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  1. A Smug Dill

    The Lord's Prayer, as writing sample text

    From the album: Nothing to see here, move along

    How well would OCR (optical character recognition) work on this, on account of my mediocre handwriting, as well as writing in different styles? In reply to the discussion here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/363267-scanning-app-organization/
  2. This advert is COMPLETED!

    • For Sale
    • Used

    Hello All, I'm one of the earliest Penbbs fan boys and have sung their praises for years, but I also don't like keeping pens around that don't get used. Thus I need to part with these perfectly good pens that are just too large or heavy for my little hands. For sale is a Penbbs pen in near mint condition. I only used it once or twice to try it out. It has been thoroughly cleaned and inspected and will come in original black padded Penbbs box. USPS Priority Shipping is included in the price. Payment by Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal only. SALES TO CON-US ONLY. (Please do not ask me to ship outside of the Continental United States.) 323-108SF Mocha – The shape of this cartridge/converter filling model is one of the most comfortable to use and these metal versions are currently hard to come by. The textured metal feels good in the hand and the pen weighs a hefty 30g. It comes with the original converter and a standard Penbbs upturned fine nib. Price: $40 $32 shipped Thanks for reading!

    $32

    , California

  3. The-Thinker

    Cheap jewelry welders for nib work

    Do you recommend cheap Amazon\Ali-express welders (~$100) for stacking fp nibs and retipping? I know the quality is not similar to that of argon gas high end welders, but will it get the job done with acceptable results, knowing it’s just to play with nibs and have some fun ?
  4. Baoer, Jinhao and Hero pens can be found with ease, but brands like Wing Sung, Moonman etc are almost impossible to find. I really want to get a Wing Sung 699 and a Moonman M100, but the price of shipping is more than one and a half times the pen itself. Please suggest me sources from which I could buy Chinese pens for a reasonable price.
  5. This show up shared by the originator of the whole effort online , I will skip the interim part ( not that all of us can read Chinese anyway ) but here's the link - Free and Copyright granted Textbook / Manual on writing semi-cursive Chinese Calligraphy ( in ENGLISH ) -
  6. nate127

    Moonman N1 Fine Nib

    I haven't posted much on here but because of the lack of information about the N1 pen from Moonman, I've decided to drop some thoughts on here. This pen was purchased on Aliexpress for $20 (free returns option) and comes with a converter as per the listing description. The pen is all metal and while it's not heavy, it's got some heft for a small pen. It feels slightly lighter than my Faber Castel Loom. While capped, the pen is slightly back-weighted but it's minor and doesn't bother me at all (a friend of mine does not like this however). The pen is comfortable to hold in the hand and while it's possible to write without the cap, I'll be using it posted. At the end of the body is a clear rubber ring that keeps the cap secure when posted and it works very well. That said, there's a hairline wiggle pivoting from the rubber ring to the body. It's very small but is noticeable while writing. Onto the nib. This pen is a very smooth writer out of the box and did not have any issues or in need of adjusting. It's a firm nib, very little flex but is the smoothest fine nib I've used to date (sample size is small, 3 pens). If I could compare it, it would be like taking my Lamy Aion medium nib and making it a fine nib. This pen came with a converter. It's small and as you might see in the pictures, just barely fits into the barrel. I was pleasantly surprised that after inking up the pen through the converter (not the nib) it wrote after a few seconds, no priming was necessary. The ink used is Noodlers Kiowa Pecan which is slightly on the dry side (compared to my sample vial which seems wetter.....). I plan to use Sailor green ink next time which is wetter. I'd give this pen 4/5 with the only flaws being the balance and (very) slight cap wiggle. The pen capped compared to my hand:
  7. Introduction This is a review of the "Master" from Kaco. I saw precious few reviews of this pen while I was researching for it, for possible purchase, either on youtube or written. I took a chance based on a few comments regarding the quality of the nib, and I am very glad that I did. This is one of those occassions where a gamble pays off. This is one of the best, if not the best, Chinese pens that I own - compared to 5 pens form PenBBS, 5 from Moonman and a couple of Wing Sungs and Jinhaos. This is also the most expensive Chinese made pen that I own, beating the 14K WingSung 698 and the Bock nibbed Moonman 800 (another excellent pen); however at $80, its not expensive for what you get. This pen cost around $80 on one of the discount weeks on Aliexpress. However, the price tends to fluctuate quite a bit from mid 80s to even up to $140...so try to catch a good deal if you can. For anything less than $100 - this pen is an absolute steal. Both for the elegance and ergonomics of the design as well as for the surprisingly springy and precise gold fine nib (which though an interesting quirk to keep in mind as I discuss below). Appearance & Design - This pen as a cigar shaped design (with the cap slightly more rounded than the barrel) which is a classic. The material is a glossy black resin polished to a high shine. there is only one visible accent which is a substantial metal clip. The clip is one of the defining features of this as it is spring loaded; and attached to the top of the cap. The clip also fit into a clip-shaped recess in the cap, so that the clip is almost (but not exacly) flush with the surface of the cap. the clip also has the only visible logo on the pen (besides the nib which I shall come to). Due to the spring mechanism, the clip is extremely ease to operate and very functional; if you care to post a pen this big. Other than that; the pen is understated and elegant. It seems perfect for use at workplace (will I use my most colorway acrylic pens in the workplace with impunity, but some workplaces are more stuffy I am told ;-)) . This seems to be a theme with Kaco - they seem to prefer to make 'business gift' oriented pens in solid colors and have seemingly eschewed colorful resins till now. the pen comes with an oval dedicated pen case, which can be stood upright, whereby it also operates as a pen holder. It has a foam insert with a hole cut out to rest the barrel so that the resin pen does not court scratches from the metal sides of the holder. Apologies as this was left in my office, and I could not fetch that (and a lot more things) given that lockdown was imposed in our country on a weekend night with 4 hours notice! So this link should give a fair idea Opening the cap, one sees an ample hourglass shaped section, followed by a number 6 14k nib in Fine with a minimalist design - just two lines parallel to the shoulders and the logo and below that, the words 14k. there is a broad thermoplastic feed which is similar to (but not same as) as Jowo #6 feed. the section is long and the threads for the cap are precise. The nib seems perfectly proportioned to the size of the pen. Overall, the pen looks stellar and understated. It reminds one of high end Urushi pens from across the East China Sea. It made me renege on my decision to not buy another black black for a while; so that's something. I just wish they offered this model in other solid colors (on this note, there is a steel nibbed, slightly smaller, version of this pen which cost about $30 and is also available in appealing red and white versions. Wonder why they didn't provide options for the 14k model...I'd have loved me a red version...). I also like that it does not look like an obvious rip off any other design - various influences are there (for example the clip is similar (though not identical) to that in the Lamy Imporium, and the body is similar to several Japanese ebonite and urushi pens, it is distinct enough to be an unique design. Construction & Quality– Construction is top notch. Forgot $100; it would not disappoint in a pen worth $300. There is no squeak in turning the threads (either of the barrel or the cap). The polish in the resin body and gold plated clip is top notch with a mirror like finish when new. On the flip side, this causes any gathered lint or dust to stand out, and may highlight even the smallest scratches (which it does; if you are one inspects obsessively). One that note, while the gold plating is of good quality, it does feel a bit soft and scratch prone; I have been accordingly, careful of how I place of the cap on the table etc. The nib and feed attach into a housing which doesn't appear to be removable. At least I was not able to. The nib and feed though can be pulled out with some effort. Weight, Dimensions and ergonomics This is a big pen, bordering on oversize. Smilar to MB149 and Sailor KOP Profit; However, most of the girth is in the cap; the barrel is actually, reasonably slim. Length; weight (capped): 154mm (6.06"); 28gms gms (1 oz) Length; weight (uncapped) : 135mm (5.3”) (measured from tip of nib); 14gms (0.5 oz) Length; (posted) : 161mm (6.34") Section length : 25mm (1”) Section diameter: 11mm to 13mm (0.43 – 0.5 inch) [this is a rough calculation). In short, it is large but not egregiously so. Further, the cap weighs exactly half the total pen weight (due to the substantial clip and the significantly larger diameter); hence it is very light and comfortable when used uncapped. I stress: this pen is perfect as far as ergonomics go. the section is perfectly contoured and the length and weight (uncapped) is just right. Some comparison pictures are below: This is what it looks like next to the PenBBS 380 and the Pilot Justus - both similarly large black pens pens at around 145-150 mm (5.8-6"") posted. This is a comparison with some other pens (left to right: TWSBI 580AL, Sailor Pro gear slim, Kaco Master, Montegrappa Fortuna teak, PenBBS 456) It posts deeply but not securely. You wouldn't need to post this pen; but you can subject to cap possibly falling if you suddenly turn it around. Nib & Performance - Cue: customary bokeh shot of nib It has a very well-tuned #6 nib which extremely springy and relatively soft, for a modern nib. the odd thing is that it has a significant forward curve; this creates an ...interesting sensation, as the apparent angle of the pen to paper is different from your normal holding angle. the forward curve can cause the pen to catch to paper in sudden down-to-up movements; such as rounding a 'g' or bottom-extension of an 'f'; this is more so on rougher papers. This seems to be a conscious design choice, as the pictures in the web listing suggest that this helps appreciate/ fully utilize the springiness of the nib. Even with this, I really do enjoy the nib - it is springy and soft, and really smooth with the required traction to have sufficient control over the written word. While springy, this is not a flex nib, and I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to coax out line variation. Pic of pronounced forward curve of the nib: The feed is a jowo type wide shoulder one; but is perfectly tailored to the curve of the nib. It was a little dry at first, but after a little adjustment, is providing uninterrupted generous supply of ink. Filling System & Maintenance – This is a simple C/C system. The converter is interchangeable with a schmidt K5 converter. The supplied one looks slightly larger but I could be mistaken. Disappointingly, it does not have metal reinforcements at the mouth. the plastic also is slightly cloudy and not crystal clear. However, it is perfectly functional. It is good that it uses the K5 standard, as one can use cartridges in a pinch. (apologies for the bubbles - it was a hurried fill) The nib is a true fine. When I think of fine, I think of this line width. Since this pen supplies, it makes me satisfied. Here is a comparison to well known nibs with similar line widths, namely European fines and Japanese Medium, with the same ink in all (Pilot Iro Yama Guri): As you can see, this nib writes very similar to a Jowo or Bock fine; and also similar to a pilot 14K and Sailor 14K Medium. The Kanwrite F is slightly finer, and the penBBS F is way fatter (its actually closer to a western medium). the Moonman is between the Kaco and the PenBBS. Some longer writing samples; one on Rhodia and the other on ITC classmate (a low cost, but really good, student notebook) Cost & Value – I paid about $80. This is on the lower end for this pen and usually available during sales. At this price, it is a phenomenal deal. I would say, given the quality, ergonomics and writing experience, anything below $125 is a good deal. Conclusion – This is a pen which ticks most boxes. I find it among the most comfortable pens to hold, and the writing experience, even with the quirky angle on the nib, is pleasurable. The build quality and finish is superb. Only concern for me is finding replacement feeds/ nibs in case of damage and the lack of color and nib width alternatives, which would prevent it from being a pen appreciated by a broader spectrum of FP users.
  8. Please see the other post on the same topic. This got posted midway to writing by mistake.
  9. Hi, I just noticed on Beini's etsy site that there is a 'new and improved; version of the 355 bulk-filler in some colorways. Anybody have an idea about what is different and what issue it addresses? I held back from the original bulkfiller due to mixed reviews on ease of use and opted instead for several of 456s and 500s and now a 492 as well (all brilliant). Might pick up one this time. https://www.etsy.com/shop/PENBBSOfficialStore?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=802394863&section_id=25398175 Also to those who have a 355 - is it very difficult ascertain whether one got a good fill if one has a opaque resin body? - for example, I thought an opaque body will be less than ideal in a 500 due to the new system; but I took the chance on an autumn and it has not been a problem.
  10. Penbbs #286 幽山向晩 (Remote Mountain By Nightfall -- not an official translation) comes in a "60±5ml" bottle with a octagonal horizontal cross-section. It's damn difficult to come by a bottle. It's isn't so easy just to come by an image of a bottle of it! Source: eBay (I'm trying to rediscover my enthusiasm for reviewing inks by doing one, and move to an easier procedure by using just one or two pens instead of five or more. Alas, no joy, but what's done is done, so here it is.) Drying time: Astoundingly fast. I don't think I've tested any other ink that almost completely dried on Rhodia Dotpad 80g/m² paper in five seconds. Lubrication: I can't comment on that, since I don't have a large number of data points as to how much friction my tester frankenpen usually generates when writing on a Rhodia Dotpad. Saturation: I haven't figured out how to test that. The ink does appear to have a moderate-to-heavy dye load. Feathering: None observed when writing on the Rhodia Dotpad or in a Leuchtturm1917 hardcover A5 journal. Ghosting: None observed from writing on 80g/m² paper of various types. Japanese paper of a lighter weight could be a different matter. Bleed-through: None observed from writing on Rhodia 80g/m² paper. Even where I did four passes with a Pilot Parallel 6.0mm pen, as long as there was no pooling of ink, there was no bleed-through. No bleed-through in this Muji A5 Notebook SKU#4550182108910 either, even when I'd written with a dip pen that was so wet the letters haloed with sheen. I did see some tiny spots on the reverse of a page in a Leuchtturm1917 hardcover A5 journal, at some (but not all) intersections of pen strokes using a wetter pen. Shading: There is shading when using either a broad enough or just moderately wet pen. Look at the mark left by one pass of the Pilot Parallel 6.0mm pen. Of course, it's up to your pen and your penmanship to distribute the ink unevenly to get visible shading. Sheen: This ink sheens a dull purplish black, usually around the edges of wet pen strokes causing a 'halo' effect. Water resistance: Some. Leaving the ink to dry for 60 minutes instead of just 10 minutes before soaking did not appear to increase the ink marks' water resistance on Rhodia 80g/m² paper, but soaking the paper for 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes made a difference. Accidental spillage or random raindrops on writing will not eradicate it from the page, provided it is treated promptly. Otherwise, the colour that escapes from the page into the droplet could settle back onto the paper and obscure the writing.
  11. Do you know any Chinese brand which make upper end luxury fountain pens ?
  12. Chinese & Asian Fountain Pen wishlist !!! Here you can put your wishlist , on that list can be added any Asian fountain pen . On this list it would be great if you guys could add some links from were you intend to buy or some pictures at least .
  13. Hello again to all my FPN friends, Today the long awaited Penbbs 456 vac-filler arrived in the mail, so I thought I'd give everyone still waiting for theirs on the slow boat from China to see what they have to look forward to. Below are just a few impressions after filling it up and taking it for a test drive. - The pen just exudes quality! The translucent blue material looks thick and sturdy. The pen just feels very solid and sturdily constructed. - The 456 is just a tad longer than the 309, but notably heavier due to the additional metal parts (see comparison photos below). - It posts securely, the most securely of any Penbbs pen I own. - The clip is one of the best I've seen on a Chinese pen. It's just the right amount of springiness and slides very smoothly only whatever it is clipped too. Unlike previous Penbbs models, the end of the clip isn't just folded over metal, but appears to be a separate piece welded on. - The vacuum mechanism worked perfectly on the first try and filled up a little more than half the ink chamber with one pump. I'm so happy to have been able to try this filling system without having to pay $70+ for a TWSBI. I've owned TWSBIs before and I'd say the 456 actually feels more solid. - Although the section threads are metal going against the cap's threaded acrylic, uncapping and capping the pen is very smooth and secure. The metal threads on the section are smooth and I have no problem actually resting my fingers on the threads when writing (something I have to do given the issue below). - The only negative point for me is the balance. The pen is back heavy even when not posted. This probably won't be an issue for people with larger hands. However, with my small hands I must hold the pen on the section threads in order to obtain a comfortable balance for writing. Otherwise the angle of the pen decreases from how I normally write. - As for the nib, it's a super smooth two-tone #6 Penbbs nib. It writes a little on the dry side, but the filling method ensures that there's plenty of ink in the feed to keep it going. The nib has the classic Penbbs slight bend to it which can actually make a little bit of line variation, what I would call "semi-architect." Downstrokes are about 0.5mm while sidestrokes can vary from 0.3 to 0.8 depending on the writing angle. Ink fly increases with pressure, but there's nothing in the way of flex. All in all, I think Penbbs has created their best product yet and can't wait to see what they come up with next! Comparisons (from left to right: Pelikan M215, Lingmo Lorelei, Platinum 3776 Century, Penbbs 308, Penbbs 309, Penbbs 456) Writing (slight line variation between vertical and horizontal strokes)
  14. Has anyone tried this Beast pocket pen that Bobby (no affiliation) is selling? https://www.etsy.com/listing/625198082/beast-fountain-pen-schmidt-f-nib?ref=shop_home_active_54 I like the look of it and I'm always interested in pocket pens, but at almost $50 it's a bit too expensive for an impulse purchase. So, does anyone know anything about it or have first-hand experience?
  15. Calligraphy lovers rejoice! Today Shanghai Jingdian started offering sets of five italic nib units that will screw into Delike pens and a few models of Moonman pens. These are currently in their Taobao store, but keep your eyes peeled for them to start showing up on eBay soon. http://m.tb.cn/h.37htpcP?sm=9758e2
  16. New Moonman pen. Thoughts? Available on eBay for $42-ish (i could find only 1 listing though..), appears to use a Schmidt nib. Pictures taken from Reddit and Instagram.
  17. Hi ..I am planning to buy few decent Chinese FP with different nib sizes mainly for ink trials and daily office use I didn't use any Chinese brand before so I hope to get your advice N.B: Price not more than 15$ for a pen Thanks
  18. Hello again to all my FPN friends, When the original Moonman 80 came out, I resisted buying one because I already have more Parker 45s than I can remember. However, when the 80mini came out I knew it was worth a try, if only to be a recepticle for my favorite Parker 45 gold nibs. Although the quality isn't nearly as good as that of a real Parker 45, these pens still hold their own and nib swappability opens up endless possibilities. How cool is it that I can put a soft 14k UK Parker 45 OBB stub in a tiny pen that will fit in my pocketbook or even directly in my pocket?? Here are some of my impressions after taking the pen apart and playing around with it today: (This first page was written with the stock EF nib. Notice how hard it is to read due to how dry the pen writes.) (Problem solved with a quick and easy nib swap.) Size Comparisons: (top to bottom: Platinum Preppy 02; Pilot 78G; Delike Alpha; Moonman 80mini) Comparison of Nib Assemblies: (Parker 45 on the left; Moonman 80mini on the right) Notice the extra bits of plastic from the injection molding process still on the Moonman's feed and cowl. This leads me to believe that the Moonman will probably write much better if one uses a razor blade to scrape off the extra plastic bits and floss the channels. Moonman 80mini vs. my son's "moon man":
  19. Can someone identify this chinese fountain pen from the 80's ? I had one ln the beginning, of my school years and it had a 14 k gold nib , but i can't remember the producer and the model number .
  20. Hello again to all my FPN friends, After acquiring too many inks and far too many pens, I thought it was time to turn this obsession toward papers in order to round out the experience. I just received a blank notebook in the mail from a Chinese stationary company called Kinbor (www.kinbor.net/). They seem like a Chinese version of Midori and offer very similar products (at much lower prices, of course). Here's an article about the company that has nice photos of their products. I'm thoroughly impressed with the paper in this A5 notebook. Although this paper is 80gsm and quite sturdy, it's also very supple and floppy like Tomoe River paper. The sewn binding is better than most I've seen; the journal will lie open completely flat regardless of what page you open to. The paper texture is much smoother than Midori paper but not slick like Rhodia and Clairfontaine, again reminiscent of Tomoe River. I've only tested a couple inks with really wet pens so far but there has not been any bleed through or even show through, although a little feathering in same cases. It is advertised to be fountain pen friendly (see picture below). These journals are currently offered in A6 and A5 with the options of blank, dot grid, graph, a blank/dot grid/graph combination, 7mm lined, lined with red side rule, thick sketchbook paper, and a calendar/planner combination. They come with either white or brown covers. I'm in no way affiliated with the company, but I thought I'd ask about these journals because this is the first Chinese paper I've ever tried that has actually blown me away. That's saying a lot because I live in China and have tried lots of papers over the past few years, most of them being quite unfriendly to fountain pens and often unbearable toothy as well. I'll try to post a review once I spend more time with this journal and run in through some tests.
  21. Bought this from a store in India, along with some Jinhao 3001 Pink ink. No clue what brand it is. Anyone here know? By the way, I'm pretty sure it's Chinese but I could be wrong.
  22. Hello again to all my FPN friends, I know anytime you use the word "best" for something as subjective as a fountain pen you'll get varied responses, but that's what I'm hoping for. Here's my question for you all: In your opinion, what is the best gold-nibbed Chinese pen (a Chinese branded pen, not just a pen made in China) available on the market today? Along with your recommendation, please explain why the nib feels great to you and what you like about both the pen and nib. What does the nib feel like on the paper? How much feedback? Including that information will help others decide whether the pen is a good choice for them. Thanks in advance for your contributions!
  23. Hi everyone, I'm talking about the pen, not the plane. Has anyone used one of these?? I handled one in a local shop the other day and have been thinking about it ever since. It has a nice tactile surface, seems well balanced, and looks pretty cool. At least here in China they cost a lot more than the average Hero pens, retail is around US$27 but that can be had for half that. Before taking the plunge I thought I'd ask around to get some opinions. Thanks!
  24. I've always wanted a real bamboo pen--not just the bamboo-styled ebonite ones--but the susutake ones run to over $1,000 and seem too large and unwieldy besides. So a month ago, I ordered this pen from China through eBay, and it finally arrived today. I'm happy to report that it exceeded all my expectations--in size, finish, and general quality. It even writes well! (And did I say it cost just $20, shipped?) The section has threads, but it's actually just a pull-off cap. (I'm sure they already had these sections for other pens and didn't want to remanufacture unthreaded ones--or maybe the threads provide more grip inside.) The makers wisely put thin plastic rings on both cap and barrel to cushion the contact. The two-tone steel nib is marked HERO, but the pen itself is, of course, unbranded. What I like the most is that it's real, strong, polished bamboo! I love the nodes and the patterns--you couldn't get these if you wanted to manufacture the pen in ebonite or acrylic. And it's bigger than my Agatha and M900! It's surprisingly comfortable in the hand, and the Hero nib lays down a decent line (it's friction-fit, so I should have no problem replacing this with one of my flexy 14K vintage nibs--can't wait). The only problem I had was that the pen wouldn't suck in ink if I dipped it into the bottle, so I had to pull out and dip the converter itself instead. Other than that, it's a fantastic pen at $20--I'd easily have paid three times that--so much so that I went back online immediately to order more, only to find it out of stock I'll certainly be back to look for more. Here you go:
  25. This last year saw the arrival on the market of a number of new piston filling fountain pen from mainland China. Two of the pens have the Wing Sung name, the 698 and the 3003, and the third I am going to discuss is the Caliarts Ego. Two others that I know of are by Lanbitou and PenBBS. I now have one of each (two of the 3008) and thought I would do a compare and contrast of these three pens. The Wing Sung 3008 was the first of the three pens I bought, and the cheapest. These pens come with a Lamy Safari style nib, in F and EF. The pen holds a little over 1 ml of ink. The cap doesn’t have an inner cap, but there is an o-ring on the body at the base of the cap thread. This seals against a shelf inside the cap and stops the nib from drying out, at least over a few days. The barrel has 16 facets and is slightly tapered towards the far end. The end cap on this model doesn’t lock, and there is always a bit of slack. In practice, though, I have not had any problems with inadvertent leaks, in spite of carrying it to work in my shirt pocket for a couple of weeks. The piston assembly is retained by a ring at the top of the barrel. Undoing this ring allows the whole piston assembly to be easily removed for cleaning and lubrication. As mentioned the pen uses a Lamy Safari style slip-on nib which is interchangeable with a real Safari nib. The feed is relatively long, and has a key at the bottom so it can only be put back in one way. Apart from the loose blind cap, the only other problem this pen has is that the screw head inside the cap that holds the finial and clip on gets rusty. Overall, this is an inexpensive pen that feels good in the hand and has been a reliable and robust worker. The Caliarts Ego was the next pen to arrive. This pen comes with a Pilot 78G style nib but the feed is a little different. I had ordered mine with a Fine nib, but it came with a second, EF, nib and a spare feed. This pens holds about 2 ml of ink, and along with the Fine nib, should mean quite a lot of writing between fills. Like the 3008, there is no inner cap, but there is the cap-sealing o-ring on the barrel. The cap is a very simple affair and, I think, detracts from the pen a little. However, you can now get the Ego with coloured finial and end cap, and these look much more attractive. The finial screws into a threaded extension at the top of the cap, so there are no holes in the cap at all. The section and barrel are all one piece, as it is on the 3008. There is no metal ring on the end of the section, as there is on the 3008. I don’t like metal rings on the ends of sections, as I have had them leak (Jinhao 159, I’m looking a you, here…) The body of the pen is very sleek, with the only break from the end cap to the end of the section being the barrel threads. These are much less prominent than on the 3008. There is no lock on the end cap, but it does screw down firmly and then doesn’t move. The step from the end cap to the barrel is quite smooth, almost as smooth as on a Lamy 2000 or Parker 51 Vacumatic. The pen comes with a little wrench to unscrew the piston mechanism. However, others have said that the plastic flats inside are quite soft and easy to damage, so I haven’t disassembled mine yet. I tried both the EF and F nibs that came with the pen, and they were both excellent, very smooth, especially for their width. I did have to make some adjustments to the F nib, as it was a bit too wet for my taste. Others might like it as it is. Then, using it on hard, smooth Japanese showed up another problem – skipping due to excessive baby-bottom. This didn’t show up earlier on softer, more fibrous, Chinese paper. Using the fine surface of a nail buffing pad I removed a tiny bit of metal, then buffed on the other side. This nib is now perfect, butter smooth for a Fine, Asian nib. Note that this was only a problem because of the combination of my nib preferences and my paper. Others might find they have no problems. The Wing Sung 698 was the most recent acquisition (I have only had it for a couple of days). It is available in various colour schemes, and I got mine in transparent with gold fittings. This pen is the 3008 made properly. It has a Pilot style nib, compared to the other’s Lamy Safari style nib, and both nib and feed are interchangeable with those of a Pilot 78G. In addition, the section unscrews completely for thorough cleaning, if necessary. Unlike the overly simple cap of the Caliarts Ego, the WS 698’s cap is an impressive affair. There is a solid metal ring near the base, surrounding, and presumably reinforcing the cap threads. The finial is solid metal, held on by a large, possibly aluminium, flat-head screw. Unlike the other two pens, the 698 has an inner cap which seals against a chamfer at the end of the section. The o-ring on the body has been replaced by a metal spacer ring between the section and barrel. The body is cylindrical, with the piston assembly held in by a metal ring, as on the 3008. However the end cap has a locking mechanism, where two keys on the cap mate with two slots in the ring. The cap then clicks into place when you push it down. I bought mine with a Medium nib, which equates to a Western (i.e. Parker) Fine. You can also get it in F and EF, and spare nibs in all three sizes are available on eBay. Nibs The nibs on these pens are not up to the standard of a proper Japanese nib, and even the genuine Lamy Safari and Pilot 78G nibs are better than what comes with these pens. However, the nibs are quite reasonable, and all wrote straight out of the box, unless you are as fussy as I am about nibs. See the last paragraph in the Ego section. Dimensions Below is a table of dimensions for the three pens. As you can see, they are very similar. The weights are with the pens empty, so you would add about 1 g for the two Wing Sungs when full, and about 2 g for the Caliarts. Pictures Capped, from the top, Caliarts Ego, Wing Sung 698, Wing Sung 3008 Uncapped, from the top, Caliarts Ego, Wing Sung 698, Wing Sung 3008 In Conclusion Of the three pens, the Caliarts Ego is my favourite. The 3008 has value in being the cheapest of the pens, while being a robust and reliable pen. Its only real fault is the rusting screw head in the cap. The 698 is, as said, the 3008 made properly, and is a good-looking pen that works well. The Ego, however, is functionally flawless, is good-looking and feels good in the hand. Being able to swap nibs around, and get replacement ones, for all three pens, is a bonus.





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