Filtering by Author: Brad Dowdy

Sailor Pen and Message Cigar Ink Review

(This is a guest post by Felix Jen. Felix is a fountain pen and ink enthusiast. You can find him at his blog, Inks and Pens, or at his Instagram.)

Sailor, the Japanese pen and ink manufacturer, has gotten themselves quite a reputation with their hard-to-find store-exclusive inks such as Bungbox Sapphire and Pen-and-Message inks. Sailor's Pen and Message Cigar is a brown ink with a great depth of color and a very subtle color change.

When I was first sent a sample of this ink, I didn't really know what to think about it. It seemed like a murky green in the vial that looked a bit unappealing, but once I filled a pen up with it, my opinion totally changed. The ink lays does lay down as a shade of dark green and quickly changes to a brown color as it dries. I was completely shocked as there aren't many inks that change colors so quickly.

The ink is a deep brown with some definite green undertones as well as a light blue tint. This is actually one of the nicer browns with a great deal of depth to it, unlike some inks in the color range.

A paper chromatography test of this ink confirms the presence of green and blue. The chromatography is actually all over the place, with yellow, orange, blue, green, and brown!

This review was written in a Pilot Parallel 1.5mm on HP 32lb Premium Choice Laser.

On paper, the ink behaves wonderfully. There is not a bit of feathering or bleed-through, even on the extremely wet parts of the page. There is a little bit of show-through but nothing too major. With thinner papers like Tomoe River, you can clearly see what is written on the reverse side. The ink cleans out easily from converters and does not stain, unlike some Noodler's inks.

Shading is not this ink's strong point. The ink barely has any shading, from a light brown to a darker blackish color. The dry time is a bit long, averaging at around 20 seconds on this paper and 19 seconds on Rhodia. When using finer nibs, the dry time is significantly reduced, to around 13 seconds with an Medium.

This ink's water test is also an enigma. The test was done with drops of water placed on the page for about 20 seconds then wiped away with a tissue. Strangely, much of the brown in the ink washes away but leaves a water-resistant blue-gray portion. The lines can still clearly be seen and there is barely any smearing of the brown.

Sailor Pen and Message Cigar is truly a one-of-a-kind ink with a beautiful color and outstanding behavior. You can find this ink directly from Pen and Message for 2160¥ in a 50mL bottle. They are out of stock at the time of this writing, but will be accepting "preorders" in August 2015.

Posted on August 27, 2015 and filed under Guest Post, Ink Reviews, Sailor.

TiScribe EDC Fountain Pen Video Review

I've been wanting to make the leap into video content for a while now and I'm happy to introduce The Pen Addict Channel on YouTube. I'm just getting my feet wet, so expect many changes as I learn what works and what doesn't as I move forward.

First up is the TiScribe EDC Fountain Pen which is currently an active project on Kickstarter. Kelvin sent out several review samples for this pen and I thought this was a good opportunity to provide my thoughts a bit differently.

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

Posted on August 25, 2015 and filed under Kickstarter, Pen Reviews, Video Review, TiScribe.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 169 - Kissy Face Bear

No matter how long I have been doing this I still find it funny that I can get equally excited about a new Montblanc as I can a new Lamy Safari with a rabbit on it. We hit both today, and I also discuss my initial thoughts on the new TWSBI Eco and dig into the backlog of #asktpa.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

Fracture: Photos printed in vivid color directly on glass. Use code 'PENADDICT' to get 15% off.

Squarespace: Build it Beautiful. Use code INK for 10% off.

Posted on August 25, 2015 and filed under Podcast.

Sunderland mk1 - An Exceptionally Crafted Pen (Sponsor)

Since the launch of the Sunderland mk1 Kickstarter project a few weeks ago, project creator Brad Sunderland has done exactly what you would hope from someone you are putting your hard earned dollars behind: He has listened, communicated, and adjusted on the fly.

The mk1 met its funding goal early on, but Brad wasn't content to rest on his laurels. Listening to backer feedback, he has tweaked the cap design to include a polymer liner in an effort to make cap retention and barrel scratches an afterthought. Having used a prototype of the mk1 for the past couple of weeks (see my full thoughts below), I can tell you that he nailed it. It's a great change to an already excellent design and shows the commitment Brad has in making the Sunderland mk1 a wonderful writing instrument.

There are only four days left to back the Sunderland mk1 on Kickstarter. Do it now.

The Pen Addict Review of the Sunderland mk1

I knew the moment I opened the package that Brad Sunderland had a winner on his hands. I've reviewed many machined pens in my day and the Sunderland mk1 ranks up there with the best. I've had this prototype in my hands for a couple of weeks now and there are several things that set it apart from the rest of the crowd.

First of all, the weight of the pen is lighter than most machined pens I've tried. Aluminum is a lighter metal to begin with, but when making a full barrel out of it you can end up with a pen with some weight behind it. The Sunderland mk1 is just the right weight, and most importantly, extremely well balanced to write with. It reminds me a lot of the Maxmadco bolt action pen in look, feel, and finish, minus the bolt. The tolerances are tight, the lines are smooth and clean, and it feels like quality.

Secondly, you can post the cap without throwing off the balance of the pen. Not many metal pen manufacturers can make that claim. Brad managed that by adding a slight taper on the rear of the barrel so the cap can post deeply. Additionally, the cap has a polymer liner to keep the barrel scratch free and stops the nails on chalkboard sound of metal on metal posting and twisting.

Finally, the most interesting feature of this pen is the hidden thread design Brad created, which keeps your fingers from hitting them while writing. This is big deal for metal pens and is exceptionally well executed on the mk1. It’s not short threaded either, meaning it will take several turns to remove the cap, which is nice for pocket carry and prevents any looseness.

If it sounds like I am fawning over this pen it’s becasue I pretty much am. And I haven’t even mentioned the strong stainless steel clip and top notch black finish of the pen. I loaded it up with an 0.38 mm blue black Pilot Juice refill (it takes Pilot G2 refills as well as Montblanc fineliner and rollerball refills - another great feature) and have rarely left the house without it.

My thanks to Brad Sunderland for sending me this prototype to test out, and I look forward to receiving my backer reward from this project once it wraps up.

Posted on August 24, 2015 and filed under Featured Sponsor.