Category Archives: Ink

Diamine Red Dragon

It seems that I am on an ink kick. Most of my reviews, so far, have been about pens. Given the URL of this site, that makes sense, but I have always wanted to do more than just talk about pens. Ink is at the very heart of writing.

Diamine is a British company that has been around since the mid-19th century. They manufacture inks for a number of different purposes, of which pen ink is only one of several. You can also find them in industrial printing and stamp pads. They have a pretty wide spectrum of colors.

Diamine Red Dragon

Overview

Originally, I was going to pick up another Noodler’s Ink in red, but decided it might be more fun to try another company. Diamine has a number of different reds, but I liked the darkness of Red Dragon and ordered a bottle. For this review, I inked up one of my Lamy Joys with a 1.1mm nib.

Diamine Red Dragon SampleIt is, indeed, a dark ink. It’s nearly black in areas that receive a lot of ink. Shading is excellent. Click the image above for a better view. This is another fairly “wet” ink, at least at this line width, still showing some smudging after 15-20 seconds. With a fine nib, there seems to be less shading and the color is noticeably brighter, though still a fairly dark red.

One note: When loaded into a pen with a fine nib, I have noticed that if I have the pen uncapped and I’m not writing for a few minutes, it can dry in the nib. I have to do some quick doodles to get it flowing again. I did not notice this at all with the 1.1mm Lamy Joy.

Final Word

This is another ink that I have fallen in love with. The color is beautiful. I’ve found myself journaling with this ink loaded into a .3mm nib pen (the free pen that came with the Noodler’s Apache Sunset.) The journal has a cream colored paper that doesn’t seem to affect the overall tone of the ink. If you are looking for a dark red ink, this one is a winner.

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Noodler’s Apache Sunset

I was first turned on to Noodler’s Ink by a post at the Something Awful forums. I know, that seems like a weird place to get information on ink. However, in the Ask/Tell forum, there is an excellent thread on fountain pens with many experienced pen users. It has been quite informative.

Noodler's Apache Sunset

Now, there are a lot of opinions about the guy who makes these inks, and I’m going to shy away from those here. This is a review of the ink, not the man behind it. Suffice it to say, he creates inks that have a permanence to them. There are numerous “bulletproof” inks in the Noodler’s line that are essentially “removal proof”, meaning you can’t remove the ink through any conventional means. You’d destroy the paper before the ink went away.

This is not one of those inks. But I have no true need of absolute permanence. If you’re curious about which inks are, there is an Ink Properties chart on the Noodler’s website.

Overview

I picked up this ink a simple reason; I love the color. It is actually quite dynamic, ranging from a bright yellow to a darker red depending on the amount of ink put down. In practice, a wetter pen will put down a darker line, but even my fine point Lamy Al-Star showed shading in the letters. It really does remind me of a sunset. A friend of mine also suggested fire, which I can see, as well.

This is a pretty “wet” ink. It can take some time to dry, depending upon the paper you use. In a small Clairefontaine notebook I carry around, it took 20 seconds before the ink stopped smearing. The pen was a TWSBI Diamond 580 M nib.

Noodler's Apache Sunset Writing Sample

Final Word

I love this ink and would definitely recommend it. The color is beautiful and dynamic. Shading is excellent. I have now tried it in my Lamy Al-Star, Lamy Joy and TWSBI Diamond without any issues.

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Filed under Ink, Noodler's