Sunday, September 26, 2021

45 year celebration from the debut of space shuttle Enterprise

To celebrate 45 years since the debut of the space shuttle Enterprise, company Retro 51 launched a limited edition Tornado pen with design inspired from the space shuttle.
Enterprise rolled out on September 17, 1976. Enterprise was restored and placed on display in 2003 at the Smithsonian's.
The pen tries to recreate the look of the shuttle, through the nice graphics printed on the barrel. The pen's barrel is made out of stainless steel.
You can get the pen for around 60 $

Friday, September 17, 2021

Holiday pencils

Holiday carry mechanical pencil camera wallet gshock

I just came back from a short but nice vacation, with good weather and great views. On this vacation, I took with me a fairly small notebook where I had info and sites worth seeing, planning notes and stuff.
I had all the information on my phone but I wanted to have a bit of redundancy in case I ran out of battery.  It wasn't the case but it's still nice to have it and maybe take some notes or make quick jots.
For this trip I took the Koh I Noor Notebook mechanical pencil because it is very small, travel safe as you can retract the writing lead completely, it has a built-in sharpener in the lead advance button, it has a body made out of metal and it looks really cool and retro.

I really like the size of the mechanical pencil for travel and everyday carry, not so much for proper writing due to it being too thin to have a comfortable grip. the looks are just a bonus.
You can take a look at the blog post about this pencil I have posted in 2019.

I enjoy traveling and I like walking up and down the streets of a city, getting in touch with the city atmosphere, enjoying the architecture, and all the stuff that is happening all around, and occasionally if the time permits I really enjoy time spent in museums.
This was a trip rather close to my home town, but it had a lot of surprises. On the first night out in the city enjoying site-seeing good food and beer, I stumble upon an open-air Jose Carreras concert. In the following days, I spent the time between beers, sightseeing, aquapark, and two museums.
Kooh-I-Noor 2 mm pencil in museum
The first museum visited (on the second day) was an art and science museum. In the science part of the museum between artifacts, skeletons, and all kinds of interesting relics, I found a section where the sketches, a notebook, and a pencil of a local historian were added to the gallery, showing his work and contribution to the exhibit.
Interestingly enough the pencil used was as a red Koh I Noor, 2 mm clutch mechanical pencil. I found it to be very cool, as I was traveling with a Koh I Noor.

Koh I Noor pencil

Koh I Noor sketches museum
The next day I visited a second museum which was a more eclectic collection of exhibits. Its main point focused on the history of the local fortress, the life of the nobles in medieval times, world war, graphic, photo, and art exhibitions, history of the church in the area, life under communism, and a few more.
The museum mostly made use of the beautiful fortress buildings to attract crowds and used all sorts of recreations to depict life from the past. It was a bummer for me, and  I would say its audience would be families with small children which probably would enjoy the pictures, figurines, armors, and so on.
The most interesting parts for me were the ruins of old buildings and tombs which were under the fortress, dug up, preserved, and presented very nicely, and a poster gallery. I really enjoy old posters and these ones are mostly collections of communist period work safety posters. I was fascinated to find out that the painter Toulouse-Lautrec is the father of the poster.
In continuation of the communist posters, there was a room representing the communist period in Romania, with pictures of the leader, common household objects and between them, there were a few stationary objects for students.
So if you wonder what would a student's bag includes, here are a few samples.
You can see in the image a wooden pencil box, a few hooded nib fountain pens and some sharpeners, the "Student" ink, below that is another hooded nib fountain pen and a dip pen and in the left a used bottle of permanent ink.
student ink, vintage communist school supplies

If you are curious about communist household objects used in Romania click on the images below.

Related articles:
If you would like to see more about Koh I Noor click you can use the following links or the Koh I Noor label in the right panel:
or about my old Chinese fountain pen that I used in the primary school

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Fake Wingsung 3008 fountain pen

I have seen a lot of talk about the cheap and very nice Wingsung 3008, and I decided to give it a try. Being my first piston filler fountain pen I was very intrigued by it. I ordered it along with other pens from Aliexpress and waited... and waited

One eternity later ... (to be fair the local postal service is not the fastest, so this contributed to the wait as well)

The fountain pens arrived in the mail. The fountain pen was in this orange cardboard small box. I took it out and after a short inspection, I realized it is a fake Wingsung 3008. I went back on Aliexpress and indeed the pictures presented by the seller were correct, only the description was misleading.

aliexpress piston filler fountain pen

Right from the start, I could see the quality of the fountain pen was sub-par even for a Chinese fountain pen.

I will start with the exterior and the feel. The barrel is made out of clear plastic which has molding lines on the side. If you pay attention, you can see and feel them. The cap is made out of nice to the touch black opaque plastic and has a chromed trim at the tip and a nice and secure clip.

The cap is screw fit and comes off after 1 and a half tuns. Inside the cap, there is some sort of white plastic lining. I do not like the feeling when you screw it back on, there is no clear point at which the two sections are perfectly screwed, it always feels that you can twist it a little bit more. After you take the nib off you are presented with a clear nib section and feed, a very nice look. The grip has three flat sections for a "better" grip. one at 6 o'clock and the other two in the mirror at 10 and 2.

From this point forward, things look a little iffy. The nib is plane and has no decoration on it whatsoever. It sits very far from the section, it is like it is missing something, or it is a size smaller than the feed. Because of its position, I feel that I am writing with a wand. And it has a weird look  The metal in it is very thin, and after I pushed it a little bit it bent, which is not a good sign... Out of the box, the nib was ok-ish, but had a squeaking sound on paper. After a bit of tweaking and writing with it, the sound is not so obvious. Now it is writing fine, it is smooth and has a low to medium ink flow.

The piston filling mechanism offers a lot of ink capacity. I think the piston can't be disassembled for cleaning. To actuate it, you turn the nob on the top of the pen. It doesn't have a locking system, there is a bit of play in it when it is fully closed. Inside the barrel is a dimple over which the piston has to travel. You can feel that bump, as it requires more pressure to go over it, so I can consider it a "locking" mechanism. I do not know how other pens do it, but I don't think this is the best system. I am not worried that the ink will come out accidentally, but because the gasket has to travel over that hump over and over, make me think it's more of a disposable pen. 

The fountain pen is comfortable in hand, and it can be used for long writing sessions. The size is good, and it can be used without posting it. The cap posts shallow but really well and secure, without the risk of activating the piston.

So far I hadn't had problems with burps from the fountain pen, but at the same time, the fountain pen was never with me on a plane or on a desk where the sun is shining all day. But just from holding it in the hand and writing for moderate periods of time.

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