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  1. (filled with Rohrer & Klingner Alt Bordeaux) Demonstrators are not really my area. I do somewhat appreciate them as a sort of curiosity, but I prefer more traditional finishes and colors. That being said, a piston filling demonstrator does seem like an interesting idea, and since I've never had one and lately it became possible to buy them for less than $20, I thought I'd try one. I already had the solid black Wing Sung 698 so I wanted something different (and while I do like WS 698, I'm not that crazy about its design). So, Caliarts Ego II it is. To be precise, I ordered the first Caliarts Ego, which had a very different clip and an opaque black piston mechanism, but ended up receiving the second version. Deciding that it's not worth to make a fuss about it, I accepted what I got. Caliarts Ego II is a clear demonstrator, and when I say clear, I mean totally. The only elements of it which are not transparent are the nib and the clip. I do like the design of this pen, much more than Wing Sung 698's. It's just more neat, better shaped and the clip is much better looking. For the record, Ego II also comes with the piston knob and the cap finial opaque in a few colors (those seems out of stock on eBay now) and one fully solid color in a very bright blue. The pen came in a steel box, packed with a little wrench for disassembling and a spare feed and EF nib, while the one on the pen is marked as F. Both nibs are stamped "Caliarts Iridium Point". I think those are Pilot 78G/Metropolitan/Plumix etc. compatible nibs but I haven't tried any swapping. The wrench quickly proved useful. At first glance I noticed that the piston didn't come all the way up as it should. So I took the wrench, and not really knowing what I was doing I tried to twist the piston. There was some noise, for a second I thought something cracked, but no, surprisingly the piston went up to the exact position I wanted it to be. Now, however, it doesn't come all the way down. The piston seems to be too short to fully utilize the pen's ink capacity on a single filling, but this can be easily remedied by pushing the air out and drawing ink the second time to fill the pen completely. I filled the pen for the first time with Pelikan 4001 Dark Green and it didn't write well out of the box. It was very dry and required some pushing to get a consistent line. First I thought about opening up the tines of the nib little more - the nib on the nail method (as demonstrated by SBRE Brown). Done wonders for my Parker Sonnet but here it was completely unnecessary and it was probably a bad idea, but the unexpected result is worth mentioning. I slightly pushed the nib on my nail... and the nib instantly bent. I mean instantly. I didn't even use much force, I barely started, and the nib just completely bent immediately as if I hit it with a hammer. I thought I broke it and would to have to get another nib, but no, another surprise, as easily as it bent it got back to its right position. The nib seems to be perfectly fine. The dryness was actually a slight baby's bottoms. Not having any micromesh I decided that rather than spending $25 on the sheets I'm going to spend ca. $2 on the three grit nail file at the nearest drugstore. Did the job, the pen writes like a charm. Smoothly, moderately wet, with some feedback that I find pleasant. The nib is a stiff one, a little bit of line variation is possible, but you'd really have to force it. The cap is screwed on. That's always a good thing. Posting is possible, I guess, but not really useful. It posts very shallowly on the piston knob and not even securely. Also, posting makes it very long, and the pen is already pretty big without it. Caliarts Ego II did bring me some annoyance, two times I thought I broke it. After just a little work with the nib, it turned into a very pleasant writer. A piston filler, good ink capacity, and very affordable. If you like demonstrators then I think it's worth getting. It probably won't become my EDC, but overall I'm glad I have it. Measurments: Lenght capped - 142 mm Lenght uncapped - 131 mm Cap lenght - 60 mm Lenght posted - ca. 170 mm Barrel diameter - 13 mm Weight (half inked): Capped - 18 g Uncapped - 13 g Cap - 5 g (the feed is clear, but the pen was inked when I took the photos) Size comparison. From the top: Jinhao 159, Caliarts Ego II, Wing Sung 698, Pelikan M200
  2. vojtahlad

    Wing Sung 6359

    It seems there is no review of this new Chinese pen so I try my best. Wing Sung 6359 is one of the new pens produced by the revived Wing Sung company - its production started in 2017. It is yet another Lamy-inspired Chinese pen and the inspiration by Lamy AL-star was fairly exhaustive in this case. The major reason why I decided to try it is the nib which seems very similar to Lamy nibs. Spoiler: they are interchangeable. Appearance and Design The design is far from original, it is essentially a Lamy AL-star. The differences are minor. Probably the most visible one is the clear transparent section (section of AL-star is smoked) which is cool. The pen is available in several colours. I chose the one named coffee which is a bit tricky because it depends on the light. It is based on dark brown which leans towards purple, especially under an artificial light. So the pen colour looks a bit different in various environments. Construction and Quality Very satisfying, The manufacturing is close to perfect, everything fits, surfaces are smooth, no wiggling, no burrs. I do not own the AL-star, so let's compare the pen against Lamy Safari. As you can see, it is very close: Of course, some differences exist: My only construction-related complaint is the screw of the barrel. It is fairly course and made from different materials - the section ends by a plastic screw and the barrel contains a metallic one. I would expect some wearing here. You have to be careful when you mount the barrel. Weight and Dimensions The pen is a light one. Complete pen weights 22 g, removing cap decreases the weight to 10 g. Dimensions: Closed: 139 mm Uncapped: 129 mm Posted: 174 The pen can be posted but I can not see a reason to do it. It is long enough and by posting it becomes a very long top-heavy monster. Nib and Performance As I said, the nib is almost identical to standard Lamy Z50 nib. Its shape is a bit different but the fitting is compatible, so Lamy nibs can be used on Wing Sung 6359. This is a great thing because the pen is available solely with the extra fine nib. Hairline lovers will be disappointed - the nib seems to be subtle but it writes wider line than Lamy EF. For the comparison, I tried all four combinations of 6359 and Safari pens and nibs. Plus JoWo EF has been added. As you can see, the Wing Sung EF is visibly wider than the other two EF nibs: Wing Sung nib outperforms Lamy significantly in all other disciplines. It is very smooth (Lamy has some feedback) and a bit springy. It definitely can not be called soft or even flex nib, but there is some give. Lamy is a nail. I am not an ultra fine line aficionado. A smooth and springy nib is much more important for me than a needle. Wing Sung nib fits my preferences perfectly. Writing with it is a pleasant experience. Of course, it has the triangular section which may be repulsive for some of you. I experienced some unsteadiness in the ink flow but splashing the pen seems to fix this. Now it writes like a dream. No skips, hard starts or other problems. Filling System and Maintenance It is a converter-filled pen, the converter is included. Even the converter is seriously inspired by Lamy: Cost and Value I purchased the pen on eBay for some 4 USD which is a steal. This pen is very hard to beat it the price/performance ratio. Conclusion It is a great pen. It looks good, its manufacturing quality is very good and it writes like a dream. If the triangular section is not a problem for you I can highly recommend it.
  3. truthpil

    Jinhao 991 Review

    Hello again to all my FP-friends, Allow me to introduce to you the Jinhao 992’s oddly named and somewhat homely younger sister—the 991. This pen comes in both an EF (0.38) hooded nib and F open nib version. Since the nib, feed, housing, and converter on the F nib version are identical to that of the 992, it goes without saying that the 991 writes just as well and has the same smooth nib and flawless flow. All I had to do was put ink in the converter (I don’t like sticking my pens in bottles), put the converter back in the pen, and within just a few seconds the pen was writing a juicy medium-side-of-fine line. I can’t speak for the EF version because the black hooded nib was just too ugly to look at. Nib options: (Taobao) Color options: (Taobao) Appearance & Design There is no question as to where the design came from: The appearance is my least favorite part about the 991. Who would want to own a fountain pen that looks just like a disposable roller-ball?? The only saving factor is that it’s a demonstrator (and, of course, a fountain pen). The coffee brown tint on this model gives it an extra bit of class over the dull black Uni-ball. Looks aside, the matte finish on the cap and barrel adds a nice tactile feel. The whole pen is notably thinner than the 992 and almost as long as the X750. If you wanted a significantly thinner and lighter alternative to the X750, then you’ll probably enjoy using the 991. The section is long and slender and will be comfortable no matter where you grasp it. The design is utilitarian and comfortable, even if boring and unoriginal. I could easily write with this pen for hours on end with no fatigue. Construction I was at first concerned about the durability of the 991. The plastic is noticeably thinner and has just a tad more “give” to it than that of the 992. The thickness and strength of the plastic reminded me a lot of a Platinum Preppy (see below). In fact, I’d say the 991 is Jinhao’s answer to the Preppy (and a more cost-effective answer at that). Despite these initial concerns, after much squeezing of both barrel and cap on the 991 and a Preppy, the 991 is clearly more durable. If you like Preppies and use them regularly without cracking the cap or barrel, then you’ll love this pen! I’m just slightly more apprehensive with this pen than with the 992 about throwing it in my bag unprotected, but I don’t think you’ll have to wrap tape around the joints to prevent cracking the way I always have to with my Preppies. Jinhao 992 and 991: Jinhao 991 and Platinum Preppy barrels: And now the million yuan question, “Does it come cracked like the 992?” After examining the whole pen with a loupe for quite some time over two days, I can assure you that at least my specimen has NO CRACKS whatsoever. [What might appear to be cracks in the photos below are injection molding seams and a few scratches in the plastic.] I’ll give you an update after a few weeks of use, but I don’t foresee cracking as a problem. The end of the barrel does have a plug in it, but it is quite different than that of the 992. The plug takes up the whole end of the barrel, as is also the case with the finial on the cap. If you’re one of those brave souls who likes to eyedropperize pens, then this pen is worth your consideration. The seal on the barrel plug is airtight. I also filled the barrel with water and shook it vigorously for a while and there were no leaks. My only hesitation about using this as an eyedropper filler is that the pen is very slender and will probably heat up quickly from hand warmth and start burping, as might occur with a Preppy. Also note that, unlike the 992, this pen does not come with an O-ring, so you’ll have to supply your own and probably apply some silicone grease to the threads just to be safe. One nice point is that the threading is much finer than on the Preppy and thus provides a tighter seal. Weight & Dimensions Numbers mean little to me when I’m thinking about what is comfortable in my hand, so here are some comparison shots with other common pens to give you an idea of the physical dimensions of the 991. From left to right: Jinhao 992, Jinhao 991, Platinum Preppy 02, Jinhao X750, Parker 45, Parker 51, Lamy Safari The 991 is a very light pen. It has no heft at all when unposted and feels back-heavy and unbalanced when posted (at least for my small hands). Concluding Remarks Although the 991 lacks much of the appeal of the 992, it also lacks its problems. I’m not fond of the shape and general appearance of this pen, but it’s a pleasure to write with and extremely comfortable to hold (unposted, in my case). This pen was designed to write and write and write effortlessly, although some may be uncomfortable with the slender body and light weight. Nib options are limited to EF and F, but you can easily remove the nib on the open nib model and put in another. TWSBI ECO nibs fit well and perhaps a standard #5 would work as well. I’ll have to get back to you on that once my JoWo #5 architect grind arrives. I recommend the Jinhao 991 over the Platinum Preppy for the following reasons: (1) its nib is just as smooth as an 05 Preppy; (2) its material is sturdier; (3) it comes with its own converter that holds a lot of ink; (4) it comes in several colors with no painted on branding to remove; (5) it’s about half the price of a Preppy, depending on where you live. This pen is a perfect choice for your “fountain penvangelism” efforts and is just nice to have around for trying funky inks you may be afraid to put in nicer pens. This pen is so affordable that, if you can tolerate its underwhelming physique, it’s worth at least owning a couple.
  4. Greetings All, Pardon the sloppiness (and embarrassing typos everywhere, even the first word ), but I wanted to get out this review as soon as possible because I'm so excited about this pen. I've had a lot of bad luck with Chinese pens (Hero's have been anything but my hero), but so far no Jinhao nib has ever failed me and their quality seems to be getting even better. Here are my comments and some writings samples about the new Jinhao 992. It's currently available in all colors on Ebay and probably places like Aliexpress as well. Writing sample on a cheap little notepad: Final Run-down Pros: - Quality construction - Superb converter that holds a good amount of ink - Toothless smooth nib - Flawless flow - Nib and feed easily removable for thorough cleaning (perfect for using those troublesome yet beautiful Noodler's inks) - Lightweight - Cap posts well (no slipping or popping off) - Screw on cap - Great color selection - The price! Cons: - Unbalanced when posted - Might be too small for larger hands when not posted [Addendum: Some pictures from the seller I bought from...]
  5. When I first saw this pen on FPN, I thought it looked pretty well. Most demonstrators do when they’re filled with nice ink. The cost of the pen is rather low, so I ordered one. After using it for a while, I’m ready to share my thoughts on it. Brand It’s here that my head starts tu hurt. Probably I was just too lazy to make proper research. Maybe someone with good chinese market knowledge will drop here and explain things to us. The pen comes in a plastic “box” stamped with Hero logo but it’s called Wing Sung. To complicate things further there’s a Lucky brand name engraved on the clip, WINGS letters engraved on the ring. On Taobao the pen is sold as Lucky 698 on eBay as Wing Sung 698. I think that any marketing profesionnal would moan over this brand split personality. Pen The pen comes in plastic blister pack. Apart from Wing Sung 698 we receive a converter filled with silicone grease in the package. It’s nice accent. If the pen was made in black plastic, it wouldn’t look nice. The shape and overall design are rather generic and boring. Two things that many fountain pen users will find tempting are pen transparency and piston-filling mechanism. So far I haven’t hears about other chinese piston-filler. It’s almost out of character for a chinese fountain pen. Some people share opinion that Hero was trying to copy TWSBI fountain pen. I’m not sure. It’s different design. Wing Sung 698 is quite substantial with some flair to it (take a look at the cap). Construction is a little rough, there are mold lines on some of the plastic, and the cap top seems somewhat messily affixed, but it’s not easily noticeable unless you really, really want to prove that chinese pen must have some flaws. The cap unscrews in one turn. It’s embellished with metal end-cap. There’s also a plastic inner cap that tends to fall off from time to time. It’s not glued. The grip section is significantly narrower than the barrel. It tapers down towards the nib. There’s a plastic rim just above the nib. The grip section is long and comfortable. On the other hand, depending on your grip, plastic threads that create a significant step up from the section may become an issue. Dimensions Length uncapped – 131 mm Length capped – 141.3mm Maximum diameter – 12.5mm Weight – 23.8g. Nib (The ink used in the samples is my favorite blue-black - Kyonooto Aonibi) The nib and feed are, possibly, made with ex-Pilot tooling, and superior to the usual Chinese nibs and feeds. The nib can be swapped with Pilot 78G nibs. The one that I received performed flawlessly out of the box. While it’s not the most enjoyable nib I’ve ever tried, I’m impressed by it. Smooth, wet and reliable, it started to write out of the box and keeps on doing so. The feed is translucent so it’ll have the color of the ink you use. The nib is described as Wings Super Quality fine. So far – after a month of use I can agree it’s well made steel nib that’s a joy to use. Filling system The pen uses surprisingly smooth piston-filler. It features a special clutch mechanism to secure piston knob – it needs to be pulled out by a couple of millimetres to free it, so that the pen can be filled. After filling, the knob is pushed back in position where a clutch mechanism engages and locks the knob in position. It doesn’t feel rock solid, it feels a little wiggly and the closure is tenuous at best. On the other hand it hasn’t failed yet. Also the piston-filling mechanism works very smoothly and it holds reasonable amount of ink – around 1 ml. Summary I’m impressed. The pen is reasonably priced, works well and while it’s not perfect I don’t think that TWSBI’s are much better pens. If you consider trying piston-filler for the first time, it’s a reasonable choice.
  6. visvamitra

    Hero 233 Blue Ink

    Shanghai Hero Light Industrial Imp & Exp. Co., LTD is the owner of “HERO” and “DOCTOR” brands of fountain pens in China. The brand is well known in China and around the world. You may find it interesting to know that in Poland in seventies and eighties of the last century Hero fountain pens were ones of very few available on the market. Therefore a lot of people in Poland, especially senior ones, share sentiment for this company and it’s products. Apart from pens and other products company offers also inks. It seems the colors available at the moment are Red, Blue, Blue/Black and Black but I may be wrong. They offer a wider variety of colorful inks in China. I ordered some on Taobao but haven't received them yet. Fabri00 sent me samples of some inks and there were two Hero inks inside tha package - 232 and 233. Hero 233 is rather boring blue inks. In terms of colors it just drowns in the sea of other blue inks. On the other hand the ink is reasonably priced and well behaved. My sad conclusion was it's actualluy better behaved than Caran d'Ache Chromatics inks and I don;t exagerate. Drying time is reasonable and the ink doesn't cause feathering or bleedthrough. It cleans easily from the pen and didn't cause me any hard starts or skipping. Drops of ink on kitchen towel Software ID Color range Maruman, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Leuchtturm1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Oxford optic, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib Water resistance
  7. Greetings Fellow FPNers, Below are some of my thoughts on the Thyer edition of the Jinhao 911. This review turned out sounding a little more negative than I had intended, but don’t let it scare you away from this pen. Many of the good points about the Jinhao 911 have already been discussed in KingRoach’s excellent and much fuller review. My observations agree 100% with his, including the issues of potential scratching and the nib lightly touching the inside of the cap when capped. According to the Thebai Company that sells this pen, it has several distinct differences from the regular Jinhao 911: 1. The nib has been reground from 0.38mm to 0.45mm, given a better feed assembly, and tuned. 2. The plastic threaded part that connects the section to the barrel has been replaced with a metal one (newer Jinhao 911s also have the metal part). 3. A better piston converter has replaced the plunger type (newer Jinhao 911s also have this improved converter). 4. Each Thyer pen is adjusted by hand for optimal performance. 5. The Thebai logo and “Thebai Thyer” have replaced the “Jinhao 911” engraving on the cap rim. I’m not sure if it’s available outside of China, but Seele has kindly provided the link to the Taobao seller whom I bought it from. A Final Word If you want an inexpensive, lightweight, hooded nib “flighter” with a decent fine nib, then this is definitely worth your interest. Just know that the outside of the pen will scratch easily (I can already see scratches on the barrel in addition to those already on the section) and may quickly turn into a “beater” pen. The nib is average but not scratchy and flows alright with a wet ink, producing an even fine line. Is it worth paying a little more for this “hot rod” Thyer version as opposed to the standard Jinhao 911? Since I don’t have the latter to compare with, all I can say is definitely if you really want the fine nib instead of the 911’s extra fine. SDG
  8. Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. Within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ eleventh series. It is named after the Greek island of Santorini. In 2015, this island was named one of the world’s most beautiful islands. The color of this ink is undoubtedly meant to portray the beautiful blue waters of the Aegean Sea which surround the island. I’ve never been there, so I’d love to get an opinion from anyone who has, but I think the color is spot on. This ink is the first I’ve reviewed from Penbbs so far that made me say, “Wow!” after first seeing it on the paper. It’s vibrant, cheery, and should be ranked up there with the best of the bright beachy blues. The closest color I found to it is Montblanc for BMW, but Santorini shades, sheens (!), and has just a tad more “pop” than that much more expensive counterpart. No. 128 has some great writing properties. There is a little feathering and bleed through on copy paper and Moleskine, but it isn’t intolerable. This ink also dries quickly and flows freely. The only thing that keeps me from buying a bottle immediately is that the ink has absolutely ZERO water resistance. As you can see from the soak test below, it completely vanishes into the ether when exposed to more than a few drops of water. Other than that one disappointment (which may be a non-issue for others), this is a great ink with amazing color. It behaves well, looks fabulous, and is a joy to write with. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Comparison* *Special thanks to FPN member lapis for the samples of Montblanc for BMW and Sailor Yama-dori used in this comparison. Check out this sheen! Here is Penbbs’ image of the bottle and label for reference: SDG
  9. adventuresinscript

    Manchu Handwriting

    Hello! I'm a newbie on the forum and am hoping to find others interested in non-Roman calligraphy here. I have recently begun learning Manchu at my university, and have been trying my hand at Manchu calligraphy with various different media - especially markers and sometimes acrylic ink and brush. Does anyone have any experience with calligraphy in Manchu? I'm having quite a bit of trouble trying to make my r's smooth, but they seem to be the trickiest. Any tips? Thanks, Michael www.adventuresinscript.com
  10. Penbbs No.152 Mix Set Violet Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. Within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ twelfth series. It is one of seven “Mix Set” inks in this series that are designed to “mix to create miracle.” The color is true to its name, giving a nice deep violet. This ink is rich and deeply saturated with virtually no shading. It’s a beautiful vibrant hue that I enjoy seeing on the page. Judging purely from scans in other reviews, I have a feeling that Penbbs No. 152 may be a good contender for a Lamy Dark Lilac substitute. [bTW, If anyone is interested in selling me their bottle of that precious elixir please let me know!! :puddle: ] It also seems to be darker and more saturated than Pelikan 4001 Violet, but I don’t have any on hand to compare. No. 152 also has some great writing properties. There is a little feathering and bleed through on copy paper and Moleskine, but it isn’t significant. This ink also dries quickly and has good water resistance. When exposed to water the red component will lift, but the remaining dark purple line is still very legible. This is the first of the Penbbs inks I’ve reviewed so far that has actually impressed me. It’s a nice color that behaves well and is a joy to write with. If you like purples/violets and are able to get a bottle of this, you won’t be disappointed! Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Comparison Here is Penbbs’ image of the bottle and label for reference: SDG
  11. Hi guys and gals. I've had a bit of a rummage around the forums but cannot find much information on Chinese Rice Paper (xuanzhi). Just bought a package of 38 sheets on the internet to trial it. Have heard that it is good paper for brush calligraphy and so I am hoping it may be suitable for fountain pens too. If not then I'll have to bust out the brushes! Does anyone have any direct experience of this genre of paper?
  12. truthpil

    Kaco Sepia Informal Ink Review

    Here's a brief review of an ink from another Chinese manufacturer. Their inks are some of the most expensive Chinese-made inks in China, but this one is too dry for most of my pens. Please pardon any grammar mistakes or nonsensical remarks. I wrote this all at once without stopping to think. SDG
  13. Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. Within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ tenth series. It is named after the cornflower (centaurea cyanus) which can be various shades of blue or lavender. Personally, I think this ink is too dark and too purple to match the flower, but it’s a nice purple nonetheless. No. 116 is noticeably bluer than No. 95. It is very saturated (more so in person than in the photos) and has virtually no shading. This ink dries quickly and only shows a little feathering and bleed through with wet nibs. There is slight water resistance as well; the blue and purple components separate and leave a feint line. This is the best performing ink of the four Penbbs inks I’ve reviewed and is the only one I’d be comfortable using regularly on average paper. Penbbs No. 116 is a nice, vibrant blue-leaning purple that behaves itself, but doesn’t stand out as particularly interesting or exciting to me. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Comparison Note: The comparison shows the ink's color more accurately than the other photos. It really is this dark. Here is Penbbs’ image of the bottle and label for reference: SDG
  14. In the beginning of my fountain pen adventure I was obsessed with chinese pens. They were dirt cheap and easily available. There was a moment when, imperceptibly, probably due to cross-breeding, there was almost one hundred of them in my drawer. This obsession as well as 95 % of chinese pens are gone. I kept few chinese pens to play with riskier inks and that's it. One of polish collectioners VodnikVolsovecek loaned me a significant part of his fountain pens collection so that I can try them and review them. I was surpsrised to discover Duke fountain pen among high-end miracles like Omases or Dunhills. I've been using this pen for around a month now (not every day, but I've managed to finish two full converter fills). I would like to describe it. In few words this pen is heavy and well made. What makes it stand out and shine (literally) is abalone shell embedded in black lacquer over brass. Overall design doesn't appeal to me but the shell parts look stunning in sunlight.The barrel and section are a little chunky, but easy to grip and write with it. The barrel is made from a brass and coated in lacquer with embedded shells. It's widest in the middle (about an inch from its mouth), tapering down toward both ends, and is rounded off at the ends. The cap snaps surely on the section with no wobble. The shape is rather classic but, sadly, distorted by huge and ugly center band. Seriously, I would like to hear an explanation about the ways in which this metal ring enhances design? To my eyes it looks really, REALLY bad. The shells though are cool. The way they shine in the sunlight is amazing. The finials are rounded pieces of metal. Section is made of plastic. It tapers significantly toward the bib. If you're low gripper like me you may find it to thin. For me the section diameter is ok. The overall build quality of the this pen is very good. It’s nicely assembled. Nothing in the pen rattles or shakes, and I have no fear of any pieces loosening up in foreseeable future. I would be surprised if something suddenly fell off or cracked. It's well made pen. Nib Uncharacteristically to most chinese fountain pens, this one has 14 ct nib. It looks exactly as most Duke's steel nib but it writes significantly better. It's springy and pretty wet. Not the best nib ever created for sure but I enjoy the way it performs. It does allow to produce some line variation but I wouldn't recommend forcing it. It's not flex or semi-flex nib there's just some pleasant and forgiving (to those who have heavy-hand) springiness to it. Filling system The pen comes with a Duke converter installed. It can be removed to accept cartridges. Dimensions The pen measures 140 mm capped and 121 mm uncapped. Weighs - 62 grams. Summary I'm not sure if this fountain pen is still produced but even if it was discontinued finding one on Bay of Evil won't be a problem. They usualluy cost between 120-260 $. Personally I wouldn't pay that much for it. If I could find one for 50 $ I would get it and I would keep it. When we enter 100-200 $ price range though there's just too much to choose from and the contenders are strong. Lamy 2000, Pilot CH 92, Pilot M400 are just few examples of pens in this price range. Heck, with a bit of luck you'll even get Pilot Namiki 823 for 200 $. It's really decent pen and the nib is great but price / what you get ratio isn't sky high. As always the choice is yours to make though. If you enjoy the finish and like springy nibs, this one won't disappoint you.
  15. Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. Within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ eighth series. It is named after Chinese architect Lin Huiyin (known as Phyllis Lin in the West). She is famous in China for being the first female architect in modern China and for her involvement in designing the flag and national emblem of the People’s Republic of China. You can read more about her here. I love my purples, and this one doesn’t disappoint. No. 95 is a deep purple very similar in color to Noodler’s La Reine Mauve but much better behaved. To my eye it looks like a pure purple, leaning neither red nor blue. It is quite saturated but does shade a tad with wet nibs on non-absorbent paper. This ink dries quickly, but also displays some feathering and bleed through. However, it doesn’t feather or bleed nearly as much as the other two Penbbs inks I’ve reviewed (Nos. 132 and 157). Also unlike those inks it has passable water resistance. Penbbs No. 95 could be someone’s perfect dark purple for daily use with a fine nib on regular paper. My conclusion is that this is a decent ink I can live without and we could all use a little more Waterman Tender Purple in our lives. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Comparison Because I ordered so many samples, the Taobao seller kindly gave me a free empty ink bottle that just happened to be for this ink. Chinese inks bottles are usually quite ugly and impractical, but this one is neither. The octagonal shape and decent-sized opening allow for you to trap the last drop of ink in a corner to suck up with a pipette. The full color label is also a nice change from the typical boring design. You can tell these inks were made by and for fountain pen enthusiasts.
  16. Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. However, within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ twelfth series. It is named after the city of Hangzhou in eastern China. Hangzhou is famous for its beautiful scenery and is where longjing green tea is grown (a wonderful tea which I highly recommend). This tea is pan-roasted so the color is a little darker than some other green teas. I think the color of this ink is a good representation of the color of the tea leaves, although I don’t know if that’s what the ink makers were going for. What do you think? The color may just be a reference to the city’s natural scenery. The color is slightly darker and greener than the olive Penbbs ink No. 132 that I reviewed previously. This makes it more useful for daily writing. The color is certainly gentle on the eyes. This ink gives some shading on all papers with wider nibs. Its drying time is a little longer than No. 132, but it also feathers a little less. Bleed through was quite bad on Moleskine, but on other papers it was passable with wet nibs and non-existent with the Japanese fine nib. This ink is slightly water resistant as well. The darker green component remains to leave a barely legible line while the rest washes off. The interesting color and shading make this a nice ink, but as with ink No. 132, it feathers and bleeds too much for my taste. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Mini-comparison (No. 157 is at the bottom) [My apologies that I don’t have any inks close to this color to do an adequate comparison. No. 157 mistakenly appears lighter than No. 132 on this image. ] SDG
  17. truthpil

    Penbbs No. 132 Avg Ink Review

    Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. However, within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ eleventh series. It is named after the group of American pilots who volunteered to help the Chinese Air Force fight the Japanese before the US officially entered World War II. The First AVG is popularly known as the "Flying Tigers” and Nathan Tardif pays homage to them in the artwork on the Noodler’s Ink Air Corps Blue Black bottles. You can read more about this group here. I’m a big fan of warm, brown-leaning sepias and all kinds of greens, but I never thought a color like this would catch my eye. Judging by the military-themed name, my guess is that the ink is supposed to be a military “olive drab” color. However, it’s quite light to my eyes so I like to think of it as “greepia”. This ink gives some shading on all papers with any nib. I really like the look and the quick drying time, but there are some problems with the ink’s behavior that keep me from buying a bottle. It bleeds through and feathers on anything other than expensive paper, severely limiting its use. It also has no water resistance whatsoever. All in all, I like this color and its nice shading, but its poor performance on regular paper makes it a no go for me. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance (Water drops and finger smear 30 minutes after writing) Mini-comparison (My apologies that I don’t have any inks close to this color to do an adequate comparison. The colors in this photo also don’t seem to be looking right on my monitor.) SDG
  18. China Can't Make A Ballpoint Pen, And Why We Shouldn't Worry About TRIPS (Forbes, January 2016) A made-in-China triumph: China declares it can make ball pen head (South China Morning Post, January 2017)
  19. Greetings All, Winter break is here and as any self-respecting, FP-loving English teacher would do, I’d like to fill my free time by contributing to the FPN community. As has been mentioned in other posts on this board, Penbbs is a group of FP lovers that is like a Chinese version of FPN. Its owner has produced a lot of inks and cranks out as many as 15 new colors each year. Difficulty obtaining these inks in the West means there aren’t many reviews in English. Lgsoltek and visvamitra have gotten the ball rolling by reviewing some of them and I’d like to add some more. Here’s my proposal: Below are color samples of the inks available for the past 5 series of Penbbs inks. Based on all your requests, I’m going to choose between 10 and 20 of them to review. At a mere $0.30-50 per 5ml sample, this should be a lot of fun for little money. To request reviews of any of the colors, just reply to this post with the corresponding numbers of the inks you want reviewed. Thanks for your help!
  20. This is the third part of a series of reviews I’m doing on Chinese Boss inks. So far I’ve found this brand of ink to be the most prevalent in China, but totally unknown in the West. They are great cheap inks and all are scented as well. Boss Enterprise “Laoban” ink (not to be confused with the Boss line of inks made by Ostrich in Tianjin) is produced in Guiyang by Guizhou Boss Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. More information about the company can be found here [http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/gzboss/companyinfo/Guizhou-Boss-Enterprise-Guiyang-Boss-Chemical-Industry-Co-Ltd-.html] and their descriptions of their inks here [http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/gzboss/product-detailsxmJCnEToQlW/China-Handwriting-Ink.html]. Boss inks are available in the following standard colors: 1. Black 2. Carbon Black 3. Blue-Black 4. Blue 5. Red Close up of ink comparisons taken in natural light: Close up comparing Boss Carbon Black and Noodler’s Black (B = Boss, N = Noodler’s): As you can see, it's completely waterproof: Boss Carbon Black is deep, dark and permanent. It also flows well and lays an excellent line. The only drawback to this ink what's typical for carbon pigmented inks: its ability to stain refilled cartridges or converters and potential clogging if left to dry in the pen. This ink requires regular use and cleaning of whatever pen it is in. If you need a decent permanent black and can find this ink for sale, it’s worth your consideration. Boss inks are only 4 RMB (US$0.62) per 52ml bottle in China. Thanks for reading!
  21. wondering if there is any Chinese pen that are retractable or capless or vanishing point. the common phrase for such.
  22. Pen World magazine gave me kind permission to 'reprint' Barry Gabay's article on Chinese fountain pens. You can read it here. The pens pictured in the article are from my personal collection.
  23. So, this is an interesting pen. I mean, for <$5 shipped (ebay), there is nothing to complain about at all. I had to seat the nib/feed a little tighter in the section, and other than that, it's surprisingly nice for the price (like everyone says about them)... But what in heaven's name am I going to do with this pen? haha Once I figure out a writing style that works consistently with it, I can see it being fantastic for greeting cards and envelopes and fancy things like that... but for the most part? I suspect I will end up putting a "plain" #6 nib on it, so it gets used more than twice a year. Anyone else using one of these fun things on a more frequent basis? I've seen that some folks use them for sketching, but I think that would drive me insane until I get a better handle on controlling the line width. Excuse the handwriting... it looks absolutely terrible when I try to use my normal writing style. The fact that I'm left-handed doesn't help, because the nice sharp 'swoosh' effect a fude achieves at the end of strokes in Chinese calligraphy is pretty much limited to right-handed use.
  24. HisNibs.com update -- New Jinhao Dreadnaught & Duke Harlequin colors Greetings all, http://www.hisnibs.com/HisNibsOlympicInspired_small.jpg Watching the Olympics has inspired me to work out again! Click the link below if you'd like to see my latest Facebook Live video -- mistakes and all. Dreadnaught & Pen World video The next batch of pens from China -- and a few domestic ones as well -- have been restocked. As in the past, there are too many models coming in to point them out individually, so again I'm linking them on the homepage http://www.hisnibs.com/ near the top, with a 'back in stock! ' label. There are still more coming, which will be mentioned in the next newsletter. I'll list a few of the many models that have returned, in this newsletter, but again -- just going to the homepage http://www.hisnibs.com/ is the easiest way to see what's available -- and I'll be updating you with more in short order. As this newsletter goes out to a mailing list of thousands of customers, please understand if there's a delay in answering your email queries or orders after one of these is sent. We will respond in order received and as soon as possible! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~in this issue * Jinhao Dreadnaught new colors * New Duke Harlequin Colors * New Python pen cases * Jinhao Wooden Chariot restocked * Duke Ruby * Baoer Over-the-Top2 * Bookworm Yellow Filigree (western or Chinese nib) * Jinhao Pagoda * 'His Nibs' page on Facebook ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jinhao Dreadnaught new colors http://www.hisnibs.com/JinhaoDreadnaught7GroupCapped2_small.jpg "The pen arrived yesterday. It looks great, a bit heavy though. And it writes magnificent, the point really slides over the paper. I also have the original mb149 meisterstück, but i would not know which one of them writes the better. Thanks for the very correct handling and shipping. Kind regards," J. V., Belgium "The Dreadnaught FP arrived today . . . it's perfect! The wide girth, nice center of gravity (even when posted), and smooth-writing medium-to-broad (always my preference!) nib makes it my favorite writing instrument. It's every bit as good-if not even better-as you-know-who. . . I might have to purchase another color to have two in my collection. Definitely a superior pen!" C. H., Twinsburg, OH "Hi Norman, I received my Jinhao Dreadnaught and Silver Chain Dragon fountain pens. I prepped them and inked them up with Diamine Oxblood ink. Wow! What a wonderfully smooth writing experience with each of them! I write with the pen unposted. Along with the smooth writing, I truly enjoy the weight and balance of each pen in my writing hand, but especially that of the Dreadnaught. Thank you for not only providing such a pleasant writing experience, but also for the care that you give to each and every nib, and the special personal touch that you added to my order. This was my first purchase from you, and am looking forward to my next one." T. L., Jamaica, NY More photos here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/dreadnaught.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Duke Harlequin Colors http://www.hisnibs.com/DukeHarlequinGroupRandom_small.jpg See more here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/duke_116.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Python pen cases http://www.hisnibs.com/PythonGrayPenCaseClosed_small.jpghttp://www.hisnibs.com/PythonBrownPenCaseClosed_small.jpg Read more here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/pen_storage.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jinhao Wooden Chariot restocked http://www.hisnibs.com/JinhaoWoodenChariotCapPen2_small1.jpg See more photos here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/wooden_chariot.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Duke Ruby http://www.hisnibs.com/DukeRubyCapNib_small1.jpg More here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/ruby.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Baoer Over-the-Top2 http://www.hisnibs.com/BaoerOverTheTopPairCapPen_small.jpg See more here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/over-the-top2.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bookworm Yellow Filigree (western or Chinese nib) http://www.hisnibs.com/BookWormYellowFilligreePenCap_small.jpg See more here... - http://www.hisnibs.com/yellow_filigree.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jinhao Pagoda http://www.hisnibs.com/JinhaoPagodaPairRandom3_small.jpg See more... - http://www.hisnibs.com/pagoda.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 'His Nibs' page on Facebook Join us for daily news updates from around the world about fountain pens, ink, handwriting and more! Click here to visit our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/HisNibs1/ -- Regards, Norman Haase www.hisnibs.com www.facebook.com/hisnibs1
  25. chromantic

    Deli S668Ef Budget Fp

    I came across these Deli fountain pens on eBay when they popped up while I was doing a search for 'dark red metallic fountain pens' (hoping to snag another Jinhao 611 in that color). Anyway, this red Deli caught my eye; it's not a really, really dark red like the Jinhao (which is the color of Levenger Claret) but a slightly deeper red than a metallic red Platinum Plaisir. The Deli also comes in shiny black, which I also bought (two other colors are returned in searching, neither appeals to me). The other thing that caught my eye was the minimalist shape, plain cylinder with a very slight taper on the barrel and the cap is slightly wider than the barrel. The clip on both red and black is metal sandwiched between two flat plastic pieces matching the pen color with an open slot on the upper half. Size-wise, we talking roughly comparable to a Plaisir or a Waterman JIF, just a smidge over 5 1/2". One thing that surprised me, as it wasn't really obvious in the eBay pics, is that both the barrel and the section taper from round to triangular; the angles are very rounded, however, and I don't find it at all uncomfortable, like I do the Safari. The flattened sides on the barrel do help a little in keeping it from rolling around too much on a flat surface if you lay it down unposted. Posting is quite solid, with only gentle pressure needed. These pens are plastic, btw, cap, barrel and section (the shiny black section is common to all four colors of the pen). The black pen is shiny and smooth, the red has a metallic look and a little more tactile feel to it - it's smooth but not slick, like the black. The black is quite attractive in a quiet, unassuming, understated way. The red, though, is absolutely stunning. Whereas light reflected off the black is bright, sharp and hard-edged, light reflecting off the red is soft and diffuse, as if the pen is glowing. You can see it in the photo, especially on the cap. So, how do they write? Well enough, in my opinion. While you won't mistake them for a Parker or a Pelikan, they're pretty smooth on the BnR spiral paper, with some toothiness on cheaper paper but certainly not what I'd call scratchy, by a long shot. The nibs are marked EF but I would hesitate to describe them thus; not as fine as my Plaisir fine, thicker than a Baoer 388 fine but thinner than an 801 fine, slightly thicker than Vector fine, thinner than some of my P45 Ms but thinner than others, and way thicker than my Sailor Clear Candy MF (the finest writer I have - it's like spider silk). The feed seems good. I loaded the red with Oku-yama and it's wet enough to allow some sheen on the BnR, not nearly the excessive coating the Baoer 801 I also have loaded with it provides but some, enough to be noticeable. The pen comes in a nice plastic box, solid white base and clear upper cover, similar to a Plaisir box without the hinge. Two short international cartridges and a converter are included. The converter has a metal collar around the opening so it flush with the sides of the ink chamber but I just double checked and a standard int'l. converter did fit. This converter is one of those that the rear metal collar around the twist knob unscrews from the chamber to enable more thorough cleaning. The black and red Delis cost $11.33 with $1.99 shipping (from Hong Kong); they arrived in just under 2 weeks. I'm quite pleased with these pens and may order a couple more of the red ones. edit: changed topic heading, pen is S668EF, not 688, my bad





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