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  1. Sharing some pictures of a new model by the Airmail Pen Company APCO located in Mumbai. They call it simply the 71JB. But I think it needs an appropriate suffix to differentiate it from the regular 71JB. I think 71JBRCC should describe it well. R for regular filling (ED) CC for cartridge converter. This pen has a new design on the cap tube and needless to say has a three in one filling system. The RCC. It comes in a black cardboard box. A fancy ink dropper is included. The label. The pen. Notice the lack of an ink view window. The pen opened. The no 6 (35mm) nib unit. The plastic finned feeder. Schmidt K5 converter is included. With the normal 71J in centre. I have self modified the 71J to take the Schmidt FH452. The new nibs are very smooth. Lovely writers. The nibs have no marking, I would have loved the Airmail stamping on them. I feel this is a welcome positive step and makes the RCC option more accessible on an already lovely pen. Cheers Hari
  2. 5umedh

    Parker Frontier

    Parker Frontier Intro Now this is one of the oldest pens I have in my fountain pen collection. When you are at a initial stage of your fountain pen obsession, Parker is the brand you end up having 90% of times. The Packaging This pen comes in a regular cardboard box provided with most of the Parker pens. Nothing fancy here. But I have also seen a same product in a different tin box packaging. The Body The variant I happened to choose was the chrome one. I like the body of this pen. There is noothing going much with it. Simple yet works best. Clip & Pocket Looks When you carry a Parker in your pocket, everyone around knows what brand you are carrying (if they are into FP world). That’s because of the clip of the pen. Parker’s trademark arrow clip. Works great. Spring loaded. Looks awesome. The Cap Cap is friction fit. Not anything more with that. Filling Mechanism This is a cartridge converter pen with standard international cartridges. The box comes with a cartridge and Parker converter. Writing Experience I don’t know about the current league of Parker Frontiers, but this particular pen I have is too scratchy. I had to work a lot on this pen over last 6 years. Had to tune the nib to suit my writing style. Overall, not a very good experience. Posting Posting makes this pen too long (15.2 CM) but not top heavy indeed. I don’t find any difference in writing experience whether you post it or not. Cost This pen costs you around ₹600 in India and I saw it on Amazon US for $9. General Info Locking Mechanism: Friction fit Filling Mechanism: Cartridge Converter Posted: 15.2 cm Capped: 13.2 cm Uncapped: 12.3 cm My Ratings Nib: 4/10 Looks: 6/10 Pocket Looks: 7/10 Writing Experience: 4/10 Wetness: 3/10 Scratchiness: 1/10 Cost: 9/10 Overall Rating: 4/10 Do let me know how you like the review. Follow my blog: https://pen5um.wordpress.com Thanks, 5umedh
  3. It's been awhile since I've written a review, my last one being 3 years ago. Of late, I've been making it a habit to rotate my pens, to the tune of every 2-4 weeks. One of the Montblanc Writer's Edition receiving less love than their peers is certainly the Kafka. Hence my choice today Price: I bought this at the London WES in 2013 from a dealer for 450 GBP/560 Euros, being told it was 'mint' but anyone who's bought a pen or two could tell that wasn't true, from the number of micro scratches found on the pens which you would get with use. But the condition was good, the nib acceptable to write with on paper , so I took a leap and was rewarded. Design: The Kafka is a long pen - in length, the main reason I've not used it as frequently as the rest of my pens, simply because it doesn't fit into my shirt pocket, which is a pity, since it actually has a clip that would make Goldilocks proud. Most fountain pens don't anyway, but this one really sticks out as shown. So it's mostly a pen I use for writing out study notes, or in my journal. It's not a pen I would post. The clips stems off the top of the cap, and is neither too tight to the point of frustration or too loose for comfort. Haven't used the pen in awhile, hence the dull silver, but I think it lends character ! After all it is a 2004 pen, a great way of tracking how old your pens are, when it's engraved on the nib directly ! From top to bottom; Kafka, Pelikan M1000, Pelikan M600, Parker 75 The nib is an 18k gold nib, with the familiar 4810m and Montblanc snowflake symbol engraved on the upper half, and a cockroach to represent one of Kafka's most famous publicly known works, Metamorphosis, where the main character well...not to spoil the story...turns into a cockroach. The nib is not particularly stiff, nor does it have any amount of flex to it, as most modern nibs do. As this is a medium, it doesn't have the 'stub' feel you may get with the broader Montblanc nibs. It was a dream to write with, and the feed keeps up very well, I never had to adjust the cartridge converter mid way ,as you would get with some pens. The sometimes misunderstood, maligned and yet reliable cartridge converter. It seems tightly sealed, so I've not tried seeing what happened if I tugged harder. It's not removable from the pen unit. The choice of colour for the body and cap is a dark ruby red, which at most angles, seem to be a deep and dark black. The body and cap of the pen isn't very reflective for all purposes, so even shining a light directly on to the pen doesn't bring out the reds in a more pleasing manner, as seen in the photo with flash below. Glimmers of red, mostly at the tips. It somehow shuns the light and displays its colours best in a dimly lit room, much like the terror of a flying cockroach landing on your face when the power goes out. Not a finger print magnet, which is a huge plus as well. Why red ? I haven't read enough Kafka, but I can only guess that the term Kafkaesque is frequently applied to the bureaucratic red tape we all find ourselves entangled in on a daily basis . Back to the pen, it's mostly seen at both ends of the pen, where the innards of the pen end at. The bottom end of the pen is tapered off with a piece of sterling silver, which you will see is rectangular in shape, but that transits into a the circular shape which we are all familiar with for most pens. Difficult to capture on camera. but the reflection of light of its surface tells you it changes along the way. Running your fingers along them and you'll find a seamless transition of the shapes. Why wasn't this pen more popular ? My guesses: 1) regarded as being cheaper due to the cartridge converter filling mechanism. I've noticed many FP users here regard having non cc's as being more 'premium', so this was probably seen as Montblanc going cheap on a writer's edition. In my opinion cc's are great, much easier to maintain and less of a hassle to repair. (walking into a minefield here..) 2) less trimmings: The entire body of the pen is mostly 'precious resin, aka plastic' besides the silver trimmings, compared to other pens which had more ornately decorated caps, bodies, nib sections etc. 3) simple design: well some of the writer editions can simply be...quite garish. I've a George Bernard Shaw as well, and it can be, sometimes, a bit ostentatious and invites unwanted conversations and attempts to try it... Overall, it's a design I find very pleasing, simple but elegantly done. I was happy to pay the price for a 2nd hand pen. As I slowly move away from broad nibs, but not yet to fine ones, I think this pen will feature more frequently in my daily pens. Hopefully I've convinced you that this is a wonderful pen ! I didn't score the pen out of a 10, because pens are like watches, love them or hate them, someones 10 maybe someone elses 3.75. I'm always taking suggestions for red fountain pens !
  4. I have recently started using fountain pens again after 30 plus years. I notice that when I fill a pen with a cartridge converter I seem to get an air bubble in the converter. I would like to know if this is normal and if not, how to remedy. I've tried filling really slowly, filling and then releasing back out and refilling while the pen is in the ink and I still get the little air pocket. Any advice is most appreciated.
  5. I have a bunch of vintage-ish pens that aren't really worth the few dollars it would take to sac them, has anyone had luck adapting sac-less sac fillers to fit a c/c? Worst case I would consider gluing the converter on the back, effectively turning it into a piston. I am really not a fan of sacs, but I still want to use these pens and they can't eyedropper convert because of the lever and pressure bar. Anyone have any ideas/successes?
  6. 5umedh

    Pelikan P40 Pura

    Intro I am using this pen for more than a month now. I borrowed this black/ chrome variant of the fountain pen from a friend of mine and will return after I complete this review. The Packaging This pen comes in an attractive box with a cardboard sleeve. The box also includes a fake leather pouch which is kind of good if you want to carry a pen or two. The Nib As all Pelikan pens, this pen is also a pleasant writer. I like metal pens, heavier the better. As you can see in the images, this is a all metal pen. Pleasant to hold and has a medium folded nib. Finial & pocket looks Top of the pen or finial has a Pelikan logo emblemed on it which looks classy in pocket. Clip The clip of the pen is very good. Nice and springy. Posting This pen can be securely posted. Posting makes it a bit top heavy though. I’m not a poster of a pen, but if you prefer posted writing, this is a good pen to have. General Aesthetics Aesthetically, the pen is amazing. I am always amazed when the chrome line (shown in above image) lines up with the nib. You don’t have to put any extra efforts to do that. The threads of the pen are designed to do so. But it is what is expected from a premium pen of this range. Filling mechanism The pen does not come with a cartridge converter which is a pity for such an expensive pen. You can buy one for USD 6-7. Cost A cartridge converter pen which is bit of a set back for a ₹9000 pen. It’s a bit (lot) on costlier side in Indian currency. You would get a good piston filler at this cost if you want. I found it for $97 on amazon.com which when converted to Indian currency comes to ₹6500 (approx.). Almost 28% cheaper. I wouldn’t buy this pen for ₹9000 but if I’m getting it for $97, I might give it a thought. 2 more colors available: General Info Locking Mechanism: Snap Cap Filling Mechanism: Cartridge Converter Posted: 15.5 cm Capped: 14 cm Uncapped: 12.2 cm My Ratings Nib: 6/10 Looks: 6/10 Pocket Looks: 7/10 Writing Experience: 7/10 Wetness: 4/10 Scratchyness: 5/10 Cost: 3/10 Overall Rating: 4.5/10 Do let me know how you like the review. Follow my blog: https://pen5um.wordpress.com Thanks, 5umedh
  7. Hello, For a pen that uses international cartridges/converters, would anyone know how to effect a larger ink capacity than the standard international cartridge converter which holds 0.7 ml. For example, syringe filling a full length cartridge will achieve 1.4 ml approx or eye dropper filling the pen even more; but these use syringes and eye droppers which are inconvenient. Are there alternatives like squeeze fillers ? I'd imagine a sac that runs the full length of the pen would equal a full length cartridge. Thanks, Fabian
  8. The Diplomat Excellence A is a pen that’s been on my radar for the past year or so – a beautiful looking pen, with a reputation for being a smooth writer… but it was just a bit too far above my budget. Enter Kevin from the JustWrite Pen Company, who’s provided me with pens for review in the past (including the Diplomat Esteem – see https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/271382-the-diplomat-esteem-conservative-german-styling-great-writing-experience/). In June 2015, Kevin was offering a 25% discount on all products listed on his website – on top of the (comparatively) competitive pricing he’d already put on these pens. The only option available (from memory) was a pen with chrome and black finish – but an email enquiry revealed that he also had stocks of the Marakesh finish. He kindly agreed to list one so I could take advantage of the discount… and here we are. True confession: the Diplomat Excellence A is probably the most expensive pen I own – but I have no regrets about ‘splashing out’. I’m not normally a fan of M nibs (I prefer fines and stubs/italics), but even so writing with this pen is a sheer pleasure. After 3 months (and a few other pen purchases), this is still up there in my top 2-3 (along with my matte black Vanishing Point and my TWSBI 580 with custom ground cursive italic). ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design (10/10) From the moment I opened the parcel post envelope, I was impressed with what I saw. The Diplomat box (with aluminium wrap-around lid) is large and imposing, and speaks of quality. http://i.imgur.com/CailtrQ.jpg http://i.imgur.com/Fp77kci.jpg And as for the pen? I liked the Diplomat Esteem I was provided for my previous review, with its ‘piano’ black lacquer and chrome accents – but the Marakesh finish on this pen is just beautiful. A deep coppery-brown colour that’s hard to capture – becoming darker or lighter depending on the way it catches the light, and with a definite metallic ‘shimmer’ to it. The pen does come in a variety of finishes – so if the colour of the Marakesh is not your thing, there are plenty of other options – and the black finish is available in chrome or gold trim – but the basic shape remains the same. The Diplomat logo on the finial is black on white plastic – simple and understated; the shape of the pen is (like the Esteem) fairly standard and conservative. http://i.imgur.com/oebpGpV.jpg http://i.imgur.com/4fgk8FE.jpg 2. Construction & Quality (9/10) Like the Diplomat Esteem, the Excellence A is solidly constructed, beautifully designed, and flawlessly executed. The cap and body are made of metal, covered in a ‘metallic’-looking copper brown lacquer; the grip section is made (mostly) of plastic, but is pleasant to hold. http://i.imgur.com/wscVXl1.jpg The pen clip is attractive and sturdy, with a little bit of give. I admit I do baby this pen a bit, but the lacquer shows no signs of scratching or chipping. My only slight quibble is that you have to be careful capping the pen – unless pen and cap are lined up perfectly, the wings of the nib seems to ‘catch’ against the plastic inner cap. The pen posts fairly deeply, but doesn’t appear to be designed for it – and it upsets the balance of the pen (back-weighted) while writing. http://i.imgur.com/FRRizDh.jpg 3. Weight & Dimensions (10/10) There’s no doubt about it, the Excellence A is a substantial pen, with a reasonable ‘heft’ to it. If you like your pens ultralight, this won’t be for you – but I love the way it feels. The pen weighs in at 42.3g capped (with half-filled converter), and 14.6g uncapped – which means that much of the weight is in the cap. The diameter of the grip section is 12mm (at its widest – it tapers towards the nib), which is comparatively wide – I think that’s part of what I enjoy most about the ‘feel’ of the pen. http://i.imgur.com/zWN9tzz.jpg The pen is 139mm capped, and 129mm uncapped; posted, it’s a rather unwieldy (and back-weighted) 155mm. At its widest (just above the band), the cap diameter is 14mm, compared with ~13mm for the barrel (just below the cap band). 4. Nib & Performance (9.5/10) When I first received the Diplomat Esteem, I had lots of problems with the nib – it was slightly misaligned relative to the feed, and even after adjusting was prone to skip. I had no such problems with the Excellence A nib. The pen I purchased came with a stainless steel M nib (no other options available at JustWrite, though the manufacturer makes stainless steel and gold nibs, in F, M and B.). The M was beautifully wet and juicy – it laid down a fairly standard medium line. With moderate pressure it’s possible to get a bit of line variation – but with no pressure applied the pen glides so sweetly across the page, I wonder why anyone would want to mess with the writing experience! I’ve been using Diamine Ancient Copper as my ink of choice in this pen – it’s a fairly good match, colour-wise. http://i.imgur.com/hZS04t4.jpg http://i.imgur.com/LNUnZ1z.jpg 5. Filling System & Maintenance (9.5/10) The pen takes standard international cartridges (the barrel will fit two small cartridges back-to-back, or a single larger cartridge) – and a good quality (Diplomat-branded) cartridge converter comes standard. Nothing innovative or imaginative here – but I’m perfectly content with the limitations (and advantages) of this filling system. http://i.imgur.com/xp589en.jpg 6. Cost & Value (9/10) The RRP of this pen is around US$225 (much higher for the rhombus and guilloche finishes) – though a few Australian vendors are selling the black-and-chrome pen for AU$195-225. Given the weakness of the Australian dollar, that’s pretty good – I managed to get mine for under $150, which was just spectacular. Whatever the price, this is a beautiful pen – and available at significantly cheaper prices than (say) a Montblanc or a Pelikan of comparable size. My thanks again to Kevin from JustWrite Pens for agreeing to list the pen so I could buy it at the discount price. 7. Conclusion (Final score [sUM/6]: 9.5) The score I’ve given this pen reflects my enthusiasm for it: it’s a conservatively-styled pen, no doubt about it, but is so comfortable to hold and write with – and I really love the unusual colour of the Marakesh finish. It would be just as good a pen if it were black… but a little less attractive (for mine) to look at. If you’ve got the cash to spare (hey, it was my birthday!), I’d thoroughly recommend this pen as an option to consider.
  9. I always grumble a little bit when I have to use a pen that uses cartridge converters to handle bottled ink. The problem is that the capacity of these converters is so small. They are a pathetic bit of technology, when one is used to piston-filler pens. I wish someone -- perhaps Nathan Tardif at Noodlers -- would make refillable, sealable cartridges for pens that take standard, international-cartridges. (Uh... and also for Platinum, Parker and Pilot format cartridges.) What I'd want is something like Tardif's "308" refillable cartridge that Noodler's provides for its Ahab and Neponset pens, but in an international-cartridge format. That is, made of strong, solid clear plastic;threaded for a cap that can securely seal a full cartridge when it is not being used inside a pen; andavailable in a range of lengths from very short to very long, in increments of 1 mm.Such a cartridge would roughly get you double the capacity of standard piston cartridge converters, because all of the pen's barrel length would be used to store ink; none would be needed for the piston mechanism. You could buy one in a size that would use as much barrel length as your particular pen provided -- short for a Pilot Elite 95s, long for a Sailor King of Pen. (This is especially critical for short pens -- they desperately need the extra capacity.) But why buy just one? Buy five, fill them with a syringe or an eye-dropper in your office, and carry them around in a screw-top plastic cylinder for safety. Now your ink problem is completely solved, when you are out & about. For extra points, line the interior of the cartridge with a thin layer of teflon (better yet, aluminium magnesium boride). Now you will have no capillary forces keeping ink stuck at the rear of the pen; it will all flow downhill into the feed. You can afford the extra expense of doing so, because these cartridges aren't disposable. So this will be a much better ink-reservoir system than either standard converters or cartridges. A thin layer of Teflon will suffice, because the interior of the cartridge is not a high-wear surface -- and a thin layer is good, because you want the walls of the cartridge to be as transparent or translucent as possible, so the ink level of the cartridge can be visually seen. (In a similar vein, I wish that makers of piston-fillers, like Pelikan, Montblanc, TWSBI and Sailor, would teflon-line the reservoirs of their pens. Not only would it improve ink flow, but it would improve the efficacy of flushing the pen with water to clean it, e.g., when changing inks.) I would pay $20/cartridge for such a thing. And I'd buy a bunch of them. They'd completely alter the useability of cartridge/converter pens for me. E. K. P.S. Alternatively, how about a piston-filler converter with a detachable pushrod/plunger? To refill the pen, you screw the rod into the back of the piston, do the refill, unscrew and detach the rod, then recap the pen. Make the piston long for stability in the converter barrel, and have the rod screw into the back of the longer piston. Simple and not particularly high-tech, but you ought to get close to a 2x multiplier in filler capacity over the current designs.
  10. Hello everyone, I have a MB145, and there's ink that got behind the rubber seal of cartridge converter, also some stuck between the rubber seal Does anyone know how to deal with this situation? Thanks
  11. I'm sorry if this is old hat for most, but I just spent the past day looking for some more concrete information on this and came up short. So, I'm posting this in the hope that it'll help others who search online for the same info. I love the Pentel Pocket Brush, but sadly they don't sell them in local shops in my area. Which means they don't sell the cartridges, either. When the brush hairs start to get iffy, I can wait the 2-3 days to get another one in the mail, but I don't want to wait around every time I run out of ink. ...Which is often, because of course brush pens just spit ink onto the page. On a good run I can empty a cartridge in 3-4 days. So, what to do? Yes, you could refill the cartridges with an ink syringe, and that works fine, but I like converters because if you have flow issues, you can use the piston to your advantage. If you use this brush pen regularly and you want to use a converter with it, the following steps should get you all set up. DISCLAIMER: You're going to marry your cartridge converter to working with Pentel Pocket Brushes only. I can't stress that enough. This is now going to be your Pentel Pocket Brush converter, and while it should work mighty fine, it likely won't work with your Platinums after you do this. I can't take responsibility for what you do with this information. Anyway, onward. 1) Pop off the metal ring. This should be fairly straightforward. I tried twisting the thing off using pliers (and some leather lace to cushion the ring), but after that didn't work I just used the pliers to push the metal off the plastic barrel. Worked fine. http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q213/aletifer/IMG_3046.jpg 2) If you try to slip on the converter at this point, it's probably going to work, but just barely. I wanted a better fit, so I took out some 600 grit sandpaper—I got mine at an auto parts store—and slid the converter's plastic step across it a few times to shrink it down some. It didn't take long; just a few passes. http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q213/aletifer/IMG_3047.jpg 3) If you're lazy like me and just use your hands for sanding, the end of the converter might not be perfectly round. That's fine, but just make sure it fits snugly into the back of the pen. For an added precaution, and to get a better fit, I added a thin layer of silicone grease onto the converter before placing it onto the pen. http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q213/aletifer/IMG_3048.jpg There you have it; you're good to go now. Can I draw ink up from the bottle just like I would a fountain pen? Yep, sure can. No reason you can't. ...Just be sure that brush tip is clean, though, or you might contaminate your colored ink. What kind of ink can I use? I use Noodler's Black, which is a pretty near identical in terms of ink properties. In my experience, Noodler's Black is slightly darker, and the drying time is a little longer, but that's it. It doesn't feather nearly as much as I thought it would with a brush pen, and I've had no issues with leaking or my brushes going stiff. (I DID have a problem with India Ink, however. It gummed up my bristles something awful, so if it were me, I'd steer clear of that stuff when using this pen.) Follow these steps and you'll be drawing silly trees in no time. Drawn with a Pentel Pocket Brush, Noodler's Black and cheap copy paper from the office: http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q213/aletifer/IMG_3050.jpg
  12. I haven't bought or used a cartridge converter pen very much for about six years now. The last one that I used regularly was a Duofold Centennial. Even back then, I did note that on the rare occasion that I used a cartridge in place of the converter, the ink flow seemed smoother and generally produced a better writing experience. These days, I wouldn't consider buying a pen if it was offered only as a cartridge converter, and piston fillers obviously don't suffer this problem. Any one else have any thing to say on this topic?
  13. Hello Everyone, So the reason I have made it here is that I am seeking information. My brother had a Yafa Scenario Gift Set that he was not using. I traded some donuts for the fountain pen of the set and have been loving it ever since. I discovered the proper cartridges are the standard long size. But I am looking for a cartridge converter of some kind in a effort to wean off of cartridges. Anyone have any info? http://bit.ly/1u6fLRx - Yafa Link I can snap pics if needed.
  14. I haven't bought or used a cartridge converter pen very much for about six years now. The last one that I used regularly was a Duofold Centennial. Even back then, I did note that on the rare occasion that I used a cartridge in place of the converter, the ink flow seemed smoother and generally produced a better writing experience. These days, I wouldn't consider buying a pen if it was offered only as a cartridge converter, and piston fillers obviously don't suffer this problem. Any one else have any thing to say on this topic?





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