So today, a little package from India arrived on my doormat; slightly unexpectedly, but only because it was nearly two weeks earlier than anticipated!
The packaging was very secure, with a thick outer envelope, double layers of bubble wrap, a plush velvet pen sleeve and finally cellophane over the pen itself; I'm pleased to say it survived the trip from India to the UK entirely unscathed, and as a bonus fit neatly through the letterbox! Mr. Subramanian of ASA Pens was very communicative and helpful, with emails on receipt of the order, processing, and on dispatch. No faults at all with the postage and dispatch!
First impressions: this is a Big Pen. Capital B Big. As in, if you thought the Noodler's Neponset was large, this is bigger. Despite this, the pen is pleasantly lightweight for the size and, when filled, balances at nearly the exact midpoint of the length making for a comfortable writer without undue fatigue.
Construction: the pen is made of clear acrylic resin throughout. ASA Pens' website states that the pen is entirely hand-turned with no CNC involved, and I have no reason to doubt them; the contouring is smooth throughout and the pen sits very nicely in the hand. The section, cap jewel and end of the barrel are crystal clear, and the barrel and cap are sanded with micromesh to give a pleasantly textured, misty, fogged finish that feels surprisingly warm to the touch for some reason! This is, of course, where the pen gets its name; the nebulous fogged finish gradating into the crystal acrylic like the a galaxy into the vastness of space.
The threads are solid throughout, with the section taking over 11 full turns to unscrew from the barrel! Not coming loose any time soon The cap smoothly and firmly screws on in a little over 2/3 of a full rotation. The nib and feed are friction fit, and took a little tinkering to rearrange for optimum writing, but are easily removable for cleaning etc.
The trim is chrome throughout, with a very stiff clip: not that this is a pen one would be likely to carry around in a pocket!
Stamped (lasered? engraved? heat-embossed?) on the side of the barrel is "ASA Stellar Galactic / India 2015" - this branding is next to invisible when the pen is empty, but shows up once the barrel is filled with ink.
- Capped: 31.0g empty
- Uncapped: 20.5g empty
- Cap: 11.0g
- Length capped: 15.3cm
- Length uncapped: 14.0cm
- Length posted: don't even bother
- Barrel diameter: 16mm at the widest point
- Section diameter: 13.5mm in the middle of the taper
Nib and feed: my pen came with a standard unbranded IPG nib, with a fairly fine point. There is an option to upgrade to a JoWo nib at checkout for a small extra cost, but I didn't feel this was necessary and indeed the standard nib is smooth with a little more springiness than my other steel-nibbed pens. I believe the feed is ebonite (?), and it easily keeps up with even the fastest of my writing without flinging ink everywhere! On the subject of ink, I measured the volume of the barrel to 1mm below the section threads as 4.1ml, over double the ink capacity of any of my other pens! You could write for days on end with just one fill of this pen.
Writing: the pen is a pleasant writer, especially for those with larger hands (like myself!). It's nicely balanced and easily long enough to use comfortably without posting, and frankly the length gets a little absurd if you were to try! The nib is smooth enough to be unnoticeable during writing, and is fairly forgiving of changes in angle.
Thoughts and opinions: for a handmade pen that cost me a hair over £20 (Rs ₹ 1,050), including free shipping halfway across the world, I'd say the ASA Galactic is exceptional value for money. If you like demonstrators, big pens, or just fancy something a little unusual, then this could be a worthy addition to your collection. It's great fun to be able to see the huge ink reservoir sloshing around, and the clear section gives a good insight into the capillary action that feeds the nib! However, for people who prefer a smaller or lighter writing instrument, this isn't the one for you I'm afraid.
Showing the texturning of the barrel and cap, with a little glimpse of the logo.
Another view of the unfilled pen showing the engraving.
Nib on show! Note the clear section.
All filled up woth Röhrer & Klingner Alt GoldGrün
Look at how that crystal acrylic blends into the fogged barrel!
And all filled up. There's a little breather hole in the cap in case you didn't notice earlier.
A capped size comparison with (left to right) the Noodler's Neponset, Jinhao 159, TWSBI Vac 700, LAMY Safari, Platinum Century, Noodler's Ahab, Pelikan M600 and Kaweco Sport
And the same, but posted! See what I mean about the length getting a bit ridiculous?
Finally, a little writing sample.
I hope this little review has been of interest; ask away of you've got any more questions about this lovely pen!
Edited by alexhondsmerk, 18 July 2015 - 21:51.