Friday, April 28, 2006

Pelikan Clear Demonstrator

After stating that I would not be buying any more Pelikan pens, a unusual Pelikan M200 Demonstrator came my way today, and for the price, I decided I would buy it. The pen is a Clear M200 Demonstrator. 2000 pens were made in the year 2000 for the Asian market. It has a 14K Extra Fine nib, the same nib as a M400.

This is a different pen to the current line of Pelikan M200's which were released in 2002. It is also a different pen to the older 1990's M200 Clear Demonstrator which has two gold cap bands and clear acrylic dome on the end of the cap.

I wonder what ink I'll fill it with when it arrives... methinks Fiesta Red would look pretty darn cool in that clear chamber!

See this archived Stylophiles article for a glimpse of the clear Pelikan - Crystal Clear.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Good eBay Deal

I bought a little bundle of calligraphy items on eBay recently, didn't really look too hard at it, but the price was right, so I put a bid on and forgot about it.

I won the auction and soon the goods arrived - a few dip pen sets, a couple of calligraphy pen sets, a speedball set, some loose dip pens, a lettering book, a couple of hardcover calligraphy books, and some practice pads.

Postage was pricey for all that stuff, but it was still a great buy - $25US all up. The books were like brand-new, the pens were all excellent, and the practice pads were extra special - a nice buff parchment colour with a super surface that my fountain pens just glide across. One pad is a Grumbacher, the other is generic.

The seller even included some bonus dip and calligraphy pens, and an especially nice little wooden pencil box to store them in.

I good eBay deals!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Inks, Handwriting

A lovely box arrived from Pendemonium today! It contained four bottles of ink - J. Herbin’s 'Vert Olive', Private Reserve's 'Blue Suede', 'Fiesta Red' and 'Copper Burst'. I'm loving Vert Olive - it looks excellent coming out of the White Honey M400!

I had also bought a copy of Write Now, as I am currently undertaking Handwriting Improvement with Kate Gladstone.

I must say I am impressed with the progress. My handwriting was never really bad, just a little slow, and when I sped it up, it all went to hell in a hand basket. I did have some bad habits too - h, b and m/n were poorly formed, but I'm improving. Write Now is really helpful also - I was struggling to form a f, j and k that I liked, and sure enough the book had some perfect italic examples for me.

I'm very happy I made the decision to improve my writing with Kate.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Duke Pen

I have ordered the cute and rather nifty looking Duke Mini Torpedo / 2007.

The tiny size, the unusual copper trim, and ridiculously low price are all quite appealing. The nib is a Medium, which is OK with me. I prefer Fine's, but one can't have everything - especially for $35!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Overview: Pelikan M300, M400

Available in half a dozen different sizes, and a few classic colours, the Pelikan Souverän line of fountain pens is popular and well-regarded.

The M300 and the M400 are very light pens, much lighter than I expected. I don't particularly think *quality* when I pick either one up. The barrels are made from plastic and thin resin. The cap, nib section, and filler-cap are adorned with gold-plated accents. The pens feature a piston-filler mechanism, which is a very nice touch. I don't think the barrel and plastic cap would wear very well over time. The finish seems like it would easily scratch. Careless handling could likely result in some damage to the plastic and celluloid/resin finish. I don't think words like 'sturdy' come anywhere near this pen - I fear I will over-tighten something and hear something split.

The Nib
The pens come standard with a finely engraved, two-toned Rhodium-masked gold nib. My M400 features an Extra Fine 14K nib, and my M300 a F 14K nib. Both are very pleasant, smooth nibs to write with. However, they are thicker than expected.

Whilst I like the Souverän M300 and M400 fountain pens, I am very glad I did not buy them retail in Australia, as upon inspecting them closely, I don't think they are worth the AU asking price. To buy the M400 here in AU, you need to pay $370AU, I paid $195AU online - huge difference. To buy the M300, you need to pay $320AU, I paid $180AU. Each price includes shipping to my door.

Nice pens, but I may take the Pelikan M320 and M450 off my wish list. Don't get me wrong - the Souveräns are well-constructed, finely crafted pens. I personally just prefer something that feels a little more sturdy in the hand.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Argh! Missed FedEx

Damnit damnit damnithjfh#!@!#$

I came home after lunch and was about to check the mailbox, when I noticed some lovely bird had poo'ed on my car. This of course led to me washing my car, then deciding to detail it a little, and before I knew it, it was 5PM.

It was about then that I remembered the mailbox - I looked and sure enough, a FedEx slip! The depot closed at 5PM, so now I must wait until tomorrow morning for my Pelikans!

Hate it when that happens.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Well, my Pelikan Souverän M400 (White Tortoise / Honey) and Souverän M300 (Green) will be arriving shortly - the M400 will have a lovely two-tone 14K Extra Fine nib, while the M300 will have a similar two-tone 14K Fine nib.

Happy happy happy!

I ordered the two Pelikan's from PenGallery, as the prices were quite decent, and the postage is very reasonable between Malaysia and Australia.

Before I made my order, I sent two e-mails, one enquiring about the nib on a Pelikan 320, and the second enquiring about whether they would dip-test my chosen pens before shipping. Nobody ever replied to my questions.

I made my order anyway, and expect my pens in a couple of days. I hope all will be fine, as the disregard for my customer service enquiries is disturbing. What if there is a problem with the pen? I would hope that they would respond then. :/

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A New Lepine Attila

Well, I have put my Pelikan Souverän M400 (White Honey) fountain pen order on hold for a month or so. Firstly, the vendor I had hoped to use appears to have some issues shipping to Australia, and secondly, a new Jean-Pierre Lepine fountain pen unexpectedly came my way last week instead!

I love my Lepine pens - I have an Indigo Murano Fountain Pen and a Attila Classic Rollerball. The Indigo fountain pen has a steel nib, and is a beautiful writer. The latest Lepine fountain pen is the Attila Classic in 'Champagne'. The Attila is a thick and stout little pen, measuring just over 5" when capped. It feels great in the hand. I had been looking for the Champagne colour for some time, and it was a stroke of luck that I found it, and that it was also on special - $70 off!

On a whim, I had phoned my favourite pen store to check the price of something, and to inquire about any Jean Pierre Lepine Attila's in stock. The store had a marble burnt orange, blue, and solid black in stock, none of which appealed to me. I asked if they would phone the other branch of their store, to see if they had the Champagne colour I really wanted. (Champagne sold out quickly, and is hard to get.) Within a few minutes they phoned back to say they actually had a forgotten Champagne Attila fountain pen in their store which was on hold for a customer - but that customer had exceeded the hold period, so they could offer it to me. Yay!

When I do get around to ordering my Pelikan M400, I will be getting the following along with it:

• J. Herbin ink, bottle, Vert Olive.
• Private Reserve, bottle, Shoreline Gold.
• Private Reserve, bottle, Fiesta Red.
• Private Reserve, bottle, Copper Burst.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jean Pierre Lepine

A bit of a mini-review today - Jean Pierre Lepine is a French manufacturer I don't see much written about, perhaps because they make other items such as watches as well as writing instruments, and their designs are quite modern, and wouldn't appeal to everyone. (Such as the strange 'Cactus' series.)

I have a Indigo Murano Fountain Pen and a Attila Classic Rollerball - two pens which are more than excellent in my opinion. The pens are constructed from bright resins with chrome trim. Many colour choices and styles are available.

A couple of nice touches - The inside thread of the caps are metal - my Montegrappa Micra, at double the price, has plastic threads inside the cap. The Lepine's also have a small rubber gasket inside the barrel - the resin is protected from cracking and being screwed too tight around the barrel, and no leaking can occur around the threads.

The pens are small in length - the Indigo is just shy of 4", while the Attila is just over 4". I dislike long pens, so for me, these are perfect. With the cap posted, the Indigo is just over 5", and the Attila is 5 1/2". The Indigo fountain pen nib is superb and smooth. There is immediate flow when the pen is put to paper, with no skipping or scratchiness. The nib is stainless steel, nicely engraved, and a No 4 width, which is roughly equivalent to a Medium.

The Attila is a much thicker pen - beautifully weighted and nice to hold in the hand. I desperately want an Attila fountain pen, but they are hard to find. While I don't love rollerballs, the Lepine is very good - smooth and non-skipping.

Overall, two very pleasing pens, and I'm on the lookout for more.