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  1. Pen Pit Stop : TWSBI VAC Mini 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 “TWSBI VAC Mini” demonstrator (clear version). This is the only vacuum filler pen in my collection, and for that reason alone precious to me. Fortunately, it’s also a really good writer with an excellent nib that wrote smoothly right out of the box. I bought this pen in April 2016, and it has been in use for almost 6 years now. This pen is in my regular rotation, typically filled with a colourful ink that brings life to the transparent barrel. Let’s have a closer look at it. Pen Look & Feel My TWSBI VAC Mini is the clear version demonstrator. I love the minimalistic looks of the pen – it’s just transparent plastic with silver accents. I find it quite an elegant and aesthetically beautiful pen – in contrast with the more garish-looking coloured demonstrators that TWSIB has heaps of (not a fan of those 😉 This is a fairly minimalistic pen without much in the way of ornamentation. Some subtle branding is present, with the TWSBI logo on the finial, and a faint engraving on the cap spelling “TWSBI” and “VAC mini Taiwan”. The pen has a screw-on cap that unscrews with 1.5 rotations. It can be posted by screwing the cap on the threads at the end of the barrel. One thing I noticed: when posting the cap, it sometimes misaligns on the threads, resulting in a crooked post (to show this, take a look at the picture with the posted pen in the Safari comparison below). Just something to be aware of. I typically use the pen unposted, so it’s not an issue for me. The silver-coloured M-nib on my pen writes really smooth, and is a true pleasure to use. The VAC Mini is a vacuum filler – which is a really cool way to fill up a pen with ink. You unscrew the end cap, and pull out the piston rod. Next, put the nib in the ink bottle and push down the plunger – this creates a vacuum in the top part of the barrel. Near the nib unit, the ink reservoir flares out (indicated by the arrow). When the piston passes this point, there is a direct connection between the top and bottom parts. Now air pressure pushes the ink inside the barrel, equalizing pressure on both sides. Really neat! With the end cap screwed down, the plunger seals off the nib unit. In this position, no ink can flow to the nib. To use the pen, you need to unscrew the end cap a bit, allowing ink to flow from barrel to nib unit. You have to be aware of this – it happens more often than not that you’re writing with the pen, only to have it stop after a few lines. Darn… forgot to unscrew that end cap! The pictures above illustrate the size of the VAC mini in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The VAC mini is certainly not a large pen, but it’s not too small and can easily be used unposted. Pen Characteristics Build Quality : the pen is well build, and still looks great after almost 6 years of use. The plastic used for the transparent parts is still shiny and unscratched. Mind you – I treat my pens with respect, and always use a pen pouch when carrying them around. But still, the pen has aged gracefully. Weight & Dimensions : the pen is on the small side, comparable with a Pelikan M200/M400. It feels a bit heavier though, probably due to the metal used for the piston rod. For me, the pen is comfortable to use unposted (where it is a little bit smaller than a Pelikan M200/M400). But if you have larger hands, it’s probably best to use it posted. When posted, it’s exactly the same size as a posted Pelikan M200/M400. Filling System : this is a vacuum-filler pen, that can only be used with bottled ink. A rather unique filling system – I’m glad to have a pen of this type in my collection. Nib & Performance : the silver-coloured steel nib is well-proportioned for the size of this pen. The M-nib on my unit writes like a dream, and produces a wet and well-saturated line. I also appreciate the fact that replacement nib units are readily available. Price : I paid 69 EUR for the new pen (including taxes). Given the build quality of the pen, and the cool vacuum-filler mechanism, I’d say this is very good value for money. Conclusion The TWSBI VAC mini Demonstrator is a really nice-looking minimalistic pen, that beautifully showcases the inks you fill it with. I love the smooth nib on my unit that worked perfectly out-of-the-box. For me, size and weight are just perfect - a very comfortable pen for longer writing sessions. The crucial question is: would I buy this pen again? To this, my answer is a resounding YES. This pen totally fits my taste, and is also a very smooth writer. And that vacuum-filler mechanism is just so cool !
  2. This pen is sold by Gem and Co in Chennai. I first noticed this with my friend Jai (Shrujaya). After a long wait finally I could buy one. Stock Gama 1mm nib. It writes very well. Sheaffer Ebonite feed. This cigar version that I called the Gama Himadri was bought in 2014. I had done a DIY section threading for JoWo and M800 nib units. JoWo and Gama nibs. cheers Hari
  3. Pen Pit Stop : Pelikan M205 Demonstrator (2018 Special Edition) 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 entering the pit stop today is the “Pelikan M205 Demonstrator”, a 2018 Special Edition that is itself a re-release of the 2005 version. Pelikan is one of the best-known European pen-makers, with a long history dating all the way back to 1832 when the company was founded in Hannover, Germany. The brand offers both semi-entry-level pens (like the M200 series) all the way up to their flagship M1000 model. All Pelikan pens adhere to the same classical style, and as such are immediately recognizable. I bought this pen in April 2018, for multiple reasons: it’s a Pelikan, and – at that time – I didn’t own a demonstrator pen. As a pen lover, I thought it cool to have at least one pen showing the internal piston mechanism, and the sloshing ink inside the body. Pen Look & Feel The M205 Demonstrator is your normal M200 pen, but with a completely transparent body. This let’s you clearly see the internal workings of the piston mechanism, the nib unit, … Any fountain pen enthusiast owes it to hirself to own at least one demonstrator pen. It’s great for showing others what a fine writing instrument the fountain pen is, and the sloshing ink inside the barrel is just fun to look at. Pelikan delivered a fine pen with this Demonstrator. The pen body is made from a highly transparent resin, that has withstood the years without a problem. Trimmings and clip are done in silver, which – in my opinion – best complements the looks of this pen. With Pelikan, the trim colour is reflected in the last digit of the model number: so M200 pens have gold accents, M205 pens silver accents. My pen came with a steel fine nib. But I quickly changed this with a 14ct gold M cursive italic that I got from fpnibs.com. This nib transforms the pen into one of my favourite writers – very smooth and with some interesting line variation. Like all Pelikans, the cap unscrews with about three quarters rotation, so it’s quickly ready for action. The M200 is a smaller pen, but posts easily and securely, giving it a substantial size that is very comfortable to write with, even if you have larger hands. I’ve got smaller hands myself, and typically use the pen unposted. For me, this M205 Demonstrator is just the right size and weight (i.e. featherweight). The pictures above illustrate the size of this M205 Demonstrator in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The pen is definitely smaller than a Lamy, but still reasonable in size – not so small that’s uncomfortable (and if you find it too small uncapped, you can simply post it). Pen Characteristics Build Quality : build quality is excellent. The pen looks really polished and refined. The pen also withstood the passing of time without any problem. After a full three years of use, it looks good as new, without visible scratches. Weight & Dimensions : about 125 mm when capped – and as such a rather small pen. It’s also definitely a featherweight. If you prefer pens with some heft to them, the M200 model will not be your thing. Posted – the pen becomes about 150 mm long, and fits even larger hands. Filling System : this is a piston-filler, that holds quite some ink. The piston is made from black plastic, but works really well. Pelikan are known for their excellent piston mechanism. Being a demonstrator pen, the piston mechanism can be examined in all its details. Nib & Performance : the M200 series pens have steel nibs. Mine came with an F-nib that wrote fluently straight out-of-the-box. The nib unit can be exchanged quite easily, and is compatible between the M120/M200/M400/M101N models. Being able to change nibs is a significant plus in my book! On this pen, I changed the nib to an M400 14ct gold M cursive italic, that adds some extra spice to my writing. Price : 138 EUR, including taxes. Not too expensive, and you get a fine pen to show off to your friends. A demonstrator pen is always a good conversation starter. Conclusion My Pelikan M205 Demonstrator is a fun pen. My first demonstrator model, and I love it. It really succeeds in showing off the internal piston mechanism, and the ink rolling around in the barrel is a real eye-catcher. With the M cursive italic nib, this one has quickly become one of my favourite writers.
  4. Can anyone explain to me why they like the designs so I can appreciate it more? I don’t mean to be rude or criticize people for what they like, I am just curious why you like the look of these pens. Just please reply! I really want to know what the appeal is. Thank you for your help! W. Major
  5. Hi all. Can I get some Opus 88 Demo users together please? I've had a long bad experience with these pens. Had 2 of them that leaked. You'd find the section full of ink and suddenly you have ink on your fingers in a meeting, etc. etc. At first I was looking for leaks inside the section, but I think it was something else. The feed, or the underside of the nib, would get overflow of ink, to the point where the feed collector is full. When capped this would fall into the cap and back into the section. So the main problem is overflow in the feed. I've had the pen replaced by Opus, which was nice of them, but the new pen does that, only much slower. Hold the pen downwards and, long as the rear knob is slightly open, the feed will very slowly begin to fill up. I want to ask if others are having, or can observe, similar phenomenon. I know the pen in your case may not actually drop the ink eventually, but if you can only use a light to look at the underside of your Jowo nib to see if the ink is controlled in the channel or filling up the underside, that would help me. I have a video I will add when I get a chance. Many thanks for anyone who gives me some input.
  6. From the album: First look

    My order of four Monami Penna pens arrived yesterday. I haven't inked any of them up yet; but my initial impression is one of disappointment. The barrel material is very prone to scratching, even from just the cardboard in the retail packaging itself. One of the pens arrived in absolutely appalling cosmetic condition, on account of movement inside the retail packaging in transit. The clear plastic display box took the brunt of the impact of being crushed and is permanently creased and deformed, along with the cardboard frame inside, but otherwise shielded the pen; however, that made for a bit more wiggle room for the pen trapped inside. p.s. I reported the issue to the AliExpress seller, and I blamed the manufacturer squarely for inappropriate retail packaging design, given that the barrel on another pen of which the box was not crushed is also marred by a haze of micro-scratches thus acquired. To the credit of the seller, he took responsibility for inadequate packaging, and offered to send me replacements for the two pens.

    © A Smug Dill

  7. As the title says, new colours are to be introduced in the Pilot Custom 74 demonstrator line. Namely Forest Green, Blue Black and Orange Red. I saw the news on reddit Pen Gallery from Malaysia has showed a pic and is selling them https://www.instagram.com/p/CJsrqDpDhvt/ I assume these will be available everywhere where the other demos are available (except that maddeningly blue and violet seem to be US exclusives?? WHY???) It would be nice if more colours were added to the regular 74, the 91, the Elite95s, 742 and 912. That said, my wallet thinks it's best as it is and I begrudgingly agree. What would really be super exciting though is if Pilot would introduce their Stub (SU) and Waverly (WA) nibs to the 74 and 91 (pretty please, if anyone from Pilot is reading!).
  8. Penspotting

    Twisbi

    From the album: Penimations

    © Penspotting

  9. I recently ordered one of these. Nice looking pen, but when it arrived there was a hairline crack along the barrel. Really fine, possibly more of a scratch. Anyhow, the seller was really great and sent a replacement - but if anything the second one has got an even worse mark on it. Is this a problem with this model or is it possible to get a clean pen?
  10. The Custom 823 pens have always been highly captivating demonstrators from Pilot Corporation (Japan), sporting the second largest nib (Pilot#15, Namiki#20 nibsize), with a vacuum plunger filling mechanism. The model number 823 refers to the price and year, of launch, although in a slightly intricate manner. Since this pen was released in the year of 2000, 82 years after the company’s inception (i.e. 1918), it carries the first two digits of the model number as ‘82’ and the last digit which is ‘3’ refers to it launch price of JPY 30,000 (3 X 10,000). Also replicated the content with additional pictures in my blog, as the images are/will be reduced to a small thumbnail after a short-while by the image hosting service. Happy reading ! Below is a link to the same: The Pilot Custom 823 Amber Demonstrator Review The Custom 823 (for the Asian market) comes packaged in a standard pilot gift box (Z-CR-GN) which might not draw much attention, quite unlike the pen. The US merchandise comes with a silver sateen lined gift box with a complementary (hey! not really folks) bottle of Pilot/Namiki Ink-70 (Blue). The pen of course is a hot star. A golden label with a model number and nib specs is tagged to the clip. The box carries a user manual for a Type P fountain pen, which does mention keeping the knob slightly unscrewed (at a 2 mm distance) relative to the metal ring, while writing. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4033_zpsn5yia4uf.jpg DESIGN - THE AMBER DEMONSTRATOR (6/6) The Custom 823 comes in three standard designs of translucency transparency - Amber, Smoke and Clear resin, all with gold plated trims. The resin material seems substantial and feels heavy. A silver trimmed version may be a nice thing for many fountain pen nerds including myself. I went for an Amber one with a medium nib and find it quite challenging to resist getting another Smoke version, with recently slashed prices in Rakuten/Ebay. The Amber demonstrator given its lightness, is capable of bedazzling you even with a tiny bit of moonlight. A golden dazzle along the three bands and the clip, subtly delivers the rest. The finials at the cap along with the piston knob conclude the design with a brownish opacity. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4038_zps59uqxwrt.jpg The cap feels substantial and unscrews with one and a half turn, revealing the elegant yet simply designed pen. The grip section is moulded from the same brown resin as the cap-final and the piston-knob, and another golden ring segregates the grip from rest of the body. The amber demonstrator translucency does reveal the steel rod with a plunger seal mechanism. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4058_zpsdj6urt8a.jpg The cap does mention a few things etched across the broader of the concentric golden bands, including the model name CUSTOM 823 and PILOT MADE IN JAPAN with six stars of separations. A thinner band above renders some more aesthetics to the overall design. The clip is tension fit and it encompasses a vertically embossed PILOT within its golden sheen. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/Cap_zpsp81nns3m.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) The brown piston knob unscrews from the golden ring till an end stop, post which the plunger unit can be pulled out. The rod is made of stainless steel and is resistant to most of the commonly used inks. For IG (Iron Gall) and Pigment Inks, care must be taken to clean the pen several times, to prevent clogging or deposit accumulation inside the ink passages. The pen fills to more than two-thirds its capacity, once the nib is dipped in ink and the plunger is pushed back in. This can give a quick gush of ink inside with a comfortable volume of 1.4 - 1.5 mL, which again could last for several days. Although getting some more ink into your pen is quite possible. Cleaning the pen is a similar ritual accompanied with some shake and I suggest you do it on a regular basis, for the ink stains if left may look ugly with time, and might require a light ammonia solution to go-off. And as mentioned in the manual, while writing with the pen, you would need to keep the piston-knob slightly unscrewed (at a 2 mm distance) relative to the golden ring. This will displace a conical valve seal below the piston seal to allow passage of ink to the feed. Given the high ink capacity of these pens with plunger type filling mechanism, this has been done to prevent ink-leakage. And this is a nice thing to have, if you intend to carry the 823 in a flight. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4130_zpsjqcefo3d.jpg For a rather crazy and complete fill, you do have a workaround. With the nib pointed up, you can pull out the plunger of a partially filled 823 and then by slowly pushing the plunger inside, you would get the air-gap between the inverted ink-levels and the visible end of barrel-section minimized. Once the inverted ink-level reaches the visible end of the barrel, you can submerge the nib in the ink bottle and push the plunger in. Voila! Done. This process may result in some ink escaping to the threads of the piston knob, but again you can repeat the same process with water/cleaning solution and shake a little to wash it off. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The nib is friction-fit and comes in a standard 14k monotone design across three stock widths - F, M, B (and some specially ordered custom widths of FA and WA). The nib has a standard pilot design. The tail end of the nib specifies the month and year of manufacture. An elongated hexagonal imprint separates the design from the outer shoulders and tines with an arabesque decor running inside its circumference, encompassing the circular breather hole in between. The branding and nib specifications of PILOT, 14k-585 (58.5% Au Alloy) along with the nib size and width, which are imprinted below the breather hole. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4151_zpscb3t9giu.jpg A standard bluish grey plastic feed with thin fins and a decently sized feeder hole delivers the amazing ink suction. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4152_zpswsiiokoa.jpg PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING With a transparent translucent resin body in form of a traditional cigar shape, it does give a comfortable feel of length. The cap itself weighs 10 grams which makes it top heavy if posted. The overall weight of the 823s have thus a significant (one-third) contribution from the cap. There is then a comfortable grip section with around 1.1 cm diameter. Uncapped Length ~ 13. 2 cm Posted Length ~ 16.4 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm Overall Weight ~ 29 g A capped and uncapped comparison with few of the standard large pens like Visconti Homo Sapiens Maxi, Pelikan m805 and MB 146 is posted below for your reference. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4154_zpsxjd20amq.jpg http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4155_zpsieq78ytb.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE(6/6) It retails at around USD 288, and as usual it’s available at lower street prices towards a band of USD 200. I had got the pen at a cost of USD 220 at that time, which I thought was a good bargain. This year Rakuten sellers made it look lamentable by selling 823s at less than USD 190, inclusive of shipping! OVERALL (6/6) This 14k nib has a wet flow, albeit a hint of softness like the custom 74. The nib is springy and lays a somewhat wider line with pressure. There is no significant variation among the horizontal and vertical strokes. These wet lines take almost 15 secs to dry a Sailor Jentle Sky High on MD paper. http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/soniknitr/C823/DSC_4180_zpsxbepmpcf.jpg Thank you for going through the review. Sonik
  11. Hello FP wizards & Omas FP fans! I have a problem. (yeah, I know what you are thinkin ... too many pens ), but this particular issue has to do what I think is a Omas Extra 630 Demonstrator. I bought it as part of a grouping (one of two pens that induced me to buy the group of FP’s). The piston is stuck. It has traces of ink that have dried over the years. It will not budge, I gently tried to turn it. Not wanting to break or damage it I didn’t force it. I have soaked it in a tall glass bath of water and 2 squirts of liquid hand soap for 2 days. No movement. I have a choice to send back the all of the pens (which I would prefer not!), or tell the seller that it is not able to be repaired w/o professional FP fixer help and request a partial refund of the purchase price of the lot. I like the pen too much to give up that easily or to send back the lot. So, what say you? I have an Ultrasonic cleaner that I have used on other FP’s w/ success. Would you advise using this cleaner? I could simply continue to soak it, but it the water has not entered the piston chamber to dissolve the residual ink (a testament to the seal!) I am not expert at taking apart such a pen and wouldn’t risk damage to it by attempting to. Please, please let me know what you would advise! Pic’s: 1. The first was snagged off our friends Peyton Street Pens website, looks like my pen, although theirs was in pristine condition! PICS#: 2, 3 and 4 are the subject of discussion. Measurements: Capped: 5.25" or 133.35 mm ||| UnCapped: 4.34” or 110mm ||| Cap = 2.25” or 57.15mm Thank you for any comments, advise or predictions! George
  12. Hi friends, had a quick question for any knowledgable or science-minded pen owners out there. I have an Opus 88 Omar — which I love — but when I clean it, something odd happens. The barrel, which is usually transparent, frosts over as soon as I empty the water out. Where water remains, it's perfectly clear, but it gradually fogs up entirely. I thought that it was simple condensation, but it seems to stay there for good (unless there's water present). As soon as it's not in contact with water, it frosts over. I can watch it happen. It doesn't scrub away with a q-tip or paper towel, either. I don't really mind the effect, but I was curious what caused it. Anyone else had this experience? I haven't seen this is any other demonstrator pens, but admittedly my pool isn't that large. Picture:
  13. Probably lying for decades filled with ink, this lovely Noblesse piston was blocked and the button mechanism twisted off ! Getting it free and clean showed the next problem... a ambered, shrinked and deformated barrel. After some different trials, drilling, heating... the piston tensioning remained irregular. Or she was "pen for parts"... or we tried to revive her as a demonstrator. This is how a pen repair ended...
  14. PENRob

    Montblanc Visualised...

    When dedication for the brand and obsession for demonstrators both are present, you eager to combine them... Buying your lath, learning, exercising, being encouraged and trained by a pen authority such as "Fountainbel", someday you reach the satisfaction of realising your dream and making your own pens, this is today ! They contain and represent all visualisation of technique, quality beauty and perfection. Creating and assembling them you understand why they are called "Meisterstück". Generation, system, size, nib... all become "clearely" visual. Maybe the combination of both would be the full perfection, telescoop with nib unit, however no must. Both are joy for the eye. Enjoy with me... Thinking over the post title, came up... Montblanc undressed, Montblanc generations... "Visualised" won and approached mostly my desire of realisation. I look very much forward to your reactions and opinions ! Kind penregards, PENRob Read more about my "penjourney", began 2018, october... https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/340774-making-the-demonstrators-of-my-favorite-pens/page-2?do=findComment&comment=4239401
  15. What is the best Demonstrator pen for a budget of under 50 dollars?
  16. Hi, I was thinking about buying my first TWSBI pen and I'm confused about which one I should buy. I've shortlisted the TWSBI Eco, TWSBI 580 and TWSBI Vac 700. If it were up to you, which pen would you buy and recommend?
  17. ASA TranNauka - JoWo 1.1 Nib The review is simultaneously posted on my blog here : Link The pen I am about to review has sold in huge nos. and probably one of the best-selling pen of ASA. There was a time when I was after Mr. Subramaniam to make a demonstrator pen with screw in nib units from JoWo/Schmidt but somehow he was not able to procure the good material which could withstand the threading to be done for those units and then we gave up. Then one fine day he informed me that he had procured a new material and will be launching an already successful Nauka in the demonstrator version (which was named TransNauka) and I was too excited for the pen and I told Mr. Subramaniam it would sell in huge nos. and therefore I convinced him that we should do a group buy for the same on FPN (TransNauka Group Buy) and believe me, it was immensely successful. ASA TranNauka – In love with Rains The group buy was so successful that he had to stop taking orders on his website for a fortnight even after the Group Buy was closed because of his limited production capability. I have already reviewed a few pens from ASA as below: ASA Rainbow : LINK ASA Viraat : LINK (Absolutely love this fat pen) ASA Spear : LINK ASA Porus : LINK ASA Patriot : LINK ASA I-Can : LINK ASA Galactic : LINK It’s been three months since I have got this TransNauka and further below is my effort to do a detailed review of the pen. Design : 4.5/05 There is an old age saying: “Beauty lies in the eye of beholder” And to my eyes, this pen is the just pure aesthetic pleasure. It’s a beauty. TransNauka inspires awe when it is inked and I believe it one-ups the already existing Nauka. It’s simple, classic, sublime and is on the lines of Bauhaus Design movement which is a unification of art, craft, and technology. The design of Nauka was inspired by famousMORA STYLOS OLDWIN CLASSIC and in fact, one of the fellow fountain pen connoisseur Prithwijit was the force behind the development of Nauka. ASA TransNauka – Uncapped The pen without cap looks like it’s just one piece as the grip section merges with the barrel in such a form that there is no step down which is generally prevalent in many pens. The pen gradually tapers towards the bottom to an almost pointed end. Similarly, the pen tapers towards the grip section till it meets the threads at the top which holds the cap. ASA TransNauka – Comparative pic when pen uncapped and capped The pen comes only in the brushed matte finish and personally prefer the brushed version better than the polished version as the polished version tends to develop micro abrasions and smudges and also looses shine over the period of time. The cap of the pen unlike the bottom of the barrel is not torpedoed shape at the top rather it is like a hemispherical dome. The pen I bought comes with chrome finish ball-end clip and it also comes sans the clip. The cap is almost 3/4th the size of pen making it a very large pen. ASA TransNauka – Cap and Barrel ASA TransNauka – Cap is 3/4th of Pen when uncapped I found the pen very minimalist with no branding. One thing I believe can be improved is to reduce the gap between the cap finial and nib unit when the pen is closed. The pen is beautiful and is bang for the buck at the price and yeah this beauty is handmade. Built & Construction : 04/05 One look at the pen and you won’t actually believe that this pen completely hand-turned. It’s almost perfectly shaped and finished from the exterior. ASA TransNauka – Lovely Finish One thing I found that as much as the exterior is well finished and shaped, the interior of the barrel was not paid much attention. There are certain undulations in interior (1 or 2 places) of the barrel which result in the formation of O-rings like shape inside the barrel with ink. I received two pens, matte brushed finish and the clear polished one. The clear polished one was all over the places with regards to finish and thus it was not launched officially. This brushed finish is superb barring one area with regards to barrel interior area. The brushed finish is also better because of the fact that it hides the lathe marks and also is not smudge-prone. The quality of material used is quite good but is brittle in nature and thus one has to be careful with regards to handling (against falls). The acrylic used is the hard non-modified PMMA and apt thickness of the material are used in pen and is quite better compared to ones used in TWSBI. ASA TransNauka – Cap View showing material thickness and finish ASA TransNauka – Material thickness in Barrel and Grip Section The pen is quality finished one which needs to be handled carefully and if proper care is taken it will last you ages. I love my TranNauka but I care for every pen that I own. If you are the one who keeps throwing his/her pen here and there then I suggest you go for the ebonite version. Balance & Size : 04/05 The cap of the pen doesn’t post securely and that’s because of the design. But.. But… But… the pen is so big even uncapped @ 135 mm that there is no need for posting. The pen is little heavy towards the nib and I believe this could have been countered by providing solid crystal end at bottom of barrel. Nevertheless, this was no issue for me, it’s a minute difference and some of you won’t even notice. ASA TransNauka – Writing with it – Unposted and Posted Initially, I had trouble adapting to the grip of the pen because of gradual slope of grip section from barrel to top of nib unit but now that I am using the pen since 3 months I have gotten used to it. The grip might also be fat for some because of the design and might not be so good for people with small hands. Now for me, it was okay because I prefer big pens with good girth. The pen is big yet light in weight but one thing I noticed is that when uncapped it is lighter than Ranga Bamboo Demonstrator but almost 4 gms heavier when capped and both are equal in length when uncapped but when capped the TransNauka is larger of the two. ASA TransNauka – Weight – Capped and Uncapped Few specification of the pen are as follows: Length of pen (closed) – 160 mmLength of pen (open and unposted) – 135 mm (including nib)Length of pen (open and posted) – 176 mmLength of Cap – 78 mmMaximum Dia of Cap – 21 mmMaximum Dia of Barrel – 14 mmDia of Barrel ( Near Barrel Bottom) – 8 mmMaximum Dia of Grip Section – 13.5 mmMinimum Dia of Grip Section – 11 mmWeight of Pen with Cap – 27.9 gms (inked)Weight of Pen without Cap – 17.13 gms (inked) Below are the pictures of the pen in comparison with others : ASA TransNauka vs Pilot Custom 823 vs ASA Patriot vs Lamy Safari – Capped ASA TransNauka vs Pilot Custom 823 vs ASA Patriot vs Lamy Safari – Uncapped As clear from above pics its a bit fat compared to others. Nib : 3.5/05 The pen can be bought in a variety of #6 sized nib options from JoWo or Schmidt and in various point widths. The one I have here is JoWo Steel 1.1 Stub nib in Black Oxide finish. ASA TranNauka - Nib Shot in Rain The nib is a screw in nib unit and easily replaceable. The nib that I got was a lemon and was scratchy out of the box. I had to tune it and now it performs the way I want. ASA TransNauka – JoW0 1.1 Nib in Black Oxide Finish ASA Nauka vs Pilot Custom 823 vs ASA Patriot vs Lamy Safari – Nib Comparison Advice to people if you are buying the pen from ASA do avail the option of pen/nib testing this might delay the pen delivery but pen and nib will be checked for writing before dispatch and yeah there are no extra charges for that. Ink Filling Mechanism: 05/05 It can take international long or shot cartridges, international converter and can be used as an ED also. The pen looks best when eye dropper-ed and I applied silicone grease to the threads before using it as ED pen. ASA TransNauka – Using as an ED Pen Ink capacity as an eye dropper is 4 ml and will vary with every pen as it is handmade one. Below are the images of handwritten review of the pen sample writing: ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 1 ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 2 ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 3 ASA TransNauka – Handwritten Review – Page 4 Conclusion : 21/25 The pen was bought at group buy price of Rs. 2200 and it was a steal at that price. And now the prices have increased yet it is a value for money option. Beautiful pen but I won’t recommend this to people with small hands. What I Like: Beautiful Design Handmade Quality Finish- Exterior Good Balance and Size Good Ink Capacity Well PricedWhat I don’t Like: Internal Barrel Finish Poor OTB Nib How to Buy: The pen was bought via group buy on FPN and there will be another group buy in near future for the same. Simultaneously who don’t like waiting for group buys can buy directly from ASA website : LINK. And the last I checked it's available on pre-order only with waiting for 4 weeks. For more reviews you can check my blog here : LINK
  18. em_the_pen

    Alt-Goldgrun Staining?

    So I filled this pen with Alt-goldgrun and now it's slightly pink? Is this typical. I can't find anything online about this ink staining much less staining is this color. Does anyone have any insight?
  19. Hi, I was pretty happy with my new Pelikan M805 Stresemann (my second M800 - I couldn't resist the grey stripes!!). But very unfortunately it has developed some nasty stains, apparently *within* the walls of the barrel. I've attached a photo that shows the problem. This is a *completely full* pen. If they were regular ink stains, then I don't think that they would be visible with a filled barrel. This is only the 3rd time I've ever filled the pen. And the only ink I've ever used is Aurora Black!!! Weirdly the ink seems to creep up in the celluloid material..? You can see that especially at the base of the barrel, where it meets the black section. Frustrating... I got the pen for a good price from Cult Pens, and did email them about this, but have never gotten any response. Would much appreciate your advice! Has anyone ever witnessed anything similar?
  20. Pelikans and this model in particular have been reviewed at length, so I'll keep it short and hopefully useful. Preamble: Anyone who knew me at school would scoff: Twenty something fountain pens? You?? But no one understands your handwriting, not even yourself! True, but I decided to retrain myself, so after much effort it is now legible, if not particularly pretty; but more importantly it helps me organize my very dispersed thoughts. I tried mostly utilitarian pens, with seven Lamy Vistas, four Mujis and a Pilot Metropolitan, and eventually realized it's a lot more about the inks than the pens for me; still there were a few designs I drooled over, particularly Pelikans which are way above what I would be willing to pay for a pen, no matter how beautiful or well made: m1005, the mythical dunkelblau m405, m406 and m805, the clear and aquamarine m205 demonstrators, but I'd never been able to see them in person, save for a Marine Blue m605 which I didn't care for. So I kept away from Pelikan, and ended up with a Sailor Professional gear, an Ambition in pearwood, two Lamy Studios (one in Imperial Blue to scratch the dunkelblau itch), besides the other pens I already had, Le Man 100, m600. Enter serendipity? Used m205 blue demo for about $60 on that well known online bazaar, I can't remember if thanks to a coupon. Too good to be true? I took the plunge, sent it to a friend who resends stuff to me... It took six months to get to me, but it was well worth the wait: It's beautiful, even better than I though. And it was in almost perfect condition, save for some barely visible ink trapped in the inner cap. Design: 5/5. In its clear blue and silver trim pen this is now my most beautiful pen, dislodging a Faber Castell Ambition in pearwood, which looks awesome. Even the inner workings of the piston look great, in a futuristic way. It's a timeless design few brands are able to achieve. To me Pelikan Souverains and classics are the closest thing to perfect pens, although I must confess I dislike most of their special editions, marbled finishes and gold trims, which means the vast majority. It's so good looking I think I might be done with looking for a solid blue with rhodium trim model, and even the new clear (2018) m205. Ergonomics: 5/5. It's a small pen but with a decently wide section, works fine with my large (L size gloves) hands. I don't post but that works too. It's light and well balanced. I wouldn't mind a slightly bigger pen, at a reasonable price. Construction: 5/5. Looks good, feels good, works good. I disassembled the cap and in the process a tiny speck fell off, which might have been my fault or the previous owner's, but the inner cap and ring still work well to provide a good seal. Someone less clumsy shouldn't have a problem, and I'm leaving caps well enough alone from now on. Nib: 5/5. Smooth fine nib, writes thinner than the fine 18k on my old style m600. It makes Rohrer & Klingner look good, and that ink in turn makes all pens write a little more smoothly. Take into account I write on HP LJ 32 lbs, Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Fabriano and Tomoe River. Filling system: 5/5. Easy to fill, holds a lot of ink, doesn't evaporate so inks don't change colour, what more could you want. Reliability: 5/5. This is a seldom seen parameter, but one I care for a lot. Zero starting or skipping problems, smooth nib. My m600 has been my most reliable pen, by far, and I expect the same from this m205, since they are basically the same design. Maintenance: 5/5. These are very low maintenance pens, although I wouldn't use them with inks that produce gunk. If you swap inks a lot like I do, the nib and feed units are not as easy to clean as others which disassemble easily, but after much rinsing it can be done. Price: 6/5? Hit the jackpot, particularly for a brand in which any pen above the m200 range is way too expensive for me. Even at msrp it's a pen you could use for a long time without any problems. Conclusion: 5/5. This is sort of my accidental holly grail, if I'd seen this in person I would have got it a long time ago. I can't stop looking at it and it makes me want to write more, which is my ultimate test. My other pens would get ratings ranging from 2/5 to 4/5, even my m600 which has a slightly smoother nib can't compete on looks.
  21. Hi, everyone! We just wrote a review of the Aurora Minerali series demonstrators - tried to provide some advice as to why we like them so much (all their nibs are made in-house!). These are definitely some of our favorite demonstrators out there! Let us know what you think or if there's another demonstrator you like more! https://www.truphaeinc.com/blogs/truphae-news-and-stories/aurora-88-limited-edition-minerali-fountain-pens
  22. RANGA DEMONSTRATOR BAMBOO - Regular size The review is simultaneously posted at my blog here : Link Ranga Handmade Pens is a brainchild of M.S. Pandurangan who himself is a master pen turner and all pens and pencils are made by him only. His son M.P. Kandan is doing great deeds by taking care of the business part of Ranga Handmade Pens. I must add that both him and his father are very humble and polite. I have organised few group buys on Fountain Pen Network for Ranga Pens and every-time the dealing with him have been very professional. He has never lapsed on the dates as far as his commitment and deliverables are concerned. But yes thats what my experience has been till date and I hope he continues do to the same. Ranga Pens make use of ebonite and acrylic for pens and in-fact they are the first and one amongst two pen makers in India to offer Premium Ebonite. They have a dedicated eBay store where they sell not just Ranga Pens but also pens from other manufacturers from India like Wality, Oliver, Fellowship etc. which are all machine turned. The pens from Ranga are also stocked by Teri of Peyton Street Pens in USA with also some exclusive models. The group buys on FPN have helped in acquiring lot of Ranga Pens. They have more than 10 models in their line-up : Model 4C Bamboo Model 3 Model 4CS Model 5 Model 6 Model 8 Model 2c Model 2d Zeal And I have already reviews one of the model which is Model 4C but this review is about one of the unique model in their line-up which is Bamboo. Ranga Bamboo – Doing Rain Dance Ranga Bamboo – Braving the Rain Design : 05/05 The pen design resembles the natural bamboo with forged joints acting as nodes and parts between the two nodes acting as inter-nodes. The pen in review is the clip-less demonstrator in brushed version with polished finials. Natural Bamboo Ranga Bamboo – In Demonstrator version Ranga Bamboo – Asymmetrical inter-nodes provides it Natural character All in all there are 5 nodes with smaller inter-nodes at cap and to me that provides it natural character. The finials, both top and bottom, are polished and are in conical dome shape. Ranga Bamboo – Polished Conical Dome Shaped Finials Once thing to be noticed is that the cap finial is smaller in length as compared to the barrel finial and the reason for that is to provide balance to the pen when writing so that it does not become top heavy. Ranga Bamboo – Different Length of finials with Barrel one being longer The inter-nodes in the cap are smaller than what is on the barrels in length. The cap also has breather hole and this version is clip-less so it looks like one bamboo rod albeit in a different material. Ranga Bamboo – Clip-less with breather hole Ranga Bamboo Cap – Inner nib look and feel when pen is capped The cap closes to form a node and it actually flushes with barrel as can be seen from picture above. There is minute drop between section and barrel as the cap flares at bottom where it meets the barrel. The grip section is polished and not in matte finish. There is no branding anywhere on this pen. Below are the images of the pen showing pen capped and uncapped. Ranga Bamboo – Capped Ranga Bamboo – Uncapped It is superbly crafted pen with a very unique bamboo style pen like no other. And I believe the pen is worth the price it commands. The pen is also available in different ebonite and acrylic materials which must be around 30 plus in nos. So one has lot of options to get the pen in his particular colour and finish liking. Kudos to Ranga for the superb design. Built & Construction : 04/05 The pen has matte finish which is executed very well and transition from matte finish to polished finials is sublime though they are not perfect but its close. Ranga Bamboo – Matte Finish barrel to Polished Finials Earlier I thought that the finials could be made symmetrical in length but part of the reason to do that was to keep the pen balanced while writing without increasing the length of cap. But then I thought otherwise, this asymmetry is what gives it natural character. The cap opens in 4 turns and threads are very well crafted and are not at all sharp. The grip section as mentioned is also very well polished. Also I must add that the polished end of the finials are highly polished and very neat without any lathe marks visible. Ranga Bamboo – Polished Section with neat threads I applied silicon grease on the nib unit which you can see from the image above as I eyedropper-ed the pen. The finish, the grooves, the material quality are all top notch. However one thing i want to mention is the the material thickness decreases at the cap lip and must be handled very well as there is no band to protect any kind of crack. This is a handmade pen completely and is a “WOW” product at this price point. Balance & Size : 4.5/05 The cap posts but only just and that too not very securely. I think it is not required as it makes the absurdly large and uncomfortable also the pen itself is very long at 135 mm when uncapped. The pen is very well balanced with just a little more weight in front end of a nib unit. Ranga Bamboo – Writing with Cap Unposted Ranga Bamboo – Writing with Cap Posted The pen is light in weight with no metal parts used anywhere on the pen. Images below show the weight of pen with cap and without cap : Ranga Bamboo – Weight of Pen (inked) with Cap Ranga Bamboo – Weight of Pen (inked) without Cap Few specification of the pen are as follows: Length of pen (closed) – 145 mmLength of pen (open and unposted) – 135 mm (including nib)Length of Grip Section – 34 mmMaximum Dia of Cap – 15 mmMaximum Dia of Barrel – 15 mmMinimum Dia of Barrel Section – 12.5 mmMaximum Dia of Grip Section – 11 mmMinimum Dia of Grip Section – 10 mmWeight of Pen with Cap – 24 gms (inked)Weight of Pen without Cap – 18.75 gms (inked) Below pictures show the comparison of pen with other pens: Pen Comparison – Capped (Top View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo Pen Comparison – Uncapped and Posted (Top View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo Pen Comparison – Capped (Lateral View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo Pen Comparison – Uncapped & Posted (Lateral View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo One thing of worthy mention here is that the grip section long and comfortable and makes this pen as gem of a writer for long writing sessions. Nib : 05/05 The pen comes with variety of #6 size nib options like JoWo EF, F, M , B, 1.1, & 1.5 and Schmidt F, M, & B for CC mechanism which is a threaded screw in one and also can be used as an eyedropper too and other nib options are Ambitious and Bock (conklin imprinted) but these are only for eye dropper version of pens. The nib that I took was the dual tone Bold point JoWo nib which is screw in nib unit with plastic high finned nib and it performed flawless out of the box with welcome feedback. It is a juicy firm nib and writes wet. Ranga Bamboo – JoWo Nib – Bold Point Ranga Bamboo – Nib with Rain droplets I sometimes wonder why I need gold nib when this nib performs so well. Ink Filling Mechanism: 05/05 The ink is filled via converter and cartridge can be also used. But real fun lies in using this pen as a eyedropper and seeing the ink sloshing inside. Ranga Bamboo – Used as eyedropper Ink capacity around 4ml if used as an eyedropper. The converter that comes with pen is Schmidt K5 and has capacity of 0.6 ml. One thing to be noted is that before you use it as an eye dropper do apply silicone grease on threads of barrel and also on nib unit threads. Below is the handwritten sample and review of the pen : Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 01 Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 02 Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 03 Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 04 Conclusion : 23.5/25 I pen is available in group buy at FPN for US$85 which is a steal considering it is handmade pen and it is a unique design. The pen is more of an artefact from India and is recommended to users who want something more from a pen. What I Like: Unique Design Handmade Quality Finish Good Balance and Size Good Ink Capacity Nib Options Material OptionsWhat I don’t Like: Cap Material is thin at Lip Little expensive HOW TO BUYThe pen can be bought via occasional group buys organised at group buy and at the moment when I am writing this review the Group Buy is Active. LINK Pen can also be bought from following places : E-Bay : LINKAmazon : LINKPeyton Street Pens : LINKE-Mail : mpkandan@yahoo.co.in For more reviews you can check my blog here : LINK
  23. We are happy to announce a new Demonstrator pen from Pelikan, the Pelikan Classic M205 Special Edition Demonstrator piston filler. It will be available in May 2018 and has a recommended retail price in Germany of € 125.- for the F, M and B nibs. EF nibs are still more expensive in Germany and cost € 138.-. We offer this lovely looking Demonstrator for € 100.- including the German VAT or € 84,04 without the VAT for exports to the outside of the European Union. EF nibs are € 92,77 without the VAT. Here is the link to our offer: https://www.fritz-schimpf.de/Neuheiten/Pelikan-Classic-M205-Special-Edition-Demonstrator-Kolbenfuellhalter.html Regards Fritz Schimpf





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