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  1. Earlier in 2020, Diamine released the 25 ink colours that it produced and included in its Inkvent (2019 advent calendar) product as separate retail products in four-legged 50ml Blue Edition bottles. The inks in the series are categorised as standard, sheening, and shimmering — and each is priced accordingly. Seasons Greetings is one of the sheening inks. Base colour: Dark teal Flow: Moderate Feathering: Not observed on Rhodia Dotpad 80g/m² paper, looking closely at the thinnest hatching lines, and words/glyphs ‘reverse-written’ with the nib upside-down (i.e. the bottom of the feed facing up) Show-through: Low to nil Bleed-through: Not observed Drying time: A smidgen over 20 seconds Smudging after fully dry: A small amount; this ink is slightly susceptible to being re-wetted by the moisture on one's fingertips. I rubbed my dry thumb over the stippling dots (just after the scan shown above was done), and that caused some very minor streaking that took a loupe to spot. However, just now when I was handling the ink review sheet over 48 hours later, I managed to smudge some of smaller Japanese characters Water resistance: So apparently poor that I don't think I need to soak some part of the sheet for an hour or so Shading: Negligible. In spite of the apparent shading in the image above, the darker parts are actually manifestations of sheen; see image below. (I confirmed it by checking the ink review sheet under a loupe and a bright LED lamp.) Sheen: Plenty of pink sheen, evident in almost every ink mark on the page, other than the thinnest and driest of the hatching lines I did by ‘reverse-writing’ (with nib upside-down and the bottom of the feed facing up) which apparently this pen-and-ink combination, or maybe just the pen, doesn't support Shimmer: None My thoughts: Now that I have detected a bit more susceptibility to smudging with this ink, I might have to rethink whether I feel comfortable using it to write in my journals and notebooks of which the content I intend to revisit. Nevertheless, the degree of smudging doesn't seem to be quite as severe as with some other Diamine (ultra-)sheening inks such as Iridescink Herbert or November Rain.
  2. From the album: First look

    One of La Couronne du Comte's four shop-exclusive ink colours, which I think are produced by Diamine.

    © A Smug Dill

  3. Colour-wise, the comparison reminds me of Sailor Souboku vs Sailor Seiboku. Christine exhibits sheen, but not nearly as flamboyantly as Herbert.
  4. Source: AliExpress PenBBS is mostly known for its pen models on English-language fountain pen hobbyist forums, but it also makes a heck of lot of different inks — including some pigment inks and shimmer inks besides dye inks — and releases sometimes ten, sometimes a dozen, or even two dozen new ink colours at a time in batches it refers to as ‘seasons’. Their relative obscurity in the Western world is understandable, though. Each ink is both numbered and named, but from what I've seen, the name of a particular ink is usually given either only in Chinese or only in English, never both. There isn't any apparent rhyme or reason in the product numbering, either; the twelve inks in the 18th Season are consecutively numbered from 290 to 301, while the ten inks in the 19th Season are numbered from 269 to 278, and the twelve inks in the 20th Season from 310 to 321. Then, some come only in 60ml bottles, some only in 15ml bottles, and some only in 35ml bottles. There is just no making sense of all that, which could serve to snuff out idle curiosity in the products. Furthermore, there seems to be some Customs regulations in China to prevent the export of ink by post, even though there has been some talk online about how cheap and easy it is to order PenBBS inks on Taobao. I have no idea how that works; I ordered mine on AliExpress — but, unlike for other Chinese brands of inks, there seems to be only one seller of PenBBS inks using that marketplace platform — and Customs in China intercepted the shipment on the seller's first attempt to ship my order (by EMS ePacket) and returned it to the sender. The seller made a second attempt at shipping, and the order eventually made its way to me in Australia the long way around moving through Europe. Anyway, here it is: PenBBS Fountain Pen Ink No.406 幽月繁星 is a shimmer ink from the 29th Season, and comes in 60ml bottles (with the labels stating “60±5ml”). 幽月 = dark moon; faint moon; pale moon 繁星 = myriad stars; metonymically a starry sky The marketing image for the ink depicts the colour and complexity of the ink pretty accurately, and I wasn't disappointed. (Scanned image of the writing sample sheet, downsized to match my MacBook Pro screen's pixel density of 114dpi) Sometimes sheen will show up even in scans; but not for this ultra-sheening ink! On Rhodia Dotpad 80g/m² paper: Drying time: If the ink mark is wet enough to exhibit sheen, then 20 seconds is just short of what it takes for the ink to dry Smudging after drying: It (turned out, after I had occasion to handle the the test sheet a fortnight or so after writing it, that it) can smudge, as the sheen component can be reactivated with just the microscopic beads of sweat on one's fingertips, but not quite as readily or badly as some Diamine ultra-sheening inks (e.g. Skull & Roses, Iridescink Herbert) Feathering: Not observed Show-through: Low to nil Bleed-through: Not observed Shading: Very little that can be observed, because when it's wet enough to show shading, it's also wet enough for sheen to manifest and cover up the darker shade(s) of blue-black Sheen: A crazy amount of bronze sheen, even on extremely fine hatching lines Shimmer: There appears to be at least two, if not three, different colours of shimmer particles in this ink: light metallic blue, silver, and perhaps (more sparsely) gold. It's pretty hard to tell, because I think the sheening component of this ink is so dense, it's outright obscuring some of the shimmer particles, and possibly making some others close to the surface appear to take on a different hue. It might not look as if there is a lot of shimmer in the writing in the photo above, but: shows a bit more, and then, once some of the colourants in the ink have been washed away: Water resistance: poor I think this ink certainly gives the sheening-and-shimmering inks in Diamine's Inkvent (aka Blue Edition) range some stiff competition. Unfortunately, this ink also makes my Sailor Fude de Mannen pen hard-start a lot, if I just pause for 30 seconds without capping it. You can see the letter l next to ‘20s’ in the drying time test being thin and pale, compared to the letters o and (more so) t next to it on the opposite side. I had to scribble on a scrap piece of paper and get the pen writing again, before putting down ‘lot’ next to ‘25s’ on the line below that. (How this came to be not quite a ‘lazy’ review: I put the remainder of the fill of ink into an F-nibbed Sailor pen later, by moving the converter across, to see if it has more of a problem with hard-starting or less. But, unless I can prove that the pen won't hard-start after a 60-second pause, I'll have to relegate this ink to the list of fun inks to use for calligraphy practice and/or writing on greeting cards, but not something I can use for putting my thoughts in a journal or jotting down notes on a notepad.) Putting PenBBS ink No.406 in a Sailor pen with a steel F nib, the colour looks remarkably similar to Diamine Iridescink Herbert, although the latter exhibited rather more sheen: and I was only able to get a tiny bit of shimmer from writing with the ink using such a fine nib: I still got far more hard-starting with the F nib than I would like; it would write after a 60-second pause, but resuming after a 90-second pause was an absolute struggle. I've since swapped a Sailor steel Music nib onto the pen, and it performs a little better in that regard. Still, this just isn't going to cut it as a general-purpose ink.
  5. the main review is below. This is an Indian notebook called ITC classmate which is dirt cheap and exceptionally fountain pen friendly - doesn't feather or spread with the worst offenders (in my case, Noodler's 54th Mass for spreading, Noodler's forest green for feathering); dry time is quick but inks retain their vibrancy and shade nicely. Only strikes against it is that it doesn't particularly help with sheen and its not bright-white (there's a slight red tinge to the pages). Anyway, enough about the paper. This review was written with a PenBBS 480 with a Mini fude F nib. Really its more like an M. Writes wetter than normal. Note: the color balance is off in the top 5th of the page - probably due to paper not being totally flat. The ink in that area looks murkier than in real life. Here are some comparisions to other browns (Kiowa Pecan is similar, Yama Guri, not really). Also how the inks looks on blobs, swatches, smudges and dry times. Overall thoughts: It is a very nice brown, rich color with shading variations and possibilities of sheen (and a nice ink even without the sheen); with good flow, quick-ish dry times and no major drawback as far as I can see, except the tendency to stain clear plastic (though not sure if it was just that one cartridge converter). Will be receiving some Clairefontaine and Tomoe River shortly (I am out of stock now and all but essentially deliveries are closed due to C-Virus). Will check on sheening then. The pooled ink drop shows some green sheen around the rim of the darker area.
  6. DrDebG

    Inklings - Taccia A O Blue

    Recently, I acquired several samples of Taccia Ink. Taccia Ink is newly developed in California, but made in Japan by experienced ink makers. There are 13 colors that are vibrant and pleasurable. The inspiration for the colors comes from the "Japanese way of seeing colors in a pure, honest and innocent way". The bottles are similar to Sailor bottles, but I do not know if they have the pen filler insert since I have not purchased a bottle yet. (Photo compliments of Vanness Pens) This ink can be summed up in one word: WONDERFUL! I have very rarely used an ink as pleasurable to write with as this one. From the moment I loaded into my Bexley Elegancia with medium nib - a dry nib I might add - this ink has been extraordinary. Even when writing on inexpensive copy paper, this ink is fast drying, did not bleed through, and had little show through. And the sheen on Tomoe River paper is AMAZING! The ink is well saturated and somewhat water resistant, which should appeal for professional use. And the color is consistently a strong medium blue with a strong crimson sheen. IMO this ink would do well in any pen with, maybe, the exception in a very wet, wide nibbed pen. Taccia AO Blue ink/ Bexley Elegancia medium nib pen/ Staples ARC paper Taccia AO Blue Ink/ Bexley Elegancia medium nib/Tomoe River 68 gsm paper Pros: Excellent flow Moderately lubricating Minimal bleedthrough, showthrough, feathering Fast Drying Well saturated SHEEN! SHEEN! SHEEN! Cons: Little to no shading Average blue shade Price: In the US: $12 for 40 ml at Vanness Pens, Anderson Pens, PenChalet Overall: An Excellent ink in terms of quality and price!
  7. Lots of top 10 lists of ink recommendations lean towards Japanese inks and Noodler's inks - probably because this and many blogs are forums are mostly for English speakers. I am looking for inks manufactured in Europe with top shading or sheening properties, so I don't have to pay premium for shipping. Please suggest! P.s. I did Google search for quite a few times on many different days, didn't like to see >70% are inks from the US and Japan, and among only a handful of the European inks (mostly Diamine and J Herbin), almost no German inks were suggested. Germany is where I live.

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