Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Lamy AL-star silverblue


  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#1 HDoug

HDoug

    First Class Forever

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,816 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:51

Conclusion: A high standard for low cost pens. Actually, it's a high standard for any pen. It's what a fountain pen should be.

I was very frugal through most of 2007. I had purchased only one pen for myself, a Namiki Capless (Vanishing Point) Fermo. I spent most of the year rotating through my little accumulation of fountain pens trying to improve my handwriting and experimenting with various inks, and not at all lusting after other pens. But when Pendemonium announced their end of year sale with discounts off their already discounted price, I had to buy something! I already had a Safari Vista, and another AL-star in the grey metal-tone they call graphite, and liked it so much I "needed" a back up. I actually wanted the bright metal "aluminum" finish, but they were sold out. For $27 (plus $4 more for the converter) I settled for the one in the ethereal hue they call "silverblue." I'm glad I did. There is a very weird color-thing going on here that I'll describe later.



For those not familiar with the aluminum AL-star (or its plastic bodied sibling the Safari), at 139 millimeters long capped (168 millimeters posted) and 15 millimeters at its widest point, it's a fairly sizable pen. But it's also very light. I have the feeling it may have originally been designed for kids because the small triangular section encourages a schoolbook tripod grip on the writer. Not only that but the section is only 9.7 millimeters wide at its narrowest point. Unlike most of my other pens, I write with it unposted.

You don't get a faux-plush box with the thing -- it comes in a functionally designed plastic "cage." And the pen itself engenders no image of a human craftsman fussing over it. I wouldn't be surprised if I were the first human being to touch it. Which is not to say it's industrial ugly. Lamy had designer Wolfgang Fabian make it look sleek and functional. Some find the esthetic too stark and the Bauhaus thing passé. To each his own, but the look is a result of artistic intention, and not neglect. Here it is with its graphite sibling:



There is something really strange going on with the color. When I took it out of its box, it was a light silvery blue. I'm looking at it now and it's a light silvery purple. I swear. And this is natural light. I took pix of this "lilac" colored pen, and the photos came out the color it was when I opened up the box: blue. It's some kind of color perception, light source thing that an artist or psychologist has to explain to me. I'm assuming the thing didn't actually change color, and I feel too mellow to be hallucinating (but I guess that's what they all say).

Anyway, I ordered it with an Extra Fine nib hoping it would match the EF on my other AL-star. I went through a couple of other EF nibs to get that one right, so I was crossing my fingers. I was also ready for a dry-ish nib that needed some brown bagging. Surprise! The nib is a smooth true extra fine -- about 35 on the Escribiente Scale. I was prepared to load the converter with the very free flowing Noodler's Gulf Stream that I use in my other AL-star, but that made the nib too wet, so I loaded in my own Noodler's bulletproof mix I call New Old Bishop Street Blue-Black. I tried "waxing" the nib to keep Noodler's ink from creeping all over the nib but it looks like I did a bum job:



There is great attention to all the functional details. There are tiny latches to grab the tiny protrusions on the converter to keep it locked in place. You can see the internal collector/feed fill with ink through the smoky transparency of the section. And the steel nibs slide straight in and out.

The main thing is this: the pen is a great writer! It's a stiff nib, but my touch is very light so I can't really tell the difference. The ink starts flowing immediately and continues very evenly through a writing session. It's light, effortless to use. It's a joy to write with and it flatters my handwriting.

So there you have it: A wonderfully designed, well engineered, precisely manufactured fountain pen.


Gort likes it! Me too!


Doug

Edited by HDoug, 10 January 2008 - 03:54.


Sponsored Content

#2 KG4KAH

KG4KAH

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 114 posts

Posted 10 January 2008 - 11:25

Dear HDoug,

Thanks for a wonderfully creative review of a truly great pen. I have a safari, which gets used as the name implies, when I am out in the field. I have looked at the Al Star, and will now have to go and get one. These pens are so inexpensive, one can afford to have several around the house. Again, great review.

Regards,

Wade
Sending with regards (my 73s)

Wade
KG4KAH

#3 cmeisenzahl

cmeisenzahl

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,261 posts

Posted 10 January 2008 - 14:53

Cool color, I really like that!

#4 haywoody

haywoody

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 551 posts

Posted 10 January 2008 - 15:23

Klaatu barada nikto!

Somebody had to say it.

Thanks for the review. I have avoided the lure of the Al-Star so far but I think that will change this year.

/Woody

#5 magician

magician

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Gold

  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 12 January 2008 - 04:41

I found in a shop in Toronto. It looks like a silvery purple pen too. You are not alone, I will go back and confirm with the seller that it is blue or purple Lamy Al-Star.

#6 ojars

ojars

    Buy two, they're small!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 224 posts

Posted 12 January 2008 - 22:58

I have wanted to acquire another Lamy Al-Star.

I went to Meininger Art Supply in Denver and saw the blue. Yes, they had a fine point available and I made another contribution to the US consumer economy, thereby increasing my fountain pen count by one. It does indeed look lilac in some light.

Edited by ojars, 12 January 2008 - 22:59.

Nakaya Writer Wajima-Urushi nuri Kikyo long pen fp - Grayson Tighe Twist Damascus fp - Mont Blanc Ramses mp - Pelikan M800 (2) - Restored 1936 Conklin Nozac fp - 1935 Waterman #3 mp - Namiki Falcon fp - Lamy Al-Star fp (2) - Parker 51 (8) - Swan/Mabie Todd fp - Wality 69L (3) - et alii

#7 TINman

TINman

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 151 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2008 - 01:14

I have the Lamy Al-Star in that very same lilac. It has a sexy black nib and it hasn't given me a lick of trouble. I love it.
I bought it a year ago at Laywine's in Toronto. Is that the store you're talking about, magician? On the Lamy website the only Al-Star colours listed are Blue, Green, Aluminum and Graphite. Maybe purple is the colour of graphite in Germany.




#8 HDoug

HDoug

    First Class Forever

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,816 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2008 - 01:26

The silverblue is indeed the same pen as the lilac. I'm amazed that lighting (or whatever it is) can have such a effect on color perception. Or whatever -- I'm still very unclear as to what causes this. I just posted photos of this weird color phenomenon in the Photos topic.

Doug

#9 ojars

ojars

    Buy two, they're small!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 224 posts

Posted 01 February 2008 - 19:12

The supplied cartridge ran out of ink and I added a spring to the converter prior to use. The initial charge of Lamy Blue started strong but the ink color looked washed out after a day. This happened to me when I added a spring to the converter in the graphite Al-Star, although I did not report the observation at the time.

I did not pursue it further at that time but this time I took the spring out to see if a chemical reaction had taken place. That appears to be the case. It is as if the spring acted as a getter for something in the ink until the spring became sufficiently passivated to become effectively inert. The photo below shows the spring out of the converter after immersion in ink.



QUOTE(ojars @ Jan 12 2008, 05:58 PM) View Post
I have wanted to acquire another Lamy Al-Star.

I went to Meininger Art Supply in Denver and saw the blue. Yes, they had a fine point available and I made another contribution to the US consumer economy, thereby increasing my fountain pen count by one. It does indeed look lilac in some light.

Edited by ojars, 01 February 2008 - 19:37.

Nakaya Writer Wajima-Urushi nuri Kikyo long pen fp - Grayson Tighe Twist Damascus fp - Mont Blanc Ramses mp - Pelikan M800 (2) - Restored 1936 Conklin Nozac fp - 1935 Waterman #3 mp - Namiki Falcon fp - Lamy Al-Star fp (2) - Parker 51 (8) - Swan/Mabie Todd fp - Wality 69L (3) - et alii

#10 Mindstorm

Mindstorm

    Ink sniffer

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 124 posts

Posted 01 February 2008 - 20:37

QUOTE(ojars @ Feb 1 2008, 08:12 PM) View Post
...The supplied cartridge ran out of ink and I added a spring to the converter prior to use...

This will need some explanation hmm1.gif Why and what's it supposed to accomplish? I'm rather new to the fountain pen world so I need all the education I can get!

Kind regards,
Karl

#11 ojars

ojars

    Buy two, they're small!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 224 posts

Posted 01 February 2008 - 21:05

By using the search function, I found the following posts -- Namiki Falcon modification, Lamy Al-Star modification, another Al-Star mod. These should make clear what I intended. Other folks in FPN have done similar modifications.

QUOTE(Mindstorm @ Feb 1 2008, 03:37 PM) View Post
QUOTE(ojars @ Feb 1 2008, 08:12 PM) View Post
...The supplied cartridge ran out of ink and I added a spring to the converter prior to use...

This will need some explanation hmm1.gif Why and what's it supposed to accomplish? I'm rather new to the fountain pen world so I need all the education I can get!

Kind regards,
Karl

Edited by ojars, 01 February 2008 - 21:16.

Nakaya Writer Wajima-Urushi nuri Kikyo long pen fp - Grayson Tighe Twist Damascus fp - Mont Blanc Ramses mp - Pelikan M800 (2) - Restored 1936 Conklin Nozac fp - 1935 Waterman #3 mp - Namiki Falcon fp - Lamy Al-Star fp (2) - Parker 51 (8) - Swan/Mabie Todd fp - Wality 69L (3) - et alii

#12 EventHorizon

EventHorizon

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,002 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 07 February 2008 - 17:44

I got the exact same blue/lilac pen for Christmas. I put it on my list and my wife bought it for me. wub.gif
when she opend the box she was upset and thought she had ordered the wrong thing since the color was different then what was seen on the website she bought it from. I told her, no this is the one.

I think these pens are Anodized ( a way to color aluminum) as we have some parts we make here at work Anodized. The color can fluctuate a little as part of the normal process. Believe me, I have had more than a few "debates" with customers on this.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov, Salvor Hardin in "Foundation"
US science fiction novelist & scholar (1920 - 1992)

There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man--with human flesh.
Frank Herbert, Dune
US science fiction novelist (1920 - 1986)

My Pens on Flikr

#13 kenfraser

kenfraser

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,216 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 February 2008 - 09:38

I got a version of this pen a couple of months ago. I think that Ann Finley reviewed and recommended it. I thoroughly endorse your views, Doug - it writes beautifully every time. My one is in the 'silver' finish with a black clip and medium black nib - most unusual.

#14 MrPacman

MrPacman

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 11 February 2008 - 21:35

I also have the lilac color Al-Star. When I'm outside in natural light.....it looks purple/lilac color. When I'm inside the house under lightbulbs, the pen looks like blue.

I'm quite sure that I have also seen a light blue Al-Star beside a Lilac Al-Star at my local pen shop.....but perhaps there are both a blue and a lilac color?


#15 HDoug

HDoug

    First Class Forever

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,816 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 11 February 2008 - 21:50

QUOTE(MrPacman @ Feb 11 2008, 11:35 AM) View Post
I'm quite sure that I have also seen a light blue Al-Star beside a Lilac Al-Star at my local pen shop.....but perhaps there are both a blue and a lilac color?


Thanks for reporting your observations. I did a follow up report here, but I'd still like to get to the bottom of this. There is also an AL-star in light green ("silvergreen") but I have never seen that in person.

Honolulu no longer has a "local pen shop." Your mission, should you accept it, is to go to your local pen shop and confirm or disconfirm the existence of the lilac AL-star (and while you're there find out if the green one changes color depending on lighting also)...

Good luck on your quest, and may the Force be with you!

Doug


#16 MrPacman

MrPacman

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 11 February 2008 - 22:08

QUOTE(HDoug @ Feb 11 2008, 09:50 PM) View Post
QUOTE(MrPacman @ Feb 11 2008, 11:35 AM) View Post
I'm quite sure that I have also seen a light blue Al-Star beside a Lilac Al-Star at my local pen shop.....but perhaps there are both a blue and a lilac color?


Thanks for reporting your observations. I did a follow up report here, but I'd still like to get to the bottom of this. There is also an AL-star in light green ("silvergreen") but I have never seen that in person.

Honolulu no longer has a "local pen shop." Your mission, should you accept it, is to go to your local pen shop and confirm or disconfirm the existence of the lilac AL-star (and while you're there find out if the green one changes color depending on lighting also)...

Good luck on your quest, and may the Force be with you!

Doug


I just called the pen store and spoke with the very knowledgeable owner. In the Al-Star in the fountain pens, they have Blue, Lilac (she called it Periwinkle), Green, Silver (she said it's a bare aluminuim) and Graphite(a bit darker than the silver). I asked if there was a chance the Lilac was the same as the Blue and she said "no way".....as she was holding the 5 different colors in her hands while she was speaking with me.

Just to be sure, I confirmed that these were the Al-Stars and not the Safaris.





#17 kenfraser

kenfraser

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,216 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 February 2008 - 22:18

Here is the full range of Lamy All-Stars & Safaris.

#18 Hans-Peter Ording

Hans-Peter Ording

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 February 2008 - 22:23

QUOTE(MrPacman @ Feb 11 2008, 11:08 PM) View Post
In the Al-Star in the fountain pens, they have Blue, Lilac (she called it Periwinkle), Green, Silver (she said it's a bare aluminuim) and Graphite(a bit darker than the silver). I asked if there was a chance the Lilac was the same as the Blue and she said "no way".....as she was holding the 5 different colors in her hands while she was speaking with me.

I guess the blue one was the "Ocean Blue"? Then the lilac would be the "Silverblue" - just as Doug guessed before.

Regards
Hans-Peter

Pens I own: TWSBI Vac 700 (clear F), 2 × Lamy Safari (Savanna F, Lime 2008 M), Waterman Kultur (orange F)
Pens I got rid of: Cleo Skribent Chiffre 05; Lamy Joy, Logo; Pelikan Future, M250, Pelikano; Waterman Philéas

#19 HDoug

HDoug

    First Class Forever

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,816 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 11 February 2008 - 22:27

QUOTE(MrPacman @ Feb 11 2008, 12:08 PM) View Post
I just called the pen store and spoke with the very knowledgeable owner. In the Al-Star in the fountain pens, they have Blue, Lilac (she called it Periwinkle), Green, Silver (she said it's a bare aluminuim) and Graphite(a bit darker than the silver). I asked if there was a chance the Lilac was the same as the Blue and she said "no way".....as she was holding the 5 different colors in her hands while she was speaking with me.

Just to be sure, I confirmed that these were the Al-Stars and not the Safaris.


Hmmm. The problem is that there is a very deep blue AL-star called Ocean Blue, and a lighter blue called silverblue. Could your source be calling the silverblue one periwinkle?

It's probably not all that important to resolve this absolutely though. Thanks to all for posting info and observations. We're all a crazy bunch... thank God.

Doug


#20 wege

wege

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 50 posts

Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:42

Why do people not refer to their pens, as well, by the particular model number?
025, 026, 027 etc etc etc. Could that not make things a bit easier in regards to 'silverblue' or lilac?

The colour does appear to change in different lights and also different times of day. But placed next to the Ocean Blue (the French blue metallic safari) it is a vastly different colour/shade? blue.







Sponsored Content




|