Posts filed under review

Review: Kobe Tarumi Apricot Number 25

My thanks to the Desk Bandit for sending me the ink.

Kobe inks are usually sold exclusively in Japan but in recent years Kobe inks can be found sold at a number of online stores. Desk Bandit is one of them.

Tarumi Apricot is a bright orange that shades well going from a yellowish pale orange to a strong bright orange. It’s a good alternative to the fabled Sailor Apricot. I really enjoy this ink. It’s a well lubricated ink like many other Sailor inks.

Similar Inks:

Posted on June 1, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Robert Oster Green Diamond

My thanks to Glenn for the ink sample.

Robert Oster Green Diamond is a solid green, bright and strong. It does shade. It shades best with the 1.1mm stub nib. Robert Oster Green Diamond reminds me of Montblanc Irish Green. The green just pops right off the page. Though it isn’t my kind of green ink but green ink lovers do check it out.

Similar Inks:

Posted on May 25, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Pilot Custom 823 - Waverly Nib

Pilot Custom 823 WA-8.jpg

The Numbers:
Weight: 29g
Length (capped): 15.3cm
Length (uncapped): 13cm
Price: 30000 JPY from Tokyo Quill
Body Material: Plastic
Nib Material: 14K gold
Filling Mechanism: Vacuum
Colours: Clear, Amber and Smoke

I’ve reviewed the Pilot Custom 823 in fine nib previously. This review is done exclusively for the Waverly nib version. It’s a fundamentally different nib and it provides a very different writing experience between the two.

My Pilot Custom 823 comes in a clear barrel with a Waverly nib. This particular combination is, as far as I can tell, exclusive to Tokyo Quill only. The waiting time for these pens can take months but it’s pretty obligation free. Just drop your name onto the waiting list, when it’s available the owner will drop you an email and a bill. If you’ve changed your mind about buying the pen, that’s fine. If you still want the pen, just pay and in two business days that pen will be in your hands.

Easy peasy.


The packaging isn’t anything spectacular. It’s the standard silver cardbox box on the exterior and the black plastic case inside. That’s ok though because the gem is the pen after all. Inside the plastic case, you will find the pen nestle safely between foam pieces. Buying from Tokyo Quill means you will get a paper crane and a Pilot Frixion pen with the shop name printed on the barrel.


The cap, barrel and filling system is completely the same as any other Pilot Custom 823 pen. I went for the clear barrel because it’s always nice to see the ink sloshing around inside right?

Let’s get down to the business end of the pen - the nib.

Physically the nib looks like it has been dropped and oh no, it’s bent. But don’t worry, it’s meant to look that way. The nib shaped that way allows you can write in a variety of angles. The higher the angle you write, the thinner and less wet the nib will be. However, this doesn’t have the variety of a zoom / fude nib. It’s more like a European fine / medium kind of line width.

In general, I found the nib wet and smooth regardless of the direction and angle I pull or push the nib in. As a lefty, this nib is one of the best in terms of the smoothness. I personally really enjoyed this nib. It is totally useable for me despite the wetness of the nib. Of course the ink you fill the pen with plays a big part in the writing experience.

Pairing the wet, smooth nib with the ink capacity of the Pilot Custom 823 is a match made in heaven. My experience with my other Pilot Custom 823 with a fine nib was I barely was able to finish half the ink I fill it wait, with the WA version I was emptying my barrel so quickly.

Sure, the pen body plays a part in the overall writing experience, and the Waverly nib isn’t available in all pen bodies. Right now, the Waverly is only available in the 742, 743 and 912 models if you don’t want to get the 823 model from Tokyo Quill. Personally, I think being able to get a pen in a colour that isn’t black and silver or black and gold is worth the difference in price. That, plus you get the vacuum filling system and the larger ink capacity.


If you are a lefty, you owe it to yourself to at least try the pen out. Go to a shop pen and give it a test run. It might be the nib that solves your lefty writing issues. I don’t not have much problems with regular nibs but the WA has opened up the world of boarder, wetter nibs to me. Maybe it will do the same for you.


  • Ink capacity
  • Smooth, wet nib
  • Vacuum filling system


  • Only available in selected models
  • Pricey

Posted on May 18, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.

Review: KWZ IG Green #1

My thanks to Straits Pen for the ink sample. I’m super behind on reviewing and using my ink sample stash. Ok, I’ll stop whining.

KWZ IG Green #1 has the characteristic scent which I actually like. IG Green #1 is part of KWZ’s Iron Gall series. It’s a dark teal colour that shades beautifully. It goes from deep dark green almost black to a rich teal, more green than blue. I love this colour a lot. This is a rather wet ink but the dry time is rather good. If you enjoy green or teal inks and need some water resistant properties, check out this ink.

Similar Inks:

KWZ IG Green #1-3.jpg
Posted on May 11, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Scribes’ Inks Francisan (Merlot)

My thanks to Straits Pen for the ink sample. I’ve got this sample a while back and I just got quite a lot of ink samples to run through. I’ll get through all of them. On to the ink, Francisan is a wine red ink that’s scented to smell like Merlot. I’m not a wine drinker so I’ve no idea how accurate the scent is. Francisan shades nicely keeping within the red end of the purple-red spectrum. It’s dry time is longer than usual for me.

Similar Inks:

Posted on May 4, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Elixir Midnite Marina

Elixir Midnite Marina.jpg

Elixir is a Singapore based ink maker. As far as I know they are the only ink maker here. I got a limited editor set of three inks sold exclusively during the 2017 SFPL Pen Show. Midnite Marina is one of them. It comes in a bottle that reminds me of the poster colours we used to use during art class. Ok now to the ink, Midnite Marina is a dark blue ink that shades even in a Japanese fine nib. It doesn’t write like a very lubricated ink but the drying time is on the longer end. This is a good first experience with Elixir inks. #SuppportLocal

Similar Inks:

Elixir Midnite Marina-3.jpg
Posted on April 27, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.