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  1. I ordered four Gurus when they were 40% off for Black Friday, & several inks. Got them today, gave them a quick wash, and inked them up. Each pen has some slight imperfections & scratches, but for under $5 I'm not terribly fussed. I haven't noticed any odor from the vegetal resin; given how often reviews mention it I was surprised. I was also surprised to find I like the extra fine nib more than the medium, exactly the opposite of what I expected. I'm sure I'll like the pens & the inks more when I try them on FP friendly paper. I hoped this notebook was, but nope. So far, I'm wondering why I bought these when my Pilot Varsity seems just as good, though more difficult to reink. Anyway, here's a sample of four pens & four inks, on an old unbranded notebook. Pics of the pens later! Perhaps when I swap in the architect nib I also ordered.
  2. This will be my third review of what’s essentially the same pen, so it’s going to be briefer than the previous – a little over a month ago, the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution (fprevolutionusa.com) announced that they were releasing yet another iteration of the ‘Himalaya’. Having gotten advance notice of this (via Instagram or Facebook I think?), I contacted Kevin and asked if he would let me know as soon as they were available for sale – then ordered a couple. The pens arrived late last week, and I’ve been tinkering with them ever since. The original Himalaya came with an ebonite feed, a ‘push-piston’ converter, and was designed to accommodate FPR’s standard #5.5 nib. I accumulated 5 of these (4 acrylic, one ebonite) – if that’s any indication of how much like them – but always felt there were two things that would make them better: The push converter can get a bit ‘sticky’ – if you want to prime the feed a little for flex writing, it’s easy to push too hard and end up with a jet of ink! Though the #5.5 nibs are great, and don’t look out of proportion to the pen body, I like the look of a #6 better.FPR’s first update to the Himalaya (earlier this year) delivered on that second ideal – lengthening the cap slightly to accommodate the longer nib – but also came with gold-plated ‘furniture’ (clip, cap band and nib), which I’m a bit less keen on. The V2 update returns to chrome fittings, but also introduces a twist-style converter that give greater control when trying to prime the feed. So, what do I think of the pen? Unsurprisingly, I’m a big fan. ______________________________________________________________________ ​Appearance & Design The Himalaya V2-Chrome is available in a wide range of colours – eight acrylic and two ebonite. I wasn’t enamoured of the new Candy Pink/Red option (I’m sure others will love it), but the Vermillion Red-Orange looked amazing, and I’d been thinking of pulling the trigger on a Jade Smoke for some time – so those were my choices. As with the #6 Himalaya, the main difference is the larger #6 nib, which necessitates a slightly longer cap. Other than that, the attractive tapered styling of the original is conserved. I’ve always like the look of the pen, so the conservatism as to the overall design is a big plus. I’m really impressed with the quality of the acrylics that are used to make these pens. The finish is not *quite* as highly polished as it might be on a higher-end pen (hey, it’s a $35 pen not a $350 pen), but the depth and ‘chatoyance’ is just amazing! … ​​Construction & Quality The fit and finish on these new pens is absolutely consistent – as per the previous iterations. Threads are smooth and comfortable in the hand. The caps on my previous versions provide good protection against ink dry-out, and I’m confident the same will apply to the V2. I *definitely* prefer the chrome finishing to the gold – but that’s purely a matter of personal preference. One small downer was the FPR branding on the clip band: the engraving was fairly shallow, and the right ‘leg’ or downstroke on the ‘R’ was largely missing. I understand FPR have invested in their own engraving machine recently, so that issue may resolve itself in the near future. … Weight & Dimensions As with its predecessors, the Himalaya fits solidly in the ‘Medium’ sized category – longer than my pocket pens (the TWSBI Diamond Mini, Kaweco Sports etc), but a little shorter than a “full-length” pen like the TWSBI Diamond 580 or Eco. It’s very comfortable in the hand, though, and long enough to write with either posted or unposted. As these pens are individually machined, there are slight variations in their ‘vital statistics’. Lengthwise, the Vermillion pen was 138mm long capped, while the Jade Smoke pen was about 0.5mm shorter. Uncapped it was 127mm, and ~16mm posted. My digital scale isn’t working today, but the FPR web page indicates that it’s around 16g empty. The cap diameter (not including clip) is 14mm at its widest point, the barrel diameter sits around 12mm, while the grip section (18mm long) tapers down from 11mm diameter near the cap threads, to 10mm at its narrowest… before flaring out at the end to 11mm at the lip. These measurements are very similar to the gold-trim #6 Himalaya – and a bit longer than the original. All three versions of the Himalaya are comfortable in the hand for long writing sessions – the light weight and the girth of the grip section combine to make this a very pleasant writing experience. … Nib & Performance In conjunction with the release of the V2 Himalaya, FPR also offered a brand new nib option – an EF ultra-flex nib. I’ve become a real sucker for their regular (F?) ultraflexes, so ordered both pens with the new EF. The ebonite feed on the Himalaya V2 is longer than for the V1, to reduce the distance between the rear of the feed and the top of the converter, and reduce the chance of the pen getting air-locked (according to FPR's YouTube video introducing the pen) - unfortunately I forgot to photograph this before inking up! These pens are both very wet, and lay down a lot of ink – maybe a shade less than the F ultraflex, but they produce beautiful wide lines when downward pressure is applied. The Jade Smoke pen wrote just a little dryer and railroaded more readily than the F ultraflex and the other EF ultraflex, but it was only recently inked, and with a pigment ink – with a bit of TLC I’m confident it’ll flex more consistently. Writing with all three of my #6 Himalayas is a wonderful experience – I don’t tend to flex my nibs out much, but love the slight line variation possible with small variations in pressure, and the amazing smoothness of the nibs against paper. I believe FPR do a fair bit to customise these pens to ensure consistent performance, and it really shows. … Filling System & Maintenance The new twist converter is the main point of difference between the Himalaya V2 and its predecessors, and it’s a definite improvement. Ink is easy to draw in, and it’s straightforward to inject a small amount of additional ink into the feed to prime it for flex writing (if necessary). The converter can be disassembled to renew the silicone grease around the piston head (the whole back part just pops off), and I like the way it screws in to the grip section to provide a secure fit. I had an unfortunate accident with my Vermillion Himalaya over the weekend: I noticed some leaking of ink between the grip section and the converter, so pulled it apart to clean it. Unfortunately, I tried to reassemble the pen with wet hands, and applied too much torque when screwing the converter back into the grip section – I mean, *way* too much – and produced a crack in the threaded acrylic. I’ve been able to apply a temporary fix with superglue, which seems to be holding for now – and Kevin from FPR has kindly agreed to send me a replacement. [since sending out the first batch of pens, he’s begun applying silicone grease on the converter threads, to reduce the chance of leakage. I think the damage was entirely my fault, but if the manufacturer wants to share the blame, *and* the cost of a replacement part, who am I to argue? It serves to reinforce my impression that FPR stand behind their products with excellent customer service – so I thought it worth mentioning!] … Cost & Value At US$35 (plus postage), the Himalaya is slightly pricier again than its predecessors ($29 for the original Himalaya, and $32 for the #6 gold trim version) – but it’s still an absolute steal for such an attractive pen, and very well constructed. You’ll pay an extra $4 on top for a B, 1.1mm stub or regular flex nib, or $14 for an EF ultraflex – but its’ still excellent value, even with the pricier nibs … Conclusion For mine, this is another ‘win’ for the Himalaya line. Much as I enjoy my older models, I wish I could trade them in for the new. You can’t go wrong with any of these, but for mine, the #6 nib, chrome trim and twist converter put the Himalaya V2 in prime position for future purchases. … p.s. If you want to check out my earlier reviews, for comparison, you can find them at: Original Himalaya https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/313017-the-himalaya-from-fountain-pen-revolution/ First Update https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/347173-the-updated-himalaya-with-6-nib-from-fountain-pen-revolution/
  3. Fountain Pen Revolution Tanoshii – Welcome to (or from) Japan?? In August 2020, the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution began “teasing” a new pen design that they were getting ready to release. The FPR Tanoshii, and the Tanoshii Junior were (as far as I can recall) the first pens in their range to be designed and made outside of India. Kevin’s partners are based in Japan – though an online search pens themselves might be made in Taiwan? I liked the look of these pens, but not quite enough to be ready to shell out for one. That perspective changed, though, when FPR started selling a “Urushi Art” version (or rather, versions) of the larger pen, with attractive and vivid designs on the barrel of the pen. A, *ahem*, fairly significant birthday was coming up, so I placed an order… Kevin kindly included a Junior version as well, so I could compare and contrast (and, if I wished, publish a review!) – I mention that up-front because, as hard as I try to be impartial in my reviews, I prefer to be up-front about anything that could (unwittingly) skew influence my perspective. The Tanoshii line of pens are the most expensive in Kevin’s range – but the moment you get them in hand you’ll see why. They’re clearly manufactured to a high standard. I’m not going to ‘score’ the pen for the different categories listed below – but will try to give a clear indication of where they land. One last thing to mention up-front: this review will focus primarily on the Urushi Art version of the full-sized pen – but will make frequent comparisons to the Tanoshii Junior. ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design For the most part, the FPR Tanoshii and Tanoshii Junior counterpart conform to a fairly standard (and elegant) pen design. The cap screws snugly over the grip section, with only a slight step-down between cap and barrel. The pen is at its girthiest around the cap-band, and tapers slightly the top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel. The full-sized Tanoshii sports gold-plated trim (clip, bands and nib), while the Junior has chrome-coloured trim – I’d like to see both options available for both sizes of pen, but don’t know whether that’s in the works. The clip is one of the more distinctive features of the Tanoshii pens – it swoops down from near the top of the pen to terminate on a ball-shaped attachment, which can be made to roll as it glides over the fabric of a pocket or pen case. I find the clip holds the pen quite firmly in place in my pocket – which is doubly important when you’re carrying a piece of art around! The other distinctive feature is the ornamental pattern inscribed onto the cap band – I wasn’t really attracted to this at first, especially on the chrome band of the Tanoshii Junior (I’m not normally a fan of ‘flashy’ pens). I have to say though it’s grown on me over time. Size Comparison (top to bottom): TWSBI Diamond Mini, FPR Tanoshii Junior, FPR Tanoshii full-size (urushi), Lamy Safari, TWSBI Diamond 580 AL I really like the materials Kevin chose for the manufacture of these pens: The cracked-ice style acrylics are brightly coloured with moderate translucency (you can select from blue and orange barrels paired with solid black grip section, cap and finial; or a ruby barrel paired with white grip section, cap and finial). If you prefer a more understated option, you can purchase an all-black version – which I believe forms the base for the Urushi Art versions of the pen. FPR Tanoshii Junior - Ruby/White version Here, obviously, is where things really got interesting for me. The Urushi Art versions of the pen are brightly coloured, and absolutely gorgeous. The artwork on the two ‘plainer’ versions of the pen (Green Genji and Golden Cloud) are made up purely, as far as I can tell, of layers of urushi lacquer and gold metallic powders; while the other four pens boast an elaborate artwork / decal (Red Phoenix, Blue Dragon, Red Dragon, and Black Dragon). I was keen to buy one of the plainer pens, but Kevin urged me to go for one of the more decorative pens… so I opted for the Red Phoenix. [I’m still really tempted by the Green Genji, but… my wallet keeps telling me no!] FPR Tanoshii Urushi Art - Red Phoenix According to FPR’s website, “Each FPR Tanoshii Urushi Art pen is its own masterpiece. They feature the original Tanoshii design and filling system but turned into a work of art by skilled craftsmen using Japanese Urushi art.” Rather than try to describe the urushi technique, I’ll also include here a word from the manufacturer, as Kevin from FPR passed it on to me: “Urushi arts in the pens are done by applying different colors of Urushi, gold and silver metallic powders, decorative ultra-thin golden/ colorful paper for different themes. Then applied transparent layers of Urushi called “Ki-narinuri” over and over and one by one. After each layers of Urushi, Urushi needs to be dried and polished for smooth feelings.” If I’m reading that correctly, it means the Red Phoenix on my pen is some kind of paper artwork that’s been carefully adhered around the surface of the pen, and lovingly lacquered into place. Not as impressive a feat as an individually painted design, to be sure – but it’s amazing to look at nonetheless, and for someone (like me) who can’t justify spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a pen… this is a great alternative. It also creates a kind of ‘three-dimensional’ appearance, with the design sitting slightly proud of the pen barrel – you can also ‘feel’ the design elements under the lacquer of the pen. … Construction & Quality As I mentioned in my introduction, this is the highest production quality pen that FPR have produced to date – and (almost) everything about it screams ‘quality’. The acrylic pen parts are expertly machined; the cap threads are smooth, and produce an excellent airtight seal; inner threads of the grip section are made of metal (stainless steel), and thread smoothly and firmly into the barrel. I was gifted a Pilot Custom Heritage 91 last year (thanks to a YouTube giveaway by Alesa of the Inky Rocks channel!) – and I’d say the production quality of the Tanoshii is pretty comparable, though minus the gold nib! The Urushi Art seems quite robust, and won’t easily wear off the pen – but obviously will benefit from gentle handling. This isn’t a pen I carry with me everywhere – though of course you can if you want to! … Weight & Dimensions The FPR Tanoshii and Tanoshii Junior are both very light – 21.7g vs 17.6g respectively – with roughly 1/3 of the weight residing in the cap. The full-sized Tanoshii is 135mm long capped, and 124mm uncapped – you can post the pen if you wish, but it’s not recommended for the Urushi Art version (in case it mars the pen). The Junior version is 11.4cm capped, and 9.7cm uncapped – which in my hands is just a little too short for comfortable extended use. Posted, it extends to 12.9cm, which works much better for me. I do wish it posted just a *little* bit more securely onto the back of the barrel, but that’s only a very minor nitpick on my part. The diameter of the pen at its widest (cap band) is 14mm – this tapers to 10mm towards the bottom of the barrel, while the grip section tapers from 11cm (near the threads) down to 10mm (near the nib). That’s pretty much in the ‘sweet-spot’ for me. … Nib & Performance When the Tanoshii was first released, it was only available with JoWo nibs in F and M – it’s designed to take standard #6 JoWo screw-in units, so you can easily swap in replacements if you wish. The advantage (for me) of waiting a while to purchase is that Kevin managed to source some nib units that are compatible with the JoWo threading, but can accommodate FPR nibs – so I ordered mine with a two-tone FPR Ultraflex nib (for an extra US$21). The Junior pen takes a screw-in nib unit with FPR’s standard #5.5 nib – Kevin kindly included an ultraflex nib in this pen too. The nib units in both pens come with plastic feeds – but they seem to keep up well with the flow. FPR #6 Ultraflex nib (two-tone) FPR #5.5 Ultraflex nib (chrome) I’m a real fan of FPR’s ultraflex nibs – though they can be an acquired taste for some! – and I’ve loved writing with these ones. The larger #6 nib can flex a little further than the #5.5 with less downward pressure on the tines and in my experience is a little wetter. Both pens are prone to railroad if you try to flex too far – but don’t require a lot of coaxing to get them back up and running again. If you’re not keen on flex nibs, you can order a range of other options in both pens – EF, F and M options are included in the price of the pen; B, stub and standard flex nibs cost a little extra (US$4 at the time of writing); while the ultraflex adds a further US$14 to the cost. I have yet to try the gold flex nibs – the USA to AUS exchange rate puts that a bit out of my budget for the time being! In my opinion FPR’s steel nibs are great value for money – though I’ve sometimes found the stub nibs needed some ‘tweaking’ in the past. Aesthetically, the larger nib goes will with the bigger pen, and likewise the smaller nib with the smaller pen – I probably prefer the writing experience with the full-sized pen, but they’re both very pleasant writers. … Filling System & Maintenance The full-sized Tanoshii pen comes with a screw-type standard international converter, though it can also take standard international cartridges. The Tanoshii Junior comes supplied with a Kaweco-style (push-pull) mini-converter, which doesn’t hold a whole lot of ink – that’s probably the only real down-side to the smaller pen! I wouldn’t recommend eyedropper filling these pens, as I don’t know how long the metal threads would last without starting to corrode. The pens can be completely disassembled and reassembled for cleaning. The nib units are friction fit, so can be pulled apart to swap in replacement nibs – I don’t believe FPR sell replacement nib units for the smaller pen, though as mentioned above, the larger pen will accommodate any standard #6 JoWo nib unit. … Cost & Value At US$70 (plus postage) for the ‘regular’ pen or $65 for the Junior, the Tanoshii is not cheap – but it’s definitely in the ballpark for an American/Japanese collaboration pen, especially given the high quality workmanship. I can’t praise highly enough the artwork on the Urushi Art version – it nearly doubles the cost of the pen, but given the amount of work involved in their production, I’d say that’s money well spent. I’m a repeat customer at FPR, and have to say that, much as I love my Himalayas and Jaipurs (especially the V2s), this is the best pen I’ve bought from them thus far. … Conclusion The Tanoshii, Tanoshii Junior and Tanoshii Urushi Art are great pens to look at, great pens to write with, and in my opinion are great value for money. Happy to answer any and all questions below – but thoroughly recommend these pens to anyone who’s interested. …
  4. Those of us who make a habit of checking out products on the Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) website (fountainpenrevolution.com) will know that things have been fairly quiet there for a while – pens for sale as per usual, but no new updates of their product line. All of that changed in late July when they announced on their Facebook page that they were launching a new, US-based website (fprevolutionusa.com), and a brand new pen – the ‘Himalaya’. I don’t know how I missed this announcement, but when a newsletter arrived in my inbox, advising that the website was now up and running – and offering a 15% discount on all purchases – I was off the mark and running. At the time of writing this review, the Himalaya is only available from the US site, not the India-based site (which still offers cheaper postage to international customers), but I didn’t want to wait, so I ordered – and the pen arrived on 5 September 2016, a little over a week ago. Disclaimer: though I have received free review pens from FPR in the past, this pen was purchased with my own money – in either case, the views expressed in this review are entirely my own. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design The Himalaya is available in four colours (and two materials): Saffron Acrylic, Taj Mahal White Acrylic, Green Ebonite or Brown Ebonite. I liked the look of the Saffron Acrylic, and ordered a Medium nib with monochrome (stainless steel) finish. Colour aside, the Himalaya is a fairly ‘standard’ looking fountain pen - not too dissimilar in shape and size from the FPR Jaipur, although the cap ‘finial’ is more curved, and the pen body is missing the ‘step-down’ effect produced on the Jaipur by the piston knob. The clip and centre band on the cap look much the same on these two pen models, too. There’s nothing ‘original’ about the Himalaya’s appearance – but (to my eyes) it’s an attractive pen. http://i.imgur.com/LDbrKrM.jpg Can I put in a word here also for the material this pen is made from? I don’t own a lot of acrylic pens (just this one, and two FPR Trivenis), but I find the combination of translucence and pearlescence quite mesmerising. The ‘Saffron’ acrylic used for this pen, especially, is beautiful – I can’t believe it only cost me $29 (plus postage, minus 15% discount…)! … 2. Construction & Quality Despite the delicate appearance of the acrylic material, the pen feels quite sturdy in the hand – as far as I can tell (thus far), it’s neither brittle nor likely to crack any time soon. Everything seems well-finished; the tolerances on the threads are excellent; the finish on the acrylic and chrome accents are all well-finished – no rough edges or discolouration. The clip seems sturdy, and is tight enough to hold the pen firmly in a pocket, but springy enough to be flexible. All in all, a very well made pen. http://i.imgur.com/L6ggXtr.jpg … 3. Weight & Dimensions I think I’d classify the Himalaya as a ‘Medium’ sized pen – longer than my pocket pens (the TWSBI Diamond Mini, Kaweco Sports etc), but a little shorter than a “full-length” pen like the TWSBI Diamond 580 or Eco, the Lamy 2000 or Diplomat Excellence A. It’s very comfortable in the hand, though, and long enough to write with either posted or unposted. http://i.imgur.com/sOWnwq9.jpg Lengthwise, the pen is 134mm long capped, 121mm uncapped, and extends to 152mm when posted. It weighs in at 16g (10.3g uncapped), which makes it one of my lightest pens. The cap diameter (not including clip) is 14.5mm at its widest point, the barrel diameter sits around 12mm, while the grip section (18mm long) tapers down from 11mm diameter near the cap threads, to 9mm at its narrowest… before flaring out at the end to 11mm at the lip. This again compares very favourably with the Jaipur (though the latter’s grip section is less tapered), and sits very well within my ‘comfort zone’. … 4. Nib & Performance Like almost every other pen made by FPR, the Himalaya takes a #5.5 nib, available either in stainless steel or ‘two-tone’ finish, paired with a 5.1mm ebonite feed. This makes the Himalaya extremely versatile – nibs can be easily swapped between FPR pens, and/or you can buy extras. http://i.imgur.com/s9b1KeO.jpg I ordered this pen with a stainless steel M nib, and inked it up with Diamine Pumpkin. The writing experience was fantastic – beautifully smooth, laying down a fairly wet line on the page, with no skipping or other problems. I’ve almost always been happy with the nibs on my FPR pens (the EF and flex nibs occasionally need a little smoothing), and this nib was an absolute dream. If I was allocating points out of 10, I’d give this a 10. http://i.imgur.com/1rNzDmS.jpg … 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Himalaya’s filling system is the main ‘point of difference’ that sets it apart from other FPR pens. Most previous designs either used a screw-type piston filler mechanism (Dilli, Guru, Indus, Jaipur) or were cartridge/converter pens that could be eyedroppered (Triveni and Trivine Junior). On opening the body of the Himalaya I found a push-type piston filling mechanism, similar to (but smaller than) the system Nathan Tardif uses in his Noodler’s Ahab. As with the Ahab, this can be removed to convert the pen to an eyedropper – but as far as I’m aware, it’s not possible to use standard international (or other) cartridges with the pen. http://i.imgur.com/3T8Ghld.jpg The push-piston mechanism is simple but highly functional, and worked well to get a full fill. I haven’t measured this, but would guess it can hold somewhere around 1ml. I expect the mechanism will prove to be more durable than for the Indus and Jaipur – though I understand the design of these has improved since I had a problem with the piston seal in an early model Jaipur. … 6. Cost & Value At US$29 (plus postage), the Himalaya is one of FPR’s more expensive pens – it sits between the Jaipur and Indus (~$18-19) and the Triveni ($39-45) – but for the price, it’s excellent value. I have trouble thinking of any other brand that would sell an acrylic pen of this quality for under $50. … 7. Conclusion In my books, the FPR people have hardly put a foot wrong with their product line. This is not their largest pen (that honour goes to the full-sized Triveni), but it’s a beauty to look at, and *extremely* pleasant to write with. I feel like I could be tempted to order another in the Taj Mahal White Acrylic – but am going to try and resist this temptation. Congratulations again to Kevin and the FPR team for another fantastic product!
  5. I was wondering if anyone knew if their #6 nib units (integrated fee) fit any other pens? Was thinking their ultraflex nib might be nice in other pens.
  6. This is the fourth and final review of four I'm posting, to showcase the new line of inks from Fountain Pen Revolution - I trust you'll forgive a little repetition! A few months ago Fountain Pen Revolution released a new line of inks under their brand - starting with three colours, though it's now expanded to six. These inks, according to their webpage, are made in the US, in partnership with "another small family business". Technically, Blue Black doesn't belong to the new range - and I'm not sure whether it's made by the same "small family business" as the others. It's a more "sober" ink, a dark strong blue, that according to my limited testing is more colourfast than the others. This ink would not look out of place in an official setting (where the Royal Flush Blue may be a little *too* cheery?), and I've had one of my pens inked with it constantly since it arrived in July. Like the other 3 inks I purchased at the time, FPR Blue Black is very reasonably priced - $8.50 for a 30ml bottle - and for those who are interested, the bottles have a wide enough mouth to accommodate the largest of pens. I don't know if FPR are planning to release this in larger bottles for the more budget-conscious - for me, though, 30ml is more than enough, given the number other inks in my drawer! A photo of the review page: A copy of the water test: All four inks on Rhodia paper: All four inks on Tomoe River paper:
  7. A few months ago Fountain Pen Revolution released a new line of inks under their brand - starting with three colours, though it's now expanded to six. These inks, according to their webpage, are made in the US, in partnership with "another small family business". I ordered all three (plus their existing Blue-Black) in late May - then began the lengthy process of waiting for the ink to arrive (via Qatar and Greece!). There was a small amount of leakage along the way (hardly surprising given their circuitous, COVID-affected route) - but apart from a slight discolouration of the labels and packaging, the inks arrived intact. FPR's inks are very pleasant to write with - bright and colourful, smooth-flowing, and more water resistant than I'd expected. The inks are very reasonably priced - $8.50 for a 30ml bottle - and for those who are interested, the bottles have a wide enough mouth to accommodate the largest of pens. Firecracker Red was the first ink I tried: it's a cheerful red that skews a little towards orange (which kinda goes with the name, I think!). The review I think captures my feelings about the ink - suffice to say, I very much enjoy using it! A photo of the review page: All four inks on Rhodia paper: All four inks on Tomoe River paper:
  8. This is the second of four reviews I'm posting, to showcase the new line of inks from Fountain Pen Revolution - I trust you'll forgive a little repetition! A few months ago Fountain Pen Revolution released a new line of inks under their brand - starting with three colours, though it's now expanded to six. These inks, according to their webpage, are made in the US, in partnership with "another small family business". I ordered all three (plus their existing Blue-Black) in late May - then began the lengthy process of waiting for the ink to arrive (via Qatar and Greece!). There was a small amount of leakage along the way (hardly surprising given their circuitous, COVID-affected route) - but apart from a slight discolouration of the labels and packaging, the inks arrived intact. FPR's inks are very pleasant to write with - bright and colourful, smooth-flowing, and more water resistant than I'd expected. The inks are very reasonably priced - $8.50 for a 30ml bottle - and for those who are interested, the bottles have a wide enough mouth to accommodate the largest of pens. Green With Envy is a cheekily-named but cheerful green colour - I'd describe it as a "grass green" if that weren't still too vague a designation! A little darker than J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage, but lighter than Blackstone Daintree Green or Diamine Sherwood Green (see the samples). I probably have more shades of green ink than I need - but I'll happily continue using this one, as it's easily legible without being overly dark, and flows nicely in a fine to medium pen. A photo of the review page: A copy of the water test: All four inks on Rhodia paper: All four inks on Tomoe River paper:
  9. In January this year, I was pleased to discover that the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) were releasing a new pen. It looked pretty appealing on their Facebook page – and as a frequent visitor to their store, I was keen to get a look. So I emailed Kevin from FPR and asked if he’d be willing to give me a ‘sneak preview’ of the pen, so that I could review it here on FPN – and offered to pay for the privilege. Kevin insisted on sending me two free ‘samples’ – one in solid blue and one demonstrator. These have now been in my possession for about a month, and I’m pleased to be offering what I hope is still an impartial review! Long story short: if you’re familiar with their existing line-up, I’d say this pen sits above the Dilli and the Guru, both in terms of appearance and quality, but is not quite in the league of the Triveni (and the Triveni Junior) – as reflected by the asking price, of US$17. This is a good, sturdy, and attractive piston-filler pen, that’s easy on the eye, comfortable in the hand, and glides smoothly across the page – and all for a very reasonable price. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & DesignThe first thing I noticed about the Indus from its photographs was the clean lines of the pen, and the prominent gold-coloured furniture. This looked like a quality pen, with a style somewhat reminiscent (intentionally or otherwise?) of a higher-end Pelikan. Nor did it disappoint once I had it in my hand - it’s pleasantly weighted and well-constructed. The clear demonstrator model is definitely my favourite – the clear plastic not only provides a view of the ink sloshing around in the barrel, but makes it possible to watch the piston mechanism (also made of clear plastic) in operation. The solid blue pen (with clear ink window) was probably the more ‘professional’ looking in the pocket, though. The gold trim on both pens is very attractive – though the clip is not entirely to my taste, but more on that later! These are pens I’d be happy to give away as a gift, without feeling that they would come across as ‘cheap’. http://i.imgur.com/uqvVYry.jpg http://i.imgur.com/qq7KQLd.jpg I should also mention up-front that a week or two after these pens arrived in the mailbox, FPN member ‘mehandritta’ posted a review of a very similar looking pen, just developed and released by the Unique Pen Company of Indore, India – the Click Majestic Pen (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/285118-click-majestic-pen-review/). Kevin from FPR was happy to confirm for me that Unique Pens are manufacturing the Indus pen bodies for him: The design of the non-translucent Indus pens is based on another Unique pen, the Oliver Tulip (AKA the Click Neo Tulip, available from ASA Pens), albeit with some minor modifications and design improvements, which required the creation of new mouldings for manufacture. The clear-body pen was, I believe, designed and developed at FPR’s request and to their specifications – but there was no exclusive supply arrangement, so Unique are free to manufacture and merchandise these pens under their own branding, as indeed they are doing! … 2. Construction & QualityIf you’re familiar with FPR’s earlier offerings (the Dilli and the Guru), you’ll know they’re made of fairly inexpensive plastic – it does the job, but it’s not the most attractive. The Indus really steps this up a few notches. The demonstrator is made from clear ABS plastic, and is quite see-through. The whole piston mechanism (with the exception of the seal) has also been made from clear plastic, which I think is a very nice touch. The solid pens are apparently constructed from a higher quality acrylic, which likely means they will prove more durable than the demonstrators. I like the fact that the grip section and the piston filler knob are both reinforced with a metal ring, which will hopefully reduce the risk of cracking. http://i.imgur.com/CAUWAAk.jpg The pens look and feel well-constructed. The cap threads are smoothly machined, and provide an airtight seal with the barrel to prevent evaporation and dryout of the nib – I’ve had no hard starts in the 3-4 weeks I’ve been using them. Earlier prototypes of the solid pens apparently had problems with leaking at the seal between the acrylic and clear plastic (viewing window) portions of the barrel – I experienced this myself, with a pre-production version of the pen that was sent to me in error – but the final product is free of these problems. My one quibble with these pens – and it’s only a small thing, really! – is the clip. I like the way it’s integrated in with a metal band that encircles the ‘crown’ of the pen – as mentioned earlier, the cap especially is reminiscent of Pelikan’s design for its M-Series pens. I just wish, though, that they hadn’t replaced the ‘pelican bill ending’ characteristic of its inspiration with such a large, rounded protrusion – more reminiscent of a proboscis monkey!! The material is very sturdy, which means it holds firmly to the pocket once clipped in – but it’s also very tight, and can take a little bit of effort to clip it on in the first place. … 3. Weight & DimensionsI’d class the Indus as a small-to-medium, fairly slim-line pen – similar in size, maybe, to the Pelikan M400 or M600? [My pen budget hasn’t stretched yet to include one of these…]. Weighing in at ~15g, it’s quite light, so that the weighting of the pen was never an issue for me. It’s evident that the ‘solid’ and demonstrator pens were produced from different mouldings – there were slight differences (1-2mm) in these measurements between the two, with the solid blue pen slightly shorter across the board. Capped, the demonstrator version pen is 13.3cm; uncapped it’s 12.5cm, and sits comfortably in my hand. The pen posts fairly snugly (a little more securely on the blue pen, for whatever reason) – at ~15cm, it’s still a good fit, and given the lightweight material the shift in balance is not an issue. The pen cap has a 13mm diameter at its widest point; the grip section is 10mm at its widest point, just above the cap threads. I tend to hold it a little further back, at the junction between the thread and the ink window, and find this very comfortable for extended writing sessions. http://i.imgur.com/On29rsR.jpg http://i.imgur.com/kl6QrlA.jpg … 4. Nib & PerformanceAs with most FPR products, the nib is the real highlight of the pen. The Indus takes the new two-tone #5.5 nibs, and uses the same plastic feed as the Dilli and the Triveni. The blue pen came fitted with a Fine nib – pleasantly smooth with just a hint of feedback. The demonstrator pen came with a flex nib, and was customised for maximum flow. Beautifully smooth, the feed had no trouble keeping up with the demand for ink with the tines spread for flex writing. http://i.imgur.com/xPIX0pn.jpg http://i.imgur.com/r0blBpR.jpg I’ve now tried all the of the #5.5 nib sizes and I can recommend them all, with one caveat: the EF nibs can be a little scratchy ‘out of the box’, and require some smoothing. For me, this is the biggest selling point for all FPR pens: their original #5 nibs were fantastic value for money, although the earliest iterations were a little lacking in presentation and ‘flair’. The #5.5 nibs are a definite step up in every way, at no added cost. I’d love to have the option of a stub nib, though – and maybe a double- or triple-Broad, as the broadest option right now lays down a line that’s not much wider than the Medium. http://i.imgur.com/tQOJQrL.jpg … 5. Filling System & MaintenanceThis is one of the main selling points for the Indus: the pen is a clutchless piston filler (whatever that means!), which operates smoothly and can be fully disassembled for cleaning and lubrication. I am not a fan of the Dilli at all – I’ve owned a few of them, but find it extremely frustrating that I can’t properly access the barrel to clean it out. Both the Guru and the Indus are a huge improvement on that score. I haven’t measured the barrel capacity on this pen – I’d be guessing it can hold a little over 1-1.2ml. http://i.imgur.com/h9XN7k8.jpg … 6. Cost & ValueThe Indus is now listed on the FPR website as ‘coming soon’, with an advertised price of $17 for regular nib sizings – add a further $3 for flex or broad nib options. With a flat rate delivery charge of US$3 to anywhere in the world, this is a pretty good pen for a very reasonable price. No-one is going to mistake this for a Pelikan (unless they don’t know their pens!) – but it’s a nicely styled, durable plastic pen, with a piston filler mechanism to boot! … 7. ConclusionI’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to test out the Indus, and want to thank Kevin from FPR for providing them free for the purpose of doing this review. I’m impressed with the look, the feel and the performance of the Indus – I think the FPR Guru is a pretty good buy too, at US$9, but for the extra cost you get a better looking pen, made of more durable materials. …
  10. In February of this year (2020), the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution released the latest pen in their range – the ‘Jaipur V2’. The original Jaipur came out some 5 years ago now, with a fairly basic piston filler mechanism and a #5.5 nib – and with the funky smell that’s characteristic of pens made from vegetal resin! The Jaipur is an update in almost every imaginable way – larger nib, upgraded piston fill mechanism, and manufactured from more ‘up-market’ materials (that smell a lot more 'neutral'...). I reached out to Kevin the moment I saw a preview of this pen on his Instagram feed, and asked him to let me know when it was available for sale. In early February, the day they launched on the PFR website, I placed an order for a Jaipur V2 in blue acrylic, with my favourite Ultra-flex nib – and a couple of weeks later it arrived, with an orange acrylic pen thrown in. [Full disclosure, this latter pen was provided free because I’ve reviewed a few FPR pens before – it was a ‘tester’ pen, that couldn’t be resold because it had already been used.] I have a much wider range of pens in my collection than I did when the original Jaipur came out – including some much higher-value pens. I don’t tend to use my vegetal resin Jaipurs, Gurus etc unless I’m testing out an ink that I fear might stain my better pens, and I very rarely take them ‘on the road’ with me. The Jaipur V2 is a very different story – these are attractive looking pens, with a much higher ‘fit and finish’, and have been pretty well constantly inked since I bought them. ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design The Jaipur V2 conforms to a fairly standard pen shape – more or less cylindrical along its length, though the cap diameter is about 1mm larger than the body, and there’s another step down in diameter where the barrel meets the blind cap that covers the piston mechanism. [This incidentally is one of the places where the new design is an improvement on the old: the original Jaipur ends with a piston knob that could be actuated accidentally by a curious friend, forcing ink out of the nib; the piston knob on the new version is covered by a blind cap that matches the colour of the pen body.] Removing the cap reveals two of my favourite features of the pen: the #6 nib, and a sizeable clear ‘window’ that allows the ink volume to be monitored. I appreciate the fact that Kevin designed this pen to accept his proprietary #6 nib units, so that swapping nibs out is much easier than for the original (and for the Himalaya V2, which has given me major hassles in this department!]. I really like the materials Kevin chose for the manufacture of these pens – the cracked-ice style acrylics are brightly coloured (blue and orange are the only options right now), with moderate translucency. I’ve been very tempted to buy the mottled brown ebonite version so I have the whole set – but just can’t quite bring myself to buy a 3rd version of the same pen! [i already own several Himalayas, and 4-5 original Jaipurs…] … Construction & Quality The fit and finish on the Jaipur V2 is really good. These are probably the highest quality pen in the FPR range – which I’d guess you would expect, given the higher cost of the pen. The acrylic is highly polished, the parts fit together well, and I’ve had no trouble with ink drying out over time, which suggests the seal on the cap is airtight. I only have one complaint, if you could even call it that: I find the piston mechanism fairly stiff, especially the first turn on emptying or filling the ink reservoir. … Weight & Dimensions Placed side by side with the original Jaipur, you can see the ‘genetic’ relationship between the two in terms of design – but the V2 is a little larger on almost every dimension. Capped the pen is 140mm long (compared to 135mm for the original); uncapped it’s 133cm long, while posted it’s over 170mm. The latter looks a bit unwieldy – it’s not really designed for posting – but the cap sits on fairly securely. The barrel of the pen is 13mm in diameter (the cap is 14mm), while the grip section sits at a very comfortable 10.5-11mm. The whole pen weighs in at a very 16g – uncapped that drops to 10g, which makes the pen very lightweight, and ideal for long writing sessions. … Nib & Performance I willingly paid an extra $US14 to ‘upgrade’ to an EF ultra-flex nib – it’s far and away my favourite in the FPR line, though their other nibs perform well too. This pen is designed to take the #6 screw-in nib units that were originally designed to fit FPR’s Triveni and Darjeeling pens – and the standard nibs (EF-B and 1.0mm stub) are paired with a plastic feed. The ultra-flex nib, though, comes with an ebonite feed (with a very wide and deep ink channel to maximise flow). Since writing my review on the Himalaya V2 (FPR’s second-most recent pen release), I’ve found a few reviews complaining that with the ultra-flex nib they were prone to railroading and ink starvation – I found the same problem with one of mine, that required some effort to fix (some judicious deepening of the ink channel). I’ve had no such issues with the Jaipur V2 – it’s an exceptionally wet writer (with the ultra-flex nib installed), that allows me to flex with freedom. For everyday writing, I’d recommend purchasing one of the ‘regular’ nib units – these ‘tame’ the pen nicely, producing a more moderate ink flow. [Of course, you can always order the pen with the ultraflex nib installed, and purchase a spare ‘regular’ nib unit in the size of your choice, to swap in as you wish!] … Filling System & Maintenance As I mentioned earlier, the filling system is (apart from the nib assembly) the biggest ‘upgrade’ for the V2 of the Jaipur. Whereas the older version relied on the same kind of clutchless piston with nylon seal that’s found in the Guru, the Indus, and the Dilli, the piston in this pen is much more robust, and relies on more durable washers (which I think would also be easier to replace?) for maintaining a good seal. Also, whereas for these earlier model pens the entire rear of the pen functioned as a piston knob, for the Jaipur V2 the piston knob is concealed under a screw-on blind cap – making it much less likely the piston will be turned accidentally between fills. The maximum capacity of the ink reservoir is around 1.2mm. The pen can be completely disassembled for cleaning, and easily reassembled – my only complaint with the pen (if you could call it that!) is that the washers on the piston fit very snugly against the inside walls of the pen. This makes the piston mechanism very reliable… but also a bit stiff. Maybe it’ll loosen up a little with time? … Cost & Value At US$55 (plus postage) for ‘regular’ nib sizes (B, stub and flex nibs cost $4 extra, and the ultraflex nib will set you back an additional $14), the Jaipur V2 is FPR’s most expensive pen – but it’s well worth it for the upgraded design and materials. … Conclusion Until my V2 Jaipurs arrived in the mail, I’d have said the Himalayas (V1 or V2) were my favourite line of pens from FPR. The Jaipur has changed that up, though: these pens are very attractive, they feel great in the hand, and they write like a dream. I’d happily recommend this as a mid-range pen, that competes very well with other fountain pens in this price range. And Kevin’s / FPR’s customer service has, in my experience, always been exceptional.
  11. Hi I didn't know where to put this so please delete if this is the wrong place, but... I wanted to know how to pick the right feed for my pen when buying from Fountain Pen Revolution. Here's the link in case anyone wants to see: https://fprevolutionusa.com/collections/5-5-nibs My pen has a feed that is 39mm long but I'm not sure that's what they're measuring here. Any and all help appreciated!
  12. A while back, I purchased a fountain pen called the Indus from Fountain Pen Revolution. With that pen, you get an integrated, piston-filler (capable of full disassembly) with a very smooth steel nib with ebonite feed. However, that pen had some quirks (like a wiggly clip, a weird smell, and a very skinny grip) that made it less than perfect, even at that price point. I still like and use my Indus, mainly because of its most excellent nib, but I don't love it as much as I could. For those who don't know, Fountain Pen Revolution (hereafter FPR) is a brand dedicated to low-cost fountain pens, all of which are manufactured in India. India produces some excellent pens--evidenced by the fact that some well-known brands (Stipula and Esterbrook come to mind) rebrand and price-up lesser-known Indian brands for the US fountain pen market. FPR is run by Kevin Theimann, a wonderfully friendly chap who is likely to send you a personal email thanking you for making an order. He's good people, and I'm hoping he succeeds with this business model. After getting my Indus, and perusing some other models on the FPR site, I was intrigued enough to try again. This time, I went for the "Himalaya" model: A thicker pen than the Indus, with a push-pull piston converter (think Noodler's Neponset), and the same #5.5 steel nib and a larger ebonite feed. I chose the Indigo Blue acrylic finish. When I opened the pen, all I could say was "Wow." The blue acrylic is simply stunning, with deep chatoyance and multiple swirls of color. I have two other pens with similar finish: a Levenger True Writer Classic and a Retro 1951 Tornado, and the Himalaya is more beautiful than either of those. The pen is of medium length and width, I’d say; almost the perfect size. I have large hands, and it fits me perfectly. I’d wager smaller hands would find it just as comfortable. The screw cap can be removed in one full rotation, and posts securely with an almost undetectable click. Posted, the pen measures just about 6 inches, which to my mind is just about the perfect length for writing. The grip section is nicely tapered with a flare at the nib end to keep your fingers from sliding off onto the nib. I’d almost wish the nib were larger, but the way this nib writes I can’t complain about that. The pen’s converter works perfectly. It screws into the section and there was already some silicone grease on the threads to ensure a good seal. I’ll make a note to replenish that from time to time. I inked it with Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki to match the pen’s aesthetic, and did a quick writing test. Again, wow. This pen writes. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning the nib slips across the paper as if it were made of ice, I give it a solid 8.5. My Waterman Expert 3 medium is a 9, and my TWSBI Diamond 580 broad is a 9.5. The Himalaya is a very smooth writer, and it’s already destined for my regular EDC rotation. I keep coming back to the price of this thing, but I can’t ignore it. I can’t think of another pen under $30 that looks and writes as well as this one. And don’t give me Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan, those pens are good and all, but *yawn*. This is a beautiful pen with character, one that you won’t be afraid to take to the boardroom, and also one you won’t be too afraid of losing. If you haven’t yet checked out FPR, I recommend you do so today: the site is www.fountainpenrevolution.com.
  13. Just over a month ago, on August 25, I received a notification in my email inbox that a new fountain pen was being released by the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution – the first pen in their line-up to take advantage of their #6 nibs. If you trawl through the Fountain Pen Reviews sub-forum here you’ll see that I’ve reviewed a number of his pens before – I’m an unabashed fan of most of the pens these guys release (the Dilli being the one real exception). What attracted me to this pen was the larger nib, the aesthetic (it’s pretty similar in appearance to the Jaipur, albeit larger), and the capacity to swap nibs in and out – not to mention the very competitive price tag! – so I placed an order, pretty much immediately, for two pens: a ‘solid’ coloured teal, and a clear plastic demonstrator. Discerning viewers will notice a distinct resemblance between this pen and the Click Aristocrat – that’s no coincidence. I’ve confirmed with Kevin from FPR that this pen is the product of a collaboration between the two companies – based on an original pen design from the folks at Click. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design The Darjeeling is currently available in 6 solid colours (teal, red, blue, white, black and green) – I opted for the teal – or as a clear demonstrator. I’m not sure what material the pens are made from, but they look and feel like some kind of plastic, and have the distinctive smell of products made from vegetal resin. The clear demonstrator especially has a noticeable odour attached to it – which doesn’t bother me at all (in fact I quite like it!), but may be an issue for some people. If you’ve ever purchased a Noodler’s pen (or certain other Indian-made brands), you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing I noticed about the pen when I looked at the photos – and confirmed when I had one in hand – was the similarity of design to the Jaipur: a fairly straight pen that terminates on a shallow ‘conical’ bottom end, with a cap that screws over the top of the grip section and has a similar conical ‘top end’. The barrel tapers slightly towards the bottom, to allow the cap to post deeply on the pen. The main difference between the two pens, visually speaking, is the fact that the Darjeeling is a cartridge converter pen, so there’s no piston knob at the bottom of the barrel. The ‘accents’ on the pen (i.e. cap ring and clip) are ‘chrome’-coloured stainless steel. Comparison of several FPR pens - from top to bottom: the Jaipur, Darjeeling (solid teal), Darjeeling (demonstrator), Himalay, and Triveni Junior … 2. Construction & Quality The Darjeeling appears to be moulded (primarily) from the same vegetal resin as the Jaipur and Guru – the solid pens are relatively glossy, and the demonstrator pen is nice and see-through. The fit and finish on these pens is pretty good – especially considering the price tag. One of the new design features of this pen is the capacity to screw the entire nib assembly in and out – previous pens from FPR tend to be designed so that only the nib and feed are easily replaceable. You can still buy replacement nibs and do a swap – but it’s now possible to buy entire nib assemblies for a few dollars extra, to simplify the process of changing over nib sizes. … 3. Weight & Dimensions I’m away on holiday as I write this review, and I forgot to bring my scale with me (!) – but the FPR website says this pen weighs around 16g, and from memory that seems about right. It’s a very lightweight pen, especially given its size – which means it sits equally comfortably in the hand either posted or unposted. The grip section on the pen is 25cm long (including threads), with a diameter of 11-11.5mm, depending on where you hold it. The cap band, the widest part of the pen, has a 15.5mm diameter, while the barrel sits around 13mm. Lengthwise, the pen is 140mm long capped, 130mm uncapped, and extends to ~170mm posted. … 4. Nib & Performance The Darjeeling is the first pen designed by FPR to take its #6 nibs – and, as mentioned above, it’s now possible to buy a nib assembly that simply screws into the grip section. I haven’t had much exposure to FPR’s #6 nibs prior to this, as they’re a little wider at the base than JoWo, Bock or Jinhao nibs, and don’t fit as easily into my other pens (e.g. the Jinhao 159). I’ve been very happy with the nibs I purchased, though – a flex nib purchased for another Indian pen, the M and 1.0mm stub nibs that came with this pens, and the EF nib I swapped into the teal pen. It’s worth pointing out that these pens seem to write very wet, despite the fact that they use a plastic feed (as opposed to the ebonite feed in the Jaipur). As with the #5.5 nibs, I find the stub nib doesn’t provide the greatest amount of line variation – but it writes very smoothly, as do the rounded tip nibs. … 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Darjeeling is a cartridge converter pen, that will take standard international converters, and comes with a simple push-pull-type converter (rather than a screw-type). I find these a little fiddly, but they work perfectly well – and you can always swap in a better converter if you prefer. The pens are also designed to work as eyedropper pens, and will accommodate an impressive amount of ink (I’d guess 4-5ml or more?). I’ve eyedroppered the demonstrator pen, and it’s been hassle-free. The only downside doing this with the solid coloured pens would be the lack of an ink window. … 6. Cost & Value The Darjeeling is excellent value for money, starting at $15 per unit (add $4 if you want a B, stub or flex nib). Since FPR’s base of operations relocated to the US, postage is higher for international buyers – but still pretty competitive compared to other US retailers. … 7. Conclusion I’ve once again been really pleased with FPR’s offerings – I wish I could say this was my favourite so far, but honestly, I still really like the Jaipur, the Himalaya, and my collection of Trivenis (the Gurus and Induses are pretty good too, but for different reasons are a bit lower down my list). If you like piston filler pens, I’d go with the Jaipur or the Himalaya; if you prefer the greater convenience of a cartridge converter pen, this is a great pen for an amazing price. Happy to answer any questions you may have – though my internet access is going to be very patchy for the next few days. …
  14. How good is an for normal flex nib vs a click flex nib vs a Noodler's ahab
  15. It’s nearly 3 years since I reviewed a pen that had (at that time) just arrived on the market – the Fountain Pen Revolution ‘Himalaya’ – and in that time I’ve added a few more to my collection (the number now stands at 5!). It’s one of my favourite low(er) cost fountain pens, it’s elegant looking, it writes well… The one thing I felt could be improved – and I guess I’m not the only one who relayed this to Kevin, the proprietor of FPR – was the size of the nib. As smooth as FPR’s #5.5 nibs are to write with, I just like the look of the larger #6 nibs better. So you can imagine my delight to discover that, in addition to the existing #5.5 nib version of the pen, Kevin was releasing an additional version with #6 nib. I ordered one the moment they went up on the website, and have been using it now for a couple of weeks. Because this is not a brand new design, I’ll try to keep the review a bit shorter – you can find my review of the original version of the Himalaya at https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/313017-the-himalaya-from-fountain-pen-revolution/ (and just to be clear, this version is not going away – it will continue to be produced “as long as there’s continuing demand”. [Disclaimer: though I have received free review pens from FPR in the past, this pen was purchased with my own money – in either case, the views expressed in this review are entirely my own.] ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design Both versions of the Himalaya are now available in two materials (acrylic and ebonite), with multiple colour options. The acrylic versions come in 10 different colours – mine is called ‘Purple Amethyst’; while ebonite versions of the pen are currently restricted to a green/black swirl and a brown/black. Whereas the #5.5 nib version of the pen was only offered with a chrome trim (and this continues to be the case), the #6 sports a gold clip and cap band, and by default comes with a dual-tone (gold and chrome) nib. The swirled acrylic of the Purple Amethyst pen – like the other acrylics I’ve purchased in the old version – is very attractive, with a lovely ‘chatoyance’ that leave you feeling like you’re staring into the depths of the material. I like the slight tapering of the pen towards the top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel, that gives it a more ‘curved’ look – as opposed to the ramrod “straightness” of the FPR Triveni. … Construction & Quality The pen feels sturdy in the hand, is expertly turned, and has no rough patches or visible flaws. My older Himalayas are by now (up to) 3 years old, and none have shown any sign of cracking or discolouring. The clip is sturdy, and is tight enough to hold the pen firmly in a pocket, but springy enough to be flexible. The threads are smooth, making the cap (and barrel) easy to open to pull the pen apart. I have to admit there are a couple of minor ‘blemishes’ as regards the fit and finish of the pen – though for the price, these are understandable, and do little to affect my appreciation of the pen: (1) There was a slight scratch on the metal cap-band when the pen arrived; and (2) The machine marks left in the acrylic by the process of turning the pen have not been fully buffed out. It’s not really noticeable except when the pen is illuminated for photos – but in the strong sunlight (or under my Ott-lamp!) I could see lots of superficial scratching on the surface of the acrylic. [Then again, since I don’t really baby my pens, that wouldn’t have taken long for me to accomplish myself!] I feel compelled to say that I would have preferred this pen with a chrome trim – I like the look better than gold – and I’m told that a chrome version of the larger pen may eventually become available, if there’s high enough demand. I was pleasantly surprised, though, to find that in the hand the gold trim didn’t bother me – and the dual-tone (chrome-edged gold) nib looks really good. … Weight & Dimensions As with its predecessor, I’d classify the new Himalaya as a ‘Medium’ sized pen – though both the grip section and the cap have been extended to accommodate the larger nib. It’s very comfortable in the hand, and long enough to write with either posted or unposted. Lengthwise, the pen is 138mm long capped, 127mm uncapped, and extends to ~165mm when posted (as compared with measurements of 134mm, 121mm, and 152mm for the original pen). It weighs in at 16.7g (10.7g uncapped) – though I expect this would be a little heavier for the ebonite versions. The cap diameter (not including clip) is 14.5mm at its widest point, the barrel diameter sits around 12mm, while the grip section (19mm long) tapers down from 11mm diameter near the cap threads, to 9.5mm at its narrowest… before flaring out at the end to 11mm at the lip. This makes for a very comfortable writing experience – at least in my hands! … Nib & Performance This obviously is the big difference between the original Himalaya and the new version (other than the gold trim). The #6 two tone nib sits against a 6.3mm ebonite feed – both of which can be replaced. Other #6 nibs (JoWo, Bock, Jinhao etc) can easily be swapped in and out – and the ebonite feed can easily be heat set to ensure a close fit. I ordered an Ultra-Flex steel nib, and inked it up with Diamine Robert, a high sheening ink only available at Cult Pens. The slightest pressure causes the tines to split, just marginally, allowing the pen to lay down a rich line of ink – and additional pressure easily produces broader lines. FPR nibs are consistently good (with the possible exception of their 1.0mm stubs, which tend to write like an Extra Broad rather than a stub!), and their Ultra-Flex nibs (I now have 3) are amazing. … Filling System & Maintenance The new Himalaya relies on the same filling system as the old: a push-type piston filling mechanism, similar to (but smaller than) the system Nathan Tardif uses in his Noodler’s Ahab. Its capacity is (I think) around 1 mL – which will run out relatively quickly with a flex nib! – but it can be removed to convert the pen to an eyedropper, allowing for a much larger ink capacity. As I’m aware, it’s not possible to use standard international (or other) cartridges with the pen – but you *can* buy replacement filling mechanisms, if you accidentally drop the original down the sink (don’t ask me how I know this: it should be obvious…). … Cost & Value At US$32 (plus postage, plus extra if you want a B, stub, or flex nib), the #6 Himalaya is very reasonably priced – especially for an acrylic or ebonite pen. The older Himalaya still has a base price of $29, which is equally impressive. The FPR Triveni has jumped significantly in price recently – and in my view is not quite as aesthetically attractive (I own several of these too). The #6 Himalaya, for me, has now become the best pen in FPR’s range. … Conclusion I’ve been a long-time customer of FPR, and am a fan of their customer service – so it would be easy for me to be biased when it comes to their products. For mine, though, this is an excellent pen. It’s not as well “finished” as some of my more expensive pens – but for the price, I think that’s excusable. The Himalaya is attractive, fun to write with, highly serviceable… and in every other way a worthwhile buy. Thanks, Kevin, for listening to customer feedback, and making the #6 option on this pen a reality! …
  16. FPR Leather Roll-Up Pen Pouch (6 pens) FPR - or Fountain Pen Revolution - is a family-owned business, founded in 2011 and situated in Texas USA. Their mission is to create high quality products at a very reasonable price. Besides fountain pens, they also offer some really nice pen pouches to carry them in. In this review I take a closer look at FPR's 6-pen roll-up pen pouch. The one I have is about 5 years old, and an older version of this product. They released an updated version of this pouch in 2019, with much better looks & aesthetics. The concept remains the same, and works perfectly as a daily carry for your inked-up pens. The pouch is made from flexible, but still strong leather, that you will enjoy for many years. My pouch is about 5 years old, and still good as new. Stitching is of high quality, without any visible damage due to time & use. In rolled-up state, the pouch is quite small: at 17x8 cm and about 4 cm thick, it doesn’t take up a lot of space. A small leather strip is used to keep the pouch closed. I always expect it to loosen up, but no… it keeps the pouch closed very well. The leather provides sufficient friction to ensure a reasonably secure lock. When closed, the FPR logo appears on top of the pouch - clearly visible, but due to the light embossment it remains fairly unobtrusive. The pouch comfortably fits 6 pens, each in an individual pocket. Four of these pockets are protected with a leather flap, that ensures that your pens won’t touch each other when the pouch is closed. These flap-protected pockets can hold pens up to about Pelikan M800 size. For oversize pens you can always use the two outer pockets. The pockets grip the pens securely, and don’t seem to loosen up much over time. Even after several years of use, there is still enough friction to prevent my pens from falling out. I really like this pen pouch, and use it on a daily basis to carry around my currently inked fountain pens. The pouch is very well constructed, and can easily survive years and years of use. Also - at 35 USD - you really get value for money. And given that the 2019 version looks better than ever, you cannot go wrong with this FPR product.
  17. Arkanabar

    Has Anyone Reviewed F P R Inks?

    I have been searching for a review of FPR's blue-black ink, without much luck. Their inks do not have a spot in the ink review index.
  18. Fans of Kevin Thiemann from Fountain Pen Revolution will know that he’s been selling Indian-made pens for several years now – initially sourcing and selling pen from established manufacturers, before branching out to commission and produce fountain pens, nibs and inks under his own brand name. I can no longer remember when I bought my first pen from his website – it’s lost in the mists of time! – but I can tell you that I now have a sizeable collection. It’s hard to pick a favourite from among the pens, but I do have a soft spot for his more premium quality ebonite and acrylic pens – especially the Himlaya and the Triveni. Until recently, these pens both came with the ‘traditional’ #5.5 sized FPR nib – but as of January, the Triveni is has been redesigned to incorporate the larger #6 sized nibs. And it’s one of these newer pens I want to review today – the redesigned FPR Triveni Junior, in 'Dark Blue ebonite'. If you’ve followed FPR as closely as I have, you’ll know the Triveni line has undergone a number of changes over time – the first version was designed to house a plastic “Serwex MB” grip section, and typically came with a #5 flex nib. Kevin later introduced the shorter Junior version, and both were redesigned to come with their own integrated grip section in matching material… Then, more recently again, the Triveni line was redesigned to accommodate a #6 nib. Here’s a picture of four representative grip sections (with nibs) from ‘down through the ages’: [Correction: top left pen is FPR Himalaya; top right is original Triveni with Serwex grip section; bottom right = Triveni 'version 2', and bottom left = the latest iteration with #6 nib.] ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design What I’ve always appreciated about the FPR Trivenis is their no-fuss, fairly straight lines. The cap of the pen posts over the top of the barrel, so the cap is slightly larger in diameter, and both cap and body taper slightly towards the ends – but it’s not a very pronounced taper. The grip section is comparatively short, but the threads for the cap are not sharp, so gripping the pen higher up is no problem. I like the aesthetic of the Triveni Junior better than for the full-length pen – the latter I find looks a little long and thin. Then again, to be honest, I like the look of the Himalaya even more (the more tapered cap I find more aesthetically pleasing) – but these are good looking pens. I really enjoy the materials, too – the acrylic Trivenis are wonderfully colourful, while the swirled ebonite pens look sturdy and serious. I *really* like the dark blue-green accents of this model – the “deep blue” version, which to my eyes is more of a teal-black swirl. … Construction & Quality The Triveni is solidly constructed and well-made. I can see some scratching on the surface of the pen, probably the product of the machining process, but they’re faint enough to not bother me. Overall the Triveni is of higher quality than the cheaper pens in the Triveni line. The threads on the barrel, and between barrel and grip section, are smooth and easy to turn; the fit and finish is of good quality. … Weight & Dimensions My new FPR Triveni is a fairly light pen, weighing in at 18.7g (with a converter full of ink) – the cap’s contribution to that is 6.8g. The pen cap’s diameter is 15mm at its thickest, and the barrel 13mm, while the grip section tapers down from 11mm to roughly 10.5mm – a very comfortable size (for me) for extended writing sessions. The capped length of the pen is 130mm, and uncapped 122mm. For my hands, the pen is long enough to write with unposted, but the posted length (~160mm) will be better for some – and given the light weight of the materials, it writes comfortably either way. … Nib & Performance I’ve always liked FPR’s #5.5 nibs, but have been impressed with the performance of the #6’s I’ve purchased more recently (I have a few Darjeelings, which use the same nib and feed) – and this pen was no exception. The EF nib lays down a fine, wet line, and writes very smoothly. The feed in these pens is plastic (unlike the Jaipur and Himalaya, which rely on an ebonite feed) – and may have a little more trouble keeping up with a flex nib. Nib and feed are friction fit into the grip section, but come out relatively easily. An advantage of the Triveni over most of the other pens made by FPR (apart from the Darjeeling) is its capacity to take a #6 nib. Though the FPR nib is a little wider at the base than a #6 JoWo nib, the latter will fit very comfortably in the pen if you want to swap one in. Here's a comparison of the new Triveni Junior to the old Triveni Jr (red swirl) and a Himalay (green swirl): And a writing sample: … Filling System & Maintenance The Triveni can be used as an eyedropper pen, and can take a standard international cartridge or converter. I haven’t tried this pen in eyedropper mode – but the converter that came with the pen works well. … Cost & Value The Triveni (and the Triveni Junior) is available from $39 in ebonite material, and from $45 in acrylic. That’s a little more expense than the (slightly more stylish) Himalaya – the most expensive in the FPR range, but still a pretty good price for the materials and the quality of the workmanship – and it now comes with the added advantage of a #6 nib. … Conclusion I’ve always like the FPR Triveni, and over the past 5 years I’ve accumulated 7 (mostly when they were on special!). The latest iteration is my favourite, though – and it travels with me almost everywhere. It's a great pen, a great writer, and well worth the expense! …
  19. TL,DR: It blurps. Edit: No, it doesn't, Liz just didn't shove the nib and feed back in far enough - see subsequent posts between me and Anthony. Am now very happy with this pen. Just thought I'd give a quick first-impression post on the Fountain Pen Revolution Indus I just got. I got the blue demonstrator version, via Amazon: At arm's length, it looks like above photo. Up close, it needs polishing. Given the price, and that it's not from someone turning out massive numbers of them (i.e. not like Pilot making the Metropolitan), this is to be expected. Measurements: It's thinner than I expected (though my expectation was imaginary): The barrel is 11mm diameter. The grip ranges from 9.5mm at the metal ring to 10mm just before the cap threads. Uncapped, it's 124mm long; capped, it's 133mm; posted, it's 150mm (but the inner cap prevents it from posting securely - the turning knob hits the inner cap before posting is very secure). The pen weights 14.6g, 8.9g for the body, and 5.7g for the cap. Filling: This is where the pen is fabulous - it fills with almost no air bubble at all - on the first fill! Don't ask me how they did that when most piston turners require you to empty and refill to reach their max, and even then have quite a large amount of air still in the barrel, but this thing just sucks the ink right up immediately. I find the piston easy to operate. The cap seems air tight - no air escapes when I blow into it, but I can operate the piston when the pen is capped without any apparent resistance (unlike my TWSBI Eco), so the inner cap may not be sealing as well as it ought. The pen can be completely disassembled, which is nice if you need to deep-clean or grease it. Nib / Writing: The nib appears to be a 5.5 per the FPR website. It and the feed are friction fit. There's no breather hole, but it has a very long nib slit like the Noodler's flex nibs. It's 2-tone with some scroll work on the silver part, and on the gold part, it has "FPR" and "Flex" running from near the grip toward the tip on either side of the slit. I'd say it writes between a western F and EF, closer to the EF side, slightly fatter than a Japanese fine. It's also wet. I decided to fill it with Diamine Misty Blue, because I have oodles of the stuff (mistake - I like the ink, but 80mL is a lot of ink). The nib is quite smooth "out of the box", more so up and down and even on curves than cross-wise, which feels a little rough. But I feel no need to smooth it further (something I've done with quite a few nibs), at least, not right now. I find it fairly easy to flex. I've never written with a vintage wet noodle (or any other variety), but I have a Visconti Homo Sapiens palladium nib in EF and a Pilot Falcon SEF. Ranking them in order of pressure required, from least to most: Visconti, Pilot, FPR. So it does take more pressure, but I don't find it difficult at all. The Problem: No Problem: I like this pen. I'd love to keep it and use it a lot as I love the flexy action, therefore, I'm gonna keep it and love it's flexy action, cuz all that blurping stuff was my fault, not the pen's! I thought I had the nib and feed well-seated after cleaning (they're a very, very tight fit), but they weren't quite in all the way. At Anthony's suggestion, I tried again and got them to go in a hair farther. After 7 minutes of writing, no sign of blups, and the ink color is more normal, the flow not as wet. Important lesson: the nib and feed on this guy are really tight, so if you take them out for cleaning, make extra certain you've got them back in all the way! but it blurps after about a sentence or two, and while it takes longer, it even blurps if I'm always flexing. Ink starts accumulating under the nib and drips down off the bottom of the feed. I can usually see the drop in time to tip the pen up and prevent it, which is why there's only one drop on the writing sample below. Others were narrowly averted, or got on my fingers. My other pens that fill directly don't do this: TWSBI Eco, Visconti London Fog (though my brother's Charlie pen never stopped and I gave up on it). My cartridge / converter pens don't do this (with the exception of 3 Nemosine Singularities, which I can "fix" by using a different converter and filling it directly rather than through the feed; I think if I wrote long enough, however, the feed would become saturated and blurp, not sure). I've heard altitude and being in the desert (both me) can make this problem worse, so maybe that's got something to do with it, don't know, but I'm disappointed. Sigh. I wonder if the material it's made of doesn't also make the problem worse (e.g. as compared to the TWSBI and Visconti). Here's a sample of my writing with it - sorry, it's a bit of a mess. Big version here, if you want to zoom in. The picture doesn't show the shading on the flexing very well, but it's quite nice, until it gets too wet. http://www.paradoxcommunity.com/vps/fprindussmall.jpg Conclusion: It would be a great deal for the price, and lots of fun to get all flexy with, if it didn't blurp. Am bummed about that. It's a great deal for the price, and lots of fun to get all flexy with! Am very happy. I'm gonna go play now. A video of someone flexing with it can be found here. And one on disassembly can be found here. Hope this is useful to anyone considering this pen.
  20. Earlier this year, when Kevin from Fountain Pen Revolution (www.fountainpenrevolution.com) released his latest offering – the ‘Indus’ – he disclosed on his website that another pen (the ‘Jaipur’) would soon be on the way. A couple of weeks ago, it finally ‘launched’ – and as soon as I knew it was on the market, I placed an order. I’ve reviewed a few FPR pens (and pen pouches) before today, and received a couple of Indus pens for free in return for a review. This time around, Kevin kindly sent me a second ‘Jaipur’ (at his own initiative), to allow me to give a more comprehensive review of the options available. So, full disclosure up-front: I paid for one pen, and received two – but have no affiliation with FPR, and have not been compensated for this review. Another comment up-front: one of the reasons I was so keen to review this pen is the fact that this is the first FPR pen that has been designed from scratch by its proprietor. Most other pens (the Guru and the Indus, and I think also the Dilli) were adapted from existing designs by other manufacturers. I’m a fan of the (comparatively) low-cost options provided by FPR, and especially excited to see this pen finally arrive on the market. This review is necessarily provisional – I’ve only had these pens for about a week at this stage – so please bear in mind, I can’t speak first-hand as regards its durability. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design The Jaipur is available in two ‘versions’ – a ‘standard’ version (if I can call it that), and a demonstrator version. I ordered a clear demonstrator, with a 1.0mm stub nib; the additional pen Kevin provided me with was a demonstrator with black finial, grip section and piston knob. Like most of FPR’s offerings, the Jaipur is a piston-filler pen (more on this later). http://i.imgur.com/wqERdNh.jpg The pen is designed along fairly straight lines – there is no taper to the cap or to the barrel (along most of its length). The top of the finial rises to a point, while the bottom of the piston knob is curved – but most of the rest of the pen is ram-rod straight. The barrel is just a little thinner in diameter where the cap fits over it, and has a slight ‘step-up’ beyond that point. I like the way the end of the barrel tapers down slightly to accommodate a narrower piston knob, which make it easier to post the cap deeply and securely onto the rear of the pen. Whatever version of the pen you buy, the ‘accents’ (cap ring and clip) are ‘chrome’-coloured stainless steel. http://i.imgur.com/vn3dEBV.jpg If I had my time over again, I don’t think I’d order the clear demonstrator – I bought it because I thought it would be easier to see how the pen fit together (which it is), but the black-demonstrator pen Kevin provided me with just looks a little classier (it reminded me a little of my black TWSBI Eco), and the ‘solid’ models look pretty good too. … 2. Construction & Quality The Jaipur is moulded (primarily) from the same vegetal resin as the Guru – which is less glossy than the plastic of a TWSBI Diamond 580 or Eco, but also less brittle and prone to cracking. It feels sturdily constructed to me, and the tolerances on the threads seem pretty tight. http://i.imgur.com/53qFcGU.jpg These pens are very easy to assemble and disassemble: the nib and feed are friction fit into the grip section; the piston filler mechanism is similarly easy to remove for cleaning and re-greasing. http://i.imgur.com/WzlnZQh.jpg … 3. Weight & Dimensions I’m a great fan of the FPR Indus – it’s a stylish looking pen, that reminds me of the Pelikan M200 (and is probably the closest I’ll come to owning one!) – but it’s not a big pen. The Jaipur feels a little more substantial in the hand, and there’s a reason for that: the grip section is 12mm on the cap thread (where I tend to hold it) and 11.5mm just beyond the thread, tapering down to 10.5mm at its narrowest. The cap band, the widest part of the pen, has a 14mm diameter, while the barrel sits around 12mm. http://i.imgur.com/eF2ogFp.jpg http://i.imgur.com/TLIw3IV.jpg Lengthwise, the pen is 136mm long capped, 126mm uncapped, and extends to ~155mm posted. It weighs in at 17g (11.2g uncapped), which makes it a fairly light pen, but its added girth was something I really appreciated. The pen sits equally in the hand posted or unposted – and I didn’t find the presence of absence of the cap shifted the weighting significantly while writing. … 4. Nib & Performance The Jaipur is designed to take the #5.5 nibs that have been available on FPR for the past year or so, married to an ebonite feed – and this, to my mind, is one of their greatest strengths. The #5.5 nibs across the range look attractive and write smoothly – and the ebonite feeds provide a very generous flow of ink. Additional nibs and feeds can be purchased separately at a very reasonable price (I ordered an additional flex nib/feed combo for$8), and as I mentioned above, they’re very easy to swap in and out. If you check out the website you’ll notice that there are two types of 5.1mm feeds available for these pens – the standard ebonite feeds, which “are pretty wet offering a generous ink supply”, and the flex ebonite feeds (“Caution: this is a very wet feed!”). http://i.imgur.com/1NC7uYe.jpg The pen I ordered for myself came with a 1.0mm stub nib, and wrote smoothly the instant I filled it with ink. These stub nibs are excellent value: unlike the stub nibs that JoWo supplies for companies like Edison Pens, Goulet Pens, TWSBI etc, these nibs have iridium tipping which has been ground back to provide moderate line variation. They do sometimes need a bit of adjusting to get the flow going (I have several of them!), but the nib supplied in this pen was magnificent from the outset. The flex pen Kevin provided for free was also very smooth and free-flowing, and with Waterman South Seas Blue in the barrel, it flexed effortlessly, with a minimum of railroading. [OK, OK, when I say ‘effortlessly’, I mean ‘trouble-free’ – I find the FPR flex nibs much less stiff than Noodler’s flex nibs, but they ARE still made of stainless steel.!] http://i.imgur.com/8GQ8ZZz.jpg http://i.imgur.com/xWLqraq.jpg http://i.imgur.com/3ABmxsw.jpg http://i.imgur.com/MbyG8Ae.jpg … 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Jaipur is a piston-filler, like most other offerings from FPR (the Triveni being the exception). I’ve expressed my dislike of the Dilli several times in the past – I don’t like the fact that that the piston is permanently fixed in the barrel, making it hard to clean the pen thoroughly – so it was a relief to discover that the Jaipur is easy to disassemble. I’ve read some recent comments on other FPN threads, from people who had problems with the piston seals on the FPR Guru (and some of the Serwex pens) being prone to cracking – I haven’t experienced this myself, but was conscious of the concern as I checked out this pen. A side-by-side comparison showed that although the Jaipur piston head is made from the same kind of material, it’s a little wider, and appears somewhat sturdier. The Guru piston was too small to make contact with the walls of the Jaipur, so it appears that the piston mechanism has been custom-made for this pen. The wider bore of the barrel is also reflected in its ink capacity – I was able to syringe-fill it with 1.5ml of water. … 6. Cost & Value The Jaipur is great value for money, at $18 per unit (add $3 if you want a B, stub or flex nib), plus $3 postage per order. … 7. Conclusion FPR’s #5.5 flex nibs are top quality for a bargain basement price, and married with an ebonite feed in this pen, you’re guaranteed a very wet, very enjoyable writing experience. I’ve been a fan of FPR from the time I bought my first pen from them, nearly 2 years ago – and this pen is another example of their commitment to provide good quality (fountain pen) writing tools at very affordable prices. …
  21. I received excellent customer service from Kevin at FPR yesterday Just wanted to give a shout out and let folks know I had a great experience!
  22. At the beginning of December, the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR - http://www.fountainpenrevolution.com) unveiled their new roll-up pen pouch - with a normal retail price of US$29 (plus $3 flat-rate postage), they were offering an introductory price of $19. The offer was too good to pass up - so I placed an order, pretty well straight away. I was away on a family holiday at the time - and was pleased to find the package waiting for me on my return. (Well, waiting at the post office, anyway!) The pouch is made pretty well entirely of leather - a thick, durable, lighter-brown leather exterior... http://i.imgur.com/STNmMuv.jpg while the interior was cut from a more supple (calf-skin?) leather. http://i.imgur.com/xbOhNMl.jpg The stitching on the pouch seems pretty durable too - though you'll notice, the bottom of the fourth pen slot from the left was not properly stitched in to the binding, and has come loose. The leather straps that wrap around and tie together to hold the pouch shut are both sown in to the middle of the 'back' of the pouch, and are made of the same (outer) leather material. I decided to test the pouch's carrying capacity by filling it with a few of my largest pens - a FPR Triveni, a TWSBI 540, a Pilot Vanishing Point, a Jinhao 159, and a Ranga Duofold. All of them fit (relatively) comfortably - though the Triveni and the Duofold both protruded a fair way from the top of their slots. http://i.imgur.com/Cihje3c.jpg Rolled up, the pouch looked like this: http://i.imgur.com/WOgeegn.jpg And from on top, like this: http://i.imgur.com/0QUSVOd.jpg This will help you to see why I only put five of my pens into the pouch: Given their wider girth (the Vanishing Point excepted), a sixth pen would make the pouch fairly bulky when rolled up. That said, with a smaller pen in the 6th slot, it wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be: http://i.imgur.com/iC6q3Ic.jpg So what do I think of the pen pouch? On the plus side (and it's mostly pluses), the exterior is made of very sturdy leather, while the interior leather is soft and supple enough that it's not going to scratch or damage my pens. The stitching (with one minor 'blip' is secure, and I don't anticipate this is going to fall apart any time soon! I like the form factor, too - and the fact that it's big enough to fit my largest pens. The individual pen slots are generously sized (though the 5th a little smaller, while the 6th could conceivably fit 2-3 skinny pens!). The 'branding' on the pouch is visible (see the 'FPR' logo on the bottom left of the exterior), but not obnoxious. I like the 'unpolished', not quite 'distressed' look of the leather - it gives the pouch a rustic aura. On the minus side, it was a little disappointing that the stitching wasn't quite right at the bottom of the 4th pen slot - though it's unlikely to be a problem. And I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on the two leather straps - it might have been better to have one strap, affixed to the right-hand rear of the pouch, so that it could wrap around and tuck in on itself. But that's a minor quibble - it works fine as it is. One last possible concern - Kevin from FPR mentioned this to me - is that the pouch was meant to be manufactured with a leather flap that would fold down over the pen clips, and ensure they didn't rub up against each other. I was able to orient my pens so that the clips weren't touching - due in part to the width of the individual pen slots - but I agree, a flap would minimise the risk of the clips scratching each other. One the down-side, though, I can imagine that the Triveni and the Duofold might foul that up, given how tall they stand. I believe that the next batch to be manufactured will come with the leather flap - so if you're thinking of buying the pouch, you may want to keep that in mind. All things considered, though, $29 is an absolute steal for a pen pouch made from these materials - and the introductory price of $19 was just insane! I'd be more than happy to recommend this to anyone looking for a low-cost, good value, great looking "on-the go" storage option for your more valuable pens. Any questions, feel free to ask - I'll do my best to answer them. Standard disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money, have no affiliation to FPR, and was not compensated for this review.
  23. Hello everybody, I am pretty new to this site and don't post very often so please forgive me if this is a topic that has come up a time or two. I recently discovered Fountain Pen Revolution's website and with it the world of Indian ebonite pens. To say they intrigue me would be an understatement. I have been wanting an Ebonite pen forever and the prices really seem right on these. I was wondering if you had any particular recommendations, or warnings on picking a first pen. So far I have been looking at the Triveni by FPR, the Guider, and the Gama pens. The mottled ebonite really appeals to me. I have never owned an eyedropper, but have read that they like to burp out ink when not all the way full and I was wondering if this is a common problem? I would appreciate any feedback, thank you! -tleek
  24. I've been a happy repeat customer of Fountain Pen Revolution for a couple of years now, and wanted to post a quick 'first-look' review of their latest new release: a 2-pen case made of leather. These are currently for sale on their website (www.fountainpenrevolution) for US$24 plus postage. In honor of the launch, they're including a FPR 'Indus' fountain pen, valued at US$17, for free - in a randomly-selected colour and nib size. I purchased two - one to keep, and one to give away. Onto the case itself, though - which conforms to a fairly standard design. The front of the pouch is made of fairly stiff, double-layered leather, with some kind of stiffening material inserted between the layers. The back of the pouch is roughly twice the length of the front - with a sizeable flap that folds over and tucks into the loop that holds the case closed. The sides of the pouch are thinner - just a single layer of leather, allowing the case to expand slightly as needed to accommodate larger-diameter pens. http://i.imgur.com/rQLI2MU.jpg The leather is a warm, chocolatey-brown colour, with the FPR logo prominently emblazoned on the front of the flap: http://i.imgur.com/2czaglp.jpg http://i.imgur.com/pfWZTnb.jpg The dimensions of the pen case are roughly 15cm tall x 4.5cm wide x 2cm deep - though the flap is long enough to accommodate taller pens. I found that my Diplomat pens (the Aero and the Diplomat Excellence A) were a very good fit; my 'girthiest' pen, a black Jinhao 159, took up a little more than half the width of the pouch, but could also be accommodated. The interior of the pouch has a 'divider' running down the middle, that ensures the two pens inside don't bump or scrape in transit: http://i.imgur.com/14v5kgk.jpg I have to say I'm very impressed with these cases: they look great, the stitching is neat and even, and they seem very sturdily constructed. I'm looking forward to carrying one around with me - and am pretty sure that the recipient of the second case will appreciate the gift. That's about all I can think to say - feel free to ask any questions if you'd like to know more!
  25. It was about 12 months now, in December 2013, that I purchased the ‘Triveni’, the latest offering from Kevin at Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR - check out their website at http://fountainpenrevolution.com/). I’d already sampled a few FPR nibs, and found them very much to my liking – especially their flex nib. I wasn’t a great fan of their first pen, the Dilli - it was just too hard to clean - but the Triveni promised to be different: built from sturdier material (your choice of acrylic or ebonite, in a few different colours), a cartridge converter pen that could be easily converted to eyedropper, and built (so it seemed) to a much higher standard. And so it proved to be. My one and only gripe with the Triveni, if you could call it that, was its size. The length of the pen meant that it wouldn’t clip comfortably into my shirt pockets – which meant that this was destined to be more of a stay-at-home pen. So I was pleased to hear that Kevin was planning a ‘Junior’ version of the Triveni – and very quick to ‘pull the trigger’ when the Triveni Junior came out, this time ordering an acrylic version. Let me say it up front: I love this pen. It’s my first acrylic pen (which means I have no real point of comparison), very reasonably priced, looks great feels comfortable to write with – and is a better size for daily carry and use. I won’t be ‘scoring’ the pen as such in the review below – but hopefully you’ll get the idea! [Please note, I have not been compensated in any way for this review, and obtained the pen at my own expense.] ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design The first thing I noticed about this pen when it arrived was the bright colouration of the acrylic – that, and the ‘pearlescence’ of the material. It’s impossible to capture in photographs, but as you turn the pen it seems like you can ‘see into’ it, especially the blue/white swirls. The clip is simple but functional, and sturdily built. http://i.imgur.com/9KODZPO.jpg http://i.imgur.com/SOhxbpB.jpg Two key differences between the Triveni Junior and its ‘big brother’ become evident when you uncap the pen: first of all, gone is the black plastic grip section the original Triveni ‘borrowed’ from the Serwex MB – replaced by a custom-made grip section that matches the pen, and is made from the same material; and secondly, the stainless steel #5 nib has been replaced by a larger (#5.5) two-toned nib. I understand the full-sized Triveni now also comes with the larger nib – and that the grip section will be updated sometime early in 2015, once the current stock has sold out and been replaced. The new section is a big improvement, both in terms of aesthetics and of comfort. … 2. Construction & Quality As with its larger predecessor, the Triveni Junior seems well-made. The screws on the cap and grip section have tight tolerances, preventing nib dry-out (in the case of the cap) and allowing the pen to be used as an ‘eyedropper’ pen (in the case of the grip section). I admit, I prefer the relative simplicity of using a cartridge converter – but the option is there if you want a larger ink capacity. I love the acrylic material this pen is made from – the swirl patterns and the pearlescence are pretty easy on the eye. I don’t consider myself qualified, though, to comment on the quality of the material – but the pen barrel is around 1.5mm thick, which I think makes for good durability. … 3. Weight & Dimensions In most respects, the Triveni Junior matches the specs of the Triveni – except as far as length is concerned. Weighing in at 20g, the ‘Junior’ is 13cm long capped, 11.5cm uncapped, and ~15cm when posted (compared with 14.7cm, 13.6 cm, and ~18cm respectively for the larger pen). The pen is just long enough to write with unposted – but I find it more comfortable, and maybe a little better balanced, when posted. http://i.imgur.com/dgpskVk.jpg http://i.imgur.com/zGaoCKO.jpg The diameter of the lid is around 14mm, and the barrel is ~12.5mm at its widest point. The grip section tapers down slightly from a diameter of 11mm just beyond the threads for the cap – these are smoothly machined, and I tend to find myself holding the pen here. … 4. Nib & Performance The pen came as requested with a flex nib installed – I also ordered an EF nib as an optional extra. With the flex nib installed, the pen glided across the page nicely, laying down a consistent, fine-ish line, offering just enough feedback to know that the pen was sitting on the page. With a moderate amount of downward pressure, it was possible to get the pen to flex. The feed on the Triveni pens is plastic, so cannot be heat set or adjusted, but for the most part, I found it kept up pretty well with the demand for ink. I found it was less prone to railroading if I ‘primed’ the feed by cranking the cartridge converter a little. http://i.imgur.com/ewDsVMh.jpg http://i.imgur.com/hRkbnRN.jpg The EF nib, unfortunately, was fairly scratchy when I first swapped it into the pen – which surprised me, as every FPR nib I’ve tried in the past (I have a fair stockpile!) has been wonderfully smooth. The problem was very easily solved, though, by running the tip of the nib gently over some micromesh. Being an EF nib, it still offers a little more feedback on the page than the flex nib, but no more so than the F nibs on my two Pilot pens, or the EF nibs on my TWSBIs. http://i.imgur.com/BY9yB4p.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/YVHOgmO.jpg Overall, the performance of these new two-tone #5.5 nibs seems pretty comparable to the stainless steel #5 nibs I’ve purchased from FPR before. These are good quality nibs, at a very reasonable price. … 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Triveni derives its name, at least in part, from the Triveni Sangam, a confluence of three rivers in India (according to the website) – but also from the fact that the pen has three possible modes of filling: eyedropper, standard international cartridge, or cartridge converter. The converter that comes with the Triveni Junior is a screw-type converter (I got a slider-converter with the older Triveni). In terms of quality this was a step (or several) above the cheap plastic converters that come with most Chinese pens, and worked well. The grip section threads a long way into the barrel, to facilitate conversion of the pen to eyedropper mode. http://i.imgur.com/AITpfaW.jpg … 6. Cost & Value This, in some ways, is probably the best thing about both Triveni models: for US$29 (ebonite) or $35 (acrylic), plus $3 postage you can have a well-made, smooth writing fountain pen in your hands (add another $3 for a flex nib or a broad). That’s very competitive pricing, for a pretty good quality product. Bear in mind, too, that for only $3 (or $7 for flex and for broad), you can order an additional nib to swap in. … 7. Conclusion I loved my ebonite Triveni pen when I first purchased it, and it’s a pen I continue to enjoy using at my desk – but for me at least the Triveni Junior is an even better option: a pen that’s more readily portable, but offers much the same writing experience. If you’re looking for a lower-cost ebonite or acrylic pen, this is definitely worth a look! …

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