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Compare and contrast: Sailor Calligraphy pen, Hero 86


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 13:14

Both of these pens came equipped with what the makers call a ‘calligraphy’ nib. It’s not an italic nib at all, but an odd-looking little creature, like some exotic bird’s turned-up beak.

The Sailor calligraphy pen is a much lighter-weight instrument (here filled with Lamy Turquoise chasing my custom ‘Nu Blu’). I don’t have a model number but it’s probably a student-grade pen (got if off ebay). I’d guess that it weighs about half or a quarter of the Hero 86, but that in no way translates into cheapness either in feel or finish.

Both pens have a threaded cap. The Hero’s body is a black laquer-look finish with flashy silvertone trim. The Sailor is more subdued in navy blue and gold, and feels better with the cap posted than the Hero. Both have comfortable grips for me, and both are converter-fillers, though the Sailor will also accept carts.

It took me quite a while to get used to the upturned nib on the Sailor, which I had for about a year before I bought the Hero. Once I did get comfortable using it, I appreciated the smooth, effortless writing with its slight variation in line width.

While the Hero 86 (here filled with J Herbin Bleu Myositis, and ‘coaxed’ with a dip into Eclat de Saphir) is an equally smooth writer, it’s harder to get going, which may be a problem with all Hero’s converter pens. But I’m not sure at this point, having only tested two converter models so far.

There’s a much more pronounced upturn to the Hero nib than the Sailor’s, almost like the tip of a Persian slipper. This may account for the fact that, as my hand moves along, writing toward the right-hand side of the page, the line width increases. Odd, but probably just another hazard of left-handedness. The Hero also has a looser, ‘loopier’ writing feel, which is the only way I can describe it.

The heavy solidity of the Hero 86 makes it seem like a much more expensive pen than it is (at a cost of under $15). For me, however, a heavy pen is tiring to write with for long stretches. Still, I like it very much!

Both pens are good, but different. The Sailor is almost always inked for daily writing, while I think I’ll keep the Hero for ‘special effects’ writing, like when I struggle with my kanji and kana practice.

Some scribbles:


Edited by MYU, 02 December 2008 - 00:37.


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#2 troglokev

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 07:52

Looking at the writing sample, I'm wondering how you are holding these pens... the upturned nib is intended to be a replacement for a fude, i.e. held vertically so that the nib touches the paper at the same angle as a conventional nib held with a normal writing grip. Fine for writing in Chinese or Japanese, but not necessarily what you need for Romaji. hmm1.gif I'm thinking that may be the problem with getting the Hero started.

Just a thought.





#3 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 14:26

I'm holding it like you'd hold a regular pen. O__O

*at least I think I am!*

#4 Zoe

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 16:41

I have both of these pens, and I do find the Sailor the easier to grab and write. The Hero, while a nice pen to hold, takes some getting acquainted with and handling. As soon as I get my scanner up and running, I'll share my writing experiences with the two.

And thanks for your review.

#5 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 16:05

You're welcome---I look forward to yours!

#6 Zoe

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 19:08

I apologize for the long delay in doing this comparison, but it took me ages to get the scanner to function.


The paper is HP24lb (normally heavier photocopy paper). The paper did not react well to 3 of the 4 pens.



Clearly, fns like other personal possessions need time to break in--think bluejeans--and I've had the Rotring and Clear Sailor much longer than the Navy Sailor or the Hero 86.

As far as comfortability is concerned I seem to prefer the larger Sailor over the smaller and wish it, too, had a broader nib.

The Hero 86 has been my least used calligraphic-type pen, and I find its larger diametre a bit of a challenge as I have very small hands.

Hope this is of some use. smile.gif

#7 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 00:22

Great review! I love seeing other people's handwriting. I have small hands as well---but my preference runs to fat, lightweight pens.

Were you using the Rotring Artpen with an italic nib? I was just using that today as an experiment---writing out columns of kanji and kana, along with a really broad nib, a brush and a regular fountain pen.

The Rotring 1.1 handles almost like a regular-tip pen.

#8 Zoe

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 01:43

Actually, I wasn't using the Artpen (which I do have) but a rather old Rotring with no identifier. It looks like a regular fp, but I believe can accept interchangeable nibs.

Best,


Zoe

#9 Dillo

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 23:56

Hi,

The name of the Sailor pen is ふででまねん→fudedemanen which comes from ふで→筆→fude→writing brush and [まねん]ひつ→万年筆→manenhitsu→fountain pen.

I used to have one, but I didn't use it as much as I would have liked to. I write small, so it wasn't too useful for me. (look for the kanji in my avatar.)

Dillon

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#10 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:46

Ooo! I could read that! Even with my horrendous vision!

Thanks. ^^






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