Double-Review Comeback Extravaganza Part II: Lamy Al-Star and Diamine Oxblood

[transcription of the handwritten text can be found below]

This pen can be had for ~$37 street.
Alongside the 2013 LE Safari

Attractive and simple bottle design.

Some shading can be seen in this photo.
Paper: Piccadilly Legallo 

 Lamy Al-Star review
Once again, this is a pen about which much has been written. Mine is a toffee-brown limited edition Al-Star with a medium nib. Overall, I think this pen is a great one for the money, and provides a good, reliable metal pen the user will enjoy.
The nib: Quite unlike the scratchy nib I got on the 2013 LE Safari, this nib is quite smooth with a bit of feedback. I kinda like that, as I can tell then that I am writing.
Grip section: the same triangular one found on the Safari and Vista. I like it, but some may hate it. ["school like" grip]
Body: aluminum--as suck, it is light and durable; however, it does scratch and dent rather easily, so I would suggest transporting this one in a pen case. I've gotten a small ding on the cap myself.
There is also an ink window on the barrel, in the form of two cutouts.
Essentially, this pen is  a larger, metal version of the Safari, and is also available in a multitude of colors, including the (for now) limited edition peral and matte black finishes.
Overall score: 4/5
+: relatively low price, good durability, smooth nib and awesome springy clip.
-: no converter included [Z24], body scratches easily, some may hate the grip section.

Diamine Oxblood ink review.
I love this ink. It looks like no other red I have ever seen, and is by far the coolest one when dry. It truly looks like dried blood! As a Diamine ink, it flows very well, and makes this relatively dry Al-Star write a bit more wet and smoothly.
Shading: I haven't really experienced any. [pictures show a bit of shading]
-Dry time: quick. -Bleed-thru: nope.
-Feathering: on cheap paper, yes [to a limited extent, not bad at all] but not on relatively good paper, like Piccadilly for example.
Waterproofness: basically none. The ink is totally obliterated by water.
Legibility: I know this is sort of a strange category, but I think it's important. This ink does not tire my eyes at all--I could read an entire book in this color.
Overall: 4.5/5
The waterproofness / lack thereof isn't the best, and feathering on cheap paper is a minor minus--but the reason you get this ink is the AWESOME COLOR. And it does look like blood when dry. Guaranteed to be a winner if you use it to write letters. [or anything else]


  1. Wow, that is some luscious ink. Good for a vampire to write with!

  2. Thanks for the detailed ink review. I've been considering reds for quite some time.

  3. Nice review, Vikram. Beautiful handwriting! Lamy make a nice fountain pen for the money. A good way for anyone to try fountain pens without breaking the bank. And the Diamine Oxblood looks interesting. I have a bottle of Diamine Crimson, but it actually looks more fuschia to me. I might have to hunt down some Oxblood.

  4. Why is your clip chrome? I thought the Al-stars for this year had black clips.