Blackwing Volume 4.

Blackwing Volume 4 is here, and it is the Mars pencil. While the soft core will leave some folks wanting, I’m delighted by the latest offering from Palomino.

Clad in a matte rust orange, Volume 4 sports the usual hexagonal cross-section. Embedded in the finish are little pieces of sand. On first using these, right before we recorded the latest episode of Erasable, I was not a fan of the sand. However, after using this pencil more, I’ve come to appreciate the subtle texture. The grit is more of an extra feature of the design than it is something Comrades will actually notice very much in use.

The imprint is cream-colored, as is the eraser. The hue is very close to a standard Blackwing white eraser, but it is definitely different. I was surprised that subscribers did not get an extra pack of such a non-standard eraser color, which is usually the case. (Gray might be a suitable replacement.)

But what did come extra in subscribers packs is a lovely art print!

The ferrule is marketed as having a bronze finish, but I would call it more of a gray or gunmetal. It’s still lovely, and it blends with the color and design of this pencil to great effect.

Altogether, I find this pencil tops. I don’t usually buy a box in addition to my subscriber pack, but I have another pack of these beauties on order. I am a sucker for the soft core from the MMX.

Speaking of which, this is only the third time that Blackwing has put their softest core into a pencil from the Volumes series. I’m glad that they are revisiting what seems to be their least popular core, at least among folks who use their pencils for writing. The grip provided by this finish and the smoothness of the graphite core make this pencil a singular pleasure with which to scrawl.

I was not a super fan at first, but this pencil has just shot into my top 5 favorite Blackwing releases so far.

3 thoughts on “Blackwing Volume 4.”

  1. They’ve released one from each core for the last 2 years. Hopefully that trend continues. The year that saw the rise of the EF core was hopefully an outlier, as they did 2 EFs and 2 602 cores that year. The year previous to that one had one of each, but they only had 3 releases, which worked out to one from each core (at the time). Stands to reason that the one year was an outlier and that they will (hopefully) continue a “4 cores, 4 quarters” policy.

    I honestly think this is the best release since the last MMX core, the 73. In my opinion, it’s been a somewhat forgetful year for Blackwing.

  2. I am delighted with the Volume 4; as I am partial to a soft core, the Volume 4 is the best since the Voume 73.
    I don鈥檛 care much for the cream eraser, so I have replaced it with a rust colored (or is it orange?)鈥攚hatever, it does complement well with the ferrule and the barrel; so pleased am I with this Volume that I have gone on a buying spree to assure that I will be well-stocked.

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