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Discussion in 'Resources' started by Jordan, 24 September 2014.
They seem to be pitching squarely at MRJ territory. Barlow was co-editor of MRJ from the early days, and Shackleton was in the editorial chair for some time. It'll be interesting to see what the actual content looks like.
Bob Barlow on the editorial team is a good thing, I have not enjoyed those issues where Mr. S was in charge and probably because the content was more towards art than engineering. The contents of the first issue, as outlined in the flyer, looks worth further investigation especially if the article on Cordons offers new prototype information.
I just realised there is a lot of GW stuff in the first issue. It's obvious we need more GW coverage from the model railway press, because it's a company that never seems to get any of the limelight.
(I'm joking, of course.)
Leaving the door open for 'Overseas Finescale Railway Modelling Review' ?
Apart from the articles which are biased towards Swindon the other "titles / summaries" on the flyer are as applicable to overseas modelling as to UK layouts... and could well be independent of scale.
The article on the GWR Cordon is derived from a recent posting to RMWeb.
I've known for some time from Bob Barlow that something was in the offing, though at one point there was either this sort of magazine as an idea or a similarly pitched mag aimed at RAF/FAA aircraft modellers.
I notice in the flyer .........."finescale modelling at it's uncompromising.........best"....
All true to scale ( and gauge) models then ......I doubt.
So presumably there'll be nothing "crude slapdash and implausible" about it
I'm excited by Bob's new magazine (copies on their way to da shop) and I'd like to think that it is going to reap the rewards of working what looks to me to be pretty fertile and untilled ground between MRJ and the mainstream comics.
As for reports of the hobby dying - pshaw!
While I welcome the new magazine – Greystar also publish the Narrow Gauge & Industrial etc – I hope they are not about to plunge into the same waters that have already drowned Iain Rice among others. Looking at (cough) RMWeb there doesn't seem to be much happening in between the "high-end" lot and the toy train brigade. I long to be proved wrong!
PS: I have just ordered Issue 1
Ah, nowt for me then......
That's an interesting observation Richard. With the improvements in the 'ready to run, plonk and play' sector since the demise of Morril I think that this middle ground has contracted quite significantly. Is there enough of it to sustain a new magazine? I think there is though it wouldn't surprise me to find it drifting upmarket into MRJ territory.
Noting that the new magazine is four issues per year, I was reminded of Iain Rice's Model Railway Digest which was very good, but didn't last too long. I often wondered if the high cover price and quarterly issue was the problem since those conditions would not suit sales on magazine racks. I only got my copies of MRD since Chris Challis kept them for me and I picked up what was there when visiting his shop. I'm assuming the present publishers have factored in the necessity of having a largely subscriber readership to their calculations.
I still subscribe to MRJ but nowadays read very little that's truly new and agree that it's lost the vibrancy it had. However, I'm still inspired by some of the photos and a "build" article about one of the vehicles in my huge "to do" pile can still be useful.
I agree that we are short of a mag to bridge the gap between the RTR focused mags and the "how to hack something out of the solid" publications. Actually, some colleagues and I tried to start a magazine a few years ago to cover just this ground after the sad demise of Modelling Railways Illustrated - Model Railway Review by name - with the editor from Morill, Jim Woods. Regrettably and by pure misfortune, a new magazine was launched at the same time published by emap and by name "Model Rail". They clearly had deeper pockets than us and also much greater experience in producing magazines so that they could buy the shelf space needed in W H Smith and others for a proper launch. They succeeded and we sank without trace - a shame as we were prepared to take a loss and grow the brand slowly but the losses kept coming. I've just reviewed a couple of the issues we produced and still find the articles fill that middle ground. Hopefully the new mag will do the same thing, but whether it satisfies a burning need from me I'm uncertain. It may, however, inspire some of the upcoming modellers to realise that there is life after Hornby/Bachmann and I don't think I'm out of order in suggesting that it was Morill which enthused Steph.
Anyway, that's all in the past. Would we miss MRJ if it wasn't there? Dunno really, although the inspiration which can come from seeing the results created by one of the masters can certainly help to drive my ambitions. However, with sites like our own WT that inspiration comes all the time.
No matter what are our personal opinions the magasine does inspire and does cover a broader base than most of the monthly publications. For those who have the time, look at what MRJ has published over the years and consider the probability that the articles might be published by Model Rail, British Railway Modelling or Hornby.
It's interesting, sitting as I have done with feet in both model railways and the publishing world, how we still think in terms of paper magazines.
Now, I like a paper magazine. It's much easier to read in odd places and leave laying about the workbench when used as reference. The problem is production and distribution. That's where most of the cost is these days, whereas a PDF or other electronic magazine has little or no production and distribution cost - albeit with other problems. The future is not really in the print medium any more, or at least not until the asteroid hits and knocks us back into the Middle Ages.
That said, I subscribe to a couple of photography magazines which are entirely electronic. While it makes it a bit harder to read in some circumstances, the fact I can zoom in to the high resolution images, which don't have artefacts from print reproduction, means I get a better experience in many ways.
It's just a thought, but perhaps there is room for more electronic delivery in the model magazine world. In fact, one of the big three is now shipping a DVD with their issues, with video tutorials and features. How 1990s, I thought, to include a cover disc! Still, they see a market for it, and invest in the production and the physical media. Good luck to them.
I guess older modellers won't be so keen, but youngsters seem to physically attached to their phones and tablets these days. Perhaps they're the ones who will embrace a digital model railway magazine.
I've subscribed for the first year.
Where I live, there's naff all chance of seeing a copy locally, and I'm happy to support such a new venture to see if gets off the ground properly.
Incidentally, subscribing via Paypal took seconds, literally. Would that MRJ were so easy - I've got to find my slip of paper that dropped out of the last issue, find my cheque book and actually walk to the post office to buy a stamp. sheez!
Fully Agree on this and really it surprises me there are still so many mags available in paper format - especially as I believe 'The Beano' [one of my favorite periodicals until I was 41 - err I mean 14] has now gone digital only. I also used to take 'Lion' & 'Tiger' for their excellent factual coverage of WW2 - 'Paddy Payne - Fighter Pilot'!
Its not just magazines though. We are shortly to go over to CD for all instructions in our larger kits. To print 50+ pages in colour is just not on anymore with the fearsome price of good paper, inks and maintainence kits for the printers etc. Plus, another advantage is that customers will get ALL our photo references at high resolution included and at the cost to us of around 11-13p. You will still have the online option for paper instructions but with a small surcharge.
I very rarely talk to any customer who does not have a computer - I think there was one 175 year old coarse scale modeller a year or so ago!
Drifting upmarket into MRJ territory needn't be a bad thing...
Well I subscribed on Tuesday evening (aorund 11pm), after someone mentioned it at my local model club and my copy of the first issue arrived in the post today. Now thats service!
My initial impressions is of a very well presented magazine and with an interesting selection of articles across a range of scales. This doesn't surprise me as Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review subscriber. I have long thought that the latter is the best mag on the market but then I do like narrow gauge and industrial railways.
As someone who has every issue of MRJ, I fully welcome another 'finescale' rag and I whole heartedly wish the FRMR team all the best for the future.