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Lamy Blue-Black


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#1 Sandy1

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 15:14

For convenient viewing of the images, you may wish to scroll to the menu at the very bottom of this window, then change the FPN Theme from 'IP.Board' to 'IP.Board Mobile'.

Please take a moment to adjust your gear to accurately depict the Grey Scale below.
As the patches are neutral grey, that is what you should see.

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Grey Scale:
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~|~I~|~


Figure 1.
Swabs & Swatch
Paper: HPJ1124 24 lb.
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Figure 2.
NIB-ism ✑
Paper: HPJ1124.
Depicts nibs' line-width and pens' relative wetness.
LINK:
Posted Image
Pens: L → R: Somiko, 440+XF, Estie, PPP, Slimfold & Carene.

Figure 3.
Paper base tints:
Posted Image
L → R: HPJ1124, Rhodia, G Lalo white, Royal, Staples 20 lb.

WRITTEN SAMPLES - Moby Dick
Relative Humidity: 87%
Ruling: 8mm.

Figure 4.
Paper: HPJ1124.
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Figure 5.
Paper: Rhodia.
Posted Image
Figure 6.
Paper: G Lalo, Verge de France, white.
Posted Image
Figure 7.
Paper: Royal - 25% rag.
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Figure 8.
Paper: Staples 20 lb. multi use.
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Figure 9.
Grocery List
Paper: Pulp. One-a-Day calendar page.
Posted Image
OTHER STUFF

Figure 10.
Smear/Dry Times.
Wet Tests. ☂
Posted Image
GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Type:
  • FP ink containing iron-gall.†
Presentation:
  • Bottle.
Eco-Green:
  • Daft - to separate materials for recycling, the glass bottle needs smashing.
Availability:
  • Circling the drain.†
Daily writer?
  • Quite possible.
A go-to ink?
  • Yes - when a simplesimple high-performance true Blue-Black ink is desired.

† I was aghast when informed by Lamy Germany that iron-gall is planned to be eliminated from the bottled ink's formula. :yikes:
  • It is a plan, not a rumour as was mention in Post № 11 LINK
  • When/if that occurs is open to speculation LINK.
  • I like think that polite but vociferous protest by consumers may have caused Lamy to reconsider that plan.
  • So that a broader readership may be aware of this development, a separate Topic in the Inky Thoughts Forum was created. If you wish to comment on the planned formula change, please contribute to that thread and/or write to Lamy. LINK

USE

Business:
(From the office of Ms Blue-Black.)
  • In the medium to darker densities, I could see LBlBk being used for all communication.
  • It may be a nice idea to have bright-eyed Blue ink when/if a more convivial ink seems appropriate.
  • For personal work product, I could see using LBlBk without hesitation. (I am sooo dull.)
  • The excellent line quality and unobtrusive appearance make this ink a viable option for marginalia, especially from a very narrow nib.
  • Not enough zip for editing / mark-up.
  • Not enough zap for error correction or grading of assignments.
Illustrations / Graphics:
  • Even at maximum density shown, the ink is not prone to become so dark as to be perceived as Black, (unlike Sailor BlBk), hence it is a good intermediate between Black and medium Blue, or dark and medium Blue should a greater non-Blue increment be desired.
  • Line quality is excellent, so an easy pick when tight narrow lines are required. e.g. diagrams, charts, labels, crosshatching.
Students:
  • Easily.
  • LBlBk has a very readable appearance, so is well suited for general notes.
  • Water resistance is impressive, with little dye coming adrift when wet.
  • Performance on 20 lb. bond was outstanding, so two-sided use of 20 lb. 'lowest bidder' papers seems a very realistic expectation.
  • Wonderful for hand-written assignments. However, if/when a paper worthy of a high grade is anticipated, a more animated ink should be considered. e.g. PR American Blue
Personal:
  • I have not used LBlBk since my first bottle ran dry, so that says something not everyone wants to read. However, a friend gave me a generous sample from a fresh bottle for my re-edification, and to generate this Review. (As a token of appreciation, I slipped him some Waterman Havana. :rolleyes:)
  • Easily a pro forma ink - nothing out of the ordinary, other than it is definitely an FP ink. Suits straight-forward writing - this one is unlikely to distract the reader.
  • I was hoping that for personal writing, the 'it' factor of i-g inks could generate the charisma to overcome its simplesimple appearance, but I was wrong.
  • In the higher densities, it does acquire more substance.
  • Billets doux?

PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE & CHARACTERISTICS

Flow Rate:
  • Low.
  • A decidedly dry ink.
Nib Dry-out:
  • Tips became dry sooner than expected, but not the ink in the feed.
Start-up:
  • Very good.
  • No significant virga was seen.
  • Due to nib tip dry-out, there was some lack of confidence at the first stroke, and a temptation to 'nudge' the nib prior to writing.
  • I suggest capping the pen when not in active use.
Lubrication:
  • Lower than average.
  • Likely related to low flow rate.
Nib Creep:
  • Not seen.
Staining:
  • Not seen.
Clogging:
  • Not seen.
Bleed- Show-Through:
  • Not seen on papers used.
Feathering / Woolly Line:
  • Not seen on papers used.
Smell:
  • A bit sharp; inky.
Hand oil sensitivity:
  • Not seen.
  • Given the dryness of the ink, I would guard against contamination of the writing surface.
Clean Up:
  • Thorough and rapid with plain water.
  • This being an iron gall ink, it requires higher maintenance than simple dye-based inks, so one should bring their 'A' game to the clean up regimen, including internals of caps & barrels.
Mixing:
  • No stated prohibition.
  • I would place this and other i-g inks on the list of 'increased diligence' for mixing.
  • Do not mix with Sailor nano inks!
Archival:
  • Lamy claims "... very permanent and can be read even after decades when stored in a dry and shady place."
Smear/Dry Times & Water Resistance:
  • As depicted in Figure 9 above.

Now that, dear reader, is another impressive performance profile. :clap1:

THE LOOK

Presence:
  • Rather low level: nap of the earth, but without stealth capability.
  • Not the least bit distracting.

Saturation:
  • Low.
Shading:
  • Evident from narrow nibs used, but it seems a bit hit or miss otherwise.
  • Likely needs to be cultivated, or could be suppressed.
Variability:
  • Pen+nib combos used:
    • Far more than expected.
  • Papers used:
    • A bit more than expected.
Malleability:
  • High.
  • The wily practitioner would definitely need to choose their writer first, then make a rather deliberate choice of paper to generate the desired Look.
  • LBlBk may be frustrating to those without a range of pens and papers to generate the desired Look. However, as LBlBk is unlikely to misbehave, the results should be acceptable.

Hi-Res Scans:
Originals are 60x30mm

As I do not wish to be dubbed 'Queen of The Bandwidth Bandits', these are links only.

Somiko on HPJ1124

Posted Image


Estie on Rhodia

Posted Image


PPP on G Lalo

Posted Image


Carene on Royal

Posted Image


FIDELITY

Is the name appropriate?
  • Yes.
  • Definitely a Blue-Black, without a hint of green/teal/blaqua. :thumbup:
Are swatches accurate?
  • N/A

SIMILAR COLOURS

COMPARISONS

For the recent Blue-Black inks that I have reviewed, an effort was made to use several of the same papers, one or more of the same pen/s, and Written Sample format to support side-by-side comparison through manipulation of your web browser windows. I hope this is sufficient to meet most ad hoc comparison requirements; if not, I welcome your request via PM.

I plan to generate three comparisons as separate Topics in the Ink Comparisons, Scans & Tests SubForum next door: the cartridge version without iron-gall, the bottled Montblanc Midnight Blue, and Pelikan's 4001 Blue-Black.

PAPERS

Lovely papers:
  • Ran well on all papers used.
Trip-wire Papers: ☠
  • None encountered.
Tinted Papers:
  • Most reasonable tints.
Pre-Printed Papers:
  • Forms, etc.
    • Easily.
  • For charts & graphs:
    • Easily.
Is high-end paper 'worth it'?
  • Quite possible.
  • Once again, paper is very much a matter of preference over performance.

*Being an i-g ink, this is often named as an effective counter-measure to highly absorbent FP-hostile paper.

ETC.

Majik:
  • I'm afraid not - lacking the complexity, jump and juice to be conjured.
Personal Pen & Paper Pick: Carene on the HPH1124.
  • While I do have a penchant for pale inks, in this case the greater density and stub nib of the Carene give the LBlBk a character I can appreciate.
Yickity Yackity:
  • My crystal ball indicates that once the sample is done, it will not be replaced by a bottle.
  • Ah kushbaby, will six bottles be sufficient to sustain you beyond The Zombie Apocalypse? Post №44 LINK

======

NUTS & BOLTS

Pens:
  • Sailor Somiko + TIGP F nib.
  • Sheaffer 440 + XF steel nib.
  • Estie + steel nib.
  • Platinum President Purist + 22K B nib.
  • Parker UK Slimfold + 14K Bodacious nib.
  • Waterman Carene + 18K stub nib.
______

Papers:
  • HPJ1124 24 lb. Laser Copy.
  • Rhodia.
  • G Lalo, Verge de France, white.
  • Royal, 25% cotton rag.
  • Staples 20lb. multi use.
  • Pulp. One-a-Day Calendar page.
______

Images:
  • Scans were made on an Epson V600 scanner; factory defaults were accepted.
  • Figures shown were scanned at 200 dpi & 24 bit colour.
  • HiRes Images linked were scanned at 300 dpi & 24 bit colour.
  • Scans were not adjusted post-production, other than dumb-down by Photobucket and IP.Board s/w.
______

Densitometer Readings (FWIW)
  • Red 132
  • Grn 151
  • Blu 185
  • Lum 153
______

Fine Print
The accuracy and relevance of this Review depends in great part upon consistency and reliability of matériel used.
Ink does not require labelling/notice to indicate (changes in) formulation, non-hazardous ingredients, batch ID, date of manufacture, etc.
As always, YMMV, not only from materials, methods, environment, etc., but also due to differences between the stuff I used, and that you may have.
Also, I entrust readers to separate opinion from fact; to evaluate inferences and conclusions as to their merit; and to be amused by whatever tickles your fancy.

_________________________

-30-

See - I didn't mention Lamy Green once! Tags: Fountain Pen Ink Review Lamy Blue Black Blue-Black iron-gall Sandy1

Edited by Sandy1, 16 August 2011 - 17:51.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


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#2 lapis

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 15:43

Great review as usual, Sandy1. I sure look forward to more comparisons of this and MB's bottled goodies.
We might start up here on the forum a petition to Heidelberg that they do not expire same! Or?

Mike :thumbup:

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#3 rockydoggy

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 15:47

Thanks for yet another extraordinary review. I use Lamy b/b every so often, but I find that for some reason I tend to reach for other i-g inks on the shelf--MB, Diamine Registrars (Chesterfield Archival Vault), and Pelikan b/b (contains i-g?). And I just got a bottle of R&K Scabiosa, which I'm looking forward to trying since I like the color. I suppose Lamy b/b ultimately feels drier and looks paler than those other inks to me. Maybe I'd get better results if I gave it a shot with a wetter pen with a broader nib--I generally prefer EF and F nibs.

#4 Sandy1

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 16:31

Great review as usual, Sandy1. I sure look forward to more comparisons of this and MB's bottled goodies.
We might start up here on the forum a petition to Heidelberg that they do not expire same! Or?

Mike :thumbup:

Hi,

Thanks!

I too am looking forward to the Comparisons. It seems that as the Blue-Black inks as a group have suffered a bit of late, (Pelikan BlBk withdrawn from the USA, and the planned reformulation of this ink), practitioners may be on the look-out for equivalents or possible substitutions. I recall being on tenterhooks when Montblanc renamed their Blue-Black as Midnight Blue, so I sympathise with supporters of Lamy BlBk.

That said, I have not heard any chatter on the planned replacement with reformulated ink. So perhaps Lamy is reconsidering their plan.

I encourage those who would have Lamy change their plans to email or better, hand-write Lamy in Germany. LINK

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 16 August 2011 - 17:52.

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#5 ethernautrix

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 21:30

Brilliant review, Sandy1!

I've had a bottle of Lamy Blue-Black, and I did find it too dry for my pens. When I think i-g, I think Mb Midnight Blue, an ink I like very much (currently using it in a Stipula Vedo (F)).

My favorite BlBk is Sailor. In my pens, there's no mistaking it for black. I consider it my favorite blue.

The Lamy BlBk sample in the Carene is my favorite. I saw that the Carene has a stub nib, and I thought, That's why. Lovely.

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#6 Sandy1

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:38

Thanks for yet another extraordinary review. I use Lamy b/b every so often, but I find that for some reason I tend to reach for other i-g inks on the shelf--MB, Diamine Registrars (Chesterfield Archival Vault), and Pelikan b/b (contains i-g?). And I just got a bottle of R&K Scabiosa, which I'm looking forward to trying since I like the color. I suppose Lamy b/b ultimately feels drier and looks paler than those other inks to me. Maybe I'd get better results if I gave it a shot with a wetter pen with a broader nib--I generally prefer EF and F nibs.


Hi,

You're welcome!

My experience with this ink seems consistent with yours: a matter of other inks being consistently chosen over another.

That said, I think that Lamy BlBk has an incredible range of potential Looks - very malleable. I was remiss not to address nib selection - I think all sorts have potential use with LBlBk. So even though there are numerous Written Samples, I would not be shocked or dismayed if quite different WSs were posted. (I think that is a strength of FPN: Members' willingness to add more thoughts, opinions, samples, inspiration, etc.)

As mentioned, Post № 11, if I replace an ink, then the ink has staying power, if not, well - another one hit wonder - so sorry. Then there's ones best not mentioned: those that are sent/gifted away, mixed, used to tint water in a vase of flowers, etc.

I have read claims that Pelikan BlBk contains a 'whisper' of i-g. (That raises uncertainty as to the cartridge version being the same formulation as the bottled ink.)

I think you may like the Scabiosa. I still approach it with a sense of adventure: expect the unexpected! Whee!!

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 17 August 2011 - 22:14.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#7 Belles-lettres

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:30

Thanks for another incredibly well done review. There isn't much left to say after you have dissected an ink!

You effectively talked me right out of it. Have used - and been generally happy - Diamine Registrar's Ink and think I'll stick with it.
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#8 Sandy1

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:56

Brilliant review, Sandy1!

I've had a bottle of Lamy Blue-Black, and I did find it too dry for my pens. When I think i-g, I think Mb Midnight Blue, an ink I like very much (currently using it in a Stipula Vedo (F)).

My favorite BlBk is Sailor. In my pens, there's no mistaking it for black. I consider it my favorite blue.

The Lamy BlBk sample in the Carene is my favorite. I saw that the Carene has a stub nib, and I thought, That's why. Lovely.

Hi,

Glad you like the Review!

I too prefer the MBMBl, to the exclusion of Lamy BlBk. It is rather odd though - on the other hand I have many Blue inks that are rather similar, yet I use most of the array, but somehow Lamy BlBk just wasn't invited back. (?) Clearly it has many admirable qualities.

I too prefer Lamy BlBk at the higher densities, and the Carene was my Personal Pen Pick, but I think I will use the few ml remaining to see if I can find a paper+pen combo that produces a low density Look that has something (more) going for it. Perhaps a narrow Stub or CI ...

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#9 KrazyIvan

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 16:40

I do agree that this ink is a good every day ink, performance wise. I just don't use it as much as I thought I would. I currently have a pen filled with it and am using it but I tend to use it with my Moleskine. It helps with Moleskine paper. I only use my Moleskine once or twice a week.

#10 The Good Captain

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 17:13

I agree, it's a damned good ink. I'm sure that because it's dry is the reason that it (and 4001 B-B are Moleskine-friendly.

Edited by The Good Captain, 17 August 2011 - 19:37.

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#11 rockspyder

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 17:31

Wow! This is more than just a review, it borders on a scholarly article, and could easily become a reference :notworthy1:
My first impressions of Lamy blue-black was rather disappointing, due to the near chalky dryness in the pens I first tried it in. I now have it in a lovely wet writer, a custom pen by Tom Westerich, and I simply adore this ink! In the right pen, it is magic.
I add my voice to any petitions heading for Heidelberg :thumbup:

#12 Sandy1

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 19:39

Thanks for another incredibly well done review. There isn't much left to say after you have dissected an ink!

You effectively talked me right out of it. Have used - and been generally happy - Diamine Registrar's Ink and think I'll stick with it.

Hi,

Thanks for the compliment!

I must say that others have more to say after I've had my say: lots of ink, lots of people, lots of pens & papers too.

It was not my intention to talk anyone out of this or any other ink! Yikes!!
(Well, OK - there was that episode with Lamy Green; but its supporters chimed in! Yeah!!!)

If I may digress: There is the example of the Diamine Twilight Blue: I did a Review when it was released, and was not bowled over, LINK. Later on our dear Sean, aka S. P. Colfer, did a wonderful Review of that ink, LINK, showing pretty much the same 'performance profile'. Yet he came out with a much more positive personal response - to the point of adopting it as his signature ink! :thumbup:

Even though I make no bones about not being its biggest fan, I think highly enough of Lamy BlBk to initiate a 'write-in' initiative so that its supporters can make their feelings known, and try to keep this ink in its current i-g formula in the market.

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#13 The Good Captain

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 19:48

Here are some soak tests I did. The first was a while ago and the second a couple of days ago. There is also relevance to the thread about Diamine Majestic so I'll put the link in that one as well.
[attachment=107543:Before immersion_120711 FPN.jpg]

[attachment=107544:After immersion_120711 FPN.jpg]

Recent test: before immersion
[attachment=107545:water test 2 FPN.jpg]

and afterwards
[attachment=107546:water test 3 FPN.jpg]

[attachment=107547:water test 4 back FPN.jpg]

Nothing too outstanding but I thought it was worth sharing!
I shan't give up my day job.

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#14 kadymae

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 20:19

Thanks for such an in depth review. I have this ink currently in a Platinum Preppy as part of a plan/scheme to help me overcome a creative block and make myself write something every day or risk damaging the nib. (So far, it's working.)

I like it because it works decently even on cheap paper.

I'd be sad to see it go because though there are other IG inks on the market (I just got a bottle of Scabriosa!) this one is unique in its delicate color.
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#15 Sandy1

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 04:29

Wow! This is more than just a review, ...

My first impressions of Lamy blue-black was rather disappointing, due to the near chalky dryness in the pens I first tried it in. I now have it in a lovely wet writer, a custom pen by Tom Westerich, and I simply adore this ink! In the right pen, it is magic.
I add my voice to any petitions heading for Heidelberg :thumbup:

Hi,

Thanks for the compliments!

I agree that one may well be put-off by the dryness of LBlBk. However, I used the MB i-g ink for a few years before trying LBlBk, so the dryness was taken in stride. A well-tuned nib and a smooth paper certainly off-sets the dryness.

There does seem to be a number of Members who prefer this one from their wet writers; and I would be one of them. (Now is a good time to spill the beans about your pen by Tom Westerich. LINK)

Yet I still intend to see if I can pick a pen of dry-to-normal wetness that gives a Look I can appreciate more than those used for the Written Samples. The ink being so malleable, I have some optimism.

Oh - I am unaware of a "petition heading for Heidelberg"; best each person make their voice heard directly and individually. Lamy contact details are provided in this Topic LINK

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 18 August 2011 - 04:31.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#16 Sandy1

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:05

Thanks for such an in depth review. I have this ink currently in a Platinum Preppy as part of a plan/scheme to help me overcome a creative block and make myself write something every day or risk damaging the nib. (So far, it's working.)

I like it because it works decently even on cheap paper.

I'd be sad to see it go because though there are other IG inks on the market (I just got a bottle of Scabriosa!) this one is unique in its delicate color.

Hi,

You're welcome!

I would not have thought overcome a creative block by putting a pen at risk.

"Get creative or its light zout forda Preppy."


I think there are other less intense options, therapies, etc. Or, this being FPN - another pen! Perhaps a Plaisir, which is far less likely to dry out, hence ready when you want to write.

I have read a jumble of unsubstantiated anecdotal reports about increased risk exposure to damage of steel nibs by i-g inks. However, I really don't see a Co. releasing a potentially harmful ink into the market - certainly not an FP i-g ink by an FP maker. I've used i-g ink extensively in my steel-nibbed rotring 600 and Pelikan P99s when in the field; no damage or degradation noticed in use or visible with a 16x loupe.

Yet, I fully support
not letting ink linger unused in a pen, and enhanced pen hygiene when using an i-g ink.

Ah! Another person has come to Scabiosa.
Now that ink may be inspirational, so perhaps ink-up the Preppy with Scabiosa!
Posted Image

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#17 Sandy1

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:11

Here are some soak tests I did. The first was a while ago and the second a couple of days ago. There is also relevance to the thread about Diamine Majestic so I'll put the link in that one as well.

snip


Nothing too outstanding but I thought it was worth sharing!
I shan't give up my day job.

Hi,

Thanks for Posting! :thumbup:

Bye,
S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#18 kushbaby

kushbaby

    We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:13

I really need wateproof inks for work, and this has such great performance. As others have noted, this is also an ideal ink in a wet, wet pen...

I'd be sad to see it go because though there are other IG inks on the market (I just got a bottle of Scabriosa!) this one is unique in its delicate color.


I agree with you on the color - it's unique - I quite like it. :thumbup:

Ah kushbaby, will six bottles be sufficient to sustain you beyond The Zombie Apocalypse? Post №44 LINK


Hmmmm... :hmm1: Maybe I need to order more! :eureka: Then when my brains have been eaten out by zombies and my written account of the horrors of the zombie apocalypse are discovered decades later, despite the ravages of time and weather, the written word will still be legible (right down to that last "arrrrgggghhh...") :roflmho:
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#19 Sandy1

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:44

I really need wateproof inks for work, and this has such great performance. As others have noted, this is also an ideal ink in a wet, wet pen...
snip

Ah kushbaby, will six bottles be sufficient to sustain you beyond The Zombie Apocalypse? Post №44 LINK


Hmmmm... :hmm1: Maybe I need to order more! :eureka: Then when my brains have been eaten out by zombies and my written account of the horrors of the zombie apocalypse are discovered decades later, despite the ravages of time and weather, the written word will still be legible (right down to that last "arrrrgggghhh...") :roflmho:

Hi,

One thing that I have noticed and was remiss to mention, (my bad), is that while LBlBk often runs quite pale, i
t did not threaten to fail - even on the hard surfaced, low absorbency G Lalo - indeed, the line quality remained high.

One should not discount The Zombie Apocalypse as being frivolous. The threat is real ...
Posted Image

but will there be anyone left to read
that last "arrrrgggghhh..."?

Or the tag line: "Lamy Blue-Black with iron-gall - more robust than civilization itself."

Bye (for now),
S1



Edited by Sandy1, 18 August 2011 - 15:48.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#20 wallylynn

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 15:24

Your reviews always amaze me.

Lamy BB is too pale for me, yet I'm torn between getting another bottle of a ink or risk running out.






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