Posts filed under Ink Reviews

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary First Moon Landing Limited Edition Ink Set Review, Part 2

Colorverse Apollo 11 Ink Swabs

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

In my last review, I covered the lovely contents of the Colorverse Apollo 11 limited edition ink set. It's a very droolworthy, if pricey, gift set of inks that has won my heart but not my wallet. This week, I'll talk more about the individual inks included with the set.

Colorverse Apollo 11 Chromatography

Apollo 11, the large bottle of blue-black ink is the primary feature of the set. It goes down very dark and dries to a slate-navy color. It's decently lubricated and shows lovely shading even with a fine nib. In a water test, the blue color washed away but the grey tone remained behind, both when the water was wiped away and left to soak, so it may have a little bit of water resistance. This is a great workhorse ink. It's formal enough to be professional, but has enough character that it's still a joy to write with.

One Small Step is the mysterious grey that splits into orange, pink, and teal in chromatography. A touch of that character shows on the page, where I honestly can't tell if it's a warm color or a cool color. This one feels drier, but shows phenomenal shading. Its lighter color appears like a graphite line, and it pools to almost black. With a stub nib, the effect is almost ghostly and I adore it so much.

Columbia is the pinky-red ink of the set. It has a fantastic tone, though it doesn't show much character on the page. There's a small bit of shading, but it's mostly a flat color. It washes away completely in water. Do you remember the wee red hot candy hearts at Valentine's Day? This ink looks like those taste. Spicy and sweet at the same time.

Colorverse Apollo 11 Ink Writing

Eagle is a pale sky teal. It's the driest ink of the batch, with a tendency to dry out in the feed. It's also a bit pale, so it might be tricky to read at times. It doesn't show much shading, but there is some. It washes away completely in water. The color itself is beautiful, but it's probably the one I'll use least from the set. I think it's perfect for highlighting something or for decorative notes, but it isn't a staple color.

The last color of the bunch is Tranquility Base, a beautiful grey-green that has a soft matcha tone to it. It is nicely wet, shows a lot of shading, and the grey notes remain behind when water is applied. Like Eagle, it's a bit pale for everyday use, but its darker tones are grass-green and easier to read. It's more of a Spring green than a Winter green, and it makes me think of light teas and Easter grass.

Colorverse Apollo 11 Ink Review

I think what appeals to me most about this selection of colors is that it perfectly suits the way I write. It has everything I need, all in one box. I'll be drafting in Apollo 11, interjecting thoughts or questions to myself in Eagle, making proof marks in Columbia, adding research notes in Tranquility Base, and inserting new text with One Small Step. I already write this way, to keep my manuscripts color-coded as I draft and re-draft. I just never expected to be handed a kit that anticipates my needs so well. Admittedly, I could have assembled a similar kit myself just from what's on my ink shelf already--which is why I'd likely not shell out the cost of this one--but I really do like the individual characteristics of these inks. I think One Small Step is easily the best grey in my collection, and I have a feeling I'll be lamenting the tiny size of this bottle before long.

My final thoughts are: if you love this, grab it. You won't regret it at all. And if you find it at a good deal, it's definitely worth picking up. For any shade of ambivalence, it's not worth the price. Though... it does come with stickers, if that sways you.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Colorverse Apollo 11 Water Drops
Posted on October 10, 2019 and filed under Colorverse, Ink Reviews.

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary First Moon Landing Limited Edition Ink Set Review

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary First Moon Landing Limited Edition Ink Set Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

There have been so many fun moon landing anniversary editions in the stationery world this year, and the Colorverse Apollo 11 Ink Set is certainly no exception. It's a fun theme, a great celebration, and this is probably the most drool-worthy ink set I've encountered.

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Packaging

The first thing you can't help but notice about this set is the amazing packaging. The spacey looking grey box unfolds to fun facts and illustrations about NASA's mission and the spacecraft. Then there's a layer of wee cute ink bottles nestled in formed foam. The cardstock has more fun facts. Beneath that is another layer of ink bottles and yet more educational nuggets. The set comes with napkins and info cards and stickers. It's clear a lot of thought went into what would be inside this box besides the fun inks themselves.

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Bottles

I love the color choices for this set. It's the essentials--every color you really need is here, yet they're all still wonderfully within the theme. And somehow they've used common colors and still made them unique. Of all my sample cards, I could not find any that looked like a clear duplicate of any of these five colors.

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Swatches

Best of all, I love the tones. The blue-black, called Apollo 11, has a lovely smoky blue shade that pools to a deep navy. The grey, called One Small Step, is a perfect moon dust color. It seems cool in its lighter tones, and warm where it's darker. The teal, called Eagle, is fresh and bright but still readable. The green, Tranquility Base, is a lovely, earthy, matcha green. And the red, Columbia, is sometimes pink, sometimes orange, and sometimes deep red with a gold-green sheen.

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Chromatography

The chromatography tests for these inks blew me away. The teal and red were fairly straightforward, through it did bring out the pinks in the red. The green left a lovely smoky line behind as the brighter neon green crept away. The blue-black had some lovely hidden pinks and purples that I hadn't been expecting. But that grey? Holy cats! Bright orange, pink, and teal. There's clearly some sort of alchemy afoot at the Colorverse laboratory. As I watched the colors climb the paper, I felt like I was watching some sort of spell unravel. And it also explains that dual warm/cold look to the ink itself.

Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Ink

I'll do a part two of this review where I talk about all of their behaviors in actual pens. But for now, I can easily say that this is the most fun I've had with inks in a long time. The only downside to this set? The price. The $100 cost is a bit high, even for all this magical fun. While I think the packaging is unbeatable as far as coolness goes, I wonder how much it has driven up the cost of this set. There are only 125ml of ink here. And while there's a good color variety, and the bottles are adorable, I'm not sure I'd have splurged on this. I think the audience for this package requires a very specific overlap in the Venn diagram of ink buyers: People who are drawn to practical colors, who are space fanatics, and collectors of limited editions. I'm sure there are plenty of pen addicts who fit into those categories, and I do hope that this limited run will all find good homes. I can't help but love it, myself. More fun with these inks to come next week!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Colorverse Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Box
Posted on September 26, 2019 and filed under Colorverse, Ink Reviews.

Sailor Ink Studio 442: A Review

Sailor Ink Studio Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

A few months ago I reviewed my first Sailor Ink Studio ink: Sailor 123. It is a fascinating color that shifts and changes before your eyes. Around the time I bought Sailor 123, I also purchased Sailor 442 from a different retailer.

Sailor 442 is a blue ink with purple tones. On my Col-o-dex card, the swab looks like a basic blue, but there is some green sheen in the splats. Shading isn’t very evident on the card because my Brause Blue Pumpkin nib was pretty saturated. You can see better shading in my other writing samples.

Sailor Ink Studio 442 Colodex
Sailor Ink Studio 442 Splats
Sailor Ink Studio 442 Swirls

I tested the ink on Rhodia dot-grid paper with three Lamy Vistas in different nib sizes and the 2.4mm Pilot Parallel (dipped). The ink is a medium to dark blue with good shading in wider nibs. The purple tone comes out slightly in the broader nibs, but is most evident in the water test. The ink dries quickly but seems well lubricated when you write with it.

Sailor Ink Studio 442 Testing

Chromatography reveals all the different shades combined to create this ink (light blue, purple, lavender, turquoise, green, and yellow). It’s a shame these colors don’t show up in swabs or shading. Unlike Sailor 123, 442 is not a shade-shifting ink. It’s quite striking in chromatography, but rather bland in the nib.

Sailor Ink Studio 442 Chromatography

Even in my Handwritmic nib, which best displays the color variations, shading, and sheen potential of an ink, Sailor 442 was disappointing. There’s a good amount of shading, but only slight hints of the color variations found in the chromatography test. On the Midori Cotton paper, sheen was not evident.

Sailor Ink Studio 442 Ink
Sailor Ink Studio 442 Color

After the magical experience of Sailor 123, I must say I was disappointed with 442. It’s not that it’s a bad ink--it’s actually a very nice blue with good shading and medium wetness. I just expected more from this rather expensive little bottle of ink. I now know that only certain Sailor Ink Studio inks have the shade-shifting characteristics of Sailor 123. I definitely plan to purchase those. I’ve read that the higher the number given to Ink Studio inks, the more sheen they have.

For an amazing overview of all 100 Sailor Ink Studio inks, I recommend Mountain of Ink’s blog. Not only can you read about the collection as a whole, there’s a detailed review of each one.

I purchased Sailor 442 from an eBay seller for around $21.00 plus shipping. Now you can purchase Sailor Ink Studio inks at $18.00 a piece (plus shipping) from Dromgoole’s (though you have to do so over the phone).


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Sailor Ink Studio 442 Bottle
Posted on September 20, 2019 and filed under Sailor, Ink Reviews.