Ink Dupes #13: Noodler’s and Organics Studio

How many royal blue fountain pen inks are there? I think I own 6 or 7 myself. So for the next few Ink Dupes, I’ll be comparing them to each other. You’ll be getting an Ink Dupe post every week for a bit so I can power through these.

As a side note, Bert’s Blue (an exclusive for Bertram’s Inkwell) is sold out, and Tyler of Organics Studio has mentioned that he can’t find the recipe. So, for the time being, that ink is discontinued. Maybe in the future it will be available again. Sadly, I couldn’t find a review for Bert’s Blue, so you’ll have to do without.

The Inks

Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium
Price: ~$12.50 USD
Bottle Size: 88.7ml (3oz)
Price Per Ml: $0.14
Availability: Goulet Pens Exclusive
Organics Studio Bert’s Blue
Price: ~$13 USD
Bottle Size: 55ml
Price Per Ml: $0.22
Availability: Discontinued
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Noodler's Liberty's Elysium and Organics Studio Bert's Blue

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Identifying My Vintage Pelikan

This past Saturday, I went to Bertram’s Inkwell to pick up the pen I won from Pensplaining with Corinne. While there, Adam mentioned that they had a bunch of secondhand pens. So, pen fiend that I am, I asked to see them.

Note: If you don’t want to read the story, feel free to jump down to the pen porn or the list of sites I mention in the narrative below.

Out came three big zip cases of vintage pens. I went through the cases, but I don’t typically love the look of vintage pens. They aren’t as pretty as modern pens, in my opinion. But, in the third case, there were a bunch of vintage Pelikans. Among those was a red and black pen. I love red and black, so I pulled it out.

Unfortunately, the nib was looking a bit rough. Out of curiosity, I took at look at each of the other Pelikans. Most of them were stubs or broad, which I know I don’t like writing with. But, this one was intriguing.

Vintage Pelikan 100

The nib was obviously bouncy, so I asked to dip in, and Bert was nice enough to allow me to dip it in ink. I don’t have the writing test from the shop, but here’s basically what I did.

Vintage Pelikan 100 Scribble Sample
Scribble sample with Diamine Soft Mint

With that writing sample, I couldn’t leave the pen behind. There’s more to the story at the store, but to keep this from getting too long, I’ll just say I bought the Pelikan.

Research Time

I started with a basic Google search for “small vintage Pelikan fountain pen”. It took clicking through several sites, but I eventually stumbled across Pelikan Guide.

I clicked on the first “black caps” option, not realizing that there was more than one. But it worked out for me, because I hit the research jackpot. The first image was my pen. And I what I found amazed me!

I’d purchased a Pelikan 100 in Black/Jade Green from 1929-1930. I had picked up what was now the oldest pen in my collection. But, one site wasn’t enough to end my research. So I searched for “Pelikan 100 black jade green” and got a lot of results.

I found this site which called my pen, and its all-black variant, 1st year pens. And this site indicated that the green version came first.

I can’t actually find my info on whether the green version really did come first, but it’s clear I have the first model Pelikan ever made. And that’s pretty freakin’ cool.

SIDE NOTE: In going back to find links while writing this post, I discovered Pelikan Collectibles which has this fantastic timeline, and is a great resource for all things Pelikan.

I continued my research, mainly to try to determine if I had the jade or marbled green version, and found that this pen is apparently rather rare. I’d like to think this is my cosmic recompense for stupidly giving up a super-rare mini Conklin Nozac from the 30s (I think) last year.

I also determined that the ink window on my pen is normal. In every image I found where you could see the ink window, it was equally dark. Which seems odd to me, as what’s the point of an ink window you can’t really see the ink through?

But, I’m hardly going to complain at this amazing find. It’s super cool to have this piece of history. So, pen identified, I’ll leave you here, with some pen porn and writing samples.

Pen Porn

Click on any image to view it even larger.

Vintage Pelikan 100 Uncapped
Vintage Pelikan 100 Uncapped
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Closeup
Look at that beautiful nib!
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Closeup
I love the heart breather hole. It’s a shame Pelikan switched to a circle.
Vintage Pelikan 100 Cap Finial
For you Finial Lovers
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Flex Closeup
Starting to flex…
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Flex Closeup
… a bit more…
Vintage Pelikan 100 Nib Flex Closeup
… and full flex. And I learned the nib has a couple stress points. Good to know so I can be careful when flexing.
Vintage Pelikan 100 Writing Sample
And a writing sample with Diamine Soft Mint.

Sites Mentioned

I get it, sometimes you don’t want to read the full story, so here are the sites I mentioned in the narrative above:

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Ink Dupes #12: Diamine and Colorverse

When looking at the swabs for these two in my swab notebook, they looked almost identical, but in this test, I noticed a distinct difference. So, while this isn’t exactly an ink dupe, I felt it was worth sharing for those who, like me, thought that they are.

Also, Colorverse Photon is only sold in a two-pack with Gluon. The price listed for it is the total price for both, and the price per ml is the price of both bottles divided by the total mls (80) of both bottles.

The Inks

Diamine Soft Mint
Price: ~$15 USD
Bottle Size: 80ml
Price Per Ml: $0.19
Availability: Readily available
Colorverse Photon
Price: ~$36 USD
Bottle Size: 80ml
Price Per Ml: $0.45
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Soft Mint and Colorverse Photon

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Ink Dupes #11: Organics Studios and Diamine

For those who don’t know, BWIPS stands for Baltimore Washington International Pen Show. The BWIPS 2018 ink was a special edition ink that was given away around the show that year. Because it was such a small batch, I couldn’t find an ink review, but I’ve found it to be rather dry.

The Inks

Organics Studio BWIPS 2018
Price: Free
Bottle Size: 80ml (ish)
Price Per Ml: 0
Availability: Limited Edition
Diamine Dark Forest
Price: ~$16 USD
Bottle Size: 40ml
Price Per Ml: $0.40
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Dark Forest and Organics Studio BWIPS 18

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Ink Dupes #10: Diamine and Lamy

Here’s another “fan request”. While they definitely look different in chromatography and swabs, I think they’d be indistinguishable in all but the wettest pens.

The Inks

Diamine Pansy
Price: ~$5 USD
Bottle Size: 30ml
Price Per Ml: $.17
Availability: Available
Lamy Dark Lilac
Price: ~$12 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.24
Availability: Discontinued

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Pansy and Lamy Dark Lilac

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Ink Dupes #9: Organics Studio and Robert Oster

Robert Oster has two lines of ink: Signature and inkArt.ink. The former is readily available. The latter doesn’t appear to be available currently. I used the Signature ink for my comparison, but, for giggles, I included a chromatography strip of the inkArt.ink (IAI).

For those familiar with Organics Studio, you’ll know that at any given time, a certain ink may or may not be readily available. For that reason, I’m dubbing it “usually available.”

The Inks

Organics Studio Nickel Teal
Price: ~$14 USD
Bottle Size: 55ml
Price Per Ml: $0.25
Availability: Usually available
Robert Oster Morning Mist
Price: ~$17 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.34
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Organics Studio Nickel Teal and Robert Oster Morning Mist.

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Ink Dupes #8: Pilot Iroshizuku and Krishna

The Inks

Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-Iro
Price: ~$20 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.40
Availability: Readily available
Krishna Cool Breeze
Price: ~$8 USD
Bottle Size: 20ml
Price Per Ml: $0.40
Availability: Hard-to-Find
Pilot Iroshizuku Ama Iro vs Krishna Cool Breeze

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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An 18111 Commission

Mid last year, I reached out to Yoshi Nakama of 18111 Pens about commissioning a custom pen. As the DC Pen Show was only a few weeks away, we agreed to discuss it at the show. At the time, I hoped to get a pen themed to my Exalted Bloodlines series.

I eagerly sought him out at the show. However, when I showed him the ideas I had in mind, he warned me it may not be doable.

The designs I showed Mr. Nakama at the DC Pen Show.
Left to right: My design idea for the rollstopper, the blood drop I wanted scattered around the pen, and the moon and star I wanted on the top of the cap.

The proposed roll stopper design, the blood drop I wanted scattered across the pen, and the moon and star I wanted on the top of the cap all have “sharp corners.” Apparently, 3D printing and laser engraving can’t produce sharp corners at that size.

However, I hoped we could reach a compromise with a modified design that I liked and could be executed. I agreed to modify the design before sending Mr. Nakama the files. He warned me that his waiting list was about 3 months long. Granted, considering the year+ waiting lists many pen makers have right now, 3 months is hardly an issue.

Continue reading “An 18111 Commission”
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Ink Dupes #7: Bungubox and Robert Oster

A little side note before I jump into the comparison. I believe that Australian Syrah has recently (since I bought my bottle) been renamed to Australian Shiraz. If I’m wrong, please let me know and I’ll adjust this post accordingly. 

The Inks

Bungubox Piano Mahogany
Price: ~$39 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $.78
Availability: Readily available
Robert Oster Australian Syrah
Price: ~$17 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $.34
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Bungubox Piano Mahogany and Robert Oster Australian Syrah

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Identifying and Dating a Vintage Esterbrook

While volunteering at the 2019 Baltimore Pen Show, I was gifted a lovely red, lever-fill, vintage Esterbrook pen. Admittedly, I know next-to-nothing about vintage Esterbrooks. I also have a penchant for finding out as much about my vintage pens as possible.

That said, it should be no surprise that I set out to identify and date (as accurately as possible) my new Esterbrook as soon as I was able.

Because I had fun doing so, and I found the information interesting, I figured I’d share it with you in the hopes that my research would prove useful to others.

Continue reading “Identifying and Dating a Vintage Esterbrook”
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