Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fountain Pens for Artists: Platinum Preppy

Last week, we were all about those Noodler's fountain pens (the Flex, the Ahab, and the Konrad- I have yet to acquire a Neponset- any generous donors?), this week, we're taking a look at Platinum's more affordable fountain pens.

Platinum is a Japanese stationary company who manufacture fountain pens, inks, mechanical pencils, fude pens, multipens, and ballpoint pens.  Although Platinum is huge in Japan, it's fairly unknown in the West, and while I've done due diligence with fude pens on this blog, I have reviewed few Platinum products.

Today, we're looking at the Preppy, a super affordable, customizable fountain pen that I believe every artist should carry in their pencil case or everyday carry.

Preppy:
On Amazon- $4.45 individually, around $17.00 for a set of 8
On Goulet Pens- $3.95
On Anderson Pens- $3.95

Materials:
Plastic 
Fixed width steel nib

Feed:
Enclosed Plastic

Sizes available:
EF
F (.3mm)
M (.5mm)

Cartridge based, can take a converter, can be converted to eyedropper fill for HUGE ink capacity



The Preppy is Platinum's most affordable fountain pen option.  It features a fixed width steel nib (think technical pen sizes), comes with a cartridge of ink that matches the color of the pen, can take Platinum converters, and can be converted with a little silicone grease into an eyedropper pen.  The entire body of the pen is plastic, and while I've read complaints of cracking issues, I've yet to experience any myself.


Since I'm currently working my way through waterproof, pigmented, and sometimes destructive inks, the Preppy is an ideal choice.  It's a full size pen, the ink flows smoothly with no interruptions, and I have had zero issues with any of my Preppys.  A close comparison would be the JetPens Chibi, which I will review at a later date, but I must say, the Preppy wins hands down compared to the Chibi.  If you're on the fence about fountain pens, give the Preppy a shot.


The nib has zero give to it, which might bother those who have gotten used to semi flex nibs like the Noodler's nibs, but if you treat this pen like a refillable tech pen, you won't be disappointed.



Both F and M lay down a consistent lineweight with no flex or variation.  All Preppys I have encountered have juicy inkflow, and can keep up with quick sketching or with more robust inks.

Pros:
Very inexpensive
Can be converted to eyedropper
Great starter pen
Fixed lineweight
Available in EF, F (.3), and M (.5)- sizes tech pen owners are familiar with
Steady inkflow
Easy to maintain

Once converted to eyedropper:
Can hold a huge amount of ink
Holds ink of your choice, including iron gall inks

Cons:
Fixed lineweight
No flex

Surfaces the Preppy Can Easily Write On:
Cellulose based watercolor papers such as Maruman, Holbein, and Fluid
Tracing paper
Sketchbook paper such as Blick Studio and Strathmore
Japanese notebook papers




The Verdict:

The Preppy is a great all around starter pen- so inexpensive, it requires no maintenance.  Once finished, you can toss it, or you can practice your fountain pen maintenance skills by cleaning it out.  Eyedropper converted Preppys in a size M are my favorite, and are used as a test for dangerous and corrosive inks like Iron Gall.  If it doesn't kill the Preppy, it may be safe for my other pens.

Preppys are great for more than sacrificial pens.  Fill them with Platinum Carbon Black for waterproof (once fully dry) sketches on the go, fill them with your favorite inks for color coordinated notes and planners, send one filled with your favorite color as an ink sample to a friend.

More on the Preppy
Best Fountain Pen
Office Supply Geek
A Better Desk
Iron Ion
Leadfast

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