Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange (V-Mail) ink review

Operation Overlord Orange is the third ink in Noodler's V-Mail series that I've tested. The other two were Burma Road Brown and North African Violet. I liked NA Violet, didn't like Burma Road Brown but I really disliked Operation Overlord Orange. Read on to find out why.

Like all V-Mail inks, "OO" Orange has a vintage vibe about it. In this case, the ink is rather dull and not very saturated. Personally I'm not a big fan of the shade but others might enjoy it.

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange has several flaws. Though the drying time is very good (some of the best I've seen), it comes at a heavy cost: bleedthrough. Yep, Overlord Orange bleeds through paper like a bullet bleeds through butter. I haven't met an ink yet which bleeds so much through the Rhodia 80g paper I use for testing. Photocopier paper is much worse.

So this ink dries quickly but that's probably because it gets absorbed by the paper at such a prodigious rate. As a result, I find it useless for writing. It could definitely be used for drawing, as long as you don't mind the bleeding. I would assume that it can also be diluted successfully, minimizing the penetration but that would only make it duller and fainter.

As another consequence of the bleedthrough, there is also some feathering but it's less severe than I would have expected. This only happens on the cheap photocopier paper, not on Rhodia.

There is also a little bit of shading, even though this can be subjective. Applying several layers of Overlord Orange does change the density of the ink on paper.

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange's water resistance is weird. On the one hand, as you can see from the sample, exposing it for a minute under running water simply muddies up the color, fades it a bit and breaks it down into some (or all) of its components. It can't be called a waterproof ink but on the other hand it doesn't wash off completely either. What's interesting is that its components seem to be a yellow and a pink and it looks like the pink is the water resistant component.

In conclusion, Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange is one of the quirkiest inks I've come across, one that doesn't seem well suited to writing but looks to be geared more towards the arts. Even then, it can prove finicky with it's strong bleeding abilities but it does make up for it to an extent with a quick drying time. The dull color of Operation Overlord Orange might not be to everyone liking but I'm sure some folks will prefer a dull, subdued shade of orange.

In fairness, I did use it in a Pilot Parallel (2.4mm) pen for this review which puts a lot of ink to the paper. It seems that the quality of paper also has a big say in how this ink performs. High quality paper such as the Rhodia 80g I use for one of my tests does not let so much of the ink to show through. Common photocopier paper is very bad in contrast: the reverse side is unusable.

Here are some writing samples done on photocopier paper and Rhodia 80g, as well as examples of bleeding on both papers.

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange photocopier

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange Rhodia 80g

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange bleedthrough photocopier

Noodler's Operation Overlord Orange bleedthrough Rhodia


  1. Wow, that IS a unique orange... Noodlers been making some odd inks lately. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with the new series of inks for the flex pens. They're not bad, but not particularly nice either...

    Anyway, thanks for the heads up on OO Orange. I don't think I'll be getting any. :)

  2. Who knows, you might like it :) Anyway, samples are the way to go. I've learned that the hard way after buying a bunch of ink bottles that I'm not extremely overjoyed with.

    What flex pen inks are you talking about? I haven't heard of any...

  3. The flex-pen inks - Noodlers black swan in english roses, black swan in australian roses, and the "all-new" blue nose bear. These are supposed to be "mainly" for the new flex pens. At least, that's what I heard... :)

    Yup, I just ordered around 11 ink vials from the goulets. They were having a sample-sale... :D

  4. Ah thanks I didn't know those were made with flex pens in mind.