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Got latest issue today. As usual an excellent magazine with a good article about the health benefits of the hobby. Again showing they are thinking outside the box, something far too many in the hobby don't do. In the article it does say the writer had tried to get the attention of experts investigating dementia etc, but no joy. Trouble I think is the commonly felt opinion that we are just a bunch of overgrown spotty teenage train spotters, none of which apply to me, although I was once a teenager, did have some spots, but was never a train spotter.

So model railways can now not only be seen as art, but are also good for our health. Wonder if i could get it on prescription.

Thing is we tend to do things ourselves, not ask for funding, although sponsorship from companies is always welcome, but more importantly we are not helping some consultant up the career ladder, or even worse helping politicians get to where they want to be.

 

I know this is late, link to contents list might be useful. It is very useful when Chris Leigh does it for Model Rail, so if OK for one, OK for all

http://www.pecopublications.co.uk/Railway-Modeller-April-2016.html

 

Just a pity the link stops working when next magazine is issued.

Edited by rue_d_etropal
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or even worse helping politicians get to where they want to be.

As such we may well be regarded (at the very least) as suspicious or, more likely, as criminals.

 

Anyway (sorry for the OT rant!), I think it's high time that our hobby gets some recognition for the health benefits it undoubtably provides. Once again, we in the UK are behind the times, it's been long known in the USA to give social, mental and physical benefits even that it's worth citing on your CV. I've recently seen an advert in "Model Railroader" for a retirement home that actively encourages participation in their (group) hobby.

John.

Edited by Allegheny1600
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Really good edition this one. Lots of good layout articles. Had to buy this one because of Kilbowie it's literally just across the Clyde from me (or was) .Great Layout which won best layout at 2015 Model Rail Scotland. Although not really a fan of sound , this layout put it to good effect. It captures the scene well .

 

Don't agree with the Comment piece however. Apparently bad QC is the consumers fault for insisting models are made down to a price. I don't think so. QC should never be an option in manufacture. Still it's a viewpoint and along with the health benefits of modelling, these are two aspects that you don't normally see comment on in a magazine, again proving that despite it's familiar image , Railway Modeller is innovative.

 

A good read

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So model railways can now not only be seen as art, but are also good for our health.

Hmmmm..... not sure my Mrs would buy that argument :scratchhead: :(

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With reference to the quality control comment, I don't think it actually means that, but as a result of some people wanting even more detail on models, and therefore costs going up a lot, the only way a manufacturer can reduce cost is to sacrifice a bit of quality control. So in a round about way it is the consumer's fault as they want something better but at the same time don't want to pay the full price for the upgrade, so they get a compromise.

 

If a consumer is prepared to accept fewer bells and whistles(odd that term should have more relevance here), then it should be possible to put better quality control into the product, so that it might not quite as good looking, but at least it works. I think that if this had been done then there would be fewer problems with models, and possibly more arriving in shops, rather than waiting years for a new model to be designed.

Current models might be near professional built quality in design, but to get them to professional build quality , it is necessary to pay a lot more. I know many grumble at high prices now, but they got what they asked for. For me what Mainline was producing 30 years ago was actually good enough, just let down by poor motor design. If you wanted extra detail, then as a modeller(not a collector) you could add the details.

One of the models from that time is one of my favorite locos, the Collett Goods. When it was last in production, retail price was about £65 , and that was only a couple of years ago. Detail had improved over the years, even the motor was better than original, but it was not DCC ready. Now it is to be re-released, I presume now DCC ready, and body is same I presume, but rrp is now over £100. Is that progress?

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Another good issue of RM, and I especially like the Kilbowie layout, and as always with RM it comes with a scaled plan of the layout - so useful for those of us still musing over our own track plans! I have a similar amount of space as that used in Kilbowie and I think the suburban station and island platforms look really good, a set up that might work well for me...

 

cheers,

 

Keith

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Another good issue of RM, and I especially like the Kilbowie layout, and as always with RM it comes with a scaled plan of the layout - so useful for those of us still musing over our own track plans! I have a similar amount of space as that used in Kilbowie and I think the suburban station and island platforms look really good, a set up that might work well for me...

 

cheers,

 

Keith

 

Agree with you totally about scale plans. I can't understand why other mags print plans that are not to scale. It's not really any easier and can mislead.

 

And it's not just scale. Some of them print plans that can clearly be seen, from the accompanying photos, to be wrong - missing crossovers and such-like.

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I only just got the February edition and its so badly water damaged I can't read the bottom of the pages.

 

International bulk mail!

 

John P

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John, I assume that if you are a subscriber, you have access to the online version, and I would be concerned if that was water damaged!

Concerning scale plans of layouts, that is probably dependent on the writer of the article. Not everyone is as good at doing plans as others, and the ones I suppl for exhibitions are usually very basic.I would suggest to anyone who has a layout, to produce a detailed plan themselves. I would think that some plans are done as part of the design phase of a layout, but as many of us know, we don't all keep to the plan and modify things when we find out an alternative idea is better. 

 

It does not bother me too much that scale plans of layouts are not included, I am far more interested in scale drawings of railway related items, and there are far fewer of those these days.

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That's a really interesting point Rue. I had somehow failed to notice the lack of scale plans. Years ago there was a building or loco drawing in almost every issue.

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Another good issue of RM, and I especially like the Kilbowie layout, and as always with RM it comes with a scaled plan of the layout - so useful for those of us still musing over our own track plans! I have a similar amount of space as that used in Kilbowie and I think the suburban station and island platforms look really good, a set up that might work well for me...cheers,Keith

Many thanks for your comments on Kilbowie. As author I was a little disappointed in the choice of so many diesel pictures and not showing the canal or diesel stabling point but that's the editors choice. Kilbowie is moving on into a railway system by developing the fiddle yard into a goods marshalling yard. The right hand turntable area has become a steam service area while the left hand sidings are now representing a terminal station of Dalmuir Riverside- the next stop up the line. Almost every inch is put to good railway use! For those in the Area Kilbowie will be attending the Ayr railway show on 17th/18th of September.

Brian Thompson.

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Superb layout is Kilbowie - oozing atmosphere and as a subject (Glasgow suburban), a little different.

 

Not so sure about the article in Comment by Richard Bardsley basically stating we modelers are at fault for wanting everything as cheap as possible, so quality control is minimal. If we want better quality in the running we will have to pay "significantly more".

 

Is this guy a shill for Hornby / Bachmann  etc ?

 

We are paying more already (ALOT more) to allegedly fund pay rises for the workers over in China. If so these workers certainly need to work more diligently and produce better quality models. (that goes for the management & existing QC also, who's pay rises are no doubt included in the recent product price hikes).

 

There's nowt for nowt in this world.

 

Brit15

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Auntie RM serves-up a good solid meal again, but the article on health benefits seemed a bit over-claiming to me, however much I hope its true.

 

It feels to me to be a near certainty that people with dementia, at least dementia that has progressed to the degree of being recognisable, will "self select out" of membership of model railway clubs, by reason of their condition. So, a survey which demonstrates that dementia-sufferers are under-represent among railway modellers, when compared with the population at large, is at least suspect, and possibly completely invalid. A similar affect might apply to, say, cycling clubs, and would amount to proof of the fact that, when one has a condition that prevents one doing something, one is less likely to do it - which is hardly a revelation.

 

Anyway, I still hope its true.

 

Kevin

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That's a really interesting point Rue. I had somehow failed to notice the lack of scale plans. Years ago there was a building or loco drawing in almost every issue.

 

Drawings of L&Y wagon in this issue.

 

Ed

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Colin, I keep raising the question of drawings , In fact Chris Leigh made the point that finding anyone to do them was the big problem these days.

Many of us remember one of the best features of Model Railway Constructor was the scale drawings.

As my main interest has been in French railways, I have subscribed to the French magazine Voie Libre for many years . It is a specialist spin off from Loco Revue (often thought of as the equivalent of Railway Modeller in France). Unfortunately Voie Libre is only a quarterly magazine, but each copy has equivalent of 8 pages of scale drawings(I have to think as it is folded over, and to get to inside pages you have to unstaple it) . They are lucky to have someone who can do scale drawings on the team. Voie Libre now has both French and English language versions,, and does not restrict itself to French prototypes, although most of the drawings are French prototypes.

 There is normally a review of the Swanley narrow gauge exhibition, and it has a mix of articles about railways from different parts of the world. As far as I know, no-one has complained about there being non-French railway articles.

I also subscribe to Continental Modeller, and that quite often has scale drawings(but is dependent on contributors supplying them). I would rather there was a combined CM and RM, but can understand why not, given how some readers think. There has been a long running series of articles on building models of buildings, and not detracting from some of the UK modellers, the articles are far better produced. Just a pity that because some prefer foreign stuff to be somewhere else that only way to get them is to buy a 'foreign interest' magazine. The only improvement might actually be some scale drawings of the buildings, but then you can't have everything.

Edited by rue_d_etropal

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Voie Libre is a truly excellent magazine - good balance of fine scale and more interpretive modelling, loads of excellent drawings, plenty of prototype information. The UK equivalent, NGIRMR, seems to have turned its back on interpretive over the years, but is also exceedingly good. And, I think they both drew inspiration from "Narrow Gauge and Shortlines Gazette"; again excellent.

 

All three of these niche magazines could teach the much of the UK mainstream a thing or three, especially about laying a page out so that it is pleasant to look at, rather than a chaotic poke in the eye; in my personal opinion, only MRJ looks really good, while RM just about hangs onto graphic-OK-ness by the finger tips.

 

Having downsized my magazine buying and hoarding habit (a bit), I now reserve buying VL as a special treat on holiday.

 

Kevin

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<snipped>

 

Not so sure about the article in Comment by Richard Bardsley... <snipped>

 

Is this guy a shill for Hornby / Bachmann  etc ?

 

<snipped>

 

There's nowt for nowt in this world.

 

Brit15

 

Hello Brit15,

 

Richard is an experienced and well-regarded N Gauge modeller who was for ten years the editor of the N Gauge Society Journal.  He has also served other roles on the committee, and has himself designed several innovative wagon kits incorporating plastic parts and in some cases laser cut wood components.

 

Your words - that "there's nowt for nowt" - seem to be the point he is making too.  Except he is saying that if modellers want high levels of detail and reliable running then that can only be achieved by more stringent quality control.  And that means additional costs:  Both in labour time taken and a higher percentage of rejected models.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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I need to read that article to see whether it touches upon what I think the base "problem" here is: small production runs, combined with mega-detail.

 

Given that most of the assembly, as opposed to parts-production, is by hand, every chop or change of the "kit" that workers are assembling will impose either a familiarisation cost, or a quality blip, and every grab-rail or panel-lifting eye added will cost more time, and introduce new potential for errors. These things will gobble-up and exceed the savings made through high-tech design and parts-production processes, at least they will once the assemblers are paid more than bare-subsistence.

 

It's a choice:

 

- a limited selection of fairly basic models, churned out in an optimised process, by the zillion, for years on end, cheap as chips; or,

 

- novelty and mega-detail, as expensive as organically grown, ethically-sourced, hand-cut, Himalayan pink-salted, slow dry-roasted, rosemary garnished (this week) gourmet potato tapas.

 

Try to bang out the second for the price of the first, and some of the tapas will get over-cooked or under-salted in the rush (as numerous chain "restaurants" demonstrate on a minute-by-minute basis).

 

Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer
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Hmmmm..... not sure my Mrs would buy that argument :scratchhead: :(

Agreed, depending on my spending, the hobby can be positively detrimental to my health, if the Mrs discovers the arriving parcels before I can snatch them from the post box! :jester:

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I only just got the February edition and its so badly water damaged I can't read the bottom of the pages.

 

International bulk mail!

 

John P

John, have you considered/tried the electronic version. I went over to that (though I DO enjoy the hard copy occasionally) mostly to reduce the storage, improve the delivery and have the availability of it on several devices.

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A very solid issue, some excellent layouts and modelling to inspire. On the thought piece, I found I agreed with the argument as to why you don't get anything for nothing but differ in my conclusion as regardless of what sits behind a company strategy, that company is responsible for what they deliver to the customer. If they decide to accept the risks of lower QC standards in order to suppress costs then that is their choice, they can't blame anybody else. I tend to believe it is not so much delivery of a model which is faulty that affects how customers view a supplier but rather how suppliers deal with the fault. If they deal with it in a quick and satisfactory manner I think most customers are very accepting and don't hold a grudge, it is when customer service slips in dealing with faulty products that people become disenchanted.

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Another good issue of RM, and I especially like the Kilbowie layout, and as always with RM it comes with a scaled plan of the layout - so useful for those of us still musing over our own track plans! I have a similar amount of space as that used in Kilbowie and I think the suburban station and island platforms look really good, a set up that might work well for me...

 

cheers,

 

Keith

I like the track plans, and trying to spot where the various photos were taken. What gets my goat is where 'they' say the layout is (i.e.) 12ft x 2ft and the plan shows that - but at the ends there is a note saying "fiddle yard" with no detail of dimension or layout. 

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Could anyone find a photo showing the dove cot next to the loco shed on Kilbowie?

 

I couldn't, and wanted to, because it was mentioned in the article, and being a southerner, I had never heard of a corrugated iron dove cot.

 

K

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