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  1. I had to disassemble a Hero 100 as it was badly clogged. Unfortunately, I don't read Chinese. There seems to be very little documentation on English sites, so I'm hoping for some information Some Hero 100s seem to have clear collectors while others are opaque. Any significance to this? Mine's clear (albeit covered in horrible, waterproof residue).Is there some way to tell how old a Hero 100 is? This one might be 20+. I've heard older pens are more desirable. How are they different?Were nib widths other than F ever produced?Click on the photos for larger versions. Believe it or not, I've already scrubbed everything twice. Whatever that blue/black stuff is, it's stubborn! Exploded view with two parts still stuck together (there's a tabbed plastic ring stuck behind the sac connector). Lots of left-hand threads! The tabbed ring mentioned above. Pardon the residue. The tabs correspond to notches on the filler cage. Due to spaces for them in the hood threads, the filler cage can only be inserted in two orientations: facing up (press bar aligned with the nib) or down. Above: brand-new Wing Sung 601 collector and steel nib. Below: very dirty Hero 100 collector and 14k nib. The 100's collector is longer. The nib is also bigger and has a raised tab that fits into a notch at the front of the collector, such that it can only be oriented one way. Top: the other Hero 100 parts. Bottom: Wing Sung 601 feed with breather tube inserted. The 100's feed is longer than the 601's. I discovered something interesting when trying to insert the 100's breather tube backwards: it won't fit. That end's wider. Only the end with the aerometric hole fits the feed. Coincidence? Or extreme attention to detail? Writing sample. Does it look like a fine nib? The construction and engineering on this pen is seriously impressive. I'm sure I'll be even more impressed once I find the clog and get it filling properly! Does anyone know how I can clean the collector? It's been soaked for hours and scrubbed with a toothbrush.
  2. In my quest for a Parker "51," I decided to go the budget route and originally bought a Hero 616 and later a Hero 100. Both pens gave me issues with hard starts. I took the Hero 616 cap and filled it with water and immediately saw water dripping out of the cap around the top of the clip. I unscrewed the end and covered the whole area in silicone grease and screwed the finial back on. This made the hard starts on the Hero 616 completely go away. The Hero 100 cap also leaks when I fill it with water, right where the clip enters the cap. The clip on the Hero 100 is hinged, so I didn't think I'd be able to use this same method to get an airtight seal with the cap. Is there a known issue with the Hero 100 having hard starts? Is there another way I can use to get the cap air tight? And the last question... Is the Hero 616 and 100 nib interchangeable? I prefer the nib on the 100, but the hard starts make the pen hard to use. If I could put the 100 nib on the 616, I'd have a more pleasant writing experience with an airtight cap.
  3. I've gone over the reviews and Google even gave me a notice that they were getting unusually heavy traffic from my IP. I'm still on the fence and eBay seller laonan123 having them on sale is not helping me move on. EDIT: Two things to clarify what I need help on: I own a couple of Chinese pens (both the "vintage" aerometric fillers and the "modern" piston converter pens) with more coming in the mail. I've never bought one though at this price. Is the leap in price (3x or more) commensurate with a leap in performance and construction? Problems I have noted from research are a. section cracking, b. feed starvation, and c. we all hate glued-on aerometric converters. Did I miss anything?
  4. Introduction Why would anyone be mad enough to splurge $49 on a Hero 100 fountain pen, especially a Hero 100 variant that you have neither seen nor heard of? You do so because Soumitra Sanyal (@sanyalsoumitra) himself recommends it and offers to buy it for you from China during his visit there. For those of you who aren't familiar with his exploits, Soumitra-da is our resident walking and talking encyclopaedia on Chinese fountain pen matters. Just refer to his thread here to get a glimpse of his expertise and experience with the oriental pen makers and their instruments. That is how one fine day I find myself committing to buy a 2015 New Model Hero Classic 100 (aka Hero Glorious) and a few weeks later the pen lands on my desk. A big shout out to Soumitra-da, the anonymous kind-heart and L Subramaniam for taking the effort in ensuring that the pen reaches me from China. Packaging Usually I do not give too much emphasis on packaging since my interest lies with the pen rather than with the box. But I had to mention the packaging of the pen separately here since it is such a deviation from the normal Hero packaging that we are accustomed to seeing. The pen comes in a large green leatherette box enclosed within a white paper sleeve. The box has the Hero logo on the bottom right corner with 1931 (the year of founding) mentioned prominently. Once you open the box the pen is tastefully placed within a lovely green velvety bed. There is a small golden plaque with ‘Hero 100’ engraved in it. Pulling out the velvet bed, reveals a small cavity which contains the usual paperwork. Design Lately there seems to be a preference towards design that emphasize heft and a certain amount of chrome or other metallic reflective surfaces in the body of the pen. Parker IM, Sheaffer 300, Jinhao 159 or Duke Chaplin are representative of this trend. These pens are typically designed to cater to an entry/newcomer clientele base who equate weight and presence of metal with quality. The Hero Glorious squarely belongs to this club. Design wise the pen combines the traditional Hero 100 section and filling mechanism with a brass body which has been lacquered in black and inlaid with golden arches motif. The cap and body ends are fitted with golden flat ends and the cap band has a brushed metal finish. Engraved on the cap band is Hero 100 in a mix of Chinese letters and English numerals. There is a small logo engraved at the top of the clip. The black section has the traditional golden arrow inlay near the front-end. Aesthetically the pen is a mix of pleasing and over-done. The only visual mismatch that I could discern is the aluminium joint between the section and the barrel. I have no clue why they couldn’t take the extra effort and give it a golden finish as well. I suspect they were raiding the existing parts bin and did not really want to procure any new parts and fittings that this would have entailed. Size and Balance The design approach that Hero has taken for this pen unfortunately means that it is a heavy pen. While do not have a measuring scale of my own, the specifications state that it is a full 45 grams. This is a serious drawback that impacts the writing experience. There copious amount of heavy brass in the barrel and even more so in the cap. Any attempt at writing with it posted had to be immediately terminated. It was just not comfortable enough. Even writing unposted wasn’t as comfortable as the classic Hero 100 which had the weight and balance nailed down to the T. A light section and heavy barrel does throw the balance for a toss and the pen felt decidedly top heavy. The weight issue is a real pity because at 142mm capped, this is the perfect size for an EDC (Every Day Carry) pen. The section design is a classic and is known to accentuate the feeling of comfort. Nib The pen comes fitted with the classic Hero 100 nib which is made of solid 14K gold and fine in width (tip size 0.5mm). While the pen professes to be a fine, in my writing experience it was much closer to a western EF than a western F. The original Shanghai Hero company is known to make excellent nibs and this one is no different. The nib is very smooth and if you are the sort who likes EF nibs, you should have little reason to complain. The only aspect which I wasn’t too happy about was with the ink flow. I found it on the dryer side. Filling Mechanism Like any Hero 100, this pen too is an aerometric filler. It comes equipped with a long and slender pump style converter which is fixed. The brand name “hero” is inscribed in the pressbar in English while the converter itself has the pen model name inscribed in Chinese with English numerals. Since it has a fixed converter, the pen can only accept ink from bottles and cannot use any sort of cartridges. Build Quality On first glance the pen exudes the usual quality vibes that we are familiar with these days from the better Chinese pens. The fit and finish and the tolerances are nice and the pen seems built to last. I do however have some reservations with regards to the long term durability of the pen. The fact that it has a simple plastic section paired to a heavy brass barrel and the two are joined via an aluminium threaded joint seems to me a potential failure point. During use, the heavy metal is likely to put stress on the plastic. Assuming the section design is the same for the classic Hero 100, I do not expect the section to be designed to withstand such weight/stress. In fact, quite a few other reviews have reported sections developing cracks in the plastic section. Writing Experience The original Shanghai Hero company has been in existence for long and during the period it has developed quite an impressive following of its own. The fact that it seems to be the most faked pen in China means that the original pen has got something right and has a great writing experience. The Hero glorious obviously benefits from using the same ‘business side’ of the pen. The nib despite being extra thin is very smooth and glides on paper. There is no scratchiness even on coarse or cheap paper. It is however hard as a nail and any thought of softness or flex has to be summarily banished. Such a smooth nib is however let down by a feed that is too dry. I had loaded the pen with Pilot black ink and the pen was visibly having trouble keeping up the supply even for such a thin nib. This meant that the sensation of a well lubricated nib gliding on paper was sorely missing. Had that been there, it would have shot right at the top of my EF nib collection. The other drawback to writing pleasure is the sheer weight of the pen. You don’t buy this pen for a better writing experience than the original classic. Price and Value I have observed that the price of this pen seems to be fluctuating a lot. My pen was purchased from mainland china for $49 and at the time the same pen was being sold on Aliexpress for around $80 - $120. Currently there are a couple of listings available for as low as $20 but these pens don’t come with the box. That may mean any one three things - either I paid for a $29 box or counterfeits are coming into the market or the price of the pen is genuinely coming down after the initial period is over. Whether the pen is VFM or not depends a lot on what the final price comes to be. For a brass bodied solid pen with a genuine 14K nib, the sum of $20 seems very reasonable while $49 is stretching the case a bit. Any figure above $60 would in my opinion make the pen non VFM since QC is not known to be equivalent to western standards. Specifications The measurements mentioned in this section were not taken with any precision measurement instruments and you would have to settle for the approximate measurements I made using a normal ruler. However, the measurements I am providing should give you a clear indication of what to expect from the pen. Length (capped) – 142 mm Length (uncapped) – 121 mm Length (cap) – 63 mm Length (section) – 43 mm Maximum width – 12 mm Weight – 45 gm (Not measured and as per specifications) Conclusion This is the section where I usually summarize my findings and either recommend or reject the pen. Frankly speaking, I am a bit conflicted on this pen for a variety of reasons. Firstly because of the ongoing price fluctuations, I would advise a wait and watch approach to see it pans out. Secondly the design of the pen and the weight won’t suit everyone. I personally found it a bit too over the top for my taste and the weight a bit tiring. But if you are of the sort that such models, then you would be delighted by this pen. Nitpicking aside, it’s a relatively nice writer and the brand itself has an impressive legacy. The size is just ideal to make it an EDC (Every Day Carry) pen and it fulfills that role fabulously. Should you go for it, I have no doubt that you would enjoy it.
  5. I have been using a Hero 100 flighter at work for several reasons, I do a lot of math and calculations, with the dreaded many-tens-of-seconds pauses between writing, and the hooded nib works great for that. I found at walgreens drugstore (in USA) a Timesmart Note Book, which is I think 100 pages, a light grid on one side, and simple college ruled lines on the other side of every sheet. The sheets even have a uniform perforation so you can tear out an important page if the need arises. I was using Waterman Blue Ink, which works great for writing on this paper, but alas it does not fair well with any drops of water. So I did some research, and here's my answer (for the time being). Platinum Pigment Blue Ink. It is 100% waterproof, and dries very fast. The only issue is that it is a pigmented ink so pen maintenance is critical. To support the pen maintenance I got the special tool for the hero 100 that allows you to disassemble the nib and feed, so I can really give it a good cleaning once a month or so. I got the tool from the seller "yespen", it came very quickly. What I found with the Pigment Blue ink is that it is not nearly as saturated as the Waterman Blue. But it still serves my functional needs nicely. As far as the pen goes, with either ink the performance has been flawless. I'll report back here after the first cleaning to let you all know how that goes. (sorry for the small image here, I can't seem to make it take the original version of this next image... )
  6. Hi there, when I am away on business travel, I take my Pilot Custom 823 with me as a pen for taking notes, a role for which it is suited to on account of it being a vacuum filler. However, the pen has a screw-on cap, which I find slightly annoying, and in addition, I would like to take a cheaper pen with me. For this reason, I am thinking of purchasing a Hero 100 / 1000, but only if it shares the same air travel-friendly properties as the pen upon which it is modelled on, the Parker 51. Does anybody of the esteemed members here have any experiences with the Hero 100/0 in terms of air travel? Thanks for the help! Luis
  7. http://thefrugalfountainpen.blogspot.com/2014/04/hero-100-fountain-pen.html





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