Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pilot Hi-Tec-C .5mm in Bengara

This is a bit different, not a pen review but a color review. This is one of the Pilot Hi-Tec-C .5mm pens I bought awhile back at Kinokuniya in a very distinctive color called Bengara. According to the JetPens website, Bengara (Ferric Oxide Rouge) is one of the Yawaragi colors (literally "being softened color"), a fairly new pastel color of which there are five total. JetPens carries the Yawaragi colors in .3mm and .4mm, but Kinokuniya carries them in the .25mm and .5mm widths as well. My personal favorite is the .5mm, which I find writes more smoothly for me than the .25mm and .03mm, although it's very close in feel to the .4mm. In the Hi-Tec-C line I favor the largest width, perhaps because it is a needle point rather than a rollerball.

Ferric oxide rouge is also known as iron oxide red; a very fine powder of ferric oxide is called Jeweler's Rouge and is used to put the final polish on metal jewellery and lenses. As a cosmetic we know rouge nowadays as blush or lipstick. Ferric oxide can range in color from light red to dark violet, but deep, soft red-brown is probably the most standard formulation of the color. And that's what Bengara looks like, a pinky-red with some brown in it, a very different combination of color that is neither one nor the other. It's a lovely shade, and until I started playing with color more I might have passed it by as impractical. Now, it's in the box next to the orange and green gel inks.