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  1. Ever since I started using them, I've been wondering about the 'matic' in Staedtler Mars Matic 700, but I simply dismissed my curiosity until recently I stumbled upon it's older cousin the Mars 700. As seen here http://robotninjamonsters.blogspot.co.id/2011/07/last-vintage-technical-pen-set.html http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Me9TeyHfGjs/Ti-lcZElL9I/AAAAAAAALLg/JEFQremrM8s/s1600/Comparison%2Bbetween%2BStaedtler%2BMars%2B700%2Band%2BMarsMatic%2B700%2B035%2Btechnical%2Bpens%2Bdisassembled.jpg Aside from the looks, and a different design of the feed/screws on the nib of the pen I don't see any difference. I don't own the non-matic version, so I don't know about the internal mechanisms, but I'm struggling to see how can the needle and weight mechanism be upgraded to become "matic". From what I can see, the only differences are: non-matic grooved gripsmooth bodydenser feed/screwsMatic square-dotted griptextured bodywider feed/screws I guess the design of the feed is critical in making it matic? Or is is just some fancy marketing stuff to make thhe pen sounds more advanced than it really is? If not, then what does it actually mean by matic?
  2. Here's another item of potential interest from the wonderful world of crowdfunding: Ultimate Paint Rack This item is created primarily for gaming hobbyists who paint miniatures -- but it occurs to me there's no reason it couldn't be used to store lots of bottles of ink, for those of you who have them. I don't know that there's a lot of need to carry ink collections around, but I for one love to keep things like that organized and tidy. I've asked the creators for more information on measurements. Right now it looks to me like the individual tiers are about 4 cm/1.5 in wide. That's wide enough to store most of the ink bottles I personally have, with the main exception being Private Reserve. I'll post more when I find out. Things to be aware of: 1. This is an IndieGoGo, not a Kickstarter, so things work a little differently. One major difference is that with IGG, your money gets taken immediately, whereas with KS it only gets taken if the project succeeds. But it's a moot point with this project, since it's already reached its funding goal. 2. The project's based in Germany. Prices are in euros, not dollars or pounds. 3. The project's based in Germany, so that entails significant shipping costs for US customers (about 2/3 the cost of the actual unit). They may find a way to reduce that, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Speaking as the guy who's usually on the other end of the equation explaining to customers why the shipping costs are so high, this is just a fact of international life, sadly. 4. The product comes unassembled. They claim assembly is easy, but look at it and make up your own mind. If anyone signs up for this (I haven't made up my mind yet), please let us know what you think once you get it!

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