Model Railroad publications

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Hawkeye251

Member
I've been a subscriber to Model Railroader since about 1995 and I have quite a few back issues dating to 1990. At the time I started subscribing, I really enjoyed the magazine. There were great fold out schematics of locomotives and famous passenger trains, a lot of articles on kitbashing and scratchbuilding, and a seemingly good variety of era's and scales.

Lately though I've found that the magazine seems to be lacking somewhat. Content is primarily focused on the transition era, there are very few articles on kitbashing or scratchbuilding locomotives or freight cars (they have had some pretty good structure builds though), and a lot of the content is beginner oriented. Furthermore, each issue feels a lot like its predecessor with some features being repeated yearly.

I don't really think this is Model Railroaders fault, I think they're simply doing a good job of following trends as well as trying to get more people interested in the hobby (definitely something I support). However, I'm beginning to think a subscription is no longer a valuable way for me to spend what hobby funds I have.

I do like getting stuff in the mail though:) So perhaps I just need a change of scenery. I'm using a back issue of Railroad Model Craftsman from 1990 for my GP40-2 project, and I really like it, lots of good projects and info. I've also got an ancient issue of Mainline Modeller but I never really cared much for it. Granted though, these are old issues, next time I'm in my LHS I'll have to pick up the current issue of each. In the meantime though, does anyone have any thoughts on the model railroad publication scene? I'm an HO scale modeler, I model anything from about 1980 to the present. I'm primarily interested in western lines, but I have nothing against the eastern roads, or even European prototypes. I'm mostly interested in kitbashing, scratchbuilding, or superdetailing rolling stock, locomotives and structures, rather than purchasing them RTR. Does RMC sound like a good magazine for me? Anyone have any others to suggest?

Thanks for your input, sorry if this post rambled a bit.

Chris
 

hminky

Member
Model Railroader goes as the editor goes, as do most magazines. It presently seems to be a proprietary magazine, same cast of authors mostly in-house, huckstering things you can buy at Walthers.

I have been a subsciber since 1960 and MR has it's good periods and bad periods.

Also there is such a steep requirement for digital pictures. Their art department needs a gazillion megapixels for it's articles. I have an upcoming article in their 2007 Model Railroad Planning and they whined about my pictures not having enough pixels. At 3 meg it will give a 5x6 picture, they want at least 6 meg. How many pictures will be even 5x6 in an article. Their sister publication Finescale modeler only needs a 3 meg. This eliminates most article submissions. That is why it appears David Popp, one of the staff is in every issue, not that I have anything against Dave.

Just a thought
Harold
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
I get MR mostly out of habit, find some neat things once in a while. RMC is more of a modelers' magazine, MR is more of a model buyer's magazine. The Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette is by far my favorite magazine, has been for a long time.

I too have old issues of MR and RMC, going back to around 1970. When I got back into the hobby in the early 1980's, I started collecting older mags as a reintroduction to the hobby. Looking back at these older MR issues, things were a lot cruder in all aspects, the models, layouts, photos, etc. It seemed like a hobbyists' magazine. These days it's almost a professional modeling magazine. At one time their Trackside Photos had shots of semi completed models and layout scenes, obviously amaterish efforts. No such things these days! Everything perfect like Harold says - big megapixels or nothing!

What irritates me is MR's preference to these "perfect" photos most of the time, and they are mostly taken by their assigned photographers Paul Dolkos and Lou Sassi. Even the Trackside Photos are mostly by them, very few by "average" modelers and photographers. They feature articles, photo esssays, etc., in the magazine and in their annuals much of the time, leaving very little room for others. I gave up submitting to them quite some time ago, prefering to submit to Model Railroading where, as a friend said "they will publish something that I can remember preparing".

MR kept an article of mine for thirteen years!
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
I remember reading MR as a kid. LGM and I still read it and enjoy about the feature layouts. The photos have certainly set the high water mark. They've also left the average modeler behind. Most people don't have a completed layout, let alone a professional grade layout.

There does seem to be a "club" that's hard for outsiders to break into. When someone as published as Bob complains of that, what chance do the rest of us have of getting our pics in the magazine? I do remember the recent article on a staffer's unfinished layout. It was average modeling at best and showed plenty of plywood. He's in the "club" though, so that's different. At one point, I wanted to get a pic in Trackside Photos. LGM really wanted to see his layout in the magazine. After researching it, it was obvious that that wasn't going to happen with my current equipment (to say nothing of the fact that I'm not part of the in crowd).

I still enjoy MR. Some issues are better than others (the current issue has quite a bit of good articles in it). It'll take a management change to get the magazine back in line with the average modeler.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Ya know, maybe this is one reason why folks like us enjoy web forums so much. Everyone can post pics, in real time. It's fun to see all the different RRs regardless of their state of completion or detail level. There's no product pumping, etc. Just a thought. :)
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Some time ago, I wrote a short review of the various magazines out there. I think I posted it on Trainorders, because I can't find it here. But, I have the original txt file, on this machine, so I'll cut-n-paste it here. :D

-----

Over the holidays, I managed to catch up on my reading of most of the model RR magazines I subscribe to. Which is a lot, since as I cycle through them and the railfan magazines, sometimes there could be 2-3 months worth of each magazine in the 'to be read' pile. Still, having gone through the pile of model RR ones, I thought it might be a good time to rate them; I think somebody asked about it once. So, from first to last, here are my rankings.

1. Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC). This is a Carstens publication. Overall, I rank it #1, equally suited for the beginner as well as intermediate modeller. Though I would shade it more for the intermediate. Articles include modelling, prototype, and layouts. Reviews are decent, usually done by a modeller and not necessarily the staff. Decent 'what's new' section.

The modelling articles tend to be more complete than what you find in the other magazines. Usually, these articles are by modellers. Some articles will run 4-5 pages, with plenty of detail, including a parts list. Perfect for those of us who aren't that skilled in kitbashing or scratchbuilding. The layout articles are OK, decent number of pictures, but the trackplan illustration can sometimes be spotty.

All in all, this magazine is a good value, I've actually seen in it Meijers (a midwest Big Box), and sometimes in Borders.

2. RailModel Journal (RMJ). This one is one step below RMC, and in my mind, tied with #3 below. But, RMJ gets the nod because it's publishing schedule is more reliable. Like all the other magazines, it has prototype, modelling, and layout articles, plus new stuff and reviews. However, these are more sparsely written. The editor, Bob Schleicher, likes layouts and prototype info, so, there is a fair amount of these. There are editors in the various modelling and prototype fields. He takes a lot of pictures of layouts, but the trackplan leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes, it's a napkin sketch. But, he takes a lot of pictures, both in color and B&W! Currently, it seems he's visiting layouts that will be on the layout tours for the upcoming NMRA convention in Philly.

Prototype articles include things such as Diesels one detail at a time and various freight cars and containers, and such.

The printing isn't as slick, and production is at least a step below most magazines (as in, not that slick and glossy, but better than the weekend magazines). Some folks will also object to the editor's propensity to do rough sketches vs other magazine's slick graphics portrayals. But, it does get the message across. This is pretty much a hobby shop publication, you're not going to find this at a bookstore.

3. Model Railroading (MRding). This one is below RMJ solely because the editor, Randy Lee, has a tendency to get out of sync when the holidays come around. What that means is that they start coming late, and you get the Nov issue sometime in January. And then you're playing catch-up the rest of the year. As a side note, their cover date is up to date. But that's because Randy skipped 2 months.

This magazine is well-known for their multi-part articles such as the current SD45-2, EMD's Last Big Block SD, and the building of the Jersey Western, by Jim Mansfield. Jim's been doing a monthly article on this for at least 6 years.

They have layout articles as well, but they're a bit less detailed than the other magazines. Pictures are good, and the trackplan is decent.

This magazine's real strength is the modelling articles. Some of the projects are pretty detailed, and the pictures are very clear so you can actually follow what the author is doing. Finally, there is an ongoing series on DCC; it's basically an 'as it comes along' series in that there's an article when something warrants it.

4. Model Railroader (MR). I put it here mainly because it's still a decent magazine for the beginner. Say what you will about it, shallow articles, simplistic information. That's the stuff for the beginner. It's slick for a reason. I consider myself an intermediate, but I do like MR. My favorite is the track plans for the layouts. This is something of interest for me, though I wish there were more layout pictures.

5. Mainline Modeller (MM). I put this one #5 because it's audience is the intermediate to advanced modeller. Bob Hundman likes to scratchbuild, and this magazine is really not for the beginner. Though, if you want to aspire to higher skills, this magazine could motivate you. Though I do wonder how many folks would be patient enough to go through 29 photos on how to scratchbuild a tender (part 2 of 4).

Strengths include prototype buildings, locomotive drawings, and prototype locations with drawings. Text descriptions may be somewhat sparse, but it may be a personal preference. To me, this magazine is truly a niche magazine, it's not really for everybody.

Bonus. Model Railroad News (MRN). This really isn't your standard model RR magazine, it's really Consumer Reports for Model RR stuff (mainly locos and rolling stock). It covers HO and N, but also Garden Scale and a little bit of Z. Basically, it gets new stuff from the manufacturers, which are farmed out to the various reviewers on their staff (who are modellers), and they test them. So, the results they get should approximated what a run-of-the-mill modeller should see.

The other main part of the magazine is that they cover the new releases by a host of manufacturers. Not quite the same as how MRding does it, it's in a different format and a less wide base.

This magazine is tabloid sized, and written in an informal, folksy manner. Easy reading, but the info seems well worth the time.

-----

:D

Kennedy
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I use Model Railroader's online article refence to track down articles on units I'd like to build. I managed to find two good refernces to an AT&SF SD39 that way. One looks very promising, the only issue will be finding that issue of "Rail Model Journal".

As for Model Railroading, I love it more then the rest, because, well in my mind, they have more orientated articles, and provide more real info. The articles I've read seem WAY more indepth, and each issue has one of each, Locomotive, Rolling stock/intermodal, layout, and how-to. They have alot of modeling info in most of the articles too, its gear towards, "this is ... and these companies make ... for this".

Its safe to consider RMC & MR the "main" ones that are most commonly refered to, and are well worth their money.

BUT you can NEVER forget to order Trains OR Railfan & Railroad!!!
 

Hawkeye251

Member
grande man said:
Ya know, maybe this is one reason why folks like us enjoy web forums so much. Everyone can post pics, in real time. It's fun to see all the different RRs regardless of their state of completion or detail level. There's no product pumping, etc. Just a thought. :)
I was thinking the same thing right after I posted this... Like I said before though, it's nice to get things in the mail :)

Thanks for all the replies! HaggisKennedy, your write-up is exactly what I was looking for. I think I'm now convinced that I need to pick up a copy of RMC, Model Railroading, and Rail Model Journal next time I'm at the hobby shop.

"Club" is a good word to describe MR, I guess that's why each issue feels the same, it's a select few people contributing. And it doesn't sound like they make it very easy to get in. I had forgotten about their online article reference josh, that is a pretty cool feature. As I recall you can actually buy individual articles or something like that. Another good reason not to subscribe I suppose, anytime something comes out that I'm interested in I can just buy it without having to get everything else that I'm not interested in.

Chris
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I feel like I'm in about the same boat as you, Chris, and my magazine of preference is Model Railroading. The multi-part diesel series they run, like the GP40 series or the SD45-2 series, the Triple Crown series, container series, etc. are right up my alley and provide plenty of detail shots you can feast your eyes on.

I also like Diesel Era, a magazine I'm just becoming acquainted with. I decided to model 3 BN SD40-2s, in three distinct versions, and the Diesel Era three-part series turned out to be just the ticket for me. There must be nearly 100 photos in the three issues, all of BN SD40-2s. A complete roster was included as well as a discussion of the intended purpose and equipment features of the various orders and number series.

I don't have much use for MR anymore. Once they killed the Model of the Month feature, I was done. That was the beginning of the end of the "average guy" participation era.

RMC is definitely a notch above MR, and they don't hesitate to throw a bone to the experienced modeler, but the beginner focus generally keeps me away unless there's a pretty spectacular article in there.

I don't care for Mainline Modeler. I bought about half a dozen issues over a year and just decided it wasn't doing it for me. The photos were nice, but the content wasn't fulfilling to me.

Anyway, if I can recommend anything, it's Model Railroading, as a general pick-it-up-at-the-LHS type magazine and Diesel Era for project-specific issues relevant to my interests.
 

cuyama

Member
Some of you guys must receive a different edition of Model Railroader than I do. Mine has scratchbuilding articles like building a structure with inspiration from a classic old-time modeler. Of the eight feature articles in the one I receive, none are written by Kalmbach employees, although three are from "regulars". One of the articles is on scratch-building your own signals, in direct competition with major advertiser Atlas' recent product announcement.

Hmm, let's compare that with an MR from 1970. Eight feature articles, one by a Kalmbach employee and two others by insiders for a total of three "regulars".

Some of this constant MR-bashing is just another way of saying "Look at me -I'm such a skilled modeler that I've outgrown MR". That's fine ... read something else. Just stop posing.

MR's not perfect, but sometimes the criticism goes way overboard, IMHO.

Regards,

Byron
 
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HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I usually stay out of the 'what's wrong with MR' discussions, other that to elaborate on what I said above. And that is, MR is generally the entry level magazine. It's in the grocery stores, and other bookstores, so anybody interested can pic it up because it's appealing. And, that might get them interested in the hobby. You don't want them reading a 52part article, each with 39 steps, on how to make rivets. That turns folks off. Keep it simple. Then, they can graduate to the other magazines, when they go to the hobby shop to buy their first supplies.

I see MR as a lot like Hot Rod magazine. I've subscribed to HR since '67. Every few years, they publish an article on how to read the sidewall of a tire, or How to build a crate motor. Let's face it, after the 5th time, it gets old. But, as new technologies come out, they do cover it. EVentually, those folks who want more detail, they graduate to the other, more specialized magazines.

That's what I see when somebody is critical of MR; a lot are folks who are either old-timers, or would like to graduate to something more detailed. Nothing wrong with that, it's natural. Having options that will fill your need is the real goal.

I didn't talk about the railfan magazines, like Diesel Era and the others. When I wrote my review, it was to reply to the "what good MRR magazines are out there?" question. I coulda made it a little more detailed, but I procrastinated a lot and some thoughts got lost during that time!

:D

Kennedy
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
As a new person to the hobby, I still find plenty to read in MR. I spend more time reading RMC, though. Although, the reading material is good. I spend a lot of time looking at the ads in RMC. The products they advertise fit me better than MR. That might be a silly criteria, but the logic is this. If I am interested in the ads, then I am the target audience of RMC.

On the other hand, the ads in MR are boring to me, as are most of their reviews. Why? Because the ads cater to modern layouts with nary a nod to earlier periods. By necessity, I have to scratch-bash if I want something I can't find--which seems to be a lot these days.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Anybody here remember a song by The Eagles titled "Desperado"? One of the lines in it goes like this:

...and it seems to me some fine cards
have been laid across your table,
but you only want the ones you can't get...


I'm like the character that song is about: I've been frustrated for years because I used to dream about getting published in MR and I've come to realize that'll never happen. I'm glad to see that the one mag that I did get into, "MR-ding", is still highly respected at least.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
cuyama said:
Some of you guys must receive a different edition of Model Railroader than I do. Mine has scratchbuilding articles like building a structure with inspiration from a classic old-time modeler. Of the eight feature articles in the one I receive, none are written by Kalmbach employees, although three are from "regulars". One of the articles is on scratch-building your own signals, in direct competition with major advertiser Atlas' recent product announcement.

Hmm, let's compare that with an MR from 1970. Eight feature articles, one by a Kalmbach employee and two others by insiders for a total of three "regulars".

Some of this constant MR-bashing is just another way of saying "Look at me -I'm such a skilled modeler that I've outgrown MR". That's fine ... read something else. Just stop posing.

MR's not perfect, but sometimes the criticism goes way overboard, IMHO.

Regards,

Byron
Not to be a bone or anything, as I read MR alot too... And I LOVE the scratchbuilding articles, but I think "MOST" people will try to find a reason why they don't like it, and it usually turns out to be Advertising, Manufacturer affiliantion, or the "big guys" attitude, and that beginners have a harder time with 50% of the articles by the same person... However you see it, MR didn't become the "major" Model Railraod magazine without this... The smaller ones simply don't have the:
-Drive, or push, to make it "big"
-Capital, to give so much away
-Staff that Kalmbach can afford to pay
-Circulation that Kalmbach gets in many "magazine circles"

Its tough, but you have to look at it the same way as the music industry, new artists have a hard time, unsigned artists have a hard time... I guess people just get that underdog feeling and relate to RMC RMJ, MR'ding & such... I dunno? Does anyone!?

Oh but, in my defense, I've very frequently been accused of judging a book (or in this case magazine) by its cover and only picking up issues because of whats on the cover!!!
 

NYW&B

Member
cuyama said:
Some of you guys must receive a different edition of Model Railroader than I do. Mine has scratchbuilding articles like building a structure with inspiration from a classic old-time modeler. Of the eight feature articles in the one I receive, none are written by Kalmbach employees, although three are from "regulars". One of the articles is on scratch-building your own signals, in direct competition with major advertiser Atlas' recent product announcement.

Hmm, let's compare that with an MR from 1970. Eight feature articles, one by a Kalmbach employee and two others by insiders for a total of three "regulars".

Some of this constant MR-bashing is just another way of saying "Look at me -I'm such a skilled modeler that I've outgrown MR". That's fine ... read something else. Just stop posing.

MR's not perfect, but sometimes the criticism goes way overboard, IMHO.
Bryon - I am afraid there is a vast gulf between the articles that appeared in 1970's issues and those appearing today. Let's take that sad excuse for a scratchbuilding article (Perkins Feed) in the July issue. No one could ever build a copy of that building based on the material presented. It totally lacks any details regarding the building's dimensions, any plans, etc. MR may call that a scratchbuilding article but it's really a "Hey, look what I built" piece with a few vaguely described techniques thrown in.

The original December 1974 Earl Smallshaw article on Perkins went on for seven full pages and provided every possible detail necessary to copy the building exactly...right down to the wall signs. If you look at MR nowadays you'll find this same lackluster mindset is in just about every article they publish. Rarely do the articles contain enough information to copy anything. Sadly, I have to say that MR is but a pale reflection of what it once was.

NYW&B
 

cuyama

Member
NYW&B said:
Bryon - I am afraid there is a vast gulf between the articles that appeared in 1970's issues and those appearing today.
I referenced the 1970s issue to answer the complaints that "50% of the magazine is written by one person" and "only Kalmbach employees can be published in MR". as it turns out, these trends are about the same as the '70s, by my unscientific test.

I would agree that the emphasis is much less on scratchbuilding today than in years past. That doesn't bother me as it does you and others, I understand. To each his own. It was more of a necessity then, obviously, less so now becasue of the rich array of kits available today for bashing fodder. If the number of scratchbuilding articles is the basis upon which people wish to criticize MR, OK. That wasn't always the point I was seeing being made. The interesting thing about scratchbuilding articles to me is: the more skillful the modeler, the less he should need an article to tell him how to scratchbuild, no?

In any case, I agree, MR is not the best the magazine for the serious scratchbuilder. There are a now number of magazines (many of which did not exist in the '70s) that better fill that need.

What MR does very well, IMHO, is to be a venue for many of the widely varying aspects of the hobby. It's certainly not a "pale reflection" of what it once was to me -- and I have been reading since the '70s. It's changed to include the trends in the hobby that are attractive to newcomers and the most active participants. Since, despite claims to the contrary, much of the magazine is still written by readers, what's published probably reflects the interests of the customers today. Otherwise it wouldn't be the biggest seller by far in the field.

Lots of things I would change if I were at the helm of MR (which is not even remotely likely), but I'll stand by my statement that some of the criticism is simply throwing rocks at the giant to make the small feel mighty by challenging the biggest name in the field. (to fully mix my metaphors -- maybe that's why I'm not the editor ...)

Regards,

Byron
 
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NYW&B

Member
cuyama said:
I referenced the 1970s issue to answer the complaints that "50% of the magazine is written by one person" and "only Kalmbach employees can be published in MR.

If the number of scratchbuilding articles is the basis upon which people wish to criticize MR, fine. That wasn't always the point I was seeing being made. The interesting thing about scratchbuilding articles to me is: the more skillful the modeler, the less he should need an article to tell him how to scratchbuild, no?
The Perkins "scratchbuilding" article was only given as an example. My point is that the quality of virtually ALL the feature material that today appears in MR has fallen. The staff at MR has turned over completely since 2000 and I really don't think the young people who took over, save perhaps for Dave Popp, really know all that much about model railroading. And I'm afraid it's reflected in the text of the magazine quiite ofen.

NYW&B
 

cuyama

Member
NYW&B said:
The staff at MR has turned over completely since 2000 and I really don't think the young people who took over, save perhaps for Dave Popp, really know all that much about model railroading.
We'll just have to agree to disagree. Sperandeo, Hediger, Koester, etc. still appear on the masthead and contribute. Can't see how that qualifies as a "complete" turn over. Sebastian-Coleman moved on, but is contributing a multi-part series right now. Thompson has written some decent modeling articles. It would appear Popp's star is on the rise at Kalmbach.

People get older and retire ... things change. Westcott has left the building.

I'm done with the topic ...enjoy the MR-bashing among yourselves.
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
cuyama said:
I referenced the 1970s issue to answer the complaints that "50% of the magazine is written by one person" and "only Kalmbach employees can be published in MR".

I would agree that the emphasis is much less on scratchbuilding today than in years past. That doesn't bother me as it does you and others, I understand. To each his own. It was more of a necessity then, obviously, less so now becasue of the rich array of kits available today for bashing fodder. If the number of scratchbuilding articles is the basis upon which people wish to criticize MR, OK. That wasn't always the point I was seeing being made. The interesting thing about scratchbuilding articles to me is: the more skillful the modeler, the less he should need an article to tell him how to scratchbuild, no?

In any case, I agree, MR is not the best the magazine for the serious scratchbuilder. There are a now number of magazines (many of which did not exist in the '70s) that better fill that need.

What MR does very well, IMHO, is to be a venue for many of the widely varying aspects of the hobby.

Regards,

Byron
I think you pointed out something very important here: that much of the competition didn't exist in the 70s. Now it does exist. Whether it picks up where MR left off or MR is free to tread the beginner's ground and leave the scratch-basher scraps to the other mags is anyone's guess. I guess I find it a little mean-spirited for you to say this:

"Some of this constant MR-bashing is just another way of saying "Look at me -I'm such a skilled modeler that I've outgrown MR". That's fine ... read something else. Just stop posing."

I'm not trying to bust you here, but come on. In addition to the negative tone you take, you conveniently ignore the fact that many previous 80s era articles were really ambitious and thorough while articles from the 90s to the present say, essentially, "buy this list of parts and look at this finished product." Sure, I've become a skilled modeler over the past 20 years, but there's no way I could "Scratchbuild a USRA Mikado in brass" today, or even halfway hack my way through Sperandeo's Santa Fe TOFC flatcar today. There's nothing I've seen that even comes close to that level in today's MR. Granted, I haven't looked at every issue in the past two years like I did before, but I haven't found anything like that when I have looked.

Scratchbuilding articles are far less about being told how to scratchbuild and more about providing resources. And what kind of resources would a scratchbuilder need? Drawings are one thing that could be helpful. The majority of MR issues I've purchased in the past 15 years have been expressly for the drawings. They're not always clear or accurate, but a well thought out selection of detail photos can help clear up any confusing areas, and MR has a fairly good track record with drawings and accompanying photos.

Very few people interested in model railroads are total novices WRT model building and very few people are scratchbuilding experts. These articles are for the rest of us in the gray area in between. I always expected the beginner stuff and I actually read it, too, knowing I'd pick up something I'd missed or find relevance to something I'd discovered on my own. But, I began to get the impression the folks at MR were looking at their average subscriber and realizing what they needed to produce each year was Joe Locomotive's 12-part (in 12 convenient monthly issues) crash course in model railroading. "When the final December issue arrives, you'll know you've graduated."

The so-called scratchbuilding articles aren't for teaching readers how to apply MEK to plastic or how to shape a piece of brass into a fuel tank wrapper. You pretty much need to know basic modeling skills before attempting a scratchbuilding project. But the newbie flipping through an article like this on his way to the article on keeping your locomotive wheels clean might see there's a tremendous amount depth and potential in the hobby. He just might be inspired to read through the article once or twice. I know I read the C/MRI articles and I didn't have a clue about computers. You never know - articles like this have been known to inspire purchases of Evergreen styrene even without a clear purpose for it. ;)

Again, I see these types of articles as a resource. Maybe the subject is something old or the prototype was scrapped - it doesn't matter - you often find yourself needing some kind of info when you want to model something uncommon in the model world. So, if we know what these articles look like, where are they?

The fact is MR is either not receiving these articles (which I find hard to believe, when many of the published authors I've chatted with tell stories of how long MR sat on an article of theirs) or they are choosing not to print them. I don't really care about the behind the scenes machinery - when the articles and/or resources I am looking for don't show up, I don't buy. As I stated above, when the Model of the Month column was eliminated, and it came at the time of transition from the average reader being a model builder to being a model buyer, that's when my subscription lapsed. I guess I just lost hope of ever seeing another masterpiece a la Gordon Odegard or Sperandeo again.

But stating any of this is not posturing or bashing MR. I truly hope I'm wrong in my assessment. Nobody presents the product as well as MR (in terms of quality of photos, copy editing, etc.) and I doubt they'll ever have serious competition on that front. I think if they would throw the experienced folks a bone every few issues, they might not only keep up their longtime subscribers, but a few newbies might also renew beyond their 12 month crash course.

Just my opinion....
 

NYW&B

Member
cuyama said:
We'll just have to agree to disagree. Sperandeo, Hediger, Koester, etc. still appear on the masthead and contribute. Can't see how that qualifies as a "complete" turn over. Sebastian-Coleman moved on, but is contributing a multi-part series right now. Thompson has written some decent modeling articles. It would appear Popp's star is on the rise at Kalmbach.
Check the facts, Byron, not just the masthead. Sperandeo, a truly 1st class modeler, was moved over to director of the WGH program (some say as a punishment) and out of any direct association with the magazine's operation years ago. Hediger is retired from MR (see his goodbye article a while back) and prior to that had for some years (since the newbie takeover at MR) been relegated to just doing product reviews. As to Koester, he's simply a contributor, not a staffer. All the other staffers from the 1990's, who knew model railroading, quit or left for greener pastures...the list is impressive. The turnover there is complete.

NYW&B
 




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RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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