Model Railroader Mag. Inspiration or Intimidation?

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CambriaArea51

Well-Known Member
My biggest issue with MR magazine is that they show the SAME big layouts. There are others out there I'm sure that have nice layouts along with club layouts. The adds got to be more and that shows me the subscriptions are going down. Repeat content doesn't sell.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
. . .
Am I the only one that gets the latest MR issue and instead of being inspired to build layouts like it always features, feel depressed I know I never will.
. . .
Getting back to the original question, about feeling intimidated by magazine-caliber layouts: I have an around-the-walls layout that fills a repurposed 2-car garage, with lots of industrial structures on it as well as a good-sized collection of my favorite B&O locos. I also have a half-dozen guest operators come over every 6-9 months. It is far beyond my wildest dreams of what I wanted when I first came back to the hobby 30 years ago. But whenever I read MR or visit Joe Fugate's Model Railroad Hobbiest forum, I get an instant inferiority complex because I'm reminded that there are modelers out there who will never be impressed with what I have (only 50% covered by crude scenery). My solution to that is, to avoid reading MR or visiting forums that are dominated by the 'elites' of the hobby.
 
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NP2626

Guest
I must be different than almost everyone else. I don't care about other modelers prowess in this hobby! Like I've said previously, I'm in the hobby for my own enjoyment. I want to use what I learn from their abilities and ideas. The rest I feel doesn't much matter. Yes, there are aspects to the magazines which I don't pay attention to and plenty that I simply over-look! My interests are pretty diverse, to expect a magazine dedicated to the hobby in general to satisfy all my diverse needs and wants, is expecting "pie in the sky"! I know enough about my hobby that I really don't need much of what the magazines offer; however, my satisfaction with what I am doing in the hobby would be far less without them. Subscribe, buy at the news stand, read online; or, go without, it is certainly your choice!
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
One of the things Model Railroader has stated in the past, is that they have to run the articles that are sent to them for publication. If Average Joe never writes an article for publication, articles like that will never get published. If you want to see articles you can relate to, send them an email, and ask if they'd be interested in you writing an article about your layout. Include a brief description and some pictures.
You never know, you may get your layout published.
 

dave1905

Active Member
Pretty much any magazine is going to get the best looking layouts they can. Also remember that photos are cropped. I visited a model railroad that was having an article published in a magazine, and the only parts of the layout that were "finished" were a couple scenes that were used in the photo shoots, the rest of the layout was very much under construction.

The only articles a magazine gets are those submitted and writing an article is a lot of work. You get a lot of the same authors because they are authors. People who can and like to write articles write articles. If you know of a layout you would like to see in print, write an article. But be ready to have it rejected or be asked to re-write parts of it or re-shoot photos. Every single article I have written has had to go through that process. The last article I submitted was first rejected and then went through 1 huge revision and 2 or three minor ones before it was printed. It takes persistence and patience to get an article published.
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
My initial post of this thread was not meant as a criticism of Model Railroader. They are what they are and do a fine job of it. My post was intended to see if the content didn't stir up the same feelings in others that it does occasionally for me. How do these modelers do so much great work in less time than I take to do not so great work? The feeling of knowing that I never will be able to. Then I realize I shouldn't care and just have fun my way. When ever I show my work to others I usually introduce it as 'What I do when no one cares what I'm doing' So I will keep doing and keep reading and maybe actually learn something to improve my work but every once in a while I get that bit of envy of other's ability.
I was going to say work, but it's their ability I really envy.
 
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NP2626

Guest
One of the things Model Railroader has stated in the past, is that they have to run the articles that are sent to them for publication. If Average Joe never writes an article for publication, articles like that will never get published. If you want to see articles you can relate to, send them an email, and ask if they'd be interested in you writing an article about your layout. Include a brief description and some pictures.
You never know, you may get your layout published.
You are absolutely correct!
 
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NP2626

Guest
My initial post of this thread was not meant as a criticism of Model Railroader. They are what they are and do a fine job of it. My post was intended to see if the content didn't stir up the same feelings in others that it does occasionally for me. How do these modelers do so much great work in less time than I take to do not so great work? The feeling of knowing that I never will be able to. Then I realize I shouldn't care and just have fun my way. When ever I show my work to others I usually introduce it as 'What I do when no one cares what I'm doing' So I will keep doing and keep reading and maybe actually learn something to improve my work but every once in a while I get that bit of envy of other's ability.
I was going to say work, but it's their ability I really envy.
I never took your post as a criticism of anything. I was simply stating my opinion as to whether I was inspired; or, intimidated by what I see in the modeling press. I guess I am really neither; but, possibly lean more towards sometimes being inspired, than intimidated. I also like Model Railroader and the other model railroading magazines I've been exposed to and don't take them as a reason to get all up in my own face about my abilities in the hobby.
 

Boris

Beach Bum
I don't get intimidated, nor inspired by magazine articles. Once in a while, an article or series raises my interest. The recently concluded "Consider the Commuter" series in RMC, for instance. I'm in this hobby, for my own enjoyment, and not to compete with someone else. I'm more interested in a how it's done article, than I am a Look at what I accomplished article.

We have some folks who regularly participate in this forum who have had articles or photos of their layouts published in MR and RMC. One member commented that there was a time lag, from submission to publication. If the article submitted does not meet the editorial direction the editor is following, it's held until it can be used. Personally, I am not a talented enough photographer, to meet the published requirements MR stipulates. I am also nowhere near as articulate as necessary to convey what I'm trying to communicate. Writing does take some talent as well as modeling skill.

Boris
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Well, my renewal notice for MR came in the mail the other day and I did renew. Although only half of the magazine interests me, I do still like my monthly layout feature and some of the articles. I just flip past the pages with DCC and other items that have no interest for me. Like Greg and Bob, I do go back a long time with the magazine subscribing to it in the 60's. Always enjoyed getting it in the mail no matter where we were in the world.

I do well remember John's G&D and had the opportunity to have had to opportunity to have operated on it in the late 60's while on instructor duty in the Navy at Mare Island, CA. I think seeing that layout and meeting John clinched my interest in the hobby.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
My $0.02 on this...

While I read an issue every now and again, I, like many others am building my RR for myself. If I see something (a building, scene, etc.) I like, I may put something similar on my pike. I don't read it for any particular inspiration, but I don't usually get the magazine if I don't see something that interests me.
 
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NP2626

Guest
I have been a subscriber to Model Railroader and Narrow Gauge Shortline Gazette and the free MRH for many years. I read much of Model Railroader, almost all of Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette and I don't believe I have read any articles in MRH, although I do page through the issue every month. There is something about it being "Online" that I don't care for, maybe reading at the computer is not a way that I like to read stuff.
 

CGW121

Member
My son is a videographer his wife is a Professional photographer (weddings, family portrates)
so I am used to high quality photos. I wonder how in the world MRH gets such awful pictures on their splash page every stinkin month?
 
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