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Birmingham Pen Co's Uss Requin Navy Blue Ink: A Review


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I initially thought this ink leaned towards the purple but see now that it dries to a deep navy / blue-black. It's a very well-behaved ink, and I've since loaded it into a piston-filler (Lamy 2000), run through it, and had it clean out entirely with around 10 flushes, so -- as good as any of the easiest-cleaning inks (for me, anyway). I ran through the testing rubric on Tomoe River Paper, so it gives great line definition and nice, true color -- but dry times are off the chart. Regular paper offers an under-ten-second dry time with a European medium nib (Kaweco medium tested). If you like the color -- or are, like me, forever in search of more blue-blacks -- it's a great everyday ink: almost black in a bold nib, true navy in a fine-medium, and a steely-gray-blue in an extra-fine, and office-friendly in all three.






And on my everyday office paper, Staples' Sustainable Earth (bamboo) paper:




On fancy-shmancy letterhead paper (unsure of bond designation, but like the vast majority of mass-market consumer products it probably wouldn't mean anything anyway - in any case, this is a custom letterhead from Crane's):




And on a piece of paper I pulled out of the laser printer:




All told, it's a very versatile ink - works well on any paper provided you choose an appropriate nib and has nice variation in color with different nib sizes; I'll be putting it into the rotation, as it has all the right qualities and it actually adds something to my blue-black collection...




[edit: to repost pictures, as I believe I musta bunged it up somehow]

Edited by finnegans
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Interesting. I just tried this a couple of days ago, and you're getting more blue (and more shading) than I did (although I was writing on really crummy and absorbent Piccadilly sketchbook paper, which has often really affected ink color and behavior for me in the past).

I also have been having issues with the pen it's in -- a vintage Morrison lever filler. I only get a half a page of writing out of a fill, so I'm now wondering if it's there's a problem with the pen (I pulled it out after having not used it for a couple of years and am worried that I'm not getting a complete fill).

Thanks for the review.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


edited for typos

Edited by inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Initially, I rather wondered if I was getting more blue and more shading than I actually did, myself - which is to say that this seemed more blue and more shady than I recalled - but when I pulled the pages and really looked, the scans are pretty accurate. Under normal light, though, and not "really looking," there isn't a ton of shading. And the color is profoundly nib-dependent. That Jinhao lays down a wet medium-bold that is all-but-black at times, whereas the blue comes out in finer nibs.


And good luck with that Morrison - the last lever filler I had that didn't work is the last lever filler I had; looking at Richard Binder's repair guide made me realize it was beyond my capacity. Maybe some commercial pen flush?


Also, anyone know how to delete a post? For some reason* this one went up twice.





* It may have been what my tech support guy likes to call a problem between the keyboard and the chair

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I ordered all of the Birmingham samples recently, and last night ordered a bottle of Requin Navy Blue, among several others. I like a lot of these inks, and am trying to give a little financial support to Birmingham while his store is shut down. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our hobby.

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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Same here - grabbed a few samples (for anyone whos not seen them, they come in quaint little brown glass bottles, as if from another era), and got to like each one in its own way. Theres a lot of personality in them, and some thought has gone into the tones and characteristics. And although if Im being honest Id probably buy these inks if they were made by Faceless Writing Equipment Co., its a great bonus that its a small business run by an enthusiast/good guy.

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