Caran d'Ache Electric Orange

Thanks goes out to AndersonPens.net for supplying the ink sample for this review.

I've done some limited edition inks recently, but this one is publicly available. It even comes in a very cool bottle. (I don't have the bottle, this was just a sample.)

Photo from Anderson Pens.
I love a nice bottle on some ink, but this one (and the packaging) probably adds a fair amount to the price of the ink.

I'm glad that I took these pictures before I tore the page out of the Rhodia notebook because it shows a pair of oranges next to each other. Electric Orange is a much brighter and more orangey orange than the Rhodia cover. It's...electric? Sure. Electric.

This written review was done with my Pilot VP's medium nib. I don't love that nib with most inks, but this one worked just fine. It's a very smooth ink. 

This is an ink that I could have taken lots of close-ups of. It's a very cool color.

I haven't tested many orange inks, but this one is kinda awesomely pure. If you're regretting the loss of Sailor's Jentle Apricot, then this might be a decent replacement (though it's more expensive). That red's a stunner, eh?

The chromatography of this ink is mostly orange, but also contains a fair amount of yellow and pink.

The only draw-back to this ink is that it doesn't really behave all that well on cheaper papers. It does a little bit of each bad behavior. Not a whole lot, and it might not bother you, but this ink is really best on fine papers.

You can find this ink (and the rest of the Chromatics line) at AndersonPens.net and other fine retailers.

Water Test and Video Review:

Spoiler Pic:


Pelikan Pelikano

A few months ago, I reviewed the Pelikano Jr. Today, we've got the other Pelikano from Pelikan.

The Pelikan Pelikano.
Like the Jr. version, the Pelikano is more whimsical than the other pens in the Pelikan line. It's also way cheaper.

These aren't mine at all. I wish I had that white m800. So hot. 
The Pelikano is an all-plastic pen with a rubber grip. The rubber isn't as soft as the rubber on the Pelikano Jr, but it's still pretty comfortable. I do wish that the dimples were deeper, though.

This pen only comes in a couple of nibs, and they're both mediums. One is for right handers and the other for lefties. Probably the grooves on the grip are the only difference, though. Sometimes a lefty nib is ground a little obliquely, but I can confirm whether these are or not.

The way that the nib is seated in the section kinda makes it look like a fingernail. (If you're into nails, then check out this nailpolish blog written by the best nail blogger.) I've seen some Pilot pens that do this, too. It's unusual, and I'm kinda into it.

 There's a breather hole under the feed, just like on the Pelikano. Also in this picture, the bottom-divot on the grip.
 I've seen some displays touting this as "THE FUTURE!" and it does look like something from space. The aluminum cap is kinda space-aged with the plastic bit wrapped around it.

The cap looks like it has a clip, but it's not really functional. It's not flexible at all, and it's set too close to the cap to hold on to anything. It's a glossy plastic with a Pelikan jewel set into the crown.

I took a picture of the Jr. with this Big Ben, so that's a thing now. Enjoy this picture of the Pelikano with a Lego Big Ben.

This pen fits in the hand pretty well, but I really wish I could post it. I've got a picture of it posted here, but it's not a good poster. I don't know what makes it wobbly, but it's clearly not meant to do that. The Jr. version of this pen is actually more comfortable to hold when it's posted than this one is. That's pretty much the only draw-back.

Oddly, the Junior is kinda bigger than the "regular."

Here they are next to a pretty common pen, the Lamy Al-Star. Small hands definitely like the Pelikano better. It's actually my wife's pen, and she likes it more than I do.

I think the Jr. puts down a bunch more ink than the Pelikano, but it doesn't really look like it, here.

Bottom Line: 

While I think these entry level pens from Pelikan are kinda fun, the Junior is the superior pen, I think. It's cheaper and more comfortable. Neither of them are really as nice as the Sheaffer VFM or the Pilot Metropolitan, though, and those pens can be found cheaper in many cases.

Jet Pens has both sorts of Pelikano for between $15 and $21. They only seem to have the left-handed Pelikano, at this point though. I also see them on Amazon and Overstock and else where for about that price.


Montblanc Albert Einstein

Today we've got another of the limited edition inks from Montblanc. This time, Montblanc is paying tribute to another scientific legend, Albert Einstein. When I bought this ink (last year, yikes!), I was expecting to get a black with flakes or something. (I wasn't well-informed at all.) What I got was a very nice darn grey. Instantly a fan. 

This ink comes in exactly the same bottle as the Leonardo ink. 30ml isn't nearly enough of this ink, but it's what I've got. It'll have to do. 

As you can see, below, I'm a big fan of this ink. This Skyliner wasn't the first pen that I used this ink in. The first pen that hosted this ink was my Rotring Newton 600, and it lived there for months. Months. Unheard of in my house. I liked it that much. I think I finally took it out of that pen just because it had been there so long. I don't think that the line from the medium nib of the 600 was as dark as the semi-flex nib on this Skyliner, but it wasn't any less satisfying.

I took the picture after the water test, so this is a spoiler. Not much resistance. 
Close-ups and such

I tried a little bit of flex. It went okay. 
 You can see plenty of light shading in this ink, despite the semi-wet flow of this nib.

This is a dark grey. It's the sort of grey that you can use all the time without worrying about people knowing that you're using a grey. It's more like a light black, most of the time. You can really see the difference compared to the Faber-Castell ink below it and the Duke Black that is even more below it.

I was really surprised at how dark it was in the swatch, but I think there was just a lot of ink there.

Lots of different colors in this grey. Greens and blues and a little purple in there. 
Not only does this ink look good, it behaves well on cheap paper. There are a few spots of bleed on this example, but that's due to the nib and not the ink, really. It doesn't have any behavioral problems. 

It's a limited edition, and it's gone fast, from what I hear. If you can find it, then get it. It's usually in the $18 range.

Water Test and Review Video


Montblanc's Leonardo Red Chalk Limited Edition

These Montblanc limited editions are pretty great, right? Leonardo's Red Chalk is a fantastic red ink that dries to a medium dark matte red color. It's actually a little bit chalky-looking, which is a look that I'm really into. It's great to have an ink that glistens with sheen, but this ink shades so well, that the right hand could probably make it look like they were drawing with chalk.

Like other LE inks from Montblanc, this one comes in a smaller bottle than the regular MB inks. At 30ml, this is a fairly expensive ink, but I think it's worth the cost. It's a very classy bottle, but I'd hate for the ink to fade out, so it'll be staying in it's very cool box. This is my favorite of the LE boxes aside from the Einstein box.

The ink is a combination of reds and something darker at the top. A bit of blue/green, perhaps? You don't see any of that darker color, though. The ink on the page shades between a light red-brown and a dark red-brown.

The written review below was written with a broad stub, which is a bit on the wet side. This shows the darker side of this ink, and a good bit of shading. You should expect a bit lighter color from a drier nib. (I've written examples with several other nibs to show how this would look. Those pictures will be further down the blog.)

Picture-Fest, engage!

 The shading!

It's a great shader on good papers, but it also performs well on common copy paper. That's a big plus, in my book.

 There's just a little bleed, but that's to be expected from a broad stub on this paper. In other nibs, this wouldn't be a problem.

Below, you'll find writing samples with all of the nibs I have for this pen. The extra fine nib is a bit dry, but this ink even looks good from that nib. I wouldn't really recommend that this ink be used in an extra fine, but it could be.

 This is my new favorite panagram. Thanks Reddit!

The Copper Burst below was the a late addition to the comparisons. It's a bit closer than the others, but it's much more brown than the Red Chalk color. I don't have anything like it, that I can find. Maybe R&K Morinda, but that's more like ketchup than chalk.

Water Test and Review Video

Spoilers below!

The one draw-back to this ink is that it has absolutely zero water resistance. It comes off of the page almost instantly, and there's hardly a shred left behind. As draw-backs go, this one is not a big deal. I wouldn't address any envelopes with it, but it's great otherwise.