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  1. Reportedly, Private Reserve is one of the companies that paved the way to the overabundance of ink colors we have now, as early on there were mostly the basic inks available, such as basic blue-black, red, green, turquoise, brown, black, and blue. PR inks come in a multitude of different hues. The original creator and owner of the ink company passed away, and the company is now under new ownership and management. I personally became very interested in Private Reserve Avocado a while ago, after seeing its fantastic color range on some others' reviews when used for drawing. Behind its very slightly olive green exterior hide many other hues! The brick-terracotta red color is one of them, and it is the most water-resistant component of this ink. So when you use a water brush over Avocado, a red color is revealed! This ink is very well-behaved in writing. The ink flow is moderate to creamy, and lubrication is good. This ink is really good for maintaining fine lines for drawing and for hairlines. It's well-saturated, but not too much. There is no sheen. Instead the ink has an attractive matte appearance that works well on all paper types. This ink is great for any nib type: from super extra fine to broad. Shading is fairly low, and the lines are solid and well-defined, dark enough even when very fine. In writing, this ink is a pleasant hue of fresh, botanical green. Very restful on the eyes and also imparts an uplifting feeling for me personally. Scan: Fabriano Bioprima 85g ivory-tooned paper with 4mm grid: Scan: Tomoe River 52g White Scan: Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook, coated ivory-cream-toned paper: (Totally misspelled Rikyu-Cha) Close-up photographs: Look at that "chromatography"! Personally I like this ink a lot; glad I have a large bottle.
  2. Reportedly, Private Reserve is one of the companies that paved the way to the overabundance of ink colors we have now, as early on there were mostly the basic inks available, such as basic blue-black, red, green, turquoise, brown, black, and blue. PR inks come in a multitude of different hues. The original creator and owner of the ink company passed away, and the company is now under new ownership and management. Ebony Blue has been on my radar for a while. I love dark teal inks, but I'm usually pretty picky about them in person. Ebony Blue is a kind of turquoise mixed with black, and possibly some other hues in between, which results in a dark but more "clean" hue teal-black. What I mean by clean is that it's not muddy, brown-tinged like, say, Sailor Jentle Miruai. Depending on pen, paper, and illumination this ink can look more blue-teal or more green-teal. The flow is one of the interesting characteristics of this ink: it feels "creamy" to write with. I like this tactility of the ink. It does not feather nor bleed through any of the decent-to-good paper I've used it with. It has pretty decent water resistance too: while it won't look neat if you splash water on your writing, a clear, dark gray line remains behind to salvage content. There is metallic magenta sheen. This ink will work in all types of nibs: from ultra extra fine to broad. Shading becomes increasingly more prominent with broader nibs. If you use broad nibs with this ink, I recommend uncoated and more absorbent paper. It's more smear-prone on Tomoe River with broad nibs. Scan: on Fabriano Bioprima 85g ivory-toned paper with 4mm dot grid Scan: on Tomoe River 52g White Scan: on a 100g A6 uncoated paper (the first GvFC Gulf Blue should read "Cobalt Blue" instead) Scan: on Tomoe River 52g Cream paper (the first GvFC Gulf Blue should read Cobalt Blue instead) Close-up photographs:
  3. I won't add much to previous fantastic reviews of this ink, such as the ones here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/335816-gulf-blue-graf-von-faber-castell/ But I will add my subjective impressions of using this ink and some more scans and photographs. Graf von Faber-Castell makes a luxury line of inks in beautiful, heavy glass bottles that will decorate any writing desk and will draw the eye. Despite the high price, the bottles contain 75ml of ink, so price per ml is actually reasonable. Considering other brands that sell in 20-30ml bottles for lower prices, but you get 2-3 times less ink. The packaging overall is top notch quality (personal note: I love the scent of the thick paper the box is made with, or maybe it's the ink used to print the graphics on the box). In my experience with 10 colors of GvFC ink, all are a varying degree of low lubrication and dryness. Some might be "liquidy" coming off the nib, but the overall ink flow will not be high. Colors like Moss Green, Cobalt Blue, and Hazelnut Brown are more saturated and a bit more lubricated. Deep Sea Green and Gulf Blue have little to no lubrication and are very dry, and so they benefit from juicy pens with smooth nibs. Or else you will feel every imperfection of your nib and texture of the paper you write on. Recently I have come to appreciate dry inks for the look they can provide if they are made of different hues of constituent dyes. This is the same type of dry flow and lack of lubrication one might find with certain translucent, multi-hue Sailor Manyo, Sailor Ink Studio, Troublemaker, and other inks of that nature. I am guessing the lack of surfactants, low saturation, and low lubrication are necessary to achieve color separation within a line, because some dyes flow farther than others, thus separating into gradients. Graf von Faber-Castell Gulf Blue is a multi-hue powder blue ink. It reminds me of blue hydrangea flowers, with areas of pale aqua-sky blue in dry areas and shifting to lavender in more saturated areas. It has a similar idea to Troublemaker Milky Ocean, but Milky Ocean is comparatively more purple-shifted and slightly more saturated. I highly recommend broad or cursive italic/stub nibs for this ink to get the most of the color gradient effect. The wetter your pen, the better, both for the smoother writing experience and for the ink to be more prominent on paper. Here is a scan of a mini-review sheet, paper is ivory-toned Fabriano Bioprima 85g with 4mm dot grid: Graf von Faber-Castell claims their inks are indelible. You can go back and forth about the ISO standard the brand uses, but in practical terms, the ink has some but low water resistance. The purplish line remains behind if you dab the wet writing with a paper towel quickly, and you might be able to read the original writing if the lines were thick enough, as you can see on the scan above (the grid lines are very faint compared to the cursive italic writing). The ink is pale to begin with, and the remaining lines are even more so. Here's a scan of some blue-turquoise inks next to Gulf Blue on ivory-toned Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook paper: Photographs: On Tomoe River 52g "white" in a Hobonichi Cousin planner: Fabriano Bioprima 85g, using water brushes: Comparison with Troublemaker Milky Ocean: Milky Ocean: Milky Ocean:
  4. Wistful-Ink

    Nine Light Green And Green Inks

    I'm on a quest to find the perfect ink for each of many different color and other categories. Here's what I have for greens thus far For greens, I'm looking for two different types of greens: Light green - a beautiful vibrant light tea green with lots of shading.Green - a solid green with some shading and/or sheen, not too blue or yellow, and not dark or olive green. For this review, I've done a comparison of the following inks thus far: Diamine - Emerald Ink sample vialNagasawa Kobe - #19 Minatogawa Lime Ink sample vialVinta Inks - Sea Kelp Leyte 1944 Ink sample vialColorverse - Albert Ink sample vialPenBBS - #159 Bitter Herb Ink sample vialPilot Iroshizuku - Chiku-rin 15 mL ink bottleDiamine Inkvent - Mistletoe 7 mL ink bottleColorverse - Sea of Tranquility Ink sample vialMonteverde - Olivine Ink sample vialI'll update with PenBBS Forgive Green, Diamine Elf, Diamine Holly, and Diamine Sherwood Green once I get all of those inked up in every pen. For each ink, I test on CD Apica notebook, Life Noble notebook, Rhodia dot paper, Tomoe River paper, and HP Premium32 paper. I accidentally bought the cream-colored Life Noble Notebook to use for this, so the colors come out different on that. The pens I'm using are a flex pen (Waterman or Noodler's Creaper with a Waterman nib), Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari, and 2 Nemosine stub pens. Please ignore my "Green" and "Light Green" headings for pages. That was to help me space out the ink samples in my notebooks, but I didn't always categorize inks properly based on what color I guessed they'd be. I also had to start over on the Chiku-rin because I didn't clean the pen out properly, which made it come out way more yellow than the ink actually is. There are also a few drips and smears from other inks because I'm not super careful about stacking paper. I'm not particularly concerned with water resistance in general, so I didn't intentionally review that aspect of any ink. I accidentally spilled some water on Diamine Emerald on TR. As you can see, it's not super water resistant, lol. I had a hard time taking images that looked properly lit and accurately captured the ink colors. Mad props to all those lovely reviews on FPN with beautiful images. If anyone has any tips/suggestions about how they do their ink review photos and uploads, please let me know.
  5. gsgill112

    Monteverde California Teal

    Hi Everyone, DISCLAIMER : This is my Second Ink Review on this forum so please comment and any Suggestions are Most Welcomed. First of all, A Big Thanks to LIVTEK INDIA for providing me the sample of this lovely Teal Ink, Do check them out at the link given above , That being said This is an Honest Review and I DO NOT REPRESENT LIVTEK OR MONTEVERDE IN ANY MANNER WHATSOEVER. 1. Sample So, I received this sample in a Monteverde 30ml Ink Bottle and was immediately impressed with the lovely Teal Colour with some awesome Red Sheen. Shaking the bottle and seeing the beautiful teal colour is just awesome. I was also impressed with the amount of sheen this ink has right ON the bottle and cap 2. Comparison ​SO to understand the Colour profile, I have classified them to similar inks I Own:- You can see right out that the ink is quite similar to Jacques Herbin 1670 Émeraude de Chivor (Emerald of Chivor ) and the Monteverde D.C SuperShow Teal (2019 Special Edn from Monteverde). All three have the same Red sheen and this ink falls somewhere in between the above two colours. It is slightly light than the Monteverde D.C SuperShow Teal (2019 Special Edn from Monteverde) and comparable to the J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor less the Golden Sparkles. 3. Writing Samples I am using a DIP PEN this time as --> This would be a standardised in my future reviews, --> It puts out good amount of Ink on paper, --> and I can test the cleanliness and staining factors easily. You can see the ink on the nib as well as the beautiful red SHEEN on the macro shot of the nib. and after letting the nib Dry for 5-10 days, dipping it in water and swirling the nib for 3-5 sec, the nib comes out squeaky clean ONLY in ONE DIP, without any traces of stains. So, This ink is VERY EAST TO CLEAN AND DOES NOT STAIN ANYTHING. Following is how the ink performed on different papers. (a). Ink Resistant Paper:- Writes perfectly with NO BLEED THROUGH OR FEATHERING, It does not shade at all and leaves a lovely Reddish Sheen on paper clearly visible COOL. The ink is very well behaved and lubricated and has the Monteverde ITF Technology . Though I experienced Huge Dry times on such paper but it looked Beautiful and It has a Beautiful Reddish sheen as found on Jacques Herbin 1670 Émeraude de Chivor (Emerald of Chivor ) and the Monteverde D.C SuperShow Teal (2019 Special Edn from Monteverde). This Ink DOES NOT SHADE WELL. NOTE : -- > I am using a very thin paper with wax kinna coating/ lubrication on paper making the paper highly ink resistant, although you can see the text on reverse, It is NOT Bleed through but rather the thin nature of the paper. ( . FP Friendly Paper The Ink writes perfectly and does NOT BLEEDTHROUGH even after putting a lot of ink on paper. It is really Saturated and the Colour just Pops out. Dry Times are really good. I does sheen even on the copy paper. (c ). Recycled Paper Well frankly speaking this is a (beep) of a paper very close to a News paper but the ink performed really well, I won't talk about the Dry Time on this paper as It is close to ZERO. The ink is immediately absorbed by the paper and you can see huge Feathering and Bleed Through, but taking into account the paper, it performed really well and the text is clearly visible. 4. Additional Properties I am a curious guy so, I did chromatography using a Tissue paper and it was Awesome, You can clearly see the Blue poking out even before I soak the tissue wet and once I do that the Light Blue / Turquoise crawls on a tangent to the Subtle Green tones (I am very bad with colours so please correct me if I am wrong here). Water Resistance:- The ink is NOT AT ALL WATER RESISTANT and completely fades out. On the brighter side it is really easy to clean from the pen. It is Advertised as a safe ink to use and I did not face any issues while enjoying this ink.It behaves really well. Don't think of keeping the big nib saturate with this colour for longer (say > 10 Min or so), It will dry up but somehow not completely, If you touch it once it is dried, it will definitely stain your hands and everything you touch BEAWARE. This is a water Drop Test on cheep Copy paper This is a 10Sec running tap water test :- Sheen Test :- As mentioned before the ink sheens quite well here are some shorts of that:- 5. Final Thoughts So, for about 1100 INR for a 90ml bottle you are getting an enormous and a well performed ink for very Cheep. I would definitely recommend this ink for daily carry purpose (Provided you like the colour) and anyone interested in a Teal Saturated colour (More towards green) with a hint of Gorgeous Red Sheen. All in all an wonderful ink to work with. Once again I would like to Thank LIVTEK INDIA for giving me this opportunity to test the Ink. Do visit them for some more interesting Inks from various brands such as Stipula, Monteverde, Etc.. and do click their Awesome Fountain Pen Collection. Thanks a lot for making through, please do comment if you have any other opinions, Stay Safe, Keep Enjoying the FP Journey, and Stay Curious Thanks & Regards, GS Gill Attached Images
  6. Bigeddie

    Montblanc Permanent Blue

    Hi all, Montblanc seem to be shaking up their line a bit, Midnight Blue is no longer listed as being a permanent ink and two new permanent inks are being introduced. The packaging is the same format as the existing inks with new graphics, All white with blue and black text. The bottle is the same shoe as we are used to with the existing line up (with the nice two part filling arrangement). http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5477/10108346353_779b6d73ca_z.jpgIMAGE_1.jpg by Bigeddie100, on Flickr Included below are samples of the new ink, and some from Royal Blue for comparison. My scanner is now older than some forum members, that is to say rather tired. I have taken photos in direct sunlight for comparison. Both inks were in Lamy Safari pens with medium nibs. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/10116527246_e1c1a9baf1_z.jpgMontblanc Permanent Blue on Rhodia by Bigeddie100, on Flickrhttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7386/10116406034_5589af727b_z.jpgMontblanc Royal Blue on Rhodia by Bigeddie100, on Flickr http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3671/10116489245_b6dc2e255b_z.jpg Montblanc Permanent Blue on copy paper by Bigeddie100, on Flickrhttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3722/10116459185_46749139fe_z.jpgMontblanc Royal Blue on copy paper by Bigeddie100, on Flickr Analysis:The flow of the new ink was surprisingly dry (much lighter flow than that of the new black ink), I was expecting more punch. The colour is a pleasant true blue (not so purple as the Royal Blue) with some nice shading. In terms of performance, there was no feathering, bleed or show through on the Rhodia. On the copy paper there was quite a lot of showthrough and bleed, much more so than Royal Blue; but the colour did not seem to soak in to the paper and spread as much, whereas Royal Blue lost a lot of it's density. Water resistance:These new permanent inks from MB are the first that I have seen with an ISO certification for permanence, here I am only testing water resistance when dry. The inks proved to be very water resistant, I would be hard pushed to detect the difference between inks before and after soaking. Certainly this ink along with the new Permanent Black are the most water resistant inks out there, unlike the pigment inks nothing floats off of them. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/10116653463_80c76125ea_z.jpgWater resistance in progress by Bigeddie100, on Flickrhttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3764/10116561223_bec75a871d_z.jpgWater resistance by Bigeddie100, on Flickr Conclusion: I like it, it's quite a nice colour and performs well on Rhodia paper, on cheap pulp the performance would suit one sided use, where the appearance is good but the bleed and show through are worse than non-permanent equivalents. The biggest downside is the price, these new inks are being sold from MB at £19 a bottle compared to £11 for the standard inks. For my uses (typically on FP friendly papers) I would stick to Royal Blue.
  7. A slightly different review of Nakaya Decapod TW in kuro-tamenuri. Why are my reviews different? I focus on urushi aspect. On technique used, quality of finish, care tips, longevity etc. Watch the video, and please click the LIKE button - it helps me with Youtube algorithms, and to reach more interested people. Subscribe to my channel if you want more
  8. tealeaf_egg

    3 Oysters Purple Gray Ink Review

    3Oysters (or 3 Oysters? who knows) is a Korean ink company. Their ink comes in 38mL cube-ish bottles that have a corner missing, so as to allow you to tip the bottle over and refill better. Or so they say, anyway - I was sent this in a sample bottle from amberleadavis. Thank you, Amber! I am really fond of this ink. It's not quite purple gray; I would call it a mild and calming fuschia. It reminds me of the orchids that my mom zealously tries to keep alive. A very nicely behaved and beautifully shading ink, with no major problems except lack of waterproofness, I suppose. Smoother and wetter than other unsaturated shady colors I have encountered. I am beyond captivated by how it looks in a demonstrator - here is a PenBBS 480 in the Smog colorway. Anyway, on to ink characteristics. Bleeding: Better than average Dry time: Average, perhaps a bit fast? Feathering: None on fp-friendly paper Haloing: Yes! Lubrication: Just a bit better than average Saturation: Unsaturated Shading: Heaps Sheen: None Smudging: None at normal moisture amounts Water Resistance: None Wetness: A bit better than average Closeups: Fine Nib Wing Sung 659 F on Campus Business line (moderately fp-friendly) I would honestly call the overall experience "comfortably readable". Obviously, your mileage may vary. 0.6 Stub PenBBS 352 on Campus Business Line (moderately fp-friendly) 0.6 Stub PenBBS 352 on Maruman Loose Leaf (very fp-friendly) Honestly, I don't know why it looks like there's white flecks. Probably from reflective surfaces of the paper. it's a solid purple IRL. Medium nib PenBBS 480 M on Stalogy (moderately fp-friendly) Medium Nib PenBBS 480 on Maruman Loose Leaf (very fp-friendly) Once again, sorry for the white flecks. Ink Comparison (it's in the middle) And of course, a doodle.
  9. This is a Parker 75 medium stub ciselé of around 1968-1971. Writing sample: The line thickness it produces is about 0.9 mm in width. This width is comfortable for writing characters of medium size (see also the writing comparison). The pen’s triangular section is thin, but it is very comfortable to hold. The pen as a whole is on the smaller side, but the nib is big. Since the pen is of some vintage it is a stub proper rather than cursive italic, i.e. the tipping is noticeably thick with the writing edge noticeably but not drastically rounded (see schematic). The side edges are not rounded so as to be visible with the naked eye; the Artpen is also like that whereas the bottom of the Dostoevsky’s tipping has no corners but only smooth curves. It will not tear paper however. All three pens are extremely forgiving with the Artpen being the one most able to be held entirely carefree as if it did not have a broad edge. The 75’s stub nib does not like very much smooth paper, either of the good (Rhodia) or of the cheaper (many modern notepads) variety. On Rhodia the 75 stub flies off the paper surface, often leaving no ink behind. Skipping on downstrokes is usual when writing at my usual speed, which is rather fast. By comparison, the Artpen iceskates on Rhodia leaving a thin film on ink behind and the Dostoevsky swims in its own ink. On school notebooks and on paper with cotton content the stub 75 performs consistently without problems and is definitely wet (the Dostoevsky and the Duofold are wetter, as can be seen on the comparison sheet). Some closeups of the nib: The pen feels light but with a perceptible substance in the hand. Overall, this is a gorgeous pen allowing some very expressive writing.
  10. Left hand paper: 90gsm Oxford Optik Right hand paper: 80gsm Pukka Dry time before water test: 12h Test Pen: Jinhao x250 - 1.1mm Jinhao stub nib Opinions: I remember always hating this ink before I "got in" to fountain pens, and simply used a fountain pen to write with, but I couldn't remember why, so comes on to cracking into my bottle for the first time in probably 15-20 years (I left school in 1999 and promptly stopped "having" to write). Ahh, yes, I remember now, the greyest excuse for black there is, that's why I hated it. But, perhaps with the extra knowledge and appreciation I have gained over the past two or so years of the fountain pen hobby offers some redeeming features for Quink "Wishy-Washy" black? Well, firstly, it is very well behaved, as in it doesn't spread or feather even on the Pukka paper, which is fairly absorbent. Bleed is minimal even using the stub, 'tis a dry, dry ink! This may be to your like or dislike depending on how you like your pens to write and in what circumstance you find most of your scribbling taking place. Personally? The majority of my scribbles happen on extremely cheap & nasty copier paper, so I'm all about those dry inks at work. Dry time is also excellent even on the Optik paper (which, IMHO, is way better than Rhodia...don't throw things at me!) which usually lets ink pool for some time (doing the water test on the Optik paper? The water droplet will just sit there for anywhere up to 30-40 minutes before drying/absorbing). Now, this one surprised me. Which it shouldn't. But, there is some permanence to it. Yes I know it is called "PERMANENT Black", but somehow that slipped my mind. The black dye washes away almost instantly but the remaining, largely blue, ink is still very legible. Looking at pricing you can be paying anywhere from £5 to £7 per 57ml bottle which is, pretty reasonable. Summary Being a bit of a sucker for dry inks, I am starting to re-appreciate Quink Black, I also have a penchant for permanence in my inks, because accidents can and do happen (often!). I would say that Quink Black is actually a pretty decent, reliable "everyday" ink if you are having to suffer "less-than-optimal" papers or have a gusher of a pen. Just wish there was more black in this black!
  11. Caeruleum

    Platinum Procyon Review

    First of all I want to mention this review by FPN user sova featuring stunning photos of the Turquoise blue Platinum Procyon. In my opinion the Platinum Procyon receives less attention than it deserves, thus I decided to write a review. I want to provide some information, share my experience using it daily and also take a look at why it might be not hugely popular. Introduction This review is meant to depict my personal opinion and valuation, thus I don't want to use points to rate aspects. Surely comparability is an advantage which makes using points worth considering, but neither am I an expert for the standards used nor could I compare a pen to dozens of first hand experiences with other pens. And frankly speaking in my eyes many reviews aren't objective which to me relativises the value of scores. Because of that I will try my best to describe my experience with this Procyon in a way which allows you to contrast it to your experiences and preferences. Platinum introduced this model in the summer of 2018 and named it after Procyon, the brightest star in the constellation of Canis Minor who in turn got its name from rising before Sirius, the brightest star visible in the night sky. Sirius is also known as dog star. Procyon stands for a distant relatives of dogs, too, the racoon. Hopefully the pictures I took will remind you more of a clear night sky than a racoon however. First Impressions My pen came in a black carboard box along with four cartridges. Platinum specially created three inks called Gold Ochre, Aqua Emerald and Dark Violet which accompanied the Procyon along with a instruction on how to recreate them yourself and a regular blue-black cartridge. Unfortunately this pen doesn't include a converter. The packaging is utilitarian, the unique ink cartridges are nice but I would have prefered a converter. This pen comes in five colours called Deap see, Porcelain white, Turquoise blue, Persimmon orange and Citrus yellow ranging from understated to pretty colourful. The dark blue doesn't attract attention, taking a closer look however reveils its twinkling. According to Platinum this colour is inspired by the deep sea, I link it to the stars. It has about the size of a Lamy Safari and feels solid. Appearance & Construction The Procyon's body and cap are made from laquered aluminium. The Deap See's base layer is of deep blue on which aluminium flake powder was added which gives the blue depth and creates twinkling. In a dark environment the sky-laquer of this pen resembles a starless night, with more light it becomes reminiscent of a clear night which allows one to see thousands of stars. The white one's laquer is smooth and shiny while the colourful versions feature matte laquer. The trim is silver coloured. "Procyon" and "Platinum Made in Japan" are written on the cap in capital latters. Its grip is made from semi-translucent dark grey plastic. Metal threads on both the grip and the body make a stury, long-lasting impression. Furthermore the threads are rectangular making them pleasant to touch. Usually the nib has a good chance to be the most interesting part and I don't want to say this one isn't but it isn't spectacular visually. It looks similar to nib the Preppy, Plaisir and Prefounte use but is larger. It lacks a breather hole and adornment is limited to Platinum's logo and a F or M indicating the nib size. Platinum proudly advertised this pen's new feed as it is able to draw ink from a hole below the nib at about half of the nib's length. This allows you to more easily fill your pen and use up bottled ink because to don't need to insert the entire nib into ink. Cleaning the pen after filling thus also becomes easier. My feed shows signs of Sailor Seiboku. Usually its black and clean. Besides this the Procyon also features the inner cap known from the 3776 Century which is supposed to prevent ink from drying out for up to two years. I didn't test that but notice its effect in comparison to a Waterman Hemisphere for example which lacks a inner cap. In the Hemisphere ink becomes less keen for writing for the first few letters after a day. Thanks to the inner cap this is no problem with the Procyon even with more difficult inks. Two things I don't like: I find the grey material below the semi-translucent plastic of the grip makes this part a bit cheap. I carry my pen in a pencil case in which there is no scissors, only pencils, two ballpoints and markers and treat it carefully but at the end of the barrel the laquer is coming of where the barrel transitions into the end finial as well as in one place on the barrel. That's disappointing to me and makes me apprehensive of the laquers future. Nib and Performance The nib is made from steel. Platinum claims the pentagon shape makes writing feel similar to a gold nib without much explanation of what exactly they imply. It is not soft or flexy but very stiff. As you might expect from a Japanese nib it runs relatively fine. The nib provides some even feedback and is audible when writing. It has medium flow and works very reliably, starts easily every time and feels controlled to me. There is no beautiful adornment but it works. Reverse writing is possible, makes for a very fine line. The flow keeps up well. Filling System and Maintenance Platinum uses a proprietary cartridge/converter system. I find their cartridges and converters to be of high quality and work reliably. While the cartridges contain quite a lot of ink I wished for a bigger converter. As I mentioned above there is no converter included. The converter's mouth is reinforced by a metal collar. Cost and Value The Procyon retails for around 50 US Dollars to 70 Euros. This makes it one of the more expensive steel-nibbed pens and maybe also is the reason it is less often recommended than other competitiors. There is a lot of competition in this price range. Lamy and Pilot for example both offer several pens up to this price range and at least in Europe you are also able to get a Pelikan M200 for this price. Additionally the Procyon will also compete with its new sibling, the Curidas. I think this Platinum has a lot to offer: a very reliable nib, good size and weight generally speaking, a handy feed, an excellent inner cap and a sturdy body. Its features are very reasonable and utilitarian, but maybe not flashy enough to stand out. Conclusion If you are looking for a understated, reliable next-level pen to accompany you in daily life and like its design, you will probably soon appreciate its qualities.
  12. AgentVenom

    Noodler's Ink - Blue Black

    *Originally posted on my Instagram on 5/17/2015. Ink Review: Noodler's Ink, Blue Black. Grade: 75.00%. Paper: Norcom Composition. I got this ink for my mother for Mothers Day. She wanted a dark blue ink to use at work, and she was gracious enough to let me have a vial or two so I could try it out. I know that Blue Black(BB) is a dark blue ink, but I could swear that sometimes I'm looking at a very dark aqua marine. If I had to compare this color to anything, I'd say it reminds me most of that deep blue color that some whales have. Overall, I think it's a very beautiful ink that has a lot of unique color qualities but still retains that "business appropriate" blue color that a lot of people are looking for. Although I will admit that Baystate Blue is my go to ink while at work, this ink isn't too far behind. It's a nice dark blue color that goes on evenly and writes very smoothly. It drys fairly quickly, but I've not had any problems with BB feathering on me in my Kaweco Skyline Sport. What has impressed me most about its performance is that it is very resistant to bleeding through the paper. Which is great considering this is an "office" ink, and as we all know, office paper doesn't usually get along very well with fountain pen ink. So you shouldn't have any trouble writing on both sides of the page. BB is also partially bulletproof. Which when you're talking about a Noodler's ink, means that the black components of the ink will be bulletproof, but the actual color will fade with water or any efforts to remove the ink. Noodler's Blue Black is a great blue ink you can use anywhere and in any office scenario. If you need a blue ink that has bulletproof qualities but don't want to deal with Baystate Blue's cleanup issues, then this ink would be a great choice for you.
  13. tealeaf_egg

    3 Oysters Mustard Review

    3Oysters (or 3 Oysters? who knows) is a Korean ink company. Mustard is part of their Delicious line, which come in 38mL cube-ish bottles that have a corner missing, so as to allow you to tip the bottle over and refill better. Or so they say, anyway - I wouldn't know, because this is from a sample from the generous amberleadavis. Thank you, Amber! This ink is a delightful dark mustardy yellow brown. I noticed that is seemed to "soak in" to papers a bit more compared to the average ink. I think I will save this to use on TR and such for the nice crisp halo. Bleeding: A bit more than average on bad paper; see the "soaking in" comment, but none on fp-friendly Dry time: Nothing out of the ordinary. Feathering: A bit more than average on bad paper; see the "soaking in" comment, but none on fp-friendly Haloing: Yes, and beautifully so, but not in a fine nib on moderately good paper Lubrication: Less than average Saturation: Average Shading: Very much. Sheen: None whatsoever Smudging: None when dry Water Resistance: Surprisingly, a bit survived after contact with some droplets, but don't bank on it. Wetness: Average Closeups: You can see here some weird white-ish spots in the text, making it look a bit chalky. These are present under magnification but really difficult to see in real life. Fine Nib Wing Sung 659 F, on Campus Business Line (moderately fp-friendly) 0.6 Stub PenBBS 352 on Maruman Loose Leaf (very fp-friendly) 0.6 Stub PenBBS 352 on Campus Business Line (moderately fp-friendly) Medium Nib PenBBS 480 on Campus Business Line (moderately fp-friendly) Water resistance and nice haloing 0.6 Stub on etranger di costarica paper (very fp-friendly) Comparison And a doodle!
  14. Red Fox is a Montblanc Limited Edition, based on their Le Petit Prince series. The ink is a dark brown orange, not unlike the fur of a fox. I wasn't sure what to expect of this ink to be honest, reviews are mixed, but in the past week I have been writing a lot with it. It's great for personal use and at the same time, despite being a dark orange, it's a color that you can easily use in an office environment to take down notes. For longer reads the color remains pleasant. The ink and its color surprised me and I must say, I really like this ink. At 35 euro for 50 ml the ink is expensive, but well worth it. It's a high quality ink. As expected, no feathering, no bleed-through on decent paper, shading is strong and excellent and the ink behaves extremely well in my Parker Duofold (medium nib). Lubrication is a bit better than most Montblanc inks I know but still, some pens have difficulties with it. TWSBI and Montblanc is not a good combination in my experience. This is a non permanent ink, water will severely damage your writing. Drying times are OK. To give an idea what the ink looks like, I have written several samples with both the Parker and a Lamy with a broad nib. The orange is very distinctive and quite different from other inks I own. At first I thought it would be closer to a red, but but the two colors that come closest are Orange Indien (J. Herbin) and Cornaline d'Egypte (Herbin 1798).
  15. the main review is below. This is an Indian notebook called ITC classmate which is dirt cheap and exceptionally fountain pen friendly - doesn't feather or spread with the worst offenders (in my case, Noodler's 54th Mass for spreading, Noodler's forest green for feathering); dry time is quick but inks retain their vibrancy and shade nicely. Only strikes against it is that it doesn't particularly help with sheen and its not bright-white (there's a slight red tinge to the pages). Anyway, enough about the paper. This review was written with a PenBBS 480 with a Mini fude F nib. Really its more like an M. Writes wetter than normal. Note: the color balance is off in the top 5th of the page - probably due to paper not being totally flat. The ink in that area looks murkier than in real life. Here are some comparisions to other browns (Kiowa Pecan is similar, Yama Guri, not really). Also how the inks looks on blobs, swatches, smudges and dry times. Overall thoughts: It is a very nice brown, rich color with shading variations and possibilities of sheen (and a nice ink even without the sheen); with good flow, quick-ish dry times and no major drawback as far as I can see, except the tendency to stain clear plastic (though not sure if it was just that one cartridge converter). Will be receiving some Clairefontaine and Tomoe River shortly (I am out of stock now and all but essentially deliveries are closed due to C-Virus). Will check on sheening then. The pooled ink drop shows some green sheen around the rim of the darker area.
  16. So today I got to my dusty now pen holder and took out 3 Twsbi ECOs which were sitting there unused for around 2 years half-inked. They did not dry! To my surprise they even wrote from first nib touch to the paper, amazing! The inks were quite decent quality as well, Iroshizuku Kon Peki, Sailor Yama-Dori and Souten, so that may have been a factor too, colours however did come out much darker than normally attributing for some H2O loss.
  17. Disclaimer: My reviews are about vintage pens I've been collecting for many years. So, please don't expect you can rush to the store or go online to find that particular pen I'm talking about immediately. Also, vintage pens will always be an adventure and in my opinion that's part of the fascination. Even if you find the same model, there's no guaranty that it will behave the same way as described here. Background: Kaweco as a brand name has made an amazing renaissance in the past several years since the original company went belly up some time in the 1980s presumably. Due to the efforts of H & M Gutberlet, several model names and the brand name have been resurrected but I believe that most FP users never got in touch with the original versions of a Kaweco Dia or Kaweco Sport to name only two of their most prominent model lines. So, here comes a short review of one of the ancestors, a Kaweco Dia 85. The model name "Dia" was introduced in 1934 to point to the clear ink window that became possible due to the new piston filling mechanism. Before the Dia, the Kaweco pens were safety, lever, or button fillers. Since then there have been numerous versions of the Dia and even models sharing the same model number can have different designs. The model I'm presenting here is a Dia 85 with FK ("fein/Kugel") nib. It also has a "101" imprinted on the barrel and I have no idea what that refers to. In fact, I have a second Dia 85 with M nib that is almost identical except for the position of the two narrow cap bands. This second Dia 85 has a "52" imprinted on the barrel. But now for the actual review. The outer values (design): This Kaweco Dia 85 was presumably produced roughly between 1946 and 1954 and is a typical representative of the German elegant black piston filler of the era. Anything colourful would have been considered extravagant or frivolous! It measures 125 mm capped, 117 mm uncapped, and 142 mm posted, quite a typical size for the period. The barrel is indeed slightly barrel-shaped with conical domes at both ends and with a short section, which is 9.2 mm at its thinnest (near the nib). The widest girth of the barrel is 11.8 mm right behind the ink window and the cap's girth is 13.2 mm. The piston knob is hidden by a blind cap and the piston mechanism is screwed into the barrel such that there is a 7 mm wide section of the barrel belonging to the piston housing. The imprints of the model number "85" and the nib type "FK" are on this visible ring, which is kind of a design element. To make it visible, the edges of the piston housing are very slightly knurled. There is another imprint on the barrel reading "Kaweco-Dia" which once had been gold but the paint is partially rubbed off. I probably should mention that this is a very well-used pen, a real daily worker. The ink window used to be green but has darkened almost completely, which is very common with these pens and presumably due to the use of iron gall inks over many years. The cap sports two narrow gold plated cap bands, a decorated clip with the "Kaweco" brand name, and an intricate inlaid gold plated finial in the cap screw. Both cap screw and blind cap are knurled and have a conical domed end. The cap also has two breather holes as typical for the era. The pen only weights 15.9 g and this light weight is due to the entire pen being made of celluloid with very few metal components. Finally, the pen is fitted with a 14k semi-flex gold nib with the imprint of the KAWECO logo together with "WARRANTED" and "14c-585". The inner values (technical stuff): The patented screw-in piston mechanism consists of the housing with a square inner boring, the piston rod with a square outer shape, a cork ring as seal held by a plug, which is fixed by a metal pin through the piston rod, the piston spiral inside the housing, and the knob attached to the spiral with another metal pin. The mechanism is rather simple but well-made and functional. It has been used with only minor modifications by Kaweco well into the 1960s. Expect that the cork seal has to be replaced after roughly 70 years! I did it for this one and recommend to be extremely careful or send it to an expert. Due to the construction, you can easily crack the barrel end when trying to unscrew the piston housing or crack the piston rod when knocking out the pin holding the plug of the cork seal. Anyway, with a good, working piston seal in place, the filling works flawlessly and probably will so for the next 50 or so years. If the old seal still works (sometimes after extensive soaking), I recommend to keep it wet all the time to prevent it from shrinking. By the way, the measured ink capacity is roughly 1.0 ml. Performance and balance: If you're not used to vintage pens of this kind, it might appear at first like you have nothing in your hand because it's so light-weight. It's also quite small compared to many modern pens. But once you get the knack of it, it's awesome. It's no different with this Kaweco Dia 85. In fact, it has the almost perfect balance for me, both unposted as well as posted. But I usually don't like to post my pens. When writing, my forefinger might rest on the threads but this doesn't irritate me. I don't feel the threads because I have a very light grip, maybe a result of writing with vintage pens all the time. So, the balance is nearly perfect, what about the writing performance? I'd say as close to perfect as it gets. Writing with this pen is completely effortless. The ink simply flows and even won't make a mess on crappy paper, though it is a medium wet nib (and feed) when compared to other pens of the era. There are no hard starts and no skipping and absolutely no pressure is required. This means that I can write for hours with this pen without the slightest sign of fatigue. I also can write very fast without any problems. And I won't need to worry when taking a thinking break because even without capping the pen for extended periods, it will start writing without any problems. The nib iteself I'd call semi-flex. It won't flex when used in normal or fast writing mode but you can flex it moderately if you want and it will give some line variation (maybe 2-3x). But it's quite clear that this nib was not meant for flex writing. However, the springiness of the nib results in a very nice writing feel together with the smooth tipping that gives just the right amount of feedback even on very slick paper like Clairefontaine or Rhodia. So, it is a little toothier than many modern pens with highly polished nibs (and all the problems that come with this). It's probably comparable to many Aurora nibs regarding feedback. On non-absorbent paper, the nib puts down a truely fine line when not flexed. The "Kugel", meaning sperical, tipping assures that the line has the same width in every direction. It was meant for people who cannot control the "rolling" of the pen and was a specialty nib in the era. The typical German nib till at least the 1960s was more chisel shaped what might be called a stub or cursive italic today. Anyway, the FK nib certainly would be a good choice for a beginner because it's very forgiving. Note: The top pen is the one I just restored and described here with the FK nib. The bottom pen is the mentioned second Dia 85 with M nib, which is not restored yet. I only repaired the badly bent nib so that it would write again. Conclusion: This is an absolute keeper, a very well balanced pen with an excellent nib and flawless filling mechanism. The design is rather understated but shows a lot of love for details if you are willing to look for them. Despite its age, it is an excellent EDC pen and I use this or similar pens all the time, these pens were meant to be used.
  18. Lamy is a well-known German writing utensils manufacturer, with products ranging from fountain pens and inks to mechanical pencils. Every year in the recent times Lamy has been releasing limited edition pens and inks themed after certain colors. Usually the limited edition inks are made to match a particular pen. For 2020, Lamy released a vivid, deep blue-green Al-Star fountain pen with a matching ink named Turmaline. Tourmaline is a mineral with a wide range of hues, ranging from pink to very green. Lamy's rendition is a blue-tinted green, or you might call it a very green teal. If I look at written text under diffuse daylight from my window, the color is decidedly green. Lamy Turmalin is significantly more green than J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor and Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku. It is not as green as Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green, but it is more green than any of the teal inks I have personally tried to date. The ink sheens quite easily in a magenta-red color, especially around the edges of the letters. Saturation is very high. Depending on paper and how wet your pen writes, it will range from a more green-turquoise to a deeper teal. Flow and "feel" of the ink in writing is similar to other Lamy inks I've tried. That is moderate-to-dry, depending on pen used, and moderately lubricated. Water resistance is extremely low--almost all of the ink lifts off and smears away, not leaving a readable line. The blue component is the most transient, so if you use a water brush to draw with this ink, the wash will be more blue than the base color of this ink. If you like nuanced inks, like the more translucent low-number Sailor Ink Studio series or something like Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine, this ink is the opposite -- punchy and saturated. Most of the nuance comes from the interesting variation from blue to green depending on illumination, and also from generous amount of sheen. As always, it's really difficult to show teal colors correctly, but hopefully showing this ink next to other well-known inks will be helpful for relative comparison. Photographs - the reason there are different tints on ivory paper is because I used a high quality multi-color-temperature lamp to enhance dull diffuse shade daylight from a nearby window to show off the colors better: Tomoe River 52g "white" : Scans: Fabriano Bioprima paper, comparing with Ku-Jaku. In person, Ku-Jaku is noticeably more blue and also more muted/grayed than Turmaline: Tomoe River 52g white: Nakabayashi Logical (/Swing) A-lined B5 size:
  19. volkswagenfox21

    Pilot Vanishing Point Review

    Pilot Vanishing Point, Broad Nib I wanted a pen for quick note taking, a gold nib, and not be too flashy in the visual department. I did some research and it looked like the Pilot Vanishing Point would meet my requirements. 18kt gold nib (broad, in my case), great for taking notes, because of it's retractable nib, and it looks nice and understated. http://i.imgur.com/mAl4zyG.jpg?1 The Pilot branding is not subtle. http://i.imgur.com/zac9ZGe.jpg?1 It's cool that you can put two more pens in the box. http://i.imgur.com/Mox3wj1.jpg?1 Lift up the "floor" to reveal the literature and that metal thing you need to put over the cartridge. Not in the picture are the converter and cartridge. Appearance & Design (9/10) http://i.imgur.com/d1N60da.jpg?1 I think the Vanishing Point, overall, is a very elegant, classy, and balanced looking pen. I chose the Gun Metal Gray version with rhodium accents. I don't think it's particularly flashy (not in this colour anyway) and that suits me just fine. The gray colour looks nice and deep, like the paint on a car, and narrow nib looks quite unique. It essentially looks like a retractable ballpoint pen with the clip on the wrong end. Some people might not like the positioning of the clip, but it makes sense, since this way the nib is pointed upwards rather than downwards when clipped into a shirt pocket. I like the clip's location, because it insures that I will never accidentally rotate the pen around while I am writing, which I do. Construction & Quality (10/10) Upon first fondle it's quite evident that this is a quality item. Nothing to complain about here. Weight & Dimensions (9/10) The pen for me is pretty heavy compared to some of the other ones I own. I don't write with a heavy hand, so the added weight pressing the pen down onto the paper makes it feel like the pen is doing all the work for me! It feels pretty balanced to hold, though people who like to post might find it not back-heavy enough. I never post the cap, so I'm fine with it. Nib & Performance (8.5/10) The nib 18kt gold and rhodium plated. I chose broad, since I figured it would be the closest to the Lamy medium nibs I'm used to. This nib is super smooth. Best feeling nib I've ever used, but it's also the only gold nibbed pen I've ever used, so I can't really say how well it performs compared to other gold nibs. Not only is it smooth, it also writes well holding the pen at a very vertical angle, which is how I prefer to write. There are a few issues, however. The pen starts out wet and gradually becomes a little drier the more I write, which is annoying sometimes. Occasionally there are hard starts and skips, but they aren't frequent enough to spoil the fun. I noticed that I'm getting the wetness and hard start/skipping problem mostly on Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper, but not with my Leuchturm notebooks. I tried Diamine Majestic Blue, Iroshizuku Ku-Jaki and Tsuki-yo, and Sailor Jentle Yama-dori with the pen. I had an issue with the pen drying out in less than 12 hours with Diamine Majestic Blue, but I've had similar problems with that ink in other pens. My experience with the other inks was great. Filling System & Maintenance (7/10) It is a cartridge/converter pen. The supplied converter doesn't hold much ink, which doesn't bother me since I switch inks before the pen is empty anyways. When using cartridges you have to use a weird metal thing and place it over the cartridge before reassembling your pen. http://i.imgur.com/U71RxCb.jpg?1 When filling from a bottle, the combined feed/nib unit is pretty convenient, because it's easy to wipe excess ink off of it. There is one thing that annoys me about this pen when cleaning it, though. There sometimes is a bit of ink that get's trapped by the door where the nib comes out of. What I do is take a syringe and blast water into the tip. Cost & Value (?/10) I paid $140US for it at Goulet Pens. Since I don't have experience with other pens at this price range, I'm not quite sure how the Vanishing Point would compare to them. Conclusion (Final score 8.5/10) I love this pen. It's my go to pen for most of what I do. It's elegant, feels great, and is just so smooth to write with. Sure there are a few issues with it, like the pen starting out wet and going a bit drier as I write, and the few skips and hard starts, but that's not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this pen. I like it for what I do, I'm glad it is now part of my collection, and it sees frequent use.
  20. Disclaimer: I enjoy doing mini ink reviews for my personal reference, and I'd like to share them with others if they might be of help to gain an insight into the ink's appearance and performance. I generally don't have time to put together super comprehensive reviews, like some of our fantastic reviewers here do (thank you so much for your hard work!), but hopefully these mini reviews will still be useful as another point of reference. My photographs are color-corrected and generally more accurate for color reference than the scans. Colorverse ~ Joy in the Ordinary ~ Brunch Date Colorverse, a Korean ink brand, is a fairly recent venture into fountain pen inks--as of the last few years. In that time, the brand has managed to quickly become quite popular with the on-line fountain pen community worldwide. Their color themes and naming are fun, generally Astronomy and Physics-inspired, with interesting colors and meticulous attention to detail with packaging. Normally, Colorverse inks come in 65mm round bottles with accompaying 15ml bottles, either of the same color, or the same color + shimmer, or a companion color. More recently colorverse started making oval-shaped 30ml bottles of some of the glistening companion inks as well as this new mini-line named "Joy in the Ordinary". Joy in the Ordinary celebrates mundane every-day-life things, like walking your dog in a park or, in this case, a brunch date/meeting. The colors in this line are soft and pastel-inspired, probably to further emphasize finding joy in nuances. I elected to try Brunch Date, as it seemed like a curious combination of brown-taupe and pink, which I found appealing and unusual. Looking at on-line reviews of this ink, it wasn't too clear just how brown-leaning this ink would be and how dark and legible. Now I've had the opportunity to test the ink myself. Fun packaging with great attention to detail: even the inside of the outer cardboard box has printed symbols on it--even the top cover flap edge did not go unadorned! This kind of ink color is difficult to represent correctly, but I'd like you to imagine a very translucent peachy pink that has been contaminated with gray-brown watercolor, mixed, et voila! In person, it's on the general pink spectrum, but very fashionable adult-pink or vintage faded pink rather than baby pink. You notice I have included J. Herbin's Rouille d'Ancre in the comparison -- that's because I immediately thought of that ink seeing Brunch Date. But the two are not the same. Rouille d'Ancre is a more pure color, Brunch Date has more gray-brown to tone it down. The ink layers and shades very well, going from super pale to fairly dark. There is a very visible dark outline effect in wet areas which aids with legibility. Water resistance is almost nonexistent: a highly faded yellowish line remains, but not necessarily enough of it to read what was left behind. Scans - not as accurate as the photographs above, imagine the scans slightly less vibrant pink and slightly peachy-brownish: Fabriano Brioprima 85g 4mm dot grid, ivory toned: Tomoe River 52g "white": Nakabayashi Logical Swing "A" loose leaf paper: Kokuyo A5 loose leaf paper: Some purple and pink-leaning inks for general reference: Comparison with PenBBS #178 "Rose Quartz" on Rhodia Dot Pad paper. "Rose Quartz" is super difficult to get right--it's more pink in person than on this scan. The Colorverse ink looks about right here: Conclusion: Fun ink. Whether you find it beautiful and enjoyable will be highly subjective to each individual. Personally, I like it a lot, and especially see it as being a beautiful ink for embellishing margins for main writing and also for drawing. It makes me think of dried flowers an dyed fabrics. Its lack of water resistance is disappointing to me, but it does seem to be a very safe and neutral ink of low saturation and neutral pH (Colorverse lists this one at pH of 6.9).
  21. THE PINEIDER AVATAR- AMBER DEMONSTRATOR A review of the Pineider Avatar UltraResin (“UR”) amber demonstrator HISTORY In 2016, Dante del Vecchio ended 30 years of association with Visconti to join Pineider, a venerable Florentine stationery manufacturer whose history stretches back to 1774. In an interesting and candid interview, http://blog.giardino.it/2018/08/the-renaissance-of-pineider-with-dante-del-vecchio/ Del Vecchio explains that, at the time of his decision to leave Visconti, there were plans for Pineider to have pens produced for them by Visconti: when his decision to move became known, Pineider offered him an opportunity to join them and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. Four years on, Pineider pens designed by Dante del Vecchio have been a major international success comparable to the arrival of Leonardo Officina Italiana and their “Momento Zero” fountain pens. With his legendary flair for design, del Vecchio has produced a series of beautiful fountain pens including the “Avatar” line. I had the good fortune to be one a “city break” in Rome to escape the rain and gloom of London at the end of February and happened to spot the Pineider shop near the Spanish Steps at 68 Via dei due Marcelli while shopping with my wife. FPN readers will be familiar with the next sequence of events: a long look through the shop window, the spotting of the fine writing instruments section, the “negotiations” with the spouse with the assurance that this is “just to have a look” and finally the stepping into the emporium… Like a bee to a flower, I went straight to the display of the new Pineider Avatars where the gorgeous Amber demonstrator was on display. In the interest of complete disclosure, I had already marked it as a “target” on previous internet searches… I already own the earlier Avatar in the “lipstick red” colour, which I have used with great enjoyment this past year but the Amber demonstrator is different: I have a particular love for demonstrators which clearly indicate the remaining level of ink and the working mechanism of the pen. (For a fine review of the Avatar lipstick red, I would recommend https://rupertarzeian.com/2018/05/19/pineider-avatar-fountain-pen-review/) Sparing you readers the details, a few moments later I was the happy owner of the new Pineider Amber Avatar UR demonstrator with a medium nib… Overall, I am delighted with it and the pen will accompany my Leuchturm 1917 notebook, tucked in the pocket these wonderful notebooks provide at the back. In terms of writing experience and design it is a very good pen and excellent value at €160. Nevertheless, there are a couple of negative points which prevent me from awarding it “5 Stars”. I would recommend it as a daily writer and jotter but Pineider should address a number of issues in its presentation and design which I will discuss in this review. CONSTRUCTION Information on the construction of this new line of Pineider Avatars can be found on their website at: https://www.pineider.com/en/fountain-pens/1253-avatar-ur-fountain-pen-steel-nib.html Pineider have used a mother of pearl compound resin in a special formula they call “UltraResin” or “UR”. The compound is very strong and tough and Pineider claim on their website that it is “nearly like metal, incredibly resistant to hits, very close to call it unbreakable”. I have not tested this claim of indestructibility for obvious reasons… but it certainly feels sturdy in the hand. Goldspot Pens did do resistance/breakages tests of the Avatar which shows it can withstand drops onto hard floors and similar every day accidents without damage- they even ran one over with a car, which left markings from the gravel on which the pen was crushed by the wheels of a car, but otherwise it survived… However, it did not survive being shot at with a gun or snapped by a metallic bear trap (!). For the exciting if distressing experience of seeing a fountain pen really undergoing stress tests, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o90-FLWDwok Another interesting fact is that these pens are manufactured without glue but instead by “3D engineering and high precision manufacturing”…” Every component precisely fit each other by simple framed parts.” I have no technical expertise to assess these claims, but they seem plausible in terms of toughness of the pen. So I would award 10/10 for construction. DESIGN The Pineider Avatar Amber demonstrator is a very stylish pen, as one would expect of anything produced by the great writing instrument maestro Dante del Vecchio. It is sleek, light in terms of weight but still with some heft so as to give the feeling that something substantial is in the hand, and it has a seductive warm amber transparent body that catches sunlight beautifully. Other versions of the new Pineider Avatar line are red, blue and clear transparent demonstrator: for me the first two are slightly predictable and boring colours while the clear demonstrator lacks the allure of the Amber version. A demonstrator, in my view, should do more than simply demonstrate: it should subtly attract the eye . In this Amber Avatar, I also like the choice of silver trimmings, especially the signature Pineider clip in the form of quill feather. Another nice touch is the steel cap at the end of the pen which matches very well the silver coloured central band. Here are a picture of the pen. An attractive feature of the Pineider Avatars is that they all have clips showing the skyline of Florence’s historical centre: the silhouette of the Duomo, the Brunelleschi Tower and the belfry of Santa Croce are clearly visible, next to the Pineider logo. This clip is, like all Avatars, a magnetic clip which is secure and reliable in closing. When I studied Italian at Florence University back in the early 1970s, I was incredibly fortunate to find a flat with frescoed ceilings right in the centre where these wonderful buildings are located: the band on the pen therefore brought a smile to me as I remembered the magical experience of living and studying in Dante Alighieri’s great city… The new Pineider Avatars also have a plastic sleeve to give the writer a firmer grip. In the earlier Pineider series, there was a steel section where the pen is gripped tapering down to the nib: I found this very acceptable and never had a problem of handling the pen but this new idea of adding a plastic sleeve to help grip more firmly is an agreeable new feature. In this Amber version, this is a golden sleeve that matches very well with the pen’s colouring. This is an excellent idea but there is a problem cleaning it after filling the pen- this is a drawback I’ll come to later. I write with this pen capped and uncapped; both are comfortable writing experiences. This is a very attractive and practical pen, with very imaginative standards of design. So 10/10 for design. WRITING EXPERIENCE Pineider Avatars use steel nibs of high quality, (produced by Bock). Pineider only offer fine or medium grades of the nib, which is a pity as they surely could expand the range to include extra fine, broad and stub/italic. If TWSBI can offer this, so should Pineider. I chose a medium nib and am happy with this decision as it has good flexy qualities. It keeps up well with writing at speed and is generally an excellent steel nib. The nib’s flow is a little dry for my taste but perfectly adequate. After several days of use, I found the pen’s nib very reliable with no skipping or hard starts. A writing sample is provided below. The scroll work decoration is pleasant to look at but nothing remarkable. Perhaps Pineider could be a little more imaginative with the decoration next time. So 9/10 for the nib and general writing experience, as it is limited to only two grades and a little dry. INK FILLING AND CAPACITY The Avatar is a cartridge converter pen, which accepts international/standard size cartridges. I believe its converter capacity is 0.86 ml which is quite sufficient for a sustained writing session. The converter Pineider supplies is stylish and it is nice to see the Pineider logo easily visible through the amber demonstrator body. It is not a threaded converter which I would have preferred. However, I rather dislike the way it has a sign in English stating “Ink level”. Why not write this in Italian? Surely there is no need to pander to the English-speaking market like this and the fine language of Dante, Boccacio and Petrarch should surely be celebrated and not be hidden… Instead, they could just as satisfactorily have only used the “notches” on the converter to mark the remaining supply. I do find this irritating and a sign of trying too hard to appeal to an Anglo-Saxon market. PRACTICALITY, INCLUDING CLEANING The pen is easy to clean as the converter can be extracted and cleaned, and the nib flushed clean. However, there is a problem with the result of inking the pen when filling the converter out of a bottle: some ink tends to seep under the plastic sleeve next to the nib (provided to give a more secure grip while writing). Here are a few photos of this happening: You can try to squeeze out the ink under the plastic cap manually, but this does not really work. The only solution (which is not suggested by the short booklet included in the box) is to take off the plastic “sleeve” and clean out the ink. This is not much of a bother, but it is not an entirely satisfactory process. I would therefore rate the converter and filling experience as 5/10. PRESENTATION AND PACKAGING (1/10) Unfortunately Pineider have decided to go cheap on the presentation of the new Avatars: instead of the lovely box that housed the earlier version (looking a bit like a mini écritoire in stylish black and fake white leather interior, including a sample of Pineider stationery), the new Avatars come in a cheap and rather tawdry looking cardboard box. This is a real shame, as one of the attractions of the first Avatar line was the presentation box with its free samples of stationery. Below is a picture of the box for the original Avatars (mine is a gorgeous “lipstick red” version of the pen): Instead, the new Pineider Avatar have this really cheap, poor quality box. This is real shame and I cannot give more than a 1/10 for presentation. Pineider really should do better than this! CONCLUSION This is a fine pen and I would recommend it for those looking for a reliable, attractive every day writer. It writes reliably and very comfortably and is sturdily built. For €160 it is good value and would make a very nice gift – or an affordable addition to a pen collection. Obviously, as the English saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. It does not write as wonderfully smoothly as a gold nib pen would, but then steel nibs can be very good long-term writing companions. Overall, my ratings would be: Rating (with 10 the maximum) Design 10 Construction 10 Nib/Writing experience 9 Practicality, including cleaning 5 Presentation and packaging 1 Overall 45/55 % 81%
  22. It all started on a very warm summer's day in July of 2016. I was working out of Shanghai at that time, and was going to a mall close by to meet a friend for lunch. It so happened that there was a promotion by Montblanc of their heritage rouge et noir line right on the main atrium on the ground floor of the mall which I completely chanced into. While waiting for my friend, I was browsing around their exhibits and lo and behold, spotted the famous, or rather infamous Axel, Montblanc's resident nib guru. I recognized him by face because Tom K at that time shared his experience getting a bespoke nib. At that time, he was about to finish his one on one sessions which you had to sign up for, and was preparing to head to the airport. I started to just chat with him about various MB nibs and expressed my dream of one day owning their calligraphy nib. He proceeded to invite me to sit down and chat. I started to pull out my notebook and when I showed him some of my writings, he immediately started to show me some of the nibs he could make. Long story short, I ended up with not one, but 2 bespoke nibs that day. One calligraphy nib, and one italic nib. I have seen and tried both the signature nib and calligraphy nib before when Montblanc first rolled out this service. That was at my local boutique in NYC with no guidance from a nib expert about a couple year back. It was super fun to use these nibs, but the bar of entry was high. Not just with the price, but also the process. They had to test you!!! I have always entertained the idea of getting one of these mythical nibs, but the idea of putting a deposit of such a HUGE sum of money sight unseen was not very reassuring. However, this time, with the ability to work with Axel in person, and his guidance, I decided to bite the bullet and commit. I went for the calligraphy nib, and I have to say it was a very good choice. The wait however, was not fun. When I finally got said pens in hand, it's February 2017. The calligraphy nib is nothing short of amazing. There is nothing in my 150+ collection of pens that come even close to it's width and special abilities. The closest I have is the 2.4 Pilot Parallel. It's actually even wider than the 2.4 as Axel called it 3.0 width. Unlike a lot of other very wide fountain pen calligraphy nibs, this nib does not have starting or starvation issues. It writes immediately when you touch the nib to paper. The other very special thing about the nib is it can still work when you lift the nib and write with the corner for thinner flourishes. This unique ability is something other VERY wide fountain pen nibs can't do. That's because this nib has extra channels cut into the corners of the nib that deliver ink to the entire width of the writing surface. Because this is a bespoke nib, I had an option to engrave my name to the nib. I find the idea of a nib with my name so strange because I have always intend to use this pen as a functional tool. I never wanted to get it as a significant occasion pen, which I guess most people do. So I decided to engrave the function purpose of the nib onto the side. Montblanc found this VERY unusual and asked many times whether the words I chose was correct:) I did say I had another nib made. Which was an italic. Perhaps I was caught up in the moment, and thought it might be very special to also get a Montblanc italic nib. On hindsight, it's definitely not as special as this calligraphy nib. In fact other pen makers make italic nibs that are much better without the high price and wait. If I were to do it again, I would only get calligraphy nib. Definitely stratospheric in price, but recommended wholeheartedly!
  23. nightfury11

    Diamine Oxblood - Homemade!

    Right so I was looking through my drawer one day and found a bottle of Sheaffer Red, Black, Royal Blue and Brown. I thought I should attempt at making something like Diamine Oxblood from these inks. It turned out AMAZING. The ink shades beautifully and the colour is way too good. Hope you'll enjoy Right. So the ink is very smooth and it writes beautifully. It's got a good dry time and shades well as well, you can zoom in on the uploaded photo if you like. So overall, these are the scores I'd give it: Smoothness: 4/5 Wetness: 4/5 Shading: 5/5 Drying time: 3/5 That gives us 18/20, which is quite respectable IMO. Attaching the file so you can download it if you want to.
  24. Cursive Child

    Diamine Aurora Borealis

    Nice, well behaved, ink from Diamine. Well lubricating, vivid blue-green closer to the green end of the spectrum. The significantly compressed scan is showing a greener and lighter tinge than it is. E.g. the Ku-Jaku comparison I have shows up bluer than on the scan.

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