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Model Rail 171, July 2012


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Not only that, but in this instance they are accompanied by some excellent text on how it was done.

I found the notes about the bracken very informative.

Bernard

 

Whish I've in turn pinched for Polbrock - which will be credited to Robin of course when I write that bit (part 4). I like the way they change colour over time, the warm orange/yellow may be a year way still for me (pale green currently). Best bit is that a trip into the garden is all that's needed to update back to a summer time look!

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Best bit is that a trip into the garden is all that's needed to update back to a summer time look!

 

Don't know about where you are Chris but it feels more like October than June in my garden!!

 

Jerry

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Not sure Alan will be too pleased with MSW electrics being described as N on the cover - they are 2FS. That said, looking forward to reading a copy.

 

Jerry

I'm not sure why they did it Jerry - when I saw Mini-MSW teased in the house ad of the last edition I emailed them and got a reply about not wanting to frighten anyone off. I don't understand this. Just because I choose to do 2FS, I don't expect everyone else to. I don't think they've ever described an EM model as OO, yet that's the equivalent of what's happened here. Having said that, I thought the piece came out well. The words have been subtly tweaked from my original copy, it was all laid out very nicely and the pictures look really, really good. Can't ask for much more. Woodhead rules!
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I'm not sure why they did it Jerry - when I saw Mini-MSW teased in the house ad of the last edition I emailed them and got a reply about not wanting to frighten anyone off. I don't understand this. Just because I choose to do 2FS, I don't expect everyone else to. I don't think they've ever described an EM model as OO, yet that's the equivalent of what's happened here. Having said that, I thought the piece came out well. The words have been subtly tweaked from my original copy, it was all laid out very nicely and the pictures look really, really good. Can't ask for much more. Woodhead rules!

 

Because cover tasters are cover tasters, they aren't captions and they aren't descriptions. Describing it as 2FS on the cover would be meaningless to most of the people who pick up the mag in the newsagents. I had to think twice when I saw it written that way. I don't think we've ever used 'EM' on the cover, either, but I suspect it is more widely recognised than 2FS. I once got into trouble for describing Pendon's Vale Scene as "Britain's best layout" on the cover. I was told it wasn't a "layout", it was a "miniature landscape". Sorry, but one sells magazines, the other doesn't. Making covers really work is one of the trickiest parts of our job and it's not a precise science.

CHRIS LEIGH

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Because cover tasters are cover tasters, they aren't captions and they aren't descriptions. Describing it as 2FS on the cover would be meaningless to most of the people who pick up the mag in the newsagents. I had to think twice when I saw it written that way. I don't think we've ever used 'EM' on the cover, either, but I suspect it is more widely recognised than 2FS. I once got into trouble for describing Pendon's Vale Scene as "Britain's best layout" on the cover. I was told it wasn't a "layout", it was a "miniature landscape". Sorry, but one sells magazines, the other doesn't. Making covers really work is one of the trickiest parts of our job and it's not a precise science.

CHRIS LEIGH

 

Sorry but this is nonsense - cover tasters may not be descriptions but surely they need to be accurate. The layout is 2FS, it is not N gauge. If you felt that putting 2FS on the cover would be confusing (and I think it rather insults the inteligence of your readers) why not just refer to it as 2mm. Calling it something it quite patently is not is completely meaningless and far more confusing. The Pendon example you give is a subjective matter of oppinion, Mini MSW being 2FS is an objective fact.

 

Jerry

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Sorry but this is nonsense - cover tasters may not be descriptions but surely they need to be accurate. The layout is 2FS, it is not N gauge. If you felt that putting 2FS on the cover would be confusing (and I think it rather insults the inteligence of your readers) why not just refer to it as 2mm. Calling it something it quite patently is not is completely meaningless and far more confusing. The Pendon example you give is a subjective matter of oppinion, Mini MSW being 2FS is an objective fact.

 

Jerry

 

Maybe we should forward details of this matter on to the Leveson Inquiry? It seems very relevant . ;)

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Got my issue Friday ...... brill read as usual from what I've seen so far.

 

Particularly pleased to see the ad for the upcoming Model Rail Live show in September at the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre.

 

That ones in me diary ...... I'm looking forward to finally seeing one of you creations up close Chris ....... Arne Wharfe is a cracking layout !!

 

Cheers !!

 

Simon. :)

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Sorry but this is nonsense - cover tasters may not be descriptions but surely they need to be accurate. The layout is 2FS, it is not N gauge. If you felt that putting 2FS on the cover would be confusing (and I think it rather insults the inteligence of your readers) why not just refer to it as 2mm. Calling it something it quite patently is not is completely meaningless and far more confusing. The Pendon example you give is a subjective matter of oppinion, Mini MSW being 2FS is an objective fact.

 

Jerry

 

When was a journalist bothered about accuracy?

Particularly when it comes to eye catching headlines.

Their next meal depends on the sales figures.

It's only fair and reasonable to give them a certain amount of poetic license.

In recent months it would appear that a lot of people think that they have got it right.

Both in print and with the choice and quality of the 'hardware'.

Is the description any worse than the oft used term 00/H0?

Bernard

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When was a journalist bothered about accuracy?

Particularly when it comes to eye catching headlines.

Their next meal depends on the sales figures.

It's only fair and reasonable to give them a certain amount of poetic license.

In recent months it would appear that a lot of people think that they have got it right.

Both in print and with the choice and quality of the 'hardware'.

Is the description any worse than the oft used term 00/H0?

Bernard

 

I think the first line is, frankly, unfair and a cheap shot which actually demeans the rest of the comment, with which I would agree. Cover tasters are, indeed, about being eye-catching and, yes, 2mm scale would have been a more accurate description but to the inexpert potential purchaser who picks up the magazine in Smiths, N means 2mm scale just as OO means anything remotely around the 4mm /3.5mm to the foot scale.

Here's a question for you. Be a magazine editor for a moment. Have a guess how long you have in which to convince a purchaser to pick up your magazine rather than your competitor's. It governs EVERYTHING that you put on the cover, words and pictures. I'll give you the answer in a day or two.

And to the gentleman who described my post as nonsense - well, I 'celebrate' 49 years in this business this month. Give me credit for learning my trade in that time, please. I try to give people on this forum a little insight into why things are done the way they are. I don't talk nonsense.

CHRIS LEIGH

Edited by dibber25
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I think the first line is, frankly, unfair and a cheap shot which actually demeans the rest of the comment, with which I would agree. Cover tasters are, indeed, about being eye-catching and, yes, 2mm scale would have been a more accurate description but to the inexpert potential purchaser who picks up the magazine in Smiths, N means 2mm scale just as OO means anything remotely around the 4mm /3.5mm to the foot scale.

Here's a question for you. Be a magazine editor for a moment. Have a guess how long you have in which to convince a purchaser to pick up your magazine rather than your competitor's. It governs EVERYTHING that you put on the cover, words and pictures. I'll give you the answer in a day or two.

And to the gentleman who described my post as nonsense - well, I 'celebrate' 49 years in this business this month. Give me credit for learning my trade in that time, please. I try to give people on this forum a little insight into why things are done the way they are. I don't talk nonsense.

CHRIS LEIGH

 

 

Personally, being a fully paid up member of the "inexpert potential purchaser" demographic, I think your point of view is perfectly reasonable Chris.

 

Cover tasters are just that ....... the magazine on the Newsagents stand may only get a fleeting glance from a potential purchaser, who may very well be new to the hobby, or even a potential Railway Modeller in the making.

 

Describing a layout as N gauge on the cover gives me as a Newbie a fair idea of the size and scale, but putting 2FS might have me head scratching.

 

The cover draws me in however, and then reading the article inside gives me the new knowledge of 2mm fine scale, and in quite a good bit of detail.

 

Nowt wrong with that in my book ....... Great layout too by the way Alan !!

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I think the first line is, frankly, unfair and a cheap shot which actually demeans the rest of the comment, with which I would agree.

CHRIS LEIGH

You are quite right Chris . I plead journalistic license as I was trying to catch peoples attention.

On the subject of accuracy I understand that The Times is the only national daily that still has a regular editorial meeting to agree on the correct current words to use for various situations.

Bernard

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Surely 2mm would have been an adequate compromise,And as to cover tasters do these really sell mags?i usually browse mags not paying too much attention to the cover. How many times do we see such nonsense as"first review" or "exclusive".frankly I think these devalue the mag

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Surely 2mm would have been an adequate compromise,And as to cover tasters do these really sell mags?i usually browse mags not paying too much attention to the cover. How many times do we see such nonsense as"first review" or "exclusive".frankly I think these devalue the mag

 

I've been watching this discussion and trying to keep out of it, but Legend's comments have tipped the balance. So here goes...

 

Clearly, the cover is the first thing anybody sees, but rival publications have now got the imagery/wording down to such a fine art that they all, basically, look the same. Take one of my other hobbies, Astronomy. "Sky at Night", "Astronomy Now" (UK mags) and "Sky and Telescope", "Astronomy" (US mags) all have wonderful photos taken with the most up-to-date spaceprobes or telescopes on the cover. Each is often a masterpiece in its own right, but they all have equivalent impact. So how do I choose? I either buy through "loyalty" (I've got all issues of the UK mags) or I browse to see the content pages.

 

Similarly for the Railway mags. I have unswervingly bought MR, because I've always liked the "house style", Chris having had a lot to do with that. But all 4 of the main mags have good covers, smeared with Free this, Exclusive that, First Review this, Scenery Special that! It's a bit like crying "wolf" - the senses just switch off and I pay no attention to the cover.

 

So I agree with Legend. Chris - as you well know, the quality of the content is the key to longevity of product. A cover might sway the casual purchaser - and yes, I know it's important. But your core purchasers, many of whom are on this Forum, know what they want.

 

I'm not trying to be confrontational. This is how a cover affects me, It doesn't (though Chris Nevard's photos are the best!!).

 

Jeff

Edited by Physicsman
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How many times do we see such nonsense as"first review" or "exclusive".frankly I think these devalue the mag

Yes! Some of the covers across various titles have put me in mind of Closer and Heat magazines etc at times. Similarly some of the prototype mag. covers remind me of the People's Friend!

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Surely 2mm would have been an adequate compromise,And as to cover tasters do these really sell mags?i usually browse mags not paying too much attention to the cover. How many times do we see such nonsense as"first review" or "exclusive".frankly I think these devalue the mag

I'm another in the 'I agree' stream on this one. I've already passed comment on this thread and elsewhere about reviews but more pertinently announcements and 'announcements about announcements' and some of the things which appear on covers nowadays are in much the same mould - I think I've now seen more 'first pictures' of a couple of classes in July dated mags (and in some cases referred to an the cover of those mags) that I'm finding the word overworked, very overworked. Many 'exclusives' often seem to be anything such and we also seem to have occasional mobile publication dates in order to get in first.

 

Well sorry none of this works on me because almost invariably nowadays all the 'news' in the printed media is going to be a week or two - or more - behind the electronic world and that apart I think I'm probably too old to be much interested in novelty shouted at me from the cover of a magazine (especially when it almost invariably isn't novel anyway).

 

Casual purchasers might well be influence by cover pictures and glossy headlines which might impel them to pick up the mag but - even from only a quick browse - I suspect what produces a sale is more likely the content than anything else. It was certainly the content that caused me to take out a subscription to MR - not the covers (apart from some of the pics which usually tell the real story of what lies within).

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Because cover tasters are cover tasters, they aren't captions and they aren't descriptions. Describing it as 2FS on the cover would be meaningless to most of the people who pick up the mag in the newsagents. I had to think twice when I saw it written that way. I don't think we've ever used 'EM' on the cover, either, but I suspect it is more widely recognised than 2FS. I once got into trouble for describing Pendon's Vale Scene as "Britain's best layout" on the cover. I was told it wasn't a "layout", it was a "miniature landscape". Sorry, but one sells magazines, the other doesn't. Making covers really work is one of the trickiest parts of our job and it's not a precise science.

CHRIS LEIGH

Now, in the light of what I'm about to say let me make it clear once again that I'm not really that bothered about being described as an N Gauge modeller or not. And, as I've already said, I thought the piece came out well overall. But, sorry Chris, this is just a load of self-serving rubbish. I've spent 40 years as a journalist so I know a little about what sells and what does not. What I also know is that you NEVER deliberately write in an inaccuracy into any copy, headline or tease which is what has happened here. And that's what I don't understand. If you really didn't want to frighten anyone off by mentioning finescale, or mystify them by using what is still a relatively new term (2FS) than there were other options. You chose not to mention the scale or gauge of Sheep Pasture at all on the cover. You could have done the same with Mini-MSW. Or described it as '2mm' which would at least have been technically correct and it wouldn't have frightened the horses because it would also have been ambiguous enough to mean N Gauge too.
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I'm not going to make any further comment on this subject for two reasons:

Firstly, because at the time this particular cover was produced I was 4,000miles away, so I wasn't part of the discussions and I don't know how THIS PARTICULAR cover taster was arrived at. I can only speak with regard to the general way in which cover tasters are written, changed and re-written until we come up with something which we believe will work. Secondly, those explanations have variously been described as 'nonsense' and 'self-serving rubbish' so it's quite clear people have made up their minds and any further discussion is pointless.

Nevertheless, I don't imagine you will see 2FS as part of a cover taster - on MR - any time soon.

CHRIS LEIGH

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... And so it came to pass that the latest RMweb "storm in a teacup" blew itself out. One side saying the whole thing was 2 F****** S illy to push any further, the other going N o way man, but we've had enough...

 

And it's rumoured that both Hello and OK mags wish to take up the rival expertise for the Cover of their next magazines!

 

Sorry about the "humour" folks, couldn't resist. I guess it's a draw!

 

Jeff

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One thing I feel has to be born in mind is that magazines have to appeal to a broad audience and on the shelf of your newsagent/Smiths/supermarket it needs to stand out but at the same time be understandable to the 'average train set guy with his Hornby catalogue on the Clapham Omnibus' who may be looking for something to read and maybe inspire he/she/they to maybe go beyond the standard train set.

 

As a result as far as I am concerned all the 2mm scales be they whatever their individual denominations should be advertised under the general banner of 'N gauge' and the various churches that make up the 4mm world such as P4, E4, etc, etc again can be grouped under 'OO gauge' for that is what average joe in the street will classify them under. Of course in the articles themselves you can go into more depth about the more specific varient of scale/gauge used for that layout and what it is all about and maybe you will inspire average joe to move beyond the basic OO scale, either by going that extra mile detailing or enhanceing the out of the box train set and then eventually they may as skills improve adopt one of the finer scale variants as their confidence improves.

 

Put things on your front cover that call stuff 2FS or whatever may put off the not so confident modeller from buying and at the end of the day the magazine publisher is interested in getting as many as possible to pick their product off the shelf and put the money in the till.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

[sits back and awaits the arrival of the black helicopters and calls of 'Burn The Heretic!' from those practicers of finer scales for lumping them all under the 'OO' and 'N' banners] :butcher:

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Still puzzled why folk are focussing on this '2FS' thing TBH; is it really so unthinkable for either side to agree that '2mm scale' would have been a perfectly acceptable compromise (and one that wasnt incorrect, whereas N gauge, despite what anyone says, patently is).

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Just a short note to clear this up.

Both N and 2FS are members of the 2mm family - they refer to models built broadly to 2mm to the foot (yes I know about 1:148 and 1:152 but most modellers simply ignore that).

 

N stands for nine and refers to layouts built to N gauge track and wheel standards on 9mm gauge track.

 

2FS is the widely accepted shorthand for 2mm finescale which has been in use for a number of years. It refers to layouts built to the track and wheel standards of the 2mm Scale Association.

 

Thats it, its simple. Its not difficult or confusing. There is not a battle or storm in a tea cup or anything else. I'm a member of both the 2mm Scale association and the N Gauge society as are many others.

There is no need for Model Rail or any other magazine to dumn down of otherwise patronise their readers.

 

Refering to either as 2mm is perfectly acceptable in my book.

Refering to 2FS as N or N as 2FS is not.

 

Jerry

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Just a short note to clear this up.

Both N and 2FS are members of the 2mm family - they refer to models built broadly to 2mm to the foot (yes I know about 1:148 and 1:152 but most modellers simply ignore that).

 

N stands for nine and refers to layouts built to N gauge track and wheel standards on 9mm gauge track.

 

2FS is the widely accepted shorthand for 2mm finescale which has been in use for a number of years. It refers to layouts built to the track and wheel standards of the 2mm Scale Association.

 

Thats it, its simple. Its not difficult or confusing. There is not a battle or storm in a tea cup or anything else. I'm a member of both the 2mm Scale association and the N Gauge society as are many others.

There is no need for Model Rail or any other magazine to dumn down of otherwise patronise their readers.

 

Refering to either as 2mm is perfectly acceptable in my book.

Refering to 2FS as N or N as 2FS is not.

 

Jerry

 

We do actually know this. It is, however, not the issue, as I have tried - and obviously manifestly failed - to explain.

CHRIS LEIGH

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Perhaps Model Rail shouldn't have put a picture of a 2FS layout on it's front cover in the first place if it didn't want to scare the herd?

 

Maybe just a big Thomas the Tank. In OO. That should keep your "average armchair modeller" happy...

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