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.