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Modern Image split





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#1 MartynJPearson

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 20:23

Being a modern image modeller (well, BR Blue onwards), the last kettle-centric edition of BRM got me thinking about whether there is scope for two magazines - one covering modern image (say BR blue onwards) and once covering earlier layouts. Whilst some of the modelling techniques are common to both eras, there is so much in the magazines that is not of interest I do wonder whether people would rather buy a magazine that has much more relevant content. So, a modern magazine for those who like myself can't tell a Stanier from a Stannah Stairlift, and one covering earlier eras for those who view anything without a chimney as a boring box on wheels.

 

In the photography world, there are Canon and Nikon specific magazines, which might suggest that a split is not unheard of in the publishing world.

 

Be interesting to see if there are any thoughts on this - and whether this is something that the publishers have thought of already and dismissed.


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#2 shaunthesheep277

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 20:34

Speaking as someone who works in the print trade, my workplace was in talks with a model railway magazine (I can't say names) but there is no money in publishing two when it all can be in one mag with equal share, plus the print trade is dying because of technology so if they did it be on tables or download not on paper even other things we print is been crammed into one magazine so I personally don't see it happening if it does


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#3 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 20:39

It has been tried, Modern Railway Modelling was the name of the magazine. It was in production for only a few issues about 10-12 years ago.

 

I am not sure if there is a market or not. I am concerned that editors might at times not be getting the mix right. The editors might argue that they can only publish what is submitted. It could be that those who submit articles are more inclined to write about steam orientated modelling. As a diesel and electric modeller of the more historical end of the spectrum I do see a lack of articles I can relate to but perhaps I should be writing some.

 

 

Modern Railway Modelling, I only have one edition, where I wrote an article on Eastern Region snowploughs, mainly the ones converted from steam loco tenders....only I could get a couple of pages of waffle on LNER tenders in a modern image magazine. 


Edited by Clive Mortimore, 18 February 2018 - 22:20 .

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#4 truffy

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 20:40

I come from it from the opposite side. I find the (seemingly many) articles on modern image very difficult to get engaged with. But Shaun raises a good point, perhaps 10-20 years' ago this might have worked. But I guess the magazines these days are trying to throw their nets as wide as possible. Does make it difficult to get enthused with them, though.



#5 njee20

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 20:45

Everyone has their own favoured niche, I for one like contemporary stuff, I'm barely any more interested in BR blue than I am big-4 or pre-grouping layouts, so your "modern image" magazine would potentially still include stuff I don't want.

Personally I enjoy the diversity in magazines, even if I'm not necessarily interested in all of it. You'll never please everyone after all.


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#6 Huw Griffiths

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 20:56

Being a modern image modeller (well, BR Blue onwards), the last kettle-centric edition of BRM got me thinking about whether there is scope for two magazines - one covering modern image (say BR blue onwards) and once covering earlier layouts. Whilst some of the modelling techniques are common to both eras, there is so much in the magazines that is not of interest I do wonder whether people would rather buy a magazine that has much more relevant content. So, a modern magazine for those who like myself can't tell a Stanier from a Stannah Stairlift, and one covering earlier eras for those who view anything without a chimney as a boring box on wheels.

 

In the photography world, there are Canon and Nikon specific magazines, which might suggest that a split is not unheard of in the publishing world.

 

Be interesting to see if there are any thoughts on this - and whether this is something that the publishers have thought of already and dismissed.

 

They did something along these lines a number of years back.

 

It was called "Modern Railway Modelling" - I seem to recall it covering some foreign outline, as well as UK. I liked it a lot, too - and would buy further issues in a flash if it were to be revived.

 

If I remember correctly, most of its 8(?) issues were edited by Nigel Burkin, who also seemed to write a lot of the articles - with good quality, practical, stuff (like using RTR diesel chassis to power / repower multiple units) being typical fare.

 

 

Huw.


Edited by Huw Griffiths, 18 February 2018 - 20:59 .

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#7 tamperman36

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 21:00

While I can see where your coming from bearing in mind that it is now 50 years since the "end" of steam, however even as a diesel modeller I still find some articles based in the pre diesel eras useful for my modelling after all the vast majority of lines were built pre diesels.


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#8 Flood

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 21:25

Normally I would probably say that finding out about an era that a person does not normally model could lead to not only enjoying the whole of the magazine but also giving increased options when modelling future projects.

 

Sadly in my experience this is not the case. There will still be articles that I may find uninteresting and the more knowledge of railways have gained the more I have realised that I have not the time, room or money to fulfill them.

 

Ignorance really is bliss. A child can look at a model railway magazine and be starry eyed at all the content, age makes us more selective. In which case perusing the magazine before we buy it may be the only option.


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#9 grahame

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 21:25

I am not sure if there is a market or not. I am concerned that editors might at times not be getting the mix right. The editors might argue that they a can only publish what is submitted. It could be that those who submit articles are more inclined to write about steam orientated modelling. As a diesel and electric modeller of the more historical end of the spectrum I do see a lack of articles I can relate to but perhaps I should be writing some.


Yes, getting the balance right (and fair) is important, although sometimes it seems out of kilter for particular issues. But the balance extends to more than just steam or D&E to other considerations such as gauge/scale, location (area/region) and even down to individual railway company. Quite a few balls to juggle and keep readers happy.

However, as editor of the NGS Journal I'm finding that submissions are definitely tipping in favour of D&E. Steam era modelling articles are becoming rarer.

Nonetheless for the OP, has he considered DEMU. They publish a quarterly magazine, UPDate, that is exclusively D&E. And, of course, there is the modelling supplement in Rail Express.

G

Edited by grahame, 18 February 2018 - 21:28 .

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#10 truffy

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:11

Normally I would probably say that finding out about an era that a person does not normally model could lead to not only enjoying the whole of the magazine but also giving increased options when modelling future projects.

 

Sadly in my experience this is not the case. There will still be articles that I may find uninteresting and the more knowledge of railways have gained the more I have realised that I have not the time, room or money to fulfill them.

 

Ignorance really is bliss. A child can look at a model railway magazine and be starry eyed at all the content, age makes us more selective. In which case perusing the magazine before we buy it may be the only option.

 

Thinking about it further, there are modern image articles that are interesting, and not all steam articles float my boat. Perhaps it comes down as much to the quality of the writing and photography.



#11 cambo74

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:28

Lots of magazines these days produce a digital edition of their magazine - maybe there is scope to produce an electronic version which can be downloaded ??

Would certainly keep costs down and without trying to stereotype people - the people into modern image modelling may be a bit more technology savvy and have access to an iPad or similar platform (please, before you reply, im not insinuating Kettle lovers are technophobes etc).

 

Cheers

Ben


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#12 Dan Griffin

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 12:26

I must admit that the last couple of issues of BRM have made me question whether to cancel my next quarterly direct debit, the content is good, just not my interest, and I did like the DVD but the last couple have been a bit, slow. I though the Pendon content could have been better, and the 3D mag was a bit gimmicky. I am unsure if a split would work, as content would need to be sourced, it would probably have to go down the quarterly or bi-monthly road, just to justify the quality content. One publication I always though would work as a stand alone would be Rail Express modeller, which is solely Diesel/electric, but again, it would be sourcing content.



#13 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 12:31

Lots of magazines these days produce a digital edition of their magazine - maybe there is scope to produce an electronic version which can be downloaded ??

Would certainly keep costs down and without trying to stereotype people - the people into modern image modelling may be a bit more technology savvy and have access to an iPad or similar platform (please, before you reply, im not insinuating Kettle lovers are technophobes etc).

 

Cheers

Ben

Hi Ben

 

As a confirmed technophobic diesel and electric modeller I have a differing view. I feel magazine editors should be prepared to be as inclusive as they can. No matter what you model everyone is a railway modeller.


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#14 brushman47544

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 15:54

Interesting idea, but I'm not sure there would be sufficient content around to support separate modern image and steam modeling magazines, at least of the printed kind which is all that I am really interested in. I've tried the iPad route and I certainly don't consider myself a technophobe, but I simply don't like being continuously attached to "technology" as my son calls it. So as a first point, anything that might accelerate the demise of printed magazines I would be against on principle, irrespective of any other benefits.

 

As both a modeler, and a railway enthusiast in general, my interests cover both steam and diesel from 1960 on wards until privatisation, so a simple steam diesel split wouldn't work for me. And as others have said, there's an awful lot of "modern image" that modelers of the current scene won't be interested in. Is there enough content available anyway for separate magazines. A look at a selection over the last year will, for example, have seen the same layouts appear in different magazines.

 

Personally, as long as the magazines cover all periods regularly, there will usually be enough of general interest - new model reviews, scenics, weathering etc. - to maintain my interest in a monthly magazine.


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#15 Chamby

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 16:41

I also doubt whether there is sufficient material out there to keep a modern image magazine going - there's not enough 'critical mass' of good material.  As a casual observer, a goodly proportion of UK modern image layouts seem to be either small MPD's or somewhere remote in the Highlands, and give me a feeling of 'deja vu'.  I am struggling to think of any that I would regard as epic, landmark models with the 'wow' factor.  Also, are there any modern image 'celebrity' modellers out there championing the cause?  Only a couple of really good modern image layouts come immediately to mind that have held my attention at exhibitions: 'Mostyn' which showcased Philip Sutton's most excellent Class 24's, and of course 'The World's End' which for me was more about the architectural modelling than the diesels.  Both of these have been well covered by existing modelling magazines, of course.  

 

Also, many modellers of first generation diesels also have an overlapping interest in steam, and vice-versa.  So I think it would be hard to keep a solely UK diesel & electric magazine going for long.


Edited by Chamby, 19 February 2018 - 16:55 .

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#16 Suzie

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 18:52

I was just about to subscribe to MRM (was swayed by the cover with the black Woodhead locos on) but it got canned. A very sad day.

 

I don't know why the majority of layouts featured in magazines appear to be from a thirty year window (approx 1930-1960) that is now over fifty years ago and within living memory of only the elderly. I suspect the more modern modellers are younger and don't have the time to write the articles that perhaps older modellers have. Perhaps 'Banger Blue' is just not pretty enough, or interesting enough to the uninitiated and there might be a new era of post sectorisation/privatisation models being featured once they become historical enough to almost be forgotten.


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#17 truffy

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 19:04

As a confirmed technophobic diesel and electric modeller I have a differing view.


(Relatively) technophilic kettle appreciator reporting for inaction!

#18 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 00:16

It has been tried, Modern Railway Modelling was the name of the magazine. It was in production for only a few issues about 10-12 years ago......

  

 .....It was called "Modern Railway Modelling" ......
 
....If I remember correctly, most of its 8(?) issues......


More than just a few issues Clive.
MRM was published and ran for 3 years, from late 2004 until late 2007.

It was a quarterly magazine and IIRC there were 12 issues.
When the plug was pulled, Traction magazine was meant to incorporate MRM's role, but I think it only really covered the vintage and historical aspect of D&E modelling.

I have every copy stored away somewhere.

Ron
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#19 LBRJ

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 00:31

I never get this "era spilt thing" - time is small neatly dividing sections - its a continuous flow.


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#20 Pteremy

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:18

As some others have said I think that my enjoyment of a particular railway modelling magazine has less to do with my specialist interests and more to do with general things, like improving RTR, scratch building, scenery, weathering etc. regardless of era. In other words it is an encouragement to 'get something done'.

 

As far as my specialist interests are concerned I find books on relevant subjects far better value. The best are something I return to time and time again. And if I buy a dud then there is always eBay or the jumble.

 

And then there are specialist societies - and the internet. Which connects with a separate RMweb thread, about the need to share specialist knowledge before it is lost.



#21 dj_crisp

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:09

Interestingly I've just bought 10 issues of MRM from a preservation society. They've been a good read!

Some good comments here and regarding content I'll admit to not purchasing many mainstream magazines recently (other than MRJ and Traction). My interests are probably a bit too wide so enjoy reading about steam as well as diesels etc.

I don't think there is enough support for a stand alone mag... but I do feel more diesel content is available. Just look at some of the good stuff on this forum!

Cheers
Will

#22 grahame

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:23

. . . . many modellers of first generation diesels also have an overlapping interest in steam, and vice-versa.  So I think it would be hard to keep a solely UK diesel & electric magazine going for long.


No overlap for me. But I do think that it is the 'E' in D&E that most often neglected and gets little coverage in the main commercial monthly magazines. Electric traction has a long history in the UK going back to the 1880s.

G
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#23 truffy

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 12:02

I never get this "era spilt thing" - time is small neatly dividing sections - its a continuous flow.

 

Time may be a continuous flow, but railways eras are less so.

 

That's not an advocacy position, just a general observation.



#24 F-UnitMad

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 13:12

Just my 2p-worth about 'Banger Blue' - It's my impression that it's modelled mostly by 'those who were there'. On the face of it, it seems like a boring Era when everything was one colour; in reality the variety was in the amount of different loco classes around (albeit dwindling throughout that time) and the still very "regional" nature of the railways; you had to travel to different places to see certain Classes. People who didn't experience the Blue Era (either too young, or too old and still mourning Steam) can't perhaps appreciate that, and so don't model that Era.

 

Somehow, the 'Green' Era does seem to be an area of increasing interest recently, myself included; despite my trainspotting years being the Blue era (1977 onwards), I'm getting more interested in the era I just missed, either because I wasn't born yet (1967, so missed steam really) or just too young to even know about it at the time, such as WR Hydraulics. As an aside, since it overlaps with Steam, which magazine would Green era layouts go in, if there was a rigid distinction? 

 

For a magazine where the modelling is always D&E-focused, I quite like Rail Express. In fact for me it would be no bad thing if it became a modelling magazine with a 'Real Trains' supplement section!!

As my main interest is American trains, it might be assumed I'd call for more of a mix of 'Foreign' with British in the mags; in actual fact I can see why it doesn't happen, besides the inherent xenophobia of a lot of UK modellers. I can see that a 'mixed' approach just can't do justice to all those interests. For example, I rarely buy Continental Modeller. If it has any American content, it is usually just one article, & that might be a 'Logging Line', so often - however good the modelling is - most of it is outside my core interests*, including most of the adverts. I think the same would happen to a mag that tried to split it's content between UK & US subjects. As American mags are available, far easier to get those - and they rarely publish anything about 'foreign' trains, either!! 

 

* I realise that this conflicts with my attitude at Exhibitions, where I make an effort to view (as opposed to 'glance at in passing') every layout, regardless of subject matter etc.


Edited by F-UnitMad, 20 February 2018 - 13:13 .

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#25 37114

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 17:12

I only keep my Rail Express subscription going because of the quality of the modelling section, that said even there are a number of issues I have flicked through quite quickly as I lost interest in the modern scene after 1996. Potentially it could go standalone but Model Rail tried that when it split from RAIL in the mid 90's and quickly broadened away from their modern image only approach and I imagine the economics are even more stacked against it now.