Pantone hath spoken…
Last week Gentian sent a sample of Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher along with a chocolate bar, a pad of pen-friendly paper, a sample of Platinum Carbon Black, and some other bits and pieces. Wanna guess what got sampled first? The chocolate bar of course!
Now that the bar has been reduced to a wrapper, it is time to play with the ink. BBK is a bulletproof ink. An application of water smears enough color to prove the ink was assaulted, but the writing remains legible. That is useful for noting when your signature has received an unwanted attempt at tampering. It can also be used to create a wash of color when the water is applied with a brush. It is not a waterproof ink, but it will get you through a casual coffee spill.
The color is dark blue, very dark blue. Flow and lubrication are excellent. BBK could make a stingy nib perform better, but it might be too enthusiastic for a wet nib. It was a little stubborn rinsing from the nib and suffers from mild nib creep though in line with comparable Noodler’s inks. The small degree of shading might be more attributable to how I use a pen rather than being a characteristic of the ink. Drying time is around ten seconds on Rhodia.
The writing samples show varying degrees of feathering. The dip pen on Rhodia shows the most, but the flow is more copious than a fountain pen. Performance on Moleskine is quite impressive considering there is no feathering along paper fibers, something common on Moleskine paper. The third sample is from an old notebook that is fountain pen-friendly. The feathering is only noticeable with a loupe, but there are very clean outlines with Waterman Florida Blue in adjacent writing. Some bulletproof inks do exhibit a degree of feathering. BBK gets good marks in comparison.
Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher is well-suited to Japanese pens with very fine nibs. Right now there are two Pilots and a Platinum clamoring for a fill. The nibs are so fine that this free-flowing ink might be just the one to make them happy. Me, too, for that matter.
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Fountain pens that use converters need fewer repairs than other types of filling systems. If that converter fails, just pop in a new one. No need for a trip to a repair person and that saves time and money.
However, a single converter plus shipping can be ridiculously expensive. Buying extras for back-up is a good investment, especially if you own multiple pens from a manufacturer. My stock of Pilot converters will fit any of my Pilot pens. Same goes for my Lamy pens and Levenger True Writers. For single pens, I buy two converters since the occasional one will leak even fresh from the box.
Stocking up on those extra converters is a good way to push an order of ink up to the free shipping threshold offered by Vanness Pen Shop, Jet Pens and other retailers. If your company offers such a deal or you know of a company that does, please add that info to the comments. Thanks fellow inkophiles!
Update: Pen Chalet has one of those free shipping offers, too.