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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ink Review - Noodlers BayState Blue

Well, if you have a habit of starting flame-wars on forums and blog-comments, I'd suggest you stay clear of this review. :)

Noodlers BayState Blue (BSB) has stirred up a lot of contention in the online world. Anytime it's mentioned, you can be sure to have dozens of supporters, as well as dozens of haters, all flocking to the article.

I am going to attempt a head-on, honest review of this ink. Personal opinions will be included, at a minimal level, but I'll stick primarily to just the facts.

I cannot personally give BayState Blue any more than 25/100...

Noodlers BayState Blue, in my opinion any way, does not have a lot going for it. It's a bright color of blue, that leans more towards purple-blue than actually blue. It is water resistant, and that's about where the goodness ends. Let's hit the details:

The good:

  • The color is bright and vibrant.
  • Waterproof/bullet-proof. Good and bad. It's nice to have sometimes though.
The bad:
  •  I don't like the shade of blue  personally. It's far too purple for me. When I want blue, I want blue, like Iroshizuku Kon-Peki.
  • The ink performance is very poor. Skipping, feathering, bleed-through. This ink has it all. :|
The ugly:
  • Stains like crazy! I almost ruined my beautiful antique sink with this ink, and my Ahab converter is now blue forever... :(

So, it's already known, from my Weekend Reads 2/18/12, and my Ahab Flex Pen review, that I do not like Noodlers BSB at all. This is based on experience with the ink, not because someone else told me not to like it.

Like a previously said, there really isn't anything going for this ink. It's not even a good shade of blue!

First, take gander at this. What you see here is feathering on Clairefontiane paper!!! I did not know that was even possible... :) For reference, the CF paper is from my Habana, one of the old ones with the bright white 90g paper...

Here is my permanently-blue Ahab converter. Good thing I bought a blue pen, or else more than the converter would be permanently stained...

Here's how my Ahab flex pen performed with Noodlers BSB. HORRIBLE...
Take a good look at all the skips and railroading, and especially my vertical-stoke-test at the bottom.

This sample was written just 30 min. after the one above. The only difference - just a change of inks! This is Noodlers Black, which works extremely well with my Ahab. Not one skip, nor one railroad - perfect performance out of the same pen that could barely write just a half-hour ago.

Overall... I have to say it: I hate Noodlers BSB... There's nothing for me to like about it, at all.

It almost made me toss a good pen. It hardly works. It stains my pens, and my good sink. And it's not even a nice shade of blue, in my opinion.

To be honest, the only thing I see BSB being useful for, is if you are just absolutely desperate for a bullet-proof blue ink. Aside from those cases, go for something else. For Bulletproof, use Noodlers Black. For blue, I highly recommend Iroshizuku Kon Peki.

Sorry if this review offends anyone. I don't mean to slam on this ink, but I have to keep my reviews on honest. Please let me know your thoughts on the review and BSB.

Let's all keep the comments kind though please! No rudeness, or shouting, or screaming allowed. :)

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