Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review: Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution

Thanks to Fountain Pen Revolution for sending this Gama Popular fountain pen for review! It even has a flex nib!
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (13)
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (14)
ABOUT

Body Material: Ebonite
Trim: Metal
Length (capped): 150.0 mm/5.50''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 132.5 mm/5.21''
Length (posted): 170.0 mm/6.70''
Barrel Diameter: 14.0 mm/0.55''
Section Diameter: 10.8 - 12.3 mm/0.42'' - 0.48''
Nib material: Steel
Weight (all): 28 g
Weight (cap): 10 g
Weight (body): 18 g
Fill type: Eyedropper
Ink Capacity: 4 ml
Cap: Threaded
Posts: Yes, friction
Feed: Ebonite
Price: $35USD + $9 for flex nib
Where to buy: Fountain Pen Revolution

PACKAGING

None, just the way I like it.

APPEARANCE
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (1)
The Gama Hawk is a large, round pen with rounded off ends that are slightly tapered. The finial is a round knob in ebonite. The clip is attached externally by a band around the top of the cap. The clip is simple with a slightly rounded off square bottom. There are no logo or brand engravings on it. The center band at the end of the cap is smooth and unmarked.

Other than that, the pen has a very seamless appearance, and I like how it looks. The cap, barrel, and section are all a pretty, tan ebonite with dark brown-black swirls. The barrel is engraved with GAMA.
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (2)
The section is fairly short, round, and tapers slightly towards the nib. There is a ridge at the end of the section, before the nib. The cap threads are at the back and in this pen, blend in to the swirly ebonite really well - I barely see them! I like that.

Overall, a nice looking pen, available in a few ebonite colors. It's not too large, it's simple, and it's decent altogether.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

This nib is a replacement #35/#6 nib offered by FPR. It's a two-tone flex nib, coupled with an ebonite feed. The nib is very simple - it has a single, long slit that runs through half the nib, and no breather hole. Other than some simple flourishes, it has no markings. It is supposed to write a 0.4 mm line normally, and up to 2.0 mm fully flexed.
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution
Before inking, this feed was heat set to the nib and it was thoroughly flushes. Flushing removes machining oils left behind on either the nib, feed, or both, that can hamper ink flow. Heat setting optimizes ink flow.
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (5)
This nib is not a super smooth writer - it offered some feedback, but the tines were well-aligned and I did not feel it was scratchy. Without pressure, it writes a line on the finer side. There is not an excess of tipping, but the sweet spot felt like it was for a high angle to the page. I found the nib skipped and hard started more than I liked at low angles to the page, but performed much better at a higher angle, even for flexing. Slowing down made a big difference, as well as finding the right spot on the nib.
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (11)
This is not a super, very soft flex nib, so moderate pressure is required to achieve line variation. However, I found it more on the soft-medium side than the medium-stiff side. Make sense? It didn't tire my hand completely to apply pressure to it. Slow and steady, or the feed will not keep up too well. I think the nib is capable of flexing further than the feed optimally accommodates (2.0 mm). 

This is a fun nib to use because of the flex and line variation. It's also a pretty tough nib so it's not very easy to spring, particularly useful if you're a new flex user. It's perfectly usable as a regular writer, since it isn't so soft that it will flex at the lightest touch.

If you don't mind feedback, and going slow and steady, you could do worse than to experiment with this pen and nib combination.

IN HAND

This clip is so stiff, I can barely use it - I can hardly lift it to slide it on to a page, so I don't even bother trying a pen case. It's so tight, I worry I would tear everything. So... the clip is not that great.

The ebonite smells delicious. Rub it between your fingers a little and you'll want to sniff it all day. No? Just me?
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (7)
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (8)
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (9)
I like the shape of this section. It isn't too short and the threads are quite smooth. I actually grip quite low down on the section - right on the hard ridge, which can get a little painful after awhile.

Unposted, I find the pen comfortable and well-balanced. It isn't too thick, and sits well. The cap posts securely by friction. It remains pretty comfortable, but it is a little too long and it looks silly in my hand when posted. For loner writing sessions, unposted is much  more comfortable for me to use. My hand cramps after awhile when using the pen posted.
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (4)
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (3)
PROS & CONS
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (12)
OVERALL

For $35, you get a nice looking, large pen that you can use as an eyedropper. For $9 more, you get a decent steel flex nib and an ebonite feed. It's a lot of fun to write with, it's easy to use, easy to clean (but do not soak this pen in water - ebonite cannot tolerate water exposure like that), and it's a comfortable size for regular use.
Review Gama Popular Fountain Pen - Flex @FPRevolution (6)
Top to bottom: Gama Jumbo Acrylic, Gama Hawk, Gama Popular, Noodler's Neponset.
I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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