Ranga recently held a group buy of this new model on FPN (http://www.fountainp...tripes-colours/). Deeming the designs and colour options attractive, I went in for a blue-pink model. I requested Ranga for a customized model which has the cap of the rounded variant and the body of the torpedo, which Mr. Kandan from Ranga was happy to accommodate (on this note, it is always a pleasure dealing with Mr. Kandan).
The pen arrived in due time (with the transport time being a bit longer than usual due to onset of nation-wide lockdown). It came in a typical Ranga pen case with an extra "oliver" brand basic plastic pen. the packaging was sans frill and practical, which I like. My thoughts on the pen itself are summarized below.
Appearance & Design - This is a imposingly attractive looking pen that commands attention…the stripes are striking, as is the size. The blues and pink/purples really stand out. Design is classic and sans frill – just a rounded cap design with a sensible looking gold clip and a torpedo shaped barrel [as mentioned in the intro – this is a hybrid design – the off-the-shelf designs will have either rounded or torpedo (or flat with conical top) finish on both and bottom]. No finials, cap rings or any other ornamentation. The looks are of reserved elegance letting the acrylic pattern take centerstage. Maybe Ranga could try a variant with a thick cap ring – it may work. The #6 nib does seem proportionately small given the size of the pen.
Construction & Quality– It is well-finished to a soft sheen on the acrylic. The build quality is typical of the Ranga stable – sturdy and attentive to detail. There is no wobble when the cap is secured, which, as a new twist (pun completely intended) for Ranga (at least to my experience) takes only one turn to close or open. That’s awesome for something I intend to use always as a desk pen.
To nit-pick, do note that since this is a completely hand turned item, you may notice some turning marks when the pen is held to harsh light, like direct sunlight. To me, this adds to the charm of the pen and makes it feel more like a handmade item. Some may find this a minor irritant compared to industrial finishes.
Weight & Dimensions This is positively a very-big pen. No seriously, its huge. Right now, it’s the biggest pen I own. However, strangely enough, I wrote through 5 pages of Ginsberg’s Howl just to test for fatigue and there was none. The uncapped weight however, is very manageable given the lack of metal in the barrel (other than the nib), weighing in at much less than an ounce. I do not think it would make any sense to even consider posting (though it is very possible and secure). The dimensions are below:
Length; weight (capped): 170 mm (6.7”); 37 gms (1.3 oz)
Length; weight (uncapped) : 153mm (6.1”) (measured from tip of nib); 23gms (0.8 oz)
Section length : 30mm (1.18”)
Section diameter: 13mm to 15mm (0.5 – 0.6 inch) [this information is from Ranga directly. The rest measured by me).
Some comparison pictures are below:
This is what it looks like next to the TWSBI 580 AL and the Pilot Justus - both quite large pens at around 145-150 mm (5.8-6"") posted.
Nib & Performance - It has a very well-tuned Bock nib (I opted for an M) that wrote well right out of the box, both in terms of smoothness (very smooth, with just enough grip on paper to control the handwriting) and flow (wet without being gushy). Only one of the several inks I tried till date - Krishna sea @ night – gave me some problems with hard starts [I badly wanted this ink to pair well since both the base and sheen colours match the pen . But may be this tiny issue will also sort out over time as these things often do]. The #6 nib does look proportionately small for the body – a number #8 would be nice; but the Bock #8s are only in gold (which I deemed too expensive) and Ti (colour whereof would not match the gold clip).
Filling System & Maintenance – This is a “3-in-1” filling system (C/CC which can be eye-dropped) which is common for Indian hand turned pens with German units. It comes included with a Schmidt international cartridge which means its easily replaceable down the road, and can be swapped for a whole bunch of cartridges. The body will hold almost 5ml of ink if eye-dropped, which is insane if that’s your thing (I like to keep at least 4-5 pens inked at a time, so prefer CC for the lower ink volume).
Cost & Value – I paid the equivalent of about $85 at current exchange rates on the group buy. For an oversized hand turned pen in premium resin with a bock, this was a great deal. Even with the normal (non-group buy) price, it would still be a very good deal.
Conclusion – Once more Ranga hasn’t disappointed. The pen is a great addition to my collection, and is a good option for anyone who likes (a) large pens, ( thick sections © striated resin patterns and (d) understated classic designs.
Edited by TheVintagelife, 16 April 2020 - 01:31.