Thursday, December 25, 2014

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black ink review

Christmas Edition Ink Review

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays folks!

This is my last ink review for this year and I decided to post it on Christmas day, at the risk of no one reading it. But Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black is a rather special and quirky ink so it's probably fitting. Don't get me wrong, I really like this ink, but for reasons that you will read about shortly, I find it a bit strange.

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black shading

I tested a sample of it in my Pilot Vanishing Point with broad nib.

Bottle and pricing

Bottle capacity: 3 oz / 90 ml
Price: $12.50
Price / ml: $0.14

Color and saturation

The wackiness of Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black comes into play as soon as you start laying it on paper. Blue black you say? More like green black. You see, there's no blue whatsoever in it. It is very dark (almost black) and saturated but the only hint of another color that you will see is green. A dark, coppery green at that. You can even call it "verdigris".


Look closely at Noodler's Air Corp's Blue Black and you'll notice the green undertones. Does it also shade? Yes, to an extent, but being so dark it's hard to see.

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black shading




Well, this is a very dark ink and as a result it ghosts a little on cheap paper but even that is surprisingly well controlled. I would have expected a lot more show-through, to be honest.

Flow, lubrication, and smoothness

What I love about Air Corp Blue Black is how well it flows in the Vanishing Point, as well as how wet it is. Compared to a few other inks which passed through this pen, this one is a revelation. On the other hand, some might find it a bit too wet. I would give it a 9-9.5/10 for wetness. To me it feels wonderful. It starts right away and flows like silk through that broad nib.

Drying time

Unfortunately this is one of the longest drying inks I've tested. A very wet, dark ink can sometimes take its sweet time to dry and this one does it too, and then some. On Clairefontaine 90g (high quality paper) it wasn't completely dry even after 2 minutes. Even on cheap paper it needs about 30 seconds or so before it becomes safe to touch. I, for one, am willing to put up with this aspect, because the rest of it is so good.

Smearing when dry

Somewhat. I've noticed that it does smear a little on Clairefontaine, even after it has dried for days. I used this ink to jot a few entries in my journal and accidentally touched some of the older text with my hand, causing it to smear. It's not a big issue, as long as you're careful, but I'd rather it didn't behave like this.

Water resistance

If you thought by this point Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black ran out of surprises, you'd be wrong. First of all, this ink is billed as water resistant. As you can see from the photocopy sample, it remains completely legible after being exposed to running water for 1 minute. However, this is where the fun begins. Notice how some of it has run off? Well, that component is the very definition of blue. Yes folks, here's where the "Blue" in Blue Black was hiding.

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black wet bleed

Not only that, but looking at the reverse of the page, where the ink bled through (through heavy application of the q-tip), once again you'll be presented with the blue component in all its glory. Pretty cool, but I believe it still doesn't justify the Blue Black moniker.

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black bleed


Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black is one of the most interesting inks I've tested, though a bit quirky. I love about it its dark color with green accents, the smoothness and wetness, and the water resistance. I'm not a big fan of how long it takes to dry and the risk of smearing. Having said that, I would still warmly recommend it. Most of its downsides can be easily bypassed by using lower quality paper, so if that's what you are using most of the time, you'll be fine. If a true blue-black ink is what you are going for, I'm afraid this isn't it, but have you considered green-black?

Following are the two samples on photocopy and Clairefontaine 90g paper, respectively.

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black on photocopy

Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black on Clairefontaine


  1. The color looks beautiful. However, that dry time is a huge turnoff to me. Besides being attractive, I want my inks to be functional and based on your drying times that functionality is hugely diminished.

    Having stated that, I have been on the lookout for a good green-black color, such as this one, but with better properties to it, especially dry time.

    Thanks for the review and have a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year. :-)

  2. Well, darn. I am absolutely in love with the color, but being a lefty that drying time is a huge no-go for me.

  3. I'm not sure Nathan will appreciate it if we keep calling his ink "green-black", but I'll keep doing it until he changes the name haha.

    Have a great Christmas and New Year's too, Freddy!

  4. Hmm, I guess lefties have a whole different set of problems to worry about. Never thought of that, but yeah, your choice of inks will be limited. Out of curiosity, would you say a lot of lefties prefer Bernanke Blue? I still have that ink lined up for testing, really curious how it will perform.

  5. I agree with Lizzy. I know someone who is left handed and uses fountain pens. He has to take into account not just the comfort of holding the pen but the nib type (usually extra fine or fine), the wetness of the ink and ink flow, and the dry time.

  6. I'm guessing languages that are written right to left are also fussy for fountain pen users.

  7. I shouldn't think so because the drag of his or her hand would come before the ink hits the paper, not after. It would also depend on how a left handed person actually holds the pen to write.

  8. The ink and the pen seems like a cool set. id love to get one. were do you get them from?

  9. Not sure what you're asking. The pen is a Pilot Vanishing Point and the ink came from Goulet Pens.

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  11. Yes this ink is one of my favourites. It held my titles as most misnamed ink in my collection only just overtaken by De Atramentis Sahara Grey :)

  12. I love this ink & use it in my Parker 51 (matches the Cedar barrel). Agreed, it is has a hint of blue if you wish long enough, but is formal enough to use in an office setting. My nib is a fine & I have little issue with dry time, except when I use it on Tomoe River paper (but everything seems to take a bit longer on TR). A belated Happy New Year!

  13. Happy New Year and yes, I still love it. I have a bit left in my Pilot VP and it writes great.

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