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Lamy AL-star Metallic Blue


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17 replies to this topic

#1 JFT

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:11

1. First Impressions 5/5
First impression? Curiosity actually! I have read so much positive opinion on Lamy and in particular the Safari/AL-star pen that I kept telling myself that I ought to try one at some point. My mother offered me a gift certificate to spend on pen related stuff and I ended up buying a Metallic Blue AL-star.

2. Appearance & Finish 3/5
As it was discuss in previous thread the color on this one is like a chameleon with some lighting it has a lilac overtone other times it looks simply blue. Very cool color. The aluminum is nice and pleasant to the touch. I was not too crazy of its appearance at first but it has grown on me.

3. Design/ Size/Weight 5/5
Lamy got a reputation for streamlined and functional design and I think it is well deserved. I was not convinced that I would like the grip for example but it feels right. I thought the ink window was ugly, but it works very well. The metal wire clip is not particularly beautiful but it does secure the pen well enough in my shirt pocket even during a short sprint to board the train tongue.gif All in all maybe not the most beautiful design but very practical! The pen is very comfortable posted or not.

4. Nib Design & Performance 4/5
Standard uncoated stainless steel. It originally came with a Broad nib which was very wet (and way too broad for my taste). That nib was reasonably smooth, “was” my spouse wrecked it in 5 seconds... She has written a bit with fountain pen previously so I was surprised (but relieved it did not happen with another pen!).
Back to the store I got a 1.1 Italic nib as replacement and I love it!!! I’ve played with some italic for years (Sheaffers and Rotring Art Pen) and I really like this little nib. I guess that’s what won me over to the AL-star. Whereas the B nib was gushy, the 1.1 Italic is medium wet and give nice shading.

5. The Filling System 5/5
No non-sense Cart/Converter which is perfect for this pen since I change color frequently! The converter despite looking cheap works very well, quite a contrast from my Visconti converter that looks great but has ink “sticking” to its side.

6. Cost/Value 5/5
Outstanding value for the price.

7. Overall Opinion/Conclusion 5/5
I tend to carry two pens everyday, this little pen is always part of the pair... Let say it is the “first” Lamy I get but not the last wink.gif

alstar.jpg

Lamy AL-star - 1.1 (Omas Violet)
Nakaya Celluloid Mottishaw F Flex (PR Arabian Rose)
Omas Bologna - M (Noodler's Golden Brown)
Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
Stipula 22 - 0.9 (Waterman Florida Blue)
Waterman Patrician - M (Waterman Florida Blue)

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#2 diplomat

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 09:51

Thank you for you review, clear and concise. I think the model name of the pen you have should be "Silverblue".

I have several Safaris/Al Star and I do agree that the 1.1 italic is just good. Compared in the same range with the Vector, there's no game.
While the Parker is slow, toothy, and it stumble on paper every two letters, the Lamy is wet and fast, a pleasure to write with.

Another thing you get right is the ink hole (more than window...). Ugly. But somehow have a character to the whole pen.

Thanks again and cheers,

#3 stjimmy

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 10:03

Wonderful review! I just purchased an Al-star in Green! Your review is concise and to the point. I like to think of the Lamy Al-star as the workmans pen. Functionl and well put together!

stjim.
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#4 HDoug

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 10:45

QUOTE(diplomat @ Jun 11 2008, 11:51 PM) View Post
Another thing you get right is the ink hole (more than window...). Ugly.


Hey, I like the inkview window! Else, when you play intergalactic hypertransport with it, what else could serve as the weapons deployment bay, or the ion propulsion warp drive, or the... etc.



Anyway, I like it. Gort does too!



Doug




#5 Stevopedia

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 18:45

QUOTE(HDoug @ Jun 12 2008, 06:45 AM) View Post
QUOTE(diplomat @ Jun 11 2008, 11:51 PM) View Post
Another thing you get right is the ink hole (more than window...). Ugly.


Hey, I like the inkview window! Else, when you play intergalactic hypertransport with it, what else could serve as the weapons deployment bay, or the ion propulsion warp drive, or the... etc.



Anyway, I like it. Gort does too!



Doug


Gort, Klaatu barada nikto... rolleyes.gif

Yes, the Al-Star (and the Safari) is a very nice pen. I've only had mine for a week, but I love it. I can't wait to use the converter in it! (I'm using up the cartridge that came with it at the moment.)

I've heard that the silver-colored nibs are actually nickel-plated instead of bare stainless steel, but I doubt that that's true.

In my opinion, the Safari/Vista/Al-Star is an excellent choice for a first fountain pen... it was for me, anyway! thumbup.gif

#6 KCat

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 18:57

Y'all are just about pushing me over the limit on this one.

I don't really like a big italic like that, but I don't want to buy this pen with just a standard nib either.

Can't decide. On one hand, it would be nice to have this model again in a color I actually like and be able to use it as a toss in the bag and go pen. OTOH, if I get the italic, even if I whittle it down to something narrower, will it still be quite as appealing to me as a pen for writing?

I mean - long term writing sessions which is the appeal of the grip on these pens.

never mind - I just saw the nibs on Pendemonium. I think I'm going to lose my grip here.

Now, Ocean Blue or the lilac blue? Both are appealing.

Edited by KCat, 13 June 2008 - 19:00.

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Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room


#7 JFT

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 23:35

QUOTE(KCat @ Jun 13 2008, 02:57 PM) View Post
Y'all are just about pushing me over the limit on this one.

I don't really like a big italic like that, but I don't want to buy this pen with just a standard nib either.


Well I won't help you here wink.gif I find the 1.1 italic actually small, of course all things are relative my other italics where 1.5mm or bigger, but this one is small enough that it is comfy to write standard cursive with it. I never tried an "official" cursive italic but the corner are smoother than my Rotring Art Pen, but sharper than the stubs I tried so far so I like to think of the nib as cursive italic tongue.gif

QUOTE(KCat @ Jun 13 2008, 02:57 PM) View Post
Can't decide. On one hand, it would be nice to have this model again in a color I actually like and be able to use it as a toss in the bag and go pen. OTOH, if I get the italic, even if I whittle it down to something narrower, will it still be quite as appealing to me as a pen for writing?


I would think so I intend to buy another one with a M or F nib... bunny01.gif

QUOTE(KCat @ Jun 13 2008, 02:57 PM) View Post
I mean - long term writing sessions which is the appeal of the grip on these pens.

never mind - I just saw the nibs on Pendemonium. I think I'm going to lose my grip here.

Now, Ocean Blue or the lilac blue? Both are appealing.


Lilac/Silver Blue!



Lamy AL-star - 1.1 (Omas Violet)
Nakaya Celluloid Mottishaw F Flex (PR Arabian Rose)
Omas Bologna - M (Noodler's Golden Brown)
Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
Stipula 22 - 0.9 (Waterman Florida Blue)
Waterman Patrician - M (Waterman Florida Blue)

#8 KCat

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 01:58

QUOTE(JFT @ Jun 13 2008, 06:35 PM) View Post
Lilac/Silver Blue!


So I can blame you for my ordering one of these and an addictional - additional - nib?

oh well. It's cheap and I'm feeling blue - it'll be a tiny pick-me-up.

KCat
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Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room


#9 JFT

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 02:16

QUOTE(KCat @ Jun 14 2008, 09:58 PM) View Post
QUOTE(JFT @ Jun 13 2008, 06:35 PM) View Post
Lilac/Silver Blue!


So I can blame you for my ordering one of these and an addictional - additional - nib?

oh well. It's cheap and I'm feeling blue - it'll be a tiny pick-me-up.


I'll happily accept the blame biggrin.gif
Lamy AL-star - 1.1 (Omas Violet)
Nakaya Celluloid Mottishaw F Flex (PR Arabian Rose)
Omas Bologna - M (Noodler's Golden Brown)
Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
Stipula 22 - 0.9 (Waterman Florida Blue)
Waterman Patrician - M (Waterman Florida Blue)

#10 KCat

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 23:57

QUOTE(JFT @ Jun 14 2008, 09:16 PM) View Post
I'll happily accept the blame biggrin.gif


Will you pay for it, though. tongue.gif

I can't believe I bought another pen. I just bought my "last one before school starts again." I justified this one because it's inexpensive and a "beater" and I was in a bad mood and so I self-medicated with a pen and I wanted a dry writer for one of my inks and can't wait the x weeks for a nib adjustment by a nibmeister and...

argggg! Oh well.

KCat
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My nature blog https://kcbeachscribbles.com
Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room


#11 JFT

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 01:32

QUOTE(KCat @ Jun 16 2008, 07:57 PM) View Post
QUOTE(JFT @ Jun 14 2008, 09:16 PM) View Post
I'll happily accept the blame biggrin.gif


Will you pay for it, though. tongue.gif

I can't believe I bought another pen. I just bought my "last one before school starts again." I justified this one because it's inexpensive and a "beater" and I was in a bad mood and so I self-medicated with a pen and I wanted a dry writer for one of my inks and can't wait the x weeks for a nib adjustment by a nibmeister and...

argggg! Oh well.

Lol so you already got it? Which nib did you get and how do you like it?
Lamy AL-star - 1.1 (Omas Violet)
Nakaya Celluloid Mottishaw F Flex (PR Arabian Rose)
Omas Bologna - M (Noodler's Golden Brown)
Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
Stipula 22 - 0.9 (Waterman Florida Blue)
Waterman Patrician - M (Waterman Florida Blue)

#12 KCat

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:18

QUOTE(JFT @ Jun 16 2008, 08:32 PM) View Post
QUOTE(KCat @ Jun 16 2008, 07:57 PM) View Post
QUOTE(JFT @ Jun 14 2008, 09:16 PM) View Post
I'll happily accept the blame biggrin.gif


Will you pay for it, though. tongue.gif

I can't believe I bought another pen. I just bought my "last one before school starts again." I justified this one because it's inexpensive and a "beater" and I was in a bad mood and so I self-medicated with a pen and I wanted a dry writer for one of my inks and can't wait the x weeks for a nib adjustment by a nibmeister and...

argggg! Oh well.

Lol so you already got it? Which nib did you get and how do you like it?


not here yet. I have to wait on the ol' USPS. No pen stores nearby or I'd have gone down and bought it today. tongue.gif

KCat
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Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room


#13 schizosoph

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 18:01

Thanks for the review. Couldn't agree more. In fact, I just got three Lamys in the mail today, an Al-Star Blue xf, an Al-Star silvergreen xf, and a red Safari. Just inked the green with Noodler black and will spend the rest of the afternoon writing with it!

Thanks again

#14 KCat

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 19:19

I'm afraid I'm going to have to order the metallic green, m'self. I think Diamine Umber would be purfect for it. Then I'd have two pens for long writing stints with one of my fave inks in one and a very serviceable dark blue (Black Magic Blue) in the other. Both good for transcribing, also. smile.gif

Love the fine nib for fast writing. It's not too fine and not too broad so I don't even have to think about what I'm doing, just let the pen do the work. My pels are like that, just want a couple of cheapies (relatively speaking) to do the same. And these are purty. smile.gif

KCat
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Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room


#15 Margana

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 19:52

At the price point I don't think there's a better deal in pendom. So far Diamine Teal, MB Violet and Platinum Black have worked beautifully. No performance or ink issues whatsoever. They are very lightweight and long enough to be perfectly balanced without posting. What's not to like?
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#16 KCat

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 19:59

QUOTE(KCat @ Jul 8 2008, 02:19 PM) View Post
I'm afraid I'm going to have to order the metallic green, m'self. I think Diamine Umber would be purfect for it.


um. that typo was totally unintentional. Really sm_cat.gif

KCat
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My personal blog https://kcdockalscribbling.com

My nature blog https://kcbeachscribbles.com
Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room


#17 JFT

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 03:03

QUOTE(KCat @ Jul 8 2008, 03:19 PM) View Post
I'm afraid I'm going to have to order the metallic green, m'self. I think Diamine Umber would be purfect for it. Then I'd have two pens for long writing stints with one of my fave inks in one and a very serviceable dark blue (Black Magic Blue) in the other. Both good for transcribing, also. smile.gif

Love the fine nib for fast writing. It's not too fine and not too broad so I don't even have to think about what I'm doing, just let the pen do the work. My pels are like that, just want a couple of cheapies (relatively speaking) to do the same. And these are purty. smile.gif


Now that I know you'll be after a second one I feel even less guilty cool.gif
Lamy AL-star - 1.1 (Omas Violet)
Nakaya Celluloid Mottishaw F Flex (PR Arabian Rose)
Omas Bologna - M (Noodler's Golden Brown)
Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
Stipula 22 - 0.9 (Waterman Florida Blue)
Waterman Patrician - M (Waterman Florida Blue)

#18 KCat

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 16:16

QUOTE(JFT @ Jul 8 2008, 10:03 PM) View Post
Now that I know you'll be after a second one I feel even less guilty cool.gif


I haven't let you off the hook yet!

KCat
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Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. V. Woolf, Jacob's Room







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