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Hero Model 001 - 360 degree


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#1 tonydacrow

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 21:09

I own a Sailor Trident and thought it might be fun to try the current, Chinese knock-off of that design in a side by side comparison. What I found surprised me.

INITIAL APPEARANCE:

The Sailor Trident I own is a stainless steel model with flat, black plastic end caps and clip. It is very thin, very light and very well made. The bottom end cap has an indentation on which the cap clicks when posted. (It is so light that posting doesn’t really affect its hand feel.) All in all, a very attractive, minimalist looking early ’80’s Japanese fountain pen.

The Hero is blue anodized aluminum with a polished stainless top cap and clip. A picture of the Hero is attached below. The bottom tube has an integral indentation which serves the same purpose as the Trident’s bottom end cap. Although slightly heavier than the Trident due to an internal “aerometric” filler, it is also light enough that posting doesn’t materially affect its hand feel. This is a more “modern” but equally attractive looking contemporary Chinese “re-enactment” of an early ‘80’s Japanese fountain pen.

UNCAPPED:

The Trident’s nibs (3 of them placed together) have the famous tri-feeder design. The nib is held by a nicely executed stainless steel bottom “button” connected to a ½ inch black plastic section: very sharp looking!

The Hero’s nibs (2 of them placed together) have two feeders rather than the three feeders of the Trident. However, the nib is designed to look VERY similar to the Trident’s. Below the nib is a 1 ¼ inch stainless steel section that has an integral “button” designed to look like the Trident’s: again, very sharp looking!

INSIDE:

The Trident can only be fed with cartridges as the internal dimensions of the body are too small for any converter of which I know.

The Hero has a built-in “aerometric” feed as seen in the photo below. This part is actually better thought-out and better executed than the original.

WRITING:

The Trident and the Hero write with NO discernable difference in line width, ink-flow, pressure requirements, etc. In fact, both are a joy to write with. The design purpose of the Trident was to join three nibs into one unit so that the resulting “trident” would provide the ink-flow and writing characteristics of a fountain pen with the ability to press hard, when necessary, for carbon copies without ruining its writing characteristics or the nib. The Hero was designed (redesigned, copied?) for the same purpose. Although it only has two nibs (and thus a flat rather than 3-dimentional cross-section) the ends of both pens are "ball-pointed" so that one may write with them at any direction or angle.

COST:

The Trident will cost about $100 USD or more plus shipping when you can find it.

The Hero can be had for less than $20 USD shipped(!) when you can find it.

CONCUSIONS:

Owning a Trident is nice if you can afford it. It’s a great little pen and serves as a niffty example of a unique design-concept that didn’t quite “make it” in the real world.

It’s also nice to own a Hero model 001/360 and almost most anyone can afford it! It’s a well made, modern tribute to a great idea whose only major flaw was a lack of commercial viability.

BTW: The attached photo doesn't do the Hero justice. It is one SWEET looking pen!

Attached Images

  • 4.jpg


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#2 Nihontochicken

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 00:19

Thank you for this review! I've been wondering whether anyone had yet made a three- (versus two-) dimensional FP nib, and here it is. Seems some further development might have eliminated the major problem of clogging (perhaps going to a circular cross-section and utilizing a 51-style hood?). I'd imagined a six-part tip, as it turned out was used by Sailor, was optimal, interesting that the Hero four-part tip works as well. Any chance of seeing a close-up pic of the Hero tip? Thanks again! smile.gif
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#3 kissing

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 00:48

From the pictures, the nib design looks very similar to the Parker 180. As the Hero 100/616/329 range is very similar to the Parker "51", perhaps this is the 180 clone?

Thanks for the thorough review on the pen smile.gif If I decide to want a double-writing nib, but don't have much money, I'll now know where to look biggrin.gif


ps: This topic seems more at home in the Fountain Pen Reviews subforum. Would you like it moved there?
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#4 mmoncur

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 07:28

I have one of these and it's a pretty good pen. The nib is rather like a Parker 180 (which I haven't seen in person) but the body of the pen looks nothing like a Parker, very like a Hero. Actually one of the better styled and better made Heros with an all-metal body.

It writes with a ballpoint feel - you can write at nearly any angle, and it works a bit better at the higher angle people use to write with ballpoints (nearly 90 degrees) than at the lower angle that works best with FPs.

You can press hard enough to dig a hole in the paper without hurting the nib, so it could definitely handle a few carbons.

Cutepens.com has then for $14.95 with free shipping, and they have eBay deals from time to time.
Michael Moncur

#5 tonydacrow

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 14:03

Here's a close-up of the Hero nib that I "appropriated" from cutepens.com. They do have good prices on these pens!

Attached Images

  • hero360nibsenl1.jpg


#6 southpaw

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 14:32

Thanks for the review of such an interesting pen, and the comparison to the Trident was an excellent idea!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#7 tonydacrow

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 15:43

Wow.

I just looked at pics of the Parker 180 on the internet and the Hero 360's nib is almost identical. So; did the Trident steal from the Parker 180? Did Parker steal from the Trident? Did the Hero steal from both? (OK, we all know the answer to the last question.)

Gee, I guess there is nothing new under the sun...

Edited by tonydacrow, 14 February 2007 - 15:44.


#8 wiglaf

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 18:26

I bought a Hero 360 a while ago from cutepens.com- a fine buying experience, by the way (no relation)- and found it too much like a pub dart to use with any regularity- a bit too short and thin for my hands- but I agree that its construction is quite good- I wonder if the Parker specs for the 180 suffered the same "nationalizing" issue the factories did- may explain the similarities-

Tony

#9 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 19:04

QUOTE
just looked at pics of the Parker 180 on the internet and the Hero 360's nib is almost identical. So; did the Trident steal from the Parker 180? Did Parker steal from the Trident? Did the Hero steal from both? (OK, we all know the answer to the last question.)


A trident nib is totally different from both the Hero and the Parker 180.

For an article on the Trident, look here - The Amazing All-angle Sailor Trident

John

Edited by Johnny Appleseed, 14 February 2007 - 19:05.

So if you have a lot of ink,
You should get a Yink, I think.

- Dr Suess

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

#10 tonydacrow

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 21:15

Well Johnny, I guess it depends on what you mean by "totally different."

1. The Trident used multiple nibs as do both the Hero 001/360 and Parker 180.

2. The Hero's feed is an exact copy of the Trident’s feed.

3. The Hero's length of the nib is almost exactly like the Trident's. Both the Hero's and Trident's length of nib are VERY different from the Parker 180.

4. The shape of the nibs on both the Trident and Hero are almost exactly the same. Again, both the Hero's and Trident's shape of nib look VERY different from the Parker 180 with the exception of a vestigial "wing" on the Hero, which corresponds with the larger "wing" on the Parker.

5. The Trident and the Hero write EXACTLY the same.

In truth, the Hero appears to be a true amalgam of the Trident and Parker but looks and behaves very much like the Trident.


#11 Nihontochicken

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 19:20

My interest has prompted me to order a Hero 360 from Cutepens. A multi-tine nib seems to be somewhat an amalgamation of the traditional flat two-tine nib and the 3-dimensional stylographic point, offering the advantages of both with much greater strength than either. Also looks to be a natural for the Parker 51. I wonder whether some of the resident nib experts might offer their assessment of the pros and cons of the Trident style nib, and what its development potential might be? huh.gif
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#12 Nihontochicken

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 17:18

Might someone be able to indicate how the early Sheaffer Stylist nib compares to those of the Sailor Trident, Parker 180 and Hero 360? TIA! smile.gif
Nihonto Chicken

#13 inkdesigner

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 00:19

How do these pens perform after not being used for a few days? Do they start-up easy or do you need to run a bit of water over the nib to get it flowing? Also, do they clean out well? I have a Trident and I sometimes have a bear of a time getting it cleaned out. Thanks for your input here.

Inkdesigner
Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.

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#14 jsonewald

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 12:48

I wanted to order the Hero 360 from cutepens, but the last couple of times I tried to look at their ebay store, it was closed. Have they gone away?

(Edited typo)

Edited by jsonewald, 22 February 2007 - 12:49.


#15 mmoncur

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 13:52

You can still find them at http://www.cutepens.com/

(unless you're using Firefox, in which case half their menu won't work.)
Michael Moncur

#16 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 18:52

interesting pen and quite interesting nib too
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#17 demeter

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 21:34

I don't want to rain on anyones parade, but...

I purchased a Hero 360, and it should be stated that it is a cheap pen. The finish is cheap, the clip is cheap, the attention to detail is cheap. The sac was put on with a crimp in it, and without glue. It just fell off when I opened it once. The finish has come off the end of the pen, and I don't even post the cap.

I've tried two different inks in it, and it demonstrates the same problem: on short stroke figures like commas and periods, and often the first upstroke on a initial letter of a word it doesn't lay ink down - it skips. This is maddening.

If you press extremely hard it sort of solves that problem, but then you might have to deal with finger cramps.

That said, I paid next to nothing for it. If you are up for adventures in writing, buy it,
but please remember that it is a cheap pen, and it isn't going to be anything other than that...in my opinion.

Andrew

#18 Blorgy

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 21:50

QUOTE (tonydacrow @ Feb 13 2007, 09:09 PM)
The Hero’s nibs (2 of them placed together)
Although it only has two nibs (and thus a flat rather than 3-dimentional cross-section) the ends of both pens are "ball-pointed"

The Sailor Trident nib has 6 slits which are arranged radially between 6 tines.
How many slits, and how many tines does the Hero 360 degree nib have ?

#19 tonydacrow

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 14:07

The Sailor has 3 nibs (6 tines and 6 slits). The Hero has 2 nibs (4 tines and four slits).

#20 Blackhill

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 00:00

QUOTE (inkdesigner @ Feb 21 2007, 05:19 PM)
How do these pens perform after not being used for a few days? Do they start-up easy or do you need to run a bit of water over the nib to get it flowing? Also, do they clean out well? I have a Trident and I sometimes have a bear of a time getting it cleaned out. Thanks for your input here.

Inkdesigner

I have this pen and it is a consistent starter, even when I've left it sitting for over a week. I didn't have any problems cleaning it out, either.

Cheers,
Laura






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