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  1. I recently got a TRC brass FP. Wondering what is the safest and most effective way of removing patina. How do you clean yours? Ive seen YT videos on removing patina on brass things but not exactly on FP. I know that they are the same thing BUT what I worry is getting scratches on the FP if I use those vinegar+baking soda technique. Baking soda can make micro scratches which I’m afraid might happen with the FP. I have sweaty hands soooo 3rd day of using the FP developed patina already huhu.
  2. Pen Pit Stop : Traveler's Company Brass Fountain Pen Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way - no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let's find out how they have withstood the ravages of time. The fountain pen that enters the pit stop today is the Traveler's Company Brass Fountain Pen. The company is best known for its iconic leather notebook covers, but they also produce stationery such as this little brass fountain pen. A perfect EDC pen, that fits right into your pocket and that is meant to take a beating. I bought this pen in September 2018, and it has been in regular use as an Every Day Carry pen since that time. Let's take a closer look at it. Pen Look & FeelThe pen is made from brass and has a solid feel to it. In closed form, it resembles a 10 cm long brass bullet. At the end of the cap, a small ring is present which allows you to attach a rope so you can wear the pen around your neck like a necklace. The sturdy clip's most practical use is to function as a roll-stop to prevent the pen from rolling on flat surfaces. On the side of the cap, the words "traveler's company made in japan" are present. You use the pen by removing the click-on cap, and friction-fit it on the back of the diminutive pen body to get a very functional full-size fountain pen. This works like a charm, and is much quicker than using the thread-on caps you find on the equally diminutive Kaweco Liliput. My pen has an F-nib, that writes like a European F (which fits with the online info that it is a fairly standard N°5 Bock nib). Above are some pictures that compare the Traveler's Company pen with two of my other favourite EDC pens: a Kaweco Liliput Copper and a brass TiScribe (that I got from a KickStarter project). The pen most resembles the Kaweco Liliput, but is a lot bigger when posted. Also easier to post due to the push-on cap. The pictures above illustrate the size of the pen in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The TRC pen is quite small when capped, and easily fits in your pocket. For writing, you typically post it - and then you get a full-size fountain pen that's very comfortable to write with. The steel F-nib on my pen is a firm writer - you get feedback from the paper, but it's not at all scratchy. I like the way it writes. Pen CharacteristicsBuild Quality : the pen is well build, and meant to take a beating. My pen travels in my pocket together with my keys, and has acquired quite some scratches and patina. I appreciate this in an EDC pen, because it reflects a live well-lived and gives extra character to the pen. Mechanical construction is excellent - the cap is friction-fit when capping/posting, and even after lots of intensive use, the fit is still perfect and the cap attaches with a satisfying click. As an EDC pen, this one ages well.Weight & Dimensions : a diminutive pen when closed (about 10 cm), but due to the metal construction it still has some weight to it. When posted, the pen is almost 15 cm long - a comfortable size for longer writing sessions.Filling System : this is a cartridge convertor pen, that uses small standard international ink cartridges. To use bottled ink, I simply syringe-fill used cartridges. Nib & Performance : the generic steel nib on this pen is well-proportioned for the size of this pen. The F-nib on my unit writes great: it's firm but not scratchy, and produces a European fine line. This generic nib was great right out-of-the-box - no tuning required. Price : at the time, this pen could be bought for 69 EUR, which is quite acceptable. In my opinion: good value for money ConclusionThis Traveler's Company Brass Fountain Pen works great as an Every Day Carry pen. Thanks to the metal construction, it can take a beating. It also ages gracefully, acquiring scratches and patina that give it extra character. I personally like the no-nonsense utilitarian look and feel of EDC pens, and this one certainly fits my tastes. Would I buy it again ? Yes - this pen is totally worth it.
  3. While I do not write too many reviews, posting this here, since I thought this is an interesting pen and there are very few reviews online, unlike the more common Jinhao models like the x450/750/159/992 etc. General notes: This is one of the variants of the Jinhao 650. As far as I can tell, there is another in a red wood variant. This pen cost me the equivalent of $15. Not the cheapest Jinhao or indeed, Chinese pen out there, but still lower than most offerings of ‘upper end’ Chinese brands like penBBS, Moonman, Kaigelu, Lorelei etc., so firmly ‘mid range’ as Chinese offerings go. The pen in this review, therefore, will be judged according to the standards expected of this price range. The entire pen appears to be constructed of brass. The cap has a black laquer paint with gold-color plated clip and ring; the barrel is the same black laquer paint with the signature feature of this pen – the mother of pearl and abalone strips cut in small rectangular stripes(longer side arranged along the length of the pen) and arranged neatly in rows – 3 down and 6 around – 18 in total. The section appears to be plastic coating on a brass base. As regards the hardware – the clip is a sword and shield design, with the shield carrying the jinhao logo of a horse drawn chariot. The shield part of the logo is chrome while the rest of the clip (basically the sword part) is gold-color plated. The pen is a cartridge converter and comes with a aged-brass accented converted. the clip-ring is visible. There are other gold-finsihed rings at various places in the pen - namely - bottom of cap; joint between the thicker middle portion of the barrel and the thinner tail-end, and at the top of the section. the cap is a push-to-lock/ pull to open variety. It has a standard #6 two tone jinhao nib with 18KGP printed and the jinhao chariot motif. The nib was advertised as a 0.7mm line (which I’d say is on the broad side of medium or a Japanese broad). However, I find it to be provide a thinner line – about 0.5mm Now, on to the qualitative review and some comparisons. Build quality : 3.75/5: For $15, you get a really well built tank of a pen. Nothing rattles and everything feels solid. The execution is almost at par with plus $100 except for a couple of minor points: 1) The gold plating, while otherwise very well executed, appears to scuff easily. I already have some scuff marks around the bottom of the clip despite handling the pen very gently till date. It appears that the underlying chrome/brass will eventually show through in places sometime in the future 2) The ring at the bottom the barrel rotates freely and is not fixed to the barrel. I do not know if this is by design or just my piece, but I don’t think this should be the case. (The top finial is the same gold finish as the clip and bands. It looks pink in this picture, probably because of the uneven lighting) Dimensions and Ergonomics 3.5/5: the pen is bloody heavy. Like really. Heavy. It is 65gms (2.2 oz) with cap on, and 36 gms (1.2 oz) without the cap. It is not overly lengthy though – at about 142mm with capped, 124mm uncapped, and 170mm posted. It posts securely but not deeply. The disappointing thing about the posting is that the cap does not travel all the way to the ring at the bottom of the barrel where there is a step up to the middle part of the barrel (see pic below). If the ring on the cap ended up flush with this step up point, I think it would have both looked neater and been a more comfortable length. As it is, I wouldn’t recommend posting as it backweights the pen too much. Having said that, I do not find the weight overly uncomfortable (when un-posted). I like bigger (though not necessarily very heavy) pens, and while this is certainly the heaviest pen I own, it is surprisingly usable. This is mainly because the weight is mostly in the middle of the barrel (when un-posted) and this makes the pen very well balanced with the webbing between the thumb-forefinger taking the weight naturally. Here is the pen next to the decidedly mid-sized Moonman M600s which also has the same general shape and price range (plus black finials and section). The length of the two are almost similar (with the 650 edging it slightly). But the 650 is appreciably thicker and more than twice as heavy (note that line width of the Jinhao's writing is very close to that of the 'F' nib in the Moonman - more of that later). As you can see from the un-capped pictures - it has a short section with a step down from the barrel. However, I did not experience any discomfort in gripping the pen on this account (note: I do hold the pen quite low down - very close to the nib). It helps that it is a push to lock design and hence there are no threads. the section has a plastic feel and therefore is not very slippery. However, it can get slippery on prolonged use. Appearance – 4.25/5 : it is an attractive design, which is bold but (in my opinion) just short of loud. The gold-accents are done extremely well for a pen of this price range. This is usually what looks cheap in most low end pens, but that is not the case here. The mother of pearl and abalone strips look the real deal – they have great depth and chatoyance and vibrancy of color – held up against the light, they look 3D – the pictures do not come close to doing them justice. It is amazing that this kind of material is being used a on $15 pen. My only nitpick in this category is that that the drop in diameter between the middle of the barrel and the section on one end, and the bottom finial on the other, gives this almost a ‘kit pen’ type of appearance. This is personally off-putting though many won’t care. If the reduction in diameter served a purpose in helping the pen post flush with the bottom ring, it could be forgiven, but that is not the case, as discussed above. Writing performance: 4/5 The standard #6 jinhao nib is a very smooth and wrote smoothly out of the box. The ink flow was not the wettest, but not overly or unusably dry either; just on the dryer side of medium. By this I mean, medium blues like the Lamy blue I used for this review showed up lighter than the really wet pens, but amazingly, the nib kept up very well to fast writing, never skipped; and only rarely had a false start (that too if kept uncapped for a while). If used after a couple of days, the first stroke of the first letter may be a little thinner and then the pen immediately reverts to its normal line. Overall, I would say a really good writing experience out of the box. Jinhao feeds are known to take a bit of time to really be primed, so, as expected, it became slightly wetter (about medium wetness) in a couple of days. It also helped that I ran a razor along the slit of the feed (just once was enough). Now I feel that the nib performs just as I would like. Quite happy really. I was considering using one of the ‘wet Taiwan nibs’ from Bobby at esty; but after a few hours of trying one, I reverted to the Jinhao. I have too many ‘gushers’ already and the line was too fat for my liking, talking of which… As mentioned above, this nib is finer than some of the other Jinhaos I have used, which is pleasant surprise (for me- personally like a medium-fine rather than a medium-broad). The supplied cartridge converter does not have the greatest suction – I struggle to fill the entire tube despite repeated tries, which is a pity since it doesn’t have a great capacity to begin with (I’d say about 0.8 ml). However, it seems to be supplying the feed adequately as the feed has never dried up amidst writing, which has happened in a couple of my Moonmen/penBBSes. A small written sample is below. Notice how the Lamy blue shows up into its 'middle' darkness for most part. Value: 4.5/5 : Are you kidding me – actual abalone and mother of pearl strips in a $15 pen and a build quality this good, makes the pen absolutely worth the money spent. I am deducting half a point since it may be a bit too heavy to be a daily writer for some and hence may find itself in a weird middle space of being too weighty for copious writing, but not a ‘posh’ enough to be a signature pen. However, as an occasional dalliance and a conversation piece (I lost count of how many colleagues asked me how expensive this pen was only to be shocked when I told them), it’s a great bargain.
  4. Pen Pit Stop : Kaweco Brass Sport Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way - no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let's find out how they have withstood the ravages of time. The fountain pen that arrives at the pit stop today is the "Kaweco Brass Sport". Kaweco is a well-known German pen company, whose history dates back to 1883 with the foundation of the Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik (Heidelberg dip pen company). The brand is best known for its pocket pens of the Sport and Liliput range. As early as 1905 Kaweco had already manufactured the first writing instruments made out of metal. This particular incarnation of the Sport range is constructed from brass, making it a heavyweight pocket pen. I bought this pen in January 2015, and it has been in rotation as an EDC (Every Day Carry) pen since that time. This is one of my older pens, which has been in use for over 3 years now. Let's have a closer look at it. Pen Look & Feel Like all Kaweco Sport models, this is a great EDC pen with an industrial look: no ornaments for this pen except for the Kaweco logo on the cap's finial. Etched on the side of the cap is the pen's designation "Kaweco Brass Sport". The pen is small enough to easily fit in your pocket (about 10cm capped). Because it's a workhorse pen, you don't have to worry about it getting scratched or dented. This pen is meant to take a serious beating, and gets its character from the scratches and patina it accumulates during its lifetime. When you're ready to use the pen, just unscrew the cap and post it. You then get a full-sized fountain pen that is very comfortable in the hand. The cap has an octagonal design, which means that the pen easily stays on your desk, without fear of it rolling away. Kaweco does sell separate pen clips if you absolutely want one, but I never used them - in my opinion they don't match with the industrial look of this pen. The nib on this pen is the same as that of the Liliput - and on this Sport model it looks a bit small. I would have preferred a slightly bigger nib, like the one on the Kaweco Supra. Being an all-metal pen constructed from brass, this is a real heavyweight. Despite its small size, this is one of the heaviest pens that I own. The pen is still well-balanced though, and comfortable to write with. It's weight didn't bother me in the least. The pictures above illustrate the size of the Brass Sport in comparison with a standard Lamy AL-star. Capped, the Kaweco is indeed a very small pen. In actual use though, the capped Brass Sport is almost exactly the size of an uncapped Lamy pen - i.e. a real full-sized fountain pen. Pen Characteristics Build Quality : a very sturdy pen, that is virtually indestructible. I typically carry it around in my pocket together with my keys. As such, the pen accumulates lots of scratches, but it is designed for this, and this abuse gives the pen its character. As the pictures of my pen show, it has accumulated lots of scratches and has developed a definite patina, clearly showing a pen that's been in use for some years. I like the battered look of this pen that is really due to the patina, and have never polished it to shiny new brassness. Weight & Dimensions : about 10cm when capped – and as such a small pen to carry around, perfect for an EDC pen. Being made from brass, this is also a real heavyweight. This didn't bother me - the pen is still very comfortable to write with. Filling System : this is a cartridge convertor pen, that fits small-size international cartridges. Kaweco sells a mini-convertor, but I have never used it. I find it much more convenient to just syringe-fill small cartridges. Nib & Performance : I find the steel nib a tad too small for this pen, and would have preferred a slightly larger nib. A big plus is that the nib units are user-changeable. Kaweco sells nib units in the sizes EF-F-M-B-BB and even calligraphic nibs. I really appreciate that you can easily replace the nib unit. You don't have to fear damaging your nib, since you can easily replace it. You can also experiment with different nib sizes. Nib units cost about 10 EUR - not expensive. Price : about 75 EUR, including taxes. Great value for money. Conclusion The Kaweco Brass Sport is a great pocket pen, with a really nice industrial look. This is a very sturdy pen, that's meant to take a beating. My pen has scratches all over it and has developed a nice patina, giving it a battered look that I quite like. This brass pocket pen is about indestructible, and will last for decades. I love it, and would buy it again without hesitation.
  5. A wait longer than words can define, an Emperor in Red singing a glistening rhapsody, and then a Yukari dazzling in Royale Red glory. The pens, an encompassment of elegance of words, combined with precision of maki-e artisans have been unsurpassed. The Yukari did anxiously waited in my hands to have it's first sip of ink and I had same thoughts with what if clauses! Before getting the Yukari, this is a must read-review by FPNer shuuemura, which is a rather poetic series of pictures with practical words, comparing two pilot beauties in black urushi. This pen, one can find ideal for everyday carry to write or to keep admiring the marvel it is! The doubly magnified and magnificent emperor would be more suitable for the latter though. Having said that, when both are together, it’s more fulfilling than a sumptuous meal. PS. Google says Yukari in Japanese means Affinity (上記) and is feminine by gender. In case you are looking for a review of the Yukari Royale or the Emperor (sized pen), the below links redirect to the necessarily ‘unnecessary’ eye-candies on a blogger optimized view The Yukari Royale Review The Namiki Emperor Review A BRIEF HISTORY The Namiki Yukari Royale more or less derives itself from the 80th Anniversary fountain pen (with only 1918 produced) aka the ShiSen, which was launched in 1998. The cap band was then imprinted with four mythical creatures - Dragon, Phoenix, Tiger and XuanWu (Tortoise). The band decorated with the Shijin (four gods) was finished in Togidashi maki-e. The Chinese fable of these creatures goes like this - Each mythical creature is supposed to guard one particular Earth direction and is Harbinger of a particular season. They are respectively, Shujaku - the red phoenix of the South (Summer), Byakko - the white tiger of the West (Autumn), Genbu - the black tortoise of the North (Winter) and Seiryu - the blue dragon of the East (Spring). The latter four are the Buddhist guardians of the four directions who serve Lord Taishakuten (who represents the center), and are associated with China’s Theory of Five Elements. The 80th Anniversary pen is rather excellently reviewed here by RLD. And later, in 2005, another 50 Seki Shun LE pieces (branded as Dunhill Namiki) were made by Pilot/Namiki for the Elephant & Coral Store which are still available. The clip matches the colour of the main finish in the earlier editions, something which may or may not appeal to all of us. URUSHI Urushi as you may know is the otherwise poisonous sap of the urushi or lacquer tree (Toxicodendron Vernicifluum) which grows in Japan, China, and Korea and is primarily brown in colour. The sap of this tree polymerises to form a hard, durable, plastic-like substance, when exposed to moisture/air. Liquid urushi can be applied to multiple materials like wood, metal, cloth, resin, ceramics or ebonite as opposed to the best available synthetic lacquers. When it solidifies, it turns into a very hard coating that is waterproof and protects the coated object from effects of fungus, ambient chemical reactions at surface due to heat or humidity or even from caustic acids. By mixing pigments into cured urushi, colored urushi such as black or shu (red) are made. With natural exposure to air and ultraviolet light (extended UV exposure ends up in discolouration), the urushi layers gradually increase in transparency and the material gradually unveils shades of original bright colours within. Like the Emperor, the Yukari Royale also comes in a spacious wooden box, made of traditional Paulownia wood. The box is protectively packaged inside a cardboard box. I had to let go of the box, while someone hand-delivered the pen, along with the accessories! The model number of the pen, in this case FNK-128S-<R/B>-<F/FM/M/B> contains the launch price, colour and nib width. The 128 refers to the list price of JPY 128,000 whereas the third digit R/B refers to the red/black urushi. THE TORPEDO This Lacquer No.#20 model comes in two standard finishes - Black & Vermillion (Urushi) with gold plated clips. The brass body feels comfortable in hand, from dual perspectives of dimensions and weight. The torpedo shaped pen in Vermillion/Red is adorable in both light and shadow, and when light reflects through layers of urushi, it renders itself an electric red appearance. I believe the brass substrate is partly responsible for its bright hues compared to a relatively darker scarlet hue off the Emperor’s ebonite. The expected fit & finish seem impeccable. The simplistic yet elegant design comes with two golden accents, provided deftly by the traditional triangular shaped tension fit clip with a sphere and a thin gold ring at the cap lip. Again there is a marked absence of any other decoration like a cap band or ring or anything else on the entire pen, extending infinity to modes of artistic convergence. Vermillion is considered as an auspicious colour throughout East Asia, where it’s culturally imbibed. It has four synthetic & natural shades as of today: Red-Orange[sRGB (255, 83, 73)], Orange-Red[sRGB (255, 69, 0)], Plochere[sRGB (217, 96, 59)] and Chinese Red[sRGB (170, 56, 30)]. The shades/hue of the pens in red urushi might vary. The cap finds itself after two turns, revealing a nib with the modern Mt.Fuji inscription. The seamless grip shows a pronounced taper starting from the barrel and ends up with a smoothly carved out bump, rendering continuity. The cap threads on the barrel are carved out with artistic finesse, deftly spaced and carved out of brass. The barrel at the other end leads leisurely to the smoothest tail. The brass cap again displays the most subtle art, sans any discernible extravagance. It carries the same perseverance and focus with a fluid like finish. The finish is impeccable with a parabolic finial and with colours hovering between bright and dark red, with the play of light. The clip is traditional triangular Pilot with a sphere at the end, inscribed with Namiki with the ‘Isosceles Triangle within a Pentagon’ logo. There is a thin gold ring at the cap lip, the only adornment than the golden clip. There is a alphanumeric code inscribed on the upper base of the clip, where it delves into the cap. FILLING SYSTEM - ‘CON-70 ZINDABAD’ The section unscrews from the barrel with three and half turns, with a metallic clink, given the metallic threads on both the section and the barrel. This exposes the golden metallic threads of the section, which would otherwise remain ever hidden! A special CON-70 converter, in black, is pushed inside. The inner barrel carries the opposite metallic threads. With a short black coating near the threads which contacts with the section, the rest of the brass barrel is all exposed metal on the inside. The pen can take all pilot converters CON-20/40/50 (0.4-0.5 mL) & CON-70 (1 mL) along with pilot proprietary cartridges (0.9 mL). I have used the included ‘special black’ CON-70 converter, which has a push button filling mechanism. Mind you, the ink bottle with have some froth during the otherwise fun filling exercise. Although, for Yukari I have always directly filled the converter from an eye dropper! NIB WITH THE ‘OVAL’ BREATHER HOLE The nib with the Yukari Royale is 18k, Size#20 (similar to Pilot#15) and it comes in four stock widths - F, FM, M & B, across Japan and other distribution countries. Inscribed upon it, is the symbol of Mt. Fuji and the upper part does seems symbolic of the snow caps! Comparatively the nib weighs a tad more than a usual pilot#15 nib (0.78g vs 0.70g), but at the same time it is much less wide at the shoulders. The oval breather hole rests within the snow caps. Below the snow, etched are the Namiki Logo (Isosceles triangle inside a Pentagon), Namiki, gold alloy specs (18k-75%) and Nib width <M> On the left the #20 nib carries the Namiki Logo with Ste PP-F hallmark and on the right it carries a simple date stamp. The red plastic feeder does converge with the overall color of the pen, though I would have preferred a similarly urushi coated feeder, which only the Emperor has! May be it’s a feed size limitation, may be Pilot doesn't want to spend more money, I have no idea. The moderately spaced fins ensure levelling ambient air pressure and give you a good buffer, my experience says it’s a tad better than the usual pilot feed. You can see the three different feeds, Size#50 Emperor, Size#20 Yukari Royale & the Size#15 Custom 823, side by side. PHYSICS AS RELATIVELY IT IS The lacquer somewhat helps in keeping the pen warm which is otherwise metallic, and renders it comfortable for writing. The pen is deftly balanced for writing, even for extended use. The grip, smooth & soothing, showcases both utility and elegance at the same time. I do not post the pen as the cap is not as inlaid with as much felt/velvet as the Emperor. Figures for weight and dimensions run below for the technically minded ones. Length closed ~ 14.9 cm Length open ~ 13.4 cm Grip Diameter ~ 1.1 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm Weight (without ink) ~ 45 g Weight (without cap) ~ 27.4 g Capped, uncapped pictures with a Pilot Custom 823 run below for your reference. There is an Emperor posing, just to highlight its relative significance The uncapped Emperor without weighs around 31 grams and the Yukari with an unfilled converter weighs around 27 grams. And this is one of the most comfortable pens, I found. ECONOMIC VALUE The Yukari Royale retails at around USD 1200 in the US, and you can find it at similar prices in Japan. I was able to source the pen at a good bargain. Logically the economic value should be equal to salvage value of the pen after a few years of use and I don't think the price will vary by much even after few years of use, given that someone finally decides to sell it off. Having said that, even though the pen is one of its kind, you should give it a serious thought. It will result in a fair amount of money trapped within the urushi layers! FINAL WORDS IN WRITING The medium nib is graced with a super wet flow, which might put a few of my Pelikans to utter shame! The nib is as smooth as I want it to be, with a slight hint of control, evident in all pilot gold nibs, strictly speaking. I feel that there is some characteristic spring and softness because of the size & shape of the nib, and it does open up with a bit of pressure. The verticals grow thicker with pressure, and this nib runs a tad thicker than a usual pilot medium nib. No skips with fast or normal writing. It writes pretty similar at whether held at a high angle or a low angle. A relatively wet Sailor Nioi-Sumire ink takes around 55 seconds to dry completely on Tomoe River paper with the #20 medium nib. Thank you again for going through the review. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. REFERENCES Urushi FPN Thread on Care for Urushi lacquered pens Pilot Custom 823 Review The Namiki #50 Emperor Review
  6. Inkysloth

    Parker 45 Desk Pen - Propeller Base

    Hi folks, I've just bought a desk pen from Ebay, and I'd like to know if there's a list anywhere of all the Magnetix desk bases Parker made? This is the propeller base, with a nice brass-ended desk 45, with a 14ct medium nib. Did 3rd party manufacturers make bases compatible with the Magnetix system? Parker 45 propeller desk pen by Robin Inkysloth, on Flickr Parker 45 propeller desk pen by Robin Inkysloth, on Flickr
  7. ManofKent

    Namisu Nova - Brass

    Namisu Nova - Brass Whilst I don’t mind using plastic/resin pens, my preference is for a well-balanced metal bodied pen. I like my tools to feel solid – give me a metal-bodied camera over a plastic one, give me a metal watch etc. I don’t mind weightier pens and find a badly balanced pen will be tiring to use even if lighter than a well-balanced pen, but I don’t write at great length anyway – generally it’s short letters, and at most a couple of hours of intermittent note taking. I had tried a Tactile-Turn Gist in Stainless Steel and liked it apart from its unposted length, and posted balance. I’d tried a Kaweco Liliput in brass and liked it as a trouser pocket pen for occasional notes but found it too slim for prolonged use and was tempted to try a Kaweco Sport (I probably still will) but whilst browsing for pens came across Namisu. The brass Nova was on offer, it came from Scotland so no horrible Customs fees, used Bock #6 nibs rather than #5 and seemed a very good price. ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design (1-10) – Minimalistic but lets the brass shine It came in a simple but perfectly adequate black cardboard box embossed with Namisu in one corner. Inside the pen was nestled in a black velvet pouch resting on a typical flock insert. The packaging is certainly nice enough for giving this pen as a gift, without being so costly that you wonder how much of the pen’s cost was the box. No cartridges are supplied (I am surprised they don’t include a single cartridge) but the pen is fitted with the standard reliable Schmidt converter (I think this was an optional extra when the Nova was launched through Kickstarter, but comes as standard with pens purchased through their web site). The pen itself is minimalistic to the point that some may find bland, but that minimal design does emphasize the material the pen is made from – this pen shouts brass! Shape wise it’s a pretty standard chubby torpedo/cigar shape with a plain cap. It’s about as minimal as you can get. I’ve seen it described as a Nakaya Piccolo clone, and with the conical ends it does bear a family resemblance, although the Nova is longer and it’s taper is noticeably more exaggerated as well as having a more minimal section without the pronounced ring around the nib. It’s arguably closer to the Nakaya Naka-Ai in taper (but a little shorter). For me it’s more elegantly shaped than the Piccolo, but not as elegant as the Naka-Ai (although if I could afford a Naka-Ai I’d obviously want urushi…). I can’t get overly excited by the design – I think it’s got the edge over the Karas Kustoms Nakaya ‘homage’ (clipless Ink), but it’s basically just another cigar shaped pen with a step down to facilitate a minimal look when capped. If you want a similar design but not in metal look towards, Bexley, Edison or any number of companies. If you want a better designed metal torpedo look at the Namisu Orion. As with all clipless designs, with minimalism comes the possibility of a rolling pen. My desk is usually so cluttered there’s nowhere for it to roll, but for those weird tidy desk people you might want to consider a pen stand (or taking a Dremel to your office desk when your boss isn’t looking). I don’t carry pens in my shirt pocket and as it’s not going to easily fall out of a jacket the lack of clip doesn’t bother me – it might you. There is an inexpensive leather sleeve available too. The polished brass looks lovely when new (or freshly polished); it’s a gorgeous looking material, but bear in mind it is unlacquered so will tarnish. Anyone who’s owned a Kaweco brass pen will know how it will age if left – brass doesn’t develop as rich a patina as copper but will ‘matte’ with time and darken slightly. I’ve been wiping this down with a cloth after each use, but I doubt I’ll keep it up, and like the way my Kaweco Liliput has aged with use. You could probably remove the nib and apply lacquer if you really wanted to… 7/10 – lovely material and well executed, but not particularly original. … Construction & Quality (1-10) – Truly excellent I’ve had experience of other pens that started out as Kickstarter projects and they’ve tended to show odd machining marks and extremely minor manufacturing flaws – nothing that I felt critical of, just what you’d expect from a small machine shop. My brass Nova is a different proposition in that there’s not a mark on it (well there wasn’t when it arrived!). I don’t know whether Namisu do their machining in house or use a specialist machining company- they promote themselves as a Design Company and it might well be that they don’t do the manufacturing themselves. Either way this is beautifully machined with perfect threads, no grinding of metal or slight gaps where parts meet. The cap unscrews smoothly with around a single turn. Highly impressive. With my grip my thumb rests on the step down to the section, but the threads aren’t sharp and whilst I can feel the step I don’t find it uncomfortable. 10/10 – No faults found … Weight & Dimensions (1-10) – Long enough to comfortably use unposted. Heavy! I’ve realised that any pen that is designed to be used unposted needs to be at least 120mm and preferably longer if I’m going to write at any length. At 128mm uncapped this is fine for me – capped it’s around 140mm. It’s not a svelte pen (slightly under 16mm at its widest and around 12mm on the section) but personally I find very slim pens uncomfortable for prolonged use. Weight wise it’s a real beast… Capped it’s 89g, but 26g of that is the long cap – at 63g uncapped it is still a very heavy pen. Having said that it is very well balanced – slightly front weighted but not ridiculously so. It might be twice the weight of an uncapped Jinhao 159 but in use it’s so much better balanced you wouldn’t realise it. It’s not a pen I would want to write with for hours on end, but after half hour I don’t feel any hand fatigue. It’s not designed to be posted, but it will post reasonably securely if you don’t mind seriously risking scratching the barrel and turning a heavy pen into a really heavy pen. Surprisingly although the balance isn’t as good when posted, the cap doesn’t throw the balance off as horrendously as my Tactile Turn Gist or Faber Castell E-motion (personally though I’ll use it unposted). Photos compare it with a Pilot Custom Heritage 91 (near enough identically sized to the CH74) 7/10 – Heavy, but well balanced. Not overly long, but usable unposted … Nib & Performance (1-10) – Moderate flow with my inks. Smooth, reliable but dull. It comes with a Bock no. 6 nib in a standard Bock housing. Steel nibs are included in the base price with titanium available for an extra £45 at current prices. The steel nibs are available in Extra Fine, Medium or Broad, with titanium in extra fine or medium. Owning both fine and extra fine nibs in steel I can see why Namisu only offer the one – the difference between them is pretty marginal. Extra-fine is only slightly narrower than a typical Japanese medium. Obviously you can buy replacement Bock nibs from several places (shout out to BeaufortInk for excellent service). You can also fiddle around and fit other no.6 nibs onto the feed should you wish.For this pen I ordered a Broad steel nib purely because it was one I hadn’t tried. On the positive side it was smooth straight from the box, didn’t skip and delivered an even flow with Iroshizuku and Diamine inks. It’s a perfectly decent nib, but I found the broad was barely wider than the medium nib, lacked the slight ‘springyness’ the extra fine has and needs too much pressure to get any line variation. It’s well behaved, but to my mind a little dull. My recommendation would be to with the very good extra-fine steel or try the titanium, but nib preferences are very personal. I can’t say the nib performs badly in any way, it’s just not to my taste and will probably be replaced and used as a base for a cursive grind. In the meantime I’ll swap in either an extra fine or the 1.1 stub (another nice nib in my experience). If you’ve used other pens with Bock no.6 nibs you’ll know what you like. I’ve not had a badly performing No.6, and my only issues with Bock nibs have been with No.5s, both of which required some smoothing and flow adjustment, but were good performers once fixed. 6/10 – Solid performer but not to my taste – other nib options might score an 8 … Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) – Standard Schmidt converter included.The pen is easy to disassemble with the nib housing unscrewing allowing easy replacement and cleaning. A standard reliable Schmidt converter comes fitted with the pen, and the body is long enough to take both long and short international cartridges. 8/10 … Cost & Value (1-10) – Great valueYou can only purchase Namisu directly from their web site. It was on offer when I purchased mine, and there was also a discount for signing up to their newsletter. At full price it retails for around 75% of the cost of an all brass Tactile Turn Gist and 60% of an all brass Kustoms Karas Ink with the same nib, which I think makes it very good value. Obviously exchange rates will vary… 9/10 … Conclusion (8/10) – Be tempted If you like metal pens and don’t mind a weightier writer I’d recommend seriously considering this beast. It’s well enough balanced that I don’t find the weight a big problem – I could write for longer with this than many lighter pens in my collection, although I admit I wouldn’t choose this to write with for hours at a time. For me once I’ve swapped the nib it will regularly be used as a letter writer. I bought this before trying the Namisu Orion and personally find the Orion a better design, but this is still a pen I will enjoy having in my collection. Namisu produces runs of pens and don’t always have all their pens in all materials and finishes available so if it appeals I wouldn’t hang around for too long. 8/10 – Not a pen for everyone, but does what it does very well at a very good price …
  8. I've recently added a Moonman M1 in brass and Tiger wood to my collection and am glad I did. The pen was was about $12 on Taobao. The pen is relatively long and slim. The section doesn't taper much at all. The cap takes about 3 turns to remove. The cap could post, I suppose, but the threads would likely tear up the wood and severely mess up the balance. Moonman M1 Dimensions 13.5cm / 13cm capped / uncapped 26.2g / 16.7g capped / uncapped 8mm section diameter 12mm barrel diameter It uses the same screw-in nib unit the Delike Alpha and New Moon 2 so if you have any of those pens, you can easily swap nib units. Like posting, eye-droppering this pen has got to be out of bounds. I don't plan to find out. The fude/art nib turns up only very slightly. It creates a sweetspot so that when the pen is at the correct angle the pen writes with a remarkably broad, wet line. The nib in my pen was smooth out of the box. The writing experience with the pen is excellent. The balance is toward the front making the pen feel lighter than it is. I'd definitely recommend the Moonman M1 for folks into fountain pens. Probably not as a first fountain pen, however. Two thumbs up for the fude/art nib! More photos and comments here
  9. Hello! I'm new to the forum and searched as best I could but didn't see much talk about the new version of the Midori Brass Fountain Pen. I'm purchasing it from the shop in the link, but I was curious if anyone had any experience with the pen? I'm assuming it's a Japanese nib so it'll run on the dry side? With that in mind, should I go for a wet ink? There just doesn't seem to be much info about it online. Thanks so much!
  10. Thought I'd share the result of stripping down a matte black Pilot Vanishing Point and setting to work on creating an aged, vintage brass look.
  11. Ebonite And Ivory

    Kaweco Supra Review (Brass)

    Up for review is my Kaweco Supra fountain pen. I am really impressed by this pen and will do my best to highlight its strengths and weaknesses. One note at the outset for ALL PEN REVIEWERS (Yep, I am shouting): I spent three hours crafting this review already and then accidentally clicked the internet browser back button; the entire review was lost. Toggling forward did nothing. Please write your reviews in a Word Doc or some other software application and then paste your work into FPN for posting. Do as you wish, but my warning has been sent. Back to business The flagship feature of this pen has to be the optional extension piece that provides about an inch of extra (or reduced) sizing for users in given scenarios. My assessment of this pen is as follows: Appearance: 6 In this case, the appearance and design categories have to separated. This pen has a genius design but only an average appearance. Further, in this case, I feel the appearance rating is extra subjective. I do believe there is such a thing as objective beauty, even if one is put off by the subject matter or doesnt care for the presentation at hand. One such example might be the majority of painstakingly crafted makie-e pen works (objectively impressive and beautiful). One may not care for the dragons or mythological creatures depicted on some makie-e pensin fact, some of them scare me! But, generally, there is enduring beauty in delicate craftsmanship. Still, these philosophical factors did not influence my rating because there is also great beauty to simplicity if executed correctly. In this case, though the pen body is basically just a large bullet-casing in 100% brass, the presentation of the overall product is amazingly softer than it could have been. The finial contains a very cool Kaweco logo and is gently rounded, as is the end of the pen. The lines (if there is such a thing on this pen) are pleasant to behold. The brass is well polished and the overall finish is top notch. Brass, like any material, can be finished poorly or delicately; Kaweco opted for the latter option. However, I do think the pen is a bit choppy looking with the extender in place (to be explained later). So whats the verdict? If you only enjoy pens with ornate accouterment, filigree work, and/or urushi finishes with captivating lines, then this pen sucks. But, if you want a pen made of a unique material but dont want to spring for a Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava edition, check out my brass! Stated another way, if you like tremendously understated simplicity, raise a glass to the no-nonsense (uncelebratory?) Germans at Kaweco who designed this pen and say cheers to the supra! Frankly, I love Kaweco. Design: 8 This pen deserves a high score here because its highly portable and pragmatically designed. Being clipless and smooth, this pen will not get snagged on anything in a pocket, bag, or purse. If your pens must always have clips then dock the score. Its also heavy duty (to be discussed below under construction/quality) which ads to its portability and adjustability. And, arguably the flagship feature of this pen, the extension/contraction option found in the removable section of the barrel is genius. Further, in every layout the pen cap can be posted via a screw-on connection for security and comfort. These features all combine to allow multiple people of differing sizes to share the same pen. And these allow the user(s) to adjust the pens dimensions for a given task at hand. The pictures tell the story best on this subject, but there are a few guiding words I wish to offer to ensure my observations are noticed and considered. Consider these scenarios: First, when the pen is posted without the extender in place, it perfectly into average-sized hands. However, when the pen is not posted it is ridiculously small for adult hands. Thus, if one desires to take quick notes there is the extra step (delay) of needing to screw on the cap. If one wants to write at length with this pen then screwing the cap on is not a problem and the issue is moot. Secondly, with the extender in place, the pen is the perfect length without the pen cap posted. But, where does one put the cap when taking quick notes since it cant be posted quickly without screwing it on? It can fall or roll away. Thirdly, this pen is ridiculous, full on silly, when posted with the extender in place. The pen becomes extremely heavy in this configuration and the balance is terribly back-heavy when posted like thisits well over 6 inches long and very thin so it looks, feels, and performs awkwardly when used in this manner. Just dont do it unless youre a masochist with strong wrists and a desire for quizzical looks. So, the options for us, the users, boost this pens design score, as well as the cool screw-on cap for posting. But, sharp threads in all areas and some difficult sizing scenarios keep this pen from a 10 rating. 8 is still strong. Construction/Quality:10 I have no reservations scoring this a 10. Perhaps the greatest strength of simplicity is the fact that theres no quirky filling systems or bells and whistles to break or act up. This pen is solid brass and everything fits together well. Nothing wobbles when tightened or squeaks when being turned on or off. These facts make this pen highly portable because I can toss it (not gently place, toss) in my bag or pocket or even my cup holder in the car with some change. The pen is punishment resistant. Try that with a new MB 149! There are no concerns here about protecting the precious resin body (cough, cough, plastic). If (when) this pen brasses (aka tarnishes) I may come back and raise or lower the score here or in the appearance section. Will it age with a cool, personalized patina like the Montegrappa Copper Mule pen? Or will it tarnish like great-grandmas silverware thats been tucked in her attic since World War One? Weight/Dimensions: 6 The strengths here center on the somewhat customizable extension piece. But its not an 8 or higher because, as mentioned above, some of these configurations are a bit awkward. I love heavy pens, but this one is heavy for its size. WITH EXTENSION PIECE: Length Capped: 5.10'' / 129.6mm Uncapped Length to tip of tines: 4.9'' / 124.2mm Posted Length: 6.4'' /165mm (way too big & unbalanced!) Section Diameter: 0.38'' - 0.41''/ 9.6 - 10.5mm Barrel Diameter: 0.45'' - 0.48'' / 11.5 - 12.5mm Weight : 50 g WITHOUT EXTENSION PIECE: Length Capped: 3.90'' / 99mm Uncapped Length to tip of tines: 3.7'' / 95.0mm Posted Length: 5.25''/133mm Section Diameter: 0.38'' - 0.40''/ 9.7 - 10.2 mm Barrel Diameter: 0.45''/ 11.5mm Weight: 38 g Nib/Feed: 6 This score is based on a sliding scale for what it is. I believe this pen sports a #6 sized steel Bock nib. Scored against a far more expensive Pelikan m1000 gold nib the supra would score a 4. But for the price of this pen the nib and feed were impressive. I want to mention this in detail because I have been reading and hearing that Kaweco nibs are pretty hit or miss, perhaps even more miss out of the box. Well, mine writes beautifully and required zero adjustments right out of the box. I have experienced zero hard starts, skipped lines, or babys bottom from this pen. This pen sports a fine (F) nib and writes just a little softer than a nail. There is very minimal line variation, but its detectable with some pressure. If you want flex in a pen, dont buy this one, and drop the score. There is no scratch to this nib, but there is plenty of feedback to let you know the pen is writing. It does not glide like butter, and if it had any more feedback I'd call it scratch. The pen does write upside down and lays down an E.F. line. The feed keeps up nicely with fast writing and even scribbling, and its actually quite wet for a fine (though far from a gusher). I also like the appearance of the nib, though thats not being exclusively scored here. Filling System/Maintenance: 7 I suppose I never really know how to score a pen like this where everything just works. Its not clever or inventive, but why should I dock a pen for using tried and true methods? It disassembles nicely and flushes clean easily with a bulb syringe or running water. This pen is international converter friendly, however, two of my universal converters did not fit. I blame that more on ebay than Kaweco. J One thing I would like to know and shall not delve into now is if this pen can house a double-length cartridge when the extender is in place. Let me know if you have tried. In my case, I am exclusively using this pen with cartridges as this will be my traveling pen. I do not always want to fiddle with loading and transporting traveling inkwells or bottles of ink so having one handy-dandy, durable, brass fountain pen fueled with disposable (or refillable) cartridges fits the bill for me. Cost/Value: 6 I really like this pen. I would purchase it again, too. However, I do think it would be something to rave about at $60-75. At about $100USD shipped from overseas I am happy and far from feeling ripped off. But, I also dont feel I got a sweet deal at the MSRP. Why elaborate. This section, perhaps more than even the appearance section in this case, is highly subjective. How do I feel about the value of this pen? Since its not brazenly overprized, Id sayMeh. But, would I send it back for a refund? No. Conclusion/Score: 7 As a reminder, this high score is based somewhat on a sliding scale for a pen that offers all these nifty features with solid nib performance for around $100 shipped. The anchoring factors that held the score firmly in the black were the adjustable extension options, a tank-like construction lending itself to portability, and the unexpectedly pleasant nib/feed experience. I do not feel its accurate or helpful to review all pens on the same scale; for, how would this pen score against the Namiki Vermillion Urushi #50 pen I just reviewed? Thats oversized urshi Apples versus brass oranges. Final words: I recommend this pen. I even like the little raised-logo tin can the box came in with a shiny little sticker as a bonus.
  12. This review of the Blackstone Maxim II is long overdue – I’ve had this pen in my possession now for nearly 5 months, and have been meaning to ‘write it up’ for that past few… When the JustWrite Pen Co first started developing pen designs a few years ago, Kevin (the proprietor) was kind enough to send me some prototypes to trial, in return for honest feedback. Those original pens (which were eventually released under the name ‘Maxim’) didn’t quite fit the bill for me: I found the chrome grip sections too narrow to be comfortable for me, a little too slick. Much as I liked the look of the pen, I decided not to purchase any. That all changes, though, when the Maxim II ‘Heavy Metal’ pen was released, in an antique brass finish. With a larger (#6) nib and a slightly larger diameter grip section, I decided to pull the trigger. And thus far, I’ve been very happy with this pen. In the interests of full disclosure, JustWrite have provided me with free ink and pen samples in the past – usually prototypes for testing and feedback. However, this pen I purchased at full price with my own money. All opinions expressed are my own – this is my attempt to provide a (personal but) impartial review. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design As with JustWrite’s other pens, the Maxim II is built around a fountain pen ‘kit’ – in this case, the brand of the manufacturer (Dayacom) is imprinted on the nib, and also on the underside of the clip. The ‘rustic’ / artificially aged look of the pen comes from the pen kit materials, which have been ‘married’ to a brass cap and body, machined from a solid brass bar according to the JustWrite website. http://i.imgur.com/HVTniaQ.jpg I was very impressed with the overall look and feel of the pen. There was already a patina coating the entire pen body when I received it, with some kind of ‘blackening’ of the grooves in the threaded parts of the pen. The brass body and cap look like they’ve been treated to match the colouring of the clip, finial and other ‘kit’ parts. You can tell they’re not made from the same material, but they’re a pretty close match. http://i.imgur.com/syDPaUs.jpg 2. Construction & Quality The Maxim II Heavy Metal Pen is an absolute beast – solidly constructed, with good fit and finish. It feels very substantial in the hand, and is made from quality parts. 2. Weight & Dimensions I said a moment ago that this pen is a ‘beast’ – and it’s a weighty one at that! Capped, the Maxim II weighs in at nearly 66g; the uncapped weight is 35.9g. For that reason, although the cap can be threaded securely onto the rear of the pen, I’d advise against it – it becomes far too heavy for comfortable writing, and significantly back-weighted. Lovers of light-weight acrylic pens won’t be thrilled by the heftiness of the Maxim II – but I quite like heavier pens, so this is not an issue for me. The capped length of the Maxim II is 137mm; uncapped it’s an ample 131mm, while posted it’s an unwieldy 170mm. http://i.imgur.com/Ib7yqtE.jpg The pen is relatively slender for its size and weight – the cap diameter is 14mm and the barrel 12mm, while the grip section is only around 8.5mm (closer to 10mm at the threads). For me, that’s a bit on the thin side – but I still find it very comfortable to hold. 4. Nib & Performance I’ve accumulated a stash of replacement #6 nibs in recent years, so I decided to go for the cheapest option – a stainless steel OEM nib. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) it arrived with a two-tone nib – but aesthetically, that seemed like a good fit so I decided to stick with it rather than ask for a replacement. http://i.imgur.com/RV1qFwI.jpg As it turns out, the decision to go cheap was a good move for two reasons. In the first place, the two-tone Dayacom nib was a beautifully, buttery smooth writer that just glided across the page, laying a generous amount of ink. http://i.imgur.com/WjrLSQg.jpg http://i.imgur.com/FoA2tfY.jpg It’s worth noting that the Maxim II grip section is designed to be compatible with the kind of screw-in #6 JoWo units that can be obtained from places like fpnibs.com, meisternibs.com, and Edison Pens. I like to ‘mix and match’ when I can, so I’ve enjoyed swapping different nibs in and out. http://i.imgur.com/9AW8cFY.jpg 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Maxim II will take standard international cartridges, but comes with a standard international converter. My larger Schmidt converters are too large (in terms of diameter) to fit inside the barrel, but the converter provided is of reasonable quality, and works just fine. I’m not overly fussed about filling systems – I like the larger reservoir provided by piston fillers (like my TWSBIs), but tend to get impatient before the ink runs out, so… the smaller ink capacity of a cartridge converter is fine by me! http://i.imgur.com/w5EYJc0.jpg 5. Cost & Value The Maxim II with standard OEM nib sells for AU$99 (incl. GST) – which translated to around US$66 ex tax on current exchange rates. It’s not cheap, but compared to the Karas Kustoms INK ($100 for the aluminium model, $155 for brass) it’s very competitive. I know that’s not comparing apples with apples (the Karas Kustoms pens are machined completely in-house), but it’s the best point of comparison I can think of. 6. Conclusion Of the Blackstone models I’ve tried just far (I’ve also trialled the Maxim and the Axiom), I have to say this is their most appealing design to date. It’s a hefty metal pen, no doubt about it, but sits comfortably in the hand, writes well, and looks and feels great. For people who like a more ‘antique’ look to their pens – and/or who like a weightier pen – the Maxim II is definitely worth a look.
  13. Cyclopentadiene

    Jinhao 159 - Long Term Review

    Hi all, I've had quite a lot of time free at the moment and so have finally got around to making my first review - of the Jinhao 159 pen. It's a pen that has been reviewed before, but as I've been using the pen for over a year now thought it good to share some of my experiences. And so... Introduction: After failing to find a Montblanc 149 at a price I could afford I decided to try to look for alternatives, allowing me to try out the apporximate feel of the giant without leaving such a hole in my wallet. Many brilliant reviews pointed me the way of the Jinhao 159 and so after finding a reputable looking seller on that online auction site I purchased one from china for £7 (a rather handy sum as it's below the value on which import goods are taxed entering the UK). Around two weeks later the pen arrived in red corrugated cardboard box. Not a brilliant nor beautiful box box but considering the price rag, very welcome. Opening the box by lifting the lid reveals the pen... (the box has disappeared into the ether so unfortunately can't photo it!) Appearance and design (6/10): The Jinhao 159 is a large black cigar sharped pen with chrome accents. The pen is styled after the already mentioned Montblanc 149. The clip is steel and is chrome plated. It caries the somewhat gaudy Jinhao Chariot motif in a shield. The cap band is a single ring of what feels to be plastic. Jinhao on one side... 159 on the other... The nib is large and attractive and displays the same chariot design as the of the clip albeit in a more tasteful fashion. The size, shape and overall appearance of the nib fits well with the design of the pen. The black finish leans more towards gloss and is well presented. I've had the pen for over a year now and despite trips out and about without a pen case I can tell of no scratches or rub wear degrading the finish. At the end of the pen there's a faux blind cap ring highlighted by a chrome ring. Construction and quality (7/10): The pen has an excellent feel in the hand. The pen is fairly heavy although I don't have any scales with me for reference. Uncapped it is a tad lighter than that of my Sheaffer Legacy Heritage. This weight largely comes from the inner brass construction of the barrel which gives it a nice heft. The fit and finish of the pen is acceptable for the price point. The barrels brass components could practically be used as a club, they seem so sturdy, but the plastic fittings at the cartridge/converter mechanism feel a little flimsy. As previously mentioned I have had the pen for over a year and haven't found any wear to the finish of the pen, wether it be at the chrome or black lacquer. Weight/Dimensions (9/10): The pens measurements are below. For comparison I've also stated those of its expensive basis the 149, gathered from Richard Binders site (a most useful and otherwise brilliant site). MB149: Length Posted; 170mm Length Capped; 149mm Length Uncapped; 133mm Barrel Diameter; 15.2 mm Jinhao 159: Catagories as above; 164mm, 148mm, 128mm, 150mm I've tried writing posted only a few times with this pen, due to its large size I find posting makes it a little clumsy, but the cap posts securely without seeming to mar the finish. As a note the cap is rather heavy and as such moves the balance rather far back when writing. Nib and Performance (7/10): One of the things that initially attracted me to the pen apart from the size was that it was advertised as available (only as far as I'm aware) with a broad nib. The nib I received performs to my mind as a wet, smooth Medium nib. This of course is a welcome change from the vast majority of chinese budget pens bieng available with fine/extra fine nibs. I was surprised on receiving the pen how well it wrote and am still surprised how well it writes today. Line width is constant with minor variation possible if pushed hard. The nib is labelled 18K GP. I believe I heard on a video review that it has been tested and found incorrect. Regardless the steel nib performs reasonably well and has plenty of tipping material if you're partial to tinkering. The nib performs well on a variety of different papers from regular copier/inkjet stuff to Rhodia and G.Lalo. Good nib for a cheap pen. I'm lead to believe these nibs are friction fit and as such should be easy to clean out, I however just just usually soak the section etc. Filling system and Maintenance (5/10): Filling is by the boring c/c filler mechanism. I got a converter included with mine on purchase. Frankly the converter is actually quite good. Also fits waterman pens as well. The converter is branded Jinhao - again with the ubiquitous chariot logo. I don't have a measuring cylinder with me at the moment but I believe the capacity to be around 0.8ml. Cost and Value (10/10): As mentioned earlier I paid £7 for the pen shipped last year off of eBay. It's damn good value for a 149 mimmic. In fact it's the best value pen I own. I've other cheap chinese pens by Jinhao and Hero but they tend to have significant issues that I won't go into for this review. Conclusion (44/:60) 7.3 When purchasing I expected a well sized pen with an OK nib. In fact it is an excellent tool that I now incorporate into the rotation of pens I take out and about. The nibs are attractive, nice and wet. The pen is well balanced and fairly well built and costs shipped less that a round of drinks (considerable less actually...). My only concern with recommending the pen is that Quality control has been highlighted as an issue. I've heard reports of bad nibs, rubbish feeds and cracking inner caps. Maybe I got lucky but my advice would be to give one a go. If it doesn't cut it as a pen you can use it as a truncheon!
  14. In June of 2015 (I think it was) I first became aware of a new pen project being launched on Kickstarter. Kelvin Verrett, the guy who designed the pen, describes himself as a “Mechanical Engineer working in Aviation” who uses his spare time to “create innovative products in my small CNC Machine Shop”. This was his second Kickstarter project - but it looks pretty certain it won’t be the last. As anyone who was watching the project will know, the original design was for a short (4.45in) pen, machined on his CNC lathe, that would be suitable for everyday carry. Backers could choose from titanium, copper or brass bodies (with a titanium clip), and decide whether they wanted a fountain pen, or a pen that would accept Space Pen / G2 gel pen / Parker pen refills in the barrel. Various other options became available as stretch goals - including a lanyard cap option, the capacity to buy extra tips, and the option of buying a longer bodied pen (5.45in length). One of the things I really enjoyed about the Kickstarter was the ongoing communication - all the way through, Kelvin was providing entertaining updates on his Instagram channel, that kept us up-to-date with design changes and improvements, stretch goals, and (during construction) the various delays and challenges that he had to overcome. By the time the campaign had ended, I’d changed my order several times - settling on a titanium and a brass pen, both the original (shorter) size, plus a lanyard cap, plus an extra brass tip to accommodate a Space Pen refill. I don’t want to write a lengthy review - just a few details, a few comments, and some pictures - but let me say up front I was really pleased to receive these pens a couple of weeks ago. The titanium pen is still in my possession, while my teenaged son is putting the brass version through its paces. Without further ado, a picture first of all: http://i.imgur.com/hgi6n8b.jpg The pen is beautifully machined from solid titanium rods. The cap and barrel have slightly different diameters (10mm vs 9.5mm), making this a farly slender pen. Capped, the pen is 114 mm long; uncapped it’s only 107mm - which means the end of the barrel only just extends beyond the webbing of my hand: http://i.imgur.com/6nATmpH.jpg I purchased the pen to be a portable pocket pen, and it fits the bill for that purpose admirably - I worried the extra inch might make it too long to sit comfortably in my pocket, but that would be an option for anyone wanting to order a slightly longer pen. It’s perfectly comfortable for me to write with - but better suited to shorter note-taking sessions, rather than writing a multi-thousand-word essay! By way of comparison, here’s a picture of how the titanium and brass TiScribes (capped) line up against a few other pocket pens - a Kaweco AL Sport, a Stipula Passaporto, and a TWSBI Diamond Mini. http://i.imgur.com/kGXYrPT.jpg These pens all post, of course, so are longer when deployed for writing - but again, the TiScribe is just long enough (for my medium-sized hands) to write comfortably. As I mentioned earlier, I ordered my pens with an optional extra lanyard cap (no clip) that would allow me to carry it around my neck, plus a brass “pen tip” to convert to a ballpoint / gel pen: http://i.imgur.com/vyiOaVt.jpg The threads that hold the cap onto the barrel are nicely machined, and ensure a tight seal. The threading between the grip section and barrel is reversed, so that the barrel doesn't accidentally unscrew when you're trying to uncap the pen - the unintended consequence of this is that if you try to overtighten when recapping the pen, the barrel begins to unscrew... but that's better, I think, than exposing the cartridge / converter when you're wanting to write! Looking inside, the 'standard' size pen takes short standard international cartridges, or the Monteverde mini-converter - the larger ("full-size") version will also take a full-length cartridge converter. http://i.imgur.com/czID92z.jpg The threads that hold the cap onto the barrel are nicely machined, and ensure a tight seal. The threading between the grip section and barrel is reversed, so that the barrel doesn't accidentally unscrew when you're trying to uncap the pen - the unintended consequence of this is that if you try to overtighten when recapping the pen, the barrel begins to unscrew... but that's better, I think, than exposing the cartridge / converter when you're wanting to write! When Kelvin first conceived of the project, his intention was to supply the fountain pen version of the pen with Kaweco nibs - given the volumes eventually involved, he was able to source his nib units directly from Bock (060 size), with standard Bock branding: http://i.imgur.com/HDORqow.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/x1bCeX5.jpg You could easily swap in a Kaweco nib unit, though - and I'm pretty sure the smaller nib units Goulet Pens sell for the Karas Kustoms Fountain K will fit too! I'm not sure much else to say about the pen - other than to say I'm really pleased with the purchase! I understand Kelvin is making a few minor adjustments to the design, and planning to release version 2.0 sometime soon - you can keep up with developments on his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/one2tencnc/) or on his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/CNC2Live). If you have any questions, I'm happy to try and answer them - feel free to leave comments below!
  15. I have a Kaweco Al Sport gray. When my hands are dry from washing them frequently or from winter dry air I find the finish on my gray Al Sport to be quite slippery. For those of you who have the Brass Sport and an Al Sport how does the Brass Sport compare in terms of being slippery in the grip?
  16. Took a chipped matte black Pilot Vanishing Point and refinished it...
  17. This morning I saw the Kaweco Sport Brass version, I think it may be as close as I can get to a perfect pen (I like small, heavy FPs) So now that I've ordered one (I couldn't resist...) I want to know what nib options I have for it. I have used Kaweco pens before, the nibs are good workhorses but I want something to match the brass and I'm hoping a gold nib will do nicely. I have never sought out a replacement nib for a Kaweco before, and a quick search on these forums didn't reveal too many options for them other than Kaweco's own gold nib or heavily modifying (i.e. filing) an existing nib. Are there no other stock options? Is it also true that Kaweco Brass Sports will accept a #5 nib? (I believe my liliput is a #5) So do I have any options regarding replacement nibs for my Kaweco? (Gold nib preferred but a good steel option would be nice to have as well)
  18. Received today. Review in the photo,
  19. I got a 'pen part'.....the base of a Parker 51 desk pen, brass bottom: Im wondering what the possibilities of having something engraved on it(ie the pens bottom, rather than my own: though age and gravity have taken their toll on my own, and it would allow more area to work on, I draw the line - no pun intended....this whole topic is daft enough without my adding to it.....though it's written to try to keep my spirits and sense of humour up, as the last couple if months have been very difficult....) Anyway, any suggestions? Pictures shown. It's a nice thing in any case - I have one already, complete with pen....beautiful, black, 'snail' turned pattern on the pen, and is a sweet writer and so comfortable. Hence I was wondering if this could have something engraved. I doubt if it's something one can do at home....or is it? Alex
  20. Here’s an overdue review of my most expensive fountain pen to date and my very first customised pen. I first came across C.E. Levi pens at my very first pen meet 2 years ago (when I was such a newb and ‘ebonite’ itself was a foreign language), the Nox had such a nice finish, so sleek and unassuming and I was sold (emotionally only then). I am not that keen on his modern wood grains or ripples (no offence, I love my Waterman 52 ripple but only because it came from that period in time right?) and despite the lovely Colossus, the high-gloss finish? I can imagine the pen slipping right through my fingers. A fan of Lamy 2000’s futuristic design and seamless curve extending beyond its piston, I was pleasantly surprised to see a brushed attempt at the Colossus. Conflicted between the Nox and brushed finish Colossus, I went for it regardless. Knowing that it’s a heavy pen, I borrowed my friend’s Lamy 2000 for a couple of weeks to get used to a heavy pen. Sorry about the photos, but I tried: Length: 127.5mm Cap diameter: 12.5mm Material: Brass Design: 4/5 I love the simplicity of the design—sleek and modern, imposing yet unassuming—and the double band grooves on the cap. Not meant for posting though. (This could be an idea for future attempts, but without ugly visible grooves please!) Finish: 3/5 I asked for the filler cap to be flushed to the body as well, but I do not understand why that could not be done. The same for the cap, I can tell he tried his best, but when I run my fingernail across, the kink is obvious. But hey, the 2000 is made on a computer-operated machine and this is by hand-operated machine right? With a nitpicking eye, the brushed lines wavers occasionally, okay wait, it wavers rather much upon scrutiny. The cap closes in about 700 degrees, making it almost 2 complete rounds. It squeaks sometimes, but I like the way the cap closes with an invisible pull towards the end and seals up the nib. You’ll never see the cap come loose on you. Knowing the issues of fingerprints and patina beforehand, I was prepared for it and now I like how my pen has been ‘broken in’ with my caresses. Filling system: 4/5 My second button-filler, and we know button-fillers have less capacity. I’m all for that, since I get sick of the colour pretty quick. My paranoia is changing sacs though, is there anyone capable of doing a repair when Levi is no longer around. Case in point, the filling system is so well-integrated in this pen that I’m not sure how the hell I would get water or dampness in this pen as long as I cap both ends. The button-filler might just last forever without a replacement in this one that’s a comfort. Nib: 3.5/5 Awfully glad another friend jumped on the best nib that was offered, so I got the slightly cheaper, second best. A vintage #2 swan nib that is wet, flexible and sweet. Too wet perhaps, it writes fine but it spills ink into my cap and the stains transfers into the grooves. Being full metal, more careless washing could be done I guess but times like this, I want an ultrasonic cleaner for Christmas. I suspect that it’s the fitting of the feed being less than perfect. A heavier shake is all it takes for ink to spill. Weight: 4/5 It is a heavy pen, but it is metal after all. The solid weight complements its character, though I try to dispel the thought that I spent a few hundred quids to buy a brass rod for my hand. I love the Lamy 2000 design but I kept rotating the pen while I write, which doesn’t happen with other pens. Maybe it’s the hooded nib being too shy, for I do not encounter the same issue with the Levi pen. One check of the nib direction every time I uncap is all I need throughout any length of writing. During prolong time gaps between note taking, moisture gathers on the hands and the pen is prone to slipping. Instead of keeping it in a writing pose, I tend to place it horizontally between fingers nowadays. The weight rests quite well in the flesh between my thumb and index and there is hardly any writing fatigue with the pen at its cause. 2 months into its usage and I see micro scratches but they are like the faint patina and micro dirt settling itself into the tiny weeny brushed surface, I embrace this pen as my last purchase of the year but I can’t promise it won’t get itself a cousin in the future. Meanwhile, you can see occasional appearances of it in my Instagram.
  21. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of new lines from Kaweco, including their premium bottled inks, Liliput Brass, AL Sport Stonewashed, Deluxe Octagonal Pocket Clips, and best of all, and exclusively available at Cult Pens, the Eco Wild Raw Leather pouches. Kaweco have given us a number of interesting product finishes over the years, but none have been quite as unusual as the new AL Sport Stonewashed, available in black or blue. The premise is simple, take the popular AL Sport range and stonewash it like you would a pair of jeans. The result is a writing instrument that looks as though it has been well used over the years. Creating the finish in this way also means that no two pens are the same - the pen you have will vary from everyone else’s, perhaps by a little, maybe by a lot. As usual, pocket clips are optional, but the new Deluxe Octagonal Pocket Clips do add to the vintage-look of the Stonewashed. Add in a Kaweco Sport converter for the fountain pen, and you can use Kaweco’s new high-quality bottled ink, available in 7 colours, each in a 30ml bottle. Kaweco inks are a premium formulation, very reminiscent in character and colour of the old rotring inks. 2014 has also seen the introduction of a new super-compact Brass Liliput. Milled from solid brass, the untreated finish means this pen will - like the AL Sport Raw that came before it - wear over time and develop a unique patina depending on use and storage conditions. This finish can either be left to develop its patina or can be restored using brass polish and a liberal application of elbow grease. Available as either a fountain pen or a ballpoint, in smooth or waved finishes. Following these recent future-proof additions to the Kaweco family, comes the Eco Wild Raw Leather Pouch, a high-quality and incredibly strong leather pouch, which will acquire its own unique character over time. Eco Wild Raw leather pouches are manufactured from high-quality cowhide, sanded and oiled to a velvety, rustic richness. As the leather is not artificially coated, it will readily acquire a patina, along with the scuffs and scrapes of daily use adding to the character of the pouch. These pouches go beautifully with most Kaweco pens but especially with the plain metal finishes. The MD of Kaweco carries his richly-scuffed AL Sport Raw in one of these – a superb combination. Available exclusively from Cult Pens now, the Kaweco Eco Wild Raw Leather pen pouch comes in one- or two-pen sizes to suit both the Liliput, and Sport ranges. Get 20% off an Eco Wild Raw Leather Pouch when you buy any Kaweco AL Sport or Liliput, by using discount code FPNK20 at the checkout.
  22. Hello Everybody Like I say in the title I’m looking to buy a new fountain pen, but I have a profile for what I’m looking for. I’m not in the rush; maybe I’ll but it in the next 2 months. I have a list with some pens that I like how look like is and I’m waiting for expert’s opinion. So let’s start, in the order that I prefer: Pilot MR , price £19, online UK Sheaffer 100, price £27 DeGruchy Store Parker Frontier flighter, price £9, shipped from India Jinhao X750, price £6, shipped from China Sheaffer Targa, vintage, Ebay from £25Now the features for my likes: All brushed metal, S. SteelGood balance, Heavy (25-35grams)About 14-15cm long, cap onNot too thin/thick (~1,3 cm)F to M, wet and smooth nib (like Lamy Safari nibs)Strong pocket clip, chrome trimsSecure post capEasy to clean, maintainInternational cartridges/converter (i know Parker and Sheaffer are using proprietary system) I did try to catch everything I want from a daily pen, mainly used for quick notes, quick writing on cheap paper. My first choice will be Pilot MR because of international C/C filling system, but I don't know how looks in reality, I’ve seen only online...The second pen, Sheaffer 100 I’ve seen in the shop and is very good looking pen, witch thick all my boxes except filling system. Any other pens that you think I should have a look please recommend it.





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