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What Chinese Pens are you Waiting for in the Mail?



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sansenri

it's not in the mail yet, but I'm very tempted to get a Hongdian 960 like mke's!

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  • Bikerchick

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Helen350

Waiting for the Hero 359 (purple) & Jinhao 777 (purple).  The 777 is a matte purple.  I currently

own both the Lamy Safari yellow & the Hero 359 yellow.  We know the Hero is not the same material

quality as the Lamy, however, it is a decent pen for the money.  Perfect for a student on a budget to

use in school.  Today using both the 359 & Lamy for a study I am doing in preparation for teaching.

 

Image 81 - Hero-359-Summer-Color-Polypack-Fountain-Pen-Medium-Nib-7-Colors-For-Choice

Image 7 - Jinhao-777-Fountain-Pen-amp-Converter-Extra-Fine-Nib-Color-Match-Clip-3-Colors

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lovemy51

i just put in an order for the WS601 flighter

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  • 2 months later...
Bikerchick
On 3/10/2021 at 3:41 AM, A Smug Dill said:

No longer waiting: these all arrived yesterday in a single package.

 

large.367913031_Chinesepenspackagecontentsreceived09Mar2021.jpg.260ecb6a2336238aaac30808b147fada.jpg

How are you liking that Hero 329, Dill? 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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A Smug Dill
8 hours ago, Bikerchick said:

How are you liking that Hero 329, Dill?

 

Not very much at all.

 

I should have done some research on the pen model before ordering (so many of) it. Then I would have known its ink reservoir is a non-removable sac fused with the core of the gripping section. Not that it would be a huge issue with pens each dedicated to a particular ink; but flushing and cleaning (with diluted detergent and then just water) the nib, feed and insides of the pen initially and then trying to dry them completely before use is time-consuming. Trying to fill the sac to near maximum capacity, relying on squeezing the sac, is difficult. Now that I'd abandoned the (iron-gall ink performance) experiment for which I wanted these pens, they aren't really worth the trouble. I filled three of them with other inks, and one of those three turned out to have a wobbly nib; trying to extract all the ink back out of the sac so as not to waste was impossible without cutting open the end of the sac and drawing the ink out with a syringe.

 

I would have been better off just buying Jinhao 51A pens with hooded nibs, which don't cost that much more with its (average) unit price; the real ‘saving’ that drew me to buying these 10-packs of Hero pens is that I don't have to pay incremental shipping charges per pen, now that ‘free’ shipping from China is rarer and, when it is offered, just means the postage for a single pen has been priced into the unit price, so buying multiple at once may actually be a disadvantage to the shopper.

 

Edit:

Your post prompted me to give the pen model another chance. I took a new one from the batch I cleaned last week, and filled it with Platinum Carbon Black. Ended up with ink all over my table and fingers, but (because of the mess) I couldn't spot an obvious leak. Ink flow was inconsistent, and thus the line width was too. Writing with the nib didn't feel scratchy, but I could see it was picking up fibres from time to time. Then, after maybe half a page's worth of short scribbles, the nib and feed started becoming wobbly. Obviously I didn't try to flex the nib, but as I'm wont to do with any pen I tried different angles and frequently changed the amount of pressure put on the nib, to see what effects I can get. It didn't take long for the tines to become misaligned (and then the nib was really scratchy). I squeeze the ink out of the sac as best I could without snipping the end of the sac off, so not to waste even more of the precious ink, and then off into the rubbish bin the pen went. I really should just send the remainder of the 20 pens to the same place now.

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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Theroc

A PenBBS 535, any day now.

And a Moonman Ti200... maybe. It still doesn't know if its going to ship with a gold or steel nib.

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Bikerchick
10 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

Not very much at all.


Wow. I like dirt cheap Chinese pens as much as the next person --they allow me to hone my nib adjusting/replacement skills and what not without breaking the bank--but you're right, these do sound like a major pain in the backside. I'll steer clear of this model, thanks for the head's up. 

(I did order the Star Trek version of the pen, the 329-2, but just the one, from a reputable eBay seller. :) 
Not that it's a guarantee with these Hero pens, I've heard. I'm curious to find out how bad it'll be. )

 

10 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

I would have been better off just buying Jinhao 51A pens with hooded nibs, which don't cost that much more with its (average) unit price; the real ‘saving’ that drew me to buying these 10-packs of Hero pens is that I don't have to pay incremental shipping charges per pen, now that ‘free’ shipping from China is rarer and, when it is offered, just means the postage for a single pen has been priced into the unit price, so buying multiple at once may actually be a disadvantage to the shopper.


I tend to try and buy several pens I want from the same seller, when I can. It often results in free shipping or at least a discount in shipping cost. Earlier this week, I ordered 10 Jinhao 51A pens from the Jinhao flagship store on Ali and I paid just over 11€. 

I've also learned to be vigilent when it comes to free shipping on Ali. Often, when it says "free shipping" on the listing, they'll try to slip in shipping costs anyhow, once the item is in your cart. Thankfully there is the "Buy now" button. :)

 

11 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

Edit:

Your post prompted me to give the pen model another chance


I was so hoping, more for your sake than mine, that this would be followed by good news. I thought you were going to tell us that the first three were duds but the rest turned out alright. Alas. I did read a blog the other day from someone who bought a blister pack of Hero 616 pens and some turned out to be fake while others looked like the real deal. In one and the same blister pack. Very interesting.  
I have a 616 which has all the earmarks of being a fake, but it still writes rather well. 

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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Mech-for-i

not unexpected , those vintage models , IMHO are very example of properly engineered design but manufactured with more than acceptable tolerance on parts and assembled with the utmost lack of workmanship. It happens with almost each and every of these old models. Thus I always advice people against buying them unless you are already an old hand in Chinese Fountain Pen and enjoy tinkering around. the 329, or any of its peers among the family, as well as equally retro 616, Wing Sung 61X, 7XX, 8XX and then all the other lesser names pretty much all exhibit this state of delivery upon these products.

 

I totally agree if you start out today and was not into collecting , or having fun tinkering, just go get any of the new C/C hooded nib , not only are they made with a noted level of finish and tuning, but also of the more up to date filling system as well as ( usually ) that improved single piece buffered feed instead of the old thin rod feed + ink collector setup.

 

Jinhao 51a, Kaco Retro, Hero 616PLUS / 616S , Hero A0503, Wing Sung 613 ( current version ) , and then some ...

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Bikerchick
1 hour ago, Mech-for-i said:

Jinhao 51a, Kaco Retro, Hero 616PLUS / 616S , Hero A0503, Wing Sung 613 ( current version ) , and then some ...


These are indeed pretty reliable pens (although I haven't been able to locate a Hero A0503 yet, other than on shopping agent sites). What about the Hero 565? Or the 33X? Aren't they more reliable, even if they're not C/C? 

 

1 hour ago, Mech-for-i said:

not unexpected , those vintage models , IMHO are very example of properly engineered design but manufactured with more than acceptable tolerance on parts and assembled with the utmost lack of workmanship. It happens with almost each and every of these old models. Thus I always advice people against buying them unless you are already an old hand in Chinese Fountain Pen and enjoy tinkering around. the 329, or any of its peers among the family, as well as equally retro 616, Wing Sung 61X, 7XX, 8XX and then all the other lesser names pretty much all exhibit this state of delivery upon these products.

You're a bit of an authority on Chinese pens, so here's a question for you: aren't the genuine  vintage versions of these pens better though? When I see people complain about the 616, for example, it's usually a fairly recent purchase. Didn't Hero stop making the (original) 616 for a while and didn't they then re-release it years or even decades later but with cheaper materials and less attention to quality? I'm only going by what I've read on forums and blogs,  since Hero seems to be rather mute on the subject. 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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A Smug Dill
3 hours ago, Bikerchick said:

I tend to try and buy several pens I want from the same seller, when I can. It often results in free shipping or at least a discount in shipping cost. Earlier this week, I ordered 10 Jinhao 51A pens from the Jinhao flagship store on Ali and I paid just over 11€. 

 

Me too. However, when the unit price of a basic Jinhao 51A is maybe US$1.44, but the incremental delivery charge is about US$0.54, that's another 37.5% on top, no matter whether you're throwing in one or ten of the pens onto an order that already has other products (and for which you're paying the base delivery charge). That's the disincentive in buying such cheap pens individually instead of in retail packs that contain five or six or ten of the same thing.

 

But I'll go and look for/at the Jinhao Flagship Store, thanks.

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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Bikerchick
11 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Me too. However, when the unit price of a basic Jinhao 51A is maybe US$1.44, but the incremental delivery charge is about US$0.54, that's another 37.5% on top, no matter whether you're throwing in one or ten of the pens onto an order that already has other products (and for which you're paying the base delivery charge). That's the disincentive in buying such cheap pens individually instead of in retail packs that contain five or six or ten of the same thing.

 

But I'll go and look for/at the Jinhao Flagship Store, thanks.

Oh, I get what you mean now. Yes, it's pretty annoying that they charge delivery per item, if the items are all sent in one package.  Or: free shipment for an item, until you add two of the same thing, and then all of a sudden you pay 4€ for shipment. I'd totally understand that if I was buying 2 anvils. 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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Waiting for a few demonstrators, a Moonman m800 blue and another one orange and two delike brass pens.

Might still order a few more since we will have a new tax on import from outside of EU very soon (1st July) and that would mean bye bye Ali and Ebay... I love playing with those pens and nibs...

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A Smug Dill
9 hours ago, Bikerchick said:

Yes, it's pretty annoying that they charge delivery per item,

 

Thanks for ‘enabling’ me. The Jinhao Flagship Store was/is offering the basic 51A models (with the plastic connector between gripping section and barrel) as a lower unit price including ‘free’ delivery than what I quoted earlier (from my AliExpress shopping cart-cum-wish list waiting for discounting to happen), so I just ordered 11. Now I can feel better about throwing the unopened blister pack of Hero 329 pens into the bin! Spending more money to feel better about having wasted money.

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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Mech-for-i
11 hours ago, Bikerchick said:


These are indeed pretty reliable pens (although I haven't been able to locate a Hero A0503 yet, other than on shopping agent sites). What about the Hero 565? Or the 33X? Aren't they more reliable, even if they're not C/C? 

 

You're a bit of an authority on Chinese pens, so here's a question for you: aren't the genuine  vintage versions of these pens better though? When I see people complain about the 616, for example, it's usually a fairly recent purchase. Didn't Hero stop making the (original) 616 for a while and didn't they then re-release it years or even decades later but with cheaper materials and less attention to quality? I'm only going by what I've read on forums and blogs,  since Hero seems to be rather mute on the subject. 

 

Well well me , am not expert , far from it .. anyway .. now Hero 565 and their 33X and off shoots are best described as exceptions among the vintage models. The 565 is based / copied off old Golden Star 565 but they are all new production that only came in circa 2014 using new tooling and up to date manufacturing. The 33x are all initially all intended for export and actually do not come to be until early 1980's and was allocated extra upon assembly and manufacturing. Not to mention there were design elements that improve upon the old 616. Yes they generally are the better and most likely reliable vintage models so to speak. Personally I like them a lot.

 

The 616, well actually it's this month that marks the 60th anniversary of this model and fact is Hero never stop production of this model but there are and there were always very wide dispersion of QA among this and similar vintage productions. In the old days it's more down to inferior materials and not up to par workmanship , now it's down to worn and old tooling and allocation of 2nd, 3rd or even down the tier technician assigned.

 

There always run a myth that the older production are better , well , to a certain extent it's true but not really always. During the hay days of fountain pen in the retro period of late 70…'s to late 80…'s even early 90…'s Hero had made extensive effort to improve on everything they do and that reflect in a significant improvement of quality on their manufacturing and end products. Thus foster that notion that old production Hero are " best " especially late 80 to early 90 manufacturing.

 

Truth be told you can still find inferiority and defective productions during the period but QA were indeed making good progress then and shown. Sadly the mid 90’s start seeing fountain pen going south on the market and result was apparent with Hero suffered a lot and on into mid Y2K when they had their restructuring and another mid 2010's

 

616, 329 of today's are simply relegated to be on the same concern as junior school kid pens among Hero's and it was on still cause of legacy of bureaucracy and the fact that somehow they had their niche and always still return a volume of business , despite if their QA issues.

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Bikerchick
44 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

Spending more money to feel better about having wasted money.

Sounds good to me. ;)

Glad I was able to help you scratch that itch. 

If you want the 51A with the metal connector, in those funky colors, try this seller or this one. I got 4 different colors from the former and although prices seem to have gone slightly up since then (I paid just over 14€), it's about as good a deal as you're going to get on these, if you're buying more than one, that is. 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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A Smug Dill
5 minutes ago, Bikerchick said:

If you want the 51A with the metal connector, in those funky colors,

 

Oh, I already have all of the ‘cracked ice’ acrylic ones; we bought a whole bunch of them to give away as bomboniere at our wedding. I also have all the wooden-barrel variants in standard length (but not the longer ones); and actually I just ordered a few more, with bent nibs, this morning.

 

Thanks all the same. :)

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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Bikerchick
14 hours ago, Mech-for-i said:

 

Well well me , am not expert , far from it .. anyway .. now Hero 565 and their 33X and off shoots are best described as exceptions among the vintage models. The 565 is based / copied off old Golden Star 565 but they are all new production that only came in circa 2014 using new tooling and up to date manufacturing. The 33x are all initially all intended for export and actually do not come to be until early 1980's and was allocated extra upon assembly and manufacturing. Not to mention there were design elements that improve upon the old 616. Yes they generally are the better and most likely reliable vintage models so to speak. Personally I like them a lot.

 

The 616, well actually it's this month that marks the 60th anniversary of this model and fact is Hero never stop production of this model but there are and there were always very wide dispersion of QA among this and similar vintage productions. In the old days it's more down to inferior materials and not up to par workmanship , now it's down to worn and old tooling and allocation of 2nd, 3rd or even down the tier technician assigned.

 

There always run a myth that the older production are better , well , to a certain extent it's true but not really always. During the hay days of fountain pen in the retro period of late 70…'s to late 80…'s even early 90…'s Hero had made extensive effort to improve on everything they do and that reflect in a significant improvement of quality on their manufacturing and end products. Thus foster that notion that old production Hero are " best " especially late 80 to early 90 manufacturing.

 

Truth be told you can still find inferiority and defective productions during the period but QA were indeed making good progress then and shown. Sadly the mid 90’s start seeing fountain pen going south on the market and result was apparent with Hero suffered a lot and on into mid Y2K when they had their restructuring and another mid 2010's

 

616, 329 of today's are simply relegated to be on the same concern as junior school kid pens among Hero's and it was on still cause of legacy of bureaucracy and the fact that somehow they had their niche and always still return a volume of business , despite if their QA issues.

Thank you so much for the elaborate and outstanding explanation, Mech. And yes, you are an expert. I've read too many of your posts to convince me otherwise. 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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Bikerchick

I was looking for another Wing Sung 380 for a friend of mine on eBay today when I noticed that one of my favorite sellers had this on offer:

 

ysz331f.png

 

In random order: Wing Sung 233, 234, 235, 500, 322, 841, 380, 1532, 765 and 238.

 

Asking price was 26$ + shipping which put it just over the 22€ cut-off to remain import duty free here in the EU, so I made him an offer of 21.50€ ... and he accepted! 
I already have several of these pens but considering that the 380 was 5.50 on its own and that the deal includes another 233, which cost me 15 bucks a couple of months ago (and whose nib I messed up in a botched attempt to make it wetter), I'd say this is a pretty sweet deal. 

 

 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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NumberSix

I put in an order for a Hero 100 on ebay. I tried one a few months back from ali express, and it had issues. But for some reasons, I really like the idea and look of this pen. 

 

They're expensive, so I have decided it gets only one more chance. LOL

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