8/3/15

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

The first of many Akkerman inks!

I was given this sample a really long time ago by Celeste from our Triangle Pen Club, and I'm only just now getting around to using it. Thanks for the sample, Celeste!

I'm only just getting started with this brand, and I have to say that the three of these inks that I've used so far are pretty great. This one is a color that I shouldn't like as much as I do. It does down on the page a little on the purple side. It dries to a dark blue or blue/black, though, and that's totally my jam.

 This ink is also really smooth. I just enjoy the way that it feels on the nib. It helps that this nib is extremely good, but this is an extra-good feeling ink.

Anywho, this isn't going to be my favorite of the Akkerman blue inks (Shocking Blue is coming up soon...), but it's a darn good one to add to your collection.

Now, a note about the color in these pictures. I could not make it reproduce the color faithfully. I just couldn't. I tried all sorts of settings and lighting set-ups, and it always comes out looking brighter in pictures than it should be. This ink is dark. It's a purple-ish blue/black. It's not a striking blue that you are seeing here. Honestly, this is the first time I can remember having this issue, and it plagued both my camera and my iPhone. It looks closest to real on the video, so check it out there.


Written Review

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Close-Ups

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw
Of course, it is weird that this doesn't look b/b, but you're going to have to take my word for it.

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Wet/Dry

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw
This one looked cool wet, and this is pretty close to the actual color. I took this one with an iPhone.

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw
You can see some of the sheen in this picture. You won't see a lot of that, though, and the color is still wrong. Check out the video for a more color-correct image.

Compare!

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw
You can tell that it looks more purple than the Visconti Blue beneath it, so take that as a guide for the actual color.

Copy Paper Test

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Chromatography

Ah, there's that purple that was hiding in there. It's all at the bottom of the chromatography. 

Akkerman #04 Nassaus Blauw

Video Review and Water Drop Test




This ink is a little expensive, and it can be hard to find. Anderson Pens has it the cheapest in the US, though, so give them a call or send them an email to find out about which ones they have and costs and such.

It's a darn good ink, and it's in a very cool bottle (that you can only get from one source), so I might have to pick up a couple of bottles at the DC show.

8/1/15

Lamy Blue (cartridge)

Lamy Blue

This is an ink that most everyone has, I bet, but I don't know if most really use it.  I know I hadn't used it until just recently. We ended up with one more Lamy than we had converter, so I popped in the cart that came with the pen. It's actually a pretty nice blue. It's not blowing anyone's doors off, but it does the job.

The color is nice enough, and there's a bit of a sheen to it if you lay it down heavily.  My Lamy pens tend to be just a bit on the dry side, so I don't see this in the writing. It behaves itself on common papers, and actually looks a bit better than it does on Rhodia. I think the somewhat thin nature of this ink makes it look anemic on Rhodia whereas it soaks in more to the regular papers and looks more saturated.

If you're a cartridge user, this one is just fine. I like the turquoise better, but the Blue is pretty good.

Written Review
Lamy Blue

Close-Ups!

Lamy Blue

Lamy Blue

Lamy Blue

Lamy Blue

Lamy Blue

Compare Colors

Lamy Blue

If these, the Lamy ink is the weakest. The others are certainly darker, with the Montblanc being barely a blue at all (once it dries). 

Lamy Blue

Copy Paper Test

Lamy Blue

If nothing else, the Lamy ink is very well behaved on copy paper. 

Lamy Blue

Chromatography

Lamy Blue

Lamy Blue

Water Drop Test and Review Video


So, in the final analysis, the Blue from Lamy is a perfectly fine ink, if not a super-impressive one. It gets the job done much better than most other included cartridges, I think. I'm generallynot all that excited by the cartridges that come with pens, but these are totally usable.

Find it in bottles, cartridges, and samples at lots of stores including Anderson Pens. (The Andersons didn't give me this ink, but they're friends of the site, so tell 'em I said "Hi!" if you order from them!)

7/27/15

A visit to Anderson Pens in WI!

Hey folks!

I know, I've been gone for a week or so. We were on a road-trip with the family that went from NC to TN to WI to OH and then back through TN to NC. It was a whirlwind tour, but we got to see some of my wife's family in those states and we got to hang out at the Anderson Pens store in Appleton, WI.

Wisconsin: A great place to visit. In the summer.
 
It's a pretty great store, and it's very cool that we've gotten to visit a couple of times. Aside from sponsoring (enabling) my ink-dependence, Brian and Lisa have become our good friends.

Audrey took most of these pictures for me, as I was too busy jaw-bonin' to take pictures. 

These cases are full of Pilots, Deltas, Cross (including the new Peerless with Sailor nibs) and probably some other things I'm forgetting. There's also a Sailor case in the background (the reddish one) and cases of Sheaffers, Lamy, TWSBI, Retro51, all sorts of things.


The other wall of the store is covered with six-foot shelves of ink. I don't think that anyone carries more ink than they do, but I've never seen a wall like this before. It keeps going off the left-side of the picture, but you get the idea. It would take a panoramic to capture the whole thing. 


These are the new Hugo Boss pens, and some of them look pretty promising. They're not super-expensive, but they're in the "fancy groomsman gift" price range. 


There are a couple of these pens (you can see them below) which remind me of the Porche Designs pens. They're a sort of woven metal barrel that comes off looking more expensive than their price tag. I haven't tried any of  them, but I'm interested to hear from those who have.


 There are lots of VPs out there, but that red bamboo one is pretty special, I think. I'm tempted to get one, but the limited-edition price is pretty high.


You like Akkerman inks? Well, here they are! The Andersons aren't allowed (by Akkerman) to advertise these online, but if you give the store a call they can tell you what they have and they can mail them out or add them to an order for you. I haven't used hardly any of them, but the ones I've used are solid inks. Also...that bottle...whoa. 


This is the paper corner, and it was hard to resist buying one of everything. I need to use up some of my paper before I go on a paper-bender, though. Will power, Mike. Will. Power.


Speaking of cool paper, these Paperblanks notebooks are really nice. The covers are really ornate and the paper inside is quite good. At least, it seems good from a casual examination. I can usually tell by feel if the paper will be good for fountain pens, and this feels good. 




I meant to pick up some Field Notes, but I kinda forgot. Maybe I'll get some at the DC show.  That Verge De France paper is really good, by the way. I use it when I want to be fancy.


Lastly, Tomoe River is coming to the store soon. I've heard lots about this fantastic Japanese Paper, but it's another thing I haven't had a chance to try out just yet.

Lisa is less blurry in real life. I don't know why I couldn't focus this one. I totally took it, though. Not Audrey.
Annnnd...I came home with a boat-load of ink samples. I think some more might have been added to this pile before we left, but it's a LOT of inks. Pretty much everything from Akkerman, Montblanc, Iroshizuku and a smattering of other things that I haven't tried out yet.  So, what's coming to the blog? EVERYTHING. :)


Audrey took this action-shot where I look extra-wide. I blame Culvers and Chesters and brats all through Wisconsin. I may have gained 10 pounds, but that state knows how to eat!


And then I looked over and ruined an otherwise great candid shot. You can see Dave in the background there. Such a nice guy, Dave. There's just an aura of calm around him, somehow. I don't know how he does it. 



Anyway, those were the only pictures we got from that visit. We should have taken more, but Audrey is the only reason that there were any at all. I don't know what I'd do without that woman. She's the best. Also, if you like nailpolish, go and check out her blog: RightOnTheNail. She's been at it for years, and she's got the best nail pictures around (if I say so myself).

7/17/15

Montblanc's Blue Hour Limited Edition


Another Montblanc Limited Edition? Yep! This one is a stand-out, too.  It's a blue that's supposed to remind us of twilight, and I suppose that it does. I do know that this is an excellent ink with a bit of shading and a bit of sheen (if you lay it down thickly enough).

One interesting thing about this ink is how different it can look from different nibs. All of these nibs were mediums, but they have different flows, and that's reflected in the hue of the ink.

Check it out below.

Written Review


Close-Ups


 I couldn't resist putting up a couple more images of this one. It's too good.


Packaging

A cool box that surrounds a pretty cool bottle. A bottle, I might add, that comes with a little, plastic hat. 



Copy Paper Test
 And it doesn't bleed on copy papers! Hooray! Even with the wet Ondoro nib, it stays on its side of the paper.


Chromatography

These are both the same ink. The top was laid down with the Ondoro, and the bottom with the Esterbrook. I was actually concerned that I'd used some other ink in the Ondoro, but I didn't. It's Blue Hour. It's just a lot more Blue Hour.

Comparisons

Since I had these cards handy, I decided to do some side-by-sides. First, the last two LE inks to come out. I like Blue Hour a lot more. JFK is a fine ink, but it doesn't have a lot of personality.


Next, a few inks that are in the same color range. I think Blue Hour is closer to Yama-Dori, but they're not exactly twins. 




Water Drop Test and Video Review


Whoops. I said that this ink is $18 per bottle, but it's actually $16. This ink is thoroughly good, and I recommend a bottle if you can find one. It's a new LE ink though, so it sells like hot cakes, and you shouldn't wait to get a bottle.

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