Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 28, 2020

Photo of the Benu Scepter II
This week’s favorite

My fountain pen usage remained relatively low this past week. While I used the pens daily, there weren’t any extended writing sessions. I’m hoping to change that this coming week. I’ve got several “This Just In Posts” to write, so those should jumpstart my usage.

My most used and favorite fountain pen of the week was the Benu Scepter II with an extra-fine nib and R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink.

New Arrivals

Penlux Masterpiece Grande Black & White Koi, with a steel fine in arrived this past Tuesday. It’s a nice large fountain pen.

photo of the newest arrival




The Benu Minima was sold and will be put in the mail on Monday. Arrived in May, out in June. As I mentioned last week, I did like the pen, but I didn’t foresee it getting used often enough. The longer I keep it, the harder it will be to sell.

Written Dry

The Newton Eastman with an Esterbrook #3556 Firm Fine nib wasn’t exactly written dry, but I flushed it out. It recently developed a habit of burping frequently. Maybe it’s the humid weather, or my hands are hotter than usual (no fever, I checked). The usual tricks of equalizing the pressure didn’t really work. It was annoying, so I flushed the pen. I could have toped off the ink to remove air, but it’s been over three months, so a good time for a change.

Newly Inked

The newly arrived Penlux Masterpiece Grande was filled with R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink. Although it arrived on Tuesday, I didn’t get around to inking it up until Friday afternoon.

Karas Ink V2 Pony Express: the weight of progress | UK fountain pens

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TWSBI Nib Size Comparison – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Crónicas Estilográficas: Reliable Information.

Guest Post: The Pelikan 600 – A Research Note And Query « The Pelikan’s Perch

Carry in style with the Galen Medic Bag | UK fountain pens

Happy endings and a win for Italian spirit | UK fountain pens

Everything You Need to Know About the Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter — Phidon Pens

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 21, 2020

photo of my Kaweco Brass Sport

My fountain pen usage continued to be low this past week. I missed a couple of days of journaling and didn’t do much other writing besides notes and lists. I did fill my current journal, which was a Field Notes Dime Novel edition. Once that was filled, I pulled out my Nanami Seven Seas Writer, which was already three-quarters used. The pocket notebook had ceased to be an incentive to get me started writing, so now I want to fill the last 25% of this A5 notebook.

The Kaweco Brass Sport has moved out of my pocket, to my desk so it got some use. It was easily the most used fountain pen over the last week. It’s a clear choice as the favorite of the week.

[Update: The Minima has been sold] I’ve decided to sell off my Benu Minima Mystical Green, and I’m mentioning it here first so regular readers the first crack at it. Also, say you’re a reader, and I’ll take $5 off the listed price. I’ve decided it doesn’t have a place in my rotation. It will never replace the Kaweco Brass Sport. I don’t trust the acrylic to play well with the keys in my pocket. Unlike the Kaweco, it won’t look better with scratches, dents, and dings. See the for sale page if you are interested.

I inked up a bunch of fountain pens as the week came to a close. Some were inked so I could decide if they were worth keeping. The Platinum 3776 Ribbed is one of these. It’s been just over a year since it was last inked up. It can go years between getting inked. I’ve used the ultra extra-fine nib as an excuse to keep the pen. It is a lovely nib. While it is my thinnest nib, the F-C Model 02 (needlepoint) and newly arrived Pilot 912 (posting nib) are very nice writers and fill the same function as the 3776 Ribbed does for me. They aren’t afflicted with gold trim, which puts me off the pen.

The Lamy 2000 is a classic design and one that I like a lot. But the pen hasn’t been inked in over two years, and that last time it took over six months for me to write the pen dry. The pen has two traits that afflict me. The nib is small and doesn’t stand out from the pen, which I count as one. And second, it has a small sweet spot. The first two traits combine to prevent me from rotating the pen as I use it. It’s not a lot, but combined with that small sweet spot, I get a lot of skipping. I’m going to give it another try. I’m in the mood to pass it on if it fails me again.

The two inked Benus have the same nib (EF) and have green as the base color. So they’re prime targets to keep one and pass the other along. While I’m far from decided, the Scepter immediately drew me to it, so it seems to be the one to beat. Of course, I haven’t seen the Grand Scepter in the flesh, make that acrylic, yet. So they both may be rentals.

New Arrivals



  1. Penlux Masterpiece Grande Black & White Koi (Fine) – this large pen has me intrigued, so I ordered one. I’m hoping this arrives early in the week. It’s already at the nearby USPS distribution center. But recent history proves it could be later in the week, and tease me over multiple days.



Written Dry

  1. Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo (left oblique): I flushed this one a little early. It needed help getting started on multiple occasions. While it had been sitting unused for a couple of days, this is very unusual behavior for this pen, and the frustration got to me. It probably had a page or two left when I picked it up and it failed to write earlier this week. So it got cleaned and put away. I have no patience for bothersome fountain pens. Although, since it’s one of the few oblique nibs that I have, it will be back soon enough.

Newly Inked

  1. Benu Briolette Secret Garden (EF) with the included long-international ink cartridge
  2. Benu Scepter II (EF) with R&K Alt-Bordeaux
  3. Pilot Custom 912 (PO) with the included Pilot Black in cartridge
  4. Sheaffer Ringtop Jade (F) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue (maroon box)
  5. Platinum 3776 Ribbed (UEF) with a Platinum Black cartridge
  6. Lamy 2000 (F) with R&K Leipziger Schwarz
  7. Kanilea Cherry Kona (EF) with Montblanc Bordeaux
  8. Franklin-Christoph Model 20 (M. Stub) with a Diamine Oxblood cartridge

The first four in the list are all getting inked up for the first time since they arrived.

Journaling Prompts for June – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop My fountain pen usage has declined a bit recently, so I’m looking for some ideas to spur some writing.

Monthly Inked // 2020 Work rotation – Weirdoforest Pens // Only two pens inked at once? That requires more decisions than I’m capable of making (I’m at 13 myself). The Pelikan is my favorite.

Conway Stewart No 13 Safety Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog and John Brindle’s Mabie Todd Pens Lists – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // While I have no real desire to own either of these vintage brands, I love reading about them and history.

Failure is the best test | UK fountain pens // Disappointing to hear about a 100% rate of disappointment. While it could be argued that not every pen was an out-of-the-box failure, I would say nib inconsistencies within a brand, or pen line, is a failure.

Pens from My Past | dapprman // Fountain pens weren’t a thing for me when I was in school. I feel deprived.

A new pen deliberation. And a Safari gets a deep clean. | Fountain pen blog // While I often swap Safari nibs, I’ve never had the feed come out like this.

canetas e coisas: SAILOR

Fountain Pen Photography: How To Focus Stack – Fountain Pen Love

The Sad, Strange Saga of Crane Stationery — The Gentleman Stationer

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 14, 2020

Currently inked pens June 14, 2020
Currently inked pens

My fountain pen usage was way down this week and for the first time in months I missed a day of journalling, then I skipped another one. Mainly because I was under the weather for a couple of days. But things are looking up.

I cleaned a few pens Friday night when I couldn’t sleep, but I’ve got more cleaning to do.

I still have four fountain pens that arrived over the last few weeks but have yet to be inked up. I plan to ink them up this afternoon or Monday. Plus I’ll pull a few more from the pen case. I’ve still got five inked pens, but none are suitable as an everyday writer, so I’ll be inking up some pens this afternoon.

New Arrivals






Written Dry

As expected, the Diplomat Aero Orange/Black went dry last Sunday afternoon. I expect one of my Aero pens to return to the rotation soon, although which one is still TBD.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 with Montblanc Emerald Green and a needlepoint nib finally went dry on Saturday. That needlepoint nib is stingy with ink, despite putting down an easily readable line.

Newly Inked


Black Lives Matter: A Statement « The Pelikan’s Perch

Episode 143: Black Lives Matter | The Erasable Podcast

Jesus Christ, Just Wear a Face Mask!

Now,on to the fun stuff…

The Unsung History Of Pelikan, Inc. USA « The Pelikan’s Perch // I have to admit, I haven’t read the entire article yet, it’s on the agenda for this afternoon. Like Joshua’s other historical articles, I expect it to be informative and information dense.

An overdue look at the Sheaffer 300 fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog // I really liked the Sheaffer 300 when I reviewed it. I ended up giving it away when it went unused for over a year. It deserved more attention than I could give it.

My Ten Favorite Fountain Pens – The Well-Appointed Desk // I always like seeing what other people pick as their favorites, especially when they are so different from what I would pick. I recently became aware that Scnhon DSGN now makes fountain pens. I foresee a potential Retro 51 type problem, a lot of nice designs and options.

Some of My Favourite Desk Tools – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Ink Adultery – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Francis THEO: Sketching Holiday in Hong Kong

Tips For Starting an Ink Journal – Goulet Pens Blog

How To Choose The Best Pen For You — The Gentleman Stationer

Admiring small, but perfectly formed, collections: 10 pen addicts to follow on Instagram | UK fountain pens

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 7, 2020

photo of my currently inked pens
Sorry of the bad indoor lighting. Dreary day and only time to get a quick snapshot.

I’m still working through my inked pens. I’ve been picking one of the fine or extra-fine nibs and using it until it goes dry. I exclude the eye-dropper filled pens since I’d get bored with them before they go dry. My currently inked fountain pens are in the photo, although I don’t expect the Diplomat Aero to last through the day. Left-to-Right: Edison Huron Grande (EF), Diplomat Aero (EF), Franklin-Christoph Model 02 (Needle), Kaweco Brass Sport (EF), and Pilot Vanishing Point (OM). The Newton Eastman with an Esterbrook nib is stretched out in front the the pen stands. The copper pen at the end is a Karas Kustoms Rollerball.

My favorite fountain pen this week was the Diplomat Aero (Orange/Black) with its extra-fine nib. The more I use the Aero, the more I like it. I don’t have a legitimate favorite ink this week, although the two manufacturer provided ink cartridges were undoubtedly the most used. They just aren’t inspiring and were used simply to avoid waste. On the other hand, both performed well, so I guess they should be favorites.

New Arrivals

The Benu Scepter II was shipped out on Monday and arrived this Saturday afternoon. I opened the box to inspect the pen but haven’t used it yet. I now have four fountain pens that I’ve never inked up. I did notice that this one came with both a long (large) international cartridge, along with a converter.





Written Dry

The Benu Minima went dry earlier this week. I bought too many Benu pens recently. While I like the Minima, it may be one that I pass on unless it can find a place in my rotation. It was nice, but not so nice that I considered picking it over any of the other fountain pens on my list to use. So, I’ll clean it out and decide its fate after using the other two Benus.

The Sailor KOP Royal Tangerine went dry last Sunday. It’s still in the queue waiting to be cleaned. I plan to bring it back once the Pilot VP is dry. They are both oblique nibs, and I won’t use the VP if the KOP is available. So the KOP gets a timeout.

Newly Inked


Dave Pell on Twitter: “There’s been so much ugliness. Don’t miss the remarkable beauty.” / Twitter

Jazz and Black America — MacSparky // Video in the post.

REVIEW: PLATINUM PREFOUNTE FOUNTAIN PEN | The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews // Platinum makes some great inexpensive fountain pens, I’m read the review because I wasn’t sure why they need this fountain pen in their product lineup. But Dries makes a good case for this pen. Then I realized the Plasir was more expensive (~$18) than I thought. The Prefounte fits in nicely.

Top Ten Notebooks – The Well-Appointed Desk // The Well-Appointed Desk is celebrating 10 years. Congrats Ana! A lot of content and giveaways, so be sure to browse all the recent articles. You can occupy the entire Sunday afternoon.

Crónicas Estilográficas: Luxury and Silent. I. Context // An analysis of the new Vanishing Point LS along with Crónicas Estilográficas: Luxury and Silent. II. Analysis

A look at the Online College cartridge pen. | Fountain pen blog // This has got to be the worst name for a brand (Online). It’s buried in any internet search, with many pen retailers returned, instead of it, at least on the first couple of pages. The arey here.

The Anatomy of an Oblique – Tokyo Station Pens // via Pen Addict member newsletter // Although I don’t have very many, this is my favorite nib grind, and one is always inked. Currently, it’s my Pilot Vanishing Point.

EDCC: My Everyday Covid-19 Carry | From the Pen Cup

First Impressions: Montblanc 149 Fountain Pen — The Gentleman Stationer

Journal in June with Goulet Pens – Goulet Pens Blog

Francis THEO: Circuit Breaker ll Paper Cutting Challenge

Rants of The Archer: Pen and Ink Pairings: Lamy Safaris and Herbins

Stephens Fixed Blue – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

A Fist Full of Franklins | dapprman // While I still have some F-C fountain pens I lost interest in the brand, although I can’t explain why. Great nib options and acrylics. I think it’s because there were too many good choices.

What’s The Difference Between Inexpensive and Expensive Fountain Pens? – Fountain Pen Love

Black Lives Matter

I try to stick to fountain pens on this site, and certainly try to avoid politics. But, that’s impossible these days, since even basic humanity becomes political. I suppose I could bring it around to fountain pens by saying I’ve been using them to record my thoughts about current events. Which is true. But that’s not the point. The point is black lives matter. Yes, all lives matter but when I hear the “all” these days the intent is to further marginalize a significant part of our population. So, black lives matter.

It’s impossible to not write something because a) I’m a middle-aged white guy who could be viewed (you know, based on appearance) as a core Trump supporter, and b) the guy who appearances might say I support, decided to use teargas and rubber bullets against a peaceful protest so he could stroll across the street for a photo op. Although, I suspect the teargas and rubber bullets were the point more than the photo op.

Before you say that the story was skewed and tear gas was justified: Virginia State Police pulled their officers out of D.C. after the event because it “… allowed our officers to be put in a compromising position that endangered their health and safety, and that of the people around them, for a purpose not worthy of our mutual aid obligations.”

I’ve got no great words of wisdom or solutions, but things have to change. For a good roundup of human reactions and thought out responses see That’s a home page link, since no one post stands out. Actually, this one does stand out.

I have this overwhelming urge to launch into a pages long screed, but to stay on point with the only three words that matter: Black Lives Matter.