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Sei Boku - Bad Blue Heron - 54th Massachusetts

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I have noticed that Sailor Sei Boku and Noodler's Bad Blue Heron are a very close color match. Upon further inspection, they are very hard to tell apart. Both are permanent inks. I thought I'd put them side-by-side for a better comparison. I wrote samples of each on Rhodia 80 g/m2 paper. I included a dry time test. Finally, I did a water drop test in which I placed three distilled water droplets on each sample in the same place and allowed them to air dry to see the behavior of the ink in the presence of water. (It has already been established that these inks will survive a 12 hour soak with no evidence of being in water.)


Sei Boku is considered a blue-black while Bad Blue Heron is classed as a blue whenever I see it. For another comparison, I included a true blue-black permanent ink, Noodler's 54th Massachusetts.


Both images are 600 dpi scans on an HP laser-jet multi-purpose printer/scanner. Not color adjustments were made during the scan or after the scan. The first image is the original sample including the dry time test. The second image is the water drop test. Only three drops were applied to each ink sample, all in the same place. The only sample where it is evident where the three drops were is the Bad Blue Heron sample. BBH clearly loses a bit of color as the water interacts with the dried ink on the page. Sei Boku has a very minor color flow. 54th Massachusetts does not budge.


Both Sei Boku and Bad Blue Heron have similar dry times of just under 15 seconds. 54th Massachusetts took almost 20 seconds.


Sei Boku and Bad Blue Heron could be substitutes for each other depending on the writer's preferences. Sei Boku is a pigmented ink while Bad Blue Heron and 54th Massachusetts are cellulose-reactive dye based inks. The major difference is cost. Sei Boku lists for $0.48/ml USD while Bad Blue Heron and 54th Massachusetts both sell for $0.14/ml USD. Regardless of cost, I like all three. Although 54th Massachusetts is my all-time favorite.





After Water Drop Test


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 love these test1 comparison reviews... Thank you for doing it. While, I truly enjoyed Seiboku, I'm partial towards Noodler's inks :)

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A Mexican stand-off between 3 permanent blue blacks, each with their own special weapons (characteristics) and liking........sure why not.


Thanks for this, its quite helpful.

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