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  1. Quick Review - Wality 71JT Wality 71JT is a gorgeous pen with a solid build, the pen is a bit top heavy but the balance improves once the pen is inked. The only major flaw that I see, is the nib; Don't get me wrong, it's not a particularly unpleasant nib, the nib is rather smooth with little (audible) feedback HOWEVER the nib is extremely rigid and "resists" movement, I would have perhaps liked this nib on a small Camlin pen BUT the 71JT is no small pen, the girthy section and a (relatively) heavy body, together make this nib a major flaw, this is one of the few nibs that make my terrible handwriting look even more horrendous because of the extra effort I need to consciously put while writing; before I denounce the Wality nibs altogether, I need to ink my second 71JT. This might just be a bad nib !! If you're buying this pen online, particularly from Asapens, I would recommend contacting Mr. Subramaniam Lakshminarayanan for a nib upgrade. I repeat, the nib is not necessarily bad; some might even like it in it's current state, (IMHO) it's just not suited for a large, heavy pen such as the 71JT. Hope this was helpful - Aashish
  2. Flounder

    Orium Major No. 100

    Here's a review of a vintage Orium Major no.100, by the Wyvern Pen Company. This is a pen I know next to nothing about. http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100withspecs.jpg Lol - is anyone still reading? I bought the Orium for three reasons; the attractive celluloid, the Greek key cap band, and what *appeared* to be the original nib. The first two were as they appeared in the photos. The celluloid is like some sort of alien camouflage from a more vibrant world. The Greek key cap band is my first, and its severity contrasts wonderfully against the celluloid's chaotic earth tones. http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100cap.jpg Seeing the nib for the first time, however, was a hoot - a real face-palm moment. I had assumed the few letters I could discern in the auction photos to spell "Orium". Nope! It's a folded-tip Osmiroid 35 nib. Hah! http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100Osmiroid35nib.jpg With my self-satisfaction duly laughed out of the room, I spun the barrel around, to check the state of the lever, and instead met with a surprise. No lever! Wow, I really did my research this time around. It's a button filler. Appearance During cursory pre-purchase research of the Orium brand, a post by Garnet here on FPN was particularly helpful, explaining that they were Wyvern's mid-level school pens (Wyvern being recognisable to me in a small way, their 'wyvern shooting flames out its maw' logo being fairly memorable). I've taken a photo of the 100 next to a modern school pen, the Lamy Vista, because I find the juxtaposition hilarious. If hypnotic celluloid and Greek key cap bands were a prerequisite of school pens back in the day, well, I say they were on to something! I've taken indoor and outdoor shots to hopefully show how the finish looks in different lighting conditions. Outdoor: http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100withLamyVista.jpg Indoor: http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100032.jpg http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100028.jpg I'm fond of bold imprints, and the more grandiloquent, the better, so the Orium gets gets high readings on my affectation-o-meter. Utterly unnecessary, of course, but it makes me feel like handwriting was endearingly important to these people. I like that. On the meh side, the tab-style clip is quite crude compared to the rest of the pen. I'm not sure if the Orium deserves opprobrium here; this uneven area to the side might be due to damage suffered during the Orium's long years rather than bad stamping. http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100clipflaw.jpg Functionality I've found the Orium comfortable in the hand, I've included (outdoor) shots of the Orium next to a Parker 51 and Duofold AF for scale. As a celluloid pen, it's lightweight, which is to my taste for longer writing sessions. The section is that comfortable flare - ended cylinder my hand favours (though I would prefer it to be longer), and is made of black hard rubber, warm to the touch and grippy. http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100withParker51vacumatic.jpg http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100withParkerDuofoldAF.jpg The humble, folded tip Osmiroid nib is surprisingly smooth and soft, its long tines make it very easy to see where the ink is going too. A BHR feed - which extends a surprising length into the ink sac - makes for ample ink flow. It's all nicely set up, and good enough to make me curious as to how well the Orium's original nib wrote. http://i773.photobucket.com/albums/yy19/flounder2009/Orium%20Major%20100/OriumMajor100writingsample.jpg The tabbed clip feels quite weak, I think its clipping days are over. It stops the cap rolling off a desk well enough. Filling the pen is straightforward, and the button is easily worked one handed. The BHR blind cap only engages the last few turns of the barrel threads, so I have to be considerate of the pen's age when screwing it back in place. Ease of Servicing I've decided to including this as a category, as it can influence decision in an eBay vintage purchase context. The Orium Major 100 is a button filler. Fresh buttons, pressure bars, and ink sacs are inexpensive and widely available if replacement is necessary, so no problems there. The barrel unscrews from the section on a standard lefty loosey thread too. As the ink is kept away from the barrel to section threads, they had never seen sealant, so safely came apart with a little heat. I think I prefer a button filler in a neglected celluloid pen, in servicing terms. Perished, rock hard ink sacs are pretty common in these oldies. In a button filler, there's less scope for knock-on problems to fix. The button just won't move much (in fact, this one was seized solid, rusted into place). Buy a lever filler with the same hardened ink sac scenario, and someone in the intervening years might have bruteforced a bend in the lever, the removal of which is more of a risk and hassle. I'll write a short blog post on servicing the pen soon, are there were a couple of neat surprises I thought interesting enough to explore in more detail. Conclusion I bid on the Orium out of ignorance and curiosity, and found it to have a lot of appealing qualities. There was no real drama getting the ink flowing again, the pen has its charms, and I just plain enjoy the use of it (that's the closest I'm going to get to a 'score'... It's made me curious enough about Wyvern to learn more about the brand; I've since seen similar offerings with the same clip, Greek key cap bands with further rings above and below (very nice!) trellis-style cap bands, and the like. I have found one eBay listing of an Orium with original nib, which looked fairly conventional.
  3. Hi all, I am a student currently in 8th grade and I write a lot every day. I need a new pen with which I can write on a daily basis. Any suggestions (highly appreciated)? Thanks, Geena
  4. The Blue Knight

    Dex Compact Fountain Pen Review

    IntroI have lately been looking to add a few low cost everyday pens to my collection so when I saw the UK high street and online retailer "The Pen Shop" had launched a new range of low cost fountain pens I jumped at the opportunity to add something new to my collection. The new youth orientated pens are under the Brand Dex as a division of their existing Kingsley own brand pens. I’m not really sure what to think of the name Dex as a pen brand, but hey, I may be too old to appreciate it’s name appeal, perhaps they were trying to associate the name with the once popular 90's Dexter’s Laboratory cartoon. The range consist of two different pen styles, both in ink roller and fountain pen variants in various finishes (see here) they do appear to have done a good job with a number eye catching designs.I ended up going for the Compact pen in blue as it caught my eye in the store. Here are my thoughts after two weeks of use. Design Materials and aesthetics 7/10The pen has a modern, distinctive design with chrome accent opaque body and an ink window with a contoured rubber grip section. The pen is a little on the light side as all the components bar the clip and nib are made of plastic. Overall an interesting, unique design. Construction Quality 6/10 The quality of the materials used in the pen are reasonable at the price point, however the plastics do feel low cost and the pen overall feels relatively cheap. Ergonomics 6/10 For a compact fountain pen the ergonomics are quite good and the pen fits fine into smaller hands unposted however, it probably will be too short for larger hands unposted. However, if the pen is posted it becomes a similar size to a posted Safari. The grip section of the pen is fairly comfortable, however, I do think the positioning of the finger placements recesses are a little strange as they seem to be placed too widely apart for a comfortable grip. Nib performance 8/10 I was pleasantly surprised with the nib having only paid about £13 for the pen I wasn't expecting much from its “iridium point” nib. However, I found the nib to be one of the highlights of the pen as it delivers a firm, smooth, Medium line with a little bit of reassuring feedback. The nib isn't quite as smooth as my Parker Frontier nib however the nib is excellent for a sub £15 pen. Filling Mechanism, 6/10 The pen is a compact pen so is relegated to using only small international cartridges out of the box. However, I have successfully managed to convert mine into an eye-dropper pen with a touch of petroleum Jelly which has meant the ink capacity has been effectively tripled to approximately 3ml. The ink window is especially useful when the pen has been converted as it allows for a clear indication of the remaining ink. Cost and Value 7/10 Bought for £13 The pen isn't bad value, however it does feel a little on the cheap side and perhaps a price of just under the £10 may have been a bit more reasonable price. Final Thoughts Overall score 40/60 The Good Smooth nib.Compact Design.Can be converted to an eye dropper. The Bad Feels a little on the cheap side.Cartridge only out of the box.





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