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  1. NOTE: this will not be a full-blown review like most others. There are countless reviews of the Pilot VP already, so I was aiming for more of a brief review of the nib itself, because I never could find much info on it prior to this purchase. I just received my Pilot Vanishing Point from Indy-Pen-Dance. I ordered it with their .8mm "DailyItalic" customization. I've been wanting to try a VP for a while to use as a notetaker during court/conferences/church. I tried to find some review and/or writing samples of this particular grind, but didn't really turn up much. However, I decided to roll the dice because I have read nothing but great things about Linda Kennedy's work. I ordered the pen last Wednesday and received it today (Monday). After a brief inspection I inked it up with Noodler's Apache Sunset (my go-to fun color at the moment). As to the pen itself, I wasn't sure how I'd like the clip being there. That concern was quickly dismissed, however, as I love the way the pen feels in my grip. I am extremely pleased with the overall design and quality of the pen. Now to the nib. Up to this point, the only custom grinds I've had were from Pendleton Brown (his BLS); although I have tried a Pilot factory stub (SU), a few oblique Esterbrook nibs, and a Goulet 1.1 stub. From what I gather, Pendleton's BLS is supposed to sit somewhere between a cursive italic and a stub, and that's also where this DailyItalic grind is supposed to fall. Linda told me it is intended to maintain the line variation of a cursive italic while having the ease-of-operation of a stub. I must say that she hit the nail on the head. In the photo below you can see there is a respectable amount of line variation. But as you can tell from my poor penmanship, the nib might perform better in more "capable" hands. As for smoothness, I think that's where this grind excels. It just glides effortlessly across the paper, like butter margarin. Really, I was surprised at how smooth it is; it's just fantastic! Comparing it to the Pendleton's BLS, I'd say it falls slightly more towards the stub end of the spectrum. I feel that I get slightly more line variation from Pendleton nibs, but this grind from Linda is definitely smoother and more user friendly than my last grind from Pendleton. With Pendleton's BLS I still have to be somewhat mindful of my technique and writing angle, else I might snag the paper a bit. This DailyItalic grind is more forgiving. If I get off angle too bad I just get unpleasant feedback, as opposed to outright snagging. The only negative (if you can even call it that) is that the nib isn't quite as wet as I'd like, but that's my fault for not thinking of mentioning that in my order. All in all, it is a wonderful nib and I am certain I will be getting another DailyItalic-equipped pen in the future. I also want to point out that the comparison of Pendleton's BLS to Linda's DailyItalic is not meant to say that one is any better than the other. Rather, they are just variations on the theme of italic/stub hybrids; each offers something a little different than the other. I do love both, and I actually have another Pilot in Pendleton's queue at the moment. So I make this comparison of the two only because I feel it may be useful to others who are familiar with Pendleton's work. Finally, I hope this "review" is helpful to others who are interested in Linda's DailyItalic grind. http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq352/lpdb185/IMG_1107.jpg
  2. About a year ago I purchased a NOS Pelikan M100. The white version with black hardware. I believe that pen has rather lovingly been dubbed "The Storm Trooper Pen." And rightfully so because it looks just like a Storm Trooper. And thanks to Angry Birds Star Wars Edition, all of you 90's babies will understand what a Storm Trooper looks like. Anyway... I digress. The nib was a Medium and delivered a writing experience not unlike using a small garden hose to try and accurately place water in 2" pots. It just gushed ink and the line was easily half again as wide as Lamy Broad Nibs (garish things, those broad nibs, but my wife loves them so I get to compare). That pen was quickly sold off without another thought. Fast-forward a few months and I stumbled on a rather excellent deal for a Pelikan M215. Pelikan? Metal? Subtle design? Yes please. It came with an F nib. This one wrote slightly finer than the garden hose that was the M100 before it. I knew about 15 seconds in that it was a no-go and sold it off also. At this point, I just figured that Pelikan had merged with Sharpie somewhere down the line and I just wouldn't get anything from them that didn't write at least a 12 or 15mm line (Yes, I'm exaggerating, but the Pelikan nibs were easily several times wider than Japanese counterparts and half again or twice as wide as other German nibs). Fast-forward another few months or so and I picked up a Pelikan M200 with an EF nib. Surely this would be the one, right? Wrong. Again, the nib was a gushing, broad, mushy writer with no character or pizzazz. It was similar in width to a Lamy Medium. Probably the equivalent of a Japanese BBB, if there were such a thing (not the Better Business Bureau... Triple Broad). Humph. Stupid Pelikans. I hummed and hawed over whether or not to shoot it, sell it or stick it in the pen box and save it until the years when my eyesight began to fail me and I was forced to write large, clunky letters and when my children, grandchildren and family members would chalk my closed-up A's, O's and Q's to my shaky, arthritic hands and tuck my correspondences away with a sigh and a gentle, "Bless his heart." As a last-ditch effort to love Pelikans, I reached out to the community here to try and discover why I had gotten three despicable nibs from one of the top pen-makers in the world. I got a response from Linda at Indy-Pen-Dance. To say I'm not affiliated with her and her company wouldn't be entirely true as she did work for me and had a pleasant conversation via email during the process so I sort of feel like we're friends now and I'd recommend her based on that alone. So yeah... While she's not paying me or holding a mushy Pelikan nib to my throat and forcing me to write this, I do feel a little biased towards her because she was so darn nice to me. And oh, what she did to that Pelikan... I sent her my beloved Sailor M1911 (that was hard to do as it was a gift to me and has been inked since I received it several months ago and is almost my favorite pen) so she could see what kind of nibs I actually liked, and she also had me submit writing samples and she took it from there. I didn't have high hopes for the Pelikan. I figured I'd spend the bucks, get it back and still be unhappy and part ways with it at a significant loss. Oh no, no, my friends. For I tell you, that woman did a remarkable job. While it's not quite as fine as my Sailor EF, it's darn close and writes with just a hint of feedback. I can use it on cheap paper and it doesn't flood the page with ink. I have it filled with Lamy Blue-Black, which is a favorite of mine and it has become a twice-a-week carry, at worst. Sometimes, I carry it for several days at a time. Linda is a heck of a nibmeister and she did a killer job on my Pelikan. Enough that I'll be purchasing others and if they turn out to be the equivalent of a can of spray paint, then I'll send them to her and have them made right. If you have a pen that needs some love, don't hesitate to send it her way. I don't know what her turnaround times usually are and I don't really remember how long it took for mine, but I couldn't be happier. Just when I had lost all hope of falling in love with these tiny bird-branded instruments, she saved me. Pelikans are, for me, the perfect pocket pen. Good ink capacity. Good build quality. Piston filling is always a plus. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes at all price points and, with someone like Linda on your side, a Pelikan can be exactly what you want it to be. Anyway... That's my tale of the love and loss associated with Pelikans and the woman that saved the day. Check out their services at http://www.indy-pen-dance.com/.





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