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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. wondering if there is any Chinese pen that are retractable or capless or vanishing point. the common phrase for such.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. RULES: Shipping to CON USA Paypal $6.75 Ends Sunday 8th for Studentsnewbiesseniorsexperimenterscreativesanything in betweenif you... are new to fountain penshave been in the forum for more that 3 monthshave more than 10 poststhis will be one of your first 5 pensYou.. have a better possibility of having this PIF sent to youwill be happy to use it if you winIf this is a first pen attempt, I would love to send both pens to the same person... http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i82/anangeli/JINHAO__%20450_zpstcjlkfh4.jpg
  9. Tailbiter

    Kaigelu 382 M

    Ah, time for yet another cheap pen review! This time it's one of my favourite Asian fountain pens ever - the Kaigelu 382 (intl. c/c) (Manufacturer's website entry http://www.kaigelu.net/Z.asp?ID=16&SID=170&ZID=62 in Chinese). I had previously bought this model quite some time ago and thought of writing a review but long-story short: party, pen got given away. However, today, I received my second order from eBay! Wohoo. Today, I will be reviewing the blue model. The pen also comes in a red and a black finish (all with gold trim) and I purchased it off the seller jewelrymathematics on eBay (no affil.) for $8 with free intl. shipping. My parcel arrived very well-wrapped (ridiculous amounts of bubble wrap) and within two weeks. Looks The finish is glossy with the golden trim shiny. It's not a flashy pen but it's not a dull pen either. I find it to be a simple and elegant design with no overdone bands or gaudy, large and misplaced logotypes. The cap has a golden band with two black lines framing the word KAIGELU on one side and the model number 382 on the opposite side. http://i.imgur.com/yFsI0Aw.jpg The overall look is very stylish and the tolerances on my pen are excellent, better than pens many times more expensive, such as say, my Conklin Duragraph. http://i.imgur.com/g8BM2HK.jpg Construction The pen is solidly built out of some metal (brass?), like most other Kaigelu pens. The section is black plastic and provides a nice grip, although it may look a bit slippery, I've not had this issue at all. It's a very decently weighed pen - not heavy enough to feel clumsy but not light enough to feel flimsy. Clumsily enough, I have already dropped this pen from a height of ~ 1 metre onto a hard rubber floor. It hit itself on a few things after it hit the ground but it remained whole, capped and without any damage. The cap is made out of the same material and lacquer as the rest of the pen and is quite heavy. It also comes with an insert of sorts inside made out of what looks like plastic. It does snap on pretty securely however. If anything, it is a bit too secure for my own taste. The clip is extremely stiff out of the box but I know from experience it gets slightly better with time and use. It comes with the standard Kaigelu twist converter which to me feels much less flimsy than any Jinhao converter I've ever received. It works pretty good and sucks up the ink easily. To access it, just unscrew the body while holding the section, which takes 3-4 turns. Dimensions Fully capped, the pen measures 137 mm (~ 5.4 in) of which the cap is 57 mm (~2.2 in) and the body with nib 122 mm. The nib looks to be a 5 mm nib (measured at base). http://i.imgur.com/dKvCxVD.jpg The pen weighs 30 g ( ~1 oz) capped and inked; 19 g without the cap and inked. Like many other chinese fountain pens, the cap is a bit heavy in proportion to the rest of the pen. Does it post? Yes, the pen posts very securely.The good old thermometer shake does nothing to it. The pen does however end up being around 160 mm long and just a sliiiight amount of top-heavy which kind of kills it for me personally. It's not directly uncomfortable but I get the quick impression I'd rather not write with it posted for an extended period of time. http://i.imgur.com/yWWN5iO.jpg?1 Nib Unfortunately, like very often with these Chinese fountain pens, only one nib option is offered. In this case, a medium nib. I suspect it's a #5 nib as stated above. It is a two-tone gold(?)-plated steel nib with the adorable Kaigelu kangaroo logo stamped. There is a very decent amount of tipping material. Overall, the nib looks pretty decent. There is no flex on this nib. You can force it a tad and get a B, but this feels cruel and you can tell the nib isn't very happy. As for disassembly - I've had no luck. If it's a friction fit, it will take a much stronger person than I to pull it apart. If it's not, (oh god I'd feel terrible), I can't seem to unscrew it in any direction. http://i.imgur.com/YwWFH7S.jpg It is a lovely nib. It writes extremely smooth with little feedback at all and the feed has no issues keeping up with even really fast writing. Caveat: I have only tried it with Montblanc Königsblau and Waterman Serenity Blue. It has worked super well with both. Here is my little corner paper where I tried out some of my pens for comparison. As you can see, the Kaigelu M is quite comparable to the modern Waterman M. http://i.imgur.com/paEXIb2.jpg Filling / Maintenance Filling is easy with the included converter and the pen takes standard international short and long cartridges. The converter is not threaded, holds a not huge amount of ink (~0.6 ml ± 0.1ml) but it works pretty well. I am a tad concerned about possible nib and feed maintenance since I have so far been unable to disassemble those. If anyone's had any success, I will gladly take any tips or suggestions. It's possible I just got a dud that's very, very stuck. Anyway, for $8 and a so-far very nice experience, I'm not willing to risk damage-from-curiosity to it just yet. Cost The pen cost me $8 with free shipping on eBay from the seller jewelrymathematics, who also sells many other Kaigelu models. The MSRP on Kaigelu.net is 79 RMB which for 2016-03-30 equals 12.22 USD or 10.79 EUR per Google's currency converter. I have not found it being sold for cheaper on eBay. I own a few other Kaigelus and this is basically my favourite. This was a new pen and I have to say, it's one of the best value-price pens I've gotten. It's really just pleasant to use. Final remarks I love this pen. It has superseded my expectations and I would totally buy it as a gift for someone. I was carrying the previous pen of the same model I had as a daily carry, and I will continue carrying this new one as well. The only major issue I find is that the nib doesn't seem to disassemble too easily, beyond that, I'm a fan. If Kaigelu makes the cap less heavy and solves the nib disassembly bother, this would be an excellent, excellent pen both for its price and its quality. It punches way above $8. Final score? 9.5/10. Final photo: here it is with a few other beloved fountain pens. Bottom-to-top: Pelikan 400, Kaigelu 382, Montblanc Classic, Jinhao 500 http://i.imgur.com/E8cC4GM.jpg PS.I was unable to get the forum software tags to resize the pictures. If anyone can point me to the correct way of doing it in fpn-approved BBCode, I will adjust.
  10. This is the second part of a series of reviews I’m doing on Chinese Boss inks. So far I’ve found this brand to be the most prevalent in China, but unknown in the West. They are great cheap inks and 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 and their descriptions of their inks here. The scan of my review doesn’t capture the color properly, so I’ve also included some photos taken in natural light. Close up of ink comparisons taken in natural light: A writing sample comparing Boss Red and Platinum Pigment Rose Red (I didn’t have the Platinum ink when I wrote the review): Close ups comparing Boss Red and Platinum Pigment Rose Red (Boss on top and Platinum on bottom): Boss Red has a pinkish hue similar to Hero 201, but is more saturated than the Hero ink and Platinum Pigment Rose Red. Like Hero 201, it flees at the sight of water. It is very easy on the eyes and some might consider it less “offensive” than a screaming bright red for grading. I like it for quick editing of documents that will soon be thrown away because it is not only cheap, but behaves well, dries quickly, and stands out on the page more than Hero ink. If you need a decent non-permanent soft red 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!
  11. Davjohn

    The Simple Jinhao 611

    The Jinhao 611 is one of the several pens that I bought from ebay. They came to me shipped in a padded brown envelope rather than "coffins" or boxes. If I remember correctly, I paid no more than $7 for each pen + shipping. I purchased 3 of them because I was attracted to the simple streamline shape. I wanted a pen that would be very comfortable for someone who uses mechanical pencils because they are so straight and plain. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1447577001__jinhao_611.jpg I liked the barrel colors that were shown in the picture of the ebay auction. One is a solid color in the red, rosy, cyan range, the others are a russet and a blue that appear to be acrylic with the depth of color that sometimes goes with that sort of plastic. All three are straight, uncharacterized barrels. They are .65oz/18.42g; 5 1/8 inches / 156.2 centimeters in length capped; 6 1/4 inches / 190.5 centimetrs posted; and .39 inches / 10 mm in diameter. The nib appears to be stainless steel. The ones that I have are fine nibs. They come with standard Jinhao converters. I had hoped that they would take international cartridges because I do not use fillers or bottled ink. I removed the plunger filler and inserted an international cartridge. It took a lot of fussing about with it to get anything to flow. The first thing I noticed was the tines of the nib were tight together. I had to use a syringe to pump water through it. It really didn't take any pressure to get the water to flow through it, just a quantity enough to fill the grip and the nib. When I finally did get the water to flow through it, the pen leaked from every possible joint. The grip is in 2 pieces and it leaked through where they are pressed together. After I got the ink flowing through it, I began to have hopes that it would work better, which it did for a short time. By the time I finished writing one full page, the pen was leaking from where the barrel threads on to the grip as well as from where the grip is pressed together. All together, I'd give the pen a 2. Perhaps it's a chance I took in buying these pens. It's possible that some are better perfomers than others. They are nice in appearance, and seemed at first impression to be of at least fair quality, but when put to the test they did not rise to the occasion. It is possible that using the filler is the answer. That remains to be seen.
  12. What are your favourite Chinese pens that have a larger section diameter? Most of the inexpensive pens I have tried have a small section that cramps my fingers together. My favorites that are comfortable are: Jinhao x450,x750, 599, Hero 100, 616 and Wing Sung 590. Any others worth trying?
  13. 6 months of use. Endcap broke off so I taped the hole and stuffed a little paper to slow the nib drying out. I usually clip it in my shirt pocket. The peeling started around the 5 month mark. I ended up scraping the cap clean. Now the bodies turn to peel at 6 months 😭 I don't throw around my pen nor do I pocket it with keys. I want to chalk it up to a dud and want to order another but........ Anyone else have this issue
  14. Hello there, It's been a long time since I've made a review, but yesterday I picked up a new pen. The packaging was inconspicuous, it was at the local supermarket, on the bottom most shelf. It looked like a cheap (well... it was cheap ) no-name, brown fountain pen in a little plastic bag. When I took a closer look at it, I saw four numbers printed on the side, and when I bought it and took it home, the converter that came with it (a piston, Parker like converter, but with a standard tip) had Hero embossed on the back. I washed it, inked it up with Parker Quink black, and tried it out. It's a joy to write with, although it was a tad scratchy on the up stroke and needed a little smoothing. It writes like an F, and ink flow is very good, not too wet so the F becomes more of an M but enough to make it glide. Sorry for not having any writing samples, my handwriting isn't a thing of beauty anyway. Pictures:
  15. butangmucat

    Three Nos Chinese Pens

    I am back to China for my summer holiday And I had a chance to get some NOS Chinese pens which costs less than a dollar. All these brands have disappeared except Wang Sung, and NOS pens are probably the best Chinese pens you can get now days. http://img.vim-cn.com/75/971c0428b51f2216db2b68c2bfd7425cbb053b.jpg Three NOS pens: - Wang Sung (Lit. Long Live) 500 - Zuanshi (Lit. Diamond) 861 - White Feather 700 The Wang Sung 500 was made in the 1980s and 1990s and it was for both domestic and export markets. It comes with an aerometric converter and can also take the cheaper all-plastic Parker converter (I do not have the more expensive or "luxury" version for a test) or Parker/Aurora cartridges. It is currently using a Quink Blue cartridge which comes as a gift when I bought the Parker converter when I visited the local office supply shop. http://img.vim-cn.com/8d/b65ab31c1a6a4815e4264397104c612ff770c1.jpg http://img.vim-cn.com/fe/dd18513adc2771b732938e71d053c4e4a9ae6d.jpg The Zuanshi 861 is not very good from my perspective. It is too dry and a bit scratchy. http://img.vim-cn.com/b4/41f1e720b0effe750c38cb9543bdcd0dee96e8.jpg http://static.inky.ws/image/5250/WP_20150523_011.jpg The White Feather 700 must have borrowed some ideas from Sheaffer. Nevertheless, it writes smoothly and seems to be durable. http://img.vim-cn.com/91/362b479507d6e870e229447638540bd0027f37.jpg http://static.inky.ws/image/5249/WP_20150523_003.jpg These pens do not have nib sizes labeled, but I believe they are (by western standards) either F or EF.
  16. So, after penvangelizing my mother, she quickly went and bought herself a Noodler's Ahab. The very first day she took it to work, she dropped it on the floor and bent the nib. Heartbreaking, I know. But the way she bent it reminded me of a Chinese calligraphy fountain pen nib. It got me thinking: Is it possible to successfully mod an Ahab to make it write like a Chinese nib? I know it wouldn't write exactly like it, but would it be able to approximate the line variation? I'm very curious to see if anyone has ever tried to mod an Ahab in this way. On a side note, how hard would it be to fix the nib? She's not nearly as curious about the potential as I am.
  17. a_m

    Crocodile 215

    I thought I would find a dragon from the land of dragons. But a dragon was not available. So, I ended up buying a crocodile http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/3.06b.jpg "3.06b" by Joxerra Aihartza - Nire argazki-bilduma / own picture. Licensed under FAL via Wikimedia Commons. Sorry... wrong image... its not as dangerous... This one was really a cute looking crocodile that I could hold in my hands http://cl.jroo.me/z3/3/8/7/d/a.baa-One-happy-crocodile-D.jpg Source: http://www.jokeroo.com/pictures/animal/1031991.html This one was a really happy crocodile...and also made me very happy. I could not understand why crocodiles were considered so dangerous. Besides, it had glittering and shining eyes, was slim and really easy to hold. I was sure it was not going to give me any slip or run away. It was wild and brought with it the wilderness one could hardly imagine. Its easy to understand why we get scared - sharp tooths, biting, scratching - anything that would hurt! But what if it was smooth - indeed very suave, very cultured and well behaved - even ready to get tamed - not just understanding you but even ready to follow you with every move? Ah everyone would then love to have such crocodile ! So my little crocodile - here you see: I had never thought I would be writing with the tongue of a crocodile who is perhaps basking in the sun. But I finally decided it was time to do that ! And I cant stop my amazement (and bewilderment) as to how fine and smooth its tongue is. It writes fine and no feedback ! Those who use fine nib, know that experience, where they would reject the scratchy types but write with the smoother ones. But even the smoother ones have that "feedback" thing on the paper. But this FP feels like as if I am writing with a broad nib - the nib itself writes the Chinese fine. The FP as such is very well made, well balanced. Its on the slimmer side. Gets posted well and is well balanced. The trims have the characteristic crocodile images that is characteristic of the brand. And did I forget the glamour element in the shinning and glittering eyes - thats lovely and enticing. The filling system is the standard cartridge/converter. The FP comes with converter. Excellent FP if you are looking at something on the wild side.
  18. At least, I classify these as beginner pens! From left to right: Leonardo 'Silver Check' fude-nibbed pen that takes standard international cartridges or a converter, light weight. If you were ever curious about writing with a fude, this is your chance to find out. Duke 2008. Ribbed silvertone barrel and red cap with cloud design. Dryish, medium-fine nib. C/c filler. Xfountainpens/Bulow/Jinhao 450 in soft brushed gold. Wet, wet, medium nib. Heavy. C/c filler, shaped section. Reply with a bit about yourself and pen likes and dislikes. Will ship to CONUS only, and announce winner at random. Thanks!
  19. I bought a naginata togi back in september of 2014, after 6 months of trying, I'm still not comfortable or finding a nice surprise with the nib. I tried to practice chinese penmanship with it, which is what the nib was designed for, but I find it much harder to use than a regular or soft nib, even a Noodler flex was easier to do asian calligraphy with. Or the stroke just looks odd. Am I using it wrong? Anyone have any advice on how to properly use the naginata togi? Or tricks to control the nib more easily? Giving this another 6 months and if nothing works, I'm probably going to sell it.
  20. I received my Kaigelu 316 from Hong Kong earlier this week (seller: hq.market, AKA You Gain More!) It's a reasonably faithful knock-off of the Duofold, visually at least. A handsome pen (mine is the white with black veining), it's improperly balanced toward the back end, but not a deal-breaker. I inked it up with Diamine Sapphire and it wrote beautifully. I decided to take my lovely new counterfeit to work with me, and on my way out the door, clipped it to my pock... UH-OH. With this gentle action, the clip, retainer ring and cap came off the pen. No biggie, I'll just screw the top back on, right? I've read here many times that Chinese pens have issues with quality control, so I just assumed someone didn't tighten it down properly. Nope. The threads refuse to catch, even when tested without the clip or retainer ring in place. It's defective. eBay has a process whereby you can resolve an issue like this one. Communicating with the seller (hq.market, AKA You Gain More!) that the pen is defective has resulted in the kind of runaround those who hide behind a language difference love to employ. "The pen is not smashed" they replied after receiving a photo of the loose clip assembly. (The only way I could think of to photograph threads that don't engage; see below) Of course, each message exchange with seller hq.market, AKA You Gain More must go through a 24 hour cycle, presumably because of the time difference. I've heard that other Chinese sellers are really good at reimbursing or replacing; that has not been my experience with seller hq.market, AKA You Gain More! (Maybe they're referring to my blood pressure reading?) Caveat emptor. James
  21. Hello all, I think that chinese pens can give a good writing experience for not that much money, and as considering a new pen to underline, I looked first to the Jinhaos x750 + Goulet EF nib. I don't know a lot about other chinese ones that would be suitable, but I can tell that I like the look of the Jinhao 500, even if I'm afraid by its size/weight. Does it accepts goulet/#6 nibs ? Does the nib is swappable or not ? I really have to know more about these kind of FP, I heard about Baoer, Kaigelu etc but there are surely more.. For ~20-25€ (all included), I don't know yet what to choose and I'm still searching for what would the more pleaseable to use, first to underline and then also to write some definitions, notes (at school). → I think I will use a red ink like PR fiesta red. Recommandations ? Thank you !
  22. PEN REVIEW - JINHAO 156 This review is probably late for a a pen which i procured 3 months back. I bought this pen the moment i took a look at it. It looks fabulous as you can see from the image below. Its a beautiful looking shiny silver chrome plated metal pen with a slim and slender profile. Design : The pen is quite sleek which is rounded at the bottom and the cap is fitted with metal clip which is finished in the matte silver finish. The pen comes in two finished stainless steel finish and black shiny finish. The grip section is finished in the matte sliver finish with the rings engraved. The pen operates via a converter filling mechanism which is sub standard in quality. The center-band (bottom of the cap) is finished in matte silver finish which displays the name of the brand and pen. The cap comes with the good spring clip and inner cap lining which is made out of cheep plastic and came out once or twice which then i had to glue to the cap. The silver stainless steel finish is easily prone to smudges but still looks amazing. The balance of pen is not that well when we post the cap, however it feels very amazing when writing without the cap. Fits my small hands perfectly. It will be good for people with small hands and actually lot of ladies will like the pen for size and looks. JInhao 156 – Broken DownNib: The nib is steel M, marked 18 KGP comes with beautiful carving. Its monotone silver finish. The nib however is a disappointment when it comes to writing. It did not glide through like my other Jinhao pens, rather i had to apply some pressure to write. Even after some fine tuning i was not happy with the performance of a nib. Feed is made of the plastic. Pros: Great Stainless Steel Finish Sleek and Slender Low CostCons: Poor inner lining plastic cap Bad Nib Cheap quality converterBelow is my hand written review in detail for further reference. Bottom line: I will not recommend buying it.
  23. I admire the marbleized plastic (or celluloid) that has been used for pen bodies for many years, particularly the greens, so when I stumbled upon this Chinese pen with the mile-long generic name for $4.50 (shipping included), I said, "Why not?" My luck so far with Chinese pens has been exceptional; at prices lower than the cost of mailing pens within the US, I've enjoyed a variety of sublime escritorial experiences. Then came the FSSFSSC SS-1: I know everybody says this, but photos really don't do it justice. (Forgive the photos; this was hasty work in the bitter cold.) When the pen is moved around in the light, it has more depth and dimension than I ever could have hoped for in a fine hardwood. The marbling shimmers, it glows and darkens, it captivates. The finish is smooth but not perfectly so; up close, a slight orange-peel texturing is evident on the surface. I like the chrome clip. It's mounted directly into the cap material, about a 1/4" from the top. Its design and placement are reminiscent of some 1920s pens I've seen. It takes a firm, secure grip of a shirt pocket. The cap is topped with a chrome button, flush with the surface. Below the clip is a chrome band, just shy of 1/4" wide, with black curlicues painted on it that mumble, "Asian afterthought." This detail deftly destroys the illusion that the pen is anything other than a cheapo Chinese model. Parallel rings incised into the metal would have preserved the vintage look, but this recommendation obviously comes too late.The section is chrome, comfortable but slippery. Its metal threads mesh with those cut directly into the cap material. When the cap is mounted, the barrel is crooked - about 3 or 4 degrees out of whack. Even though I've never had writing issues with other Chinese pens, with this one I figured I'd better follow the advice to flush before filling. A cartridge was supplied, but no converter. After much pushing and grunting, I finally handed it over to Dwayne Johnson to have him install the thing. Getting ink to feed was even harder; I tweaked and wiggled and shook. (The nib says "Germany" but we probably shouldn't leap to the conclusion that it was made there.) It finally wrote, but continued skipping like Rhoda Penmark, with a heart full of evil.
  24. Well, thought I'd try my hand at a review. I've bought (and used) countless pens from different manufacturers and recently have been on a kick of buying Chinese pens. I decided to dedicated a small amount ($20 CDN) to see how many inexpensive Chinese pens I can buy and just what you can get for your dollar these days. I'm up to 7 pens purchased and I've got $3 left, so, well, you can at least get bulk. Of the pens that have arrived so far (Jinhao 599, Jinhao 250, Baoer 517, Hero 369), the Hero 369 has easily been the most surprising, as not only is it the cheapest of the lot at the princely sum of $1,45CDN shipped, but has some really interesting features. Scores are out of 10 Appearance/Finish (7/10): The Hero 369 has a very classic, slim appearance in brushed aluminum with chromed metal accents. The cap has no finial or jewel, just a flat section of brushed metal. The clip is chromed metal, and the the Hero logo and model number (369) appears around the bottom of the cap. http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r181/jekostas/Hero2_zps69b9bcc0.jpg There's a small centre band in chromed metal, and the body tapers down slightly to the end cap, also of chromed metal. I quite like the looks overall, a very simple, elegant and modern pen. Fit and finish on the outer body is quite good with no marks on the matte finish of the body or scratches on the chroming. Here's the first big surprise, the clip is spring-loaded! It's firm, but with more than enough play to comfortable pull it out of your pocket. http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r181/jekostas/Clip_zpsc701a70a.jpg Opening the cap we see a black plastic section with a shiny finish (pretty common) and two chromed metal rings near the nib that act as the holder for the cap. I quite like the nib, it's small, first, and secondly it's not hooded, which is pretty rare for these low-end Heros. I know some people prefer hooded nibs, I don't. I like to see the nib. The nib is quite interesting as well, being very narrow and in shiny stainless with a good ball of tipping material included. http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r181/jekostas/Hero_zpsa19e7b4f.jpg I quite like the looks, personally. Where it falls down (a little) is the finishing. The cap has a fairly sharp edge at the bottom, and the threading of the section is somewhat rough and some plastic shavings came out when I first removed the section from the body (not a great sign, generally). One last nice point on the finishing is the cap - there's no white plastic inner cap that endemic to low-end Chinese pens, instead the cap has four metal springs that clasp the section when closed and the end cap when posted. The pen posts very securely with no rattle. Size and Weight (6/10): Let's not beat around the bush - this is a very slim pen. The thickest part of the body is 9mm wide, and the body tapers down from just below the centre band to the end cap at 7mm. The section is, of course, very small as well. The thickest part of the section near the body joint is 8mm, and tapers down to 7mm by the chrome clutch rings near the nib. Despite being very skinny, the pen is decently long. Capped, the pen is 133mm long, uncapped 119mm, posted 144mm so at least in length it should fit just about everyone's hand. I don't have a scale to measure the weight, but the pen is (as you could probably imagine) very light. It's comfortable enough to write posted or unposted but let's be honest - you probably don't want to be writing essays with this sucker. It's just too thin. As a quick note-taking pen or something to keep in your cheque-book I imagine it would do very well. Nib Performance (9/10): Now we get to the meat and bones of it. Does the pen write well? I'm happy to say yes, yes it writes extremely well and even has a few surprises up it's sleeve. After a quick rinse with warm water and filled with Higgins Fountain Pen India (a very "wet" ink) the pen started up immediately, and wrote with a smooth, medium-wet line. The nib size is probably somewhere between a Western F and XF and has a reasonably large sweet spot. The feed keeps up well with fast writing (as it should with such a small tip). Full disclosure - the nib was a little scratchy when I first got the pen but about 5 minutes with a little micro-mesh and it's smooth as butter. The tines came perfectly aligned out of the package. Now for the big surprise: There's some line variation! Not a whole lot mind you, but it's definitely there. Check the writing sample below and you'll see some of what I'm talking about. http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r181/jekostas/Scan0001_zps5eb4a098.jpg http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r181/jekostas/Flex_zps04e785a0.jpg Paper is sugarcane, ignore the awful handwriting. There is a little feathering visible but that's likely a combination of wet ink and (not great) recycled paper. Filling (8/10): The 369 uses a permanently attached aerometric converter with the metal cover/squeeze bar. I didn't expect it to work well, but I have to say it surprised me - this filler did substantially better than aerometrics I've used in cheap Hero pens in the past like the 266 and 616. It seems to have a shorter breather tube than other Hero pens I've used with aeros, and 3-4 squeezes will fill the sac a good 3/4s full. The feed is reliable and keeps up with fairly fast writing but it will railroad if flexing the nib constantly, a little bit of which can be seen in the sample above. Value (10/10): Did I mention that this pen cost me $1,45 shipped? And that the nib has some flex, it's an aluminum body, with a sprung clip and a (surprisingly usable) aerometric filler? I've used some great low-cost Chinese pens but for me, this one takes the cake. Conclusion (8/10): An absolutely solid pen and very fun. Perhaps a little too thin to use every day but it's super fun to play with. The only negative that I can think of that can't be overlooked for the price is the thinness, but that's a function of the design.
  25. I'm interested in acquiring some of the best of the inexpensive (<$35) Chinese fountain pens. There are so many pens that fall into this category on eBay that it's hard to know what to choose. Are there any especially good models out there? My main interests are pens that are reliable and made of reasonably attractive materials. I'd don't like blinged up pens. Just simple designs using good materials (considering the price). I already know of leading brands like Jinhao, Duke, Kaigelu, etc. so I'm much more interested in recommendations of specific models. Any help?.





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