Posts Tagged ‘Noodler’s’

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Frustrating Noodler’s Ink News

07/19/2014

Are you a fan of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses (a/k/a BSAR)? Well, savor what you’ve got because it ain’t no more. The most recent batch has experienced a significant color shift due to a change in the dye. The original dye is no longer available so this is it, folks. The end of the line.

The new formula is deep violet, plain and simple. This isn’t Nathan’s doing, but I do think he should have retired Australian Roses and introduced the new ink under its own name. Black Swan in Violette Roses would have expressed the new color very well.

 

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Top Ten Most Watched Videos

01/27/2014

Over the past year, these videos received the most views via Inkophile links. Which one is your favorite?

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That Disappointing Prera Has Become A Fab Italic

01/26/2014

Pilot Pens get good marks and there are more than a dozen in my collection. However, the Prera has disappointed me three times over. All had fine nibs that were stingy at best despite trials with at least a dozen inks. The blue went to a new home years ago, but the ivory and the gray stuck it out only because I like the colors and the chrome furnishings. After a nib replacement and a bit of work, both pens are now on my desk and getting lots of use. Here is what happened to turn these lemons into precious pens.

My Preras were purchased when the model was first released. I paid less than $30 for each. They received very little time in my rotation because the nibs were far too dry. Skipping and hard starts made them unpleasant little brats. Hence, years in the pen drawer and no appreciation from me.

Three years ago I read that Plumix nibs could be swapped for the original Prera nibs and that the Plumix medium nib could pass for an italic. That sounded intriguing so I bought a Plumix at Target and affixed the nib to the ivory Prera. Indeed it was a medium italic, a very straight cut affair with no tipping material. However, the flow was still underwhelming, so back into the pen drawer it went.

Some time later, I attempted to open the slit. After making several scratches on the front of the nib, I could see the tiniest amount of light and gave it a fill. Performance was better but not fluid. Back into the drawer it went. A few weeks ago, I needed an italic for a project and with a sigh gave the Prera one more chance, this time with Noodler’s Black. Eureka! Finally, the right ink for the nib and oh my gosh is it now a fantastic writer.

Holding out hope for the gray Prera and having been emboldened by my success, I ordered a Plumix from Jet Pens and on its arrival immediately swapped the nibs. Performance was improved and I had another italic to boot. Again the slit is too narrow for the degree of flow that I prefer, but I will work on that when the pen is in need of a refill.

Here are two pens that could have gone to new homes since they were disappointing and unused. About half the pens I’ve sold or given away have later been missed. I don’t know what that says about my choices, but it does say something about impatience. There are other pens I’ve held onto in hopes they would become more to my liking in future. Wishful thinking to be sure. It’s not like they are going to heal on their own, but my pen preferences have changed over the years. So what was formerly a meh pen, can become a wow pen because my perspective has changed, the right ink has come along, an adjustment improves performance, or some other reason entirely.

The point here is to give a pen a fair test before deciding it is not for you. The other thing is that even for someone as unhandy as I am, addressing nib issues is not impossible. I’ve murdered a few and failure is just part of the learning curve. You might not want to risk a gold nib, but there are plenty of inexpensive steel nibs on which you can hone your skills or at least get past any initial qualms.

For info on repairing or adjusting a fountain pen, Fountain Pen Network is a good place to start. I have Frank Dubiel’s “Fountain Pens The Complete Guide To Repair & Restoration Revised Edition” and I’ve learned a lot from Nathan Tardif’s videos. Who is your favorite pen repair guru?

Note: Pilot Prera Fountain Pens and Plumix Fountain Pens are available at Jet Pens should you want to create your own Prera Italic or they offer the clear body Prera with the medium italic nib already installed.

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My Core Four Plus One

01/09/2014

My desk is always a disheveled mess except for my fountain pens. Those I keep tidy and at the ready for whenever the muse strikes. However, with product testing, the number of inked pens can grow well beyond anything manageable, so I’m separating the lot into two groups with my Core Four Plus One the most accessible. Others employed mostly for testing purposes have a tray in which to snooze until needed.

Core Four Plus One is a name for four of my most used fountain pens plus one mechanical pencil. The four pens are the mostly likely to get used either for the ink or the fun factor of using that particular pen. The Platinum #3776 music nib is the anchor. For now the other three pens are the Noodler’s Standard Flex, the Pilot Prera Italic and the Sheaffer Taranis Medium. Those four provide a good variety of nibs and pen sizes and changing between them is good for my hand. The inks are Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Black and Diamine Steel Blue. Again this is a good variety for maximum appeal though all of it is subject to change on a whim.

The Autopoint mechanical pencil is the Plus One. It gets more use than any fountain pen since it doesn’t need to be uncapped, can write on any paper, and is erasable, an important benefit for a fickle writer.

When I head out with pens in tow, I have a two-pen case for an intrepid duo or a four-pen case for the whole lot. An Autopoint MP is always in my handbag along with a black Sharpie Pen so I am never caught out without writing tools. A small Rhodia pad completes the ensemble. An inkophile should be prepared, yes?

Do you have something like my Core Four Plus One? If so, what’s in your primary rotation?

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The Good Stuff On My Desk

01/08/2014

What I’m working on and with today.

On my desk

Paperblanks Journal
Jackson’s Watercolors
Isabey Petit Gris 6234 #0 Brush
Daniel Smith 44-08 #3 Kolinsky Brush
Autopoint Mechanical Pencil
Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook
Tomoe River paper from PaperForFountainPens.com
Noodler’s Standard Flex Pen with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
Pilot Prera with Plumix medium (italic) nib and Noodler’s Black
Sheaffer Taranis with Diamine Steel Blue
Platinum #3776 music nib with Diamine Sepia
All overseen by a cloisonne bird that belonged to my mom

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Betcha Can’t Click Just One

01/05/2014

This lot ought to keep you busy for a while…

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Noodler’s Has The Blues – Inks That Is

12/09/2012

Noodler’s has the blues and that makes fountain pen users lucky, especially me since Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands sent four for my writing pleasure and review. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Two are new to the Noodler’s line, 54th Massachusetts, a bulletproof blue-black, and Q’E-ternity, a fast-drying Bernanke series Blue-Black. The other two have been around for years, Air-Corp Blue-Black and Turquoise. It will take weeks to truly explore them but a quick look will do for now.

Keep in mind that my scanner is old and challenged by so much color. None of the images were adjusted. Consider the colors relative rather than absolute but some remarks follow the images to help reveal the differences. Images tend to blow feathering and indistinct edges out of proportion, especially viewed at the scanned size that will appear when you click the image. So don’t expect to see much feathering in the real world unless you use a loupe, and if you do, we need to talk

Noodler's Blues - A Comparison

Noodler’s Blues – A Comparison

  • 54th Mass is less green than the other three and a very dark if fairly middle-of-the-road blue-black
  • Q’E-ternity is very dark and has more green than 54th Mass but not as much as Waterman Blue-Black
  • Air-Corp is very dark with some green to it. This one can almost pass for black from a pen with a heavy flow.
  • Turquoise leans toward the darker side of the turquoise range but can be diluted to a beautiful paler shade.

Ottoman Azure was already in my collection. It’s a pretty blue with a hint of green and has become a regular in my rotation. It works well from any sized nib so that makes it particularly well-suited to a fickle pen user like me.

Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Ink

Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Ink

Noodler's Q'E-ternity Ink

Noodler’s Q’E-ternity Ink

Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink

Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink

Noodler's Turquoise Ink

Noodler’s Turquoise Ink

Noodler's Ottoman Azure Ink

Noodler’s Ottoman Azure Ink

Notes on each ink:

  • 54th Mass – Bulletproof (waterproof), no feathering, good flow, no bleed-through on Rhodia, slow drying time on Rhodia but less so on cheaper paper. Color more pale on cheap paper with mildly indistinct outlines but little feathering.
  • Q’E-ternity – Water resistant, moderate to heavy bleed-through, feathering worse on Rhodia than on cheap paper, drying time very fast with a fine nib. Designed to prevent smearing so even lefties can write with a fountain pen.
  • Air-Corp Blue-Black – Water resistant, good flow, no bleed-through, minimal show-through, slow to dry, no feathering on Rhodia but does on cheap paper. Diluting produces very good shading. Dry-writing pens should bring out the green element.
  • Turquoise – Mildly water resistant, very good flow, feathering on cheap paper, minimal show-through, no bleed-through on Rhodia, slow drying time. Not terrific on cheap paper. Great for flex due to shading and flow.
  • Ottoman Azure – Water resistant, very good flow, good shading, minimal show-through, no bleed-through, good to fair drying time depending on paper. No feathering on Rhodia but some on cheap paper.
Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler's Q'E-ternity Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s Q’E-ternity Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Confused? This group of inks took some sorting to figure out how to use them. The short version:

  • 54th Mass – Bulletproof, non-green blue-black. Most versatile of the blue-blacks tested.
  • Q’E-ternity – Water resistant, fast drying, greenish blue-black that may work better on cheap paper than Rhodia.
  • Air-Corp Blue-Black – Water resistant, greenish black that can be diluted to produce shading.
  • Turquoise – Somewhat water resistant, dark turquoise that pairs best with good quality paper. Great for flex nibs. Shades well.
  • Ottoman Azure – Water resistant, well-rounded ink but can very mildly feather on cheap paper.

At $12.50 MSRP for 3 oz, Noodler’s is a good value for fountain pen ink. Most Noodler’s take well to dilution with distilled water which makes the value for money even greater. But do take care when opening the bottle. It’s generously filled to the brim and could splash that waterproof ink all over your tidy desk or clothes. Trust me on this one.

More reviews of these inks at Fountain Pen Network:

The grid paper is from a Rhodia Bloc No. 14 pad and the lined paper is from an Ampad Gold Fibre 5″x 8″ pad.

Update: 54th Massachusetts Ink Meets Its Mate and water tests on FPN.

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