Mechanical pencils


Graphene pencil

Coming soon: a look at an Italian-made pen [1]available as lead holder, mechanical pencil and fountain pen, designed 20 years ago and now 3d printed using graphene. I got the lead holder and the mechanical pencil on loan from Write Here and will have a closer look in the next week or so.

My understanding of chemistry is very limited. With graphene not being very think (one layer of atoms) I am not sure how something three-dimensional can be graphene without turning into graphite. Maybe it is a flat ‘two-dimensional’ layer rolled up. I wonder whether this requires very special 3d printers so that the graphene layers don’t melt together into a lump of graphite. In any case the result is a very special pen.

As expected the pens are very light, but as seen in the mechanical pencil comparison above there are lighter mechanical pencils available.

References

References
1available as lead holder, mechanical pencil and fountain pen

A most suitable pencil for desk work 3

The manga series Oh My Goddess was originally published from 1988 until 2014. I am only familiar with the early comics from this series, so the following might not apply to comics from the later years – but there was always exceptional detail on products and technology. Specific products and their features were often being mentioned or hinted at. A lot of this information was about cars, motorbikes, cameras, but you can also see calculators and mechanical pencils in this series, as seen in the examples below.

Keiichi using a Sharp PC-1401 calculator/computer and a so far unidentified mechanical pencil (Oh My Goddess #5, p.39, read right to left)

I am not sure if the pencil from page 39 is supposed to be the same as the one from page 71, but it’s a great close up drawing. The sleeve seems, proportionally, rather slim, though.

There were many different version of the Zebra Knock Pencil. Some versions of the M-1300 had the text “A most suitable pencil for desk work” printed on the side. As far as I can tell the Zebra Knock Pencil is not being sold anymore and Zebra has replaced this model with more high-end mechanical pencils.

Urd is using a Zebra Knock Pencil (Oh My Goddess #5, p.71, read right to left)

The images have been taken from the English version of Oh My Goddess, published by Dark Horse Manga as Volume #5. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Holbein x Rotring 600 3 in 1 120th anniversary pen 1

Holbein was celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2020. They are the Japanese stationery manufacturer that imported Rotring into Japan and they took on an ever bigger role after Rotring was bought by Sanford and manufacturing was moved out of Germany.

Holbein became a manufacturer in 1946, so you tend to see 1946 being mentioned as their starting date, but their origins lie in 1900 (as a retailer) and to celebrate their 120th anniversary this 3 in 1 Rotring 600 was released last year.

It comes in matt white, which looks very special, probably mainly because that’s not a typical Rotring colour. The 600 3 in 1 is a recent addition to the Rotring lineup and features a black and red ballpoint pen as well as a mechanical pencil.

You change the pen/colour by twisting the knurled top part of the 600. You’ll find more information about this pen in my video.


Traces of graphite – Massimo Fecchi update 2020 5

I have a small update for my 2016 blog post about Massimo Fecchi, the Italian artist who draws comics with the, in my opinion, best proportions, shapes and lines with beautiful variations.

Massimo Fecchi drawing with his Rotring 500
Fecchi with a Rotring 300 (Image © Massimo Fecchi)

When I asked Massimo about his pencils in 2016 he used a Rotring Tikky II for his initial drawings. Recently, he posted a photo of himself drawing for fans at the Comic Con in Wels, Austria. In this photo, he has switched pencils, or rather pencil models, not the pencil brand. When I asked him he told me that he is now usually using a Rotring 500 in either 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm. He described it as being lighter and more precise than the Tikky II.

Rotring 500 on a Fecchi drawing
Not quite fake news, but this is my Rotring on Massimo’s drawing – not his Rotring

I find it astonishing that even though most of us amateurs associate heavier pens, including mechanical pencils, with a more luxurious pen or better quality, while the professionals, in this case, Massimo, who use pencils as tools to get work done value lightness, probably to stop them from getting some sort of finger fatigue.

Massimo Fecchi's Comic Con Austria sign
Comic Con Wels (Image © Massimo Fecchi)

I believe that the use of this Massimo Fecchi’s photos falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


2019 contest and 2020 wishes

Bleistift Blog is wishing you all the best for 2020.

If you want to start the new year with new mechanical pencils (from Caran d’Ache, Faber-Castell, Lamy and BIC) you still have a few days left to take part in the Stationery Wiki:Mechanical Pencil Day Contest 2019 (..if you read this blogpost on the day it was published).

The pencils that make up our prize for the mechanical pencil day contest

All you need to do is to improve an article or maybe even create a new article to have a chance of winning.

Good Luck – for 2020 and for the contest.