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This is my first foray into a fountain pen review on this site....in fact, any site. So, please be a little forgiving if I leave out something essential, say the wrong thing or talk rubbish, etc. I would appreciate your feedback though, so that if I do a review again, it might be a bit better. The pen I am reviewing is the Markiaro Starfish in dark marbled green with a fine steel nib. I haven't posted a writing sample as I've struggled somewhat with the upload restrictions. Must get that Flickr account for pen pics sorted! I've posted some pictures below - the good ones come courtesy of 'penwriters'. The pen comes with a small cartridge loose in the barrel, in either black or a deep blue. The box is a nice textured maroon colour and a paper sleeve with the name branded across the top, and it isn't too big. Some blurb is also included. This pen has steel mounts on the clip and a very fine steel band at the business end of the cap. The cap has an engraved emblem of a starfish (which also makes an appearance on the nib) on the very end. the pen is 'flat top' at both ends. There are two very thin silver bands at the other end of the pen with a band of white, slightly opaque celluloid. The pen has this very deep green marble effect which is very pretty. It also comes in blue and red (there may be one or two other colours, but I haven't seen them). The pen is five inches long (six inches posted) and posts securely. I actually find it a nice size, despite my initial reservations, as I tend to prefer pens of this girth to be a little longer. It's not a particularly 'fat' pen, but it's not a thin pen by any stretch of the imagination! It is very nicely balanced without being too light (I'm not a huge fan of feather-light pens). The size and shape of the pen make it very comfortable and easy to use and carry. The barrel expands slightly towards the centre and tapers off again to the end terminal, but it is only very slight. I must be honest; when I first started using this pen I thought, 'ugh...no'. The steel nib gives a very generous amount of feedback (even on Rhodia paper). I'm not used to this at all and I tend to actively seek out butter smooth writers. Initially it felt very scratchy, but it wasn't catching the paper, nor were the tines displaced. After a little while I began to get used to it. It benefits hugely from a very, very light touch and a little active angling to reach its sweet spot. The feedback on the nib is a little more than I personally care for, but fairly similar in feedback terms to my Sheaffer Prelude. The nib also has an engraved starfish design, which is quite appealing. This is an entry level pen from Delta under the Markiaro name and is actually a very beautiful pen. While I would have preferred a much smoother nib, it still writes well, with no skipping. However, it is a wet writer (something I actually like a lot, but I know not everyone does), and like some other Italian made pens, the fine nib is essentially a medium (at least to my mind). Overall I really like the vintage aesthetic of the pen and given time it may become my daily writer. Perhaps I should clarify what I consider a 'daily writer' as I suspect we all might mean something quite different when we use the term. For me, it is those pens which I regularly carry beyond my front door, use for jotting notes, for w*rk and lots of other official stuff while out and about rather than the stuff I really want to do, for which I reserve my 'pleasing writers I never want to loose' pens. Pretty pen, really lovely colour, beautiful design, acceptable nib (but could be better in my view), nice size and weight. I think I can hear my fifteen year faithful, daily writer Sheaffer Prelude starting to weep.
Does anyone know of a converter that will fit a Markiaro Starfish? I've had this pen for a while and it has become my workhorse pen, but sadly I am only able to use it with small cartridges which I've been finding a little limiting. The barrel of the pen is somewhat short and most of the standard converters seem to get stuck in it. If anyone has any ideas and of where to get them it would be much appreciated.
I don't think anyone has ever said anything about this before on this forum, but I thought I should post something just in case anyone is tempted to buy. I bought the Markiaro scratch pad in orange leather by mistake. I bought it online for very little money (so feel I shouldn't really complain, but the info is worth knowing) and then the supplier promptly went out of business so I couldn't return it. It was incorrectly labelled and described. Anyway, I thought I could make use of it. I love the Markiaro range; their pens and pen cases are very nice and this scratch pad is nice leather too. It feels like it's good quality and it is well made....except for the paper. There are a lot of these doing the rounds on ebay at present (has Markiaro gone out of production?) and in case anyone is tempted to buy, I thought I should point out the flaw. I thought this was a flip top notebook and when I bought it, it was labelled as such. What it actually is, is a tear off scratch pad for a desk top. The quality of the paper is not great. It has a very strange scratchy feel and it feathers slightly with certain pens. It's not dreadful, but neither is it good. One thing in its favour is that there is no bleed through to the other side, even with very wet inks and heavy flow. As a basic scratch pad it is fine though, and I guess the paper can always be replaced if you can find a pad that will fit it. Just thought folk might like to know.