There is an endless array of colors out there that you can fill into a fountain pen to bleed out onto the page, but sometimes what you're after is a true, basic color. In the case of a basic, bright red, Noodler's Nikita fits the bill.
I've been using Nikita for quite a while now whenever I want to use a basic red — something you might expect out of a red gel ink pen. It's not fancy, there's hardly any shading, but it's a saturated red that grabs your attention. Sometimes that's just what you want from an ink — the opposite of subdued.
If you're familiar with Noodler's inks, then this one is what I consider an average ink in their line — and that's not a bad thing. Basically, you can expect a nicely saturated, well-behaved ink that just works and cleans out nicely. My main complaint with the ink is the dry time. It takes quite a while to dry in my experience. Other reviews I've found online seem to disagree, so take that with a grain of salt. I'm sure humidity, paper quality, and more factors come into play when drying time is measured. I happen to live in a very humid area (it was 91% earlier today), and that must be part of the cause for slow dry time.
Apart from that, Nikita is a lubricated ink that flows nicely from different pens and nib sizes. I never experienced any skips or hard starts — it's a really low-maintenance ink in all respects.
As far as shading goes, you won't find much of that here. If you use the right nib, you can detect some slight shading in lighter areas of the stroke, but it's subtle. There's a tad bit of feathering on some papers, but I didn't experience this with any of the accepted fountain pen friendly papers.
I'm fairly sure that this ink only comes in a 4.5 oz eye-droppper bottle, so keep that in mind if you want to go for the whole bottle. Those eye dropper bottles are nearly impossible to use for pens that need to be dipped into the ink in order to draw it up into the converter or reservoir. And you also score a free pen with the ink, though I'm pretty sure it's just an unbranded Platinum Preppy that you can use as an eyedropper pen.
I don't know my Russian history well enough (read: at all), but that's where the name for the ink comes from — Nikita Krushchev. I won't embarrass myself by trying to give a history lesson, but his story is pretty interesting.
All in all, this is my go-to ink if I'm looking for a bright red that gets the job done. If I were a grammar teacher, this would be the perfect ink for bleeding all over my students' papers as it performs OK on cheap paper as well.
Thanks to Joe Lebo for sending me a sample of this ink to try out!
You can find the bottles (or samples) of this ink from Goulet Pens.
На здоровье! (Cheers!)