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Hero 329


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#1 sleek_lover

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 13:27

I had some editing to do yesterday hence needed an F or XF nib. There is only one place to go in my corral for that sort of pen...the HERO 329s. Pulled out a Burgandy and filled it with, oddly enough, Noodler's Burgandy. I then sat down with 60-some pages of some cheap-ass multi-function paper that I get delivered from my work...OfficeMax or Depot or something.

It is always a pleasure and kinda thrilling, to pick up a pen that I haven't used in a while and reacquaint myself with the beast. It may be why I have not felt the need to buy pens in a while. (That, and Peg has me on Pen Purchase Restriction, which IS the more powerful motivator of the two...)

Visually the pen is a knockout. Slim and svelte, it reminds me of some of the descriptions Ayn Rand uses of Howard Roark's building designs in The Fountainhead. Any number of folks will call the Hero 3XX series "copies" of the Parker 51/21 genre. I fall into the trap consistently myself.
But when using the pen, when filling it and putting it to paper...then I have to think more in terms of "homage" or "honor" in the manner that many "Oriental" religions honor ancestors. There are subtle differences between the 329 and the Parkers.

Only issue...it is really too slim for my hand...but I compensate when I use the 329...or any smallish diameter pen.

This pen...I have had it for a long time...probably six years. It moves in and out of rotation constantly. Yesterday, as always, it did what a good fountain pen should always do...it wrote. There was no hesitation on up or down or sideways strokes. There was no balkiness, no fussiness. I hold pens just off the vertical...maybe 80 degrees to 45 degrees...depending...though mostly the former. The Hero performend flawlessly regardless of orientation. There is no descernible "sweet spot" on the nib.

As to the nib. It is well know that the Hero 3XX nibs are steel and XF at that. Normally this is a combination that is destined to be scratchy and catchy and Itchy and Scratchy and maybe even Rem and Stimpy or Powdered Toastman...whoops...

The nib is smooth. The paper I was using--cheapass (bleep) office paper. There was no catchiness, no bleed, no feather...of course, the Hero writes dries and Noodler is a quicker drying ink...but those are emprical comments... just my observations from over the years... One point...At some time I may have burnished the nib...it is something I do routinely...but even at that, the nib performed as well or better than gold nibs on other pens I own.

All in all, a most pleasurable reunion

Function 10 of 10
Form 8 of 10 (It IS a SLEEK)
Imponderables 8 of 10
Total 26 of 30

Bill

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#2 jd50ae

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 15:18

But you only have three pens. How can your wonderful wife possibly object to another pen? Or perhaps Peg does not fathom the genius of your pen math?

#3 sleek_lover

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 21:25

QUOTE(jd50ae @ Aug 6 2007, 11:18 AM) View Post
But you only have three pens. How can your wonderful wife possibly object to another pen? Or perhaps Peg does not fathom the genius of your pen math?



WHOA, der big fella...

You misapprehend on two counts..

First, I count 25 PENS among my 300 or so pens. The 3 PENS were just a example of the 10 pens I had within eyeshot the day I posted about PEN MATH to help out my fellow penfolk.

Second, I NEVER SAID I EVER TOLD PEG ABOUT PEN MATH...waddyathinkiYAM?????? NUTZ????????

Bill

#4 tamburlaine

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 21:32

When one reads about Parker "51"s, one invariably also reads about Heros... I have read alot about "51"s, I now have a "51"(and love it to bits) and ever since getting it I now want a Hero! Luckily, today I stumbled across a really cheap one (£7) of this 329 type - which I realise is actually based on the 61 as opposed to the "51" - and I ordered it! So I hope the nib is as nice and as fine as everyone seems to think. smile.gif It will make a nice travel pen if it turns out well, I'm sure.

Thanks for the review!



("borrowed" this from Andy's Pens site - hope he doesn't mind!)

Edited by patrick1314, 06 August 2007 - 21:36.

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#5 sleek_lover

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 23:37

QUOTE(patrick1314 @ Aug 6 2007, 05:32 PM) View Post
When one reads about Parker "51"s, one invariably also reads about Heros... I have read alot about "51"s, I now have a "51"(and love it to bits) and ever since getting it I now want a Hero! Luckily, today I stumbled across a really cheap one (£7) of this 329 type - which I realise is actually based on the 61 as opposed to the "51" - and I ordered it! So I hope the nib is as nice and as fine as everyone seems to think. smile.gif It will make a nice travel pen if it turns out well, I'm sure.

Thanks for the review!


I have heard oft-times about the P61 comment. I dunno. That aero filler...I kinda lean to the 330 to be the homage pen to the 61...but thiat is just my take. I don't get too bound up in that arena. Pens are too much fun to use...

And you are welcome. I think I might switch to doing reviews from beating up on MBs. More enlightening...

Bill

#6 psfred

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 01:12

The 329 indeed uses a Parker 61 look-alike (and work-alike, they fit 61's) nib and collector. The nib does not have the flattened feed of the 61, but will go right in one (I have one in place as I speak).

Very fine, usually write well, but not Parker fit and finish by any means. You MUST force the cap on for a while to get the clutch fingers to seat properly, they tend to be quite stiff when new, and if you don't push the cap down pretty firmly, the nib dries out. Once it frees up, no problems.

They are XG nibs. Hero 330 and 336 with gold plated nibs are wider, almost a western Medium, else almost identical.

Be prepared to tune the nib, and watch for leaking hoods, some are not sealed at the factory and will just screw apart -- and those leak. Occasionally you will get one with the barrel shellaced in place too, so you have to heat it to get it open to fill it.

I have also found plugged breather tubes leading to poor filling and collector misalignment in them and the 616, easily fixed. For the price, it's very hard to complain.

Some nibs are rough, too, and require some smoothing on brown paper or very fine abrasive, but most are quite smooth. Better in fact than many vintage Parker "51"s and 61s due to wear on those nibs.

Peter

#7 tamburlaine

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:49

QUOTE(psfred @ Aug 7 2007, 02:12 AM) View Post
The 329 indeed uses a Parker 61 look-alike (and work-alike, they fit 61's) nib and collector. The nib does not have the flattened feed of the 61, but will go right in one (I have one in place as I speak).

Very fine, usually write well, but not Parker fit and finish by any means. You MUST force the cap on for a while to get the clutch fingers to seat properly, they tend to be quite stiff when new, and if you don't push the cap down pretty firmly, the nib dries out. Once it frees up, no problems.

They are XG nibs. Hero 330 and 336 with gold plated nibs are wider, almost a western Medium, else almost identical.

Be prepared to tune the nib, and watch for leaking hoods, some are not sealed at the factory and will just screw apart -- and those leak. Occasionally you will get one with the barrel shellaced in place too, so you have to heat it to get it open to fill it.

I have also found plugged breather tubes leading to poor filling and collector misalignment in them and the 616, easily fixed. For the price, it's very hard to complain.

Some nibs are rough, too, and require some smoothing on brown paper or very fine abrasive, but most are quite smooth. Better in fact than many vintage Parker "51"s and 61s due to wear on those nibs.

Peter


Just received my Hero 329 this morning and have been using it since. I must say, your caveats simply went unheeded in this case! The nib is smooth, writes fine, and is simply amazing for the £7 I paid. The one I got was a black one, which according to the seller is 30 years old - so perhaps the older ones are of better quality, I don't know. But it writes like a dream and will actually be vying with my Parker "51" for usage. It obviously isn't as you say 'Parker fit and finish' but really I am surprised by how good it is. Also, when posted it is actually better balanced than a posted "51" because of the lighter cap. I'm definitely going to get more Heros. It simply loves to be fed Quink just like my "51" does.

I'm really happy with this little pen. smile.gif

EDIT: Edited to talk about editing. The Hero 329 will serve as my editing pen, I think, or I might get another to do it. The nib is so fine and between wet and dry so that I can write very small. In fact, yes, I'll get another one so that I can put a different coloured ink in. biggrin.gif

Edited by patrick1314, 09 August 2007 - 12:51.

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#8 meanwhile

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:49

QUOTE(patrick1314 @ Aug 6 2007, 10:32 PM) View Post
When one reads about Parker "51"s, one invariably also reads about Heros... I have read alot about "51"s, I now have a "51"(and love it to bits) and ever since getting it I now want a Hero! Luckily, today I stumbled across a really cheap one (£7) of this 329 type - which I realise is actually based on the 61 as opposed to the "51"...


Well, it's not a capillary filler.

If you have any problems with the smoothness of the nib, just do a search on nib smoothing. Rogue 329's can benefit a lot from some micromesh or brown paper.

- Jonathan

#9 meanwhile

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:51

Great review, Bill!

329's are tough too - mine has been dropped quite a few times, as my "rough use" pen. No shrapnel so far!

You're right about the looks, too. A 329 with a white star on it would easily be taken for a $300 pen.

Edited by meanwhile, 09 August 2007 - 12:52.

- Jonathan

#10 kittensies

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 11:10

Where can you find this pen? My mother used one in school and had kept it for the last 25 years out of sentimentality in her closet, but gave it to me recently (and I think I may have somehow lost it!) Of course, the pen in not perfectly replaceable, but I'd like to at least try.

#11 tamburlaine

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 12:31

QUOTE(kittensies @ Aug 17 2007, 12:10 PM) View Post
Where can you find this pen? My mother used one in school and had kept it for the last 25 years out of sentimentality in her closet, but gave it to me recently (and I think I may have somehow lost it!) Of course, the pen in not perfectly replaceable, but I'd like to at least try.


Depends where you are. If the US/North America, I suppose this would be a good place: http://www.hisnibs.com/'329'_series.htm
If in the UK, I got mine from Andy's pens. But beware: I was lucky and got a very good (perhaps exceptional?) one. Supposedly with these things it's a bit of a lottery, but I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of them are perfectly fine.

Good luck!
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#12 bbqncigars

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 04:01

Another good source of Hero pens is isellpens. I'm a very satisfied customer.



Wayne
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." A. Brilliant






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