Packaging and delivery:
I ordered it on Friday evening, it arrived the next Friday (I'm in the UK), sent from India. Given I've had pens ordered from UK shops take two weeks I was quite impressed. The pen was wrapped in a paper napkin, in an envelope inside another envelope. All very neatly taped up, but no case, not even a cardboard box.
Light, and small. It's lighter than a Safari and smaller than a Cross Century II. If someone handed it to me saying it was a Cross I wouldn't believe them, but I would be intrigued by it and study it closer. It says Hero in English and Chinese (well I imagine that's what it says in Chinese) under the clip, and 2C on the back of the cap. The 2C looks slightly more punched than the Hero. Sitting on a desk it looks like a nice pen, I like the colour and styling. Its weight does give it away, and makes it seem delicate, but it appears to be reasonably well made.
It comes with what it calls an aerometric filler. I tested it with Lamy black ink. The nib is narrow, I think some XF ones are probably wider. It's a fairy dry line and it's not wonderfully smooth, but given how fine the line is I'm not surprised. That said it's not scratchy, I can draw big 8s and small 8s and it's just as smooth all the way around. I've never used a pen this narrow before, given it's width it could be it is actually quite smooth, it just doesn't flow across the page like my Safari does (but it's F nib is probably twice as think and wet, which might explain it). It doesn't skip either, in the short space of time I've had it it's always written as soon as it touches paper.
Given how light and delicate it feels if I had to write page after page I'd go for something heavier and probably slightly wider. It's probably more suited for taking notes or corrections. I've changed it to green ink and have been using it for editing, the very fine nib is ideal for this.
Well it claims to be aerometric. But I took the filler off (it says it can be removed and used with a cartridge) and there is no breather tube in it. It's just an aluminium case with a plastic sac and lever. I can't get this more than 1/4 full of ink. No amount of pressing the lever, inverting the pen, trying again, will get more ink in there. Even taking the converter off and dipping it in water I can't get the water to fill it more than 1/4, if I turn it upside down and shake the water still clings to the open end. Am I doing something wrong? I may try putting some glass balls out of a cartridge in it. At the moment I have a green international cartridge in the pen, it still writes well.
Apart from the filling, the clip is on very slightly squint. It pushes back and stays straight to be pen, but in use it sometimes moves very slightly off again. Also, the plastic immediately around where the clip attaches has a slight unfinished look if studied closely. Neither of these are very noticeable, and don't affect its performance, but from some angles it does affect its look. This is a shame (and may be unique to this one pen) as the rest of it is well proportioned and well finished.
Despite being well made (apart from that) it does feel delicate, probably because it's so light, and I'm not sure how it would hold up to abuse. It could be it would be fine and it's just the weight deceiving me.
I'm pleased with it. It's as narrow as a fine Pilot VR-7 rollerball, and smoother. It looks nice and being a very narrow FP it's something I've needed for some time.
If you like heavy or macho pens I'd avoid it, likewise if you like pens that feel expensive avoid it. If you like very fine lines, or need a pen for editing, and don't want to or cant spend a lot, it's definitely worth considering.
Edited by Lumo, 26 March 2007 - 22:56.