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  1. Review: Modified Ranga 8b This review is about my experience with a Ranga 8b fountain pen that has been my primary daily writer for about a year. I will discuss my thoughts on the pen, the experience of ordering from Ranga, and the modifications that I made to it to fit my writing needs. I won’t be assigning scores to various categories of performance; while that approach is certainly popular and useful in some contexts, I think a general discussion of my experience might be more valuable for the reader. Additionally, I won’t be discussing the stock version of the pen very much. So, if you need information on size and other specifics, one of the many other reviews of this pen is probably a better source of information. The Ranga 8b is an artisan made pen, manufactured in Thiruvallur, near Chennai / Madras India; like many high-quality pens from the region, it has been hand turned from an ebonite rod. I ordered my pen in a brushed mat black finish. I truly appreciate handmade, high-quality writing instruments that small makers like Ranga produce. Ranga is not attempting to sell a brand name nor do they really have a marketing department. They only have the promise of making well-made pen that truly fits your needs. I ordered the pen directly from their website at https://rangapens.com/ I found Ranga to be particularly responsive in their communication. After placing my order, I was contacted by the company to confirm my preferences and to give me updates about when it was being made and shipped. It took roughly a week for my pen to be manufactured, shipped and delivered to my home in California. General Thoughts on the Ranga 8b Much has been written about the Ranga 8b pen model, so my experience is not unique and probably confirms most of its positive accolades. The pen itself is beautiful and is very well finished. Most users enjoy the long, hourglass shaped section, and indeed I can confirm that it is my most comfortable pen to write with, in part because of this feature. The shape and balance of the pen in stock form is amazing, especially if you use it unposted. The pen simply feels luxurious, and when I received it, I knew that I would not have to search out a high priced “grail pen” to get what I was looking for in terms of a writing experience. My Pen and the Modifications I Made I opted to get the eyedropper model, because it gives me a lot of control in setting up the pen. I write on thick paper (Clairefontaine notebooks and HP32 inkjet paper) and I prefer pens with a generous ink flow. I also find that I much prefer ebonite feeds – they seem to be more consistent in delivering a wet line. And as a material for the pen body and section, I enjoy ebonite because it does not get slick if my hands get sweaty, and because I can make small alterations to the shape of the pen if needed. The pen came with a high quality Kanwrite nib with Ranga engraving, and a simple ebonite feed; the nib and the feed are friction fit into the section. I ordered a medium, which I use most of the time. However, I also have another Kanwrite nib that can fit this pen, which I ground down to a stubbish left oblique (the red cursive in one of the photos was written with this nib, though in another pen at the time). The first change I made to the pen was to replace the feed. The stock feed was reliable, but it was not quite providing a generous enough ink flow. After adjusting it a few times, I opted to replace it with a high quality Kanwrite 6.3mm ebonite feed from Fountain Pen Revolution. At the same time, I also opted to recess the nib, because I wanted it to be slightly shorter. I pushed the nib and feed into the section a bit further than normal, and heat set the section to this nib and feed using boiling water. In other words, I submerged the section in hot water and shaped it around the nib and feed to ensure proper fit – yet another advantage of ebonite. Afterward, I submerged just the nib and feed to heat set them to ensure proper ink flow. Thus, the nib on the pen is set further within than stock, and after heat setting (section and nib/feed), I have no issues with ink leakage. The second major change I made to the pen was to create an added taper toward the back of the pen body. In some ways, it resembles a less dramatic mid-body taper of the kind found on the Franklin Christoph Model 2 Intrinsic. The stock pen posted securely, but not deeply; it was a bit long for me. And while I enjoyed it, even while posted, I wanted to improve the balance of the pen. I used a very sharp knife to shave off material starting at about two thirds of the way towards to end of the pen. Next, I used a sanding sponge, 80 grit, to remove the marks from this process, so that the finish matched the original brushed, mat ebonite. In hindsight, I probably should have used only the sanding sponge. It was probably sufficient for the job and by using a knife I introduced flaws into the pen that you can see if you look closely. That said, this modification worked wonderfully. My pen now posts fully and deeply, and its balance is perfect for my hand. This modification meant that instead of using the pen periodically, it has become my main pen for everyday work; I barely put it down. Final Thoughts The pen is my ideal writing instrument, and certainly the most comfortable I have ever used. The only time I do not use it is when I need to write in direct sunlight, or to use thin, cheap paper, such as when I grade student work (I am a history teacher). For these tasks I use a cartridge converter pen instead of an eyedropper. Much is sometimes made of using an eyedropper pen for everyday use, and I am not sure I have much to add on the subject. I have for years used an eyedropper every day, with few if any problems, as do thousands of other people. Doing so takes some knowledge and patience, so as they say, your mileage may vary. I will be ordering another Ranga 8b pen, even if it is just to have one in reserve. This pen is by a large measure is my favorite. That said, since I prefer to post this pen, I will ask for my next one to be made with a slight taper towards the end to facilitate deep posting. I think that this ability to customize an order, combined with receiving a very high-quality product for a reasonable price, is one of the major advantages of ordering from a small artisan like Ranga. Needless to say, I am a very satisfied customer, who is just trying to spread the word. If I were to order this pen again for the first time, I would probably purchase the stock version, to see if I would prefer to use it posted or unposted. I obviously liked it enough to take the time to modify it, rather than simply buying a new pen, which I think speaks to its appeal.
  2. If you've been around fountain pens for a while, chances are you know about Kanwrite. At the risk of repeating myself... Again, let me repeat the intro that I said about my review of the Kanwrite PC. "Kanwrite or Kanpur Writers is one of the most popular pen companies in India and outside (If you've used a Noodler's pen, Chances are high that it may be made by Kanwrite...). Though their Desire and heritage have stolen the show for most of us, there are a few hidden gems in the brand..." One of which is the Relik, which is the only hooded nib pen in Kanwrite's lineup. And for about ₹350/- INR when bought directly from Kanwrite, just like other Kanwrite budget pens, it's a solid knock-around everyday carry pen. So without any further ado, Let's crack on... Design and Build Design wise, it's a classic design which harks back to the old reform piston filler pens of the 60's and 70's, and almost identical to the PC. Honestly, if I place a PC and a Relik side-by-side capped, and ask you to tell which one is which without touching them, you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference between them. It's when you open the difference becomes apparent. The hood over the nib is the main differentiator between the PC and the Relik, You can swap the parts like the converter, Body and the cap between the two and they'll fit perfectly. But design wise, It's a handsome fella. (Note: the standard relik comes with a gold plated nib however I dropped it nib down and bent the tines. since then I replaced it with a non plated nib, so some of the photos will contain the a silver nib on a gold trimmed pen... My bad) As far as the build, the cap is made of metal and has a slight texture to it, the body is made of plastic which is very durable. Easily able to handle drops without issues, and surprisingly scratch resistant. It does smell. But not a lot and you'll barely notice it after a week or so. The pen comes with a hooded nib which looks similar to pens like the Camlin 47 and the Airmail/Wality 77. It uses a No.00 nib and an ebonite feed housed in a plastic sleeve which is then slid inside the grip section. reassembly can be fiddly, as the sleeve is like a gear with a million billion teeth and to get the assembly just right takes some trial and error. Also a thing to note while cleaning the pen, the sleeve is fairly fragile so be careful when reassembling the feed. Don't just jam it in there with all the frustration of your last breakup or else the sleeve will be the next thing you'll break up (Poor joke... I know...). Because of the hooded design, you can leave the pen for more than an hour, and it won't dry up. So that's the reliability box ticked for the Relik. The pen accepts a converter which is a screw in type and it smells... like more than I expected... Luckily, the barrel has enough threads that makes it a perfect candidate for eyedropper conversion, but air-tight enough that it seals the smell off... As for the size comparisons, from top to bottom: 1. Kanwrite Relik 2. Beena Lincoln 3. Parker Vector CT Standard 4. Jinhao X450 One thing though, and it happened to my PC and the Relik, the plastic of the converter becomes yellowed when using Bril black ink, tough it does not seem an issue with the other inks that I use, which includes other Bril inks. It does not affect writing though. Speaking of which... Ergonomics, Writing and Final Verdict The ergonomics are fairly good. If you use a Gel or Ballpoint before, you'll feel right at home, plus the hooded nib design means you can hold it very close to the nib, if you're an imbecile like me and hold the pen according to the mood I'm in, this is a very good pen to write. Plus because of it's light weight, it's comfortable to use for long writing sessions. Posting it gives it that little bit more heft that in my opinion, adds to the overall writing experience. As for the writing, It's a typical Kanwrite fine nib. Smooth for the most part with a hint of feedback that is noticeable but not unpleasant. You really feel you're writing something, which I prefer over a nib that writes like writing on glass, as my hand tends to go out of control faster than when a fish slips out of the hand the moment you catch it out of the water. Wetness and flow is more than adequate enough, but not so much that it makes the ink feather and make the writing a bunch of squiggly lines on cheap copier paper. Flow keeps up with even the fastest of writing that I can manage and over long writings, the pen doesn't break a sweat. Overall, as a final verdict, This is a solid option if you are considering a hooded knock around EDC pen that is both durable and good to write with. Honestly these Kanwrite offerings doesn't leave me with anything to say that I haven't said before. For the price that you buy from Kanwrite directly, it's a great value and an excellent beginner pen. PS: Note that the min. order value for ordering from Kanwrite directly is ₹500/- INR (you can order by contacting them via Whatsapp). So I'd suggest you buy and Apex (Review of which you can see by clicking here) and some spare No.00 nibs as well just in case. Trust me, you won't regret it. That's all from me, and I'll catch you all next time
  3. I am new to the FPN. I stumbled here scouring the net for inexpensive, quality fountain pens. The "India and Subcontinent" regional sub-forum proved a goldmine. Never before had I heard of Indian Pen Masters like Ratnam, Ranga, Gama, ASA, Guider, Kanwrite. The reviews of some of their famous pen models, and their contacts posted here, motivated me to buy a few pieces myself. Thanks to everyone who has posted those very detailed and helpful reviews and pictures. This is my first post on the forum. Recently, a new model appeared on ASA e shop. Teacher. It is a handmade pen in acrylic. There are only two photos of the model on their website. Here is one of them. There is another similar photo of the same pens with flat top. I got interested immediately and tried to find out more on the net. No other photos or reviews of this model could be found anywhere. Satisfied with my previous purchases from ASA, I went ahead and ordered the one in blue, the 4th from left in the picture above. Soon enough, the pen arrived packed in an attractive, very usable (and appropriately) handmade cotton pouch. The pen looks a brighter blue in my photos, but the actual shade is closer to the manufacturer's photo above. It is a standard cigar shaped pen, 150 cm long. There is no branding or embellishment anywhere except the ASA logo on the clip. The entire pen is smooth and polished to high gloss. The tear drop clip is well fitted with a barely perceptible groove of the cap finial. The cap opens in three turns to reveal a very comfortable hourglass section. The cap threads are quite smooth and do not bother the hand. The cap seemed loose and wobbly when posted. I did not force it further down. With this size, who needs to post the cap anyway? The nib is a gold tone Jowo threaded unit. It is absolutely bare except for a little "M" on the side to indicate nib width. Several Nib sizes are available. The feed is plastic. The barrel takes eight turns to unscrew from the section to reveal a standard Schmidt converter. The fit to the section is tight, it can sure be eyedroppered. There is no O ring. Silicon Grease or Rosin Castor Oil paste should seal the threads well. The nib unit is flush fit to the section. It needs eight turns to come out. The barrel is quite thick and looks robust. The cap has a smooth polished dome. Overall, it is a very pleasing and satisfactory package. I haven't inked the pen yet. With Jowo nib unit, and Mr. Subramaniam's fabled nib tuning, there is little doubt that the pen shall perform well. At INR 3500.00, for me this pen is a steal.
  4. CALICUT CITY- SOME UNTOLD STORIES I don’t how many could believe that Calicut, a city of Kerala, have such a rich heritage in fountain pens- so that it may be called as the pen city of Kerala. Probably as the only man in FPN from Calicut, I take the responsibility to present our city in this forum. The pen productions have started in early 1950s. By 1955-1960, there are four major firms of pen making. Don’t think that these are big companies producing pens and marketing in wide areas. Actually these are four pen shops, and each shop produced pens for their own shops only. And because of this poor marketing strategy, they are almost unknown to the outside world. As the healthy competition continued, many beauties have born. The pen history can be roughly be divided into 6 phases. 1950 - 1955 PEN PRODUCTION begins . 1955 - 1960 CONSOLIDATION PHASE – By this period all the 4 pen shops came into existence and production started at full swing. 1960 - 1970 THE GOLDEN ERA. This period have witnessed these shops running in full glory, churning out the maximum number and variety of pens. 1970 - 1980 THE DECLINE STARTS 1980 - 1990 THE BIG DECLINE 1990 - PRESENT. All the things happened right here- in the SM Street. The most busy street of Calicut. SM stands for Sweet Meat. Wondering what’s sweet meat ? . It’s nothing like meat. A hard rubbery confectionary -or Calicut Halwa- as known outside Calicut. You can see a lot of shops selling this here. They are available in a variety of colours and flavors—atleast twenty I think- more that what colours you are getting for a Sheaffer Skrip or Waterman range of inks! ABOUT CALICUT For those who don’t know, Calicut ( or KOZHIKODE) is a city situated in the coastal Malabar area of Kerala, India. It’s the only place in Kerala where fountain pens are made. Calicut is also known as the Biriyani capital of Kerala. Wonder why .. all pen cities are famous for their biriyanis also ..!? the Malabari biriyani is made in process were all the rice, meat and the spices are cooked in a closed container where the soft aromas and infused to rice in a slow process of around 5-6 hrs. Now, coming to the story part - The whole credit of fountain pens of Calicut goes to one and only person- Mr. M. Haneefa Rawthar- for without him the story would not have happened. People called him Haneefa Saheeb. He came from somewhere in Tamil Nadu in around or before 1950. At that time ( and now also) many people comes from other states to Calicut as merchants. His first visit was somewhere around 1950. He came with a huge collection of fountain pens- used and new, along with a lot of spare parts. Usually persons coming to Calicut are attracted by the hospitality and friendliness of natives and most of the merchants and traders later decided to settle here. Haneefa Saheeb was no different. Don’t think that there was no pens at all before Haneefa Saheeb. Imported pens like Waterman, Black bird, Swan were there. These were costly and not afforded by all. Apart from regular pens, dip pens were also popular. Ink tablets were also popular at that time. For making ink, you have to dissolve tablet in water! For dip pens, thicker inks were made with tablets dissolved in lesser water. Also they were available at very cheap rate compared to an ink bottle. Any ink manufacturer reading this? Coming back to Haneefa Sahib, a man with no formal education, but lot of experience from worldwide travelling and visiting so many countries, now at his fifties or sixties, toying with the idea of starting a pen shop at Calicut. FIRST PEN SHOP OF CALICUT The first pen shop of Calicut opens in SM street in 1950. As expected the shop flourished very quickly. This shop later became Kim and Co pens, as known today. As he sold new and old pens, he provided them with good service, as he had a huge collection of spares. Kim and Co shop at Calicut.( at present)
  5. Recently I was going through the youtube there I saw a fountain pen never heard off....the name is Parker Folio Fountain Pen. Any update regarding this pen?
  6. Review of ASA Pens ebonite Nauka Purchased from: asapens.in Purchase date: Ordered mid-November, 2017. Arrived January 25, 2018. Cost: $55 USD for Jowo nib unit option (eyedropper and Schmidt units are cheaper), free testing and free shipping by registered mail Clicking on the photos below will take you to full-sized images. The Nauka from ASA Pens is an ebonite pen made to order by L. Subramaniam in Chennai, India. It has an elegant, streamlined shape inspired by the vintage Oldwin Classic from Mora Stylos. The placement of the cap threads right next to the nib permits a clean, uninterrupted "sectionless" line that, combined with the unique warmth and stability of ebonite, feels very comfortable in the hand. The pen is longer than average but not excessively long, and the grip diameter should be good for hands of all sizes. Although the cap can be forced to post, the pen is not intended to be used this way and becomes ungainly. Unposted, it's balanced perfectly, even in my small hands. L to R: Faber-Castell Loom, ASA Pens Nauka, Noodler's Ahab, Wing Sung 698, Platinum Century 3776, Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Size comparison with Pilot Metropolitan Size when writing, compared with Pilot Metropolitan I selected a red and tan rippled ebonite which turned out to be more beautiful than I had expected. As is usual for ebonite in this price range, there are some minor flaws in the material which are noticeable only upon very close inspection and which do not detract from my enjoyment of the pen. Likewise, a few very faint traces of tooling marks serve as an inoffensive reminder of the pen's handmade origins. I chose to forgo a clip, a decision which I feel enhances the clean beauty of the Nauka's lines. I usually grip my pens very close to the nib, so I was concerned that the location of the threads would be uncomfortable. At first, they did feel awkward, but I quickly adjusted to them. The cap threads are prominent and on the sharp side, though not painfully so. I chose the Jowo 3-in-1 option with a fine nib and requested that the pen be tested before shipping. It arrived very well-tuned: smooth but with a pleasant amount of feedback and moderate ink flow. I increased ink flow slightly to suit my personal preference, and the pen now writes perfectly for me. The cap opens in two turns, which produces a good seal without making it a chore to uncap and re-cap the pen. Unlike other ebonite-cap pens in my experience, my Nauka starts up without fail, even if I leave it unused for as long as a week (I have not left it inked but unused for a longer period that that). Inside of the cap Receipt took much longer than originally estimated. However, I did request a color option not listed on the website at the time, which Subramaniam graciously accommodated, and I made it clear that I wasn't in a hurry for the pen. We kept in communication regularly, and had no anxiety about my order. I've been using my Nauka for a little over a month now, and it has been a pleasure to have in my collection. I find myself reaching for it often, and it's one of the pens I always have inked. Excellent, tight barrel threads for secure eyedroppering. View of barrel thickness. The converter option with the 3-in-1 system is great for when I don't want to commit to a large fill of one ink.
  7. I do not know if SYAHI pens is still operating but they make beautiful wooden pens. There is also Lotus Shikhar in Sandalwood and I know Lotus also makes sandalwood pens in other models. It will be great if there is someone like Ryan Krusac in India, who makes pens in different types of woods.
  8. Good Morning Everyone, I finally decided to join the forum after a long time. I thought I'll start of by posting pics of couple of Indian pens I have acquired in the recent months. L to R: Kanwrite Desire Purple Marble ,Kanwrite Desire Black Marble, Kanwrite Heritage Maroon, Kanwrite Heritage Green, Kanwrite Heritage Demonstrator, Parker Frontier, Shaeffer No-Nonsense Red. L to R: Gama Jumbo Round top, Gama Jumbo Flat top, Gama Supreme Round Top, Gama Supreme Round Top( Green), Gama Supreme Round Top, Gama Supreme Flat Top.
  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. Aditkamath26

    Asa Transnauka Review

    Introduction: It was not long before that I had bought my first ASA fountain pen that had served as the stepping stone into the vast world of handmade Indian fountain pens. Now, I’m the proud owner of two ASA Naukas- one in Tangerine, and one in the clear acrylic, TransNauka. I’m not known for my patience, so the wait time was really quite a period of impatience, but in the end, the pen makes up for everything. Now, lets get to my first review here .... Aesthetics and design: The pen’s design is reminiscent of a boat, hence the name Nauka (meaning boat in Hindi). The cap is almost cylindrical that has a bulbous dome at the top, which literally glows in my Tangerine Nauka in the right lighting, a bit less so with the TransNauka. The barrel has a significant taper towards the nib, but also has a slightly smaller taper near the end that ends in a point. The section is cylindrical with no taper at all, which really suits my hand. The cap to section threads are located on the top of the section, so that gives the pen almost a Lamy 2000 zeppelin-ish look. The looks of the pens really connect with me. The acrylics are brushed with abrasives. Some people compare this finish to a Franklin-Christoph but that is like comparing apples to oranges, since the F-C is polished on the outside, and rough on the inside, rather than brushed. I would compare it to a Lamy 2000, but slightly subtle. I imagine a Lamy 2000 demonstrator to be like this. In the right lighting, the Naukas glow. The Tangerine feels like a lava lamp. Both my Naukas are clipless and it just looks fantastic without a clip. But, that’s not going to be the case forever. I want to get some snake roll-stoppers for these Naukas, then they will be perfect for me. Construction and Quality: I’m not kidding here, but my TransNauka is flawless, almost to the point of believing that its not handmade, but it really is. My Tangerine on the other hand has a few scuffs here and there, but nothing intolerable. The quality of acrylic used is also quite nice. One issue however has crept in with the TransNauka. The engraving on the cap looks like it was done hurriedly. It isn’t really crisp and clear but has a blurred look. Other than that, I’m more than satisfied. Filling system: The Nauka comes in two variants: a simple eyedropper system, and a 3-in-1 system. Both of mine are the latter. A 3-in-1 system means the pen can be filled with a cartridge, converter or via eyedropper. In case you decide to eyedropper it, do remember to grease the section threads to avoid leakage. As a note, Mr. Subramanium will provide a small box of silicone grease with your pen. If you order the 3-in-1 system, you also receive a Schmidt converter. I don’t like using the converter since during filling, the cap threads are covered in ink and is difficult to remove. However, due to aesthetic reasons, I use a converter in my Tangerine Nauka. Writing comfort: The section of the TransNauka is cylindrical and has a diameter of 12mm. It makes for a comfortable grip for me, because I have unnaturally large hands for a 15 year old. It becomes slightly uncomfortable during really long writing sessions, however, it’s the most comfortable pen I own. This is true for both my Naukas. The pen can be used without posting and is really comfortable that way. The cap isn’t postable at all. Writing experience: The Nauka comes with three kinds of nibs: one are the ASA branded nibs in fine, medium, and broad, and these come with the simple eyedropper variant, two are the Schmidt nib units in fine, medium and broad, three are the JoWo nib units in fine, medium and broad, both available with the 3-in-1 system. Mine are the #6 JoWo nibs. The TransNauka has a fine nib in steel with no plating. It writes really well. It has a distinct feel of feedback, that’s not as unpleasant as my Platinum 14k medium nib. The fine JoWo nib is not really quite a fine. Its almost a fine-medium, that edges more towards the medium. Its wider than my Platinum 14k medium. But it’s a remarkable nib. The Tangerine has a 1.1 stub in steel, with a two-tone finish. This nib is really fun to write. It also has some feedback, but I quite like it. The line variation is also excellent and for me, the nib can be used for daily writing. But both nibs were dry out of the box, which was an easy fix. I have also tried the medium, but it feels characterless to me, so I ground it into a stub and that nib resides in one of my Deccan Advocates. Pricing: The Naukas are priced well. The regular TransNauka cost me 2400 INR without GST. The Tangerine commands a slight premium, at 3200 INR including GST. The international buyers will haver to pay more for many reasons involved, which I am unaware of. In my opinion, the pen is well worth the price, considering its handmade, has a JoWo nib, and is really comfortable. Final Thoughts: In the end, you get a really nice pen, with nice looks, great comfort, and reliable writing at a great price. If it was not for my Platinum 3776 Century Chartres blue, with that medium nib and mind-blowing resin, this would have been my favorite pen. The Naukas are a close second, I look forward to owning two more in the Aqua Blue acrylic and a brushed black ebonite. Only I happen to not have the funds for that. I hope my reviews are helpful to someone, and if they are, then mission accomplished. P.S. The photos were taken with a Nikkon D5300 and edited using Polarr Photo Editor for Windows. And in case you are wondering about the surface that my pens are on in the photos, that is a Pearl Jingle Cajon with an awesome rough finish.
  12. Hi everyone, As a fountain pen collection and restoration enthusiast it has been very hard in my city to come across more affordable pens, after exhausting the selection of easily available ones (I have a tight budget as I am a student) However, a few days back I went to a stationary shop for some work and say that they had some old chelpark inks on display (ofcourse I bought all of them), curiously I asked the man if he had fountain pens, he told me that he had many old unsold ones and didn't know where they were, after a lot of persuation he agreed to look for them and have them ready in a few days. So the next day I went and he said he didn't find them and to come back a few days later. So I did, again and again. (was pretty desperate to get a hold of some childhood oens) Fortunately, after a week or so, he finally had them ready. They were not exactly vintage, but old pens indeed, some quite damaged. I got a few Camlin No. 6 pens, some Flora Pens (the model number is not known) and a couple Hero 323. All of them were more or less usable atleast after some repairs. This brings me to my question, if this man had old stocks, probably other shops do too, and it would be great to have a few tips on how I can get these shops to sell me their old stocks, even if they're broken or damaged, how do I persuade them to dig them out for me, because every other shops I've asked, have said 'no we don't have fountain pens" to my face. Btw I'm new to FPN (this is my first thread) Regards, Anurag.
  13. hello everyone!! this is my first ever review on FPN. hope i am able to provide at least a close-to-proper review and that you like it! any suggestions and tips about making it better are welcomed wholeheartedly and with gratitude! Introduction: Camlin Ltd is an Indian company engaged in manufacturing quality stationary products since 1946. In the year 1931, Dandekar & Co commenced its operation of manufacturing Horse Brand ink powders and tablets. Later it started production of Camel Ink. The company was renamed as camlin in the year 1946. camlin sllek is a piston-filler model. the pen comes in a variety of elegant dark and mute colours to choose from. First impression: the pen looks quite elegant and with a matter-of-fact finish which is very subtle yet beautiful in its own way. Also, the line that marks the difference between the piston screw and the ink reservoir is not seen while holding the pen, which is quite nice. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/9275237970_339a47fe5b.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-36-51-788 by deathadder_44, on Flickr Body materials and built quality: The cap is made of stainless steel with a golden coloured clip which is quite fexible and easily usable without the fear of breaking it. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7281/9275244242_da9cdccb13_z.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-37-49-764 by deathadder_44, on Flickr The body is made of good quality plastic and feels strong to hold. it is a single body from the grip section to the beginning of the piston screw with rectangular ink windows just above the grip section. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5322/9275240134_fd17e0dd56_z.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-38-59-212 by deathadder_44, on Flickr The piston end of the body http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2885/9275409548_9fbe583f49.jpg C360_2013-07-13-12-49-21-636 by deathadder_44, on Flickr Filling mechanism: The piston mechanism is smooth and easy to operate, although i found it a bit difficult to open the screw at the first go, but that would probably be the case with many new pens. after the first use i found no difficulty in the mechanism whatsoever. the piston as seen through the ink windows. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7443/9272461923_c375bff554.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-43-09-251 by deathadder_44, on Flickr the piston removed. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5488/9275250092_eb6d9b28db.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-43-47-224 by deathadder_44, on Flickr The nib and feed: the nib is a gold coloured stainless steel nib which draws a fine and continuous line without any skipping. the ink flow is smooth and satisfactory without any problem (i used a camel royal blue ink). the nib. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/9272455749_5c01a2cb27.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-41-17-920 by deathadder_44, on Flickr http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5342/9272465901_249c5b2819.jpg C360_2013-07-12-16-41-59-927 by deathadder_44, on Flickr sorry i forgot to take the pictures of the nib and feed removed. the feed is standard ebonite which performs quite satisfactorily. Conclusion: it is a fine everyday writing instrument which does its work well. it is nothing fancy and yet it feels good to look at. perhaps because to me, it represents the fine art of penmanship which was taught in the schools during my school years, an art which is slowly getting dissolved in this chaotic world of competition. this pen, like many others i own, brings back the memories of those care-free days! but all that aside, this is a good reliable pen which does what is has to do and does it well without ringing too many bells!
  14. ASA Azaadi in opal Creating a new ASA Azaadi in opal gave me a four-part tutorial in pen design. I commissioned the Azaadi after reading an account of a stunning similar pen in casein by Prithwijit Chaki, a prolific contributor to the Fountain Pen Network. Inspired by the fine white-on-ivory veins of the casein, I set about looking for a material that would simulate the elegance without the fragility. [/url] Capped, the Azaadi is about 1 centimeter longer than a Lamy Safari. Uncapped, it’s about the same length, and considerably thicker. Lesson No. 1 – Material Selection The Azaadi, as explained by Chaki, is based loosely on the Churchill design of the most recent version of the Conway Stewart company in the United Kingdom. When Conway Stewart closed shop in 2014, Vince Coates of The Turners Workshop in Newcastle purchased the remaining inventory of blanks and rods, and some of these materials are still available. There wasn’t a matching, veined white material, but opal offered a similar, classic quality. Coates shipped the opal to L. Subramaniam at ASA Pens in Chennai, who sometimes makes custom pens with material supplied by his clients. This opal doesn’t look like the gemstone. It includes translucent shades of amber, honey, and ivory, like the biscuit color of stained glass table lamps in the Mission, Arts and Crafts, or Tiffany styles. Whatever is underneath the acrylic opal material is visible, especially if what’s underneath is dark. The Azaadi design typically uses black acrylic for the section and finials. Because the opal material remains relatively thick near the finials, most of the black acrylic underneath is obscured. But at the section, where two sets of threads overlap (the cap to barrel and the barrel to section), the material is extremely thin. At this joint, the black section shows through the opal material. The opal material is translucent, but white teflon tape masks the black section under the barrel-to-cap threads. If I were making the pen again, I would probably select a medium-toned, opaque ivory or amber color for the finials and section. But my error also presented a solution – the white Teflon tape used by plumbers to seal pipe fittings. It’s designed to be an extremely thin, white, sealing dry lubricant. Wrapped in a single layer around the threads between section and barrel, it masks the black section underneath. The tape needs to be replaced with ink changes, like lithium grease in an eyedropper, but it’s not a particularly big deal. Lesson – think not just about material aesthetics, but about how the materials fit together. Lesson No. 2 – Ink Compatibility This pen uses a Jowo No. 6, 1.1 mm italic nib and a Schmidt K-5 cartridge-converter. I’ve used this nib in other pens, and never had an issue with ink lubrication. But this particular Jowo nib is choosy about the ink it prefers. The first ink I selected worked beautifully -- a green-olive-brown color mix created by FPN contributor Chrissy, resembling the wrapper of a “candela” cigar. It uses Noodler’s permanent Bad Blue Heron and three Diamine inks. But then I realized that specks from the permanent ink component could stain the interior of the translucent material and show through to the outside. So I swapped out the ink for a conservative Waterman brown. Too dry. I tried Diamine Saddle Brown, another conservative choice. Too dry. My fourth choice, Pilot Iroshizuku yama guri, works smoothly and beautifully. Lesson – nibs and materials sometimes require different inks. Pilot Iroshizuku yama guri ink flows smoothly in this Jowo 1.1 mm italic nib. Lesson No. 3 – Furniture The ASA Azaadi has been reviewed several times, including Chaki and Sanyal Soumitra. A regular refrain is that the furniture could be better, and they are right. Furniture is the jewelry of the pen, the first thing people notice, setting a tone for everything else. This furniture is adequate, but no match for the elegant workmanship of the rest of the pen. Lesson – clips, bands, and rings make a difference. ASA tolerances and workmanship outclass the metal furniture. Lesson No. 4 – Azaadi The Azaadi is an Indian pen derived loosely from a Conway Stewart design named after Winston Churchill. Chaki explains that the pen was named “Azaadi,” (आजादी in Hindi), meaning "independence, freedom, or liberty.” The name is partly cheeky repartee to Churchill, who strongly opposed Indian independence, and partly a reference to the pen’s launch date on August 15, Independence Day in India. Azaadi also signifies political, spiritual, and intellectual enlightenment, with various spellings in other Indian and Iranian languages. Beyond the dictionary, the concept of azaadi is rooted in the Indian struggle for independence and the role of Netaji (meaning “Respected Leader”) Subhas Chandra Bose between 1920 and 1945. Bose revamped the Indian National Army and opposed the British during World War II, creating an independent, nationalist legacy that ultimately led to a British decision to withdraw from India. Bose's clarion call -- Tum mujhe khoon do, mein tumhe azaadi doonga (Give me blood, and I promise you freedom) -- shows the importance of azaadi. Based on a British design with a British material, constructed in India, named Azaadi in response to Churchill -- the ASA Azaadi pen is a story about a complicated relationship between India and the UK. Lesson – a pen is a symbolic tool of intellectual enlightenment. Pens tell stories, but they can also be the story. In Conclusion – Taking Risks Creating a new custom pen involves risks. My risks were minimal, because the design already had been used in several other iterations. Some things in my version worked perfectly, including the elegance of the opal material, the balance, and the writing comfort of the section and the nib. Some things didn’t, including my first ink choices, the translucent barrel-to-section joint, and the furniture. In other custom pen designs, I’ve seen how some choices work and some don’t. Conclusion – regardless of whether risks result in wins or losses, they offer independence of choice, freedom to make mistakes, and opportunity to learn. Writing sample from another country's declaration of independence. This particular Jowo 1.1 mm italic nib is choosy about the ink it prefers, and permanent inks could stain the interior of the translucent material. Iroshizuku yama guri flows smoothly.
  15. Does anyone remember Wing sung fountain pens,I used them in school and still have fond memories.The pen had a very unique design with nib covering 360 degree.I tried finding them with no success can you guys help me?
  16. 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. …
  17. This review is part 2 of a (mini) series – and will inevitably involve some comparisons to its predecessor. As I explained in the previous review (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/267153-the-ranga-cruiser-a-review/), I received the Ranga Cruiser from Kevin at www.justwrite.com.au, free in return for an impartial review. The Cruiser is a really nice little pen – but it sparked my interest in its ‘big brother’, the Duofold. So I purchased the latter at my own expense – and am pleased to be able to review it for the Fountain Pen Network community. Like its ‘little brother’, the Ranga Duofold is an impressive work of craftsmanship, immaculately designed and finished – unfortunately, what both pens also share in common is that they’re let down by a nib that has not been manufactured to the same high standard. Even so, I like the design (and execution) of the pen body so much that I’m happy to see the nib’s shortcomings as a challenge to be overcome, rather than a reason to avoid this pen. Despite the price tag (I paid AU$54.95, or roughly US$50 for it), I’m glad I took the plunge on it. http://i.imgur.com/gemsZix.jpg [From top to bottom (for size comparison): the Ranga Duofold; a TWSBI Diamond 580; and the Ranga Cruiser] ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design (9.5/10) – What can I say? It looks great! I think I can honestly say there’s nothing I don’t like about this pen. Unlike the curves and contours of the Cruiser, the Duofold is all straight lines, with a squared off top and bottom. I went for the ‘dark brown’ ebonite (it was also available in light brown or green). I love the brown-and-black swirls, and the high gloss finish. The clip, though a little on the short side (it starts almost 10mm from the top of the pen) is well-executed, a bright gold colour – while the nib is an attractive duotone. http://i.imgur.com/vA5aXqT.jpg … 2. Construction & Quality (9.5/10) – Absolutely Immaculate Once again, everything about this pen (especially the ebonite cap, barrel and grip section) testifies to the loving care and precision with which the Ranga pen company manufacture their pens. The fit and finish is immaculate, the cap and barrel threads well-executed. http://i.imgur.com/GY7s3xs.jpg … 3. Weight & Dimensions (10/10) – A magnificent monster of a pen This really is a monster of a pen – 150mm capped, 129 uncapped (forget about trying to post it). Weighing in 25.5g, it’s not a heavy pen – but I like the greater ‘heft’, relative to the Cruiser. What stands out to me, though, is the girth of the pen – the barrel diameter around 14mm, the cap diameter around 16mm, while the grip section (from above the cap threads) tapers gradually from a mximum of 12.5mm down to 11mm before flaring out at the base of the nib and feed. I love the way it sits in my hand – massive (comparatively) yet lightweight. Once again, my fingers tend to hold the pen in the vicinity of the cap threads – no problem, they’re well-machined and comfortable to hold. http://i.imgur.com/Sz2bbhc.jpg … 4. Nib & Performance (6/10) – The one thing that lets this pen down – badly! Here unfortunately is where the Duofold falls down: I like the look of the nib, but not the feel of it. The duotone colouring is a nice touch – but I wish more attention had been paid to the tip! Knowing my preference for finer nibs (the Duofold is supposed to be a Medium), Kevin had kindly included a replacement fine nib and a spare feed with the pen – for which I had reason to be grateful. As with the Cruiser, the nib and feed were misaligned – but removing them to realign was far from straightforward. The amount of force required to pull them out was enough to damage the feed. http://i.imgur.com/kBeGkkN.jpg I decided to try and re-seat the original nib (with the replacement feed) first. With a barrel full of Noodler’s Purple Heart, it laid down a fine line and was pretty ‘scratchy’, even on Rhodia paper. But the ‘fine’ replacement nib was worse! So I reinstalled the original nib (again), and spent some time trying to align the tines with the aid of a loupe. Still a bit scratchy on the paper, but it was now bearable – and over the next few writing sessions, it settled down further. There’s still a fair bit of ‘feedback’, but it’s no longer an unpleasant writing experience. If I can find a suitable replacement nib (it’s too big for a standard #5, too small for a #6!), I might swap it in – in the meantime, I’ll see what I can do with some fine-grit micromesh. http://i.imgur.com/DPq4drP.jpg … 5. Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) – A well-executed eyedropper filler The Duofold and Cruiser both rely on an eyedropper filling ‘system’ – fill the barrel with ink, screw on the grip section, and away you go! I found the Duofold had a capacity of roughly 2.5 mL (compared with 1.5 mL for the Cruiser) – that’s a fair bit of writing time, especially given the (extra?) fine line the nib lays down. Both pens have tight tolerances on the barrel threads – and a fair bit of overlap between grip section and barrel means plenty of threads to help minimise the likelihood of leakage. I’m impressed by how well finished the interior of the pen is – even though it’s tucked out of sight between refills. http://i.imgur.com/Yf42rQ2.jpg I wanted to give the pen a 9 or 10 out of 10 for this section – and if the only consideration here were the filling system, I might have: it’s dead simple, but superbly executed. My concern is with maintenance – the nib and ebonite feed are really firmly wedged into the grip section, and require a fair bit of force to remove and to fit back in. That may settle down over time – but I really don’t want to damage another feed! Hence the more modest total of 8/10… … 6. Cost & Value (9.5/10) – Was it worth it? Absolutely! The nib is a real problem in this pen – but the fit and finish of the ebonite body is, I think, deserving of the price tag. I have no regrets about buying it – even if the nib that ‘inhabits’ it is a little regrettable! … 7. Conclusion (Final score [sUM/6]: 8.75) I think it should be obvious by now that, nib problems notwithstanding, I really really like this pen. Sure, I’m going to have to keep working on the nib; and sure, you’d hope they would give more attention to the nib (the pointy end of the project, in more ways than one!), especially given the superb quality of the pen body. I understand that Ranga do supply pens with better quality nibs to other suppliers (and for custom orders?) – and I’d like to think that if they keep getting the kind of feedback I’m giving here, they’ll think seriously about lifting their game in this area. In the meantime, though, I’m happy to see this pen as a worthwhile investment, and as a project to work on – to see if I can get the nib on this pen to a point where its performance is befitting the body it inhabits! …
  18. The Wality/Airmail 69 EB is a very good candidate if you are considering a simple, economical (mind you, not cheap) Indian ebonite fountain pen. I got this pen from ASA Pens in April this year and had been meaning to review it for quite sometime now. I always ended up writing with the pen rather than reviewing the pen because of unassuming charm it has when it writes. The pen isn't an attention seeker. Its job is to write and it does that perfectly. While many pens have come and gone in the last 8-10 months in my collection, this has remained as my stock pen. Hence, this is more of an ode than a review of the pen. The pen is made of ebonite and I think this (Mottled Brown) was the only color available when I bought it. It was available only as an eye-dropper and I bought it with the stock Wality fine nib. The pen is medium in size and is comparable to the Guider Acrylic. It is slightly bigger than the Plantinum Preppy. There are a lot of imperfections on the barrel as well as the cap. There are a couple of lathe marks as well. The clip is tight and I would have preferred some flex. However, it is not as dangerous as the Deccan Bullet (more about it here). Here is a size comparison with these pens. (From the left: Platinum Preppy, Guider Acrylic, Wality 69EB, Deccan Bullet) The pen is quite sturdy and has withstood rough usage, since it is my daily pen. The stock Wality nib was initially a little scratchy but after about 2 days of writing, it became quite smooth. There is a slight feed back which I prefer and it writes a fine but wet line. There is no flex with the nib, and its not a concern for me because I wouldn't know what to do with it. The threads on the barrel are smooth and don't irritate the hand while writing. I have been writing with this pen for about 8 months now and haven't found any problem with the nib or the way it writes. I also feel its getting smoother and smoother progressively. I have used it for long writing sessions without any fatigue. It is dependable, light and well balanced. The pen being an eye-dropper has minimum eye-dropper issues like leakages during travel and when the ink levels are low. These are all expected glitches of an eye-dropper fountain pen, and need to be handled with care. Here is the writing sample All in all, I am very satisfied with this pen. It is economical, it is a delight to write with and makes you want to write more. Thanks to Wality for making them and for ASA Pens to sell them online.
  19. Today I am using "Abhay Pen Agencies " made ACRYLIC TANISHQ (eyedropper).. I came to know about them browsing through FPN . They make a lot of different ebonite and acrylic pens and some mixed one too .. This is a pure acrylic pen . A pocket size pen ,it post nicely and well balanced, posted is my preferred writing style with this pen.. I got two of them in different colors.. The pen :- ABHAY PEN AGENCIES ACRYLIC TANISHQ EYEDROPPER http://i.imgur.com/u1JRvL8.jpg A bit of writing sample http://i.imgur.com/vmf6Mjt.jpg closer look at the pen http://i.imgur.com/M9NDJUV.jpg A BRIEF REVIEW http://i.imgur.com/b4PU5WS.jpg NIB - MOHI BRANDED NIB WRITES MEDIUM FINE http://i.imgur.com/ioOd3vf.jpg CAP - ACRYLIC CAP WITH A STRONG CLIP IN CHROME FINISH http://i.imgur.com/XBMW0tA.jpg SIZE COMPARSION WITH ASA ATHLETE UNPOSTED AND POSTED UNPOSTED http://i.imgur.com/7fh2EHy.jpg POSTED http://i.imgur.com/dJBzVIh.jpg ANOTHER COLOUR http://i.imgur.com/4e2LLpH.jpg http://i.imgur.com/ueVjxZi.jpg BOTH TOGETHER http://i.imgur.com/5W5JewH.jpg These are nice smooth writing pocket pens and they are cheap too ..
  20. Fosfor pens is a reputed custom pen maker in India. Manoj Deshmukh (Mr. fosfor) has built up a reputation as a master craftsman and high quality pen maker. I had put my name in his order book for a few pens some time back inspired by fellow FPNersPrithwijit's and Vaibhav's commissions from Fosfor. The package arrived today by courier. I am posting some pictures of the unboxing. Will post detailed reviews later (at least that is the plan) The package Opened package Fosfor wooden presentation box and telescopic boxes Fosfor Rajendran in Woodgrain Ebonite. Polished to a mirrorlike finish With No.6 size medium Schmidt nib Islander in Lava Explosion Acrylic The depth in the material is awesome Again with a silver colored no.6 medium schmidt nib I liked the bluer section. The blue-green Tikona. This pen is larger than I expected. Heavier also. Now, all three brothers coming together in a huddle From a lower angle. The total experience was very pleasant and I will be ordering more from Fosfor in the future. I planning to photograph the pens with better equipment and in better setting later. Will talk about the writing experience as well when posting those pictures. thanks, Dinuraj
  21. Hello FPN! I bought my first fountain pen a few months ago due to an intriguing review I saw on this forum. The pen is called the Gama Forever and is made from ebonite. I enjoy using this pen very much, and have had no functional issues with it. However, I find that that my fingers become sticky when using this pen even for a short while. To be more specific, the section of the pen seems to leave a rubbery residue on my thumb and index fingers. I have been using this pen for quite a while now, and this issue has not resolved itself. My fingers do not sweat very much, although they are not completely dry either. I would thus like to ask this forum if its members have encountered a similar situation before, and if there are any ways to resolve it. I really do enjoy using this pen otherwise, and thus look forward to your replies! Thanking You, Throtttl
  22. Hey there.... After a long time, the two minute reviews guy has come up with a new video introducing us to a new Indian Fountain Pen company called Glare Pens. The above video is a hands of review of the following 3 pens... Glare 71 - which, according to me, in one word looks amazing. Its nib reminded me of Jinhao 450 and i have seen him write with it in the video and i think it writes very well.. and its a medium nib (not broad like Jinhao 450). Glate T7 looks like Lamy Safari and similar Chinese pens by Jinhao and Hero. But, according to him this one feels richer than even the Safari. Now, thats a tall claim but he has great things to say about the way it writes. He has just been using the pen for a couple of days, and it is already his favourite writer.. I really want to order it now. There is also a fountain pen with roller ball nib i.e. called T7 ( C ) that accepts cartridges and converter. Its very interesting and he seems to enjoy writing with it too. But i will wait for him to do a full review of the pen before thinking about whether i will purchase it or not. Anyways, all 3 pens look very nice. I agree with him that they look too beautiful and more like German pens than Indian. Feels proud to see new age Indian Fountain Pen manufacturers are coming up such exciting pens.
  23. 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! …
  24. I bought my first 'Guru' from Fountain Pen Revolution soon after it was released, but never got around to writing a review - basically because a few other people beat me to it, and I agreed with their assessments of the pen. A cheap pen, a great buy for the money - but what was with that clip? It looked like it had been gnawed at by rats on the slow boat from India - if such a thing were possible! I'm putting up this post now, though, because of a few developments with the pen, that I think (if possible) make it an even better deal - and because I recently received 3 new ones, bringing my total to 6, four purchased outright, and 2 that came free with the new pen pouches I purchased (more on those another time, maybe). DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated in any way for putting up this post, and paid for all these pens myself (except the two that were part of the pen pouch promotion, available to all customers). My first 2 Gurus were clear demonstrator models - you'll see in the picture below, one of them became badly discoloured by an experimental ink I filled it with (oops!), but otherwise it's fine. I purchased a blue model about 3 months ago (with a B nib), and a black model about two weeks ago - but as I mentioned, a couple of free Gurus (one blue, one black) came with the order. http://i.imgur.com/R0NF2m5.jpg So, what do I like about these pens? First, the fact that they're cheap - dirt cheap - and yet they look reasonable and write really well. If I remember correctly, these pens were commissioned from Serwex, based on an existing design (the Serwex 162? or the 1362?? I can't remember!), but with some minor modifications and improvements. At present they're only available in these three colour options - that may possibly change in future, but (I suspect) only if there's sufficient demand. Second, they're piston-fillers - the mechanism works well and can be completely disassembled for cleaning and/or trouble-shooting: http://i.imgur.com/02NO5Rp.jpg Thirdly, I like the fact that these pens use an ebonite feed, which can be heat set and/or tweaked to improve performance, far more easily than the plastic feeds that come on the more expensive FPR pens. Fourthly, I like the nibs - the original #5 FPR nibs in Extra Fine, Fine, Fine Stub ($3 extra), Medium, Broad ($3 extra) and flex ($3 extra). These nibs have changed their appearance over the past couple of years, from a plain matte finish (see the above photo) to a more adorned nib which (often but not always) has a nib designation inscribed on it (EF, F, M etc). If you look closely, you'll notice that the black pen above has a different nib - order one of these pens with a flex nib, and the newer #5.5 version (in stainless steel) now comes standard on the pen. The feed is also custom-set to enhance ink flow, if you order with a flex nib. Finally, I'll mention the improvements / updates that make this pen an even better buy. The clip has been replaced with a newer version - a larger, sturdier, less mangled-looking clip, that improves dramatically the appearance of the pen (see below). It's also less likely to bend out of shape and/or snap. Also, you can now buy loose nibs AND FEEDS for these pens, to allow even more tinkering. Ruined your feed trying to improve flow? No worries - for $3 (I think) plus postage, you can order a replacement... http://i.imgur.com/e5Up0sX.jpg The Indus pen that I reviewed the other day is a much classier looking pen, probably made of more durable materials, certainly more attractive plastic / acrylic - but I've grown really fond of my Gurus in the time that I've been using (and collecting) them. They're inexpensive, reliable, fun to play with (I've swapped the clips around so that in each colour I have one pen with an older clip, one with the new)... And at $9 (plus $3 for a nib upgrade) you won't weep too many bitter tears if you break or lose them.
  25. 1. Appearance & Design = 7 To me, this pen looks like an homage to the Parker Duofold, but on a minimal scale. Gama did not do straight line knurling on the cap or bands at the tail of the pen, like the Duofolds have. Gama also used a generic big-ball clip, similar to a Pilot clip. It's derivative and economic, but still classic.The material is a beautiful beige/black mottled ebonite, not as glossy as acrylic but very glossy by ebonite standards. The seams between the different pieces are very smooth, although the hardware (clip and cap bands) leave something to be desired.The Gama name is engraved on the side of the barrel. The engraving does not appear to be from a laser, but a machine, and it is subtle but well done.It came with a generic two-tone nib, which I replaced with a Knox two-tone nib and a later overfeed modification. The overfeed detracts from the aesthetic, but I'm leaving it in place because it is practical.I deduct 3 points for the sloppy cap bands and clip attachment. If those could have been symmetrical and flush like the other joints on the pen, I think the appearance would have been a perfect ten.2. Construction & Quality = 8 The execution of the cap bands is sloppy, with one side being too deeply inset, while the other side sticks out quite a bit. The attachment of the clip piece is also asymmetrical. Capacity seems to be a hair over 3mL.With some eyedroppers the section can fit too tightly, but Gama made this pen just right. As a result, I don't have any trouble removing the section to fill the barrel, and there is no danger of leakage.The ebonite is of very good quality, and has held its luster very well over the first month or so of my usage. The gold coloring on the clip will eventually wear off, but it seems to be holding up pretty well for now.Threading seems to be good--only 1 to 1.5 turns to remove the cap. However, I have noticed the cap will go on slightly crooked unless I leave it 1/8 turn looser than its tightest position.I already deducted points for the sloppy cap band and clip attachment. The section shape is comfortable and well proportioned, and the threads do not bother me when gripping the pen.I deduct two points for the crookedness when the cap is closed.3. Weight & Dimensions = 10 I don't have a digital scale, but I'd say the weight/size is comparable to a Ranga Model 3 or a TWSBI Vac 700. It's a large pen with a medium weight--not as nimble as a Parker 45, but there's no filling mechanism so it's fairly light and balanced toward the nib.Dimensions:Length capped: 145 mmLength of cap: 67 mmLength uncapped: 132 mmSection at narrowest: 11 mmSection near barrel: 13 mmBody at widest: 14 mmBalance is very good. This pen could post, but I don't think it's necessary. Unposted, this could be a very good session writer.No points deducted here.4. Nib & Performance = 8 The original nib wasn't bad. It was a generic two-tone steel fine nib with very good flow. It was a little scratchy, but smoothed out with only a couple minutes of tine adjustment and circles on my buff stick. I've become a medium and broad nib convert, so I ordered a Knox B steel nib (size K35, comparable to a #6) from xfountainpens.com (no affiliation) and was able to do a very easy swap because the feed is somewhat loose-fitting in the section. I think this helps the ink flow, but it also means I didn't have to get the hair dryer to get the new nib in place. I was even able to squeeze an overfeed in there with some effort.Flow is 10/10. It's a firehose. I'm using Diamine Ancient Copper in this pen because the saturation looks so good--almost as dark as oxblood red.The Knox nib was very smooth when I received it, but I had some baby bottom issues. I had to press the nib somewhat firmly on the first stroke to get the ink flowing, and had lots of skipping due to the nib (remember, the flow was more than adequate). Baby bottom is hard to fix, but I think I've just about banished it. The Knox B is stubbish and a little springy, making this a very pleasurable session writer.I deduct two points for a scratchy nib out of the box, but I won't deduct any more because the fit of the feed and rate of flow are remarkably good.5. Filling System & Maintenance = 9 There's no better scenario than a generously flowing pen with a generously sized reservoir. This one holds about 3 mL and fills as an eyedropper.I deduct one point for the eyedropper filling because there is no ink window, and it can be a little messy.However, this pen deserves a solid nine because an ED requires almost no maintenance and delivers a lot of ink. I use an ink syringe for better control when filling, and I think I can fill it just as fast as a piston filler.6. Cost & Value = 10 I received this from a friend here on FPN, and "free" is always the best price. I think these go for around $50-70 on eBay. Edit: At about $23 on asapens.in (no affiliation) this is a steal. The equivalent Ranga is closer to $40, but I think the Gama has a nicer finish. This ebonite holds its gloss very well, and it's nice to have some accent hardware (even if they're attached somewhat askew) and a clean engraving of the manufacturer name.The machining is very good. Fit of threads is also better than the Ranga Model 3 pens I've handled, so I think that's worth the extra cost. But, the selling point for me is the flow. Gama's feed manufacture is simple, but well executed. Again, the attachment of the hardware is somewhat sloppy, but it's not a deal breaker, in my view.This is a pen that will hold up well because of negligible maintenance, provides a very good experience for long session writing (size, balance, medium weight, and ebonite material), and can be fitted with any #6 nib to suit your tastes.7. Conclusion = 52/60 Overall, I feel this is a very enjoyable pen to use and I really did not expect it to be such a wet writer. At $70, would I buy this pen? Yes--entirely because of the wet feed. Did I get lucky? I don't know. Maybe other Gama customers will weigh in on how the flow and setup was on their pens. To me, this particular pen is very worthwhile in the sub-$100 category. Edit: Available from asapens.in for $23 under other names. Very good value.I'll bring it with me to the upcoming pen show. If you'd like to test it out, just send me a message or find me in the crowd.If you're looking for a large session writer that won't fatigue your hand, and if you have even a tiny bit of ingenuity when it comes to adjusting or replacing a nib, this is worth a look. The following photos were taken with my iPhone 5c, using HDR mode. For the closeup shots, I affixed a loupe, which gives a slight fisheye effect, but provides the best level of detail. What I received from my friend: Gama two-tone, Ratnamson no. 32, and Oliver 81. A very kind gift. The original nib. Not much to look at, but it was okay. Buddy shot with the Ratnamson no. 32. Note the difference between the two ebonite samples. The Gama is swirled with a rich black, and shows more depth. Learn more about my R32 project, including some discussion of the overfeed modification, here: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/261306-ratnamson-no-32-with-kaweco-sport-nibfeed/ Beautiful material. Another view of the ebonite. Where the threads meet the section. Note how the threads are smoothed toward the body. The section is not concave, that's just an effect of looking through the loupe. Note the size of the step at the end of the grip, which provides a comfortable and secure hold. My overfeed isn't pretty, but it fits very well. You can see how the DAC has oxidized around the overfeed. The nib underneath is quite pretty, with a little lion and everything, so I'm sorry you don't get to see it. Note the chamfer at the opening to the section. This makes it super easy to fit the feed in place. The ebonite feed is handmade, and somewhat crude, but well executed. Here you can see how flush the endpiece was finished. Another view of the endpiece. That tiny gap where you see the glue is impossible for me to feel with my fingernail. I didn't even see it until I looked at the pictures. The Gama name engraved on the barrel. Perhaps carved by a CNC machine? Doesn't look laser-etched. I kind of like it. The ball is formed from folded steel--very shiny. This is the side of the cap bands that is too deeply inset. The other side of the cap, where the bands are not inset deeply enough and do not match each other. Here you can see the side of the clip attachment ring that sticks out from the finial slightly. And here, the side of the clip attachment that is too far in. Other manufacturers create a seat so this isn't visible, but Gama took a shortcut on this part. It ruins an otherwise flawlessly flush finish on the rest of the pen.

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