Friday, October 17, 2014

FOUND AROUND FRIDAY - Noodler's Fountain Pens Edition

The above photo started a discussion about flex pens and that started a discussion about Noodler's fountain pens and how I don't have a single Noodler's fountain pen that works like I'd hoped.

Feeling inspired, I found all of my Noodler's fountain pens and a container of one of my most reliable inks - Pilot Iroshizuku's Fuyu-syogun.

Noodler's Konrad Flex Fountain Pen - Clear

This one accepted the ink easily. I love the blind cap covering the twisty thing for the piston. If you've ever accidentally twisted a twisty thing and gotten ink all over the place, you know what I'm talking about here.

How'd it write?

Noodler's Konrad Flex - Writing Sample

Yeah. No.

I tried. I did a little scribbling, a little shaking. I gave the piston a little twist. I looked at the alignment of the thing to the other thing.  Yeah. No.

Moving right along . . .

Noodler's Nib Creaper Flex Fountain Pen - Yellow and Blue

The Nib Creaper is super-slim and has a great ink window - stylish and functional. I love the way they look.

How do they write?

Yellow first . . .

Noodler's Nib Creaper Flex - Writing Sample

It started out so well, but quickly became inconsistent. In the image above, it's easy to see that the writing is darker at the top of the page and lighter as I near the end of the top paragraph.  There were also some hard starts. The flow just wasn't right.

You know what makes me crazy? Inconsistent fountain pens. Work or don't work, darn you!

Let's look at the blue version . . .

Noodler's Nib Creaper Flex - Writing Sample

OK! Alrighty! The blue Noodler's Nib Creaper (why is it named that??) is kind of nice! It writes, it's fairly smooth a bit of happy feedback. It flexes! And it recovers quickly from railroading - very nice!

I'm going to call this one a win. For those keeping score, that is one win out of three pens.

Let's keep going . . .

Noodler's Konrad Flex Fountain Pen

A black version of the Konrad Flex. Love that big ink window and, again, a blind cap protecting the piston's twisty thing.

How's it write?

Noodler's Konrad Flex - Writing Sample
Wait. What?

This pen wouldn't take up the ink. I tried several times, several different ways. I took the thing out of the other thing, adjusted it a bit, and tried again.  No go.

I don't know.


What's next?

Noodler's Ahab Flex Fountain Pen - Clear Demonstrator
Pretty sure the Ahab is the biggest of the Noodler's pens. It fills with a plunger mechanism (fancy!) and looks like it could easily be converted to an eyedropper (but don't quote me on that).

This is a pen I've reviewed in the past.

The ink sucked right up into the pen and I was feeling hopeful.

Noodler's Ahab Flex - Writing Sample

The Ahab wrote decently - until I started flexing the nib.

Does it work as I'd hoped?  No.

What's the score now? Is anyone keeping track?


Noodler's Konrad Flex Fountain Pen - Red

This pen is pretttttty. I really really wanted it to write well.

Noodler's Konrad Flex - Writing Sample


It wrote fine! Passed all but the hardest of the hard flexes. Seems like it recovered well from the over-flex.  I like it! Thank goodness because it really is a looker.  In fact, when Mr. Pentulant saw it, he asked, "Are you sure that's a Noodler's?" Ha!

I set all of the pens aside overnight and came back to them the next morning. How'd they do?

You'll notice that the two pens that didn't write the night before, didn't write the next morning. No surprise there (especially since one of them didn't have ink..ha).

That's that.  

Here's the final score:

Win - 2
Lose - 4


To the defense of Noodler's for a moment . . . These pens are made to be tinkered with. If you're a fiddler and you want to fiddle, maybe you'll have more success than I have had.

I watched Brian Goulet's video. I tried. I freakin' tried (and then blamed myself? no.).  I have come to the conclusion that I'm willing to tinker a little, but I mostly just want my pens to write when I pick them up. You know?

I've also concluded that Noodler's pens are inconsistent as a whole. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I went out to the living room, picked up the blue one, and it didn't lay down a single line of ink. Likewise, that plunger-fill pen might just work today.

And it's that inconsistency that I cannot stand.  Noodler's pens are not for me.  Noodler's inks are a different story!

OK, what do you think?  Noodler's pens - love 'em or hate 'em?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Diamine Pumpkin and Diamine Blaze Orange

Tis the season for Diamine Pumpkin.

And I couldn't be more happy.

See my full (old) review of it right here.

Or maybe you prefer blaze orange?

Monday, October 13, 2014

INK REVIEW: J Herbin Stormy Grey

Handwritten Review: J Herbin - Stormy Grey

There has been so much chatter in the fountain pen community about J Herbin's Stormy Grey ink. So much anticipation. It's all about that gold sheen, baby.

When Goulet Pens finally announced that they had it in stock, it was sold out in under an hour - and I missed it. Arrrrgh.

I hurried over to Amazon to see if I could find it there - score! It's the same price at both places -  $26 for 50 ml.

Above: Like the other J Herbin special editions, this bottle is extra special, sealed with wax, and quite lovely. Except that only the smallest pens could fit into the opening of the bottle. And my wax on the screw top is already cracked - whomp whomp.

Below: The sheeny bits came to a rest at the bottom of the bottle.  You'll want to shake well before using this ink.

Below: Sheen on the towel that I used to wipe my nib. Crazy, right?

All of that Stormy Grey sheen is just fine, but how does it write?

Quite wonderfully! 

The ink has terrific flow out of the pen (leans toward the wet side, but I like that). There's some great shading and I really like the darkness of the gray (grey?) color with or without the added fun of the sheen.

Something I noticed that could be a concern - in the bottle, the sheeny bits settled so quickly. I shook the bottle like mad and then quickly pulled the ink into a syringe to fill my pens. If the sheeny bits settle that quickly, what happens in the pen when filled? Will all of the sheeny bits fall to the writing end of the pen and you will get the most sheen from the first few pages - and no sheen at all for the last few? 

The only other downside I can see with this ink is that because of the sheen, it's not an ink that could be used in every situation. Thankfully, we live in a world that allows us some whimsy now and then.  ;)

Below: My scanned writing sample doesn't show much sheen, but it's definitely there in the right light.

Looking for the sheeniest sheeny picture of them all?  Check out my friend rubengamez's feed on Instagram. It's crazy good sheen!

Friday, October 10, 2014


True fact. Written with Montblanc Heritage 1912 and Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo ink.

You know how some of us binge-watch television series? I binge read blogs to get caught up with everyone and everything.

Some of what I've been reading (in no particular order at all) . . .

Noodler's announced a new ink. I think I need this.

Goulet Pens got in a supply of J Herbin's Stormy Grey. It was sold out within an hour. I found it on Amazon, but it looks like the vendor raise the price shortly after I placed my order. Arrrgh. Where did you find it?

"Embrace the Neon." Pens and Art

"It's the end of an era." Gizmodo

I have the purple. Not sure I want this one. Do you?

Now, this! I want!

It posts now! I heard it has other issues, though? A leaky issue? Uggg. I have the original, I hope the promised kit to fix it is available soon.

"Let it go, let it go."  The Impulsive Buy

Thinking these chefs wouldn't approve of the above link!

". . . wonderful assortment of gold accoutrements . . ." The Well-Appointed Desk

"It's like watching a great choreography." Sandglaz Blog

"It's a solid, bold blue that works great and draws the writer and reader to the page." The Pen Addict

Road Trip!

"I spent several hours pouring through Edison's extensive materials galleries and settled on . . . " My Coffee Pot

"This is one of those inks that is legendary in the FP world." The Fountain Pen Physicist

Dude! Lifehacker

Finally, my friend, artist Chrissy Sparks, sells these in her Etsy shop. She is so talented.

That's it from me this week.  Hope you all have a good weekend.