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Leonardt 400 Series, 'ornamental' Dip Pen Set

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#1 pe2dave


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Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:09

Background. After a first (largely failed) attempt at rubrication, I
wanted something aking to a paint brush, for ink.

penset is the actual thing I bought,
though I bought from ebay and only paid UK 7.50. Not exactly Pelikan

Leonardt, the manufacturerare where they are made. Some
good kit there IMHO

Boy are these things weird! Or at least nothing like I've ever seen
before. The principle I guess preceeds the biro? It attempts, and
largely succeeds, in laying down an even line, no matter in what
direction the pen moves. The caveat is that the pen angle must remain
constant? This is done by means of taking a nib, bending it so the end
of the nib forms a disk which is laid on the paper. The nib 'split'
(tech term?) continues to make the disk into two halves, hence
allowing ink to flow to the disk. Another tweak, intentional or not I
don't know, the underside of the disk is concave? This means that ink
can flow into this tiny recess, and hence gain flow onto the paper. Is
that clever or is that clever! Anyway, the review.

The set of nibs is marked 1,2,3,4 and 5. I believe that this relates
to the diameter of the disk? So the smallest line I can draw is 1mm,
quite wide. The widest is huge and starts to impact the choice of
paper which can be used with these nibs. That brings my first caveat,
this pen set is a support tool, not a prime writing/drawing
instrument? If you want variant line width, this won't give it to you.

First Impressions:

I'd got goods to the value I'd paid. As I try more dip pens I'm
slowly becoming more enamoured of them. They do precisely what they
say on the tin. Anyway. Opened it, fitted a nib to the (rather long
for me, 7.5 inches, with nib mounted) holder and dipped in some Calli
red. I'd tried the 1mm first. It wrote like a pen! Not silky, but
being small, no problem. After recent threads on one forum, I'm
slowly moving over to the tripod hold, and the angles on this pen
push you back to having the holder rest in the fleshy part between
thumb and forefinger. I'm tempted (but not just yet) to tweak the
angle to make it steeper. I've a nasty feeling that might just upset
the ease with which the correct angle is maintained to keep the disk
on the paper.

Five nibs for (about) ten dollars US. Sounds good to me.

Appearance and Design. Simple. That's it. The reservoir has clearly
been worked out by Leonardt or whoever they got it from (same as
the Brause nibs), and holds enough for a line at 1mm, a couple of
letters (full ink flow) at 5mm. Enough, basically. The nibs are
workable out of the box, but I've recently started to learn to
fettle them and hence that's just what I did.

Weight and Dimensions: Weight, no problem. Light as a
feather. Dimensions? Mmm. I'm not a fan of a long holder, so
I'll probably cut this one down to six inches or so. 7.5
inches, top to nib. Flickr
Image of the holder and side view of a nib.

Nib and Performance:
View of two of the nibs. I took some fine micro-mesh to the
larger one (hence I noticed the dip in the underside). Without
that, it didn't glide over the paper quite so easily. After that,
no problem, even the larger ones. Doing something useful with
such a width is another aspect that I guess will take some
getting used to. As with any ink, if you want to retrace a line
you need to be quick. That's what I wanted these pens for,
substantial thickness lines (my goal is to become nominally
proficient at rubrication) which were repeatable and not
directional. For that they do the job.

image shows an example, a doodle really. I managed a full ine
with the one millimetre nib, four characters with the three
millimetre nib, the word 'many'. The green at the bottom is (I
think) the 4mm? Because it is so wide, I could fill in the spaces
quite quickly.

Filling System: I didn't have much problem with the filling system. No
syphon, no lever, no piston... no nuffink in fact! Just dip
the ... I will need to learn how to use these properly. Once
dipped (fully) the nib is overloaded. Wipe it and most comes
off, leaving the reservoir full. With the larger nibs, this is
really rich and very wet. I need to wipe the nib to stop the
'dry', 'wet' sequence in lines, where the drying nib is lifted
and a full nib is replaced. I'm told the scribes used a piece
of chamois for this. I think that's a waste of goats, but I'm
sure I can find something. I used two inks. Calli red (a
dipping ink), and Private reserve Sherwood Green, a fountain
pen ink. I didn't notice the difference.

Cost and Value:
Low (compared) and good. What more can I say.

I think these are going to be a valuable addition to the toolkit.

Cambs, UK

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