Thursday, December 11, 2014

Noodler's GI Green (V-Mail) ink review

Noodler's GI Green marks the 4th ink tested by me in the V-Mail series, after North African Violet, Burma Road Brown, and Operation Overlord Orange. Read more about V-Mail inks directly on Noodler's site.

I always enjoyed the way Noodler's comes up with all these different ink series, with similar properties within the series, but slightly different from the inks outside it. That's why I picked up a few samples of V-Mail inks a while back.

Noodler's GI Green shading

Today's review was written in my Kaweco Sport Classic with broad nib.

Bottle and pricing

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

Color and saturation

While I found the previous V-Mail inks to be rather unique in color, I can't say the same about GI Green. Perhaps I tested too many green inks. While fairly pedestrian, it is a pleasant shade of green, nonetheless.

GI Green is a dark green, saturated ink. I found that it looks duller (less saturated) on absorbent (read cheap photocopy) paper, but more vibrant on something like Clairefontaine.

In the copy paper sample I compared it with Diamine Green Black (darker) and Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel (much lighter).

I also shot a separate comparison next to Noodler's Green and Green Marine. As you can see, these dark inks all look very similar, but personally I lean towards Noodler's Green.

Noodler's GI Green vs Green vs Marine Green

For what it's worth, this is the second ink review shot with my new camera.


Although dark(ish), Noodler's GI Green definitely has some shading going on. The shinier the paper, the more it likes to gather in dark pools at the end of the nib's stroke.

Noodler's GI Green shading




For how dark this ink is, it doesn't bleed a lot on cheap paper, but you can definitely see its ghost on the reverse.

One thing that I found interesting was how the ink showed through under the very thick q-tip swab, as well as the patch where it seeped through the paper in the water resistance test. Check it out below: some cool hints of gold-green and turquoise.

Noodler's GI Green bleed

Flow, lubrication, and smoothness

In the Kaweco it flows very smoothly and also very wetly. I'm sure some folks will be put off by how wet it is. I'd give it a 9/10 wetness score. Just be careful if you put it in an eyedropper fountain pen, as it might start spitting once it runs low.

Drying time

The drying time is very quick on cheap paper but obviously longer on Clairefontaine. Even then, it's within acceptable range.

Smearing when dry


Water resistance

Noodler's GI Green is supposed to be water resistant but I guess this varies from ink to ink. In this case, it's definitely not waterproof. As you can see from the sample, some of it washes off after being exposed to running water. The dark component runs off, leaving a much lighter shade of almost-turquoise or almost-teal.


Noodler's GI Green is the green member of the V-Mail family with nice shading and a bit of water resistance. If you want to collect all V-Mail inks, go for it. If not, it is still a very solid choice as a dark green ink. However, my personal take on this is that Noodler's simply has too many green inks (especially dark ones) in the lineup. While I love the quirkiness of Noodler's brand, sometimes it overwhelms even an ink enthusiast with so many variations of the same shade.

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

Noodler's GI Green on photocopy

Noodler's GI Green on Clairefontaine


  1. Great review! Interesting water resistance, since usually the dark part stays and everything else goes. Based on your comparison picture, I'd probably pick the Green Marine since it's a bit more on the emerald side.

  2. Not a bad looking green at all but, based on your photos, nothing extraordinary that screams 'Buy Me!' Of the three greens you compare here, I'd probably be more inclined to go with the Diamine Green Black based on color alone. Thanks for another great review.