First Impressions

4 March 2015 By ian

Lamy AL-Star with Diamine Ancient Oak

On Saturday a couple of new purchases arrived from Cult Pens. I just hadn’t been able to resist the (now finished) offer they had running with the Pen Addict. I’d bought one of the limited edition Lamy Copper Orange AL-Stars with a medium nib and a bottle of Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin. I’d had my eye on both these for a while (because. . . orange) and Alt Haven’s review of the latter tipped me over the edge.

As soon as they arrived I put the ink in the pen and was crushingly disappointed. Both completely lacked any character. I dumped the ink and washed out the pen. I already have one AL-Star (a grey one) and this just confirmed to me that I was not going to get on with this particular model.

Then, looking at the shiny orange pen drying next to the sink, I knew I really wanted to like it so I gave it another chance. I put a big fat 1.5mm nib onto it and filled it with Diamine Ancient Oak. I love it! It’s so much fun now. A completely different pen.

Meanwhile, the Mandarin ink is getting on perfectly well in a Faber-Castell e-motion, which has a much wetter medium nib.

I’m in the rather unusual and possibly slightly obsessive position of having lots of inks, lots of pens in general and lots of Lamy nibs in particular. I was able to experiment a little to get something that worked for me. Neither of these purchases was all that cheap, however, and if this had been my first experience of fountain pens it would probably have been my last. I wonder how many people have been put off this hobby for life by similar first experiences?