Here is the Staedtler F1 piston fill fountain pen, purchased from the regular neighborhood fence. Due to its all-plastic design, I assume it's a 'student' model; it's similar to the Pelikan Go! I couldn't find any info about this pen so I don't know when it was manufactured. This particular pen was sold as NOS (no box) and is in excellent shape.
The pen is bright red, sort of fire engine red (just a touch on the orange-y side), with black top/clip, section and blind cap; the only metal is the nib and there are 4 ink windows just below the section. It's just under 5 1/2" capped, 4 7/8" unposted and 6 3/8" posted. The nib is ribbed on the upper (nib) side and smooth on the underneath side. It's quite light, lighter even than my Waterman JIFs, it feels like. Unposted length is good for my hand size but posted length is also comfortable as the cap adds virtually no weight. One word of caution - the blind cap where you post the pen cap is just that, a cap; you unscrew it and it comes off to reveal the piston knob underneath. You'd want to be careful not to loosen/unscrew it when unposting.
After flushing it several times with clear water to remove any residues, I inked it with Sailor Tokiwa-matsu for my testing, as it was just sitting around unused since my initial test of it. (What a strange, unsettling ink! It looks like green ink that's been stabbed and is bleeding out.) The piston mechanism is pretty stiff; whether that's due to age, being unused for many years or being all plastic, I can't say; perhaps it's a combination of all three. Still, it works and I've seen no evidence of any leaking. The piston feels like it stops not too far below the ink windows, giving the impression that the reservoir doesn't hold a huge amount of ink.
The fine steel nib is stamped "iridium point" and writes smoothly enough with enough tooth to give a tactile feel. It doesn't glide but neither is it what I would call scratchy. The flow seems a bit on the dry side but that may be the ink - I had a real problem with it drying out in the Parker Vector I originally tested it in. It's certainly wet enough for the red sheen to manifest, even with the fine nib (on the BnR, less so on the Rhodia), yet not too wet to preclude shading.
Even nicer, "fine' really does mean fine (and the line is noticeably finer on Rhodia than BnR). I originally planned this as a written review and wrote it out on Rhodia but decided to just type it after all; the first two written samples are BnR, the 3rd one is the Rhodia.
finer line on the Rhodia, with shading and red sheen
This is a fun little pen that works pretty well for what it is, plus it got me to give Tokiwa-matsu another go. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with it. The seller has two more available, both mediums and both listed as "used' but they look as good as the one I bought in the photos, if anyone's interested.
edit: lol, forgot to include the pen pics
Edited by chromantic, 07 July 2016 - 22:37.