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Aurora Blue


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#1 Sandy1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:01

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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.
IMG-thumb:
Posted Image
Pens: L → R: 45, 600, W5, 330, Estie & Safari.


Figure 3.
Paper base tints:

Posted Image
L → R: HPJ1124, Rhodia, G Lalo white, Royal, Staples 20 lb.


WRITTEN SAMPLES - Moby Dick
Ruling: 8mm.

Figure 4.
Paper: HPJ1124.
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Figure 5.
Paper: Rhodia.
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Figure 6.
Paper: G Lalo, Verge de France, white.
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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.
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OTHER STUFF

Figure 10.
Smear/Dry Times.
Wet Tests ☔
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GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Type:
  • Dye-based fountain pen ink.
Presentation:
  • Bottle.
Availability:
  • Available when Topic posted.
Daily writer?
  • Quite possible.
A go-to ink?
  • When one has had one too many not-quite-there Blues.

USE

Business:
(From the office of Ms Blue-Black.)
  • In all densities shown, I could see ABl used for most correspondence. Others may well use this ink primarily for lateral and downward communication, switching to an ink with more gravitas for upward communication.
  • At higher densities, it has sufficient gravitas for a Conference Room, and enough animation not to be overlooked.
  • I could see using this ink for personal work product, but with some hesitation - the energy seems a bit high for extensive reading. (Not that ABl is at all difficult to read.)
  • There seems sufficient zip for editing / mark-up, especially in the light-medium densities.
  • Not enough ⚡zap⚡ for error correction or grading of assignments.
Illustrations / Graphics:
  • Certainly not a simple simple Blue, ABl can slip into niches impossible for so-called 'true blue' Blues.
  • A strong eloquent foil to Turquoise / Teal.
  • The animated aspect allows ABl to command a space with less than full coverage and/or at lower density.
  • Well suited to figures, yet when diluted it could act as a ground.
  • Line quality is very high, and does well on the textured G Lalo. However, there is some shading potential, which should be taken into account before using for crosshatching, labels and taut narrow lines.
Students:
  • Quite possible.
  • ABl is very readable, and the animated aspect may allow slight reduction in caffeine intake, so is a good pick for general notes; a less animated ink might be chosen for study notes to be read more than a few times.
  • Water resistance is less than stellar, but what's written should be salvageable. (Kindly run samples using your gear, OK?)
    • EDIT - to add: Water resistance seems to be downgraded from 'less than stellar' to 'safeguard from liquids'. See Post № 8 below.
  • The Staples 20 lb. showed an iota of bleed- show-through, so two-sided use of 'lowest bidder' paper seems likely, though cannot be taken for granted.
  • Acceptable for hand-written assignments, especially those worthy of a high grade, should that ever occur.
Personal:
  • Very much so.
  • Another 'bright-eyed' ink that suits all but the most grim topics.
  • Convivial and personable, with the range to suit many occasions and moods.
  • Sufficiently distant from the bog standard default Blues, yet will do the necessary for personal pro forma tasks.
  • I've used ABl from a wide variety of pens & nib shapes - none have disappointed, and some have been more than pleasantly surprising.
  • Billets doux? Quite unlikely.

PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE & CHARACTERISTICS

Flow Rate:
  • A bit dry.
Nib Dry-out:
  • Tip dried sooner than expected.
Start-up:
  • Prompt.
  • Due to nib tip dry-out, there was some loss of confidence at the initial stroke, but Written Samples show no obvious virga.
  • The wily practitioner may prefer to cap the pen when not in active use, or use a pen with a hooded nib.
Lubrication:
  • Above average.
  • A nice characteristic for a dry-ish ink.
  • Narrow nibs on textured paper were tolerable.
Nib Creep:
  • Not seen.
Staining:
  • Not seen.
Clogging:
  • Not seen.
Bleed- Show-Through:
  • A tiny bit on the Staples 20 lb., but some may accept using both sides of the sheet, especially for ephemera.
Feathering / Woolly Line:
  • None.
Smell:
  • Just a bit inky.
Hand oil sensitivity:
  • Not seen.
Clean Up:
  • Exceptionally fast and thorough with plain water. :thumbup:
  • ABl is a good pick when a rapid colour change [in the field] is required; and for pens which are tedious to cleanse. e.g. Vacumatics, Snorkies.
Mixing:
  • No stated prohibition.
  • I see no need to mix into this ink.
Archival:
  • Not claimed.
Smear/Dry Times and Wet Tests:
  • See Figure 10 above.
  • EDIT - to add: Water resistance seems to be 'safeguard from liquids'. See Post № 8 below.


THE LOOK

Presence:
  • One eyebrow cocked.
  • Reminiscent of a person who speaks with an accent acquired in more than one place.

Saturation:
  • Average.
Shading:
  • Strong potential for attractive shading. :)
  • Not evident from narrow nibs. :(
Variability:
  • Pen+nib combos used:
    • Greater than expected.
  • Papers used:
    • Quite a bit less than expected, other than shading potential.
  • Malleability:
    • Quite good actually.
    • While the Look does change, somehow ABl manages to remain very much itself. (?)
    • As shown, the choice of pen can be used to great effect, yet once the pen is chosen, The Look is quite stable across the various papers - a good characteristic to have in a daily writer ink.

Hi-Res Scans:

Originals are 60x30mm.

As I do not wish to be known as 'Regina del Bandito di Larghezza di Banda', the following images are IMG-thumbs, so please click them to view as intended.

45 on HPJ1124

Posted Image


W5 on Rhodia

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330 on G Lalo

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Safari on Royal

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FIDELITY

Is the name appropriate?
  • Not quite.
  • Yes indeed, Aurora has but a brace of inks, so granularity is superfluous, but this is not a plain ol' Blue. (Whereas Lamy Blue is very much a plain ol' Blue.)
Are swatches accurate?
  • The aurorapen.it site map indicates refill information should be included; alas, access is not supported by the menus.

OTHER INKS

Comparison:
  • To enable ad hoc comparison, my Reviews of Blue inks from 10 August 2010 onward share the same Written Sample layout, and some papers and pens. Manipulation of browser windows allow for simultaneous viewing of Written Samples of several inks. That said, if you feel that a specific aspect deserves to be depicted/documented in a separate Post or Topic, your PM will be welcomed.

Swab Swami:

IMG-thumb:
Posted Image
Left → Right: Sheaffer Skrip Blue, Montblanc Royal Blue, ye olde Waterman Purple (Violette), and Pelikan 4001 Turquoise added as a foil.



PAPERS

Lovely papers:
  • ABl paper!
  • Ran very well on all papers used.
Trip-wire Papers: ☠
  • None encountered, but as a matter of respect, I would avoid dirty whites - Eeeewwwwwe!
Tinted Papers:
  • Possible, but a bit tricky.
  • As shown, on the warm G Lalo, the paper adds a bit of yellow to the appearance - generating a definite shift to Violet. I imagine a cool White or pale Blue would emphasise the Blue aspect of ABl, as might papers loaded to the gunnels with optical brighteners.
Pre-Printed Papers:
  • Forms, etc.
    • Good pick.
    • Likely the tone and colour provide sufficient separation from the typical Black-printed form without moving too far off the plane of the paper.
  • For charts & graphs:
    • Watch for lack of separation from feint lines pre-printed in Magenta / Violet.
Is high-end paper 'worth it'?
  • If one wants to maximise shading potential, a smooth hard-surfaced paper seems to be required. (I was not amongst those hooligans who claimed to be ditching their Clairefontaine. LINK

ETC.

Majik:
  • I have high hopes that a fair hand could generate some subtle majik.
Personal Pen & Paper Pick:
  • Estie on the HPJ1124.
  • One of the rare times that I have included a personal favourite. This nib is a dry-ish Stub, and contrasts to the Safari with the goosed 1.1 nib.
  • The pen keeps the density in harmony with the variable line width.
  • The paper's base tint allows Aurora Blue to be well seated upon the page, yet energetic; with the smooth surface promoting attractive shading that remains within the mid-tones.
Yickity Yackity:
  • Aurora Blue was a contender for the One Of The Ten series of ten keystone Blue inks, but the colour was just not in there. That said, I do consider Aurora Blue to be a core member of my inky array.
  • Ah kushbaby, if just had better water resistance . . .

= = = =

NUTS & BOLTS

Pens

IMG thumb:
Posted Image


Written Samples:

  • Parker 45 GT Flighter + 14K XF nib.
  • rotring 600 + steel F nib.
  • Waterman's W5 + 14CT nib. *OooooLaLa*
  • Sheaffer 330 + steel M nib.
  • Esterbrook J + 9284 Signature Stub nib.
  • Non-nudist Pink Safari + goosed 1.1 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
  • Red 102
  • Grn 112
  • Blu 211
  • Lum 129

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 the stuff 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-


Tags: Fountain Pen Ink Review Aurora Blue Sandy1

Edited by Sandy1, 29 February 2012 - 23:25.

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


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#2 The Good Captain

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:39

Great review as ever, Sandy and a fantastic colour, but where do we get it at the right price here in the UK?

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#3 tanalasta

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 13:08

Ahh... my favourite reviewer of inks. (not that others are not also good) - but I love your honest, succint personal comments on the ink

One of my favourite blue inks, fantastic in all pens with good properties. My gripe is mainly to do with dry times ... for a blue ink and I've smeared several times because of it. I personally prefer kon peki which is a totally different blue, but Aurora blue is one of my staple 'blue' inks.
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#4 Sandy1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 13:16

Great review as ever, Sandy and a fantastic colour, but where do we get it at the right price here in the UK?

Hi,

Thanks for the compliment!

IIRC, this bottle was included in a bundle of inks purchased from Nordic Pens. (No affiliation, etc.)

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 29 February 2012 - 16:02.

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


#5 Lloyd

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 15:26

Thanks for the thorough review, Sandy. What is "Devil Dust"? Posted Image
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#6 torstar

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 15:41

Great review Sandy, as always.

After using black for a few years (the best out there) I was very disappointed in the purple that the blue brought forth.

I know it's a matter of taste, I prefer the green-tinged blues.

But on the bright side, if Aurora made the best blue as well I would not have had to look elsewhere and collect another 100 bottles and brands and enjoy them.

#7 DET

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 17:02

Another wonderful review, Sandy. This is probably my favorite blue, as I prefer purple-tinged blues to teal-tinged ones. Aurora Blue competes for my affections with Sheaffer Skrip Blue and Waterman Florida Blue, both of which are closer to being true blues.

#8 Scriver

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 18:45

Sandy, I will echo the praise for your review. One warning, though. I like Aurora Blue a lot, and have used it for a wide variety off tasks, including for marginal notes and drafts. Consequently, I have accidentally tested the ink's water resistance on a wide variety of papers and can report that ABl notes are often not salvageable, due to water-induced smearing and running. This is less of an issue for office use, but I would advise caution for student notes that get carried around a lot.

#9 Sandy1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 23:30

Ahh... my favourite reviewer of inks. (not that others are not also good) - but I love your honest, succint personal comments on the ink

One of my favourite blue inks, fantastic in all pens with good properties. My gripe is mainly to do with dry times ... for a blue ink and I've smeared several times because of it. I personally prefer kon peki which is a totally different blue, but Aurora blue is one of my staple 'blue' inks.

Hi,

Thanks for the compliments! :blush:

It seems the S/DTs achieved on the Rhodia were a bit shorter than general, but on the Staples it was quite a bit slower than most, and pretty much the norm on HPJ1124. :blink:

Could you tell us if there is a particular paper+pen combo that gives excessive S/DTs? Any work-arounds? Or just the usual move to a dry-ish narrow nib?

Bye,
S1

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


#10 Sandy1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 23:33

Thanks for the thorough review, Sandy. What is "Devil Dust"? Posted Image

Hi,

Similar to Baby Powder, Devil Dust is made from finely ground free-range little devils.

The result is an extremely hot & spicy powder, that does not numb the palate - the heat and spice make fresh impact with each bite.

I use it to convert store-bought Du Cape Bon harissa sauce from 'tangy' to 'weapons grade'.

Bye,
S1

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


#11 Sandy1

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 23:39

Great review Sandy, as always.

After using black for a few years (the best out there) I was very disappointed in the purple that the blue brought forth.

I know it's a matter of taste, I prefer the green-tinged blues.

But on the bright side, if Aurora made the best blue as well I would not have had to look elsewhere and collect another 100 bottles and brands and enjoy them.

Hi,

Thanks for the compliment!

There does seem to be enduring comment that the Purple/Violet aspect is too strong for some tastes. I consider ABl to be some sort of boundary marker, where Blues end and Blue-Violet starts within the inks of medium density. The Dark Blues are another story.

I think that amongst all the Blues, where differences can be nigh-on imaginary, (I believe I understand One Hundred Blues), there is need for those that stake a patch apart from the main mass. And ABl does that with such nice manners.

Bye,
S1

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


#12 Sandy1

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:47

Another wonderful review, Sandy. This is probably my favorite blue, as I prefer purple-tinged blues to teal-tinged ones. Aurora Blue competes for my affections with Sheaffer Skrip Blue and Waterman Florida Blue, both of which are closer to being true blues.

Hi,

Thanks for the compliment!

My recent taste in Blue inks is for almost anything but 'in the middle', preferring Aurora, Royal Blues, Sapphires, and skipping many 'true blues' until the slightly more Cyan tints are reached, such as Sailor 'Sky High'.

It seems that as the dyes used in FP ink are impure, getting a pure Blue seems very elusive. And even if it was in the market, it may be lacking interesting complexity - too pure!?!

Bye,
S1

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


#13 Sandy1

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:51

Sandy, I will echo the praise for your review. One warning, though. I like Aurora Blue a lot, and have used it for a wide variety off tasks, including for marginal notes and drafts. Consequently, I have accidentally tested the ink's water resistance on a wide variety of papers and can report that ABl notes are often not salvageable, due to water-induced smearing and running. This is less of an issue for office use, but I would advise caution for student notes that get carried around a lot.

Hi,

Thanks!

Your observation of water resistance of ABl 'in the wild' was incorporated into the Review. :thumbup:

Bye,
S1


Edited by Sandy1, 01 March 2012 - 11:07.

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


#14 lapis

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:31

Great review as ever, Sandy and a fantastic colour, but where do we get it at the right price here in the UK?

FWIW you might want to try out Rolf at missing-pen. Aurora's 45 ml bottles come in at 9.95 Euros = 8.39 Quid. As a comp, his Diamine's 80ers cost 9.90 Euros = 8.35 Quid whereas Diamine's Diamines soak in at 6.79 Quid.
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#15 SenZen

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:30

Thank you for another thorough review!
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#16 Sandy1

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:03

Thank you for another thorough review!

You're welcome!

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


#17 DanaP

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:38

Has anyone experienced any significant fading with this ink?

#18 reprieve

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 20:47

Aurora Blue is one of my favorite blue inks. It's so well-behaved, and it can be trusted in my vintage pens or in pens with hard-to-flush filling systems (like vintage vacs or lever fillers). I usually have at least one pen filled with Aurora Blue.

#19 Sandy1

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 22:34

Aurora Blue is one of my favorite blue inks. It's so well-behaved, and it can be trusted in my vintage pens or in pens with hard-to-flush filling systems (like vintage vacs or lever fillers). I usually have at least one pen filled with Aurora Blue.

Hi,

Thanks for adding your experience with ABl :thumbup:

I was very surprised the first time I used it - I thought the ink was recalcitrant to wash away - then I realised that the pen was virtually clean after the first flush! I still don't slack-off or take it for granted. But a definite advantage for the pens without simple flow-through plumbing. A treat for Parker 61 capillary fillers too, which are sometimes set aside because of the tedium of clean-up! And a pleasure to use a rather different Blue.

Bye,
S1

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


#20 PaperDarts

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:27

I love your witty, intelligent reviews - the gorgeous ink colours are almost "gravy"! This one is definitely going on my list.
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