1/24/15

Toucan Bright Green


Here's one of the greens from the Toucan collection that Anderson Pens sent out to me. There are some inks in this collection that I'm not in love with, but this is a really good one. It's a bright, fresh green, and it works well on most papers. You'll see below that there are are bleeds on my test paper, but I was doing a bunch of grading with this one yesterday and didn't notice any problems. I've also taken a bunch of course notes in this ink, and there weren't any problems there. Either way, this is a fun color.

It's not going to fit in at the office (well, at some offices), but if you're writing notes or grading, or doing something that doesn't have to be all that formal, then you should check it out.

Oh! I forgot to write about the flow (probably because I was writing really quickly and hadn't had any coffee), but it's good. It's really smooth and there weren't any hard starts to be had. Exemplary.

Okay, there are the usual pictures below, but I've also been playing with some video modes, and I've put together some time-lapse of various things. Check those out.


Written Review:


Close-ups:



Ink Comparisons:


Now, I say in the video that I don't have anything like this, but Diamine Meadow is pretty close. It's a little darker, maybe, but it's the right neighborhood, anyway. I can add that Toucan's Bright Green doesn't have any of the "funk" that I saw with Meadow back in the day.


Chromatography:



Let me know what you think of this little time-lapse video. I might start doing more of them, but only if people like 'em.


Copy Paper Test:



Water Drop Test and Video Review








Bonus Video:
Want to see me write really fast? Your wish is granted!



This ink is a good value, and it has really good features. It's a cool color, and it flows well. You can (only) find bags and samples over at Anderson Pens. A 60ml bag goes for $10.


If you like what you see here, then please head on over to Patreon to see how you can help support Inkdependence.


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

1/18/15

Toucan Sienna


This is only the second of the Toucan inks that Anderson Pens sent out for me to review. The previous one, Crimson, was a fine ink, but it was a little too washed-out for my tastes. These are mixing inks, and they've got to be lightly-saturated to do that very well. This one is much better.

I actually loaded up this Toucan ink first because I thought I wasn't going to like it all that much. It's pretty great, though. It's a light brown that tends to look reddish. The flow and shading are both great. Overall, it's totally worth trying out. It looks interesting and it flows well. What else could one want in an ink?


This pic is from the AndersonPens site.

Oh...to come in a weird-o bag instead of a bottle? Check!

I don't have any of these inks in a full-size, yet, but I'll need to that that eventually. These bags are very cool.




Written Review



Close-Ups





Comparisons

The closest thing I had inked up was the Orange at the bottom. It's not that close, though. I really don't think that I have anything in my collection like this.


Chromatography

Interesting Chromatography on this one. Lots of oranges and browns and a little blue and yellow at the fringe. Browns are some really interesting colors.



Copy Paper Test

Just a touch of show-through on this copy paper, but it still shades. Good enough for me.



Water Drop Test and Review Video




Spoiler: This one isn't waterproof. Probably one of the least waterproof inks I've tested. While I wish it were more water-fast, I still really like the ink.



This ink is a good value, and it has really good features. Not everyone is as crazy about brown inks as I am, but if you're in the hunt for a unique brown, then check out Toucan's Sienna. You can (only) find bags and samples over at Anderson Pens. A 60ml bag goes for $10.


If you like what you see here, then please head on over to Patreon to see how you can help support Inkdependence.


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

1/10/15

De Atramentis Olive Green


It's been an age since I reviewed a De Atramentis ink. According to the blog, the last one was in October of 2013. Whoa. Well, it's about time that De Atramentis made a comeback to the blog.

This ink is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the color and the flow are great. It looks awesome on the page, and I don't think I have anything else like it. On Rhodia, it shows all of the colors of green olives (except for those super-bright green ones my wife likes). It shades in a way most other inks can't really touch.

On the other hand, though, it preforms pretty crap on regular paper. It bleeds, it feathers, and it spreads. Boo. That kinda takes it out of the rotation for me unless I'm going to be doing a lot of Rhodia-writing.

So, is that a deal-breaker for you?

Written Review

Close-Ups


I mean, the shading on this ink is fantastic, and it flows really well in my Wahl-Eversharp Skyliner. That's a reasonably wet pen, but this ink really goes.


If only the below weren't true...



Ink Comparisons

I've seen online that there's a J. Herbin ink that is pretty close to this one, but I haven't used it yet. Also, Rome Burning is kinda close. It is more golden or yellow than Olive Green, but it's close-ish. Olive Green is less gross, though. 


I know this isn't a Levenger review, but I had to show a close-up of this Pomegranate bit. So much sheen from this all the time.


Copy Paper Test

Not great. Probably the worst performance I've seen in a long time.



Chromatography



Water Drop Test and Video Review



This is an unusual ink, and if it's what you've been looking for, then you're going to have to go to Goldspot to find it, I think. I got the original sample from Goulet Pens, but they don't seem to have it any more. I've never bought anything from Goldspot before, but I've heard good things about them. It goes for $15.95 per 35ml bottle.

If you'd like to see how you can go about lending your support to Inkdependence, please visit this link to Patreon to sign up. Every dollar helps!

1/7/15

Franklin-Christoph Model 27 Collegia

I get asked (pretty often) what my favorite pen is. My usual response was that I didn't really have a favorite; that it was like choosing between my kids. Then, a little while ago, I started keeping track of which pens I took with me most often. I've always got a couple of them on me, but one of them kept popping to the top of the list. The Franklin-Christoph 27. I've always really liked this pen, but I never noticed just how often I put it in my pocket. 

I picked this pen up at my first pen show a few years ago in Raleigh, NC. That's home-turf for the F-C bunch, and they have (almost) a whole wall of the ballroom. That's also where I met Scott and Jim for the first time. Really great guys. I think this was just after I started my blog, and shortly after I'd gotten back into fountain pens. (There wasn't any place to buy them were I lived for a few years, I was a grad student, and I didn't have time for that kind of stuff. I just used the couple I had, and didn't look for more.) It was certainly the most expensive pen I'd bought at the time. At $69.50, it was a fair chunk of change, then. (They weren't charging for Masuyama nibs at the time.)


Anyway, enough history. Let's look at this pen. 




The 27s are made to match the colors of various colleges. I didn't get the blue because of any allegiance to UNC. I just liked the color, and they were out of the orange ones. (Looking at the site, now, they've got the orange ones. Tempting...)

Most of the 27s come with a chromed cap, but you can get a radiant red one that is red with silver and black accents. I like the chrome cap best, I think. It's classy despite the bright body-color. 

The whole body of this pen is machined from brass (I think), and then painted (powder-coated I think). It's a substantial pen, and the finish is nearly flawless. I mentioned that I throw this one in my pocket all the time, and there isn't a scratch to be found on this pen. It's durable, yo.


You can see lots of threads in this barrel, and it takes a while to un-twist the section from this pen. Very secure, but don't try to eye-dropper this pen.


This is the end cap of the pen, and you can see a little bit of wear on the threads. That's the only place that the metal shows through the paint, and you won't be seeing that. You can see the brass inside the cap, though, and that's cool.


With the converter installed you can see, and twist, the piston without taking the barrel off of the pen. Just unscrew the end cap to access the converter. That's convenient if you need to prime the nib (though I almost never have to do that with this pen/nib).


I've got pretty large hands, and you can see that it fits perfectly into the web of my hand. It's a good length even unposted.


Posted, it's pretty long. It's not as long as a posted Faber-Castell Basic, but it's just a little shorter than a posted TWSBI Vac 700. With the heavy cap, it's kinda unwieldy to use posted.



Here's the pen compared against a couple of others.





The Nib & Section

The nib is my favorite thing about the pen, though. It's a Masuyama broad cursive italic, and it's awesome every time. It's a fairly small broad, I'm guessing about a .9mm, and I use it all the time. These are the smaller #5 nibs, and it fits this pen's size really well. The #6 nib would look kinda crazy on this body.

The nibs I have are their "high-performance steel" nibs. I like this Masuyama nib just as well as any gold nib I've used, and more than most of them. The regular nibs are just fine, but the extra money for the special ones is well-spent. It's an extra $15, but you'd pay about $40 for the same customization at a show. Frankly, I can't see getting a Franklin-Christoph without a custom nib.




If I have to complain about anything on this pen, it would be the section. It's got two problems for me, though neither of them are deal breakers.

Firstly, it's a little skinnier than I wish it  were. My fingers would be more comfortable if the grip were a little wider. It's not uncomfortable (or it would be my favorite pen), but it could be a little bigger.

Secondly, I think there are too many twists required to remove the cap. This is a nuisance if you're a person who tends to cap and uncap the pen over and over. My wife prefers snap-on caps for exactly that reason.

Other than these two things, this pen is pretty perfect. I know some people aren't too psyched about a metal  section. They can be slippery at times. This one, though, isn't. It's never slipped on me. Maybe the paint helps to prevent that?



Cap


The cap on this pen is large, and fairly heavy. The cap is a little top-heavy because of the spring action built into the clip. That means that it's a little back-heavy if you post it, but I just don't bother to post it. It's nicely styled without a ton of branding. You've got the four diamonds on the clip, a tasteful "Franklin-Christoph" around the bottom of the cap, and a small "F" with diamonds on the top. I'm not a huge fan of branding, but this stuff is unobtrusive. The pen itself is distinctive, and that's probably all the branding that Franklin-Christoph needs.





The clip is excellent. It has enough of a swoop to it that it can easily clip on to jeans pockets or whatever. It's also spring-loaded so you don't have to worry about it bending and losing it's spring.

I can see some micro-scratches in the very top of the cap. Interesting that there are scratches there, but no real dings in the paint. Oh well. I don't see them unless I look very closely.




Review Video




You can't really get these pens in very many places. I'm pretty sure they're only sold in one shop (Oragami Ink), and they don't sell online as far as I know. If you're in Ashville, NC, though, you should certainly go there.

They run $69.50 with a regular steel nib, $84.50 with a steel Masuyama nib. The gold nibs will run $80 more.

For your very own Model 27, visit the Franklin-Christoph site.