everyone!

Try using “Get-a-Grip” Gripper Squares from Richard's Pens to get a positive hold on your pen. They come in a package of three for $4 and they work great. Also, they won't harm any pen surface.
BTW, I went over to Richard's Pens and it looks like the Merlina 33 pens are sold out.

Regards, Robert
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