I’ve been able to resist the recent Retro 51 Tornado special editions, until I saw the Retro 51 Tornado Popper Lift-Off. As soon as I saw it I headed to Goldspot and ordered it. It looks like I wasn’t the only one since the virtual shelves seem to already be empty since there were only 500 made. Luckily pricing wasn’t based on demand so the pen was only $35 which is in line with other Poppers and a couple bucks less than the recent Sport themed Poppers that are still available.
Mine arrived Monday and is number 460. While the pen is undamaged, Goldspot shipped it in a padded envelope, not a box. The Retro 51 tube was a bit crushed near the top. Not a huge deal for me since I don’t keep the packaging but something to keep in mind if you order a Retro 51 from Goldspot.
There’s not much to say about this that the pictures don’t say. It uses my favorite Rollerball refills so there’s that.
I inked up my burgundy Sheaffer Snorkel with Waterman Red ink with the intent that it would be refilled with the same red ink and kept inked up for months. This is because the snorkel filling system has to be the hardest one to clean out. Since the snorkel bypasses the feed when filling the pen the water also bypasses the feed when flushing the pen. I picked Waterman Red since it’s a safe ink to be kept in a pen for a long, long time.
Well, the pen was inked for four months, but that was just one fill. I just didn’t use the pen that much. I typically picked the Esterbrook Dip-Less when I wanted red ink while sitting on my desk and I just didn’t carry the Snorkel when I went out. The nail in the coffin was when I inked up my Kaweco AL Sport with red ink. Since it’s a small pen I do carry it more.
I didn’t have any problems with the pen. It wrote immediately whenever I uncapped it and didn’t skip at all.
As expected, cleaning the pen is a pain. I fill and flush the pen to clear and remaining ink out of the sac then go to work on the feed. I fill the barrel with water and shake the water through the feed multiple times. I also hold the nib/feed in a ultrasonic cleaner (UC) to help force the ink out. Once the pen seems clean I leave it sitting in a tissue for a day to try and wick out any remaining ink. These seems to work despite being a very long process. It has become shorter since I added the UC.
The four months with the ink didn’t cause any additional problems with cleaning. There wasn’t any noticeable staining.
I like the pen although it’s too thin for me to use for long writing sessions. Since I usually use red for marking up documents or other short notes red was an ideal color for the pen. Plus it matches the fountain pen. It will probably be a long time before I ink this pen up again, yet I did like the combination.
When taking the photos I noticed that the nib is slightly misaligned with the feed. This didn’t affect the pen performance at all so while the aesthetics bugs me, I left it as-is.
This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination was another Pilot Vanishing Point. This time it was the Pilot Maplewood Vanishing Point with a XXXF nib that was purchased from Richard Binder. It has a Pilot Black ink cartridge which is dark enough for the thin line the nib puts down. I did a lot of note taking and writing in Field Notes so the thin nib was ideal. This weekend I’ll probably swap the nibs between my Cherry Bamboo and Maplewood VPs so I spend more time with my new Cherry Bamboo. Another reason I like the VPs, ease of nib swaps without having to empty the pen.
No comments, just my favorite links published this week..
This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is driven by the pen, and also that I like new things. The Pilot Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point with a left oblique nib and a Pilot Blue cartridge is my choice. The blue ink is riding the coattails on the pen. I like the properties of the ink, but blue has never been a ink I liked. My first impressions of the Cherry Bamboo are here.
I still have two fountain pens left for sale. I’m considering dropping the price of the Kaweco AC Sport to $80. Mention this and you can have the pen and leather sleeve for $80 plus shipping, even if I haven’t officially dropped the price yet. The price on the remaining VP is firm although I’ll take another $10 off if you take buy the AC Sport and the Vanishing Point.
Pen Review: Delta Fusion 82 – The Pen Habit // I probably wouldn’t have bought this pen anyway, but the marketing on the nib turns me off completely and I couldn’t bring myself to buy it no matter how nice the rest of the pen is. And it is a nice looking pen.
I reviewed the Nexus Minimal fountain pen back in May so I won’t repeat what I wrote about the writing experience. The pen skips so I kept it inked at the time, planning to smooth the nib. Instead I wrote it dry. Well actually, there was a little writing and a lot of evaporation.
While I did use the pen occasionally and didn’t check the ink level I’m convinced there was significant evaporation as there was close to half a cartridge left when I did the review.
I won’t be re-inking the Nexus Minimal fountain pen until I’m ready to smooth the nib.