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Ink Recommendations For A Pilot Metropolitan (And Does Anyone Have Experience With Noodler's Ink In Waterman Pens)?


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Hello! I'm new around these parts, though I've been reading FPN for a while. I've got a small problem, which is that my Pilot Metropolitan (M) is currently inked with the very wet writing Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher, which tends to feather and bleed a lot when I write on regular old printer paper (which is sadly what I end up writing on a lot of the time). As a result, I don't use the Metro as much as I'd like. I do also have another pen (a Waterman Apostrophe, fine) that I'd like to ink. So, I wanted to know whether:


1. Anyone has a good ink recommendation for a Pilot Metro (M). Colour is not so important - I already have 4 pens inked with appropriate colours (LAMY Safari with Noodler's Black, Parker Vector with Parker Black, another LAMY something-or-other with Waterman red, and of course the current blue in the Metro). I'd be interested in a good green or brown perhaps. Ideally the ink shouldn't be too wet a writer, because I don't want it to suffer the same problems as the current blue does.


2. Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher is compatible with a Waterman Apostrophe (F). I know this isn't Baystate Blue, but I thought I'd check, mostly because this pen is of great sentimental value to me.


I guess these two are kind of linked - if Bad Belted Kingfisher is likely to damage the Apostrophe, I'll either temporarily retire the ink and buy another two - one for the Metro and one for the Apostrophe - or I'll simply not ink the Apostrophe. If it's all good, though, I just need the one new ink.


Thanks, all!

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The Metro with M nib is free flowing in own right. A finer nib will feather less on your paper. For most writing I'm happier with the Pilot Fine nib. I've never done but have read you can switch Pilot nibs. You may want to look into that or if you really like the metro size, weight Metro now comes with a Fine nib.


I'm fond of Waterman Brown, it's a nice attractive, even serious ink. Look at Noodler's Burma Road and Rome Burning as two brownish inks I find interesting. I like Noodler's Grizzly but believe it is no longer made as it was an exclusive. Checking reviews, asking Gouletpens, asking another question might give you similar inks to look at if you like it. Two more nice Noodler's brown are Walnut and something ? Pecan. Browns will usually have a hint of green, yellow, red. A bit of added water to your pen fill will bring out the hint if you want. Sitting will make the ink darker as it evaporates.


As for greens, most of my inks are Waterman for mixing and safety in vintage pens and Noodlers... I make my own teal with a mix of Waterman Green and Blue. Very fond of Noodler's Air Corps and will often dilute a touch to bring out the green. Zhivago is another green but nearly black. It is probably my least favorite ink -well behaved, good flow, but is just too dark. Many guys love the color.

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You might want to try a drier ink - something from the Pelikan 4001 line perhaps. They and Roherer and Klingner tend to drier. (have experience with Pelikan 4001 Blue Black, but the the R & K inks)


"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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My ink recommendations for your pens would be:



Pelikan 4001

Noodlers Burma Rd. Brown (great, well behaved ink)

Diamine,with the exception of Sargasso Seas particularly in your Waterrman pen (tough to clean up and can stain)

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I would try Pelikan (dry) or Waterman (wet)

Try Waterman, and if it sill feathers, change to Pelikan.

Or, try Pelikan, then if it seems like the flow is too slow, then try Waterman.


I used Waterman in my Metro without problem.

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Thanks for all the replies! This is really helpful. I'm going to go check out some of the drier writers (and waterman inks) for my Pilot Metro. Re: Pelikan inks - I found the Pelikan Red to be quite vile. I trust their other colours aren't like that?


Also, I take it nobody's put the Bad Belted Kingfisher in a Waterman (just wanted to check that it won't clog/gum up the feed).


Thanks again!

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I don't have a Waterman yet (want to get a new Carene some day). However, I use BBK in my Pilot Stargazer M gold nib and my Pilot Vanishing Point F gold nib with no issues. I also use BBK regularly in my Visconti Rembrandt F steel nib as my daily carry pen and do not have any clogging issues.

Favorite pen/ink pairings: Edison Brockton w/EF 14K gold nib and Noodler's 54th Massachusetts; Visconti Pinanfarina w/EF chromium conical nib and Noodler's El Lawrence; Sheaffer Legacy w/18k extra fine inlaid nib and Noodler's Black; Sheaffer PFM III fine w/14k inlaid nib and Noodler's Black; Lamy 2000 EF with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts; Franklin Christoph 65 Stablis w/steel Masuyama fine cursive italic and DeAtramentis Document Blue; Pilot Decimo w/18k fine nib and Pilot Blue Black; Franklin Christoph 45 w/steel Masuyama fine cursive italic and Noodler's Zhivago; Edison Brockton EF and Noodler's El Lawrence; TWSBI ECO EF with Noodler's Bad Green Gator.

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I use Bad Belted Kingfisher regularly. Yes, it does feather a bit. No, it won't gum a Waterman feed if regular maintenance is done. No worse an ink than many I have used. The finer nibs and drier pens do alleviate the feathering. I normally use BBK in a Noodler's Ahab, Lapis Lazuli, with a 0.6 mm Nemosine nib. Puts out a little more ink than your fine nib but the italic nib keeps the BBK from feathering out onto the page.




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I just finished up a converter full of Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng in a Metropolitan with a medium nib, and the combination worked extremely well. The nib didn't dry out when I left it unused for a week, and the pen wrote nicely. I'm going to get a Metropolitan with a fine nib to try with this ink...it could become my go-to combination for check writing.

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I'm using Bay State Blue mixed with Bay State Concord Grape, mixed with water (2:2:1) in mine. It's a happy pen with this ink, and since the pen is black, opaque, and not vintage, I'm not worried about it getting stained. By the way, the water is important, the ink flows a lot better and dries a lot faster with it.




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Currently inked pens:

Parker Junior Duofold, Parker Senior Duofold, Montblanc Meisterstück (home desk), Esterbrook Dollar, Delta Fusion 82 (office desk)




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I am using Private Reserve Purple Mojo in my 'Violet Leopard' Metropolitan with a medium nib, and Diamine Blue Black in my 'White Tiger' Metropolitan with a fine nib. I have noticed no feathering from either of these inks when used on cheap copy paper, and like the way they look on the page, but I find that after several days of not being used, both pens need to have their nibs dipped in water in order for them to start writing. Once they get this 'jump start,' the flow is fine, there is no skipping at all, but the hard starting is rather disappointing. (Spoiled by the Pilot Varsity fountain pens, perhaps; in my experience, they start up first time, every time, even after months of disuse!) Neither of these inks are considered dry inks, so I am not sure what the problem is here, maybe they just aren't compatible with Pilot Metropolitans. But, they do look nice and the pens write smoothly and evenly after the feed gets up to speed!


As for Noodler's damaging your Waterman fountain pen....if you are seriously concerned about this, use one of the well-behaved inks from Parker or Waterman or one of the other companies that started out by making fountain pens, such as Pelikan and Pilot. J. Herbin inks should also work fine - they are not heavily saturated like the Noodler's inks, can't see how they would clog or 'eat' a pen. (And J. Herbin's Lierre Sauvage is a very nice green ink that generally gets positive reviews.)



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Thanks a ton everyone! This has been immensely useful! I decided to go with putting the BBK into the Waterman. I bought an R&K Verdura for the Pilot Metro (which is currently waiting for me at the post office). I'm excited!

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My Pilot Metro M nib is pretty much happy with whatever ink I put into it. It must have had a good childhood.

Be Happy, work at it. Namaste

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The Platinum Carbon Black sample I was using seems to be a wet enough but a non feathering ink. Wet enough means that it won't dry up in the feed if you stop writing for 5 seconds.


The Noodler's Kung Te-cheng is a dry ink. I currently have that on my Noodler's Creaper and when I write on very cheap paper... not feathering. But do be warned the bottle says not to use it on other pens besides the one given to you.


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I have Kung Te Cheng, and no real love for Noodlers products. However, the only thing KTC has stained for me is a TWSBI (Diamine Sargasso Sea did the same thing to a different one).

Also have BBK, and found that it leaves a black film on stuff such as the undersides of nibs, eyedroppers, etc. Have a nearly full bottle of the stuff, and no real interest in using it.

Platinum Carbon Black is a nice ink, and superior in some ways to Noodlers blacks, but in some respects inferior as well (can be smudged when dry)

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  • 1 year later...
Ink Stained Wretch

I have Kung Te Cheng, and no real love for Noodlers products. ....

Also have BBK, and found that it leaves a black film on stuff such as the undersides of nibs, eyedroppers, etc. Have a nearly full bottle of the stuff, and no real interest in using it.


So PIF it!

On a sacred quest for the perfect blue ink mixture!

ink stained wretch filling inkwell

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Also, consider diluting the BBK with distilled water. (Don't do this in the full ink bottle). BBK performs much better on recycled papers when it is diluted.

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