Category Archives: fountain pens

Pokemon Little Tales Fountain Pen

This arrived yesterday — carried back from Japan for me by an awesome friend. She gave me the bag, folder and sticker it came with. Total price was a $38 and some cents. I found out about this pen from a thread on Reddit. It was available online, but currently seems to be sold out, luckily a friend happened to be in Tokyo and picked one up for me.

Here’s the packaging. The plastic box is pretty lightweight and flimsy, but seems to do a decent job protecting the pen, but it has no cushioning. The pen also comes with two black Sailor cartridges.

A close up of the nib. A cute bow, it’s wider than my other sailor nib (comparison below) but also much shorter. The only part of the pen that indicates that it’s made by sailor is the gold ring on the lip of the cap — it says “SAILOR – MADE IN JAPAN”.

A writing sample comparing the pen against a Metro and my Sailor Pro Color 500. It’s wider and wetter then the Pro Color (which I hear is notoriously dry), but pretttty close to the Metro. As reference, the Pokemon pen is inked with the Sailor cartridge it came with, the Metro is Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and the Pro Color with Sailor Tokiwa Matsu.

The pen is pretty close in size to the Pro Color, though the nib is much wider and shorter. I suppose I should have put a Metro in this picture.

Overall — it’s a cute pen (yay Pokemon!) that’s not bad. It writes with a little bit of feedback, but I don’t mind that at all. It’s a wider nib than the Pro Color, and is, unsurprisingly, a little smoother. But it does have the same type of feedback, not the smoothness of the Metro. It feels pretty light and cheap in hand — and I’m not sure how durable the design will be. If it wears off overtime, I wouldn’t be too surprised. I wouldn’t worry about it for daily use though. But I bet it can be removed with a solvent or scratched by keys. Pokemon aside, for $38ish, it’s not bad value, especially if you like nibs with a little feedback — but the Metro is a far more durable and solid pen for less than half the price. I suspect I’m going to enjoy writing with it quite a bit since I like feedback, and for $38, as a Pokemon fan, I think it’s totally worth it.

Wing Sung 659 Part 2

Now with some pictures taken in daylight, instead of at midnight…

It’s been a little over a week since I inked up my Wing Sung 659, so I thought I’d write up a couple more thoughts.

First, it’s been in my EDC this last week, still inked with Diamine Evergreen and as an eyedropper. I haven’t had many issues with burping, but I live in the Bay Area where the temperatures aren’t extreme and I’ve been remembering to hold the barrel for a moment or two before pointing the pen nib down. So far, it’s held up great. I’ve had a drop of ink or two show up in the cap, but that seems reasonable given that it’s been in a backpack.

Second, the “gold” lines on the cap are starting to wear off (see picture above). I don’t mind, but it’s worth noting. My Pilot 78G, which I’ve had longer, and was purchased used, still has two solid bands.

Third, it’s still very pretty. In the picture below I tried to capture the facets in the barrel. It’s a mediocre picture — but with a colorful ink, it’s a very pretty pen. (At least IMO)

Fourth, I spent some time trying out the extra fine nib. I love fine nibs, but I’m not a big fan of this one. I much prefer the fine. The extra fine, as pictured below, is very fine. The inks I’m using aren’t consistent, but the Wing Sung EF (third line) appears pretty light because Diamine Evergreen does that. The ink in the Penmanship is more opaque. Overall though, it writes a similar line width to the Penmanship, but I much prefer the feeling of the Penmanship. The WS EF is very smooth for an EF nib, and it weirds me out a little — I like the feedback I get with the Penmanship. The Fine though, is a smidge wider than the Metro, closer to the Metro’s Medium than its Fine.

Wing Sung 659!

I stumbled upon the Wing Sung 659 about a week ago on eBay while browsing Chinese pens after an annoying customer call (retail therapy. yeaaaah.). I was surprised to see this pen, since it looks pretty similar to the Pilot 78G, but I figured that for $9 with free shipping it was worth trying. Exactly a week later, it’s here!

It arrived in a box with two nib/feed/collar units (one F and one EF) and a convertor. I love the look of ink sloshing around in demonstrators, so I picked up a tube of silicon grease and inked it as an eyedropper.

It seems to be an exact match with the Pilot 78G — including fitting Pilot nibs. The Fine Wing Sung nib (I haven’t tried the EF yet) is very smooth though — it writes a little wetter (perhaps because it’s eyedroppered) but similarly to my Medium Metro.

Overall, the build quality is good, but I did notice these two little bumps at the end of the section, but a couple swipes with a nail file smoothed things over! Now I don’t really see any remnants of cheaper manufacturing. (To be fair, I’m not looking very hard)

This was my first time “converting” a pen to an eyedropper, so I had a couple burps before realizing I needed to warm up the ink a bit with my hands. Since doing that, no more leaks! It’s definitely a wet writer, and on the wide side for a Fine, but great value (and neat looking) for $9, shipped.

Next up, I want to try the EF nib and fill it with a brighter more visually interesting color… But I’ll save that for another day.

Blue black ink comparisons

I did a comparison of some blue black inks last night — Edelstein Tanzanite, Iroshizuku Shin-kai, Montblanc Meisterstück Blue Hour Twilight Blue, Sailor Bung Box Blue Black and Kaweco Midnight. I used two pens — my super dry Sailor Pro Color and a wet Pelikan 400NN with a medium nib and some flex (see photo below). Paper is Koyuko binder paper.

My tldr: I need some better lighting.  EDIT: Now with better lit pictures! Slightly.

50 cent Montblancs

I picked these three up at the annual Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale yesterday. They were, from left to right, 75 cents, 50 cents and 50 cents. Yesss. After lot’s of Googling and some help from Reddit and FPN, it appears that the leftmost MB is a Noblesse (perhaps an 1120?) the middle is a 320P or 220P (unclear still) and the rightmost is a Sheaffer School Pen.

Ignore the white spots, I hadn’t fully cleaned off the sticky residue from the price stickers.

I haven’t inked up the Sheaffer yet, but I have inked the two Montblancs. The Noblesse is a western fine — with a smooth steel nib. The mystery black pen is a smooth and wet medium. I’m not 100% sure the Montblancs are authentic, but at $1.25 total — they write great, I don’t really care. (Though I am curious)

Noodler’s Ahab + Zebra G Modification

Like many other fountain pen enthusiasts, flex pens are something I want… but can’t quite afford. (Or don’t feel responsible spending on, anyway.)

So, with many helpful pointers from YouTube videos and Reddit, I did it! It worked on first try.

Here’s what I did:
1. Pulled out the original nib + feed from my Noodler’s Ahab
2. Jammed in a Zebra G, lining up the first groove in the feed with the cut out on the side of the nib (I also tried a Nikko G and a Tachikawa G, neither fit. The Zebra G was by far the easiest to fit in)
3. Slid the feed+nib far enough such that the nib reaches the line where the Noodler’s nib ended
4. Heat set the feed

If you look into the barrel of the pen, there are two sides — there’s the side where the Noodler’s nib fits, then there’s the side that has a little extra plastic. Each side is approximately half the barrel. I found that I initially positioned the nib and feed such that the Zebra G was where the Noodler’s nib was, the pen would write great, but the nib touched the cap, leaving me with little puddles of ink in the cap. I then repositioned it so the nib was on the side with the little plastic rim, and the nib no longer touches. However, it was impossible for me to get it in on this side before the initial heatset — so this may have to be a two-step process.

And some pictures:

Initial Victory!
It writes! Taken right after the initial heat set, it wrote easily right away. Ignore the crazy person writing in the background — I was so surprised I got it working on first try.

Two days later
Two days later, you can see the nib touches the cap — leaving a constant blob of ink. The pen is filled with Diamine Evergreen, but the nib’s corrosion is clearly discoloring the ink.

Four days later
Four days later — I can no longer wipe off the rust, you can see it’s starting to set in along the slit. Pen still writes great though. After taking this photo, I re-heatset the nib after rotating it (and the feed) 180 degrees, and now the nib no longer touches the cap!

Five days later
Taken this morning (five days since) — it takes a couple strokes after the pen has been sitting for several hours to get to normal ink. At this point I’ve probably written 7-10 full pages of Spencerian practice with the nib.

So far I’ve been tucking it into my (makeshift) pen case and carrying it around in my backpack with my other regular-use pens (currently two Esterbrooks) and it’s been leak and problem free.

EDIT/UPDATE: January 3

I replaced the nib last night. I wrote with it for a bit, then began to notice that it wasn’t producing a fine hairline anymore. So I got about a week and a half out of it.

Here’s the nib before I pulled it out — both the top and bottom are rusted. There was also some ink+rust gunk in the feed.

nib last night

The part of the barrel that touches the nib also seems permanently rust-stained — last night was pen cleaning night, so here are the parts of my Ahab and a Metro.

pen cleaning day!

I popped in a new nib this morning (and J Herbin Violet Pensee) and it wrote right away. Seems to be a little more prone to leaking — I’m not yet sure if that’s the ink or the way I positioned the nib.