Noodler’s Badger & Blade 5 O’Clock Shadow and Zhivago inks

Recently Badger & Blade commissioned Noodler’s Ink to create a signature ink – “5 O’Clock Shadow” (FOS).  FOS is a deeply pigmented black with shadings of grey and green.

At a recent pen club meeting there was a brief discussion about the colour of FOS and how it compares to Noodler’s Zhivago ink. 

Interestingly, there has been some discussion on the online pen boards whether FOS is simply Zhivago in a different bottle.  Our trusty ink testers assure us that this is NOT the case.  Yes, both are a dark green ink and appear very similar; however, there is a subtle difference – FOS is more grey (grey-green-black) than Zhivago (green-black).  The scan (below) of the two inks made with a Q-tip on Rhodia paper provides further evidence of this subtle but real difference.

Comparison of Badger & Blade 5 O'Clock Shadow to Zhivago ink

The $100,000 question is how FOS compares to the now discontinued Mont Blanc Racing Green or the recently released Diamine Racing Green (created for Missing-Pen ) and offered for sale in this FPN classified ad??

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Without Ink

Perish the thought!  I am not writing what would be, for most of us, an unthinkable predicament, that is to find ourself without ink.  Ask the question “Does anyone have ink?” at one of our pen club meetings and there will be 20+ bottles on the table before you can say “Noodler’s”. 

As a seasonal aside, for the past two (?) years, at our Saturday meeting just before Christmas, the London Pen Club  does a gift exchange of sorts.  Everyone brings a gift of “mystery ink” – ink wrapped up in everything from LCBO bags to men’s underwear (they were clean but for the rainbow of ink stains).  The booty is placed on a table and we each get to pick the package that calls to us.  This year I gifted five FPN sample vials of Noodler’s ink – Borealis Black, Dragon’s Napalm, Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, FPN Galileo Brown, and one that I did not know (the label was off the bottle).  I received two baby food-size jars, one containing MB Blue – Black and the other Diamine Presidential Blue.  Very nice – but I can’t forget that the MB Blue-black is an iron gall ink.

Back to the scary notion of “without ink”.  Like you, I probably spend too much time looking at and reading about pens and ink on the web.  Occasionally, I come across sites or blogs that catch my eye, such as WithoutInk   The writer describes himself in a way that struck a chord with me – “… even with all this cool technology. i have noticed — life is very different without ink. i used to write a lot. i enjoyed it. now i type a lot… and thats totally different.”  I could not agree more – I wished that I wrote much more and typed less (perhaps after reading this far, you also agree that I should type less!).  The site has a number of pen and ink reviews, each of them are thorough and well written.  I particularly like the template that the writer employs to give the reviews structure and consistency.  In fact, the format and content reminded me a lab report, which makes sense as the writer describes himself as a “tech geek”.  I actually sent the writer a note asking him if he would link our site and send me a copy of the template, which he (Matt) did kindly and promptly.  Matt mentioned that he intends to update the template soon, once he designs it.  I can’t wait.  Thanks Matt, keep up the terrific work!  Your site is now on my regular reading list and others would do well to add it to theirs.