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Discussion in 'Resources' started by Jordan, 24 September 2014.
"Finescale Railway Modelling Review".
Bob Barlow, good. Tim S, hmm, not so.
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.
To quote from the flyer... "for railway modellers who like to do rather than just buy" seems to me that we might have read that before, somewhere in one of Jordan's posts maybe?
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.)
Do I detect something of a "grass is always greener" when applied in Wiltshire?
Unless you and I are looking at different pages then there are only two references which could be GWR - 2mm 15XX and 4mm cordon - and one of those covers wagons which were owned by the GER and then re-allocated to the LNER (NE area). So where is the bias?
I think I'm being primed by having a workbench covered in GW coaches. It's everywhere!
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 think that is a little unfair. MRJ has certainly gone downhill as regards content in my view since Tim ceased to be editor. So I think his involvement is good news. What MRJ desperately needs is a permanent editor IMHO.
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 not sure that I agree that MRJ has gone "downhill" since Tim departed although I agree that in an ideal world a magazine would have an editor rather than editors.
Looking on the bright side though, hasn't the breadth of contributors increased a bit under the "roving editor" stewardship?
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!
We are all entitled to our point of view and I have all the copies under Tim's editorship and every issue since then and my view is different - it is just down to personal taste I suppose. The issue he did on the interface between rail & maritime was just the best!
I have not found that the range of contibutors has much improved - with one or two welcome exceptions such as a certain persons Class 37! Generally though its the same old shirts.
I vote for Adrian [ABS] as the new MRJ editor - with an article in every issue on detailing Dapol wagons!!!
I haven't seen this yet - though I will, I'm sure - so I will wait to judge what appears.
I would echo DJP about MRJ to an extent. My feeling is that it's curated rather than edited at present.
One of the consequences is that it is not the magazine it was though it remains a showcase of fine modelling, too often that is all it is. Looking back at earlier editions, it provided a far more holistic perspective on what it meant to model a railway in the round (regardless of the permanent editor in question). At present that's lacking, perhaps the Bob Barlow/Tim Shackleton combination will provide it?
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......
I'd agree, I think it's improved. There were (in my opinion) too many articles written by Tim Shackleton himself, some were good, some less so, some smacked of padding, crucially they reduced the opportunity to hear from different contributors.
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.
This was kind of my point. It wasn't just me that thought this, but most of my friends who also read the magazine. I had always subscribed to the magazine - and still do - because it contained interesting, entertaining and inspirational stuff. Things seemed to drift under Tim's stewardship, not that it's much better under the current regime. I agree with David, the title needs a permanent editor.
I actually put myself forward for the role, encouraged by at least one of the luminaries of our hobby. It came to nothing.
I must be reading a different magazine to you guys. It takes me around 30 minutes to get through it these days. I offer to lend it to my colleague here and he doesn't even take me up on the offer anymore! But then I know he too was a Tim Shackleton fan.
I've got the answer though - there are two titles called Model Railway Journal and I've just been subsribing to the wrong one!
No, I think you are correct. There is little actual content any more, and I don't blame Mr S for the downfall. The good issues are much rarer than they used to be, and it's hard to put the blame anywhere other than the editorial policy.
Having served my time as editor of the ScaleSeven newsletter, I know how hard it can be to persuade people to provide anything for publication. It was an ever-present struggle to produce each issue. I am led to believe there is a large pot of articles submitted to Oxford, but they never seem to make it into print. I find that hard to understand.
Let's hope Bob and Tim manage to keep the quality of the new publication up over the long run.