I don’t remember exactly when I first discovered Palomino Blackwing pencils but it wasn’t too long after that these fun limited edition subscriptions came out. I have purchased a box (or several boxes) of every edition beside Volume 203. I believe at the time I had way to many Blackwings and decided to skip it. Just like other subscriptions, it is really fun to see what limited edition comes out next. The Blackwing volume pencils usually have a different color barrel, eraser, core, and a tribute theme. This version is dedicated to Guy Clark, a country musician and songwriter. I know nothing about him but you can listen to some of his “top hits” here. But this edition changed something for the first time. Instead of the hex barrel, Volume 1 went with a round barrel.
I thought I was really going to like the round barrel. I enjoy it with other branded pencils but for some reason this just seems off to me. It will probably be fine after I use them more but it just doesn’t feel like a Blackwing in the hand. I’m sure other users love the change, but it is weird to me right now.
The Volume 1 has a matte grey washcoat finish. I’m not sold on it yet. It’s a little boring. I’ve mentioned on my blog before that I love the look of natural pencils. This washcoat finish allows the cedar grain to show through a little which I like but the grey color is just meh. BUT I LOVE LOVE LOVE the “blue collar” eraser on this one. It is a muted blue-grey color that I really enjoy. And surprise surprise, Blackwing is actually selling replacement erasers for this edition (unlike the brown erasers from Volume 211).
The balanced core found in the pencil is the same that is used in their standard Blackwing Pearl. This is one of my favorite cores found in the standard line so I’m happy about this. The core is smooth and dark and holds a decent point. From most pencil friends I’ve talked to, they like the balanced core as its good for writing and drawing. While Blackwing erasers do a decent job,they still leave behind graphite and smear just a bit, as you can see in the photo below.
Overall I still like this pencil. I‘m a fan when Blackwing changes things up a bit, especially adding new colors to their erasers.
Since this is my first Blackwing review, I just want to add a simply request. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE release a 211 body with the 24 core. I have heard this request over and over again from many others. Sadly, I do not think this will ever be done because I doubt I will want to purchase another pencil ever again. HAHA who am I kidding. But it would be my all time favorite Blackwing release!