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Liberty's Elysium Is Not Waterproof!


tonybelding

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So, I got my eagerly awaited bottle of Noodler's Liberty's Elysium today, which is the new ink exclusive to the Goulet Pen Company. This was looked upon by some as being the ultimate blue ink: the saturated pure blue color of Noodler's Blue combined with bulletproofness!

 

The truth has fallen short. It's not exactly bad ink, but some people are going to be unpleasantly surprised by its limitations.

 

The good news: In color it is indeed very close to Noodler's Blue and its slippery twin, Noodler's American Eel Blue. I think Liberty's Elysium is a closer match to Eel Blue which is just slightly less deep than standard Blue, but the difference is really subtle either way. On lower grade paper Liberty's Elysium does produce some of that distinctive "chalky" or blue-denim-like texture as it soaks into the page, as is common to many of the cellulose-reactive colored inks. On premium paper it actually seems to shade a little better than Blue or Eel Blue, but again the difference is subtle. These are very similar "true blue" (to my eyes) inks.

 

The bad news: Liberty's Elysium is not waterproof. Goulet advertises it as "bulletproof", but it's clear that they are using this term to mean something very different from what it did before. I'll let the before-and-after scans tell the story. First, here's a comparison and water test using Xtreme White (Brazilian) notebook paper:

 

http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/noodlers_blue_comparisons_xtreme_white.jpg

 

So... The supposedly "bulletproof" Liberty's Elysium fares no better after a tap water soak than good ol' Noodler's Blue! Both of them have most of their dye washed away leaving a faint-but-legible stain behind. Luxury blue -- expensive and dull looking, but truly "bulletproof" -- is unaffected, and Texas Blue Bonnet is almost unaffected. (Actually a small amount of cyan-looking dye rinsed out of the TBB, but the loss is barely visible.)

 

I went ahead and did another test using premium paper, with a Rhodia pad, and got this:

 

http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/noodlers_blue_comparisons_rhodia_pad.jpg

 

All of these (well, except Luxury Blue) are attractive inks when used on the Rhodia pad, and TBB is a shading wonder. It's clear, however, that Liberty's Elysium has NO advantage in water resistance over the Noodler's Blue that has been around for years.

 

Now, here's where we get around to the editorializing.......

 

I think it's misleading. I mean, yes, I know that "bulletproof" is a word Nathan Tardiff coined, and it's his company's trademark, and ultimately it means whatever he wants it to mean. He could use it to mean anything or nothing. However, I think calling this ink "bulletproof" dilutes the term (so to speak!) to the point of being almost meaningless. I guess it only means that some crook can't use bleach to remove that last bit of remaining stain, which they could do to Noodler's Blue. That seems to me like a very narrow distinction to hang the word "bulletproof" on.

 

Can you imagine somebody buying this "bulletproof" ink and thinking they could address envelopes with it, and then getting caught in the rain and having all their addresses turn into blue smears? Would they not be ticked off? I would.

 

It gets even worse.....

 

The Goulet website has long listed Noodler's Blue as NOT being water-resistant. As you can see from the scans, clearly it is a water-resistant ink. It leaves a stain just like the conventional water-resistant inks of years gone by. My tests show its level of water-resistance is similar to, perhaps slightly better than, Noodler's Dark Matter, which is already listed on the Goulet website as a water-resistant ink. I've tried before to point out this discrepancy, but never got any response.

 

Now, just to make matters more confusing, we have a new blue ink that looks very similar to Noodler's Blue and is listed as both bulletproof and water-resistant, even though my test shows that it's no more water-resistant than Noodler's Blue.

 

So... Mr. Goulet, you got some explaining to do! :glare:

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It looks water resistant to me. I mean, I can read the words in the soaked paper. Am I missing something? Is water resistant an all-or-nothing term? Are there different levels of water resistance?

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It looks water resistant to me. I mean, I can read the words in the soaked paper. Am I missing something? Is water resistant an all-or-nothing term? Are there different levels of water resistance?

 

Water-resistant means that even though most of the ink may wash out, there's a legible stain left behind. Waterproof means that the ink is substantially unaffected by water. "Bulletproof" in the past has always implied waterproof as well, but this new ink isn't waterproof.

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It is partly bulletproof, as the cyan dye will resist pure bleach as shown in the official gouletpens video, but you're right that it's sold as a bulletproof ink while it only is partly bulletproof.

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It looks water resistant to me. I mean, I can read the words in the soaked paper. Am I missing something? Is water resistant an all-or-nothing term? Are there different levels of water resistance?

 

Water-resistant means that even though most of the ink may wash out, there's a legible stain left behind. Waterproof means that the ink is substantially unaffected by water. "Bulletproof" in the past has always implied waterproof as well, but this new ink isn't waterproof.

 

Okay. I see what you mean. Is time a consideration? Is it supposed to be waterproof within seconds? What about five, ten, or fifteen mins?

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Okay. I see what you mean. Is time a consideration? Is it supposed to be waterproof within seconds? What about five, ten, or fifteen mins?

 

I too would like further elaboration on the amount of dry time involved in this test.

 

I love me some bulletproof ink and don't have Liberty's Elysium yet, it's on my buy list though.

 

Curious to see how this thread plays out...

 

 

B)

Edited by Truppi327

Best,

Mike Truppi

 

<img src="http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/5673/inkdz2.png" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" height="60"/><img src="http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" height="60"/><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_qVJOiluU9_4/THoFdqPGYOI/AAAAAAAAA1w/gmV637q-HZA/s1600/InkDropLogoFPN.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" height="60" /> 8/24/10

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It seems to me that it should be categorized like Noodlers RedBlack (mix of wash-away red and bulletproof black).

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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Somewhere there was a comparison to Kon-Peki, which seemed to stay on paper just as well, at least where water is concerned.

 

This particular color doesn't do anything for me, so I'm not speaking out of personal interest, but maybe this knowledge will help those who got shut out of the initial release to not feel so anxious, as they may already have something which performs similarly.

"Be who you are and say what you feel; because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

The Poor Connoisseurs

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I, too, am interested in a soak time test at various intervals, or just a blurb about how long you soaked it for. :)

 

Has anyone tried a mix of Luxury Blue + Standard Blue to see what happens to the mixture's bulletproofness (or not)?

Non est ad astra mollis e terris via. - Seneca

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It seems to me that it should be categorized like Noodlers RedBlack (mix of wash-away red and bulletproof black).

 

Agreed. And even partially bulletproof works just fine for my purposes.

 

 

And question to tonybelding, how long did you soak the paper? If I remember correctly, Blue eel will eventually wash away nearly completely.

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Somewhere there was a comparison to Kon-Peki, which seemed to stay on paper just as well, at least where water is concerned.

 

This particular color doesn't do anything for me, so I'm not speaking out of personal interest, but maybe this knowledge will help those who got shut out of the initial release to not feel so anxious, as they may already have something which performs similarly.

 

That may have been my post. I wrote on an index card with several inks. One ink was Kon-peki and in a 1 minute soak it fared just as well as Liberty. Another ink on the card was Kung te cheng which was completely waterproof, no change. KTC is my go to ink when I want "bulletproofness".

Change is not mandatory, Survival is not required.

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Somewhere there was a comparison to Kon-Peki, which seemed to stay on paper just as well, at least where water is concerned.

 

This particular color doesn't do anything for me, so I'm not speaking out of personal interest, but maybe this knowledge will help those who got shut out of the initial release to not feel so anxious, as they may already have something which performs similarly.

 

That may have been my post. I wrote on an index card with several inks. One ink was Kon-peki and in a 1 minute soak it fared just as well as Liberty. Another ink on the card was Kung te cheng which was completely waterproof, no change. KTC is my go to ink when I want "bulletproofness".

 

:blush: I was just too lazy to look it up, but GREAT comparison!

KTC is perfectly waterproof, the only other ink I've experienced that with is Rachmaninoff; I don't know that I tested Mata Hari's Cordial. Those three are "Eternal", and I'm not sure what the exact difference is between those marketed as bulletproof versus eternal, but it's my understanding that both should be pretty darn waterproof, or more so that LE is proving to be.

"Be who you are and say what you feel; because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

The Poor Connoisseurs

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It looks like a fairly crisp and legible bit of ink is left after washing, and I'm sure it matches the other properties claimed by "bulletproof" inks. Yes, it should probably be called "semi-bulletproof," or whatever Red-Black is called, but I really don't think this is cause for alarm. Your mail is going to make it through the rain. New inks never live up to their hype. The End.

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that's too bad for an advertised bulletproof ink, i had a few bulletproof ink samples but it does not fade like this.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

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Bulletproof inks (off the top of my head) rely on a reaction with the cellulose in the paper to achieve their "bulletproof" properties - are you sure it's not just the top layer which didn't react with the paper that got washed off?

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Somebody else in my review thread I think suggested that over time Nathan Tardif's use of bulletproof has shifted from something approximately completely on the page to fraud evident/resistant. It seems like that happened some time around when the guy with the laser to remove bulletproof black from a check to win the Noodler's challenge. In doing so, the term Eternal finally makes sense but the term "semi-bulletproof" no longer does. Eternal would essentially mean the same thing as bulletproof used to while semi-bulletproof's old meaning is what bulletproof currently means.

<a href="Http://inkynibbles.com">Inky NIBbles, the ravings of a pen and ink addict.</a>

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It looks like a fairly crisp and legible bit of ink is left after washing, and I'm sure it matches the other properties claimed by "bulletproof" inks. Yes, it should probably be called "semi-bulletproof," or whatever Red-Black is called, but I really don't think this is cause for alarm. Your mail is going to make it through the rain.

 

Actually.... This would be pretty bad for addressing envelopes. What you don't see in the scan is all the blue dye that rinsed out. I didn't time it, but I had that paper soaking for something like half an hour. A quick splash of water, like a few raindrops, actually is much worse because it doesn't completely remove all that dye, but instead just smears and blotches it and makes a mess.

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Bulletproof inks (off the top of my head) rely on a reaction with the cellulose in the paper to achieve their "bulletproof" properties - are you sure it's not just the top layer which didn't react with the paper that got washed off?

I'm reasonably sure.

 

I took a sheet of Clairefontaine 90gsm paper and wrote part of my review on it.

 

Next, I sprinkled water on the page and also left a nice coffee mug ring on the page.

 

Next, I let it dry.

 

Next, I soaked it for 10 minutes.

 

Finally, I let that dry. The resulting page lost 99% of the excess ink that was allowed to dry on the page. It's not a matter of that ink just not bonding with cellulose yet. That potentially excess ink is virtually completely not water resistant.

<a href="Http://inkynibbles.com">Inky NIBbles, the ravings of a pen and ink addict.</a>

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Yeah, it's bulletproof in the same way Noodler's calls Bad Belted Kingfisher "bulletproof" It's more like 20% bulletproof with the rest a water soluble blue for shading/tinting purposes. A little dissapointing, but I've been looking at my ink consumption and I think I might spring for luxury blue for those times when only blue will do, even the 1oz bottle will last me years. To say nothing of all the other inks that I'll prolly tip over by accident before using half a bottle.

Edited by Yoda4561
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Well, there goes my reason for buying yet another blue... Thanks for the warning, tony.

It is easier to stay out than get out. - Mark Twain

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