9/2/14

Delta's Limited Edition Unica for Anderson Pens


This is my first foray into the Delta brand, and I think I'll be back. In fact, it's my first Italian pen of any kind. You might be familiar with the Unica in its other colors (blue, white, and hot pink). I think the white one is the best looking white pen around, and I probably would have gotten one if this red model didn't exist. Just look at that acrylic. Awesome.

Stats

Body: Acrylic Resin (translucent).
Nib: Steel in fine, medium, and broad.
Hardware: Chrome
Length: 5 1/4" (capped) 4 3/4" (uncapped) and 6" (posted).
Filling System: Cartridge/Converter (both of these are included)
Price: $85


Looks

I think this is the best looking of the available colors. The red acrylic looks really deep and there's a lot going on inside that resin. There's really minimal branding on the pen, with just an engraved "DELTA ITALY" on the bottom of the cap and a subtle "AP" on the back of the cap with a number. Mine is 37/50. That's right, there are only 50 of these things being made. It's a limited edtion, not a special edition like the Franklin-Christoph pens that they have (or are coming soon). I actually didn't notice the brand's name on the pen until this morning.

There's minimal hardware to distract from the acrylic, and I like that aesthetic. I'm a fan of really funky design but, sometimes, you don't want the distractions of facets and hardware. This pen has a chrome clip with a little roller at the bottom. It's a great feature that i wish more pens would have. Secure in the pocket, but easy to clip and remove. The only other hardware on the pen is a chrome ring that sits below the edge of the cap.

Please excuse the finger nail in the above picture. I was cleaning brown ink out of another pen, and my nail is a little stained. The perils of pen maintenance and macro photography. 

The top of the pen is unadorned, aside from my finger prints. 

The section unscrews right below the threads, so it never unscrews the pen when you're trying to remove the cap. The fit/finish is so tight that you don't see the seam, either. 

The nib would be a little busy if it weren't for the satin finish. As it is, I think it looks rad. You can also see the black of the feed and the silver of the threads in this picture if you look at the very bottom. The acrylic is translucent if you look closely. 

Dat acrylic, tho....  Also, a very functional clip. 

I wanted to show the sunlight through the cap, and I think it came out nicely. Almost blinded myself. Don't look at the sun, kids. 

I really wanted #42 of this pen, but Brian and Lisa didn't have it at the table. Oh well. If you've got #42, then you're a lucky duck and I envy you. Wanna trade caps?

The picture below is the break-down pic. As you can see, the threads inside are metal, and that's going to stop this from being an eye-dropper, though that doesn't bother me at all. The threads on the section are smooth and not sharp on your fingers, and the metal threads inside are really well fitted so that they don't scrape or grind as you unscrew the pen. Good fit/finish.


Comparisons

The nib stands out in my collection. The only other nibs I've seen with this finish have been titanium, and I don't have any of those just yet. One day. 

Capped, this pen is on the small side of average. Perfect shirt-pocket size.


Uncapped, the pen is the same length as a Skyliner or a Parker 51. It's a little longer than the TWSBI 540, and shorter than a Lamy Vista. The weight is really low, though, due to the material of the body.


 It's comfortable for my large hands either posted or not. The cap doesn't really add any weight, so it's nothing to worry about. 

 Side-view comparison of the Unica and a Lamy Vista.

Writing experience and sample:

I really like writing with this pen. The fine nib was a little too fine, but the medium is jus tright for me. It's on the finer side of medium, and it's very smooth and slightly wet. I'm using the limited edition Delta Skeleton ink that they were giving away at the DC show, and I really like it in this pen. It starts every time and doesn't seem to dry out at all. The nib is steel, and it's not particularly stiff. There's some nice give to it, though I wouldn't call it flex.




I'm a big fan of this pen, and I urge you to jump on one if you have any inclination to do so. It's a limited edition, so I don't know how many are left, but all three nibs seem to be in stock at press-time. The only draw back is that this pen is in the high-medium range for many people. It does come with a converter, though, and the LE pen is only $9 more than the regular Unica which lacks a converter. I think $85 for this pen is a good price point for a LE pen of this quality.


I bought this pen, and was not compensated for the review. 

8/30/14

Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet

This ink sample was provided for review by Anderson Pens. 

This is one of the two Faber-Castell inks that I'm not really sold on. It's a fine ink, but it's not special. The color is something like a light maroon. It brings Sailor's Oku-Yama to mind, but it's too flat. As you see in the smear above, it's got a matte sort of texture to it.


 These two pictures are taken in different lights. The above picture was taken indoors under daylight fluorescents and the below was taken by indirect morning sun through a window. (Sounds romantic, right?)



I tried this ink out in my Lamy's 1.1 nib, and it wasn't very satisfying. It stayed in that pen for a long time because I didn't hate the color, but it was just sort of dry and...lame. There was no spark with this ink. It didn't behave as well as the "partially document-proofed" inks in the line (though I'm out of town and I've lost the regular-paper pictures, so you'll just have to trust me on that one for a couple of days).


BEHOLD THE CLOSEUPS!



I sorta wish that I had more reds inked up to compare to this one. Check out some of the other red reviews I've posted to compare with this one.


In the end, this ink just doesn't hold up. It's not special, and it doesn't perform all that well. Stick to the other ones, if you ask me. There are plenty of other reds and maroons out there that are better than this one. The pen I had it in is a little on the dry side, but it only performed marginally better in the wet nib of my Skyliner 50. Some sheen or higher saturation might have saved this one.

Chromatography!

This one is kinda interesting. It looks like it has a blue-grey base that sticks around after the reds, pinks, and oranges rise to the top of the paper.


Check this ink out at Anderson Pens where it sells for $30 per 75ml bottle.  (3ml samples are also available.)

Video Review and Water Drop Test




Spoilers below!





The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.

8/27/14

Graf von Faber-Castell Moss Green

This sample was provided for review by Anderson Pens.

Let's see some more Faber-Castell goodness. This time, we've got Moss Green, and it's a dark moss. This rich green is worth trying out if you're looking for a really dark green. In fact, this ink is probably dark enough that you could use it in a fairly formal setting. The green will peek through, but not all that much. 



See what I mean about the green peaking through? I really like the effect. 




Copy Paper Test:



This is another of the inks that is called "partially document proofed." It certainly behaves well on copy paper. No bleed, feather, or spread. These are solid inks.


Chromatography:

The chromatography on this ink is oddly short. The color just didn't travel all that much, though I did it the same as I always do. It's a nice variety of blues with a top note of bright green.


This is a totally usable green. I like that it's dark and that it works really well on cheaper paper. 



Check this ink out at Anderson Pens where it sells for $30 per 75ml bottle.  (3ml samples are also available.)


Video Review and Water Drop Test





Partially document proofed? Yeah, this one might be more partially than some of the others. More of this ink came off of the page than with their Carbon Black or the Stone Grey. I've heard that it's difficult to make a water proof green, though, so I'm not surprised. Still, most of it sticks to the page.



The ink for this review was provided free of charge by Anderson Pens. The review was all mine, however.

8/25/14

Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

This sample was a gift from the Andersons, but not explicitly for review, and not really as a gift to me. Full disclosure.

I've got a lot of Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache inks to show, but I feel like it's a good idea to go from grey to grey since I have them both in the stack, and they're likely to be enjoyed by the same people. So, following Stone Grey, here is Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun.

It's a very different grey, and I don't like it as much. I feel like I could like it much more than I do, but it needs more saturation and more flow. It's a little dry and it's too light. This sample was given to Audrey by the Andersons, and she wanted it in her coral Lamy Safari because the colors would look cool together. That pen was an XF nib, and it just didn't work with this ink. The ink was too dry and too weak to be useable in an extra fine. So, if you're an XF user then this ink isn't going to be for you.

I put a medium nib on that pen, and it was useable for her. This is one of those inks that really needs a big nib.


The problem with this ink isn't hue, it's saturation. If I could get Pilot to over-saturate it for me, then I'd probably love it. As it is, I don't. You might. It's an ink that performs well, aside from being way too light. You'll notice that I used an Anderson Pens Proper Pad for this review. I did that because Fuyu-Syogun doesn't work well on Rhodia. It's too pale to read, and it doesn't absorb into the paper, so it is hardly visible. Stick to regular papers for this ink. 



 Compared to the other two greys that I've reviewed recently, this one is an interesting color. It's almost a blueish-grey. I kinda like that better than the straight-up greys that I've used but, at the same time, I can't really use Fuyu-Syogun because it's too light.

 Here's just a closer-up view.

The chromatography for this ink reveals a dense base layer of grey that fades up towards blue/violet. Interesting.






Copy Paper Test:




Video Review and Water Test:





This ink was free to me, but the review is entirely mine.