Friday, September 28, 2012

Invasion of the X-pens! In Which Dr. Inkenstein Has Good A Excuse

All I wanted was the Vanilla, I swear.  Now look what happened!

So Dr. Inkenstein had heard a lot about xfountainpens and thought they seemed interesting, with some nice (read: cheap) prices, and handsome models, but had balked at the actual  jump.

Not long ago, on a whim, I searched Amazon for fountain pens.  Among the motley Safaris and Invictas I saw a Vanilla 'Kurve' for under $14.  Prime, too! It appeared to be a fat pen, with a satin- finish and gold trim.  Sure.  Why not.

But by the time I went to get it the next day, it was gone.  *waaaaaaa*

However, on the same page (you know, where Amazon frantically tries to get you to buy whatever they have a lot of in their inventory) there were listed five of those very same pens, Vanilla included, for $40! 
Can't beat that, I thought.  And a mini-bottle of ink!  Thrown in, just like that. 

The 'brand' name is Bulow, the model  X450, which I hear is a retooled Jinhao or something. 
Whatever tool they're using, it was right for the job.  Of course, Dr. inkenstein prefers  'X-pens.'  I may end up naming them: Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Rogue.  Just because.

These pens look reeeeeel goooood. The finish is shiny, deep and intense in color, except for the Vanilla and the Gold (which appear more soft and pearlized).  They are fat in girth and substantial in weight, but not too heavy, even for me.

I dip- tested one  ('Scintillia,' looking like burgundy leopardskin) in J Herbin Cafe des Isles.  Let it be known that Dr. Inkenstein hates animal prints.  Yes, it's just a quirk, but a big one, and it's mine, all mine. 

What do you know. The Scintillia finish grew on me.  Because the pen writes soooo smoooooth.  A nice wet 'M.'   I've owned pens costing ten times the price that didn't write half as willingly.  And yes, I've named her 'Rogue.'

I am in serious danger of buying more from xfountainpens.  Each pen comes with a nice-looking converter, and they also offer different nib sizes (for an added price) on many models. 

Here also among many Kurve friends is the Nemosine Singularity, a different model pen, smaller and lighter-weight, with a threaded cap, a flat top and the smaller of their cursive italic nibs (for which you do NOT have to cough up more bucks--all the Nemo nibs come at no extra charge).  The Nemo comes in a few different finishes as well.  In a shiny gray skin, this Nemo's superpowers are stealth and smoothitude.

X-pens also sells ink under the Chesterfield brand, and while you can buy bottles in two different sizes, and buy samples as well, you get three free sample bottles with each purchase over a certain amount.
Of their inks, Dr. Inkenstein has tried:
Siam: A deep cherry-burgundy
Fire Opal: Softer, more pinkish burgundy
Sodalite: Standard blue-black with a hint of denim
Teal: Really a blue-black with green undertones
Smoky Topaz: Wonderful copper-brown
Mahogany: A true sepia, one of Dr. I's fave brown inks

Time alone will tell whether these pens will have converter problems (as other x-pen users have noted) or finish problems.  Or even if they may mutate into other species altogether!

But come on!  Five fountain pens!  Ink!  Forty bucks!  The cheapskate in Dr. Inkenstein has a happy, and so does the pen-lover.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Four pens: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Scribbles Notes

Long time no blog: plenty of ideas and pens and inks in the hopper, though.

Today Dr. Inkenstein scribbles with four new fountain pens and two new inks.  And could not be happier.

The first, a Hero, is utterly gorgeous, copper colored with a raised fleur-de-lys design and pewter-looking clip.  For some odd reason the shape reminds me of an ST. Dupont build.  The nib is said to be flexible.  If Todd still has these, he's got better pix than I can take.  Please have a look at this pen's gorgeousness.

The second may well be my fave of the batch: a shiny gray Nemosine Singularity from xfountainpens (and much more on them in a later post).  It's a substantial, smooth, well-steering model with a rounded stubbish calligraphy nib that, on a single dip in Noodler's Rome Burning,  laid down at least three slinky paragraphs.  

 Dr. I also wonders why so many people dislike RB ink.  It's nearly a dead ringer for Pelikan Khaki, which I love and which is 'out of print.'

Pen Number Three is a monster.  Seriously.  It could star in its own movie: Pen Nine From Outer Space.  Heavy, mirror-finish, fat silver torpedo.  Another from xfountainpens.  

 These are probably rebranded Jinhaos, and the M nib here is smooth enough.  I just. Didn't. Expect. Such.  Huge.  Shininess.

Last,  an amazing piece of work  is the Duke 'Chinese calligraphy' nib, and just one more in my growing fude collections (see Nose In The Air for further examples).  It, too, is massive, heavy, and comes in a presentation box with ink and a cart AND a booklet.  In Chinese.  Which Dr.Inkenstein cannot read.  

Its nib is somewhat different from most of my fude, being bent at a more severe angle and having two nib slits.   Another one from isellpens; pics on that website.

These will be reviewed in more detail at a later date.   For now please enjoy the random scribbles.