I filled the Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun back on January 9th. Over the course of a month it got a couple of refills which was slightly off the pace of previous inks which had been running a week or less between refills. A logical conclusion would be that this has been my least favorite ink in this fountain pen.
Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun was on my Favorite 5 Ink list back on October 2013 and I still do really like the ink. Part of it is that this is a gray ink and it’s the middle of winter here in the northeast U.S. with many gray days. So I reached for pens that had inks that had a little more pop.
The ink and pen got along really well and I didn’t have any skipping or hard starts. The ink was also easy to clean from the pen. The ink flow varied just enough to add some shading which is one thing I like about this ink.
The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age didn’t spend much time without ink. In fact, it’s already inked up with a new ink. I’ll withhold the ink now for now, but my first impression is that it will not be refilled once I write it dry.
Another broad nib bites the dust, or more accurately gets flushed out. This particular KarasKustoms Ink is one of the more recent arrivals so it was inked up to give it a try. I got the broad nib to be complete and have some variety. Since I have five Inks I decided to include a broad nib even though they really aren’t for me. Unlike the other KarasKustoms Inks (which are fine and medium nibs) the feed on this one is slightly misaligned as can be seen in the photo. This didn’t affect it’s writing and I didn’t notice it until the photos were taken. Although if properly aligned the pen might be even wetter. It’s a Schmidt nib so it’s a western broad nib, wider than my recently reviewed Sailor broad nib. I flushed the pen early, it wasn’t even close to written dry. The broad nib doesn’t fit my writing style. And while I could use the Sailor broad nib enough to empty the pen and write a review this broad nib is just too wet and wide for me. I reviewed the KarasKustoms Ink here, although I didn’t have the broad nib at the time. I really like the Ink, which is obvious from the review, so I’ll probably get this nib ground into something with a little more character, although it may be awhile before that happens. I like the Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake ink. Like all Iroshizuku inks it’s well behaved and I really like the orange color. Unfortunately for me, it really needs a wide or wet nib to shine, and those are nibs I tend to avoid. I inked the pen up back on December 9th. There was still plenty of ink in the converter. Considering how much ink the nib puts down it just goes to show how little I used the pen.
The English translation of Pilot Irooshizuku’s Syo-ro name is “Dew on Pine Trees” which seems to be an apt name, at least when the ink is wet. I got the ink hoping the greens in this ink would stand out more than in the pictures I’ve seen, especially since I’m not a fan of blue inks. Syo-ro is a teal ink that looks pretty good when it’s wet. It’s more teal on the blue side when it’s wet and then the green does come out as the ink dries. So by the time I took the writing sample photos there’s more green showing through. Luckily (for me) it only looks full on blue when it’s in the bottle and pen. Like other Iroshizuku inks, Syo-ro is well behaved. It dries fast enough so I don’t accidentally smudge it. While not completely waterproof it’s water-resistant enough that I can read what was written after the water test. Plus, it’s easy to clean from my pens. There is some nice shading with wider, wetter nibs. I can’t complain about the ink properties and while it does enhance the green color as it dries my reaction is still “meh”. If I was someone who used broad nibs I would probably like the ink more. It’s completely subjective but the color of Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro has too much blue showing, even after it dries, so it’s just middle of the road for me. I can’t say I like it, it’s more accurate to say I don’t dislike it.
I used my usual array or TWSBI nibs for the writing samples. The extra fine nib was used as my writer for a day and performed flawlessly. There wasn’t any skipping or hard starts. The ink was in the pen about a week and flushed out easily.
Iroshizuke Yu-Yake is an ink I picked up from Amazon when it was discounted, although it’s still on the expensive side. It’s not a color I’ll use a lot, but I picked it up because it was unlike any other ink color I had.
Orange isn’t a color I’d even consider as a daily writer which is a good thing since the ink doesn’t do well in my preferred thin nibs. I also prefer my nibs on the dry side which isn’t a good choice for this ink. With the extra fine and fine nibs the ink seemed like it was always about to skip or go dry. With the medium nib it was OK although unremarkable.
I really liked the performance in the Sheaffer Legacy I with the stub nib. That’s easily the wettest nib I used the ink in and one of the widest. I use the ink for note taking when I want the note to stand out which means it’s only used for short writing sessions. The ink is fast drying so even with the wide, wet nib it dries quick enough. No smudges as long as I’m just a little careful and don’t turn the page too fast. There’s also very nice line variation and shading with this nib.
I wouldn’t say the ink has flow problems, it flows quit nicely. But it’s not a free flowing ink, maybe a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. There was some show through but no bleed-through on any paper and no noticeable feathering.
Cleaning was quick and easy. It wasn’t in the TWSBI long enough to stain even if it was prone to stain, but it washed out quick and easy. It was in the Legacy I for about 2 weeks and also cleaned out of it easily.
For the water test the ink dried for about 2 hours and it faded when it was wet but didn’t smudge or run and was still legible.
A nice orange ink although I don’t have a lot to compare it to. It’s not an ink I’ll use a lot but I do like it. I’ll use it in wider and wetter nibs.
My TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs was used for the writing samples.These nibs tend to be on the dry side which isn’t the best choice for this ink.
My Sheaffer Legacy I with a factory stub seemed ideal for this ink. It’s the first ink I’ve used in the pen so I can’t compare it. There was nice line variation and shading.
I had problems with page 2 of the Rhodia samples. I ripping ability failed completely and the top of the page is ragged where I tore it from the pad. The water from the water test also spread a little to far, but didn’t ruin the sample too much. So apologies for that.
I bought my bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun (Light Cool Gray) rather grudgingly. Iroshizuku inks were suggested when I asked for ink suggestions for my upcoming pen reviews. I would have preferred a black ink for my Sailor pro gear review but it wasn’t available at the time so I went for gray. I went for the full bottle over a sample since much of the Iroshizuku buzz was about the bottles.
I always felt grays were just watered down blacks. Lucky for me I was forced into this gray. I’ve made a noticeable dent in the bottle which must mean I like the ink.
I found the ink lived up to the reputation of Iroshizuku inks. It is well behaved, has good flow with my thin nibs and is quick drying. It also has good water resistance. There’s a little shading, even with my thin nibs.
Drying time on Rhodia paper was about 5 seconds with my fine and extra fine nibs. Drying time varied more with my medium nibs, although mainly because some were wetter than others. My Conway Stewart medium, a wet nib, took over 10 seconds to dry while my Pilot Metropolitan was still about 5 seconds to dry. Drying was even quicker on Doane Paper.
Despite being quick drying, the ink is slow to evaporate off the nib, even a fine Sailor nib. It wrote immediately even after being uncapped for several minutes.
The reliability, quick dry time, water resistance and slow nib evaporation make this my current favorite as a note taking ink. Despite being a watered down black gray ink, I really like the way it looks on paper.
As an added bonus, this has been one of the easiest inks to clean from my pens, taking only a couple squirts from the bulb syringe.
The only negative is the price. At $0.56/ml this is a pricey ink. By comparison, Diamine ink is $0.16/ml.
Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black w/ fine nib (my review): I’ve run several converter fills of this ink through the pen. The only issue I had was when the last converter was near empty. The pen would skip on the first letter after laying flat overnight. Other than that the pen was well behaved with the ink.
Edison Huron Grande w/ extra fine nib: A recent acquisition so I’m still on my first fill. No hesitation or skipping so far.
Those are the pens that have gotten the most use so far. The Pilot Metropolitan and Conway Stewart Marlborough Vintage, both medium nibs, along with Lamy Safaris with medium and broad nibs have also gotten some use with the ink. Writing samples are in the gallery below. For the water resistance test the ink was left to dry overnight before having water spilled on it.