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  1. Hello Good People, Inspired by some comments following my recent purchase of what are probably the last bottles of Coral Sea and Catalpa for sale in Australia, I did a quick and dirty comparison of those inks, along with Violet Vote, both the original formula and the 'last batch' formulation, which arrived today courtesy of Anderson Pens (usual disclaimer applies). I included a few other inks to hand for comparison purposes, so that it is easier to judge the colours, given the variations in the way different computer screens display colours. So here's the comparison sheet: The paper is Rhodia 80 gsm. The colours are fairly close to the original on my laptop screen, so it should give a fairly good indication. Note that the swabs for the two Violet Votes are the wrong way round (had a brain spasm at the time!). The Coral Seas and Catalpas look identical, but you should be able to see that the newer VV is much redder than the original, and to me it's not quite as nice a colour. Here's a quick shot of the two bottles side by side (original on the left): Quite different. What was even more surprising, was when I accidentally shone UV light on the bottle: Sorry about the poor focus, and for some reason the bottles ended up the other way around (original on the right), but the effect is obvious, and you can see the glow from the label of the original bottle. So I did another quick and dirty comparison sheet, with some of the Noodler's UV reactive inks that I had to hand. Photographing that under UV, given that I only had a small UV torch (flashlight), was a little challenging, but I hope the results speak for themselves. First the sheet in normal light: Please excuse the odd blots, my Ahab did a burp. The paper is a sheet of Moleskine from a cahier, which has no UV-reactive chemicals added, so it highlights the effect. Here's the same sheet in UV only: You can clearly see that the new-formula VV is fluorescing in UV light, and the original formula looks almost black as it's not reacting, but there's enough visible light to show it on the page with a hint of violet. The Catalpa and Coral Sea didn't show up as well in the photo as they do by eye, nor did the Fox Red. Here are the bottles under UV, with Coral Sea on the left: Well, that was fun. I hope it's been of some interest to you. Cheers, Effrafax.
  2. I had filled my new Ahab with Noodler's Catalpa for a quick comparison I did for this forum, and decided to see if I could use a Zebra G nib with it (whole 'nuther story), which meant cleaning out the Catalpa. So after emptying the pen and flushing it well, I came across one of the common consequences of using certain Noodler's inks, i.e. staining. The piston on the Ahab now looks like this: Nice green patina! And that's after several turns in an ultrasonic cleaner. And a scrub with a cotton bud. The odd thing is, the component that stained seems to be the UV reactive part: That's almost the identical colour glow to Blue Ghost, just a shade on the greener side. Won't stop me refilling the pen, as it's now got its Zebra fitted for me to do some practicing with, as I'm just starting out with flexible nibs. Nor will it stop me using Catalpa in future. Love the colour and its behaviour, which is very good. Other than the above, of course!

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