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Winner of the Massdrop Kaweco Special Brass Giveaway!

10/15/17
Drumroll!

The winner is:


Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

10/13/17
Ink provided for review by Papier Plume.


This new ink from Papier Plume brings the bayou to your page! The uniquely blue-green-grey color of this ink is very twilighty. I think this is a cool color, and I don't have anything in my collection that matches it. Check it out below, and let me know what you think of it.

Written Review



Never forget: If you don't like an ink in the first nib you put it in, try another nib! I didn't like this one much in the Taccia's MS nib, but I like it a lot in the narrower, wetter, Vanishing point nib. It's funny how that works.


Close Ups!



I overexposed this one to highlight the shading. It's got a lot of depth in the right nib. 

I think I must have rested my hand on the page in a couple of places, and this ink is thin enough that it follows the whorls of my hand-prints. It doesn't really feather at all, in my experience.





Copy Paper Test


Not bad for Staples 20lb paper. There's some minor bleed from the VP's nib, but it's not a big deal.


Inky Fingers Currently Inked Book

Check these out here.



Ink Journal Tomoe River Book

Check these out here.


Color Comparisons!








Chromatography


Video Review and Water Drop Test




Whaaat? Water-resistant grey? Yep.



This ink was provided free of charge by Papier Plume, but that doesn't sway my review, and it doesn't sway your eyes. Go get it if you like what you see. None of the links here are affiliate links. Just regular old linky links.

Aurora 88 Minerali Azurite

10/8/17
Hi folks,

This is a pen review where I made a mistake.

I really like the video I made for it, but I ended up not liking the pictures all that much, and I ended up forgetting to take some of the pictures I would have included if I'd remembered to do so. And then I gave the pen back BEFORE checking the images. Rookie move, Mike. Bush league.

So, go watch the video. It's pretty good. I'll put some pics below and give a bit of commentary, but it's not all I wanted it to be. In some ways, that's okay with this review. I've taken a close look at the Aurora 88 a couple of times in the past.

Here's the link for the black Aurora 88.

Here's the link for the yellow 88 with the flex nib.

Check those out for comparison pictures of the pen with other pens and pictures of the pen with the cap on it.


The 88 Minerali in Azurite is a really nice looking pen. It's crystal clear, it's got those mineral touches, and it writes very nicely. The 88 nibs are really good. And the fact that they're made in the factory by Aurora is cool. And it's a numbered edition of 388, if you're into that sort of thing.


I like this cap a lot. They don't use a cap liner, which is pretty rare. Most pens do better with one because they keep the nib from drying out. There aren't that many companies that can pull off a cap without a liner. Franklin-Christoph is good at that, and it appears Aurora does it well with the 88. It really improves the look of a demonstrator. 


Here's the Minerali finial.


And here's the other end of the pen. These details really set off the rest of the pen.


Here it is with some ink in it. You can see the Monteverde Olivine really well through the barrel, and you can see the ink window here, too. I do like when a demonstrator includes the same details as the regular pen. They could have left that out, but I'm glad they didn't. 


The section is clear, too, and this can lead some to question if it looks as it should. I've had lots of questions like "Should you be able to see the ink all around the feed like that?" Yep. You should. If you didn't, you wouldn't see it on the page, either.


 The only drawback of that crystal clearness is that you can see any little tiny bit of debris that might be in there. Mine had a tiny speck around the piston unit, and I don't know if it can be gotten out. That's kind of too bad, but most people say they wouldn't notice.


This is the only thing I don't love about the pen. It's difficult to entirely clean out. There's a bit of water in there that I just can't get out. This isn't as big a deal for most people, as most people won't use as many inks or need the colors to be as un-mixed as I do. Still, it's worth noting.


These are the upcoming Minerali pens, and there are a couple in there are are really cool. The green (available soon) is cool, but that Amber one is just beautiful. 


These MSRP at $795, but I've seen them as low as $595 or $650. That's pretty expensive, but that's how it goes with Italian limited editions.

Kaweco Special Brass ** Give Away! **

9/28/17

This is a Kaweco pen that you don't see very often in the USA. There appear to be only a couple of vendors here selling this interesting little pen. This one came to me Via Massdrop, and they'll be running a drop for this pen starting at the time this post goes live. Thanks, Massdrop! Also: They're giving one away over at Massdrop! Go here to sign up for that give-away! 

This pen comes in both the brass version pictured here, and in an aluminum version that is painted black. The black one seems more common. This 8-sided pen has a MSRP of around $130 (or $119, I'm not sure), which places it in the upper end of their fountain pen line. It appears to use the same Bock nibs as the Kaweco Sport and other pens in their line. My review pen writes really well, and I'm happy about that. I've not had a bad Kaweco nib, actually. Check out this pen (below), enter to win (above), and let me know what you think (in the comments section).

Packaging:

Very cool little tin which can hold a couple of pens, or just the one. It's a cool box!



The Pen!

This pen is raw brass, and it tarnishes pretty quickly. I've had this pen for about a week and a half, and it's tarnished up nicely. You can even see my fingerprints in a couple of places. Keep scrolling for details and some pictures of the pen after I polished it a bit.




There's an o-ring between the cap and barrel. It keeps the parts all tight.


Some of the sparse branding on this pen. Barely visible through the fingerprints.



The Nib and Some Close-Ups:


It's a good nib. It writes every time, and I have zero complaints.


There's nothing inside the cap. I just thought this looked cool.


Inside:

The Special can take a cartridge or a converter of the Standard International variety. That's a little unusual for a Kaweco pen, and it's great. Yay for converters!


Polished?

I broke out the jewler's cloth and the elbow grease, and I went to work on this pen for a while. It didn't work perfectly, but I did remove a bunch of tarnish and it's moderately shiny.



I didn't bother to polish the section, so it's a nice before/after shot.


Written Stuff!




Size Comparisons:





Video Review:




As I said in the written review and the video: I like this pen a lot. My only hang-up is the price. It's a bit expensive, I think. Look for it on sale (or on a Massdrop), and I think you'll like it.



Kaweco Perkeo

9/18/17


I have a pair of Kawecos coming up this week, and this is the first. Audrey bought this pen at the San Francisco show from Vanness, and she picked a version called "Bad Taste." I dunno about the name. It seems like a pretty tasteful combination of colors to me. The black and pink look is a little punk rock, and the black nib is a cool addition. I might get one of these Indian Summer pens with my next Jet Pens order.

I had wanted to get my hands on one of these new pens, and I'm glad she brought one home. (And that she let me use it for the last week to get a feel for the pen.)

Think of this as a larger version of the Kaweco Sport. I hope it sticks around. It's an excellent entry level pen that will give all of the others a run for their money.


Specs

Lengths: 

Capped: 5.5 inches
Uncapped: 5.1 inches
Posted:6.2 inches

Diameter at the section: 10.5mm - 11.8mm

Materials:
Body: plastic
Nib: steel

Filling System: Cartridge or converter


The added size makes this a pen you can use with a standard int'l converter. 


Unfortunately, you can't eyedropper this one. This ring at the end has a hole behind it. Odd design choice, really.


Appearance

I like the look. There are currently four different color combinations available, and they go from fairly staid to cotton candy and bright pink.



The grip section is triangular, and very comfortable. Audrey doesn't usually like the triangular thing, but I don't think she minds this one. It's not as drastic as the one on a Lamy Safari, and the plastic feels softer. 


The embossing on the cap and the finial are the branding on the pen, and both are subtle and cool.



Nib Performance

I think these are the same Bock nibs that Kaweco uses on the Sports, and they're pretty good nibs. I've heard stories from people who have gotten bad ones, but I have several Kaweco nibs, and they've all performed well. This one is a Fine, and it's a pretty broad fine. More like a medium, really. Anyway, it seems to have good flow and it's smooth. No complaints.






How's it Feel?

It's a light pen, but the length and width are very nice. The plastic of the pen seems like it's sort of "soft" somehow. It's not flimsy, and it doesn't bend, but it's an interesting feeling. It's plenty long enough to use without posting if you're not into that, but the cap is so light that you'll be able to post without any issues.





Comparisons

I've lined this up against a couple of other Kaweco pens as well as a couple of other starter pens that you might have experience with.

 Left to right: 

Platinum Plasir, Kaweco Special, Kaweco Perkeo, Pilot Kakuno, Pilot Petit1, and the Kaweco Sport




Wrap up!



I really like this new pen. It's available from several retailers, but you'll find it cheapest at JetPens where it's selling for $14.75. That puts it in at a price point that is cheaper than all of the other starter pens aside from the Pilot Varsity and the Platinum Preppy, and those are (more or less) disposable.

My advice? Buy a few and get your friends hooked on this quirky little workhorse pen. It's a great pen for the money.