Fountain Pens, Ink, Paper & More

The Moonman/Majohn A1 is quite possibly my favorite retractable fountain pen. I have two: the stealth, all-black version with the clip; and pictured here, the white with silver trim clipless. It’s highly likely I’ll get more.

I love my Platinum Curidas—in fact, I have a second one on the way. Its price has dropped nearly in half. But it’s bulky, plastic body can’t compete with the sleek, metal body of the A1. (Steak sauce, anyone?)

Though the ridiculously-priced Lamy Dialog3 will never be in my budget, and the Pilot Vanishing Point isn’t likely to make its way into my hands any time soon, I did just snatch up a $66 Pilot Capless. (Basically, a Vanishing Point with a steel nib?) So, it will be nice to make a direct comparison between copycat and the original.

Until then, I am enjoying the shockingly-smooth EF nib—and dry but consistent flow—of the Moonman A1.

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After being underwhelmed by a cheap Lamy Safari knockoff or two, I decided to try the real thing. I was completely and utterly underwhelmed—disappointed, even. After all, most people seem to go nuts over them. The broad nib was scratchy and prone to skipping. So it sat in the “good riddance” pile for a year or more. I swore off the brand entirely.

But when I got a bottle of Lamy Crystal Agate in my Truphae Inkmeister Premium subscription box (save $5), I thought I would dig out my Safari and give it one last try.

The ink is right up my alley: a medium-light grey. Much like Kaweco Smokey Grey, it looks a lot like pencil! What better color to come out of a Charcoal Lamy Safari?

In the photo above, my brief test confirmed the scratchiness of the nib. But it’s going to be the pen of the day, so it will get put to the test. I’m hopeful it will be a keeper, but I have my doubts.

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Thanks to the November 2022 Ink Flight subscription box… I’m in love with Octopus Fluids fountain pen inks. Of the seven ink samples in the box, I really liked six, and ended up ordering five from Amazon Germany. (I wanted to order directly from Octopus Fluids, but I would have paid more for shipping than for the ink. Amazon can ship to the US for $16 versus Octopus Fluids charging $46. Amazon ain’t so bad.)

Though I was pleased with how the video above illustrates the inks, you can’t beat an ultra-closeup with a macro lens. These closeups made me fall in love with the inks all over again. There’s a lot more going on than at first glance. Wow! Just wow!

These are just a few of my favorites:

Weinrot, to the naked eye, appeared to simply be maroon with some red shading. But is that some gold sheen we’re seeing?

In the video, I describe Aubergine as “deep purple,” but I didn’t catch the wonderful green sheen halo.

Though Orange didn’t reveal anything mind-blowing upon closer inspection, we do get a good look at the shading from a light orange to an orange-red. Love it.

The paper here, as mentioned in the video, is a CVS Caliber notebook, with paper made in Vietnam. (The Caliber paper made in the USA, such as the plain white scratch pad, is not fountain pen friendly. Before buying, make sure it says “Made in Vietnam.”)

I carry all my currently inked fountain pens with me every day, but I quickly outgrew my 10-pen case. So I stuffed 12 pens in it. Then I added a two-pen strap. And most recently, I added a four-pen pocket protector to my setup. See how it all fits together.

Get the Kaco pen case here: Get the pocket protector here:

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After my WordPress install broke, I lost the entire blog. There wasn't a lot there, but what was there was damn good, I must say. I've switched to using because it’s damn cool… and it’s not WordPress. So the blog is back just as I return from my hiatus on YouTube. Perfect timing!

I’m excited about the videos I have lined up. Available within hours of this post is a look at my bloated EDC pen case: a 10-pen Kaco case (stuffed with 12 pens), wrapped with a no longer available Fountain Pen Revolution two-pen strap, with a four-pen pocket protector tucked underneath that. Despite my embarrassing mathematical error in the video, the whole setup contains 18 pens—all inked up, of course. (Technically, one doesn’t count: it’s my Uni 4+1 multi-pen.)

Still to be recorded is a video about a really cool glass nib eyedropper fountain pen, as well as updates on my TWSBI Eco and Jinhao collections. And it won’t stop there. I want to get back to making currently inked videos, ink comparisons, paper tests, and more.

The channel, as I write this, is just under 100 subscribers, so I am already planning a series of giveaways. Stay tuned!

Question: What kind of videos do you want to see? Comment

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