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  1. Dear fellow Montblanc fans, We made an overview video about the new Montblanc Great Masters Red Python edition which was recently launched by Montblanc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtUOv6iq8Oo What do you think of this new addition of the Great Masters series? Which one is your favorite in this series?
  2. Hi guys! I'd like to share with you a quick video review of the diplomat aero (Steel nib) I made recently! I think this is an amazing pen and just wanted to share my thoughts and the unboxing experience with you guys if you are interested in getting one of your own! Video review link! I'd have to say that if you're on the fence about getting one, you should just pull the trigger and get one! Let me know if you guys have an questions or comments! Links to where to get one; Diplomat catalog; http://www.diplomat-pen.com/product-category/diplomat/aero/ Get one here!; https://www.overjoyed.xyz/product/diplomat-aero-blackorange-fountain-pen-fine-45591
  3. Lamy 2000 is probably the only pen which has maintained it’s popularity since it’s launch in 1966.It’s an iconic design & is nearly a perfect pen with just some minor flaws for a normal user with normal requirements. It is & it has always been a popular choice for people looking for good quality, durable and a starter gold nib pen. This particular model of Lamy has never got out fashion & still is a very popular due to it’s simple design & easy availability everywhere. Pros- Timeless Design Nice Piston With Great Ink Capacity Pen Reliability Easy Availability Durability Great Pricing (You can still find it around $99 on sales) Comes with a legacy True Workhorse which is good for long writing sessions Post-able Well Balanced Snap on cap Nice 14k gold nib which is usually wet out of the box (but it may require basic tuning in some cases) Nib Units are available separately with some retailers Cons- Poor Quality Control Some very small parts can easily lost while cleaning or disassembling Cap nubs could be annoying for few guys Only 1 black color. Poor Packaging Retail prices are just too much & still Lamy is constantly increasing them Some people don’t like hooded nibs Specifications- Capped Length: 5.5 in.(139.7mm) Posted Length: 6.188 in.(157.2mm) Length of Body: 4.9 in.(124.5mm) Length of Cap: 2.6 in.(66.0mm) Diameter of Body: 0.5 in.(12.7mm) Diameter of Cap: 0.6 in.(15.2mm) Weight: 0.8 oz.(22.68g) Body Material: Makrolon Section Material: Metal Nib Material: Gold Fill Mechanism: Piston Cartridge Type: Bottled Ink Ink Capacity: 1.35ml Cap Type: Snap On(Magnetic) Postable: Yes Demonstrator: No Clip Style: Spring Lever Lamy 2000 Makrolon no doubt is a classic fountain pen & is most common pen that most enthusiasts have or will like to get. It’s could recommend it to someone who is looking a simple looking fountain pen with a good nib which you can take anywhere you want & is reliable writer. Makrolon itself feels quite pleasant in hand – slightly textured. The matte finish of pen looks simple but is quite unique. I don’t recall other pen apart from Kaco Edge which has such feel & texture (which is called a Lamy 2000 clone by some people but I feel they are different designs). https://inkpenlover.wordpress....ince-1966-too-have-some-flaws/ Nib- The hooded medium nib is made from 14K gold ,it has a some amount of springiness but don’t expect any wonders. The flow is vey good and starts immediately after some days too. The nib is extremely smooth with just a little bit of feedback. You will like the nib for sure , but yeah Lamy is inconsistent with nibs , And their is sweet spot issue in some cases too. Performance- It is a piston filler with an ink capacity of approximately of 1.35 ml. It is a nice filling mechanism overall & work flawlessly. The pen has ink window too; although it is not that great. But yeah it is helpful. This is a great workhorse pen & you won’t have any troubles. It’s a slip cap, so a slight pull is all that is needed to uncap the pen and get writing. Removing the cap really reveals what all the fuss is about. There are no steps between elements or weird changes of angle, just a simple and continuous curve from where the nib emerges from the section to the end of the barrel.The body is round with blunt, flat ends & is comfortable to hold . There is a short brushed metal section which leads the eye down to a small, partially hooded 14K rhodium-plated gold nib. The only departure from curved lines comes with the underside of the section, which angles up more sharply towards the underside of the feed. Breather hole is hidden so it prevents pen from drying out .Some may not like this short brushed metal section. Overall- This is a great starter gold nib pen, its a simple design but its elegant . Nib is nice & flow is very good. It is a durable pen ,it will last you for years. It’s a nice pen if you get it for between $100-150 but keep the flaws in mind before buying. It’s not worth the current MRP. You can get Safari with gold nib too,I enjoy writing with it more- it's personal preference ! Full review link - https://inkpenlover.wordpress.com/2021/04/28/lamy-2000-makrolon-review-masterpiece-since-1966-too-have-some-flaws/[InkPenLover](https://inkpenlover.wordpress.com/2021/04/28/lamy-2000-makrolon-review-masterpiece-since-1966-too-have-some-flaws/)
  4. pscrybe

    Lingmo Lorelei Review

    Hi everyone. First review here and open to suggestions. This is largely pulled from my blog post on the Lorelei with minor edits for your reading pleasure! Appearance The Lorelei appears to be a dupe of the Sailor Procolor 500. Mine is a clear demonstrator with silver trim and the clear feed displays inks quite nicely. The brand name”LingMo” is engraved on the trim of the cap in a similar manner found on the Sailor Procolor. Even the font used is similar to Sailors and the similarities don’t end there. LingMo Lorelei Converter. Potential Sailor CON dupe.Filling System The pen came with a piston converter which, knowing Chinese brands, could be a duplicate of the Sailor converter though I do not have a Sailor pen to try it out with. The converter looks similar to the Sailor converter but has a small metal object inside to break surface tension of the ink and works fine, fitting securely into the section. So well in fact, that for a moment I thought it was not removable when I first tried to remove it ! I noticed that the section came with an O-ring which gave me hope that it could be converted into an eyedropper to further show off the ink inside and it’s demonstrator body. Those hopes were dashed, however, as the barrel isn’t a single piece of plastic but two pieces. A tiny little plug at the end of the barrel closes it off and will leak. I was devastated. Functionality The clip on the cap is sturdy but quite hard and probably will not clip onto thick fabrics without doing damage. The cap is a threaded cap which screws on securely, though I’d be careful about over-tightening and cracking it. The cap posts by friction, no rattling or anything, and the pen is light & comfortable to write with posted or unposted. The nib and feed are friction fit, making for easily disassembly and cleaning. Write-ability The F nib produces a 0.5 line. It is a hard nib that produces little line variation with quite a bit of force. Straight out of the box, the pen wrote well with normal ink flow. There were no hard starts or any fiddling necessary to get it writing. The line produced appears the same as a Platinum Preppy F though the nib on my Lorelei was somewhat scratchier than both the tester in the shop and my Platinum Preppy F, feeling more like my Preppy EF nib. The pen I have was also wetter than the one tested in the store which already had decent flow. Personally, I find the LingMo Lorelei aesthetically pleasing (more so than the Wing Sung 659), and it has worked very well for me with no leaks or ink flow issues. I found it disappointing that the fully plastic body cannot be made into an eyedropper, but this should not be a problem for those of us who prefer cartridges/converters. Overall, a nice and affordable beginner’s fountain pen with a classic look.
  5. As a newly active member in this forum, I have learnt so much from you all that I wanted give back with my first review. As I haven’t used a wide variety of fountain pens, I am not familiar with 100% of the terms used to describe the behaviour of the nibs. Instead, I will use analogies where appropriate, even if you find them terrible! To compensate for my lack of knowledge, I am reviewing not one, but 2 of these pens (well 2 different design variants). [TL:DR] If you don’t have time to read everything, the TL:DR version is in the highlights section at the bottom, along with the links to all of the photos. I created a separate photo album in Flickr for each pen so that you can focus on what you prefer. If you don’t want to scroll to the bottom, here are both photo albums: 1. S100 (M-Blue/Chrome) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Npb 2. S100 Ferrari (M-Black) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Rxv [Quick back story] As I mentioned in my intro message a few weeks ago, I joined this forum in 2009 after buying my first Fountain Pen, the Pilot Prera, while I was on holiday in Tokyo that same year. The pen was so good that I never bothered to log into FPN ever again! As I’ve been stuck in lockdowns in 20/21, I’ve been writing a lot more and needed a change as I finally got bored with it. It’s still a fantastic pen, but it needed a new home, so I sold it on eBay. The hunt for a new pen began in May 2021 along with my 2nd ever login to FPN after 12 years. Miraculously, the username and password still worked! [The 1st purchase: May ‘21] Once again, I got lucky. I walked into a jewellers shop in Bristol near where my parents live which has a tiny little cabinet in a corner containing the smallest selection of pens I had ever seen. It was clearly set up by someone who thought “I suppose we better have some pens just so that we can tick the box”. When I saw the Shaeffer 100 in Blue and Chrome, I asked if I could test it out because it looked so nice with the blue lacquer and chrome cap. It was a delight to use right from the start. As soon as I began writing, I knew I had to buy it. The (M) nib was buttery smooth. Overall, the pen felt even better than when I first tried the Prera all those years ago. I asked the price and he said it was £35. I couldn’t believe it. It felt like it cost at least £50 - £70. I just smiled and handed over the money immediately. Then let’s fast forward a few weeks into Jun ’21. As I always need a black and blue pen, I wanted to buy the pen in black too so that I could fill it with the matching ink colour. The shop didn’t have any, so I had a look online (I single handily reduced their fountain pen inventory by a third a few weeks earlier!). I found the Ferrari version of this pen at The Hamilton Pen Company, also at £35. The pen had a discrete Ferrari logo at the top. The yellow colour in the logo was a perfect complement to the all-black body and cap. I didn’t hesitate to order it because of my positive experience in the store with the original blue/chrome version. Hamilton’s customer service was excellent. The pen arrived the day after I ordered it. [Build Quality: 10/10] The metal body and grip section make the pen feel much more expensive than the price. It feels like you are writing with a luxury pen. It has a decent “premium” weight (Body: 21g, Total: 32g) and the quality of manufacturing is 10/10. No flaws anywhere on the body or grip. The nib is top notch as well. The pattern on the nib also makes it look really expensive. If you are thinking of buying this as a gift for someone, you should not hesitate. [Design: 9/10] 1. Size - This is a what I would call a regular sized pen, the kind which you would be used to buying in a stationary store. I’ve seen others call this a slim or small pen. It all depends on what you personally define as small or large. The S100 is similar in width and size to a Pentel Energel as you can see from my pictures. 2. Material – I love all metal pens, but I don’t like brushed metal which I find too slippery. I personally find this pen is rock solid when I hold it. I’m not a fan of mixed plastic and metal. I personally prefer either all metal or all plastic/resin like the Prera. Mixing the materials in a pen feels to me like buying a Rolls-Royce and then fitting tyres from a Ford Escort. Don’t do it. As George Bush would say: “you’re either with us, or against us”. 3. Colour and Finish – the lacquer and colour on both pens looks and feels premium and expensive. As I said earlier, these pens feel a lot more expensive than £35 each. 4. Clip – This is the only downside of this pen and why I didn’t give this section a 10/10. The clip is so stiff that you cannot pull it out enough to put inside a pocket. I don’t understand why Sheaffer have made it so stiff. The only reason I didn’t give a lower rating for this negative aspect of the pen is because I don’t put pens in a shirt or suit pocket. If I did, I would probably give the design score a 7/10 or 8/10 rating. [Nib: 10/10] - The (M) nibs that I got with both pens are extremely smooth and buttery when writing. However, as I will discuss later, the line width varies slightly depending on which ink I use. - The (M) nib is perfect if you are a newbie and want your pen to work immediately whether you use it every day, or every few days. I have not had any problems with hard starts or ink not flowing after a few days of not using them. - The decoration of the nib is beautiful and once again, is something I would expect from much more expensive pens. [Filling and Ink] When I first opened the pen and saw the way that the converter and attachment were designed, I wondered if I could simply draw up the ink from the end of the converter, and just wait for it to flow through to the feed. I decided to live life on the edge and break the rules of nib refilling. I can be a crazy b**ch sometimes. Thankfully, filling the converter directly worked fine. It was so much cleaner and tidier. The mess that I used to make with the Prera refilling via the nib made my desk look like a crime scene every time I had finished refilling. (I will add the photos of the attachment and pin when I next refill, you will be able to see the updates in both photo albums). I took this opportunity to try 2 new inks, one for each pen. With my old Prera, the only bottled ink I had ever used was Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao. That’s because it came with the pen in a gift box. I didn’t know it was anything special at the time! After a bit of research on Cult Pens, I decided to go for the Pelikan 4001 blue/black ink to match my blue pen and waited a day for it to arrive. Their service was top notch as it arrived on time the next day. For the black ink, I learnt from the FPN forum (and many YouTube ink reviews) that so many black inks actually come out grey. I did NOT want that at all. I learnt that Diamine Onyx Black was really black on paper. I ordered it from The Pen Company and it arrived within 2 days. [S100 with Pelikan 4001 Blue/Black Ink] I was very happy with the Pelikan 4001 Blue/Black Ink because it had exactly the kind of shade I was looking for. The ink is extremely high quality and has nice variation in different parts of my writing. It dries quickly so that was an added bonus. I also thought it was super smooth until… [S100 with Diamine Onyx Black] This ink blew me away. The smoothness far exceeded the Pelikan 4001 ink which I thought was excellent anyway. I’d say it feels 100% smoother than the Pelikan ink. [Sheaffer Cartridges: 0/10] While I was waiting for the Diamine Onyx Black to arrive in the post, I thought I would give the black Sheaffer ink cartridge a go. The Ferrari version of the pen came with one black and one blue cartridge. That was a mistake. The Sheaffer ink cartridge was terrible. The ink feathered a lot and ghosted heavily in my Moleskine diary. It also made blotches out of the eye of the nib too. AVOID using these cartridges at all costs. I assume the Sheaffer bottled ink is the same so I will not be buying that in future. [Writing Samples] (See examples in both photo albums). I have been using Claire Fontaine A5 ‘Age Bag’ notebooks for a decade because the paper is top quality and silky smooth. I found that using both pens in the Claire Fontaine notebook behaved in a way that I believe you would call scratchy. In other words, there was a tiny bit of resistance now and again. Not too much to be a problem at all, but this was the first time I used both pens in anything other than my diary and I was surprised! The S100 pens never skipped a beat when writing in my Moleskine A5 diary (which is thinner and lower quality paper than the Claire Fontaine). I also found that using the Diamine ink in my Moleskine diary makes the line a little thinner. The Pelikan ink in my blue pen appeared just the same thickness when using both types of paper. The Diamine ink ghosts more than the Pelikan ink in my Moleskine diary (in fact, the Pelikan hardly ghosts at all). The Pelikan ink is superior in this respect. There are no feathering issues at all with both inks. With the Claire Fontaine paper, ghosting and feathering is not a problem at all for either ink. [Summary] I hope you found this review to be useful. If it doesn’t include all of the details you would expect, I’d be happy to answer any other questions below. In summary, I’d say that the Sheffer 100 Fountain pen is perfect for both newbies and long-time Fountain Pen users who want a bullet-proof pen which works with a 100% guarantee each time. It would also make a perfect gift for use at work, or for students who value high quality items. I have really enjoyed using both pens (and both inks) and I’m looking forward to exploring more types of Fountain pens and inks in future. [TL:DR - Highlights] Photo albums (flickr): a. S100 (M-Blue/Chrome) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Npb b. S100 Ferrari (M-Black) - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmW84Rxv 1. [Build Quality: 10/10] – Solid pen, fantastic materials, top workmanship 2. [Design: 9/10] – The stiff clip is the only let down. If you’re the kind of person that puts a pen inside your shirt or suit jacket pocket, don’t buy this pen. 3. [Nib: 10/10] – Super smooth and beautifully designed 4. [Sheaffer cartridges: 0/10] – Sheaffer cartridges absolutely suck. Throw them away > pour jet fuel onto them > light match > end sequence.
  6. Pros- Beautiful Finish Perfectly Balanced Amazing Nib (both steel & gold nibs are amazing). Snap Cap Very Solid Pen, Almost Indestructible Comfortable grith Great Packing Cons- Price is very higher for steel nib variant , you will get too many gold nibs in this price segment. Clip is tight. Diplomat don’t has good Customer Service, incase your pen turns out to be faulty. It’s a Heavy Pen, And people with small hands won’t like this pen. Some things you need to know – Body Material – Lacquered Metal Cap Type- Snap Cap Filling Mechanism- Cartridge, Converter Grip Material- Resin Nib Size – Extra Fine, Fine, Medium Postable – Yes Trim – Silver Diameter Body – 13.1mm (0.52in) Diameter Cap – 14.4mm (0.57in) Grip Diameter- 10.2mm (0.40in) Length (Body) -128.5mm (5.06in) Length (Cap) – 62.9mm (2.48in) Length(Nib) – 22.4mm (0.88in) Length Overall – 138.5mm (5.45in) Weight (body) – 28.0g (0.99oz) Weight (cap) – 18.0g (0.63oz) Weight Overall – 46.0g (1.62oz) Capacity of convertor- 1.17 ml Other Aspects – Packing- Great! you will like the presentation. It contains pen resting on Diplomat Satin Pillow, converter,cartridge & service guide. Design – The pen is perfectly balanced,with a very simple minimalistic branding. It’s aesthetically pleasing. There is a small stepdown from the body to the grip section.You won’t have any issue with grip section.It is not smooth & even people with large hands will love this. Nib Performance- It has amazing steel nib, one of the best steel nibs I have ever used (my favorite still is OPUS 88 nib). It is very smooth & on par with many gold nibs. It also comes with gold nib , you have to pay extra $130 for it. I have it too, it is equally nice. It writes very well too. But price goes too high with gold nib, their are many amazing pens available in that category. For anyone looking for heavy pen with a good nib, I will recommend it. Note – I have three of these, one with steel nib & other with gold nib. Two were purchased by me from Goulet Pens & third one from a local store. Full Review Link- https://inkpenlover.wordpress.com/2021/05/15/diplomat-excellence-a2-skyline-review-a-pen-you-can-consider-in-sub-250-category/
  7. Pros- Strong Aluminum Body Nice Nib which has slight flex to it Very Light Weight yet sturdy Good For Long Writing Sessions Unique Design Cons- Cap Spins!!!! – hexagonal pen’s sides don’t always line up between the cap and body. It spins also while posted Converter Not Included Overpriced – Better pens are available at lesser price. Section can work itself loose from the body through writing One pen of mine had a baby bottom, so poor QC. Bad Customer Service. Specs & Things you should know- Material- Aluminium Snap On Cap Clip Material – Metal Clippable- Yes Converter – Not Included Diameter – Grip 7.7 mm Diameter – Max 13.1 mm ED Convertible- No Grip Material – Plastic Length Capped – 14.1 cm / 5.6 inches Length Uncapped- 12.3 cm / 4.8 inches Weight with Barrel (Empty)- 0.34 oz / 10 grams Weight with Cap – 0.27 oz / 8 grams Weight of Whole Pen (Empty)-0.62 oz / 17 gramsgrams Other Key Things – Packaging – Nice, but you should remember it doesn’t comes with converter. Design- Okay!! the pen has Faceted hexagonal body which looks nice but spinning cap is deal breaker for sure. It becomes too long when used posted. Some guys may not like this Slim Grip! Nib Performance – Nib is smooth & flexes a bit when pressure is applied on it. Overall- Unique design but many major drawbacks. And when compared to other pens in this price range it’s total disappointment. Note – I have 3 of these, I purchased these pens from GouletPens , JetPens & Fahrney’s pen. It retails from $55-65. Full Review Link - https://inkpenlover.wordpress.com/2021/05/13/caran-dache-849-fountain-pen-review-great-hexagonal-design-but-it-is-overpriced-has-major-flaws-too/
  8. collectorofmanythings

    Conklin All American Courage Red Review

    Today, I am reviewing the Conklin All American Limited Edition Courage Red pen. First of all, in my opinion Conklin get a lot of unnecessary bad press. While brands like Edison get wonderful reviews for their pens which often are around 170 bucks that come with a steel nib, and Conklin which also offers cast resins for sometimes over 100 cheaper, and they get horrible reviews. Now I am not saying that Edison pens aren’t great, because they are, I’m just saying that they are pricey for what they are, and, in my humble opinion, Conklin pens are a steal. If you don’t like the nibs, then you can get a Goulet nib or an Edison nib, and if you want a good nib, you can get an Edison gold nib or a JoWo gold nib from fpnibs.com (who offers the JoWo 14k gold nib at just $115!) in the #6 size. Sorry about that, now let me get back on track. This pen is a limited edition of 1898 pieces (Conklin was founded in 1898) and I personally have #0693. So be sure to get it while you can! Design and Build Quality (8.5/10) This pen is huge. It’s about the size of my hand. Granted, I have relatively small hands, but nevertheless it is huge. I can’t imagine anyone ever posting this pen. I personally don’t like reds and pinks a lot, but this pen really spoke to me because it reminds me of a betta fish I used to have when I was younger. Without that though, I don’t think I would have gotten it. It is medical themed, and it is called the Courage series because of the incredible amount of courage shoes by first responders during the pandemic. The clip has the medical snake around a pole, and then the cap band has a heartbeat in the front with another heartbeat on the back which is used to spell “COURAGE”. The body tapers down to the end. The swirls in this pen are magnificent. The material has such a depth to it, and it has pearlescent whites and thin streaks of black all throughout the semi-translucent red resin. It is just gorgeous and a sight to behold. When you unscrew the cap (which takes about 1.75 turns), it reveals a JoWo steel nib, in my case a 1.1 mm stub. It doesn’t have a lot of decoration, just the Conklin logo and Toledo, U.S.A. . The reason that it is a 8.5 out of 10 is because it’s just so huge. Nib and Writing Experience (7.5/10) The writing experience is pretty good. You can’t write incredibly quickly, or else you’ll get skipping. Otherwise, it works great. Relatively dry, but that can be fixed. Reverse writing is not recommended. Has pretty good line variation. Adds a nice bit of character to your writing. I have nothing wrong with this nib, it’s just like a lot of stubs where you have to be more thoughtful how you are writing. In fact, I like it quite a bit. Thank you for reading this review! As this is only my second review, please leave some constructive criticism! I would appreciate very much. Or, just tell me what you thought if the review! Just please leave a comment so I know what to keep doing and what to improve upon. Here are the pictures:
  9. Well, I bit the apple and made my first review video. In this overview of Yamamoto Paper's Cosmo Air Light, I ramble, talk about inks and pens, and caress the lovely paper. https://youtu.be/T4EkXfXDts4
  10. Hello again to all my FPN friends, When the original Moonman 80 came out, I resisted buying one because I already have more Parker 45s than I can remember. However, when the 80mini came out I knew it was worth a try, if only to be a recepticle for my favorite Parker 45 gold nibs. Although the quality isn't nearly as good as that of a real Parker 45, these pens still hold their own and nib swappability opens up endless possibilities. How cool is it that I can put a soft 14k UK Parker 45 OBB stub in a tiny pen that will fit in my pocketbook or even directly in my pocket?? Here are some of my impressions after taking the pen apart and playing around with it today: (This first page was written with the stock EF nib. Notice how hard it is to read due to how dry the pen writes.) (Problem solved with a quick and easy nib swap.) Size Comparisons: (top to bottom: Platinum Preppy 02; Pilot 78G; Delike Alpha; Moonman 80mini) Comparison of Nib Assemblies: (Parker 45 on the left; Moonman 80mini on the right) Notice the extra bits of plastic from the injection molding process still on the Moonman's feed and cowl. This leads me to believe that the Moonman will probably write much better if one uses a razor blade to scrape off the extra plastic bits and floss the channels. Moonman 80mini vs. my son's "moon man":
  11. There are some reviews on the Platinum Cool, which is also known as Platinum Balance, on FPN and other places. Nevertheless I think adding one more might contribute some more information, another perspective, experience and pictures. I had this pen in fine and medium and now use the fine for more than a year. Introduction This review is meant to depict my personal opinion and valuation. I wont use points to rate aspects. While I dont intend to criticize those who do, I dont want to evoke the semblance of objectivity. I am neither an expert for standards used nor could I compare this pen to dozens of others. Due to these limitations to what might be an ideal review, I will simply try my best to describe my experience with this model in a way which allows you to contrast it to your own experience and preferences. Nonetheless I will offer a few comparisons which might be useful. Platinum officially calls this model PGB-3000A and categorises it as a member of its Balance-family on its website. The Cool features a relatively springy steel nib in fine or medium, an acrylic resin torpedo-shaped body of medium size and weight. First Impressions The pen came in a nice-looking cardboard box which also included a Platinum proprietary cartridge and an instruction manual. Unfortunately there was no converter included. I was pleasantly surprised with the box. I wouldnt be ashamed to have the box be part of a present even though it was probably not necessarily meant to be displayed. While to me this pen feels solid and well made it cant keep up with the clear Platinum 3776 versions if we dont consider the price. The clear plastic with chrome trim looks modern. Appearance and Construction The Cool is available in three different colours, shining crystal, crystal blue and crystal rose. The clear one is, well, clear, the coloured ones are highly translucent. As I mentioned this pen is torpedo shaped, having a cap which becomes slightly wider towards the cap band and a barrel which then tapers towards its end. The Cool is mostly made from plastic. I like its quality because it really is clear, not prone to scratching and the material is quite thick which gives it a more sturdy impression than a Platinum Preppy. A Preppys barrel can be deformed when a lot of pressure is applied by hand, this one seems much more robust. One plastic part I strongly dislike is its cap insert. While it doesnt feature Platinums sophisticated slip and seal mechanism it still works well - but looks ugly. Being opaque white it doesnt match the design in my eyes. The point, I assume, is to hide traces of ink inside the cap. Where the insert is it does its job, however to me this isnt worth the effort as I consider it flawed in two ways. On the one hand this white insert is far more noticeable than ink stains in the cap, on the other hand at least in my case the white now is covered in blue spots all around its upper part where it occasionally had contact with the nib and these are more visible due to the higher contrast than those in the cap which exist where the insert cant cover them up. I would prefer a clear cap insert or a cap sealing reasonably without an insert. I'm aware my focus on staining might cast a negative light on the Cool. Thus I want to point out I don't consider this a weakness or criticize it - other pens suffer similarly from my decision to use such ink. I knew that and am fine with it, I simply look at this pen from this angle based on my personal experience. I am sure if you use non permanent colours you can maintain its transparency. The clip is simple, functional and sturdy adorned by a subtly engraved line around its rim only. Similarly utilitarian the cap band is narrow. On the cap directly above it JAPAN PLATINUM and Platinums Logo are engraved. A big part of the body is faceted though in a different way than a TWSBI Diamond as the facets are inside the barrel making its outside round and smooth. Thus the facets only affect the appearance and light refraction. Being clear the section allows the transparent feed and metal threads to be seen which probably is the most attractive and promotional aspect this pen offers. This feature makes the feed adopt the colour of your ink. In general lighter colours come across better, more like they look on paper than darker colours. The effect is similar to ink in a bottle or converter, the more ink light travels through the darker the colour will look like. Pigment inks however are an exception to this rule behaving less like this. Speaking of pigment inks, I already mentioned traces of ink and stains in the cap and insert, ink of course can also stain the feed. If you want to keep the feed completely transparent, I recommend to have this in mind when choosing an ink. In my photos you can see the effect of using Platinum Pigment Blue and Sailor Sei Boku for months (with regular cleaning). Cleanings results are limited with pigment inks. I dont think they damage or penetrate the plastic used but once they dry they are hard to remove because water then wont do anything. Removing dried pigment ink mechanically is possible, gently rubbing is enough, but limited to accessible areas and areas like the body and inside of the cap which are smooth. I am not able to completely remove stains from the feed. If you tried it with an ultrasonic cleaner I would love to read about your experience. The sections circumference is on the narrow side, I would say. Wider than a Pilot Metropolitan section for example or a Waterman Hemispheres one, which for me is not comfortable. I recommend Goulets Pen Plaza for comparisons. Since the connection between section and barrel is made from metal the front part is heavier than the plastic back where only the converter adds weight. The section unfortunately comes with another downside as its threads are sharp enough to abrase material from the plastic threads on the barrel, at least in my case. Im sure this wont be more than an aesthetic problem for the next few years but it doesnt improve the experience either. Weight and Dimensions Length capped: 139,5mm 5,5in Length posted: ~154mm 6,1in Length uncapped: ~126mm 5in Weight body: 13g 0,46oz Weight cap: 5g 0,18oz The more subjective assessment: This model is section-heavy but works well. Posting for me adds too much weight to the back. The Cool is about as heavy/light as a Lamy Safari. Nib and Performance As already mentioned the nib is made from steel and available in fine and medium. The nib is rather small, normal sized for the pens overall size. In contrast to most Japanese and Platinum pens in this model the line width runs similar to an average European fountain pen. I also found both the medium and fine rather wet. Combined this results in rather wide lines, maybe even compared to some fine running European brands. How it feels writing is more congruent to other Platinum pens as mine write smoothly and with some even feedback. An interesting feature is the relatively springy nib. Following the logic of what Platinum says about the new Platinum Procyon this might be due to the pentagon-shaped nib. It offers more flexibility than a Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan to which I compared it before, I wouldnt call it flex though. My experience is limited but considering what I have seen it also is much less flexible than a Pilot Falcon or FA nib. When pressure is applied the line width increases, more noticeable in the fine than the medium, as well as the ink flow. You can reasonably expect the line width to become 1,5 times as wide, maybe to double. During normal writing the effect is very small, writing feels springier than with a nail-like steel nib. But I wouldnt recommend to constantly apply (a lot of) pressure, to me this nib doesnt feel like it would like this. The ink flow is even, doesnt decrease over time and easily keeps up with fast writing. Edit: The symbol on the left means 'fine', the one on the right 'medium'. Both nibs are silver coloured, the ambient light affected the reflection. Filling System and Maintenance Platinum uses a proprietary cartridge/converter system. There was no converter included which is common at this price point. Buying one is worth it I think. The converter is very well made overall, feels sturdy and can be taken apart for cleaning if you wish so. Its mouth is made from plastic surrounded by a metal ring. The clear part stood up surprisingly well against staining being still clear. The shroud is from metal again. Take a look at the pictures to see the piston mechanism inside the converter. The knob is made from plastic and features grooves, turning it feels controlled. Platinums cartridges are smaller than large standard international ones, and close in size to Pilot's cartridges. Their body is fairly thick and they contain a metal ball agitator. Cost and Value The Platinum Cool retails for about 40 US-Dollar in the US. I havent seen it at European retailers and must admit I dont know much about other markets. Some companies offer it for around 25 Dollar/Euro. Customer care usually is limited if you would have to send it back to Japan from Europe for example but these shipping costs probably exceed their benefits anyway at this price. The Cool can be considered an entry-level pen, maybe an upgrade to a Preppy or Plaisir. There are a lot of good competitors. I can name the Safari and Metropolitan again, but there are many more. I think the Cool cannot surpass them in writing experience, construction quality or filling-system but neither lacks behind. A clearer reason to buy is its transparent body and feed. Conclusion The Platinum Cool is an affordable demonstrator which offers reliable and controlled writing. Its transparent feed makes it special. If you aim for a super-smooth entry-level pen, look elsewhere. If you like the design you probably wont be disappointed by its other features. Feedback, criticism and further questions or opinions are welcome. Feel free to point out language mistakes I might have made. Edit 1: removed my remark on what the symbol on the nib stands for. It indicates the nib size,but I probably mixed up fine and medium. Edit 2: added picture for comparison of the symbols adorning the nib which mean 'fine' and 'medium'. Thanks for pointing out my mistake, Pseudo88.
  12. Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. However, within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ twelfth series. It is named after the city of Hangzhou in eastern China. Hangzhou is famous for its beautiful scenery and is where longjing green tea is grown (a wonderful tea which I highly recommend). This tea is pan-roasted so the color is a little darker than some other green teas. I think the color of this ink is a good representation of the color of the tea leaves, although I don’t know if that’s what the ink makers were going for. What do you think? The color may just be a reference to the city’s natural scenery. The color is slightly darker and greener than the olive Penbbs ink No. 132 that I reviewed previously. This makes it more useful for daily writing. The color is certainly gentle on the eyes. This ink gives some shading on all papers with wider nibs. Its drying time is a little longer than No. 132, but it also feathers a little less. Bleed through was quite bad on Moleskine, but on other papers it was passable with wet nibs and non-existent with the Japanese fine nib. This ink is slightly water resistant as well. The darker green component remains to leave a barely legible line while the rest washes off. The interesting color and shading make this a nice ink, but as with ink No. 132, it feathers and bleeds too much for my taste. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Mini-comparison (No. 157 is at the bottom) [My apologies that I don’t have any inks close to this color to do an adequate comparison. No. 157 mistakenly appears lighter than No. 132 on this image. ] SDG
  13. James Purdey & Sons Single Malt scented ink was released in 2018 by Montblanc as part of a series in collaboration with James A. Purdey, a gunmaker and hunting lifestyle brand. The ink surprised me! Single malt scented ink sounded at first like a (overpriced) gimmick and to some extend it is of course. But the color is a deep, beautiful orange-brown with amazing shading. Definitely a fall color which can be used in both a business environment (note taking) as well as for personal writing and correspondence. Be careful though, when opening the bottle or the pen cap the whisky scent is quite strong. It might be frowned upon at 830am when the meeting starts... The scent fades quickly though, within minutes. After 20-30 minutes the smell of the paper itself always wins. The ink behaves like most Montblanc inks I own. Perfect behavior in a broad, wide nib. A bit dry and with a strong dislike for TWSBI pens. The shading is wonderful, no feathering, and no show-through. Drying time is well below average at roughly 22 seconds. As can be seen, the ink doesn't really appreciate water. This ink is the most bright, orange-brown ink I have. SBRE brown (P.W. Akkerman) is not far off, Comte de l'Or (produced by Diamine) is much more gold (of course), Herbin's café des Îles and Caroube de Chypre have far less orange in them and are a more true brown. The ink will definitely gain some attention in the office, but I will use it for a while. I really like it. N.B. Review written on Original Crown Mill Vellum paper
  14. I've just purchased a bottle of Sailor Jentle Ink called "Doyou" which means mid-summer in Japanese. It's one of the eight inks of their "Colours of Four Seasons" line. Many people like Oku-yama and Yama-dori of this line, and this Doyou one is relatively rare and I was not able to find many reviews of it. I want a darker colour but not totally (boring) black, so I went for Doyou. This is my first review (here or anywhere). I hope I've done it right. It comes with a 50ml bottle with a "reservoir": flip the bottle upside-down before inking the pen and the ink will stay in a small "cone" which makes it easier to fill. When written with a finer nib, Doyou is a dark brown colour which could be mistaken as black without side-by-side comparison with a black ink. But if you look carefully you'll see it's a warm brown with a hint of red. This may refer to the colour of land in a hot summer day I guess? I think it's an understated colour suitable for work if you don't want to use a boring black. It dries fairly fast, no feathering or bleedthrough on Rhodia paper. With fine nibs there is virtually no shading though. It's a rather wet ink in my Pilot VP. The swabs show a less darker colour with a tiny bit shading. In the smear test I ran a wet finger across it twice. It leaves a red-brownish trace and you can still see the lines very clearly. The drip test shows that it has quite a decent waterproofness. All in all I think I quite like this ink. I don't have a black ink at hand for comparison, so I used the darkest (the least bright) colour available to me, which is R&K Salix, for a comparison. I have also a few words in R&K Scabiosa in my "ink journal" so I took a picture of it and put it side by side with Doyou as a comparison. Scabiosa has more of a purple hint to it. This is my first review and any suggestion or advice is welcomed! Some close-ups:
  15. Has anyone bought from this website and if so how was the experience?
  16. Normally I’m a fan of italian fountain pens. I started off with a Pelikan M800 though – the benchmark of a good, full-size piston filler. I was very satisfied with the Pelikan, it seemed to be everything I ever wanted from a fountain pen, I would never need another one. But later, after falling in love with the looks of it, I ordered a Delta Dolcevita and completely changed my point of view for what fountain pens are about. Handling the Dolcevita was like holding a Faberge egg in my hand, the Pelikan reminded of a free merchandise pen in comparison. The Italian culture has a profound feel for the exquisite, stemming from old tradition and masters like Bernini, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The Germans have great composers and philosophers, but let’s face it; they have no one even close to the Italian masters of fine arts. For some time it seemed I would never buy any other pens but Italian. Then I happened to read this article on Diplomat pens: http://www.fieldnotesblog.com.au/search/label/diplomat. Until then I had always considered Diplomat pens a bit boring; traditional design, no nonsense, heavy and solid – in other words extremely German. But after reading the article in Field Notes, I couldn’t wait to order one. Now, after two weeks with my Diplomat Excellence A with a 14 Kt gold medium nib, it seems the Germans have turned the tables on fountain pens again. What a fantastic pen this is! Plain and modest in comparison to most Italians, yes, but what a performer it is, and some value for money! The pens come in several colours and finishes. Mine is a Marrakesh; a brown metallic lacquer – just one colour but thousands of nuances depending on light and environment. Fine pens are a lot about material and finish. Several makers of expensive pens can perform the same (high) level of finish as Diplomat, but this utmost feeling of everlasting quality I haven’t experienced in any other pen. The sense of solidness when unscrewing the barrel, the weight of the all-metal body, the smoothness of the beautiful in-house nib, all make a combination that is hard to describe – it’s not a feeling of luxury, but something more subtle, maybe what the Germans call “Ausgewogenheit”, a kind of fine balance, a balance between utility and beauty. If this pen was a car, it would be a Mercedes W123; the durable, yet slightly gilt-edged workhorse from the 70’s and 80’s. Writing with the Diplomat Excellence, the nib is quite “present” between your fingertips. In comparison, the Delta Dolcevita feels more like a unity of nib and barrel. With the Diplomat you really feel that you’re writing with a fairly large nib, fitted to a heavy, solid barrel. I haven’t yet decided which writing experience to prefer, I like them both. Guess it’s a matter of writing technique and personal preferences. The nib is wet and smooth, and I haven’t experienced even the slightest disturbance of ink flow. This is a first class writing instrument at all levels! I hope these pens will remain on the market for years to come. They are reminders of a time when people cared for their handwriting, and for accessories that would stay with them for a lifetime. (Sorry about the pics, I'm a lousy photographer...)
  17. This is the second brown ink I am reviewing together with the Vaikhari - it is a nice medium brown from Noodler's - called Kiowa Pecan. I haven't had much good luck with Noodler's inks - for one reason or the other, most of them havent worked well for me. This one though, is probably the Noodler's that I like the most and gives me least trouble. In comparison with Vaikhari and Iro Yama Guri. N-KP is lighter than both , though some shades are very similar to Vaikhari - However, the Vaikhari has auburn/ burnt sienna tinges on the lighter shades and Kiowa Pecan's lighter notes tend toward golden browns. Dry times are on the longer side; about 30 secs on these scrubbies with a Bock F nib. But real life writing seems to dry much faster. Overall: I really like the color and how the ink behaves with most papers. the shading is beautiful, encompassing a wide variety of browns. This is a great ink from Noodler's.
  18. Hey guys! During my recent travels to Japan, i found a unique wooden fountain pen case from Storio. I'd never heard of the brand before but the moment i saw the case i fell in love with the way it looked and felt, so I just had to get one! I thought I'd just shed some light on this relatively unknown brand, as i think this case is beautiful and worth every penny. It looks professional and sleek/ stealthy, yet is interesting enough to get anyone who lays eyes on it to start a conversation about it! If you guys are interested, i made a video review about it! Theres also a link to where to get one if youre interested! Let me know if you guys have any questions or comments about it! Edit; There seems to be an issue with the audio. I will update the post when i reupload a new one! Edit 2; Audio issue has been resolved!
  19. Dimy

    Taccia Cha Review

    Taccia Cha ink review Disclaimer- First ink review here and would appreciate pointers if I missed something or if there is any information that one needs to know specifically not mentioned here also I lack other browns to compare color big apologies I don't have too many inks. First let me take a moment to address the elephant in the room, box and bottle. Bottle has big mouth for any pens is no issues with filling, but then when ink is low...I don’t know cos I cant see any mechanism to help here..its just a nice bottle. Box is not paper like most inks (not 100% at least) it sure does not feel like one, more durable and stronger with inside fins designed to keep ink from moving around and requires some effort to open as the top acts like a lock (its not hard just not too easy either basically the box does what box should do protect the ink)...not bad considering my waterman came out of box during shipping. I love how they say not to use it for anything other then writing.....makes me want to draw something Taccia Cha is a brown ink with slight hint of redness in it . Its quite nice ink and behaves very nicely on any and all papers that I tried it on. Shading potential though looks a bit questionable in all my test papers but who knows maybe Tomoe river will show some results, but that will have to wait till Christmas not too hopeful here (fingers crossed). Performance is good on absorbent papers and copy papers with all properties being same. Fun fact they draw a tea on cover and its quite accurate one just needs to add ton of tea leaves and burn the tea itself to get this deep brown with reddish hint as per say burnt tea...and I like this..the color not burnt tea . Saturation- good Bleed- none Feathering- none Smudges-none Lubrication-great Ghosting (show-through)- none on most papers apart from cheap guys. Flow- good. Wet/Dry- Its in between wet and dry but tilts slightly to wetter side..nice balance if one asks me. Dry time (approx) - 9-10 sec on 75 GSM copy paper, 11-12 sec on JK cedar 100 GSM paper, 8-9 sec on classmate register (no idea of GSM..I think its 52 from what I remember). I have tried to get as accurate color as I could with pee shooter of phone camera, they are pretty near just color is darker in real by a margin. Water resistance test method was putting drops of water for 30 sec in first sample and 1 min in second sample then wiping with cloth to try to remove the ink. Water resistance is very low (none to be honest). Second test I did not bother as ink wont survive that one (that involves putting ink paper under tap with mug below and letting the ink get dipped in it followed by wiping the paper with cloth to recreate floods or rain case). All in all a very good ink and if you like the color then go for it its great to work with. No water resistance is a bummer but hey Taccia themselves make it clear these are not so no big deal.
  20. Taccia overview: Taccia is a Taiwanese-American brand started in California, that has been recently been bought by the Nakabayashi company. Nakabayashi is a maker of a long list of home and office products who have, under the Taccia brand, begun making fountain pen inks. All Taccia inks are made in Japan. There is some speculation as to whether Sailor makes the Taccia inks, but I have found no evidence to prove this. What I can say, according the the information I was able to gather is that at the time when Nakabayashi bought Taccia and wanted to release inks under that brand, they entered into an agreement with Sailor for the purposes of expert ink consultation. A couple of the Taccia standard line bear a striking resemblance to Sailor Jentle/Shikiori inks. Outside and within the standard line, they have a few unique inks. Also, Taccia inks I have tried do not have that "Sailor-made smell" you are all so familiar with. The Ukiyo-e Ink Series was released overseas in 2019. In March 2020, a second series of 8 inks was released. These are for Utamara Hiroshige and Kitagawa Utamaro. I saw the release post on the Nagasawa Instagram page and emailed them directly for order. As of this publication, other Japanese bungu retailers have received stocks. They were Y1,600 or USD15 for each 40ml bottle of ink. The below translated names in Japanese and English are credited unchanged to Nagasawa Kobe Stationary store. Second Series Taccia Ukiyo-e Includes: 歌川広重(Hiroshige Utagawa) 1.広重浅縹(Hiroshige asahanada) 2.広重瑠璃(Hiroshige Ruri) 3.広重中紫(Hiroshige Nakamurasaki) 4.広重藍鼠(Hiroshige Ainezu) 喜多川歌麿(Utamaro Kitagawa) 5.歌麿紅桜(Utamaro Beni Zakura) 6.歌麿青紫(Utamaro Aomurasaki) 7.歌麿薄墨(Utamaro Usuzumi) 8.歌麿梅紫(Utamaro Umemurasaki) I’ve only opened one of the inks so far, and that is Taccia Hiroshige Ainezu. Now let’s get into the review. Online images are unhelpful. Taccia's own marketing materials do not give a fair representation of any of the inks I've tried. I would have sworn, from seeing their images and sample writing, that Ainezu was going to be a blue-black ink. I was way off. Ink bottle opening will fit large nibs comfortably, they are 40ml glass bottles with metal caps. The packaging is lovely, and far larger than the bottle needs in space to fit, which is nice, as this means the box artwork is easier to admire. Packaging & Bottle Each bottle comes packaged with a sturdy card. I've included both series below. The good stuff. Tomoe River Paper 52gsm White This is a gray ink, through and through. What I am able to cypher from the Kanji is that Ainezu means indigo-tinged gray. The kanji: 藍鼠 藍 ai / indigo 鼠 nezu / dark gray Ink Characteristics 1. Well-behaved 2. No feathering 3. No bleed-through 4. Acceptably wet 5. Smooth flowing, not gushing 6. Good shading in right pen [light to dark gray] 7. Easy cleaning with a few flushes 8. No staining discovered 9. Unexpected water resistance Other Ink properties you might find interesting is the ink goes on as a super-dark gray, almost black. It lightens as it dries which makes writing easy on the eyes. This is the opposite effect of Montblanc Spider Web Grey, which goes on nearly invisible when wet and dries darker. I prefer the former over the latter. As for the sheen, it is seen in the borders between light and dark, and is red and coppery. It does not overwhelm. The ink also looks quite light or dark depending on the paper and pen used. The shading also varies greatly under these conditions. Rhodia Dotpad Life Bank Paper Mead notebook paper / college ruled There is barely any feathering, which is quite good considering the wetness of the pen (and the terrible quality of the paper). It only shows up on close inspection. Even in this image it is difficult to spot. Water drop test Rhodia Water drown and dab test Rhodia Rubbed in and swirled. Pretty good. Both water tests left for 2+ minutes. Ink also dry for 2 minutes. Dry times Pretty average. Comparison Tomoe River Paper 52gsm Cream That's it! I do believe that we should receive this second set at some point, as we have had everything except for the special editions and the jeans ink available outside of Japan. Finally, of the newer ink manufacturers, Taccia is definitely a personal favorite. And I've been on a gray ink kick, so this was a welcome surprise. To be honest, I would't have really minded if it was another blue-black. I like those too. And that's the end of my first review. Hope you enjoyed this. I may do the remainder once I’ve tried them and if this was helpful to anyone. Happy inking and thank you for your time.
  21. I introduce you today to Unbranded Bob.. please make him feel welcome while I attempt a brief review. A Jinhao 599, a Hero 359, and a Lanbitou 757 all walk into a bar.. that's what this pen puts me in mind of, the start of a well known anecdote. But the ending may surprise you. Unlike all the other ink rollerballs I have read about, this one is neither dry nor scratchy. It's not the smooth skate of a fine fountain pen nib, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it writes. I would choose it over both a Uniball and my runner up favorite, an Inkjoy. The Pro's : Good writer, extra fine tip of .4mmCheap ($9.95 shipped)Comes with a piston converter for using bottled fountain pen inkCan use cartridges ** (see note, below) if that is your thingSturdy construction, on par with a decent knock-off of a Lamy VistaHas a usable clip that stays clippedThe Con's : Unbranded, so finding a tip replacement in the future may be difficult I have a Jinhao 599 fountain pen that I use daily and like. This rollerball (let's call him Bob) is an almost perfect clone except for the clip. Bob also looks like the clear Lanbitou 757 and has obviously stolen the Hero 359 clip. Unlike my Jinhao, Bob has no cracks and his cap snicks shut perfectly. Perhaps some abuse on my part may change this in future but so far he's held up better than the Jinhao did in the same time period. I consider Bob to be a clone of a clone but a successful one. ** A note about cartridges. I'm a cartridge fanatic because my pens get used on the go far more than they do at home. I wanted a rollerball that used cartridges! Bob's little ink puncture thingie did not work with an international cartridge. But a Platinum cart snapped in just fine. I have the adapter that came with one of my Preppy's (currently stuck inside the pen) that converts to international shorts. As soon as I find some needle nose pliers or when I give up and just buy another adapter, I am pretty sure I will be able to use international shorts without issue and will update this review. I apologize for my lack of reviewed ascetics, but my criteria for fountain pens is similar: does it write well, can it use carts, and is it cheap. Bob checks all those boxes for me. And for those who subscribe to the size matters criteria, I include the following picture. From the top: Unbranded Bob, a Jinhao 599, a Platinum Preppy (yes, that's scotch tape holding a cracked cap together, I get attached to my pens) I have smallish hands and hate giant pen barrels. Unbranded Bob is infinitesimally smaller in barrel girth than the Jinhao, which is at the top of my comfort zone, and right about the same as the Preppy. If you feel the urge to adopt an Unbranded Bob of your own, I bought him on flea-bay from US Pens for $9.95 US, shipped. This is my first review of anything here. Hope this proves useful to everyone.
  22. AgentVenom

    Noodler's Ink - Hellfire

    * originally posted on my Instagram. Ink Review: Noodler's Ink, Hellfire. Grade: 76.25%. Paper: Norcom Composition. I bought Noodler's Hellfire because I usually stick to black and white media when drawing/writing, and I thought I needed to mix things up a bit. First things first, despite its name, Hellfire is a pink colored ink. It doesn't lean toward red, orange, or even yellow. It is a bright transparent pink color that's meant to be used as a highlighter ink. Not many things make me miss taking notes in college, but as someone who color coded everything, it does make me wish I had Hellfire back then to break up the doldrums of Business Ethics. The first thing that pops into my mind when I look at Hellfire is cotton candy or watermelon. I don't really consider this an ink that I would use to write with every day. Not because of embarrassment, although I did get some looks at work, but because it's a little too hard for me to read on its own. Which, honestly, is not its main function. Like I said, Hellfire is a highlighter ink that does its job well. It pops off the page under normal lighting and will even fluoresce under a black light. Don't expect Blue Ghost levels of fluorescence. Think more of reflective safety vest at night. It drys very quickly and won't bleed through cheap paper. It's not a water fast ink, but you can see that it will put up a fight and resist being washed away. It will feather easily, but let's be honest, this ink should go in a felt tip pen and not in a flexible dip pen. Overall, I love this ink. And if you love choosing your own ink colors and feel like trying out a refillable highlighter pen, then you should definitely check out Noodler's Hellfire.
  23. Kanwrite as a pen holds a special place for me, a pen that reignited my desire to look for Indian pens over staple of other well established FP manufacturers. Kanwrite in itself are not a small name from India in our little world of fountains but it certainly was big step for me to get this in my hand mostly due to lack of general awareness and issue of availability locally. As sad it is, the reality is most Indian markets are either dominated by cheapo china or full-blown Luxor. Quite ironic, in a place where so many masters of this craft of making a pen are hidden in plain sight, we get mostly whats rather pale imitation of same product in maybe better looking package. Thus is my title beginning of a journey to look again and broaden my view……...its been a couple of year since then but I only managed to get a desire for myself after a while almost a year ago to be exact. So I thought what better way to start a review on FPN with the pen that restarted it all for me. A small disclaimer; This is my first review so please do ask for anything I missed and apologies for mistakes upfront. Also my experience may differ from other fellow users so do share them would love to hear from everyone. Also pen has ink stains inside cos of using multiple permanent inks in a demonstrator as ED….yeah I know. This will be my take of desire with honest opinion after using for almost a year now and its long. Looks and design: The most subjective of all the aspects of anything so lets take it down first. The pen is classic cigar shaped with no surprises to go with. There is tapering at end but its practically negligible. Now color options are a lot really including 4 demonstrator, solids and marbles so there is something for everyone. The pen has a simple clip so no surprise here either. Its not ball ended as such there is no visible ball on end but the pen does has ball shaped tapering for easy slides in pocket and it works with no issues no complain here and I in general prefer understated designs. Clip is secured via screw on top which can be removed to get change clip or change the positioning or anything else. It has good springiness to it as well. Its also the only part in my pen with kanwrite written on it.The pen posts quite nicely and securely so no issues here either. Marble color options taken from kanwrite brochure there are more marble options than this in brochure. Body and construction: The pen is made of acrylic, it was once CAB but that was changed along the way with other change being new threaded screw type converter by kanwrite from earlier plunger type design more on that later. The body being acrylic is welcome step from plastic and sure feels sturdier in hand but, and this is important, its by no means a pen that you want to fall with. The pen should survive but I have my doubts on this point, at the very least I suspect a crack may happen if fallen on hard surface from decent height. Best case avoid it. I have demonstrator version so it could be that too (I feel demonstrators require more care in this aspect). The pen is light overall which is to be expected of acrylic so no surprise here either. Pen needs 1+3/4 turn to unscrew the cap. Threads are fine and have no issues in either closing or opening this applies for all threads from barrel, cap and nib housing which was nice to see. Nib housing will be a bit tight but that is to be expected here. a pic of cap and clip Filling mechanism and converter: Desire is a 3 in 1 pen so no surprise here…….well there is though. The converter is the point. This will be interesting as it was for me at least. The pen has threaded screw converter developed in house by Kanwrite (that's what I think correct me if wrong) and it performs well…....until it does not. See the converter has silicon grease at end to offer extra layer of seal and it works great until the grease is there. In my case the grease was cleaned by me while cleaning the converter and that caused a leak from end section of converter…...solution is simple though just apply some grease and done. Also the pen accepts standard international converters and cartridges so its fine to just replace the thing if its having issue or not interested in hassle. Nib, feed and writing: This is the party piece of the pen. First what is what. The nib is Kanwrite steel nib while feed is plastic and both are friction fit so easy to replace the nibs when one wants to. The entire assembly is screwed in and can be removed by turning anti-clockwise so replacing nib housing is also very easy. The nib options are #6 (35mm) and #5 (27mm) nibs with fine, medium, broad, stub Regular and Fine Medium Flex on the table. I went for fine nib for daily use of pen. The pen is wet writer which I personally prefer so this was great for me. No skips or hard starts either with very consistent flow. The nib has a bit of feedback which is characteristic of Kanwrite nibs its not scratchy by any means and will feel like very fine pencil. In fact take a 0.7mm pencil and use it for a while after this put very gentle force to write….that's the feedback you will get (a very crude way to judge but that closest I can think without comparing to other nibs). If compared then closest feeling among my lot is lamy safari with shin-kai ink in my case. Overall its very smooth and wet nib to write with. Width is Indian fine which is between western fine and medium. Once combined with wet ink the pen will become really wet writer, no leaks but still very wet. Eye Dropper conversion is easily possible. Reverse writing is possible and lines will be very fine but pen will feel a bit scratchy. nib comparison with different pens. pen order from left to right- Camlin trinity, platinum preppy, Kanwrite Desire, Pilot Metropolitan and Lamy Safari pen size comparison- from left to right Camlin trinity, platinum preppy, Kanwrite Desire, Pilot metropolitan and Lamy safari feed comparison with Kanwrite Heritage which has ebonite feed. side image Line variation is possible but its not a flex nib so don’t try to get too much out of it, a little is possible but go for flex version otherwise. On the note of lines I do feel that nib is quite forgiving and allows for errors in angle for holding to great extent which is really good for those new to Fountains and I personally appreciate on long writing sessions as mistakes there are possible and can break flow of writing easily (at least for me). Inks that I have tested are waterman serenity blue (my staple testing ink): result was wet and smooth lines and nib on wetter side. ED conversion shows burping at standard 3/4th mark. R&K Sallix: Iron gall ink, a dry ink and will make feedback more visible, no scratchy feel just more feedback. No skips or flow issue seen. ED conversion possible and dry ink shows bit more resistant to burp but it will still occur sooner or later (it managed to cross 3/4th mark in my case abide by small margin). Iroshizuku murasaki shikibu: wetter side of spectrum the feedback will still be present but lesser then dry inks. No issue in flow and no skips seen. No leaks and ED is very much possible with burp at standard 3/4th mark it good. Platinum Carbon ink: a very wet ink, feedback is fallen by a several notches but flow sees a big rise no leaks or over release of ink the flow is still managed nicely, wont recommend ED for this type of ink though as in my case it left permanent stains and ink burp issue was seen earlier then usual ED case (earlier than standard 3/4th mark). A small writing sample, ink used is platinum carbon black. Final thoughts and price: For the price of Rs 650 (~$ 9) plus delivery I feel its a great deal considering what one gets, simply put good pen and for those who go for long writing sessions or for those who are new to fountain pens and are aiming for such price ranges or just about anyone looking to add another one. Yes there are minor issues but for me they were easy to overlook and that made the pen great from good for me. Honestly I felt the flaw were mostly nitpicking for this price. Also I would say that the customer service from kanwrite was excellent in my eyes. The contact was established on watsapp after a direct call and order was done there, mails sent received the replies withing 3 days so I am quite satisfied with that aspect as well. These are strange times so keep yourself healthy and happy, wishing you all a long inky and colorful days ahead.
  24. ErrantSmudge

    Ink Review: Monteverde Horizon Blue

    Monteverde's revamped line of inks recently got my attention for their comprehensive lineup of clear, distinct hues, as well as good value. A 90ml bottle can be had for about $13-$15 USD from the better known online retailers in the United States, making it a very good deal. Monteverde touts their "ITF Technology". From Monteverde's promotional material, here's how it claims to benefit us writers: At my recent visit to the 2017 LA Pen Show, Monteverde gave a free bottle of Malibu Blue ink to all show attendees. A company representative had all their inks available for sampling with swabs, as well as show discounts. I brought home four bottles of Monteverde ink, and post-show I've purchased a few more online:Malibu BlueCapri BlueHorizon BlueSapphire BlueMonteverde also offers two blues I am missing: Caribbean Blue (turquoise), and a Blue-Black. I am posting individual reviews for each of the four Monteverde inks I have. I filled a variety of pens with these four inks, with nibs ranging from fine to double-broad stubs. Here's a snapshot from my Bullet Journal Ink Log, showing the pen/ink assignments and a writing sample from each. Monteverde Horizon Blue This is Monteverde's Parker Penman Sapphire workalike. It is similar to Diamine Blue Velvet and Visconti Blue. Here is how it appears on Clairefontaine paper. Color/Saturation Horizon Blue is a deeply saturated, "pure" blue. It doesn't lean to purple or green. Shading/Sheening Horizon Blue has a light amount of shading on Tomoe River. A little bit of red sheening can be seen in the Tomoe River sample. Flow Horizon Blue is a well-behaved ink. I had no skips or hard starts on the initial flow. Horizon Blue came in second place for flow amongst the four inks tested. In my Sheaffer Prelude with M nib (a wet pen), it comes out wet but not too wet. Lubrication Like the other Monteverde inks, Horizon Blue has good lubrication, but has some stiction at the start/stop of a pen stroke. In my Clairefontaine bullet journal, my Sheaffer Prelude squeaks as I write! Dry Time Dry time is moderate, between 25 and 30 seconds on Clairefontaine paper from the Prelude. Feathering Horizon Blue performs well in the feathering test on cheap office paper. Bleedthrough There is a medium amount of bleedthrough on the other side of the page on the cheap office paper. Water Resistance Horizon Blue probably performed best of the four Monteverde inks, but still it is not a water-resistant ink in the 10 second immersion test. Before After Comparison with Other Inks Here is a tile comparing Horizon Blue with other medium blue inks. NB: The Parker Penman Sapphire is from a diluted sample and so isn't quite true in terms of saturation.

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