Review: J. Herbin Vert Olive

Vert means green in french and J. Herbin Vert Olive is aptly named. It is a yellow green ink that’s lighter than Rohrer and Klinger Alt-Goldgrün. It is comparatively yellower and lighter. It shades slightly in my EF nib but I realise it will fare better with the broader nib options. Personally, I don’t really like Vert Olive’s shade but it is way more readable than Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku Rin. This is a happy medium between Alt-Goldgrün and Chiku Rin.

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Posted on June 27, 2017 and filed under review, Ink.

Review: Nock Co Sinclair

The Sinclair was released by Nock Co back in 2016. Here I am late to the party with my review. The Sinclair is a zip up 3 pen case with an wide slot for a small notebook. It comes with a variety of colour ways but I went with the Raven Black / Aqua version. The exterior is made with the same 1000D nylon material as with all their pen cases. The material feels tougher than my Lookout but perhaps the Lookout has been seasoned hence the difference in feel. Paired with a very sturdy pair of zips that worked well and smoothly. The Aqua interior is made of nylon pack cloth which feels smooth and slightly cushioned. I like that they used blue threads for both the interior and exterior. I like that little pop of colour on the exterior.

The 3 pen slots functions exactly like the Lookout’s. It fit a wide variety of pens. In terms of the length and width of the slots, I do not have pens that are too wide or too long for the Sinclair. My longest is the Pilot Custom 823 fits the Sinclair with head room to spare. The notebook slot can hold the Traveler’s Notebook Passport size notebook and the Baron Fig Pocket Vanguard without any problems. There is also the space between the slots that can hold more notebooks or pens or little knick knacks. This is a very functional pen case and an upgrade to the Lookout.

If you just do a quick search on Instagram you will see how different people load their Sinclair out. Some, like me have been using it with just 3 pens and a single notebook. Others may have more than 1 notebook, because the notebook slot can hold 3 notebooks albeit it is a very tight fit. And then others who squeeze as many pens as they could into every space available. There is no right or wrong way to use the Sinclair. It is a flexible pen case that can fit your needs well.

Personally, I found myself using the pen slots most of the time. The notebook that I kept in there, seldom leaves the Sinclair most of the time. The Lookout is probably the best pen case for day to day needs. The Sinclair is better for weekends when I meet up with my friends and we get to pen testing.

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Posted on June 23, 2017 and filed under Case, review.

Review: Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz is Pelikan’s 2017 ink of the year. It’s a brown ink that has a grey undertone to it. It shades easily even in my Japanese fine nib. It goes from a deep dark brown to a muted grey-yellow / brown. It’s an attractive colour with a vintage feel. The Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz doesn’t feel particularly dry for a Pelikan ink. Personally, this is a better colour when compared to last year’s Aquamarine.

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Posted on June 20, 2017 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Lamy Petrol

Lamy Petrol is Lamy’s 2017 limited edition ink. It’s paired with the Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen’s release. Lamy Petrol is a deep, dark and saturated teal ink. It’s not a colour that I’ve seen before. I enjoy the subtle hint of teal that peaks though. Lamy Petrol shades very slightly on broader nibs. This is an excellent ink for people looking for a corporate safe colour with a hint of flair.

Personally, I love Lamy Petrol. I think Lamy has been doing a great job with the limited edition Safari colours. I loved last year’s dark lilac and this year’s Petrol.

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Posted on June 13, 2017 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: TWSBI Eco Neon Green - Right foot oblique medium grind

I’ve reviewed the TWSBI Eco not long after it was released in Singapore way back in Jan 2016. I even give one away. This time I am not so much reviewing the pen as reviewing the nib. If you are looking for a review of the pen, check out my review here.

So why am I reviewing the nib this time, what’s so special? I purchased a TWSBI Eco Neon Green from Straits Pen with the express purpose to get Sunny of Straits Pen, one of Singapore’s nib worker, to grind the nib to a right foot oblique medium.

What is an oblique nib?

An oblique nib is a nib cut at an angle of usually 15 degrees from either the left or right side to the opposite side. What makes it a left or right foot is the slant. A left foot oblique nib, if you are looking with the nib facing you, will have the angle going from the upper right to the lower left. A right foot oblique nib will be going in the opposite direction. Now most of the time when you see a pen manufacturer offering oblique nibs you can safely assume that they are left foot obliques because those are meant for use by right handers. I, on the other hand, am a left handed writer, so I was recommended to go for a right foot oblique nib by the Chief Poisoner.

How to hold an oblique nib correctly?

Depending on how the nib is grind, each nib will have a particular sweet spot. For a right foot oblique grind and it’s being used by a lefty, the nib has to be turned inwards towards the writer, whereas if it is being used by a righty the nib needs to be turned away from the writer. For a left foot oblique grind, you got to flip everything around.

In my opinion, a right foot oblique grind will be excellent for lefties who write hook handed. As each writer has their own particular way to hold their pens, it is best to be able to try the grind in person before committing to it.

My right foot oblique grind

Sunny has done a good job with my nib. His grind has keep the edges sharp that gives me crisp lines. At least I was totally clueless about the need to turn my nib inwards. I was holding it in the regular way I do all my pens. I was not getting the line variation I was expecting but with just a slight turn what a difference it yield. It was significantly less feedback-y than before and I am getting much better line variation than before.

Personally I have always lean towards extra fine or fine nibs in general but with my exposure to the right foot oblique nibs, I feel ready to branch out to broader nibs, especially if they are right foot oblique nibs. One thing to note for right foot oblique nibs, selling them will be a problem because of the specialised nature of them and the world we are living in is a right handed world. However if you are patient to find the right buyer, I am sure you can find a buyer if you decide to sell it.

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Posted on June 9, 2017 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.

Review: Leveneger Empyrean

My thanks to Louisa for the ink sample!

This is my first time using a Levenger ink. My first impression is it’s a super wet ink that feathers in my Kokuyo and TWSBI notebook. It fairs much better on my Traveler’s notebook and Rhodia paper though there is still some borderline show through on both.

Empyrean is a blue ink that has some shading properties. It lubricates my Japanese F nib, making it write smoother than it normally does. Plus, it has a red sheen when the ink pools. I must note the feathering might be due to water evaporation from my sample. My thanks to Lousia for the sample!

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Posted on June 6, 2017 and filed under Ink, review.