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  1. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Blue Gum (Scented)

    A few months ago now, I received a surprise parcel in the mail - a set of ink samples from Kevin Watson of Just Write Pens / Blackstone Inks. Kevin explained that he was creating a new range of inks - 'Scents of Australia' - to supplement the existing 'Colours of Australia' line. Only one of the prototypes made it unchanged into the final lineup, and Kevin gave me permission to post a (p)review of the ink on FPN: Blackstone Australian Bush, a kind of eucalyptusy dark green with yellow overtones (check it out at https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/321420-blackstone-australian-bush-a-preview/). Here's a visual of the bottles (minus Australian Bush): http://i.imgur.com/LE5ZB3E.jpg An additional five inks were slated for release - and as of mid-June (the time I'm posting these reviews), the inks are ready to be released. Kevin kindly sent me full 30ml bottles of the five new inks - with permission both to test and to post reviews. I want to be up-front in acknowledging I haven't paid for these inks - but as with his previous releases, I've been really impressed with their colour, saturation and performance. Thus far, none of the 6 new inks show the problems I encountered early on with Uluru and, to a lesser extent, Daintree - both of which showed a tendency to become 'stringy' due to problems with the lubricant. These inks are well-behaved, smooth-flowing, richly coloured, and beautifully scented - and, in the case of the blue inks, are prone to produce a wonderful reddish sheen. Without further ado, here's a scan and photo of the first of these inks - Blue Gum: http://i.imgur.com/7UEJ00L.jpg http://i.imgur.com/VrjLe0J.jpg These inks aren't particularly waterfast - here's a 'live' photo of the water test: http://i.imgur.com/kKSeAAF.jpg And here's a visual of four of the inks on Tomoe River paper - note the sheen on the blue/green inks: http://i.imgur.com/1cJLhCk.jpg I'm really pleased with how these inks have turned out, and wish Kevin every success in producing and distributing them. Any questions you'd like to ask about the inks, I'm more than happy to answer!
  2. This is the sixth and final ink in the soon-to-be-released 'Scents of Australia' series from Blackstone Inks / Just Write Pens - with thanks to Kevin Watson for providing me with these inks to sample and review! I try to be as impartial as I can in reviewing these products, but want to again acknowledge up-front that these were provided free - and that I really appreciate what Just Write / Blackstone are trying to do (especially) for the Australian fountain pen market. http://i.imgur.com/LE5ZB3E.jpg When Kevin first sent me three prototype samples, this ink was one of them - though it had a different scent at the time, and a different suggested name. He asked me to hold off on writing a review till I received the ready-for-market product, but the only thing that's changed is the scent. I've had this ink in one pen or another since April, and can confirm that it's consistent in its performance, has no unexpected crudding, drying, slow-starting or other issues - it's just a very reliable, well-lubricated, moderately-saturated ink. This won't be everyone's cup of tea (or mocha?) - it's a brown ink, and not everyone is keen on brown for starters! I'd characterise it as a yellow-gold leaning brown, whereas most of my other browns (Visconti Brown excepted) lean towards red. From the comparisons available to me, I'd say it's closest to KWZ Honey, though a little darker and less yellow. Please forgive the scrawled lettering of this scan - I'm back to work for the week (Mondays are my regular day off), so had to put this together in a hurry... Scan and photo of the review sheet: http://i.imgur.com/sKgJaJH.jpg http://i.imgur.com/3GdXX9Y.jpg Water test, showing the ink lifting off the page into the water droplets: http://i.imgur.com/lvlAyb8.jpg And lastly, Brown Boronia on Tomoe River paper - beautiful colour, but no sheen, no-how... http://i.imgur.com/0e4xY26.jpg As always, comments and/or questions are welcome - let me know if I've failed to mention anything important!
  3. This review of the Blackstone Maxim II is long overdue – I’ve had this pen in my possession now for nearly 5 months, and have been meaning to ‘write it up’ for that past few… When the JustWrite Pen Co first started developing pen designs a few years ago, Kevin (the proprietor) was kind enough to send me some prototypes to trial, in return for honest feedback. Those original pens (which were eventually released under the name ‘Maxim’) didn’t quite fit the bill for me: I found the chrome grip sections too narrow to be comfortable for me, a little too slick. Much as I liked the look of the pen, I decided not to purchase any. That all changes, though, when the Maxim II ‘Heavy Metal’ pen was released, in an antique brass finish. With a larger (#6) nib and a slightly larger diameter grip section, I decided to pull the trigger. And thus far, I’ve been very happy with this pen. In the interests of full disclosure, JustWrite have provided me with free ink and pen samples in the past – usually prototypes for testing and feedback. However, this pen I purchased at full price with my own money. All opinions expressed are my own – this is my attempt to provide a (personal but) impartial review. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design As with JustWrite’s other pens, the Maxim II is built around a fountain pen ‘kit’ – in this case, the brand of the manufacturer (Dayacom) is imprinted on the nib, and also on the underside of the clip. The ‘rustic’ / artificially aged look of the pen comes from the pen kit materials, which have been ‘married’ to a brass cap and body, machined from a solid brass bar according to the JustWrite website. http://i.imgur.com/HVTniaQ.jpg I was very impressed with the overall look and feel of the pen. There was already a patina coating the entire pen body when I received it, with some kind of ‘blackening’ of the grooves in the threaded parts of the pen. The brass body and cap look like they’ve been treated to match the colouring of the clip, finial and other ‘kit’ parts. You can tell they’re not made from the same material, but they’re a pretty close match. http://i.imgur.com/syDPaUs.jpg 2. Construction & Quality The Maxim II Heavy Metal Pen is an absolute beast – solidly constructed, with good fit and finish. It feels very substantial in the hand, and is made from quality parts. 2. Weight & Dimensions I said a moment ago that this pen is a ‘beast’ – and it’s a weighty one at that! Capped, the Maxim II weighs in at nearly 66g; the uncapped weight is 35.9g. For that reason, although the cap can be threaded securely onto the rear of the pen, I’d advise against it – it becomes far too heavy for comfortable writing, and significantly back-weighted. Lovers of light-weight acrylic pens won’t be thrilled by the heftiness of the Maxim II – but I quite like heavier pens, so this is not an issue for me. The capped length of the Maxim II is 137mm; uncapped it’s an ample 131mm, while posted it’s an unwieldy 170mm. http://i.imgur.com/Ib7yqtE.jpg The pen is relatively slender for its size and weight – the cap diameter is 14mm and the barrel 12mm, while the grip section is only around 8.5mm (closer to 10mm at the threads). For me, that’s a bit on the thin side – but I still find it very comfortable to hold. 4. Nib & Performance I’ve accumulated a stash of replacement #6 nibs in recent years, so I decided to go for the cheapest option – a stainless steel OEM nib. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) it arrived with a two-tone nib – but aesthetically, that seemed like a good fit so I decided to stick with it rather than ask for a replacement. http://i.imgur.com/RV1qFwI.jpg As it turns out, the decision to go cheap was a good move for two reasons. In the first place, the two-tone Dayacom nib was a beautifully, buttery smooth writer that just glided across the page, laying a generous amount of ink. http://i.imgur.com/WjrLSQg.jpg http://i.imgur.com/FoA2tfY.jpg It’s worth noting that the Maxim II grip section is designed to be compatible with the kind of screw-in #6 JoWo units that can be obtained from places like fpnibs.com, meisternibs.com, and Edison Pens. I like to ‘mix and match’ when I can, so I’ve enjoyed swapping different nibs in and out. http://i.imgur.com/9AW8cFY.jpg 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Maxim II will take standard international cartridges, but comes with a standard international converter. My larger Schmidt converters are too large (in terms of diameter) to fit inside the barrel, but the converter provided is of reasonable quality, and works just fine. I’m not overly fussed about filling systems – I like the larger reservoir provided by piston fillers (like my TWSBIs), but tend to get impatient before the ink runs out, so… the smaller ink capacity of a cartridge converter is fine by me! http://i.imgur.com/w5EYJc0.jpg 5. Cost & Value The Maxim II with standard OEM nib sells for AU$99 (incl. GST) – which translated to around US$66 ex tax on current exchange rates. It’s not cheap, but compared to the Karas Kustoms INK ($100 for the aluminium model, $155 for brass) it’s very competitive. I know that’s not comparing apples with apples (the Karas Kustoms pens are machined completely in-house), but it’s the best point of comparison I can think of. 6. Conclusion Of the Blackstone models I’ve tried just far (I’ve also trialled the Maxim and the Axiom), I have to say this is their most appealing design to date. It’s a hefty metal pen, no doubt about it, but sits comfortably in the hand, writes well, and looks and feels great. For people who like a more ‘antique’ look to their pens – and/or who like a weightier pen – the Maxim II is definitely worth a look.
  4. visvamitra

    Sydney Harbour Blue - Blackstone

    Some time ago Kevin from Justwrite Pen Company offered few australian made pens for reviews. Sadly I haven't qualified to review the pen but Kevin was generous enough to send me samples of Blackstone inks as a consolation prize As some of you know I enjoy testing new inks. So once they arrived from Australia I've filled my pens with them and started experimenting. It seems Blackstone inks are a product of FPN - their origin can be traced back to 2013 when some of ink-testers (Amberlea minions) started discussng powdered inks. Soon after many of us had a chance to review / try the original SuSeMai powdered inks. The powders are gone but in the meantime they evolved into Blackstone ink concentrates and recently the line called Colours of Australia was created (based on those concentrates). For instance the line consistes of five excellent inks. http://imageshack.com/a/img908/3973/1AxQE2.jpg Barrier Reef Blue Black Stump Black Daintree Green Sydney Harbour Blue Uluru Red The only thing they lack is water resistance which is none. For me it's not that important but I know there are people who expect their inks to be water resistant. If that's you you need to seek for your grail ink elsewhere. The colors however are stunning. Kevin - I hope we'll see some nice bron and dark purple soon I'll review them in alphabetical order. Sydney Harbour Blue is rather fine ink. I'm not crazy about the color but I can't say I dislike it. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Color ID Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Midori, Kaweco Skyline, EF nib
  5. white_lotus

    Blackstone Daintree Green

    A while back, probably last year, the JustWrite Pen Co. worked at developing some inks for the Australian market, and while the selection is small it's quite nice. These inks are especially noted for their sheen. The Daintree Green is inspired by the Daintree Rainforest so you won't find a murky green here. This ink reminds me of the RO Spearmint, but a different color of course, more yellow, less blue. This ink has a really nice clarity of color that sometimes seems lost. I didn't have any problems with the ink. It should be readily available in Oz from JustWrite and in the US from Anderson Pens. If you like the brighter greens, you might want to give this one a try. While I'd prefer the mythical Green Cashmere this is a good summer's day ink. Pen: Edison Premiere (M-steel) Papers: MvL=Mohawk via Linen, TR=Tomoe River, Hij=Hammermill 28 lb inkjet, Rhodia=Rhodia 90g ivory. Camera: iPhone 7
  6. visvamitra

    Barrier Reef Blue - Blackstone

    Some time ago Kevin from Justwrite Pen Company offered few australian made pens for reviews. Sadly I haven't qualified to review the pen but Kevin was generous enough to send me samples of Blackstone inks as a consolation prize As some of you know I enjoy testing new inks. So once they arrived from Australia I've filled my pens with them and started experimenting. It seems Blackstone inks are a product of FPN - their origin can be traced back to 2013 when some of ink-testers (Amberlea minions) started discussng powdered inks. Soon after many of us had a chance to review / try the original SuSeMai powdered inks. The powders are gone but in the meantime they evolved into Blackstone ink concentrates and recently the line called Colours of Australia was created (based on those concentrates). For instance the line consistes of five excellent inks. http://imageshack.com/a/img908/3973/1AxQE2.jpg Barrier Reef Blue Black Stump Black Daintree Green Sydney Harbour Blue Uluru Red The only thing they lack is water resistance which is none. For me it's not that important but I know there are people who expect their inks to be water resistant. If that's you you need to seek for your grail ink elsewhere. The colors however are stunning. Kevin - I hope we'll see some nice bron and dark purple soon I'll review them in alphabetical order. Barrier Reef Blue is, surprisingly, a favourite of mine. It offers great feel even in finer and drier nibs. In my everyday carry medium / broad nibs it gives great feel to writing and the color is very nice. I didn't expect to like it, but, frankly, I really enjoy using it. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Color ID Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Oxford, Hero 5028, stub 1,9
  7. GO GO ... GET YOUR OWN!!!!!!!!! Link ---> http://justwrite.com.au/Blackstone-Fountain-Pen-Ink/Blackstone-Fountain-Pen-Ink-Colours-of-Australia http://justwrite.com.au/image/cache/catalog/products/Blackstone%20Ink/blackstone-colours-of-australia-fountain-pen-ink-all-five-1000x562.jpg
  8. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Barrister Black

    A couple of months ago I received a sample vial of Blackstone Barrister Black, and have had one of my pens (a TWSBI Diamond 580) constantly inked with it ever since. I didn't know at the time that it was nano-pigement based, only that it was supposed to be permanent (and may require more frequent flushing to be safe). I've actually found it to be a very well-behaved ink - good flow, minimal clogging, fantastic waterproofness. A little slow-drying, and sometimes needs a little 'encouragement' to get started writing after a weekend layoff, but otherwise I'm really impressed.. I'll try and upload some photos of papers that I've soaked later - for now, I'm attaching a scan and a photo of my review sheet. Scan: Photo: If you're wavering about trying this out, I'd suggest ordering a sample vial - available from JustWrite.com.au in Australia, or Anderson Pens in the US. My 30ml bottle (purchased out of my own funds) has just arrived - this'll be one of my two go-to Black inks for the foreseeable future!
  9. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Sydney Harbour Blue

    This is the second of what will (probably) be an incomplete set of reviews for Blackstone Colours of Australia inks. The two blue colours are my favourites in this range - neither of them a classic 'Royal' blue, but both with their own distinctive appeal. According to the JustWrite website, Sydney Harbour Blue is "a dark grayish blue ink inspired by the grey blue waters of Sydney Harbour when the sky is overcast on a rainy day down on the harbour". Which sounds really boring, right? Besides, having caught the Manly Ferry more than once during my teenage years (when I lived on the northern beaches of Sydney), I have to say I don't remember Sydney Harbour's waters being a grayish blue! Thankfully, the ink is much more interesting than the webpage description. To my eyes, it's more of a dark blue with dark green overtones - you could almost call it a dark teal. What makes it even more interesting is that the saturation levels produce an interesting sheen, especially when Tomoe River paper is involved. Here's a photo of my review - the scan was too dark, and didn't do the ink justice in terms of colouring: Here's what the sheen looks like (in appropriate lighting!) on Rhodia paper (using my new cheapy macro lens attachment for smartphone): And on Tomoe River paper: I wasn't really sold in this ink at first - it's not a Royal Blue, nor a blue-black, and doesn't have the brightness of Barrier Reef Blue - but it didn't take long for me to find myself really liking it. As with Barrier Reef Blue, it flows really well in all of my pens - it can occasionally be a bit hard-starting, but once it gets going it just keeps on going...
  10. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Daintree Green

    OK, here's another review of one of the Blackstone "Colours of Australia" inks produced by JustWrite.com.au - Daintree Green. For those of you who don't know, the Daintree is a rain forestsituated in north east Queensland - the largest tropical rainforest on the Australian continent. Which means that there's green - lots of green. This is actually a pretty nice green ink. I think I'd expect a rainforest to be a bit darker - but maybe I'm just showing how long ago it was that I studied Geography, Ecology and, ummm, Botany. No matter, it's a nice mid-range green ink - and it even sheens a bit in a nice broad nib (on Tomoe River paper, anyway!). Here's a scan (needs colour correction - the ink isn't quite as dark as this!): And a photo (taken with my Sony smartphone) - I think this is a little more accurate: And a macro close-up of Daintree Green on Tomoe River paper:
  11. Jamerelbe

    Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue

    I've been meaning to post a review of some of the Blackstone "Colours of Australia" inks for some time now - but didn't realise till I checked that these inks have been in my possession for a little over 6 months. That makes sense, actually - I ordered them just before moving house, which coincided with a whole lot more stuff to get done, both on the home front and at work! No matter: I've had 6 months to get to know these inks, and try them out in a variety of pens - and to come to really appreciate (some of) them. Full disclosure: Kevin from JustWrite.com.au has sent me ink samples and pens in the past, free in return for testing and/or review - but this range of inks I purchased with my own funds. I can't decide which of the Blackstone inks I like best, but it's a toss-up between the blues. Sydney Harbour Blue (review to come) is a darker tealy-blue which looks more 'serious', while Barrier Reef Blue is a vivid, bright blue colour that really does (maybe?) remind me of a tropical reef. Both inks flow well in my pens, shade well, and produce a certain amount of sheen - but more on that later. Here's a photograph of the review page I filled out - it captures the hue a little better (I think) than the scan which follows. Photo: Scan: I really like the brightness of this colour - it shades (and sheens) when using a wider nib, and produces a brighter blue colour with finer nibs. Just to give an idea of how it sheens, here's a close-up of text written on Rhodia paper with a 1.1mm Bock stub nib (check out the pinky outline): And here's the slight sheen that's possible writing on regular (Reflex) copier paper!
  12. Finally back in stock after some delays with the Nalgene bottles. Nick Stewart has been weaving his magic again and one of these yellows will be our next Colours of Australia release. You can see the full review HERE. And Nick's earlier review HERE.
  13. Blackstone Axiom Fountain Pen Hello, a few months ago, Kevin from JustWrite was looking for pen testers to test/review Australian new Fountain Pen offerings… Blackstone brand. I jumped at the offer, I have been a huge fan of Blackstone inks for years now and I was seriously excited at the opportunity to try a Blackstone Pen. The Blackstone AXIOM model comes in Carbon Fibre and PU Leather finish. I went for the leather finish because I don’t have any other pen in leather finish and I was interested in experiencing that. I received the pen just before the Holidays, timing was excellent since there was a couple of pen meets schedule during that time and I could give a pen a true “road test” across fountain pen lovers of every kind (and every taste). Specs of Blackstone AXIOM pen I received: Black PU Leather/Titanium finishNibss: #6 Ruthenium Plated Jowo nib in B and 1.5 ItalicCartridge Convertor First Impressions: What can I say… I LOVE the looks of the pen!!!!!. Is dark and heavy and looks like a bad boy in leather (in comparison to the MB146 above... lol) .. The ruthenium nib (dark gray) matches the titanium finish of the clip and bands perfectly. I tend to like the submarine-type of pens. There are a few flat tops I adore, but in general I tend prefer the cigar shape on pens. The AXIOM with its rounded finials (top and bottom) is very much to my liking. The leather texture is an interesting one. It has an organic feel. Anyone who has an ebonite pen can relate a little to it. Ebonite has a warm/alive feeling in comparison to just normal resin. The leather has a textured feeling. You either love it or hate it. In my case I like it very much. The pen is heavy. . again, one of those things that you either love or hate. I like heavier pens and totally dislike the very light ones. Weight is about 50g, which makes it on the heavier side of my pens (Oh yes.. I have heavier pens than that.. lol) Nib Performance: My personal taste is for Double Broads, Broad Stubs, Oblique Broads and Calligraphy nibs 1.1 and above. So yeah.. I do like BROADS… the bigger the better.. (You can tell I am not a man.. ). I requested the Broad and the 1.5 Italic nib. The nibs come all fitted to a neck, so changing nibs is quite easy, just unscrew the neck/nib combo and screw the new neck/nib combo. Total foolproof. Broad: I find this broad more on the Medium+ size. Not as broad as I would like.. but still bigger than a regular medium. Technically, the Broad size is usually the smallest nib size I like. Performance is good. From start, it wrote like a good ol’ Jowo nib. Pleasant experience. Calligraphy 1.5: This is definitely a favorite nib for me. Most times with Lamy and other pens that have a Calligraphy 1.5 nib, I find that they tend to run on the dry side. Is understandable, the nib requires more ink that a regular medium or fine, and most time the feed is not prepared to supply that amount of ink. The AXIOM with this nib works beautifully. Ink makes a difference and is very possible I just pair it with a great ink (Blackstone ink) because the nib just glides on the paper. I definitely like this nib. Writing Experience: I have been using this pen everyday since November. I already said I like the looks and feel, so the weight is not an issue for me. The pen has had several fills of Blackstone ink (some of my old Cashmere inks and some of the new Colors of Australia inks). These inks are overall on the wet side and the pen has taken them as a champ. Nibs have not received any adjusting from me and they just glide over the paper. The pen is definitely not postable, it becomes too back heavy if you post. I tend not to post my pens (unless they are too small), so no issues for me. The section has a nice gentle slope that makes your finger feel comfortable there. The threads are not on the way, unless you grab your pen on the high side... which would be kind of wrong since the shape of the section makes you grab it on the right spot. I do enjoy looking at the nib, I find the ruthenium matches the pen's looks and is a joy to see it when writing. The AXIOM has become my EDC pen. Only time will tell, but the finish of the pen makes it amazingly sturdy, it still looks like a brand new pen. Road Test: I received the Axiom just before the Holiday season. Timing was excellent because I was able to bring it to a few Pen Meets where several of the top connoisseurs of fountain pens in Toronto had the chance to play with it. The name of well renowned connoisseurs of the Toronto area have been change to protect their identity. Terald – Is a fan of celluloids and precious resins… he found the pen on the heavy side, did not like the leather feel and overall he receded to his corner to caress his brightly colored “precious” pens… Lischy – Is a delicate lady, her taste goes in to EXTREME fine nibs and petite pens… of the Japanese persuasion… She was not a fan of the Axiom (especially with those BIG WET BROAD nibs) and she also receded to her corner the play dress up with her pens. Rags, Lanwar, Tyke and others .. gave the AXIOM a thumbs up!!.. They like the weight, feel and the overall look of the pen. These are big men with big hands.. and they appreciate a substantial pen. I believe Rags was the one excited about being able to unscrew the bottom finial.. (pic below) He says that because of his big hands, is easier to fill the pen that way (removing the finial and holding the barrel instead of the tiny converter). That was a first for me, I had no idea you could do that. Conclusion: All I can say, I enjoy the pen, but there are elements of this pen that makes it not suitable for everyone. Overall, this being one of the first offerings from Australia, makes me excited to think what else will come… Some funky takes with a couple of legendary pens... ... the AXIOM is in good company (Parker Duofold Centennial White Ivorine and Delta Dolcevita ORO Oversize) C.
  14. Along with 5 other members of the FPN ‘fraternity’, I was sent a complimentary prototype of the Blackstone Axiom – a new pen design from the JustWrite Pen Company based in Queensland, Australia. It’s taken me a few months to get around to this review – mostly because of the ‘busyness’ produced by moving house in the lead up to the Christmas-New Year season – but the upside of this is that I’ve had quite a bit of time with this pen – and I have to say up-front, my appreciation for the pen has only grown in the time I’ve been using it. There are a couple of issues I think Kevin and the JustWrite crew may want to give attention to (remembering this is an advanced prototype, but not necessarily the final product), but on the whole I’d call myself a fan of this pen. In the interests of full disclosure, this is not the first pen I’ve received from JustWrite, in return for an impartial review – you can search FPN for the others if you wish – and I received a much earlier (much uglier!) prototype of this pen, some months ago now, before most of the development work had gone into it.. I won’t be ‘scoring’ the pen out of 10 – I’ll save that for the final product – but will do my best to outline what I find appealing about the pen, and any design improvements I think the pen would benefit from. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design As @mehandiratta pointed out in his recent review (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/302314-pen-review-blackstone-axiom/), the Axiom was not designed completely from scratch: the finial, cap ring, barrel ‘blind cap’, grip section and clip all bear a striking resemblance to the Churchill Fountain Pen Kits available from www.beartoothwoods.com. Having seen an earlier prototype, though, I can tell you that a lot of thought and care has gone into the construction of the pen, appropriate selection and incorporation of materials for the barrel and cap, and finding the best nib option. The version of the pen I received came with silver-coloured ‘furniture’ and a carbon fibre finish. The ‘kit pen’ elements of the pen – that is, the black domed finial and the ‘blind cap’ – neither excite nor repel me. They’re quite functional, and appear to be made of solid brass, so I expect they’ll also be durable. I’d probably prefer a little less silver (three rings around the blind cap is one or two rings too many, in my view!), but that’s only a minor quibble. Apart from the curved endings, the pen is pretty straight up and down – with a slight ‘step up’ from the barrel to the cap. http://i.imgur.com/gYBGb58.jpg What I really love about this pen is the carbon fibre weave that covers and encases the barrel and cap. It’s dark and reflective at the same time, and has a kind of three-dimensional look to it (though it’s perfectly smooth to the touch). I could stare at the finish all day, if I didn’t have other things to do (like work, for example, and spending time with my family…). 2. Construction & Quality The Axiom is well-constructed from good quality materials. Not only the finial and blind cap but also the inner tube for the barrel and cap are made of solid brass, giving the pen a real heft (see below for weights and measures!), not to mention the feeling of durability. In the nearly 3 months I’ve had this pen in my possession, it hasn’t picked up any appreciable bumps or scratches (except perhaps on the silver-coloured clip and rings?). The cap screws on to the barrel behind the grip section – if you prefer to hold your pen further back, neither the threads nor the slight step up to the barrel should cause you any difficulty. The grip section is made of plastic, but beautifully moulded – functionally, it’s one of the things I like most about the pen, as it enables me to grip it securely and with real comfort. The clip is slightly springy, but holds securely in my pocket – and I found the shape appealing. http://i.imgur.com/9pqsl54.jpg My only gripes in terms of the construction (and these are minor) are that the chrome finish seems a little less durable than the rest of the pen, and that there was a bit of glue visible (purely cosmetic) where the threads for the blind cap have been glued in to the end of the barrel. Again, this is a prototype, and I’d expect that these minor blemishes will be dealt with in the final product. I’m also not sure whether I’d prefer to be able to completely disassemble the pen, or whether I’d prefer the finial and blind cap to be glued together. The tinkerer in me likes being able to pull my pens apart – but there’s always a risk of not being able to put them back together properly! 3. Weight & Dimensions There’s no doubt about it, this is a fairly substantial pen – especially in terms of its weight. The capped length of the pen is 140 mm; uncapped it’s around 120mm, and posted it’s around 160mm. I had no trouble posting my pen securely (I think DCWaites had some difficulty with this), but I normally wouldn’t bother – it makes the pen long and unwieldly, and it’s already a little too heavily weighted towards the back. The pen cap has a consistent diameter along its length of 15mm, compared with 13.5mm for the barrel. The hourglass shaped grip section is ~10mm at its narrowest, and ~11mm at either end. Its shape encourages the user to hold it at the narrowest point, and with a #6 nib I find that very comfortable. http://i.imgur.com/klcOaZ8.jpg http://i.imgur.com/X7MU7HA.jpg [From top to bottom: Diplomat Excellence A, Blackstone Axiom, Jinhao 159] In terms of weight, I appear to have lost my scaled, but the official figures from Kevin are as follows: weight capped = 50g; weight uncapped = 30g; from memory (when I weighed them previously) that’s about right. 4. Nib & PerformanceThe Axiom came fitted with a ruthenium-coated stainless steel #6 JoWo nib – with a second (1.1mm stub) nib thrown in for good measure. Apart from their size designation and some scrollwork near the tip, the nibs are unmarked. I’d never seen a ruthenium-coated nib before – I found the dark (but not black) coating very appealing. My experience with the B nib was absolutely glorious – one of the smoothest nibs I’ve ever written with, producing a generous flow of ink. The 1.1mm stub nib offered a little more feedback than I’d expected, but otherwise also performed extremely well. The nib and feed are friction fit into the grip section, making them easy to swap in and out – but the spare nib came as a ‘nib assembly’, including nib, feed and grip section, and I believe this is how Kevin intends to sell replacements when the pen is released. My only concern here was that in swapping over nibs, the ring that sits between the grip section and the barrel threads needs to be swapped over too – I think I’d be happier if each grip section came with its own ring. http://i.imgur.com/yFbbyoI.jpg http://i.imgur.com/FZSqOCM.jpg I made the decision fairly early on to ink this pen up with J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor – an ink that contains gold particles, and doesn’t flow so well in some of my other pens. The pen handled this with ease. If left unused for more than a few days, I had the occasional hard start – but again, I’d blame that on the ink rather than the nib. I had no difficulties at all when I first inked the pen up with Blackstone Sydney Harbour Blue! Other reviewers have noted that the pen is somewhat back-weighted, even when uncapped. I found this a bit disconcerting at first – and it’s still probably my main criticism of the pen – bearing in mind that it’s not a light pen, so that the ‘imbalance’ was a little off-putting at first. Removing the brass finial made a bit of a difference – the pen’s centre of gravity shifted from 2/3 towards the end of the pen barrel, to about halfway along – but it was still noticeably back-weighted. I suspect that the threads that are glued into the back of the barrel (into which the blind cap screws) are the other part of the equation – and the relatively lighter weight of the plastic grip section. All of that said, I have to admit, after 3 months I no longer notice the back-heaviness of the pen – I just enjoy the experience of writing with it, especially with the B nib! 5. Filling System & MaintenanceThe Axiom will take standard international cartridges (short or long, I think!) – the supplied cartridge converter was nice enough (plastic and metal construction), and worked for me with no hassles. Maintenance with this pen is very straightforward – as mentioned above, it’s pretty easy to pull apart and put back together. http://i.imgur.com/8czUQ8x.jpg 6. Cost & ValueI’m not sure that the final price for this pen has yet been determined – but assuming a retail value of AU$100 / US$73ish, I’d say the value for money is pretty reasonable, especially given the quality of the materials that have gone into the manufacture of the pen, and the magnificent JoWo nib. 7. ConclusionAesthetically, this pen is going to appeal to some people and not to others – and likewise the weight. I’m quite happy to wield a heavier pen (I have quite a growing assortment of heavy Chinese pens, and the Karas Kustoms INK is up there too), but I know some pen users prefer to stick to pens made from ‘precious resin’ and/or cheap plastic. I’m really happy with this pen, though, and it’s spent the last 3 months inked up and ready to go. I’d like to see the back-weighting issue addressed if possible – I’m not sure whether that’s straightforward, or a massive headache – but apart from that, I’m pretty impressed with the Axiom. Congratulations to Kevin and the JustWrite team – here’s hoping the final product is ready to go soon!
  15. http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/2015-Inklings/2015-Ink_0089.jpg
  16. BLACKSTONE AXIOM This pen was available for review on FPN for review and was made available by Just Write Company and I happened to be at right place at right time and also I was lucky enough to be selected amongst many to review this pen. I thank Kevin for sending me across the pen and later on the inks too for review. I have extensively used this pen and this actually is detailed review of the pen. DESIGN & BUILT: 3.5/5 The pen arrived in very well packaged PU leather zip case along with the spare JoWo nib as the pen was available for review with two nib options. Blackstone Axiom – Arrived in PU Leather Case The pen is available in 2 options with 3 different trims. Two finishes were PU Leather and Carbon Fibre , both in black colour. And the trim options were Gold, Silver and Black Titanium. And I opted for the PU leather finish with black titanium trim. Well it is actually a kit pen and is known as CHURCHILL FOUNTAIN PEN KIT. Blackstone Axiom – In the wild The pen arrived and the first impression was “Wow.. its a hefty pen” and in actual it weighs around 30 g when uncapped. I think the Jinhao 159 almost weighs in the same category. Blackstone Axiom – Beauty shot The pen is made of brass except the ABS plastic grip section. The finials are brass also with black paint finish. The cap and barrel are finished with very nice warm textured PU leather finish. It feels very good in hand unlike the cold metal in your hand. I can almost compare it with feel of ebonite in my hand. The pen is cylindrical with rounded edges and bullet shaped bottom finial which is painted and I think this finish will wear off after some wear and tear. The grip section has hourglass design, which I really like. Blackstone Axiom – Capped Blackstone Axiom – Uncapped The pen is well detailed out with nice addition of trims with double centre band and triple band at bottom of barrel. There is also one band at cap top along the clip. All are nice and sturdy. There is small O ring at the junction of cap and barrel also. Blackstone Axiom – Barrel PU Leather Finish Overall the pen is very well finished and executed in detail and is very well built and I must say the quality control was stringent as the pen I received had perfectly aligned rings at regular spacing. The cap has cylindrical finial in painted finish and the centre portion of the cap has PU Leather finish and the cap lip is again painted finish with double bands. As far as cap clip is concerned I really like the design and the clip is stiff and sturdy but not springy. Blackstone Axiom – Cap Birds Eye View Blackstone Axiom – Cap Top View Blackstone Axiom – Cap Side View Blackstone Axiom – Cap Inside view As far as the branding goes the name “Axiom” is not mentioned anywhere, only brand name “Blackstone” is mentioned below dual centre band on cap. Below are the few images showing comparison of pen with other pens: Capped – Blackstone Axiom, Parsons Italix, TWSBI Eco, Ranga Model 3 (from bottom to top) Uncapped – Blackstone Axiom, Parsons Italix, TWSBI Eco, Ranga Model 3 (from bottom to top) Angled View – Blackstone Axiom, Parsons Italix, TWSBI Eco, Ranga Model 3 (from right to left) I must say its a very well built pen. Though the pen is hefty some may not like it (e.g. my wife) but I do like it. This pen looks classy. Few things i don’t like are triple bands at bottom, I think dual bands would have served the purpose well. BALANCE : 3/5 As I mentioned earlier the pen is a hefty one and the bottom finial is also heavy which actually balances the brass barrel. Thus this pen is a bottom heavy pen. Pen is well balanced when writing cap unposted but cap posting makes it unbearable (yes the cap posts securely). Below are the pics showing comparison of pen length while writing posted or unposted: Blackstone Axiom – Writing with cap unposted Blackstone Axiom – Writing with cap posted When cap is not posted most of the weight is in centre but when cap is posted at back more than 2/3 rd weight goes to the back, thus making it uncomfortable. Some specifications are as below: Length uncapped : 125 mm (including nib)Length capped : 140 mmDia of Barrel : 13.5 mmDia of Section : 9.5 to 11 mmWeight of pen (capped) : 49.11 gWeight of pen (uncapped) : 29.4 g Blackstone Axiom – Weight with cap Blackstone Axiom – Weight without cap NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 5/5 The pen comes with option of #6 JoWo Ruthenium nib in EF, F, M, B, 1.1, 1.5. I took up M and 1.1 and this particular review was written with 1.1 calligraphy nib. It wrote amazing and very well. Even though JoWo nibs have never disappointed me still I have had bad experience with JoWo #5 Chrome finish 1.1 nib but this one was amazing even the ruthenium finish was matching with black titanium trims. Blackstone Axiom – Nib Unit Top View Blackstone Axiom – Nib Unit Side view Blackstone Axiom – Nib Unit Bottom view Ink Filling is via converter or cartridge. The pen comes with good quality converter which is not Schmidt made. The pen can’t be converted to eyedropper as it is a metal pen. Blackstone Axiom – Taken Apart – Ink filling via converter CONCLUSION: It is extremely well built hefty kit pen with excellent #6 JoWo Ruthenium nibs. Priced around 70 USD puts it in mid range segment. I recommend this to people who want hefty and classy looking pen. For more images and handwritten samples kindly visit my blog here : MEHANDIRATTA
  17. visvamitra

    Black Stump Black - Blackstone

    Some time ago Kevin from Justwrite Pen Company offered few australian made pens for reviews. Sadly I haven't qualified to review the pen but Kevin was generous enough to send me samples of Blackstone inks as a consolation prize As some of you know I enjoy testing new inks. So once they arrived from Australia I've filled my pens with them and started experimenting. It seems Blackstone inks are a product of FPN - their origin can be traced back to 2013 when some of ink-testers (Amberlea minions) started discussng powdered inks. Soon after many of us had a chance to review / try the original SuSeMai powdered inks. The powders are gone but in the meantime they evolved into Blackstone ink concentrates and recently the line called Colours of Australia was created (based on those concentrates). For instance the line consistes of five excellent inks. http://imageshack.com/a/img908/3973/1AxQE2.jpg Barrier Reef Blue Black Stump Black Daintree Green Sydney Harbour Blue Uluru Red The only thing they lack is water resistance which is none. For me it's not that important but I know there are people who expect their inks to be water resistant. If that's you you need to seek for your grail ink elsewhere. The colors however are stunning. Kevin - I hope we'll see some nice bron and dark purple soon I'll review them in alphabetical order. Black Stump Black is black with purple accents. I dislike it. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Color ID Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Oxford, Hero 5028, stub 1,9
  18. visvamitra

    Uluru Red - Blackstone

    Some time ago Kevin from Justwrite Pen Company offered few australian made pens for reviews. Sadly I haven't qualified to review the pen but Kevin was generous enough to send me samples of Blackstone inks as a consolation prize As some of you know I enjoy testing new inks. So once they arrived from Australia I've filled my pens with them and started experimenting. It seems Blackstone inks are a product of FPN - their origin can be traced back to 2013 when some of ink-testers (Amberlea minions) started discussng powdered inks. Soon after many of us had a chance to review / try the original SuSeMai powdered inks. The powders are gone but in the meantime they evolved into Blackstone ink concentrates and recently the line called Colours of Australia was created (based on those concentrates). For instance the line consistes of five excellent inks. http://imageshack.com/a/img908/3973/1AxQE2.jpg Barrier Reef Blue Black Stump Black Daintree Green Sydney Harbour Blue Uluru Red The only thing they lack is water resistance which is none. For me it's not that important but I know there are people who expect their inks to be water resistant. If that's you you need to seek for your grail ink elsewhere. The colors however are stunning. Kevin - I hope we'll see some nice bron and dark purple soon I'll review them in alphabetical order. Uluru Red is rather nice red ink. It's not perfectly well behaved - it caused some minor nib creep in Jinhao pen. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Color ID Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib
  19. visvamitra

    Daintree Green - Blackstone

    Some time ago Kevin from Justwrite Pen Company offered few australian made pens for reviews. Sadly I haven't qualified to review the pen but Kevin was generous enough to send me samples of Blackstone inks as a consolation prize As some of you know I enjoy testing new inks. So once they arrived from Australia I've filled my pens with them and started experimenting. It seems Blackstone inks are a product of FPN - their origin can be traced back to 2013 when some of ink-testers (Amberlea minions) started discussng powdered inks. Soon after many of us had a chance to review / try the original SuSeMai powdered inks. The powders are gone but in the meantime they evolved into Blackstone ink concentrates and recently the line called Colours of Australia was created (based on those concentrates). For instance the line consistes of five excellent inks. http://imageshack.com/a/img908/3973/1AxQE2.jpg Barrier Reef Blue Black Stump Black Daintree Green Sydney Harbour Blue Uluru Red The only thing they lack is water resistance which is none. For me it's not that important but I know there are people who expect their inks to be water resistant. If that's you you need to seek for your grail ink elsewhere. The colors however are stunning. Kevin - I hope we'll see some nice bron and dark purple soon I'll review them in alphabetical order. Daintree Green is strongly saturated shade of green. It's not bad but personally I wouldn't use it. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Color ID Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Midori, Kaweco Skyline, EF nib
  20. rickygene

    Ink Review: Blackstone Blue

    Hi fellow inkophiles. I was excited to see that Blackstone inks are now available from justwrite.com.au, just black and blue so far. I ordered a sample of the blue a couple of days ago and it's just arrived. I am a bit tight for time tonight so without any further delay here's a quick review. In summary it's a pretty blue with some nice properties - no feathering, good flow and shading. More to follow later. Yours Rick PS: The Rhodia sample I hit with about 20 seconds of water on the cross hatching at the bottom of the sheet. I'd call the ink a little water resistant.





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