Saturday, February 8, 2014

Product Review: Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Multi Pen

2/7/14 Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel ink, Fabriano Studio hot press 140 lb. paper
I’m not necessarily brand-loyal. (If I really like a product, I might have the slightly bad habit of buying multiples, “just in case,” but that’s a different behavior.) But if a brand’s product isn’t meeting all the needs I have for using it, I’ll look elsewhere. I have to say, though, that my recent very positive results with the Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen, the ridiculously inexpensive Pilot Petit1 fountain pen, and the idle pen tests I’ve been doing with both (not to mention my blind love for the Pilot Iroshizuku line of gorgeous inks, despite their disappointing shading qualities) have made me somewhat partial to the Pilot brand.

You’ve seen the fun I’ve been having with gel pens. I was browsing’s huge selection of “multi pens” – basically the same concept as the classic Bic four-color ballpoint pen of my childhood (the same kind Marina Grechanik has used in her sketches that inspired me to explore gel pens in the first place) – except these Japanese multi pens are a lot more flexible. Some permanently contain various combinations of pencil, ballpoint pen and gel pen components. Others can be customized to your heart’s desire with the components of your choice – including a vast array of gel pen components! (Yes, that’s the sound of fairy dust being sprinkled over my head.) 
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto 5-component multi-pen.

But given the differences I’ve found in gel inks, I didn’t act rashly. With a choice of several brands and my recent experience with Pilot pens fresh in my memory, I bought a single Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel ink component without a pen, just to test how it behaves. I liked the way the ink washed, so I got a whole “system”: a pen body that accommodates five components and a bunch of gel ink components, which can be purchased in sets of 10 or individually in three sizes. The Foray Gelio pens I’ve been using have a tip that is broader than I like, so I opted for Hi-Tec-C refills in the medium 0.4mm size, which I used in the sketch above at the Northgate Food Court. (Complete sets can be purchased on Amazon at a lower price than JetPens.)

I’ve removed the several colors of gel pens I had been carrying in my bag and replaced them with the single Hi-Tec-C Coleto pen containing five gel colors  lighter and more compact. How much sketching will I do with this pen? Who cares! It’s cool and fun!

P.S. I’ve often said that there’s not much inspiration to be found at the mall’s food court. One thing it is good for, though, is sketching people at varying distances.

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