Magazine New Magazine - genuine this time!!!

Gerry

Member
I would like to know what is in this mythical "large pot of articles" because I've never seen it! Why would any publisher - whoever they are - sit on any material if it were good?

Sounds to me like somebody has been mischief making.

Gerry
 

oldravendale

Western Thunderer
I actually put myself forward for the role, encouraged by at least one of the luminaries of our hobby. It came to nothing.

That's a shame, Heather. It seems that the mags are run by a sort of "establishment" clique which creates a sameness. It's also true, though, that beyond a certain point there is nothing more to be said or written about, and then it's down to you, as the individual to get on and try it for yourself. 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.

Brian
 

Dog Star

Western Thunderer
... Would we miss MRJ if it wasn't there?
Absolutely.

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.

regards, Graham
 

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
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.
 

Dikitriki

Flying Squad
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!

Richard
 

djparkins

Western Thunderer
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.

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!

DJP/MMP
 

Heather Kay

Western Thunderer
Sounds to me like somebody has been mischief making.

Perhaps. My evidence is anecdotal. The S7 committee wanted to - presumably still do - encourage articles to be submitted to the magazines. It was reported that articles had been submitted but never seemed to reach print.

There does seem to be a lag in publication, too. Some articles have obviously been in the system for some little while before arriving in the printed copy, with references to dates and so on. If copy has been sent to the main office, and the guest editor doesn't know about it for whatever reason, it's going to be passed over. Equally, the editor's job is to make each issue interesting and varied, so some articles may well be passed over until they fit.

It's not easy editing a journal of any kind.

Anyway, I'm thinking I may stump up some of my hard-earned and give this new things some support. It can't hurt.
 

Wagonman

Western Thunderer
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.

Drifting upmarket into MRJ territory needn't be a bad thing...

Richard
 

Osgood

Western Thunderer
I would like to know what is in this mythical "large pot of articles" because I've never seen it! Why would any publisher - whoever they are - sit on any material if it were good?

Sounds to me like somebody has been mischief making.

Gerry


Yes but you do have to dilute all that GREAT WESTERN material down a little to make each issue more palatable.

Maybe it is the lack of dilutant - other company material - which is causing the stockpile? :D
 

TimC

Active Member
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.
 

queensquare

Western Thunderer
Blimey, and you lot say they moan a lot in the other place:)

I'm with Simon and Neil in being a fan of the guest editor. I think it has brought great variety and a host of new contributors. As for MRJ being run by an 'establishment clique', I don't know where that comes from and to say there is 'little actual content' is just nonsense.

There certainly isn't a 'large pot of articles', not usable ones anyway. As for scale 7 content, well I let my membership of S7 lapse because the magazine was so poor. The majority of Scale7 members I know could probably write an article on their kit collection but not on what they've built. Many of those that do build stuff have been published in MRJ in the last year or so - off the top of my head I can think of Alan Benson and Dave Nickleson on trackwork, Simon Thompson on Aberbeeg and I'm sure there are others.

I'm really looking forward to picking up my copy of the new mag from Simon on Monday but don't feel the need to bash MRJ as part of the welcoming trumpets.

Jerry
 

Overseer

Western Thunderer
I was thinking that Jordan's Armchair Modeller magazine would have a larger target audience than the new Finescale RM Review and be more likely to succeed. But on reflection I realised I was wrong. People like to see things being done, and done well, even if they have no intention of doing it themselves. The number and popularity of reality TV competitive cooking, home renovation etc shows proves that. So I think Bob Barlow is heading in a sensible direction. The higher end and more accurate the better, but not sure if a competitive element would work in a magazine. :)

I would like to see the new magazine succeed. Hopefully it can overcome the divisive tendencies of the 'Finescale' name.
 

Simon

Flying Squad
Well my stocks of the new mag should arrive this morning and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

I have already sold several "sight unseen" and think it will do very well, it seems to me that there is an appetite out there for something else in the "near MRJ" territory and adding this to one's existing purchasing is hardly going to break anyone's bank.

It will be interesting to see how contributors "pan out" between FRM and MRJ, I'd like to think that there will be a fair bit of common ground between the two, although I'm sure there will be loyalties in different directions. FRM certainly has an asset in Alex Duckworth, a good writer and even better modeller.

As far as large piles of articles and ignored submissions go, well I guess we can now try FRM if MRJ doesn't go for it, and if it still doesn't get published then I guess the reason might well be to do with the quality of the article and editors doing what editors do.

I will admit to loving MRJ and quite possibly feeling a bit protective towards it, but that doesn't mean that I can't or won't enjoy the new magazine, it will also be good to have Bob's "chatty" style back in print again I think.

As the yoofs say - what's not to like?

Simon
 

djparkins

Western Thunderer
Blimey, and you lot say they moan a lot in the other place:)

I'm with Simon and Neil in being a fan of the guest editor. I think it has brought great variety and a host of new contributors. As for MRJ being run by an 'establishment clique', I don't know where that comes from and to say there is 'little actual content' is just nonsense.

There certainly isn't a 'large pot of articles', not usable ones anyway. As for scale 7 content, well I let my membership of S7 lapse because the magazine was so poor. The majority of Scale7 members I know could probably write an article on their kit collection but not on what they've built. Many of those that do build stuff have been published in MRJ in the last year or so - off the top of my head I can think of Alan Benson and Dave Nickleson on trackwork, Simon Thompson on Aberbeeg and I'm sure there are others.

I'm really looking forward to picking up my copy of the new mag from Simon on Monday but don't feel the need to bash MRJ as part of the welcoming trumpets.

Jerry

Who is bashing MRJ? - it is still in another league compared to the mainstream mags. I simply voiced an opinion that in my view it was better in the Tim Shackleton days.

Sorry if I offended by having a view - but of course I forgot about 'sacred cows' and all that cr*p. If people are allowed to constructively criticise kits then surely magazines are fair game too!

DJP
 
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