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Mont Blanc - Web Grey

mont blanc web grey grey

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#1 namrehsnoom

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 14:46

Mont Blanc - Web Grey (Heritage Spider Metamorphosis)

 

When Mont Blanc brings out a new pen, you can be sure that there is an LE ink to accompany it. With the MB Heritage Spider pen release comes the accompanying Limited Edition ink "Web Grey". The grey colour of the ink is inspired by the silvery grey of a spider's web.

 

fpn_1537626097__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_

 

The ink's packaging looks lovely, with a stylized spider on the box. A light grey band at the bottom reflects the colour of the ink within. Looks promising... let’s find out whether the ink matches the aesthetics of the box...

 

fpn_1537626255__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_

 

Web Grey is a rather cool neutral grey with a hint of purple-green undertones. This is especially noticeable when your writing is still wet, the ink then quickly dries to a nice neutral grey. I appreciate the colour, which has a pencil-like quality. The ink is very light though, and feels undersaturated in finer nibs. This makes it a bit difficult to comfortably read your words. You need a broad and wet pen to bring out the real character in this ink. The ink shades nicely when using M-nibs and above. With fine nibs, this lovely shading is mostly absent though. 

 

fpn_1537626116__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_

 

The ink lacks a bit of lubrication, especially in drier pens like my Lamy Safari. I also tested the ink with my wet Lamy Dialog 3, which mostly solved this. The colour span of this grey is wonderfully broad: it ranges from a whispy faint light-grey, to a very dark almost black grey. To illustrate this, I did a swab on Tomoe River paper where I really saturated portions of the paper with ink. This beautifully illustrates the ink's dynamic range, which is quite impressive.

 

fpn_1537626285__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_

 

On the smudge test - rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab - the ink behaved perfectly. Water resistance is amazing - the ink effortlessly survived even longer exposures to water. Kudos! This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography, which shows that the darker components of the ink remain on the paper. If you need a water-resistant ink, Web Grey certainly fits the bill. The chromatography also shows that this is a wonderfully complex ink, with purple & green undertones. This bodes well for my inkxperiment later on in this review. 

 

fpn_1537626241__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_

 

Web Grey  is a fast-drying ink - with typical drying times in the 5-10 second range with my Lamy Safari (M-nib). Also: fast drying times and water resistance make the ink well suited for the workplace, although it may be too light for business correspondence. This can be remediated by using a wet pen with a broad nib.
 
I've tested the ink on a wide variety of paper - from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On each scrap of paper I show you:
  • An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip
  • 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation
  • An ink scribble made with a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen
  • The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib
  • A small text sample, written with an M-nib
  • Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib)
Web Grey looks really nice on white papers, but personally I feel this grey ink is not a good match for more yellowish paper, like e.g. Life Noble notebook paper. For me, this is an ink that deserves pure white paper, where it looks real classy. With the exception of the horrific Moleskine paper, I didn't notice any feathering or bleed-through. Web Grey is a well-behaving ink.
 
fpn_1537626301__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
fpn_1537626320__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
fpn_1537626335__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
 

Writing with different nib sizes
The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. All samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a visiting pen - my wet Lamy Dialog 3 with a golden M-nib. With this pen, the ink leaves a much more saturated line. 
 
fpn_1537626348__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
 
Related inks
I have recently changed my format for presenting related inks. My earlier presentations of related inks lacked enough information to be really useful. I therefore changed to a nine-grid format, with the currently reviewed ink at the center. The new format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test – all in a very compact format. I hope that you'll find this way of presenting related inks more useful. It's a bit more work, but in my opinion worth the effort for the extra information you gain.
 
fpn_1537626364__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
 
Inkxperiment – Rolling Hills
As a personal experiment, I try to produce interesting drawings using only the ink I'm reviewing, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found such single-ink drawings a nice challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. For this drawing I used 300 gsm rough watercolour paper. I started off with the rolling hill background, applying Web Grey after I wetted the paper with water. This lets the ink bleed out a bit, showing its beautiful purple-green undertones. I then painted in the darker accents with pure ink, and - once the paper was dry - penned in the trees with my Lamy Dialog 3 with M-nib. Web Grey is beautifully complex, and you can bring out quite nice effects when using this ink for drawing. 
 
fpn_1537626381__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
 
Conclusion
Mont Blanc's Web Grey is a cool neutral grey ink, that looks really nice on pure white paper (but as a personal note: the ink doesn't work for me with more yellowish paper). Web Grey is a bit light when used with finer nibs, but with wet pens and broader nibs you get a beautiful ink with nice shading, that is also very water resistant. This makes it a great ink for the workplace. The real strength of this ink comes into play when you use it for more artistic purposes. The ink has a fabulous composition, with purple & green undertones that easily surface when drawing. 
 
Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib
 
fpn_1537626396__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
 
Backside of writing samples on different paper types
 
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fpn_1537626427__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
fpn_1537626439__mont_blanc_-_web_grey_-_
 

 



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#2 bass1193

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 14:56

Great review! Seems to be very close to the Kaweco grey.

#3 visvamitra

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 15:36

Excellent review. I especially like comparison format. Extremely useful.



#4 AndyLogan

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 15:42

Incredible detail as always.


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#5 Ghost Plane

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 17:38

Lovely! Your reviews are such art.

#6 lapis

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 21:34

Excellent review as usual, and, as Vis notes, especially the comparisons. May I add that Herbin's (rather new) Gris de houle also comes in very, very close. A tick less green, more blue, just as saturated but a bit wetter....

Thanks for your hard work here!!


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#7 inkstainedruth

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 21:55

An interesting color, but seems too light to be legible.  I'll pass.

But thanks for the review.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#8 crahptacular

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 01:06

I like how much the green comes out in your drawing. Cool stuff.



#9 minddance

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 07:57

Thank you for the excellent and detailed review.

I love greys but this ink is way too watered-down and light. Not for me. And I cannot imagine myself using this in a workplace. For a nice Sunday afternoon with gusher broad pens, maybe.

#10 Lgsoltek

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 07:59

What an amazing review! I'm always in awe of the comprehensiveness and expressiveness of your reviews!

 

I'd say though that this is the kind of ink that's better reserved for drawing than for writing. I mean, where's the ink?

 

fpn_1537775799__fullsizeoutput_33b8.jpeg



#11 ethernautrix

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 09:28

Thank you for such a comprehensive, useful review!

I like gray inks (currently favoring Noodler's Lexington Gray), and this one is very appealing (thanks to your review!).

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etherX in To Miasto

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#12 namrehsnoom

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 16:04

I'd say though that this is the kind of ink that's better reserved for drawing than for writing. I mean, where's the ink?
 

I agree... for a part. This ink’s appearance depends heavily on the wetness of the pen, and also on the paper used. The saturation sample uses Tomoe River, which doesn’t work well with this ink. Same pen with Rhodia paper looks much better. Absorbent papers work fine too (read: copy paper at work). Similar grey inks - like Silver Fox - have better saturation, and a more consistent behavior across papers. But as you say, this ink’s strength really lies with drawing.

#13 AlohaLani787

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 12:54

What a wonderfully presented review. My experience with this ink and Rhodia mirrors yours, but I had better luck with Tomoe River and an OBB nib. 

 

Your review presented two papers I've not used and will now source.



#14 Morphling27

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 21:20

The feathering seems horrid!

 

A very great review.

 

I'll stick with the oyster grey from their line, one of the few grey inks I like.  Also, looks just like a pencil line in the right pen.  



#15 amberleadavis

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 22:27

Wonderful review. I ended up with a bottle (not my usual color) but hey, I love spiders. I think it looks an awful lot like the swab of Oyster grey in your comparisons.  I also wanted to tell you I love the comparisons. Thank you!


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#16 Tom Kellie

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 04:08

I agree... for a part. This ink’s appearance depends heavily on the wetness of the pen, and also on the paper used. But as you say, this ink’s strength really lies with drawing.

 

 

~ namrehsnoom:

 

It's a useful drawing ink.

 

For unknown reasons it isn't offered by Montblanc China. I acquired a bottle earlier this month as a result of asking a student to bring it back from the United States.

 

Thus far it's been a pleasing sketch color. 

 

Thank you for using the Frank Herbert quotes. That's an especially nice touch.

 

Tom K.



#17 pgcauk

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 13:55

Thank you! I'm not sure about the Web Grey (at least until it breaks down!), but the comparison is fascinating!
I have a grey-violet (Chu-shu, but it looks as though Kobe have several), a grey-green (De Atramentis' Cement, also Birmingham Pens' Fern Moss) and a grey-blue (De Atramentis' Fog, although there are many options, including above).
All of the above, as with your samples, look grey when taken in isolation, revealing their undertones when brought into context. The difference between the two Diamine's above is quite something!
In my mind I can imagine a pinkish-grey (someone recommended Kiri-Same, so I should at least get a sample? I was also intrigued by Krishna's Pencil) or even a yellow-grey (that isn't tan or buff!) but I haven't found those in practice? Any suggestions?

Edited by pgcauk, 21 April 2019 - 13:56.






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