Noodler’s Konrad and Noodler’s Apache Sunset Review (From an Artist’s Perspective)

Disclaimer: The products were all bought with my own money.

Introduction

This will be a review of the Noodler’s Konrad Acrylic Coral Sea, specifically with the Ease My Flex Mod as well as a small mini-review of Noodler’s Apache Sunset.

I love a good fountain pen, but here’s the small rub: I don’t write (much) with them. I primarily use them for sketchings, drawings, and doodling around. As such, what I look for in a fountain pen and ink may be a little be different than what a writer is looking for. This will be primarily a review on the Konrad and Apache Sunset from an artist’s perspective.

I bought the Konrad because I was looking for a portable, less messy, and smoother replacement to my dip pen. I knew it would not match the line variety of my dip pen, but that was not the point. It helps to have realistic expectations of the tools you order.

I bought Apache Sunset primarily because I wanted a nice orange color as a complement to drab black, grey, and dark green inks. The shading is the other reason.

Paper

The paper is Canson sketch paper. Virtually of of my papers are drawing type papers, meant to take graphite, markers, and sometimes watercolors.

Where I Bought Them

The pen and ink were bought at Goulet Pens. Packed and shipped within a day and came in well padded envelope + box Good on them.

Noodler’s Konrad Acrylic Coral Sea
Noodler’s Apache Sunset

The Pen

  • It looks great, but the translucent nature of the pen means you can see the parts on some of the translucent parts. It bugs me a little, but from a distance you can’t really see it.
  • Did I mention I love how it looks? It’s quite a nice, contrasting pairing with the Apache Sunset as well.
  • The pen is quite light, definitely not as heavy as I thought it would be.
  • It’s a piston filler, although you have to submerse the pen past the grip to get ink up it.
  • The pen and feed are friction fit, so it’s very easy to actually just pull out and play around with the feed length. There is also a small notch where the nib fits, so be sure to keep that in mind.
  • If you want more information about setting up and playing with the Konrad, this thread is pretty good.

WP_20160223_00_34_55_Raw__highresWP_20160223_00_35_07_Raw__highresWP_20160223_00_34_21_Raw__highresWP_20160223_00_35_57_Raw__highresWP_20160223_00_36_20_Raw__highres

The Ink

  • I received the new plastic bottle. A bit of a bummer since I like seeing how much ink is left, but other than that it’s fine.
  • The ink is rather light, straddilng the spectrum from a yellow-orange to a red-orange.
  • At first thought I wasn’t sure how it would fit in with my workflow, but the shading and color variety grew on me. It’s fast become my favorite color.
  • This is my first shading ink and it became quickly apparent to me how versatile they can be. With quick strokes I can put on light colors and with slower more deliberate strokes I can create darker lines for emphasis and color.

Before Ease My Flex Mod

  • The pen writes alright. There is a bit of flex, but it takes a little force.
  • To some people it may seem perfectly fine, but I was itching for something a little…more. The line variety was just not enough for me.
  • Some digging around and I discovered the Ease My Flex Mod.

Scan_20160223.jpg

After Ease My Flex Mod

  • I tried doing the mod with a file, but it didn’t get anywhere fast, so after some initial fear and trepidation, I used a dremel for the first time.
  • There is a lot more flex with less effort, but the chances of railroading go up a bit due to the feed’s limitations. As a result, you will probably have to do some tinkering with the feed, moving it in/out depending on your preferences/frequency of railroading. Here is a thread from Fountain Pen Network about that.┬áDepending on your pen, you may need to cut into your feed. I was lucky enough to not need to resort to that. I am not responsible for what you do to your own pen.
  • When it finally did work, and after washing all the ink off my hands, it was exactly what I was looking for. Flex that is easy to control with a good amount of line variety for my drawing needs. I’m going to ink faster, but it’s worth it.
Scan_20160223 (2)

After the mod

Scan_20160223 (3)

Dialing it in

Scan_20160223 (4).jpg

Dialed in

Conclusion

  • If you want a pen that’ll just work, the Konrad will be decent, but neither amazing nor terrible. The flex is alright, but not at all mind-blowing.
  • It is a pen that is designed, practically begging to be modified and played around with. The friction fit nib and feed make it easy to.
  • That being said, be patient when modding and messing around with the pen. There are lots of ways it can be setup, so expect to spend some time dialing it in.
  • If you’re looking for a rather cheap flex capable pen that can be tweaked to meet a decent (in my opinion) amount of flex, you don’t need to look further than the Noodler Konrad. While it surely falls in the face of dip pens (and probably vintage flex, but I wouldn’t know, don’t hold me to that), it is a respectable option for those people who are looking for flex in a pen, without the hair sensitivity of a brush, the price of vintage, and the immobility/messiness of dip pens.

Leave a Reply