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  1. A few weeks ago, a friend on mine Mr. @Binu Raj wanted to gift me a pen. At first, I declined his offer, but after a lot of back and forth, I finally caved in and accepted his offer. A couple of weeks later, the pen arrived and I was surprised, it was an ebonite pen, more specifically, an Athlete. Earlier I was discussing with him about buying an ebonite pen after my M.Tech allotments finish, But this came as an early surprise. I've now been using it for a few weeks, and here's my opinion on the pen. If you can stay till the end, I'll answer a question that in my experience, Literally, No One has asked for. But for those pinched for time, here's a TL;DR: " For the asking price of 1500 rupees, I find this an impressively well built and excellent pen with a great nib. If you can deal with the pros and cons of an eyedropper, then you won't be disappointed. ". Now that half of the readers have left, Let's get moving... Design and Build I have seen some ASA pens on youtube and the forum, and I had one of their models on my bucket list. And this pen definitely lets me cross that wish from my list. Design wise, it’s a classic flattop design. Capped, the pen starts from a flat top, then goes straight, onto the barrel with a smooth transition, and starts to taper around 2/3rd of the way until the end which is also flat. There is no transition noticeable by feel, and I think if you have one of the solid colour ebonite models, it’ll just feel like a single rod stock. The finish on the barrel is excellent and like an athlete it is supremely well built. Just below the cap, on the barrel, the model’s name is engraved. I prefer this subtle engraving over the big logo like I’ve seen on some gama pens. But to each their own, I guess. My only gripe with this pen is the cap. Not because it’s flimsy or anything, the cap is adequately thick with a generic but functional clip, but the cap takes 6 turns to uncap. Yup… 6 turns. As a man who’s experienced with the 2 or 3 turns it takes to uncap most of my pens, this feels a bit too much. A multi start thread would’ve been nice. The grip is lengthy and tapered with a small flare close to the end. I like this design. Below the grip are the threads and a small step up to the barrel. The step is noticeable, but not sharp. It’s supremely comfortable to hold, and the pen is light enough that it makes as a great long writer of a pen. And with a nib as good as the ASA nib this has, I could write page after page after page, without any fatigue. The pen is plenty long to be used uncapped. Or if you prefer writing with a cricket stump rather than a pen, you can post this pen, it’ll post securely, but not deeply. But this makes it super long, but the cap weighs nothing, and it’s as comfortable to write posted as is unposted. This is not an oversized pen, that being said, it’s not a small pen either. For size comparison, from left to right, 1. Pilot 55C2 2. Click 71 Jumbo 3. Airmail 69T 4. ASA Athlete Nib, Filling and Writing The nib that the athlete comes with is a No.35/No.6 ASA branded nib. From the looks of it, it seems to be a kanwrite nib on top of an ebonite feed friction fit on the section. To @subbucal sir’s credit, the nib and feed was friction fit very tightly around the section. I needed to use a knockout jig to get the nib and the feed off for cleaning. More on the snug fit later. The pen is a traditional eyedropper (or, Tank Filler as I like to call it) and takes a very good 2.75-2.85ml of ink. Even with the ink, the pen weighs just 16 grams. That’s not considering the 6.3 grams of the cap. Coming to the writing sample, Here’s a sample of the writing with the supposedly medium nib. The pen is one of the most comfortable pen I’ve used till date, almost matching the feel of my daily carry Airmail 71JT. The pen is very comfortable to write on long sessions and the flow is very wet. The ebonite feed sure keeps up with very fast writing and the pen hasn’t dried out on me, capped or uncapped. A very reliable pen indeed. The nib feels like writing with a soft lead pencil, smooth with a touch of feedback, that goes away as you empty the barrel, since the flow goes wetter the more ink you use up. I haven’t emptied the barrel yet, but at the time of writing that writing sample, the barrel is about 1/4th now, and it hasn’t burped. The flow has become noticeably wetter since the barrel was full. I guess the tight fit does serve it’s purpose of regulating the air ink interchange. The ebonite does feel noticeably more comfortable than my airmails, it feels like it’s conforming to my grip for some reason, and for sweaty handers like me, there is no slippage, even if your hand sweats more than a man running at midday on the Chennai sun. Overall, as my first ebonite pen, I’m very much satisfied, and I don’t regret on accepting the pen from Binuraj Sir. For the asking price, It’s a damn good value. On a side note, if you don’t like flattop pens, the writer is the same pen as the athlete but with round ends. And if you prefer the convenience of a cartridge converter, but like this shape, go with the ASA spear. That comes with a jowo nib unit at bit more cost. Now, the question literally, No one asked. Say, you have a Shaeffer No Nonsense, or School pen, or the award, and you’ve damaged the nib, would an Airmail nib fit🤔🤔🤔??? The answer is… YES… any Indian No.8 nib fits, and it writes surprisingly well. Well, that’s all. Here’s a 🥇 for your patience. Till next time… see ya🙋‍♂️ P.S : A quick Update A quick update, The ink was about 1/5th of the barrel, and it finally burped. I noticed the flow getting wetter and wetter by the week, and the tightly fit feed finally got overwhelmed in the cold rains in kerala. well, guess its time to refill or change the feed... I do have some NN feeds lying around and I'll probably swap that in... So, will it burp??? Absolutely... But it'll take a fair time before that happens, just refill if the pen starts to flow like a firehose, then you'll be alright.👍
  2. Dear FPN members, After successful launch and Group-buys for FPN members, on our last two offerings namely the ASA Nauka (Ebonite and Translucent) and ASA Maya, we are thrilled to announce our new product line ASA Mist. We are ever grateful to FPN members for all their support and encouragement for our products. We recognise this and we are happy to announce an International Group Buy here for ASA Mist. ASA Mist offers an amalgamation of two of the most sought after materials, in the pen making. We have kept the section and cap button in Ebonite. Rest of the pen, namely the cap and barrel, is in Translucent Acrylic. (Similar material to our Trans Nauka). Also one model in full opaque Red Acrylic ASA Mist will sport our new section design. Based on feedback from our valuable customers and specific inputs from Mr. Sagar Bhowmick, (one of our long-time customers and FPN member), we have developed this special section design. Ebonite section is most friendly for long writing hours. The pen section is an hour glass section (as in our models Genius, I Can etc), but with the thicker Girth and shape of our sections in model like Maya, Forever or Popular. We have got some encouraging initial feedback for this section design. About ASA Mist is a regular size pen, with following measurements:- Length Capped – 140 mm Length Uncapped – 100 mm ( without nib) & 125mm (With nib) Barrel Dia – 14mm, Cap Dia- 16mm Section – length10mm (Hourglass with dia- 11mm at the middle and 12mm at bases) (being fully handmad pens, the above may vary +- 2-3 %) Colours:- Mist will be available in Translucent Finish and in 3 colour variants viz. Tangerine, Aqua Blue and Clear. Also, or those who like an Opaque pen, we also have one model in full opaque Red Acrylic Nib and filling systems:- Mist will be made available in two filling systems (Eyedropper system and a 3-1 Filling system) Eyedropper with ASA Nib in Fine, Medium or Broad. 3 in 1 Filling with a choice JoWo ( Use as Eyedropper, with Converter or Cartridge). Prices are as follows:- We are offering a special 25% discount in this Group Buy. Eyedropper filling. (Regular Price 38USD, FPN Group Buy Price 29USD) 3-1 Filling with Choice no6 JoWo nib unit and Schmidt K5 Converter (Regular Price 65USD, FPN Offer price 49USD) *Jowo nib unit will be a Polished Chrome finish (matching to Clip), in F, M, B, 1.1 or 1.5 nib widths Special Offer:- 5 Customers will be eligible by way of lucky draw for an “Architect Grind” in their nib. Customers who wish to participate, will have to opt –in at the beginning itself. The Architect grind will be done by our special nib master Mr. Jaspreet Singh. (You can see his work in Instagram, his handle is @jazzorilla) Sample at-https://www.instagram.com/p/BoJV-U6leMD/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1op2pw1uegl5f Group Buy Window:- (Imp) This group buy window will be open from 24/09/2018 till 23/10/2018. All Orders placed between 24/09/2018 till 30/09/2018, will ship by 31/10/2018 All Orders placed between 01/10/2018 till 23/10/2018 will ship by 14/11/2018 We will ensure strict adherence to above timelines. Shipping:- Will be done Via India Post, Registered Airmail, which is included in above Price and usually reaches in 3-4 weeks from shipping date. Its trackable to most countries Payment:- Payment to be made to my PayPal- unik.services@hotmail.com In order to participate in the group buy, please fill the “Google Form (Link Below)” and Reply in the thread with "Form Submitted or just repost the choices in thread https://goo.gl/forms/xKhmmb8milAjCm0r1 Or Our Existing Customers Use the below link to directly buy from our website. http://asapens.in/eshop/asa-mist-translucent-acrylic-fountain-pen?search=international%20group%20buy Links to our previous Group Buys and some reviews here:- ASA Nauka- http://www.fountainp...nslucent nauka ASA Trans Nauka- http://www.fountainp...l=+trans +nauka ASA Maya- http://www.fountainp.../?hl=+asa +maya http://www.fountainp.../?hl=+asa +maya Some Pictures of ASA Mist :- Find more at our Flickr Photostream , ,

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