Birmingham Pen December 2018 Ink Subscription

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Today we are looking at December's Pen Parcel, aka the Birmingham Pen ink subscription. Every month five new, 5ml samples hit my mailbox. Sometimes the inks become available as singles on the Birmingham website about a month after the subscription, sometimes they are just test colors. Lately they have been showing up toward the end of the month.

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I really like this month’s colors, bright and happy. I think it’s interesting that the Birmingham Inks have been made in a few different countries, I never know which country the ink will be made in. This month they were made in Germany.

Swabs:

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Left to right, Rose Overture, Salmon Hors d’Oeuvre, Marmalade, Daisy Lace and Arugula.

Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

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Dry time:

Rose Overture: 50 sec

Salmon HDO: 30 sec

Marmalade: 20 sec

Daisy Lace: 40 sec

Arugula: 30 sec

Dry time: 20-50 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: Low-there was feathering on Rhodia and Leuchtturm, mainly in the flex nib.

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: no shadingno sheen, and no shimmer. Out of the five, Arugula is the only one that shows any shading, but even then it’s just a little bit.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was lots of feathering in every nib size as well as quite a bit of bleeding, so I would not recommend these inks for cheap paper.

Comparison Swabs:

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Rose Overture is closest to Diamine Tulip but Rose Overture is a bit pinker so it’s not a great match. Salmon HDO is close to Pen Saijiki Syurei and Diamine Peach Haze but both are brighter than Salmon HDO. Marmalade is closest to Montblanc Golden Yellow, but in writing Golden Yellow is darker. Daisy Lace is close to PenBBS Johansson and Diamine Yellow and Arugula is close to Sailor Jentle Epinard and Platinum Classic Forest Black. Click here to see the Birmingham inks together.

I used a Bond A5 (Tomoe River 68gsm). Top to bottom, I used: TWSBI Eco Blossom Red with a medium nib, Kaweco Al-sport Rose Gold with a broad nib, Pilot Vanishing Point Yellow with a medium nib, Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl with a medium nib, and Lamy Safari with a medium nib. All of the inks had an average flow.

I used a Bond A5 (Tomoe River 68gsm). Top to bottom, I used: TWSBI Eco Blossom Red with a medium nib, Kaweco Al-sport Rose Gold with a broad nib, Pilot Vanishing Point Yellow with a medium nib, Edison Collier Persimmon Swirl with a medium nib, and Lamy Safari with a medium nib. All of the inks had an average flow.

Overall, I really like these colors, some of my favorites out of the last few months’ subscriptions. I don’t like how much they feather in the larger nib sizes but they are a great value for the price.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #548: Robert Oster Direct Sun

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I’m continuing with the red theme a bit this week with Robert Oster Direct Sun. I purchased my sample of ink from Anderson Pens.

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The color:

Direct Sun is a lighter, less saturated red.

Swabs:

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In large swabs there is some pretty shading but no sheen.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: medium shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was just a little bit of feathering and bleeding.

Comparison Swabs:

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Diamine Poppy Red is pretty close to Direct Sun. Click here to see the Robert Oster inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium TWSBI Eco Blossom Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a slightly dry flow, but not bad.

I used a medium TWSBI Eco Blossom Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a slightly dry flow, but not bad.

Overall, it’s a nice color but not my favorite red from Robert Oster since it’s just a bit dry.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #547: KWZ Maple Red

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When I saw a picture of KWZ Maple Red online, I really wanted to try it, but it was exclusive to the 2018 Scriptus Pen Show. I was able to snag a sample from a friend at a pen meetup a few months ago in Seattle (thanks @murberdraws!).

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The color:

Maple Red is a great autumn red, the color of red leaves in the fall.

Swabs:

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In large swabs the color is pretty consistent, just a little bit of shading and no sheen. The ink does have a slightly brown finish as it dries.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 40 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: medium shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was feathering and bleeding in the larger nib sizes.

Comparison Swabs:

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Birmingham Carnelian Silk and J Herbin Rouge Grenat seem the closest to KWZ Maple Red. Click here to see the KWZ inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium Pelikan M605 White Transparent on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a wetter than average flow.

I used a medium Pelikan M605 White Transparent on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had a wetter than average flow.

Overall, I like the flow of KWZ inks. Since this ink was only available at Scriptus, take a look at J Herbin Rouge Grenat or Birmingham Carnelian Silk.

Disclaimer: A sample of this ink was provided by a pen friend. All photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #546: Diamine Wild Strawberry

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Today’s ink is Diamine Wild Strawberry. I have always liked the color of this ink, it’s bright and happy. I purchased my 30ml bottle of ink from Cult Pens.

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The color:

Wild Strawberry is a light, bright red. I wouldn’t say it’s a strawberry red since this is much brighter and pinker than strawberries, but it’s a pretty summer red.

Swabs:

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In large swabs there is just a little bit of gold sheen, not much shading though.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 40 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: low shading, tiny sheen, and no shimmer. The sheen is only visible in large swabs on Tomoe River paper.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was feathering in all nib sizes and a little bit of bleeding in the larger nib sizes.

Comparison Swabs:

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There are a lot of vibrant reds with a similar color to Wild Strawberry. Tulip is just a bit darker than Wild Strawberry, as is Fire Engine Red. Click here to see the Diamine inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium Pilot Vanishing Point Galaxy on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

I used a medium Pilot Vanishing Point Galaxy on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

Overall, it’s one of my favorite summery red inks. I use this ink often-it’s well behaved and a pretty color.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.

Ink Review #545: Montblanc William Shakespeare

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Let’s take a look at a past limited edition ink today, Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red. This ink was available in 35ml bottles. I like to look at past limited editions so I can find currently available inks that are similar.

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The color:

William S. is a dark red, almost a red-brown.

Swabs:

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In large swabs the ink looks much darker.

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Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 30 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: low shading, no sheen, and no shimmer.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper there was feathering in all nib sizes and a little bit of bleeding in the flex nib.

Comparison Swabs:

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William S. is closest to J Herbin Rouge Grenat and Birmingham Carnelian Silk. Click here to see the Montblanc inks together.

Longer writing:

I used a medium Kaweco Al-sport Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

I used a medium Kaweco Al-sport Red on a Midori MD Notebook. The ink had an average flow.

Overall, it’s a nice ink, well behaved and an interesting color. If you are looking for a currently available alternative, take a look at J Herbin Rouge Grenat or Diamine Red Dragon.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does not contain affiliate links, and this post is not sponsored in any way.