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Lamy Al-Star (Ef) Struggles And Pilot Metropolitan (F) Surprise Story!


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Hey there community!

For all you newer folks out there wondering about how Noodler's Ink's Bad Blue Heron works in a Pilot Metropolitan (F) and Lamy Al-Star (EF). Here's the story. YMMV.

A while ago I made a posting asking about how to pair Noodler's Ink's Bad Blue Heron successfully with my Lamy Al-Stars (EF) and what nib replacement I should use. I was running into major flow and start issues at the time with the EF nibs; Bad Blue Heron would often dry on the nib and cause the pen to fail to start immediately upon touching paper, and the overall flow through the pen after I got it to write was intermittent at best. I was not amused.

After asking this great community for advice and searching the forums I learned several things:
1. Bad Blue Heron is not a well behaved ink, and what I experienced was a common thing for some other people.

It's a hit or miss when inking up pens with this ink.
2. The Jinhao X750 is a sufficiently cheap beater pen that can come completely apart for cleaning and replacing

the nibs, and so is a perfect candidate for testing inks in. It comes in a #6 M nib (to my knowledge), so you can

replace the nib to any other sizing (e.g. F) so long as it remains a #6 nib.
3. Noodler's Ink's Bulletproof Black seems to be well behaved in many pens.

So what I did was flushed out my Lamy Al-Star using Bad Blue Heron and inked it up with Bulletproof Black and never looked back. Problems on the Lamy front solved.

But as far as the Bad Blue Heron was concerned I didn't want to waste the bottle of ink so I contemplated ordering the Jinhao X750 to test it out in. However, with a perfectly good Pilot Metropolitan (F) lying around and my impatience getting the better of me, I inked up the Pilot Metropoitan (F) with Bad Blue Heron instead. I rolled the dice and I was rewarded (YMMV and do not try with expensive pens). It so happens that Noodler's Ink's Bad Blue Heron works very well in my Pilot Metropolitan (F)! Bad Blue Heron's behavior in the Pilot Metropolitan was akin to the proprietary Pilot inks that I initially bought with the pen.

I've been using my Pilot Metropolitan (F) with Bad Blue Heron for the last three weeks and the ink's behavior is consistent and predictable. When I touch pen to paper (whether the paper is cheap and absorbant or glossy and smooth) the ink flows immediately. The line layed down by this pen and ink combination is crisp and well approximated in the less absorbant papers, and on very cheap absorbant paper (writing pads from Costco) it fuzzies up just a tad (but not enough to ruin your writing). And throughout your writing session, there is no discernable flow issues as you write page to page. As a caveat however I must admit that if you leave the pen uncapped for a good while, the ink will characteristically dry a bit on the nib. But even after purposely doing this, my Pilot Metropolitan (F) still began to write almost immediately after touching paper. Also, you will experience the same nib creep that you get in other pens with this particular set up as well.

Otherwise, the Pilot Metropolitan (F) and Bad Blue Heron pairing has been a stable workhorse of mine now and will continue to stay that way into the foreseeable future. Let me know what your experiences are with this and other Noodler's Inks. And feel free to add any information you think pertinent.

- Thanks for reading,

TL; DR = The Pilot Metropolitan (F) and Bad Blue Heron combo works well and writes great! YMMV

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Thanks for posting this, mpennxr. I've got part of a sample of Bad Blue Heron - like the color, but it was no fun using it with the Nemosine EF nib I had in an x750. I hadn't thought to try it in another fine nib. I have a Metro, so maybe I'll try that when I reach the point where I can ink another pen.

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I'm glad you got it working!


Different feeds and nibs certainly have different types of ink that will work better in them. It changes from ink to ink-- you can't even rely on a certain brand for the most part.


Sometimes diluting Noodler's with water will help get them working better, if you ever want to see if you can get the Lamy Al-Star going again with it. I dilute Noodler's Blue-Black with water to 50%, and I love the way it flows and writes.

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Glad you found a combo that works well with the Bad Blue Heron. It's always a joy to find a combination that works well like that.


"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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I keep a Metro (F) inked with Noodler's Heart of Darkness in my purse. It's my write anything, anywhere pen. It even works taking notes (I'm making a feeble attempt to learn German) in a composition book I got at Staples for $1.00. I just ordered another Metro with a sample of Massachusetts 54th, hoping it works as well. Cheers! :)

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For any CC pens, you need a baby rubber syringe for cleaning. Is good to clean out Pelikan piston pens too. If you cut one it will fit Pelikan nib sections making cleaning easier. (for you...later)

For cleaning your Lamy, fill it, stick it over the spike and squeeze, then just suck water up from the bath room sink until clean.

Wrap the pen with a paper towel and shake it like an old time thermometer a couple of times. turn towel stick in a cup to let the paper draw out the last of the ink. There is always some ink left over.


Ottoman Azure is a Noodlers ink I'd try...on my list to get. One of the few.***


In I live in Germany, Noodlers is expensive foreign ink. I have Apache Sunset .... recommend for shading.

Golden Brown shades well but takes forever to dry. One writes a full page on another sheet before it dries enough on the first to write on the back.

Most Noodler inks are too monotone for what I like........shading ink.......what some 'noobies' call wishy-washy or pastel..............in they are not as vivid ...in they can't be and shade.


Many Noodler inks are supersaturated and wet. Vivid if that's all you want.. They are from my reading high maintenance inks.

Herbin is low maintenance, as is Waterman or Pelikan/MB/R&K.

The R&K IG inks are no more high maintenance than Noodlers if that.


Once Waterman inks were considered wet....but since Noodler, many Noodler users consider Waterman a dry ink. That tells you how wet Noodlers is. The wetter the ink, the wider the line the nib will give you.

There are some Noodler shading inks.........but I chase local mainland Euro inks, many do shade.

Shading inks dry on good paper with two tones. 90g or better laser paper is recommended, outside of Rhoda and Tomo (sp) River.


Never use Ink Jet paper.....it is designed to absorb ink jet ink rapidly, so is a feather champ.


A number of years ago, I had to go to the States on business, so decided to have Goulet(sp) deliver to my Motel....which they did and it was waiting for me when I checked in.

I had only found the two I mentioned that I liked from the reviews.


Lamy and Pelikan inks are dry.....MB seems in the middle, I like Herbin also....and as mentioned once Waterman inks were once considered wet.

R&K makes some great inks....drier than Noodlers in the Pelikan range for being nice dry inks that shade very well.


So the question is what do you want your inks to do. Goulet(sp) has samples you can buy...so you won't be stuck only using Noodler inks.


I normally don't like Diamine inks, but they have a great assortment of glitter inks.

Japanese ink and a few others are known for sheen.

Shading, sheen, glitter.....and vivid.......and some plain inks that just lay there and don't do anything inks.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




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I'm curious if you've used other inks in you Pilot Metropolitan

I've been experimenting with mine and so far like the J.Herbin in it the best, and find the line is too thick when I have Noodler's in it (Heart of Darkness, La Reine Mauve)


Wondering how Bad Blue Heron compares in line to others you've tried.

To think one can write Truth is but an illusion of words. Now BEAUTY! That's a poem of words & forms!

profile pic credit: Tashi Mannox

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