Monday, September 11, 2006


Rumours have been swirling around the city. A dark shadowy figure has been seen raiding dumpsters outside office supply stores, pencil company warehouses have been broken into, inner city commercial offices report that someone (something?) has been going through their waste baskets at night, ... people are starting to get worried! Well none of that’s anything to do with me, but I have been spending a bit of time down in the lab, just, ahh, seeing what’s on the slab. MechFrankenPencil is coming! The ultimate creation. Take the best of the best, and discard the rest. I just have to wait for one really good lightning strike.

I started out with the heart of the mechanical pencil, the lead advance mechanism. What could be better than a fine mechanism from Pentel? Answer – nothing! So we have it, the Pentel P205 mechanism. Now we need a body – we all know that MechFrankenPencils life isn’t going to be easy, there will be jealousy and envy from lesser creations, so something tough, but with a soft heart and soul. What could be better than a suit of armour like Caran d’Ache’s Varius Ivanhoe, the hero of the great romantic novel? Or perhaps big strong steel rods like Porsche Design P3130 to give him a more modern look? After all, Porsche are the designers of some of the most famous cars (and armoured fighting vehicles) in history. Maybe the best of both worlds – steel rods with Ivanhoe armour wrapping?

For an overall shape though, Scribble from Lamy is a nice friendly look, so we’ll go for that short friendly rounded shape.

Maybe even have the whole armoured rod set up as a telescoping system like the magic pencils of old?

Now what size lead? Why stop at one? Let’s take the wonderful gravity multi-tip selector out of a Rotring Newton Trio and have 0.5, 0.7 and 1.18mm leads.
When it comes to a pocket clip, you can’t go past the Faber-Castell E-Motion clip. Let’s also have a fully retractable tip like the Pilot Vanishing Point. Now you see it, now you don’t. That’s the ultimate in safety.

But I really like the Pentel Sharp Kerry cap so we’ll have a cap too.
Everyone needs their own space, and after a hard days pencilling, MechFrankenPencil will need somewhere to rest his weary head. There’s the Parafernalia wooden stand that he can use at break-time during the day, and of course it will help make him feel closer to his wooden cousins, but the Parker Duofold drawers seem the place for a good nights rest.

Sometimes it can be a lonely existence, being a unique creature, so to while away those solitary moments we could have some puzzles - crosswords and sudoku. What we need is to adapt the Retro 51 Tornado Crossword and Sudoku pencils, so the puzzles are stored inside the body and you just pull the tab to unfurl your puzzle. Actually Postmaster would be handy too. When things heat up and MechFrankenPencil needs to leave town then he is already “Post Paid”, 1st Class mail, all ready to go.

What about a name? If his heart is Pentel then that’s who he should be.
But also some hallmarks like on the Yard-O-Led so we know his history. Proudly stamped with name, rank and serial number!
Grip is very important, so something with a bit of variety, like the interchangeable grips on the Lamy Accent.

Hey, I hear thunder in the distance. An electrical storm is coming – gotta go.

“I really like this jacket but the sleeves are way too long”-Motorhead. Now if The Lead Cup raised a few questions about my state of mind, this posting surely answers them!

MechFrankenPencil is of course inspired by Ninth Wave Designs [Broken link]wonderful Franken Pencil posting, and I thank them for most generously allowing me to use their idea. You know that saying – the one about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? So thanks NWD, and if you haven’t already read the original then click through to Frankenpencil [Broken link]. Actually of course, thanks also to Mary Shelley, Boris Karloff, Kenneth Branagh and all those other Frankenstein folk.

Hmmmmm…., MechFrankenPencil might get lonely, and there was that sequel movie…….. “Bride of MechFrankenPencil”?


Anonymous said...

Awsome post. It would totally enter my collection were it on sale anywhere.
You've gone off the deep end in a really good way. Welcome back to the land of the Wackjobs. See ya next post

Anonymous said...

Great post - I'm flattered by your imitation! It's great to see all the parts together in the sketch too. Well done!

Penmaniacs said...

my mc franken would be a nice lamy 2000 mechanism. the clip would be the lamy dialog 2 retractable clip for extra sleekness. the finish would be carbon d ache carbon fiber like the caran d ache varius 3000. The pencil would have a retractable tip like the graphgear 1000. the pencil would also have a rhodium accents. The shape would be really sleek and modern like a the porsche p1130