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gschmidl
Sep 3, 2011

it's the journey
not the destination
as we know



"YOU TRIED" DIVISION


Arcsech posted:

If it can click out instantly, but takes a second to click back in I think that would be fine for me at least. I’m curious if there’s some advantage to that mechanism or if it’s just a gimmick.

According to early reviews, it fixes the problem where it sprays micro droplets when engaged.

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grack
Jan 10, 2012

COACH TOTORO SAY REFEREE CAN BANISH WHISTLE TO LAND OF WIND AND GHOSTS!


I bought another Delta

Jiru
Oct 12, 2016

You can't see me!





I found this Parker 51 on the net for a great price. So great, in fact, that it made me suspicious. But it had a visible hairline crack on the hood and the nib had clearly been tampered with, as it wasn't aligned. Everything else seemed right: cap was gold plated with no oxidation, the aerometric filler was correct for the model. So I figured people were just passing on a defective pen.

Today it arrived. Here it is, posing right by a cocoa 51 I already owned.



And yeah... it is a fake . It is obvious when you hold it in your hand, just because it has no markings at all: the "Parker 51" label in the cap and the filler are missing, for once. It's pretty clear in the latter: there should be a big "PARKER 51" right over the "Fill..." line, but it is just... not there.



Everything else, though, is there. Correctly spelled and spaced, even, though mayyybe a bit not as deeply engraved as the original. Use Superchrome ink, kids!



The cap is another give-out: apart from the lack of markings, the lines are sloppy, way more spaced than the original and turn sidewards a bit near the end, as if the machine making them had moved or something. Of note that it seems to actually be gold-filled, though the gold content is minimal, I'd guess. It does not say anything at all. There's also no obvious brassing and the base metal has not been eaten through by oxide, as is the case with a lot of old, cheap knock-offs.



The jewel is clearly fake, though; just a basic piece of gray plastic. C for effort.



The clutch ring is interesting: it is almost identical to the real one, but you can make out the horizontal lines left behind when machining it. The original is much finer and does not have those. Of note, also, is that the hood and the barrel do exchange with my authentic Parker 51 (an aerometric and a vacumatic) without problem. The only difference you can tell is that the plastic fells slightly cheaper, which explains the cracked hood.



The hood, again, does not stand up to close comparation, but it can fool someone who hasn't got their 51 on hand. The hole is thinner than the real one, and the feed is not as well-finished as it should be. There's a slight misalignment going on there, too.



And now we get to the meat and potatoes of this, that is, the nib and feed. How does the clone compare?



... yeah, they didn't try so hard here. Probably because whoever was buying those on a flea market would not be stopping to open them up, I suppose. You can see the general idea, but the nib is unmarked steel and has corroded. Which actually tells us something else about this pen: whatever this thing is, it is not made to fool stupid 2020 collectors, because that oxide has been going for a while.

Of interest is that, although I didn't take a pic, the nib and feed can be plucked out together (though not separated) and they do have an intact, working breather tube attached to them! It's a piece that nobody would see, unless they are taking the pen completely apart, but it is there and it does its thing as far as I can tell. The feed is also ample and forgiving, so that misalignment seen before and the corrosion going on at the top have not actually affected how it works.

Which it actually, surprisingly, does! The nib is really screechy, but it does not rip the paper, and it lays down a wet fine line not unlike real 51's. It starts up perfectly and does not dry up at all. I can see myself taking notes with this thing, though I'd probably try to smooth the nib out a bit - I think some of the corrosion may have gotten into the tip. The "pli-glass" sac is completely intact and working, which makes me wonder, as the only sacs that I have seen not falling apart after 50 years are Parker pli-glass ones. Is it made of the same material? Who knows.

So I looked up a bit on the Internet to try and figure out what this is. There's not much info around; for what I can tell, China-made "knockoffs" from the old Parker factories often do their own, separate, branding and are often seen more as "homages" that anything intended to fool people. This article came up, though: it is about fake Parker 51's made in the Italian town of Settimo in the fifties. The collector-shaped adaptor in particular caught my attention, as this one is almost identical, though not exactly so (and the nib is different). They also sport clear, apparently working sacs. These fakes were actually marked as 51's, which is why Parker cracked down on them hard and the police shut down all production.

I do think this pen may be a left-over from Settimo: the lack of markings may point to someone getting rid of their remaining, unmarked production without actually marking them as 51's, maybe to avoid the police. Who knows, though. It is definitely old, and it is not a 51, but it apes it remarkably well, and has survived as long as them, which is no easy feat. I really think it could stand on its own as a middle-tier pen in the 50's-60's era.

iospace
Jan 19, 2038




Fun Shoe

grack posted:

I bought another Delta

What's the total now?

Heath
Apr 29, 2008




Great write-up. Fakes are always interesting in the varying levels of detail they go into to try and fool people. Obviously it seems like you're planning to keep it, but do you have any recourse for having been sold a fake, or do you just have to deal?

Jiru
Oct 12, 2016

You can't see me!





Heath posted:

Great write-up. Fakes are always interesting in the varying levels of detail they go into to try and fool people. Obviously it seems like you're planning to keep it, but do you have any recourse for having been sold a fake, or do you just have to deal?

Thanks! I guess I could complain to the site-masters and ask for a refund, but the whole thing was 16€ plus shipping. For that cost I got what amounts to a good and interesting pen, even if it is a fake, so it's probably not worth making a fuss over. Also, I don't really think the vendor is trying to scam people, just uninformed, but if I see some more "mysterious" 51s pop up from them I'll tip the site.

Heath
Apr 29, 2008



What's a real one in good shape go for? If you got what you paid for, then it's whatever

grack
Jan 10, 2012

COACH TOTORO SAY REFEREE CAN BANISH WHISTLE TO LAND OF WIND AND GHOSTS!


iospace posted:

What's the total now?

37

grack fucked around with this message at 21:03 on May 26, 2020

Jiru
Oct 12, 2016

You can't see me!





Heath posted:

What's a real one in good shape go for? If you got what you paid for, then it's whatever

Here, and speaking from observation alone, I'd expect 40-50€ for a good, working Parker 51 that has not been professionally restored or cleaned but has no big defects like brassing or dings to the cap. Both of mine had flaws and were cheaper (the Cocoa has a very visible name engraved and the jewel was replaced by a personalization, and the Black was a restoration project and arrived virtually destroyed). Restored 51s are usually more expensive.

Doctor Dogballs
Apr 1, 2007

driving the fuck truck from hand land to pound town without stopping at suction station


Anyone ever ordered from Nibsmith before? I just got an italic nib from them which I asked be made 1.4 to 1.5mm wide, and it's less than 1mm wide.

LifeLynx
Feb 27, 2001

Dang so this is like looking over his shoulder in real-time

Grimey Drawer

grack posted:

I bought another Delta

Why are you buying multiple $300 fountain pens?

Meanwhile the Noodler's Charlie fountain pen I got for free with my Heart of Darkness doesn't smell as bad as I feared. It also doesn't work, as far as I can tell. I followed the instructions.

Remora
Aug 15, 2010


Hosed it out first, filled to capacity, left nib down for awhile until flow start?

grack
Jan 10, 2012

COACH TOTORO SAY REFEREE CAN BANISH WHISTLE TO LAND OF WIND AND GHOSTS!


LifeLynx posted:

Why are you buying multiple $300 fountain pens?

...why not?

Doctor Dogballs
Apr 1, 2007

driving the fuck truck from hand land to pound town without stopping at suction station


LifeLynx posted:

Why are you buying multiple $300 fountain pens?



welcome to fountain pens

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters


LifeLynx posted:

Why are you buying multiple $300 fountain pens?

Man, should we even talk about how much I spent on pens today?

grack
Jan 10, 2012

COACH TOTORO SAY REFEREE CAN BANISH WHISTLE TO LAND OF WIND AND GHOSTS!


howe_sam posted:

Man, should we even talk about how much I spent on pens today?

I dunno, does the story end with "and you really only need one kidney anyways."?

LifeLynx
Feb 27, 2001

Dang so this is like looking over his shoulder in real-time

Grimey Drawer

Remora posted:

Hosed it out first, filled to capacity, left nib down for awhile until flow start?

I didn't hose it out, but everything else yes. It's so lightweight and cheap feeling I don't care, really.

I don't begrudge anyone collecting anything, but I don't know what I'd do with dozens of pens. Maybe one for sketching, one for writing? Do you write or draw so often that you need to have specific pens depending on your mood? Or do they just look nice on display?

Doctor Dogballs
Apr 1, 2007

driving the fuck truck from hand land to pound town without stopping at suction station


LifeLynx posted:

Do you write or draw so often that you need to have specific pens depending on your mood?

for me, yes

Remora
Aug 15, 2010


LifeLynx posted:

I didn't hose it out, but everything else yes. It's so lightweight and cheap feeling I don't care, really.

I don't begrudge anyone collecting anything, but I don't know what I'd do with dozens of pens. Maybe one for sketching, one for writing? Do you write or draw so often that you need to have specific pens depending on your mood? Or do they just look nice on display?

There's your mistake. There's still oils and poo poo in the feed. Hose it out with a bulb syringe and some of your favorite pen cleaner (you can diy with ammonia, distilled water, and dish soap). Noodlers pens are inexpensive - because you need to already know what you're doing to make them work. You're paying sweat equity, as it were. The Charlie is a very good pen if treated properly, I used one as a work edc for awhile.

Tons of reasons to have many pens - have different ink colors available at the same time, coordinate the pen as an accessory, many different line weights, or, such as in grack's case, because you're a collector. He collects Deltas. Why does anyone collect anything?

I've got probably three dozen pens, I change them up based on my mood and needs - like, if I know it needs to write on even the shittiest paper, I go for a very fine nib, but if it's for doodling/notetaking in my personal notebooks, I go much fatter or with a nice italic. My most expensive was a custom made 300+$ job from Renee Meeks, but my second most expensive was probably $50, and hands down my Jinhao (aftermarket nibs) and Metro beaters are the ones I use most often. I have well over 200 ink samples and 20+ bottles of ink, though, the ink is definitely where it's at for me.

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters


LifeLynx posted:

I don't begrudge anyone collecting anything, but I don't know what I'd do with dozens of pens. Maybe one for sketching, one for writing? Do you write or draw so often that you need to have specific pens depending on your mood? Or do they just look nice on display?
It's a bit matching pens to mood -- sometimes I want to write with a big fat stub, and other times a crisp medium -- but also inks to mood. I like to switch up colors a lot when I'm writing, which requires having a bunch of pens inked up at any one time.

grack posted:

I dunno, does the story end with "and you really only need one kidney anyways."?

I guess it depends on how much you value a kidney. It involves Italy and celluloid though so, y'know.

Alder
Sep 24, 2013



LifeLynx posted:


I don't begrudge anyone collecting anything, but I don't know what I'd do with dozens of pens. Maybe one for sketching, one for writing? Do you write or draw so often that you need to have specific pens depending on your mood? Or do they just look nice on display?

It makes me happy

Actually, there's no ideal # of FP it's always n+1. I do stop once I run out of storage space though.

Sankis
Mar 8, 2004

But I remember the fella who told me. Big lad. Arms as thick as oak trees, a stunning collection of scars, nice eye patch. A REAL therapist he was. Er wait. Maybe it was rapist?



It's so weird to me how quickly and vocally fountain pen people will go to loving bat for their favorite brands. Do a review of a chinese pen and the comments will be inundated with "actually this pen is a rip off of a $500 stipula pen with a steel jowo nib please delete this out of respect for the ip holder"

Figboot on YouTube did a review of the Moonman T2 and later deleted it, though at least he has the excuse of needing to keep the companies who loan him pens happy.

If these pens were being marketed as genuine or whatever I'd feel a different way but as far as I know there's probably nothing illegal about stealing a design so long as you don't use stolen molds or infringe patents, yeah? Otherwise this stuff wouldn't be able to be imported into the US

gschmidl
Sep 3, 2011

it's the journey
not the destination
as we know



"YOU TRIED" DIVISION


Hmm.



Hmmmmmmmmm.



HM!





Nine of Eight
Apr 28, 2011


Dinosaur Gum

How’s the ink feed on yours? I feel like I have to press hard on mine to get a nice flow which doesn’t feel quite right.

Sankis
Mar 8, 2004

But I remember the fella who told me. Big lad. Arms as thick as oak trees, a stunning collection of scars, nice eye patch. A REAL therapist he was. Er wait. Maybe it was rapist?



If it's just a steel m200 nib like I assume it is, you can order some replacements from cultpens for like 70 bucks less than the US supplier wants. When I needed to replace my M200's nib I ordered a broad and a fine replacement and it only came to like 25 bucks shipped for both.

The obvious downside is that if you're outside Europe it'll probably take a awhile since the world is on fire

gschmidl
Sep 3, 2011

it's the journey
not the destination
as we know



"YOU TRIED" DIVISION


Nine of Eight posted:

How’s the ink feed on yours? I feel like I have to press hard on mine to get a nice flow which doesn’t feel quite right.

It's the fine nib, but it behaves the same as my other fines as far as I can tell. Maybe a little scratchier on the paper.

e:

Sankis posted:

cultpens

Europe

gently caress

gschmidl fucked around with this message at 06:51 on May 28, 2020

Surprise T Rex
Apr 9, 2008



Dinosaur Gum

Went looking for a nice "slightly fancy" pen to buy myself for note taking at work the other day. Ordered myself some decent fast-drying gel/rollerball pens that came well recommended for Lefty writers. Two hours later I'm deep into a Beginner's Guide to Fountain Pens on Jetpens, and I've got a Preppy Crystal coming my way now. No ink yet, so I'll be using the black cartridge ink it comes with, for now.

Probably going to convert this one into an eyedropper rather than buying a converter, mainly to save a bit of money, but the enormous ink capacity seems cool too - is that recommended? I don't feel like I write enough that I need the capacity though, and It seems like it might be harder to flush out an eyedropper pen than one with a converter, so I'm a little on the fence, especially since I was planning to grab an ink sampler pack.

I wish I'd known about the Noodler's/free-converted-Preppy thing before now, but I'm not sure it's possible to take advantage of that in the UK, anyway.

FFT
Dec 28, 2005

Keyboard Cowboy



It's incredibly easy to refill cartridges, for the record.

Heath
Apr 29, 2008



Noodler's doesn't include Preppys anymore, it's his own brand of pen and they're just terrible. The Preppy is a top tier pen for its price point.

And no, you won't need the ink capacity, but if you like using a fountain pen you'll find reasons to write. And the Preppy is such a fine writer and has such an unbelievably massive ink capacity that you will basically never have to fill it. My Preppy daily driver at my last job was a blue one filled with Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher, and I had to fill it once in two years. When it started getting to about 1/4 of its capacity I just added some water to what was in there and it continued on for another year of daily writing and paperwork before I had to refill. The pen cap broke before I ran out of ink. That's how much you get. And it's the only pen I used most of the time unless I left it somewhere. They also tend to keep a wet nib forever - even the most temperamental Noodler's inks I've used write with no hard starts with months in between use.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

If you think you'll get a bunch of colors, you can get preppy 5 (7?) packs and fill the cartridges on all of them with different colors. I don't like eyedropper converting because it takes forever to run out. If you didn't know you can get ink samples for a few dollars each at some of the online pen shops.

taqueso posted:

Instead of eyedropper filling, put the ink in cartridges with a syringe. Unless you really really need the ink capacity. When I started, I thought eyedropper would be awesome, but it isn't all roses. Something about the hacky nature of it is appealing though, like I'm getting the maximum pen experience
  • You want to have a well-filled ink reservoir for best writing, there is a lot more volume to fill with the eyedroppper
  • Leak issues (though I never had any trouble -- with pens I left at my desk. I would not put one in my pocket, Preppies are good pens with quality plastic, but it's still a < $5 pen and the walls of the chamber will develop small cracks eventually)
  • More ink in the pen means you can't change ink colors without wasting a lot more ink
  • Or you wait a long time between changes
  • With most inks, the plastic won't stain, but the color will end up in every crevice and scratch, especially around the threads and it sucks to clean
  • A cartridge lasts a pretty long time, something like 2x a converter, so it's probably plenty. Especially if you have a couple pens so the use gets spread out.

I eyedropper filled a medium nib preppy with red ink, and I actually used it all up eventually. This was a success and it works well with the huge wet medium lines.

taqueso fucked around with this message at 09:02 on May 28, 2020

Heath
Apr 29, 2008



I tend to recommend cartridges as well, unless you want an absolutely barebones workhorse and will only ever write in black or blue.*

*You will want to write in other colors. No matter how practical you think you're going to be, you will buy a purple or orange or whatever ink at some point.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

or 17 somewhat different blues

Remora
Aug 15, 2010


Surprise T Rex posted:

Probably going to convert this one into an eyedropper rather than buying a converter, mainly to save a bit of money, but the enormous ink capacity seems cool too - is that recommended? I don't feel like I write enough that I need the capacity though, and It seems like it might be harder to flush out an eyedropper pen than one with a converter, so I'm a little on the fence, especially since I was planning to grab an ink sampler pack.

I wish I'd known about the Noodler's/free-converted-Preppy thing before now, but I'm not sure it's possible to take advantage of that in the UK, anyway.

Eyedroppers have their own, different set of problems, but they can be fun. The five bucks or whatever for a converter is going to be a drop in the bucket of your addiction, anyway. Whatever you do, just have a backup in case it turns out eyedroppers aren't for you - whether that's a cartridge you refill, or a converter.

Things to keep in mind about eyedropper pens: Always err on the side of too much silicone grease, you should refill it once it's down to 1/3rd or so to keep it from burping, learn to be careful about where on your body you store it (body heat -> ink expansion -> vaderno). Actually, just learn to be aware of heat sources in general. taqueso's notes about just how long an eyedropper takes to run dry are are very accurate - you might want to hold off on eyedroppering anything until you find a nib/ink combination you're sure you want to have on hand for literal months. It took me months of quite frequent writing to get through the 5-6ml in my Ahab eyedropper, and that was a Goulet Broad nib paired with the Ahab's incredibly juicy feed. (Actually, now that I think about it, the ebonite feed sort of set funny in my car on a scorching hot day and I had to totally disassemble the pen to rework the feed, so technically I didn't even get through all of it.)

Eyedroppers and converter pens are equally easy to flush, if you take advantage of labor-saving devices - use a bulb syringe on the feed (if you can't just take it out and run it under the tap), stick a blunt-tipped syringe inside the converter or barrel to hose it out. Oh yeah, you're gonna want a blunt-tipped syringe and a bulb syringe. The blunt-tip will make refilling cartridges a snap, anyway.

As an aside, Noodler's aren't beginner pens, but they're cheap and there is absolutely nothing like them if you're willing to tinker. I hated my Konrad when I got it, because it was my second pen and I didn't know what I was doing, but once I figured out how to maintain and set up a fountain pen, I've always had a Noodler's in my rotation. I just set up a frankenKonrad with a Goulet Broad nib tonight, as a matter of fact, loaded it with Noodler's Squeteague. But, if you hate tinkering and experimenting and just want stuff to Work The First Time, do yourself a favor and skip Noodler's.

Also, Noodler's Charlies (the "free pen") are perfectly fine pens. They just suffer from the normal Noodler's problems... which, admittedly, I don't blame people for considering those a dealbreaker.

Surprise T Rex
Apr 9, 2008



Dinosaur Gum

Ah, that's what I get for starting to read the thread from the front - I'm probably about 5 years out of date. At least I haven't missed out on a free Preppy.

So if cartridges are easily refillable and have something like 2x the capacity of a converter that sounds like a nice middle ground between eyedropper and converter. Forgive the dumb question but I assume "get syringe, squirt water in to wash, squirt ink in to refill, carefully place in pen" is the entire cartridge refilling process?

I definitely think I'll go for a few ink samples - I lean toward black ink when using ballpoints and so on, since it seems more, uh, 'professional'... but there's a ton of fancy-looking blue-black, green-black, red-black etc that I like too. Gonna hold off on buying multiple pens for now in case I hate writing with a fountain pen though, but from everything I read this hobby is basically like taking up crack as a pastime so I'm sure more will follow.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

Don't worry there are 100 different blacks with somewhat different properties, before you even get to blue-blacks.

Remora
Aug 15, 2010


I mean, make an attempt at drying between washing and filling (even just shaking the bigger water drops out), but you've got the idea.

Chip McFuck
Jul 24, 2007

We droppin' like a comet and this Vulcan tried to Spock it/These Martians tried to do it, but knew they couldn't cop it


That is a gorgeous butt pen! More pens should come in green.

Foxtrot_13
Oct 31, 2013


Surprise T Rex posted:

Ah, that's what I get for starting to read the thread from the front - I'm probably about 5 years out of date. At least I haven't missed out on a free Preppy.

So if cartridges are easily refillable and have something like 2x the capacity of a converter that sounds like a nice middle ground between eyedropper and converter. Forgive the dumb question but I assume "get syringe, squirt water in to wash, squirt ink in to refill, carefully place in pen" is the entire cartridge refilling process?

I definitely think I'll go for a few ink samples - I lean toward black ink when using ballpoints and so on, since it seems more, uh, 'professional'... but there's a ton of fancy-looking blue-black, green-black, red-black etc that I like too. Gonna hold off on buying multiple pens for now in case I hate writing with a fountain pen though, but from everything I read this hobby is basically like taking up crack as a pastime so I'm sure more will follow.

If you are in the UK forget about Noodlers, they are US based so postage makes them more expensive and we have many good options in the UK . Cult Pens gets a lot of love here and I have used many times (and visited once) TheWritingDesk.co.uk for websites.

Parker is a solid choice that doesn't get much love because it seems to be much rarer in the US than it is in Britain with WH Smiths often selling the Parker Vector for a tenner. Parker uses their own size of cartridges but you can get them anywhere and Rymans even carries their converters as standard stock. The converters don't hold much less ink than the cartridges. Rymans also sells quite a few fountain pens on their website and you can get them delivered for free to a local shop (when the lockdown ends of course)

For inks Diamine is a great local choice (without the dodgy political beliefs of the Noodlers founder). Plenty of colours to choose from as well as I like the Poppy Red at the moment but the Pumpkin is also cool.

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

BENIS


Sorry to ask this in the fountain pen thread but: I just got a bottle of Diamine India Ink and it came in a nice enough bottle but I've got an old one I'd like to use, only it has a cork... cork. Would that be tight enough to keep the ink from drying out?

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Heath
Apr 29, 2008



India ink is shellac based rather than water based and if I'm not mistaken will take basically forever to actually dry out in the bottle with the degree of air exposure it would have with a cork top. How old is it?

Edit: Preppy nibs write so fine a line that you're going to get a whole lot of mileage out of a full cartridge. That's the way to go.

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