Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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Wancai Mini Eyedropper With Diamine Aurora Borealis

11/16/2022

Eli on Instagram used a combination of pen and ink that looked very appealing to me so I decided to try the same duo, a Moonman (Majohn) Wancai Mini Eyedropper with Diamine Aurora Borealis It would be my first eyedropper filler and was destined for use in my journal. For $20, it was worth a gamble. Note that the color and swirls called Daydream give the pen a happy vibe that encourages use so that is another plus in its favor.

The body is a little odd in that even posted it is short but the body circumference is greater than the pens I usually use. Finding a balanced, comfortable position for it has been tricky especially since the nib is not the smoothest. It isn’t bad but it isn’t as smooth as the Delike New Moon 2 EF used for comparison. Surprisingly, the Wancai Mini F writes finer than the Delike EF. The latter has slightly more flow so that might account for the line difference. Maybe.

In terms of appearance, the New Moon is colorful if traditional. The Wancai Mini is an eye-catching cutie. From the swirls to the size, it looks like a pen that was meant for fun.

Note that the Mini has no clip so it does tend to wander around the desk but a pen rest will keep it anchored.

 

Moonman Wancai Mini Transparent Pocket-Size Eyedropper Fountain Pen with Fine Steel Nib 0.5mm

Dimensions: Length closed is 87mm and posted is 122mm. The diameter is 14mm. Net weight is 11.9g.

Cap screws on. Eye dropper filler or ink cartridges.

Material : Acrylic Resin.

 

Delike New Moon 2 with Extra-Fine 0.38mm (Rose Red)

Dimensions: Length closed is 132mm and posted is 155 mm. The diameter is 12mm. Net weight is 23g.

Cap screws on. Cartridge or converter filled.

Material: Acrylic Resin.

 

What I learned from experimenting with the Wancai is that eyedropper fillers are easy to use and hold a ton of ink which is perfect for journal writing in my favorite Traveler’s Notebook.

A pen with a cap that needs to be screwed on to give it adequate length for writing is frustrating and awkward. My pattern is to write a few sentences, pause, then write a few more. Unscrewing the cap from the back then screwing it on the front then screwing it on the back again just to write another sentence or two was too disruptive. A standard twist cap is interruptive enough. However, an eyedropper would be useful. Attractive as it is, the Mini is headed for the pen drawer though on occasion it might get a peak at daylight just for fun.

Diamine Aurora Borealis is good just like all Diamine inks are though it will have to find another mate. Perhaps one of my Platinum #3776 pens with a clear barrel would be happy to show off an aqua mate. Except when testing ink, I do not fill multiple pens with the same color so the Plat will have to wait until the Wancai Mini is empty. That is taking forever thanks to the bottomless eyedropper. I think the pen fairy must be refilling it when I am not looking. Sigh.

 

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Highlighters and Color Gel Pens from Faber-Castell

11/09/2022

Faber-Castell sent two packages of Textliner 38 highlighters and a package of RX Gel pens along with the Fast Gel Z reviewed last month. Never has my desk had so much color on it!

The highlighters are divided into fluorescent and pastel sets. They perform as expected and did not cause the Fast Gel Z to smear. They have firm nibs that should last well with typical use. The pastel set is more to my liking, but that is a personal choice. A family member has uses for the fluorescent set and called dibs on that one.

The fluorescent colors were most uncooperative about being photographed so keep that in mind if you try to assess the colors from the image. The pastels are more accurate except Vanilla which is more pale than in the image. It is unobtrusive and handy for certain uses.

The RX Gel pens have a 0.7mm nib width that lays down a strong line. The colors are bright and the selection a bit out of the ordinary including blue, green, purple, pink and gold. No sparkle or iridescence to any of them, but on white Exacompta paper, they really stand out. Considering the amount of color, the ink dries quickly.

Thank you Faber-Castell for sending so many products to review. Family and friends are now outfitted with gel pens and highlighters with positive responses from all.

Available from Amazon: Pastel Highlighters, Fluorescent Highlighters, RX Gel Pens.

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Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z Is My New Fave

10/31/2022

Faber-Castell, a venerable name in the art world, sent a number of pens to review, but the standout is the Fast Gel Z.

This pen easily beats the Uni-ball Signo that I have used for years. The ink flows better, is more black than the Signo, and dries faster. The nib is slightly smoother and has less feedback. The Fast Gel Z is 5mm longer but otherwise the dimensions are virtually identical. The Z’s clicker is larger and more easily depressed, both advantages for me. The balance on the Z is dead center but slightly closer to the nib on the Signo.

I tried to get the ink to smear but was unsuccessful. Such a fast drying ink isn’t a requirement for me but it does have its advantages. I asked a leftie to try it out and she liked it. Then I passed out a few more to good results.

Under running water on the back of a cheap envelope, the Fast Gel Z lost a tiny amount of ink which the Signo 307 did not. However, the latter decided to migrate through to the back of the paper so it produced an unacceptable result.

Often I just want to write a few words and only have one hand free to do it. Uncapping a fountain pen doesn’t fit that work flow so a mechanical pencil has filled the gap. However, the Fast Gel Z is the better choice when ink is preferable to lead.

Am I a convert? Yep. If you like gel pens, get your hands on a Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z. You won’t be disappointed. It comes in 0.5 and 0.7 line widths with black, red or blue ink. I like the 0.5 black for general writing especially in my 5mm lined notebook. The pens aren’t available everywhere yet, but Amazon does carry them so I’ve included links to the current offerings.

Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z 0.5 Black

Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z 0.5 Blue

Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z 0.5 Red

Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z 0.7 Black

Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z 0.7 Blue

Faber-Castell Fast Gel Z 0.7 Red

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Review: Anderillium Inks

08/12/2022

Federalist Pens and Paper sent samples of all sixteen inks offered by Anderillium. That’s a lot of ink!

Swatches on Tomoe River paper made with a cotton swab and the name written with a dip style fountain pen reveal clear, bright colors and a well-rounded selection. I did not see any sheen though other reviewers have. The paper and pen combination can make such a difference.

All of the inks were well-behaved with average to slightly dry flow though I do not have a pen that would properly test their abilities to tame a truly excessive flow. In the past, some inks have been inclined to release a tad too much ink from the pen used for the writing samples. Not the case with any of the Anderillium inks. I could also write at least a half page with one dip making the inks especially useful.

For my own uses, Pompadour Cotinga Burgundy, Colossal Squid Dark and Cuttlefish Brown are likely prospects. The Cotinga and my burgundy Delike New Moon F ought to get along very well while the Colossal Squid should be right for the Lamy Studio F. Cuttlefish Brown could be destined for the Platinum #3776 Music Nib but the Platinum Century Nice M might also make a good mate. So many choices. So many pens clamoring for attention. What’s an inkophile to do?

Caveat: In all my years of writing reviews, I have never had so much trouble getting ink swatch photos to accurately reflect colors. We tried two cameras with a lightbox as well as sunlight in addition to scanning them, something I haven’t done in ages. I will post some of the results, but for the true colors check the manufacturer’s website. Or order ink samples from Federalist Pens. That’s the best way to know what you are getting before making an investment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Anderillium Inks Cephalopod Series by KraftyChloé.

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Review: A Few Chinese Fountain Pens

05/25/2022

Over a year ago, I decided to expand my collection of fude nibs. During the research phase, I ran across the Delike New Moon 2. Nothing in my collection was as fine as the Delike fude appeared to be and I was willing to gamble $20 to find out if this pen would fill that niche. In its favor was a very appealing design and color. Even the size and weight of the barrel are in my preferred range. So I plunked down my money and waited for its arrival.

When the package showed up at my door, I wasted no time and opened it immediately. First impression? Wow, what a beautiful pen! After a thorough rinsing, I filled the converter and was delighted to find that the nib was as good as the rest of the pen though it took several tries to find its best ink mate, Iroshizuku syo-ro.

More than a year later, this dynamic duo has been my daily companion completing nearly 300 pages in my journals. It has been filled dozens of times and is still going strong.

The green cracked ice pen was so enjoyable to use that I bought a blue marble so I could have two colors of ink ready to write. That pen has a tad more feedback, but otherwise is identical in performance. Rumor has it that the fudes are hand ground from Dlike extra-fine nibs and I wondered if the standard nibs were as good. So I bought a burgundy marble extra-fine that was beautiful but had a nib that was a stinker. After several emails with the seller, they decided to send a replacement nib that works perfectly.

Despite being the happy owner of three new pens, I decided to explore a little further and purchased a purple wave Moonman S1 with a fine nib. That pen had flow issues from the beginning that I addressed by widening the slit. I overdid it and the flow is a bit excessive. The build quality is not as good as the Delike New Moon 2 and feels more like a $20 pen that I could lose and not care about the loss.

Recently I noticed that Jet Pens carried the Moonman N6 though their inventory was low. I zoomed in on a photo of the nib and to my surprise the fude had the same imprint as the Delike New Moon. However, the design of the pen was quite different with no metal furnishings, not even a clip. Such a lightweight pen might be handy in my handbag or on days when my grip is uncooperative. So I ordered one along with a bottle of matching ink, Private Reserve Shell Pink, two packets of Tomoe River paper and a corner punch to make the paper look more like stationery when I want to write a letter. The pink pen came with a glass dip nib that I haven’t tried yet. Maybe someday my fascination with the fude will subside and I will swap the nibs. Or not.

Just to see what would happen, the blue fude and the burgundy extra-fine were set aside filled with Colorverse Crystal Planet and Andromeda. After seven weeks of no use, they both wrote instantly though the flow from the EF was a tad light for the first few words. Perhaps I just hit on the ideal combination of pens and inks, but it is still an impressive result.

This is not a full review because the pens have become difficult to find in the last six months and generally my reviews are about currently available products. However, I promised a review of the Delike so here it is. The bottom line is that these pens are inexpensive but the build quality varies. You might hit the jackpot as I did with my first two or you might get a stinker. If the retailer is one you can count on to back up its products like Jet Pens does, your risk is reduced. The Delike is hard to find, but there are a few at Amazon and eBay. At the price point, there are a number of other options including the Pilot Metropolitan. I have three of them and all of the nibs are good but none is a fude. The Delike fits my hand better and has more visual appeal so the Pilots are in the pen drawer. However, I am fickle so that is always subject to change.

More about the New Moon from Rupertarzeian at Early thoughts on the Delike New Moon bent nib fude pen

and More thoughts on the Delike New Moon fude nib fountain pen.

Pen Vibe: The Beginners Guide to Delike Fountain Pens

JanineScribbles: Delike New Moon fountain pens

Fountain Pen Blog: Early thoughts on the Delike New Moon bent nib fude pen.

 

 

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A New Notebook For Fountain Pens From Lollipro

02/21/2022

The Lollipro notebook is a relative newcomer, first appearing less than a year ago at Amazon. It is nicely put together and comes with 120gsm fountain pen-friendly paper. What sold me on ordering the Lollipro was the way they described how well the paper works with fountain pen ink. While it wasn’t a sure thing, neither was it a gamble since the binder would work with another A6 brand of paper that I already knew was good with fountain pens.

This A6 notebook lays flat, fits easily in my handbag and comfortably in my hand thus meeting my basic form requirements. The spine is a bit stiff, not supple, and will need a little breaking-in. Quite serviceable as is but it does not flop open like a cover made with cloth. The stitching is even and consistent in its distance from the edge. Like every other binder with stitching I have owned, a couple of stitches are imperfect. Not enough to be of concern, but in fairness, worthy of mention.

The cover is comfortable to the touch and has a light suede texture. The six-ring, loose-leaf design is convenient for someone like me who is constantly reorganizing notes. The binder mechanism is attached with two screws and can be removed should the need arise.

Despite the dullness of the image, the paper is ivory with gray lines spaced 7mm apart. The surface is smooth and velvety making it suitable for any nib. No feathering, no bleeding, no ghosting with fountain pen ink. My 0.5 HB mechanical pencil is another satisfactory mate for the paper and the Tombow MONOgraph in coral pink is a good color match.

The front cover has an outside pocket for a slim phone or papers. The Lollipro is stiff enough to use on my lap or on an uneven surface which makes it more versatile than a floppy A5 binder I have from another seller. I am looking forward to the spine becoming more flexible and sufficient use should improve that over time. It comes in transparent and bright orange editions in addition to my rose pink lined in gray.

There are several configurations. The bundle I purchased includes three packets of paper and two plastic, backing sheets like pencil boards, that will make a firm surface whether writing on the front or the back of a sheet of paper. They are also useful for post-its and washi tape, both of which peel off easily from the plastic surface. Think of them as mini bulletin boards.

The heart on a string could be used as a bookmark or as a simple decoration. It is easily detached and I am putting it aside for now.

In the paper world, there are two A6 sizes: personal (6.75 x 3.75″) that fits the small version of the Filofax system and the standard or European size (5.83 x. 4.14″) that is 1/2 the size of A5. I cut paper in those sizes as a test and found the personal size like the Lollipro better suited to my list-making penchant.

If you don’t usually buy from Amazon, note that it is where I found the Lollipro product line. It is a small company trying to make a go of it and the binders are good value for money. Currently at around $10 for the binder alone, I haven’t seen anything better or even close for that matter.

J. Herbin Rouille d’Ancre looks like a good mate for the Lollipro rose pink cover. The only question now is which pen to use. A transparent barrel might be just the thing like the Platinum Century Nice. Sounds like eye candy for a fountain pen lover.

Please view the images here for better color rendition.

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A Word About Platinum Classic Ink

02/06/2022

Sometimes I do dumb things, but then something good comes of it. This time I filled a Delike New Moon fountain pen with Platinum Classic Lavender Black and forgot about it. Such things happen as we grow older. (sigh)

Lavender Black was in the pen for a month without use and with most inks, that would be perfectly fine. But this is an iron gall formula so OMG did I kill my pen? Not even close. It wrote immediately and cleaned easily with just a water rinse. In fact it cleaned up more quickly than one of my favorite inks in a Moonman pen that was just as ill-treated. That nib is still soaking 24 hours later.

This isn’t a recommendation for any ink other than Platinum Classic Lavender Black and I am delighted with it. Much appreciation to Luxury Brands USA for sending it and feeding my ink addiction.

 

 

 

 

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