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Sailor Shikiori Yodaki (Four Seasons - Summer: Night Bonfire)


A Smug Dill
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Yodaki(夜焚) is the summer colour in Sailor's most recent series of Shikiori, or Four Seasons, dye inks in what was the Jentle Ink product line. If I'm not mistaken, it is one of the Sailor inks that has only ever been available for retail in the new 20ml bottles, at the new pricing greatly inflated above that of the discontinued 50ml retail Jentle Ink bottles. All the same, I really wanted to love this ink in spite of that, after reading Lgsoltek's review of it, and it looks like such a good match for my new (eleventh) Pilot Vanishing Point with the deep red birch barrel.

 

http://www.pilot.co.jp/products/fc_25sk_dr.jpg

(image from Pilot Corporation's product page for the pen)

 

Alas, I bought the ink (shipped directly from Japan), filled the pen with it, tried it and struggle to get along with it.

 

(Now, this falls a little short of a full ink review, since I'm still slowly working out what I want to do and what I want to cover. I started this particular test page with a view to answering a completely different question; so, again I'm only using one type of paper that does not cover all the use cases that I think are worthwhile.)

 

 

fpn_1539345801__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

 

Flow

This is a 'wet' ink. There, I said it, even though I professed to be disinclined to categorise inks in that manner. I have never met an ink that is more keen to escape the converter, be it through the feed and nib or otherwise. Given that I was testing three differently nib widths for the Pilot VP, I thought the reasonable thing to do would be to just detach the converter from one nib and then attach it to another other.

 

In five years of using Pilot VP pens, I've learnt roughly how much unfilled space I need to leave at the tip of the converter, so that ink wouldn't just gush out from the other end when I connect it to the feed, ... except that it didn't quite work out that way with this ink. It gushed. After removing some ink from the converter and trying again, it didn't start bleeding from every orifice, but then it wrote so wetly that ink was pooling along each pen stroke even after two lines of writing, and taking some ten minutes to dry on the page, I kid you not. That ruined my first attempt at producing the test page.

 

It wasn't just with the M nib (which is the widest of the lot) that this happened, either; I also got that with the F nib, both of which are not new nibs to me. (My new Pilot VP pen came with an EF nib.) After a bit of trial and error, I found that I had to leave about 20-25% of the converter empty for that not to happen with this ink.

 

Next, after the few lines of writing I do with each nib, I was surprised time and again how much ink was consumed. Maybe it just ended up in the long neck of the VP nib, but that's not usually the case with my VP pens, and a single full refill lasts ages. Not with this ink.

 

Then, while I held the converter with the open end pointing up in one hand, to reach for the ink bottle with the other, ink would just somehow leap out of the half-full converter only the test page or my desk. Usually inks would stay inside the converter even if I held it with the open end pointing down! Not with this ink. The splatter on the test page between '5' and '10', between '15' and '20', and on the last line of Chinese writing came from different instances of the ink making daring escapes.

 

So, yes, I'm now convinced there is such a thing as an undeniably 'wet' ink.

 

Drying time

Coupled with a 'wet' writer, this ink is still prone to some degree of smearing after 30 seconds, at least on the Rhodia paper I used.

fpn_1539348626__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

 

I'm not sure whether there is some unevenness in how certain components of the ink are distributed in the liquid, or that my pen burped in a way that I didn't visually detect, but the smearing in the middle of the third line of Chinese actually happened quite a number of minutes after the line was written. Maybe a couple of microscopic droplets of water landed there out of nowhere. Whatever the cause, this is one ink I would not count on not smearing after a full page of writing.

 

Ghosting and bleed-through

Effectively none just from normal writing. Where I wrote 'SHEEN' and 'Sheen' are special cases; I was deliberately trying to produce ultra-wet writing I observed earlier, in order to elicit an astounding amount of sheen. (More on that below.)

fpn_1539349289__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

 

Water resistance

This ink has a fair amount of water resistance. OK, surprisingly good, actually.

 

Shading

This ink proved apt to produce shading, but you may have to look closely, because it doesn't appear as pronounced as in some other inks.

fpn_1539349404__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

 

Sheen

Oh, this ink sheens alright, even on Rhodia paper if one lets his pen write way more wetly than is healthy.

fpn_1539349721__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

fpn_1539349759__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

 

Where I have written 'SHEEN' and 'Sheen' were (counter-productive) attempts to reproduce this effect I observed, when I was trying to work out how my first test page got ruined.

fpn_1539349812__sailor_yodaki_on_rhodia_

Interestingly, there was no bleed-through on the reverse side of that word.

 

My Verdict

Given the per-ml price of this ink, how the 'wetness' of the ink itself seems to want to push consumption to a whole new level than what is acceptable to me, and how it managed to get all over the inside of the half of the pen barrel that has the trapdoor, I'm not so keen on using it in my Pilot VP pen any more. With so many similar colours in my collection of inks from which to choose, I think I'll have a lot more peace of mind with Sailor okuyama, Diamine Red Dragon or Diamine Oxblood, and that's not even counting new inks I have already bought but never got around to trying yet, such as the Monteverde Gemstone collection.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Sailor seems fully intent on pushing themselves out of the ink market ... the price is simply over the top and its IMHO not worth it

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Thanks, great review! This reminds me a lot of Rouge Hematite, down to the sheen, I wonder if it would leave as much crud on the pen as the J Herbin. One difference might be that in a Parker Sonnet with Clairefontaine Rouge Hematite shows a lot less sheen, compared to on Tomoe River.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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Sorry to hear about all your troubles with the ink! I've been eyeing this one for a while, and it still looks great (with the sheen as a bonus!), behavior problems notwithstanding. Ill probably go the sample route with this one, given the new Sailor prices.

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Thanks everyone.

 

@pseudo88, this ink is still sitting my 'spare' Pilot Capless F nib inside the deep red birch barrel for now, so I can take a look in a few days to see if there is any crud. However, I have never used J.Herbin Rouge Hematite (and don't intend to acquire it), so I don't have a point of comparison to address your musing.

 

What I will say is it took a lot of cleaning to remove all traces of red from the nibs (except for the F nib) I used in this review. Repeated five-minute baths in my temperature-controlled ultrasonic cleaning tank, soaking overnight in warm water, multiple rinses and hard flushings with a rubber syringe bulb, then drawing the residual moisture out with a paper towel... and colour still kept coming out.

 

@crahptacular, I also still think the ink looks great on the page when it is laid down not-too-wetly, but personally I don't feel either the price or the trouble is worth it, and won't be replenishing after my 20ml bottle is finished.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Sailor seems fully intent on pushing themselves out of the ink market ... the price is simply over the top and its IMHO not worth it

 

Their ink's quality is absolutely still on par with anything at any price. it's the bottle. If they redesigned that bottle they'd have my money again. I am getting tired of taking their ink and putting it straight into a pilot bottle.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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@Honeybadgers, so what you do dislike about the new bottle with the square footprint and a concave base inside, then? Is it the functional design, the quality of manufacture, or something else? Does your objection or criticism only apply to the 20ml bottles, or the new 50ml bottles (used now for kiwaguro, seiboku and souboku pigment inks) with the square footprint as well?

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I enjoyed the review and I'm really working hard to consume my ink so I'll wait to buy more ink but I enjoyed seeing it!

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