Fountain pens don’t particularly lend themselves to art. That’s more in the realm of brush and dip pens. But for the more artistically inclined fountain pen users, there are flex pens. Though most examples are ludicrously expensive, Noodler’s Ink brand has several flex pens at a reasonable price. Let’s see how the Noodler’s Nib Creeper Flex holds up to scrutiny.
The one I personally have at hand is a plain black one. They come in all sorts of wonderful colors and you should really look into them if you’re thinking about buying one. The black itself is quite nice, though shiny enough that scratches are noticeable. The trim is a nice metal, not sure on the specifics but also shiny. The clip says “Noodler’s Ink” and rotates on the cap; it also does a very good job of holding the pen in a pocket. In the middle of the pen there are a few semi-transparent windows with which you can view your ink volume, though they are not the most accurate things. The cap unscrews to reveal more of the same design to the nib. Both the body and the cap are made of a nice plastic, which feels a little too light and smells a bit. But it is quite sturdy and the smell does subside.
The pen fills nicely by twisting the back all the way out and then down several times (to eliminate as much air as possible) while the nib is immersed in ink. The plunger mechanism unfortunately doesn’t come out like several other Noodler’s pens, or at least not easily. But the nib and feed can be removed simply by gripping them in the mid-section and pulling them out as they are friction fit into the pen. This allows for easy customization of the ink flow. It also allows for easier cleaning when changing inks.
Now to the nib and the actual writing. On paper the nib is wonderfully smooth. Not as smooth as a nice Cross or something similar, but up there. It flexes when pushed down, though not very easily. It does require some force, and at times feels like it may have problems, though these have never materialized for me. The thickness of the line varies depending on the nib and feed configuration. I would say it goes from about a Micron 01 (005 if you go really, really light) to just over a Micron 08 or about the size of the Micron Brush. After that it starts to railroad (split into two lines) even in the wettest of configurations. It also tends to write fairly dry, having a faster ink drying time and less bleed-though than other pens. But this is only minimal.
Overall this is a very nice pen. If you’re looking for a sturdy brush replacement or just something to add some variation to drawings it may be the thing for you. For me it strains my had a little, and I prefer less variation in my line, which limits my use for it. But it is still a superb little pen, and a very good value. It can also double as a fancy signing pen, and a note pen. Just something to carry around. It’s great, and if you’re looking for a flex pen it’s definitely the place to start.