A pen review I wrote on FPN (http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=76715)
Very happy with the newest addition to my collection and thought that I would share it here. This is my first review and I'm following the standard template made by our moderator The Noble Salvage (thanks again for the great job), hope you will find it easy to follow.
1. First impression
I am always attracted to pens with rich and brilliant colors. Initially I was considering a Retro 51 Double 8, but after hearing this particular model has problems with the nib assembly and the threads from several members here I decided not to buy it. However, I also found out that the Scriptmaster II seems to be a trouble free model and people who own it are very happy with it. After seeing FPH has the Citron color on sale, I decided to go ahead and buy one. I haven't got a chance to take some photos so I'll just use FPH's photo for now:
The pen arrived in a standard Retro 51 tubular-shaped box, which looks pretty good. If you are interested in seeing what the box looks like, it is pictured in another Scriptmaster review here. The pen comes with a standard converter, 3 cartridge, and a small info booklet.
2. Appearance & Finish
The pen is made of cellulose acetate, one of my favorite materials. The colors are rich and brilliant (which is why I decided to buy it in the first place). Not surprisingly it looks much better than any of the pictures that I have seen. The barrel/cap is rather thick (maybe twice as thick as the Bexley Americana), which adds to the depth of the colors so that's really great. The Citron is a lighter color and has some transparency to it so you can see the black nib assembly through the section. This is my only complaint, it would be nice if they can use white or other lighter color for the nib assembly for a pen like this; but then again, I am asking too much probably. The finish and build quality appears to be very good.
3. Design/ Size/Weight
This is a full size pen (comparable to the Pelikan M800). I always use my pens unposted and this one feels comfortable to be used that way. As I mentioned earlier the barrel is rather thick, which makes it a medium weight pen. I don't have a scale, but it is heavier than my Bexley Americana and lighter than my Pelikan M800.
4. Nib Design & Performance
Okay, the key point: the one I got has a M nib and it writes well right out of the box. The nib is firm and smooth. I inked the pen with Pelikan Green and the flow is pretty good (I rate the wetness at 6/10). It doesn't skip at all and starts right up after sitting overnight. The stainless steel nib has some gold plating on the edge, overall the dual-tone nib makes a very attractive combination with the color of the pen. The feed appears to be made of ebonite. One good thing about the nib design is that the whole nib assembly is self-contained and can be screw out for cleaning. So if you want, you can take the whole pen apart into (1) cap, (2) barrel, (3) section (a hollow piece of cellulose acetate), and (4) the nib assembly. Will be great if I can find some nib units in different width in the future.
5. The Filling System
Not much to say here, it is a standard C/C filler. I don't have strong feelings about this. It is nice that they have included a converter in the box, but then again, that is expected in this price range I think.
The list price is $75 and I got this on sale from FPH for $49 plus shipping. I think the list price is fair and it is definitely a good value given the sale price. I would rate this as a better value than Pelikan M200 (which I have several), even at the list price of $75. I always have good experience with FPH and would recommend them without reservation (standard disclaimer here).
7. Overall Opinion/Conclusion
Overall I am very happy with it. Even though everyone seems to be happy with their Scriptmaster, the stories that I heard about the Double 8 still give me some not-so-good feelings about Retro 51 in general. If this pen holds up well in the future, I'd happy to buy more Retro 51 pens (may another Scriptmaster in a different color?).