If you like Tamoe River paper, you will like this stuff as well. This paper is
just a bit heavier than Tamoe River, a little more opaque, but the surface is
the same velvety smooth texture that handles fountain pens fearlessly. I used my
wettest writers and dip pens, and there was no feathering or bleed-through.
Really lovely stuff, at a bargain price.
This is a wonderful pencil case. I was looking for something slim, that wouldn't
take up a lot of space in my bag, but would hold 8-10 drawing tools when outside
sketching. It's a perfect fit. There are enough slots to organize my pens and
pencils comfortably. It makes drawing a pleasure, because I don't have to go
digging when I need an eraser or sharpener or different type of pencil.
Everything is right in reach. The bag itself is very well constructed, and
provides good protection to my tools when zippered shut. A great buy. Highly
I have mixed feelings about this pen. While I have a few high-end and vintage
fountain pens, I also really like basic, inexpensive ones that write dependably
and well. (I write for a couple hours each day, so performance is a much higher
priority than fancy accoutrements.)
I was happy with the pen's appearance -- it's very lightweight and a nice size
for my hands. However, the ink flow was terribly dry and the nib felt scratchy
at times. I used a loupe to examine the tipping and immediately saw the problem.
The tines were aligned, but the lump of irridium had ridges in it, which would
produce a scratchy sensation on the page when pulled in certain directions. I
fixed that problem with some micromesh papers, but this didn't fix the dry ink
flow. I suspected a problem with the channel in the feed, and indeed, when I
flossed between the tines with some fine brass shim, a bunch of debris came out.
I finished by giving the nib unit a good scrubbing in warm water and let it
When all this was done, I reassembled the pen with a new ink cartridge, and it
writes beautifully. Very, very nice line quality, very comfortable for long
writing sessions. I just wish the pen had come to me in this condition, rather
than requiring 30 minutes of fiddling to get it there. (But frankly, I've had
similar issues with every Lamy and Kaweco pen I've ever purchased. I'm somewhat
resigned by this point to my bad luck.)
I still think the HighAce Neo is well worth the price if you're looking for a
lightweight, compact pen with a Japanese fine nib (especially if you've got
better fountain pen karma than I do).
I use these markers when designing gridded patterns for beadwork, basketry,
weaving, knitting, etc. They work quite well for this. The relatively broad tips
lets me fill in the patterns quickly, and the colors erase cleanly if I need to
make adjustments. I would have given five stars, but the tips of the pen can
shed stray fibers (sort of like pilling in old sweaters) that sometimes affect
the writing performance. It's easily fixed -- just pull the little thing off
with a pair of tweezers -- but I'd be happier if it didn't happen in the first
Overall, it's a minor quibble and I'm very pleased with the purchase.
As others have commented, this is is a wonderful pen for sketching. The ink is a
light neutral grey, perfect for adding tones shadows to line drawings. It
doesn't bleed through the page. You can also create darker greys by layering
more strokes on the paper. The brush nib is fairly broad, but you can get thin
lines by holding the pen vertical and using a light touch.
This is an elegant brush pen. The bristles come to a long tapered point and are
nicely resilient. Line thickness varies from hairlines to medium. The ink is a
nice cool grey that is completely waterproof. Like the other Akashiya thin pens,
the ink flow is moderate, not wet. You need a more sparing ink flow with very
fine brushes, or their hairlines would quickly get too thick. When I draw on
smooth surfaces like Bristol board, I can achieve beautiful calligraphic lines
at comfortable pace. However, I actually use it most on cold-press watercolor
paper, because I like how the ink lines become more textured and sketchy, almost
like pencil. (I generally wash over the lines with watercolor, and have never
had problems with the ink running.)
A very nice, responsive nib. Without pressure it makes hairlines smoothly in
every direction, including upstrokes. It opens nicely into broader lines with a
comfortable amount of pressure. It's quite good for drawing and decent for
copperplate types of calligraphy.
This is yet another follow-up to my August 2011 review. I have been using this
pen for a year now, and it is still performing beautifully. I left it unused for
about four months during the winter, but it started up almost immediately when I
took it out, and has been writing smoothly ever since. It's the best $6 pen
purchase I've ever made.
And I don't know what ink Tachikawa puts into the cartridges, but I sure wish I
could get a bottle of it for my other pens!