Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN.
They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. However, within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao.
This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ eleventh series. It is named after the group of American pilots who volunteered to help the Chinese Air Force fight the Japanese before the US officially entered World War II. The First AVG is popularly known as the "Flying Tigers” and Nathan Tardif pays homage to them in the artwork on the Noodler’s Ink Air Corps Blue Black bottles. You can read more about this group here.
I’m a big fan of warm, brown-leaning sepias and all kinds of greens, but I never thought a color like this would catch my eye. Judging by the military-themed name, my guess is that the ink is supposed to be a military “olive drab” color. However, it’s quite light to my eyes so I like to think of it as “greepia”.
This ink gives some shading on all papers with any nib. I really like the look and the quick drying time, but there are some problems with the ink’s behavior that keep me from buying a bottle. It bleeds through and feathers on anything other than expensive paper, severely limiting its use. It also has no water resistance whatsoever.
All in all, I like this color and its nice shading, but its poor performance on regular paper makes it a no go for me.
Pens used (in order):
1. Pilot 78G Fine
2. Lamy Safari Broad
3. Pilot Plumix Italic
4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex
5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub
Paper Towel Drop
73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown)
70gms Deli Copy Paper
(Water drops and finger smear 30 minutes after writing)
(My apologies that I don’t have any inks close to this color to do an adequate comparison. The colors in this photo also don’t seem to be looking right on my monitor.)