The pack has arrived, much faster than expected too!
Total cost was £5 for 10x pens, so it was literally just a 50p/Pen cost delivered to your door.
4x burgundy, 3x black and 3x green, which is unlike the usual 4x Black packs.
Before even opening the pack, I noticed one of the clips was bent.
Opening the pack, immediately I was struck with what, at first, seemed like ink blots on the chrome caps, but upon wiping off, I believe it is likely grease from the manufacturing process. There was also a lot of "dust?" or something on the pens and they all needed a good wipe out of the box.
The clip-rings that are held by the jewel screw are often slightly decentred.
The pens themselves look fine, but I noticed if you swap the barrel to another section it may not "align" with the section when fully screwed.
The metal "pressure arms" for the filling system were also inconsistent, some of them were bent.
The bladder/sac itself felt different in every pen. Some were thicker, some felt thinner, and at least one had a lump in the sac near the bottom with no effect. Just making a statement that it is not simply a matter of QC, but rather inconsistent manufacturing.
The nibs are hard as nails, and scratchy like needles. I've smoothed them as much as I can with the grit levels that I have (I do not have all grit levels that I need. Nevertheless, I did smoothen one chinese pen that I have with these grits and it is now smoother than a buttered Parker). They now feels slightly better, but feedback from them is immense.
Some of the tines had a visible gap between them, which makes me think of the vintage adjustable ruling dip pen that was used for geometrical drawings. I wonder what I can do to fix that. You can imagine how much ink that would drop on paper.
I have unscrewed the section on one of them, and whatever it is that was used to glue the threads (white material), was also all over the feed fins.
I have dipped some and inked some. When inked, they are pretty darn wet pens. VERY wet for my taste, and very wet for fine nibs, and that brings their line performance to near medium sometimes. I prefer a fine nib which is quick drying. One of them gives me that, or near that. So performance is VERY variable by piece and there is no way to pin down performance characteristics for them in general. They can be thought of as "let me buy this unfinished pen to adjust it to my linking" kind of pen, but you have to have some tools, the know how, and be the kind of person who enjoys this stuff.... which I am.
I like the feel of the pen in the hand, it is comfortable to hold and has no weight to it. Only needs a good eye to put the nib on paper in the correct direction as it is hard to see.
Speaking of which, the protrusion of the nib outside of the section was one of the things I had commended on before I bought them. Having got these, I will say it is a good protrusion and I have no complaints about it.
Now all I have to do is work on the nibs until they go back to being fine and acceptably smooth.
I've already make inks to match the colours of the green and burgundy, the black just fills with black. Fun.
Edited by KingRoach, 15 February 2017 - 21:47.