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  1. I finally took the plunge finally and bought an Izumo (Tagayasan) after going through some lovely reviews from my fellow fpners. I could not find a review of the matte version at fpn before buying this. Here is also a link to my blog with some more pics: Platinum Izumo Tagayasan - Matte Review The Izumo series was launched in 2010 to celebrate the birthplace of Platinum’s founder Shunichi Nakata. The Nakata surname of course reflects in all Nakaya nibs. Coming to Izumo, the Izumo province is located in the eastern coast of Japan and is famous for its political history as well as making traditional Japanese paper out of vegetable fibres (a sample of which is also included in a paper roll). The two variants of Izumo pens are Urushi-on-ebonite and Wooden versions. I am reviewing one of the wooden versions here. Some of the other versions have been rather marvellously reviewed by Hari1(had got mine on his recommendation), Hari2, & atomic_doug at FPN. This Izumo is called Tagayasan which literally translates into Iron Sword Wood (鉄:Iron 刀:Sword 木: Wood). More on this later. PRESENTATION The pen comes in a wooden box (IZU4000061) made of up Paulownia wood encased inside a handmade paper box. The box will itself feel very light which is characteristic of this wood along with high resistance to deformation, and it’s also used to make chests and boxes in Japan. This box also used for Nakayas and a few other premium pens of Platinum (Urushi Maki-e) with an RRP of JPY 50000 or greater. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B7KYVFMlZuk/VdGlYG3u0fI/AAAAAAAAFIw/bfiUzb6WrBk/s1600/aPack.jpg Once you open the satin lined top cover, you will find a green kimono encasing your Izumo, resting along with a standard platinum converter, a cartridge (though a complementary box was included by the seller), a paper roll made of traditional Japanese paper (Kiku) and a few other cards for maintenance & use. The one important out of them warns you against posting the cap. You will see later that there is a metallic insert for threading the cap and it might chip off the barrel wood, if posted. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8y7BZXL4Goc/VdGlbpicYvI/AAAAAAAAFI4/ZSBvDhdR7zk/s1600/apack2.jpg DESIGN - THE WOODEN CIGAR (6/6) The Izumo Tagayasan comes in two finishes : Matte (PIZ-50000T #20) and Gloss (PIZ-50000T #21). The word Tagayasan in Japanese refers to a wood which is as hard as iron, and to my delight, I found that it was produced in India. The scientific name is Dalbergia latifolia and it’s more commonly known in India is Shisham or Bombay Black Wood. As the wood is hard, durable and resistant to termites, it’s used in India to make premium furniture. The build is remarkably sturdy and for a wooden pen it’s heavy and quite comfortably so. You will find this to be a large pen and initially I was concerned about its dimensions. The wood has a dark brown appearance with still deeper streaks running horizontally across the length of the pen. The golden gleam coming solely from the clip supplies the pen with a simply amazing contrast. Doesn’t the pen look like a marvellous piece of art? I salute the Japanese craftsmanship behind this handmade pen. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CbnpPdS3trg/VdGlCk3-zwI/AAAAAAAAFHQ/8qv7eCnqUPQ/s1600/DSC_5213.jpg The cap feels substantial and unscrews with one and a half turns, revealing a stunning two-tone nib. The threads of golden glitter mark start of the grip section. The tapering of the section in someway ensures that your grip remains least affected by the metallic threads. Towards the nib a golden trim ensures the aesthetics remain singularly complete from top to bottom. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iay_4sCJZyk/VdGlIEzHmRI/AAAAAAAAFHg/YIbcLvU1wTs/s1600/DSC_5237.jpg The finial is in the shape of an elliptical dome and quite deftly conceals the clip-joint. The dazzling tension-fit clip is plated with gold and has some resemblance with a traditional Japanese double edged sword called Tsurgi or Ken. It sports the brand name of PLATINUM within a dome of etched squares. There is a smaller sculpted impression below mirroring the sword in the green kimono. The metallic thread insert inside the cap render the pen unsuitable for posting. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wUo-EoodEso/VdGk-oEKD9I/AAAAAAAAFHA/AUqTHBzvq78/s1600/Cap.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (5/6) As a cartridge converter filler, the supplied convertor is limited by a volume of 0.6 mL although platinum cartridges have an advantage with capacity of 1 mL or more. The Izumo also takes in proprietary converters and like other Platinum pens and there is an adapter available for international cartridges/converters, whose production is currently stopped. The proprietary converter does look good with its golden trims, but again you can see it only when you are filling up ink. The barrel unscrews from the grip section with four turns revealing the gold accented metallic thread section. The wooden barrel carries the opposite threads with a similar metallic insert, eliminating any chance of internal chipping of wood. The feed does draw ink even when the nib is not fully immersed inside ink. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dcHnwGYCYs0/VdGlIK5ZYBI/AAAAAAAAFHk/h9ApMJDh1gc/s1600/DSC_5286.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (5/6) The nib/feed section is friction-fit and comes in a 18k two-tone design across three stock widths of F, M & B. I like the design of these nibs. Above the tail lies the brand imprint of PLATINUM specified with nib type i.e PRESIDENT (or 3776) along with nib-composition (18 K) and width (B). A hearty breather hole lies above the imprint. Three bands of rhodium decor run amidst the body and shoulders as an enhancement. These bands are limited to the tines. The nib lays a moderately wet and smooth line with a characteristic stiffness. I would have personally preferred a bigger nib given the price point of this pen. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mgtpCTtzEdU/VdGlLj4bZcI/AAAAAAAAFHw/5vZCFh5ytsc/s1600/DSC_5297.jpg The black plastic feed for the President nib has closely spaced fins and even with the cap open for a while, it does not take any effort to lay a nice and wet line. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UIHq32QBusE/VdGlNmM-P8I/AAAAAAAAFIA/O461HSTuDOc/s1600/DSC_5304.jpg PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING A comfortable length and weight ensures that the cap doesn't need to be posted while writing. With a cosy girth of around 1 cm, it poses absolutely no problems with extended writing times. Capped Length ~ 16.5 Uncapped Length ~ 14 cm Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm Overall Weight ~ 38 g Capped and uncapped comparisons with a pelikan m805 run below for your reference. You might be already noticing the giant cap with an elliptical dome finial, which contributes rather lavishly to the length of the pen. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jAKoO_FBARE/VdGlSWvVgyI/AAAAAAAAFII/_pPe2OhEaYE/s1600/DSC_5317.jpg Uncapped the Tagayasan is about 1 cm longer than a m8xx, making it a comfortable wooden companion. The threads at the section are located necessarily at an upper region of the section, which does not interfere with my grip, given the section taper. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9Ig9nj0XF1M/VdGlXHtQicI/AAAAAAAAFIg/r0pKXytek58/s1600/DSC_5338.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (3/6) The Izumo wooden versions - Tagayasan retail around US$ 600, though they are available at much lower prices around US$ 400 with known Japanese shops like Engeika or Rakuten. I expected a bigger nib at this price point and I do have a sinking feeling that the usual President nib does not do complete justice either to this pen or its price point. OVERALL (5/6) This stunning 18k nib is smooth but not buttery, with kind of a controlled glide. It’s blessed with a moderately wet ink flow. There is a subtle bit of line variation, the horizontals being a tad thinner than the verticals. The nib is as stiff as a nail. Though, there is a hint of softness with this nib. Even being a wet writer out of the box, this Broad nib puts a line which takes around 30 seconds to dry on MD Paper. Ink used was Platinum Blue Black cartridge. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AK8OBMu_L9E/VdGlWmqbz3I/AAAAAAAAFIc/fZWtb49MDOk/s1600/DSC_5343.jpg REFERENCES Platinum Izumos Hari’s Review of the Gloss Version Bombay Black Wood Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.
  2. Dear All, We are planning to make Matte finish finish in all of our available colours for long time. But we made it in this month only. We know there are many fans for Matte/ Bakul finish including me . We are presenting these pictures to Matte finish lovers. The pens in the picture is Model 8B. We can make any models and colours in Matte finish. Please reach us at mpkandan@yahoo.co.in for any requirements Thanks for your support Regards, Kandan.M.P Ranga Pen Company
  3. Kindly treat this post as an extension to my first review/documentation of the model Gama Kambar from Gem and Co., a pen shop and pen manufacturer based in Madras, India. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/264032-the-gama-kambar/ This pen is the latest avatar(I call this the Kambar Mark-II to keep track of the evolution) of the Kambar concept of an oversized pure flat top design. Gem has acquired some blow hole free Indian BHR rods in the large diameters and they decided to make a few such pens out of the rod stock. The Dimensions are as under(dimensions in brackets are of Kambar Mark-I for the sake of comparison): Capped: 165mm (161mm) Open: 153mm (150mm) Section dia: same at 13mm-15mm, tapered. Section's gripping length: same at 22mm Barrel dia: 17.5, steps down to 15.4mm (18mm no step) Cap dia: same at 19mm Essentially the pen has been made slightly longer and the cap thickness has been increased at the cost of a step in the barrel diameter. Onto some pictures now: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9793.jpg L-R: 2 nos Kambar MK-II, Kambar Mk-I, MB149 http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9794.jpg http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9795.jpg Mk-I and Mk-II with stock nibs. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9797.jpg special Mk-II for M800 nib unit shown with stock Mk-II http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9801.jpg closeup of the M800 nib unit as installed. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9798.jpg same special Mk-II now installed with JoWo #6 nib unit shown with stock Mk-II http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9799.jpg showing the entrails with JoWo #6 installed. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaKambar/mark2brushed/IMG_9800.jpg Closeup of the JoWo as installed. Interesting developments and pen design tweaks taking place at Gem and thanks to ASApens.in , despite my large physical distance from Gem and company, I am able to get to buy their new offerings from time to time, almost hot off the oven. Cheers! Hari
  4. Hello, Is it possible to manually determine paper brightness? I have matte paper and I don't know its brightness level. I wonder if there's a way to determine it or you need special equipment? Thanks.
  5. Manalto


    I always thought that Matt was what Matthew's friends and family called him and matte was a deliberately non-reflective surface, but now I see both used to refer to the finish of pens. Is one incorrect and one correct? Are the spellings interchangeable? Or is this yet another symptom of our civilization circling the drain? James
  6. thatotherguy1

    Thoughts On Gama Raja

    Before I start this review, let me say that I am unable to post pictures, but my Raja looks just the same as the one that ASA sells, so you aren't missing anything super different. Also, I'm no professional reviewer, just a hobbyist. There are relatively few reviews on this pen aside from Hari's excellent posts, so I'm hoping to help someone that is interested in Indian pens, particularly Gamas, decide whether or not to take the plunge (or, given the price, the dip). I have, for full transparency, posted a thread on this pen after a few days of use in the India forum, but I've used this pen extensively since then, so my perspective should be different. I hope you enjoy the review, and I welcome constructive criticism First Impressions I bought this pen from ASA Pens, which is based in Chennai, India. I didn't have any need to e-mail Mr. Subramaniam or anyone else, so I can't comment on that aspect of the customer service, but the buying process was painless and the pen showed up on my doorstep three weeks or so after I ordered it. Considering the shipping was free (and the pen was competitively priced to boot) and it had to literally make its way to the other side of the world- I'm in the U.S.- I consider that pretty good. If I recall correctly, the pen was packaged in a mylar bag (I might be wrong on that) with a LOT of bubble wrap. This thing could probably have been kicked across the room by a professional football kicker with no ill effects, though I wouldn't try it. The pen comes in a velvet pouch with the Gama logo in white ink. Along with my pen, I got a spare Indian single-tone nib and a disposable plastic pipette- nice additions, though I haven't used them. The pen seemed really large to me on first feel- I was used to a Safari- but it seemed well made and very nice. Feel in Hand This pen is large. The section is about 12 mm, the barrel is 13, the cap 14 (all according to the ASA site). It's 14.8cm long (ASA). However, due to the ebonite construction, it is very light and well balanced. The common saying that ebonite feels weightless holds true with this pen. It all but disappears in the hand. While the pen is very light, it is noticeably heavier when you fill it with ink- I'll explain why in a bit. Nib and Feed(s) This pen comes with a two-tone steel Indian made fine nib, which is the rough equivalent of a Western extra-fine in line width. Quality seems to be notoriously inconsistent with these, so keep that in mind when I comment about mine. Mine wrote smoothly enough, provided you were in the very narrow sweet spot. When you got out of that sweet spot, it got pretty scratchy pretty quick. I took a few moments with a fingernail buffer (bought for this purpose, not shared with anyone- that probably wouldn't go over well) and smoothed it out. Now it writes like a dream and the sweet spot issues are alleviated. The steel the nib is made of is very thin, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In normal writing, it adds a little bit of pleasant springiness to cushion your hand, and it gets interesting when you put some pressure on it. This thing flexes better than the Ahab I tried from a buddy. Mind you, it's NOT a flex nib. It's not marketed as one, nor is it marketed as a semi-flex, so flex at your own risk. BUT... this thing goes from extra fine to a solid medium, maybe even a broad (I usually stick to fines so I have no broad experience) and can resume its extra fine state well enough. I have bent the nib enough that it contacted the inside of the cap, but it was easily fixable and I was pushing the nib farther than I had pushed it before or since. It isn't going to even keep up with your vintage semi-flexes, but there's definitely enough flexibility to add some nice expression to your writing with a little care. I replaced the stock feed with a Sheaffer No Nonsense feed from a Viewpoint. There was nothing wrong with the stock feed- it kept up well and flowed great- I just wanted something to keep my papers clean when the pen got low- the Viewpoint feed can buffer the ink that would have otherwise been burped onto the page quite well. Comfort The pen is superbly balanced and light. With a smooth nib, I've written for long stretches with no issues. If you like larger sections, you won't have an issue. Posting makes the pen back heavy, too long and scratches the barrel. Quality When you think about the quality, keep the price in mind. This isn't a Pelikan. It isn't a Montblanc. It's got nothing on Nakaya. But for a $25 pen, it's really quite impressive. The machining is well done and consistent. The threads, while single start on both the section and for the cap, are well machined, mesh smoothly (with a dab of silicone grease) and are tight. The finish is nicely done. The polished ends and section are nice and shiny. There is one small polished streak where there isn't supposed to be from where the clip ball rubbed during installation and one of the trim rings is a bit wonky. There was a bit of plating wear on the ball of the clip. Other than that, no issues whatsoever. Miscellaneous The ink capacity on this thing is HUGE. I measured about 4 mL last time I checked. I write a LOT and this thing lasts me two and a half weeks consistently between fillings- I do write it dry, however. Don't put an ink that you don't love in this pen. It'll be there a while. That's why there's a noticeable difference in weight between this pen empty and full- there's a ton of ink in there. This pen takes #6 nibs, should you choose to swap the stock one with another from a different maker. The clip is nice and stiff but not too bad- it can still be used easily. I hope you all liked the review. Sorry for the long windedness of it all... hopefully I made up for the lack of pictures Thanks for reading. TL;DR- Great pen for the price. Some quirks and issues, but worth a shot.
  7. Gama pens are made by Gem and Company in Madras, a pen shop in the business since decades. I have reviewed their pens and posted some visit reports earlier, the interested reader may want to see the previous reviews etc at the following links. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/259557-madras-pen-shops-revisited/ https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/254169-the-gama-supreme/ https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/255781-the-gama-supreme-part-2/ https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/258030-the-asapens-kuyil-made-by-gem-and-co-madras-india/ The Gama Raja is a new introduction to their lineup. Specified by ASA pens(an online pen shop based out of Chennai). I placed my order for the pen as soon as I spotted it on their website (I was slightly miffed to see that I had received no prior intimation about the upcoming model and had to discover it per chance on their site). Raja is what they like to call it, I call my pen the "padpad" . Ok. the Padpad is also a dropper filled pen(regular filling). Made of black hard rubber, brushed finish. I liked the way the golden cap rings and the golden clip gelled with the brushed matte ebonite finish of the pen. It reminded me of my Deccan masterpiece GT which is the only other pen that I have seen with cap rings and a brushed finish. As you might know, the bushed finish is applied by hand using an abrasive paper, so by necessity, the shiny golden rings have to be attached to the pen(by swaging) after the final brushing to the pen is done, a laborious process. The mirror polished cap top and barrel bottom are nice touches. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaPadPad/IMG_9594.jpg http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaPadPad/IMG_9595.jpg Cap top: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaPadPad/IMG_9596.jpg Open: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaPadPad/IMG_9597.jpg The padpad came fitted with the standard issue 2 tone EF nib that Gem likes to use. When set up properly, the nib is a delightful true EF writer, however EF is not my size at all usually( unless it is a Pilot), I like M or fatter and one has to make do with what one has on hand, I had only M nibs in GT so I fitted my own nib to the pen and tuned it. For some practical reason, they decided to very deeply set the huge 35mm nib thus somewhat negating (IMHO, YMMV) the advantage afforded by the bigger nib. As shown in the following picture, a standard and cheaper Indian no 8 nib (28mm) could have done the job sufficiently well on the Padpad. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaPadPad/IMG_9598.jpg I guess the reason they did this was primarily due to the washer clip, where they wanted the washer's edges displayed for cosmetic effect. The washer has too small an ID to allow the nib to pass through it. Hence, a longer exposed length of the nib would have meant a longer length of the cap, so they arrived at this deep set nib design to achieve a nice balance. I have nothing much to comment about the writing aspect as the aftermarket nib in the pen was installed and set up by me, to my preference. The padpad is a good sized pen: capped: 147mm open: 131mm including the nib posted: 168mm Cap diameter, max: 15mm Barrel diameter, max: 14mm Section diameter: 12mm, tapers to 11mm and then flares. A comparison of the padpad with some other pens at hand: http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/hari3171/GamaPadPad/IMG_9600.jpg L-R: Early 14C nib M800, Padpad, Kuyil, GT Supreme FT. Cheers! Hari
  8. I love matte black. I think it makes everything look better. It's even more spectacular when the whole thing is matte black. Fountain pens look incredible in matte black, too. The Pilot Vanishing Point, Parker Urban, Faber-Castell E-Motion, Monteverde Invincia, Lamy Safari and Parker Premier all look stunning in this colour. Are there any pens that I missed? What's your opinion on flat/matte/muted/matt black?
  9. I bought this from JK pen stores (Abids, Hyderabad) this afternoon. He has a got a new stock of fountain pens of all sizes and makes - ebonite and acryllic. There were some which looked exactly like The Gama Supreme Jumbo (flat top), but they did not have Gama engraved and he told me that it was Swarna manufactured locally in Hyderabad. This one, he told me, is from Swarna - black matte. Jumbo size. http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii616/rakshitpai/20140518_170144.jpg http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii616/rakshitpai/20140518_164919.jpg http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii616/rakshitpai/20140518_175536.jpg http://i1262.photobucket.com/albums/ii616/rakshitpai/20140518_225306.jpg
  10. I have to admit, I've been a stealth pen fan forever, and today's current trends are right up my alley. Inviting everyone to post their picks. Three of my favorites Oops! Too stealthy Goulet Monteverde Invincia Nighthawk, Sailor Imperial Black (ruthenium shines a bit in photos), Piolt VP Matte Black.
  11. I heard the country of manufacture for these pens is on the box.packaging, but because I bought it from a second hand store, I did not get any of the original packaging. I've been trying to research the net where my Cross ATX Matte Chrome Fountain Pen is made in, but I cannot find anything conclusive. Would anyone have any ideas as to how I can find this out?

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