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Pilot Fa Nib Vs. Pilot Falcon

pilot fa nib pilot falcon falcon flex comparison custom heritage 912 custom 742

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#21 max dog

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 19:50

Thanks for the illustration. On quick glance I always thought it looked like the falcon nib, but shown side by side its dimensions match the soft pilot nib.

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#22 rutherfordr

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 19:09

Boy, am I lucky!  Seems I might be the only owner of a non-problematic FA nib. Who woulda thunk it? :)

 

I've got one on a Custom 743, and it works great.

 

No issues with dryness or starting, and it keeps up with my handwriting just fine.


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#23 beanbag

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 09:44

It's quite different to the Falcon in both shape and structure(not to mention the Falcon pen feed is completely different and has no fins), and somewhat closer to the Pilot soft nibs. See below

 

Yes it's slightly thinner

 

ummm, that FA nib in your picture is misadjusted or sprung.  The tips of the tines should be touching


 

 

 


#24 Bluey

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 16:29

Thanks for the illustration. On quick glance I always thought it looked like the falcon nib, but shown side by side its dimensions match the soft pilot nib.

Np.

 

 

ummm, that FA nib in your picture is misadjusted or sprung.  The tips of the tines should be touching

I think I got that pic from the Goulet site.


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#25 max dog

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 22:07

 

ummm, that FA nib in your picture is misadjusted or sprung.  The tips of the tines should be touching

That's my point exactly.  It seems misaligned tines on the FA is not an uncommon occurance.  That\s why I hesitate to get one.  

 

I suppose if you are lucky and the tines are perfect, and you have the control to know how far you can push the nib before railroading, I can see the softer FA nib can be a pleasure to use, but I don't like the hit and miss aspect of it.  Besides my regular Elabo falcon nib has opened up nicely over the years and I can do 3X line width variation on the SF consistently without railroaing.  About 0.4mm to 1.2mm.  The FA I believe can go up to 1.8mm. 

 

A tidbit about the falcon nib: Got to keep the pen at a higher angle to the paper to minimize railroading, ie 60 degrees or more.  Tendency with the long falcon nib is to hold the pen at lower angles, 45 or less, but it railroads easier this way.  Little things you learn from experience that is not documented anywhere.  At least this is the way my falcon SF behaves.


Edited by max dog, 22 January 2017 - 07:04.


#26 BillLS

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 01:50

I have a Custom 912 with an FA nib that was modified by John Mottishaw for Spencerian handwriting. This modification involved enlarging the shoulder cutouts for increased flexibility, as you would expect, and reducing the width of the tip to get finer hairlines. John also modifies the feed for increased flow to prevent railroading when he does this Spencerian modification. The result is a wonderfully flexible nib that almost never railroads. And I've never had a tip alignment problem either.

 

Disclaimer: My only relationship with John Mottishaw is that I am a satisfied customer. I do not get any benefits from him for good reviews.


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#27 max dog

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 06:41

Pilot Elabo Falcon

 

Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA

 

Found this:  

Same user, same writing style, same ink, same paper for comparison.

Both write well.  FA is a little softer than the Falcon.

The FA experiences a little railroading and a few hard starts towards the end.  

Falcon is very consistent throughout.

 

BTW, nice relaxing music.


Edited by max dog, 22 January 2017 - 06:50.


#28 Stranger in town

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 07:34

Boy, am I lucky!  Seems I might be the only owner of a non-problematic FA nib. Who woulda thunk it? :)

 

I bought a Custom 743 with FA a couple of week ago. Been perfect out of the box for me as well. No railroading on moderate flexing. Have not tried any "violent" flexing as I do not have the skills :). Ofcourse performance may be ink dependent. I am using Noodlers heart of darkness which is a fairly free flowing ink. Will try something else in the next fill to see if it makes a difference.


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#29 Duane Pandorf

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 17:53

I bought a Custom 743 with FA a couple of week ago. Been perfect out of the box for me as well. No railroading on moderate flexing. Have not tried any "violent" flexing as I do not have the skills :). Ofcourse performance may be ink dependent. I am using Noodlers heart of darkness which is a fairly free flowing ink. Will try something else in the next fill to see if it makes a difference.


Same here with me with my recent purchase of the Custom 823 with the #15 Falcon. I'm running Iroshizuku inks.
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#30 max dog

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:06

 

I bought a Custom 743 with FA a couple of week ago. Been perfect out of the box for me as well. No railroading on moderate flexing. Have not tried any "violent" flexing as I do not have the skills :). Ofcourse performance may be ink dependent. I am using Noodlers heart of darkness which is a fairly free flowing ink. Will try something else in the next fill to see if it makes a difference.

 

 

Same here with me with my recent purchase of the Custom 823 with the #15 Falcon. I'm running Iroshizuku inks.

The infamous FA flow/railroading issues are well documented over and over again in many videos and threads.  Looks like it goes back as far as 2011.  You may both be the few luckier ones with their FA nibs.

http://www.fountainp...ad-railroading/

 

I won't be abandoning my Pilot Falcon Elabo for the FA nib any time soon.

 

BTW,  one might get less railroading with the FA if you hold the pen more vertically.  There is a natural tendency to hold the pen at a lower angle to get more leverage in spreading the tines more easily, but with these nibs it is counter productive when you do that.    

 

With the steeper angle of the nib as you write and flex, the effects of gravity may help increase the ink flow to the nib and aid the ink in retaining it's surface tension bond between the tines longer as the tines spread.  You have both gravity and capillary action working to get the ink to the ink starved nib during flex.  It's when the liquid ink cohesion between the tines break, railroading happens.  The longer this cohesion can be maintained, the less railroading you will get.  Every little bit of aid (by holding the pen more vertically) getting more ink to the nib helps in my opinion.

 

Just a thought as I find this helps with my Falcon nib.  Of course with vintage flex nibs, the feeds are so robust it doesn't matter how you hold them.


Edited by max dog, 22 February 2017 - 05:49.


#31 AD43

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 06:03

Just get the Justus for Justice, (who is that pathetic person who wrote that Justus nonsense behind the brackets, just to try and sound poetic).



#32 Tootles

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 07:06

 

The infamous FA flow/railroading issues are well documented over and over again in many videos and threads.  Looks like it goes back as far as 2011.  You may both be the few luckier ones with their FA nibs.

 

I feel like I have to be the other guy in this. Most of the railroading that I have seen in these videos is down to incorrect assumptions regarding what the pen is designed to do, followed by incorrect use.  Mine never railroads, and I'm not the only one either.  

 

Take a look at the recent video of the new 'flex' nib from Aurora. Railroading due to incorrect use.  I've also seen plenty of videos of people railroading vintage flex nibs.

 

It's a real shame that people are put off a perfectly decent pen this way.



#33 max dog

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 07:32

 
I feel like I have to be the other guy in this. Most of the railroading that I have seen in these videos is down to incorrect assumptions regarding what the pen is designed to do, followed by incorrect use.  Mine never railroads, and I'm not the only one either.  
 
Take a look at the recent video of the new 'flex' nib from Aurora. Railroading due to incorrect use.  I've also seen plenty of videos of people railroading vintage flex nibs.
 
It's a real shame that people are put off a perfectly decent pen this way.


Well its always good to be able to agree to disagree. Im glad your FA 912 is working out well for you. Nice flexy hand writing by the way.

#34 Bluey

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 13:29

Most of the railroading that I have seen in these videos is down to incorrect assumptions regarding what the pen is designed to do, followed by incorrect use.

 

This.

 

I don't have the Falcon nib(FA) but I have the falcon pen, and mine often railroads too if I try to flex it and use it for Western calligraphy which it wasn't designed to do.

For the FA nib pens, I've not seen any problems being reported during normal handwriting.


Edited by Bluey, 22 February 2017 - 13:30.

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#35 max dog

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 06:39

fpn_1493620319__pilot_custom_912_fa_apri

fpn_1493620352__pilot_custom_912_fa_apri

Ink is Montblanc Lavender Purple.

 

So when I came across a new Pilot Custom 912 FA on ebay at a very reasonable price, I took the plunge and got one.   While I love my Waterman’s 52V vintage flex, it is 99 years old and not a pen I can toss around and take with me everywhere, and let’s face it the Pilot Custom 912 or 743 FA is probably the softest modern nib you can get these days at a reasonable price.  The new limited edition Aurora flex nibs are pretty expensive and hard to get, and OMAS is no longer around with their Extra Flessible nibs.

 

When I got my Pilot 912 FA, the first thing I checked was the nib alignment with a loop, and with great relief no nib tine mis-alignment.  I inked the pen and the pen wrote soon as the nib touched the paper.  No hard starts!  Joy!  When I pressed the nib I got line variation, 3X even 4X line width variation without railroading.  After about half a page of writing and the nib was no longer saturated, the dreaded railroading and hard starts took root. 

 

After a week of experimenting, here are some tips to minimize railroading and hard start with the FA nib:

1..The right ink makes all the difference.  For me so far the Montblanc Midnight Blue, and Lavender Purple has given good results.  Experiment and find the right ink.

2..Hold the pen at a higher angle.  65 degrees or more to thepaper.  Flex the nib with short strokes.   If you try to flex this pen while holding it at a lower than 45 degree angle like you would with a vintage flex pen, the FA is going to railroad like crazy.  Brian Goulet gives an excellent explanation.

https://www.youtube....h?v=0NmexnXOKo0

3..I don’t know if its just my pen, but I get more consistent ink flow and less railroading with the CON 40 converter than the CON70.  The agitator in the CON 40 ensures air pockets don’t starve ink flow and I think ensures a more consistent ink flow, than the CON70, right up until the ink runs out.  With the CON70, as the ink level starts to drop, the hard starts and railroading instances increase.  With my Pilot 74 SFM, the CON 70 works fine, but with the more finicky FA, I think the CON 40 or 50 piston converters with agitator works better.  

 

All this assumes the FA nib does not have any mis-aligned tines, so be sure to check the nib alignment with a loop.

 

The Pilot Falcon-Elabo offers a more consistent performance than the FA hands down and I think is the better choice if moderate line variation is OK.  If you have to have the softest nib experience possible in a non-vintage pen, with the right ink and knowing the limitation of the FA, you can get some consistent results, but be prepared to experiment as mileage will vary with this very finicky nib.


Edited by max dog, 01 May 2017 - 07:14.


#36 Tootles

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 07:23

I have heard that flow issues are ameliorated somewhat by swapping the CON 70 for a cartridge. This is something I intend to test when I reach the end of the current fill.



#37 JunkyardSam

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 23:08

I own three Falcons and all worked well right out of the box. SEF, SF, and SB. (Flow is best with Japanese inks if fast writing is desired. I did encounter some flow issues with various Noodlers Bulletproof ink. Sailor Kiwa Guro is my preferred waterproof ink for Japanese pens.)

 

The pressure for line variation on my Falcons is similar to an Ahab, but they feel more "precise" -- especially the SEF with that very fine nib.  The SEF is best for line variation because you get maximum contrast between thick and thin.

 

I bought a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA, crossing my fingers... hoping my experience would be different than the bad reviews. It wasn't. I could tell the nib COULD be good... but it wasn't. I had frequent and inexplicable hard starts and random railroading issues even with minimal flex.

 

After waiting a year I finally decided to risk a Pilot Custom Heritage 743 FA after hearing that the #15 FA nibs have less trouble.

 

It was perfect. I finally got the "perfect nib" (for me) that I always dreamed of.  It's not as fine as my Falcon SEF but it's finer than my Falcon SF... and it requires less pressure for line variation. It just worked. None of the issues of my #10 FA from the 912.  While it's softer than a Falcon -- it's just firm enough that I can use it as a normal pen as well.

 

I moved the #15 FA onto my Custom 823 and it's absolutely one of my favorite pens. I have none of the issues that other people report, or any of the issues I experienced with the 912.

 

Getting a good FA is worth it. The #15 nibs seem to not have as many issues for some reason... but people ordering an FA should really be sure they have return options in case they get a bad one.

 

My only criticism of the #15 FA nib is that I wish Pilot offered an EF-FA as well... to maximize the difference between thick and thin.

 

Also - the softness of the FA doesn't mean it's "better" than a Falcon. It's just different. I love all these pens.


Edited by JunkyardSam, 01 May 2017 - 23:10.


#38 yeepers

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 05:59

Knock on wood I haven't had any of the *known* issues with my 912 FA. I did do a bit of reading while I was waiting for the pen to arrive and went ahead and inked with an ink recommended to maximize performance of the pen/nib. So far so good. I am using it for modern calligraphic writing and am getting good results. It does require a slow, steady hand in order to perform well. I'd be curious to try it next to a Falcon but that would mean I'd have to buy a Falcon.  Hmmmmmmm........



#39 ManofKent

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 05:09

Knock on wood I haven't had any of the *known* issues with my 912 FA. I did do a bit of reading while I was waiting for the pen to arrive and went ahead and inked with an ink recommended to maximize performance of the pen/nib. So far so good. I am using it for modern calligraphic writing and am getting good results. It does require a slow, steady hand in order to perform well. I'd be curious to try it next to a Falcon but that would mean I'd have to buy a Falcon.  Hmmmmmmm........

 

 

No problems with mine using Iroshizuku ink at least. I picked a CON20 to use with less free-flowing inks if they give me problems, but no starved feed issues with Iroshizuku so far, even writing cursive text at a decent speed.



#40 max dog

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:27

 

No problems with mine using Iroshizuku ink at least. I picked a CON20 to use with less free-flowing inks if they give me problems, but no starved feed issues with Iroshizuku so far, even writing cursive text at a decent speed.

 

I highly recommend Montblanc Permanent Blue with the FA.  Works really well with the FA nib, allowing for consistent flexing with minimal railroading.  







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