model magazines


ed_mines
 

Charlie Tapper's e-mail reminds me that I have an unusual interest in
reading the publishing stats for magazines.

I was a little surprised to find that both major magazines (MR & RMC)
have very large subscriber bases - I guess a lot of peole think like
me - why visit a hobby shop every month or why pay full price? I pay
less than $2.50 an issue.

My local hobby shop - Trainland in Lynbrook - stocks very few magazines
or tools and no "craft kits". At the next closest shop the guy is
always trying to sell me something I don't want - like Westerfield
kits from 10 years ago - and when he carried a line I wanted -
Branchline - he argued with me - "Branchline never had a 40 ft. box
car kit....". A long time ago I placed a Walthers order with him. I
got most of the order, but never an accounting or refund for
items "out of stock".

Lets face it, no hobby shop can stock everything and one that stocks
what members of this group buy better have a lot of customers or some
mail order customers. The smaller shops used to be able to order ones
and twos from Walthers.

Another interesting fact - "Mainline Modeler" sells less than 10,000
issues a month. From the tone of the editorials I think Bob Hundman is
getting ready to pack it in. The magazine is loosing money and Hundman
wants to retire. I think RMJ is loosing steam too.

Are these small magazines dying?

Ed


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Behalf Of ed_mines

Lets face it, no hobby shop can stock everything and one that
stocks what members of this group buy better have a lot of
customers or some mail order customers. The smaller shops
used to be able to order ones and twos from Walthers.
I regularly patronize a shop I haven't been to for probably ten years. We correspond by email,
boxes appear in the mail, and checks pay the bills. I just got ONE bottle of MicroMask, and four
packages of NWSL springs, ordered from the big W. "No problem," according to the dealer.

Another interesting fact - "Mainline Modeler" sells less than
10,000 issues a month. From the tone of the editorials I
think Bob Hundman is getting ready to pack it in. The
magazine is losing money and Hundman wants to retire. I
think RMJ is losing steam too.

Are these small magazines dying?
Yeah, I've been wondering too. I know Mr Hundman wants to sell the magazine, but also wants to keep
his hand in. I doubt many people would be interested in that setup, having the founder hanging
around, unless it really got to be an arms-length deal. And the recent wondering about where
people's issues of RMJ make me wonder.

But we're pretty much off topic, Ed.

SGL


eabracher@...
 

In a message dated 12/21/05 10:18:25 AM, thompsonmarytony@...
writes:


Whether it's the natural constituency of the
magazine, or Brown's preference, I don't know, but it is sure obvious
in issue after issue.
bob only can publish what he gets. If you want other STUFF, submit it.

eric


ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Schuyler Larrabee"
<schuyler.larrabee@v...> wrote: But we're pretty much off topic, Ed.

Over the years Mainline Modeler has provided many freight car articles.
If it goes down the tubes we (steam era freight car modelers) loose a
good source of information. RMJ also had a lot of freight car articles.

Maybe it's wishful thinking but a new publisher might move those
magazines more in the direction of freight car modeling.

I don't know about printing costs, but a novel idea might be to
reprint all the freight car articles from the society magazines and
online magazines. I don't know if there would be an adequate
subscriber base and a few potential subscribers might balk at a
magazine with a lot of repeated material.

There are always new men entering the model railroad business. Here's
an opportunity to buy into the business without learning everything
about publishing.

I can't recall ever seeing a post about the "Narrow Gauge and
Shortline" magazine in this forum. Does it stil lexist? Is there
anything in it relevant to the models we usually discuss in this group?

Another topic Schuyler brought up he has a regular mail order dealer
who specializes in steam era freight cars. I hope that's the wave of
the future. I'd like to buy parts from different manufacturers from
one source.

I've bought car kits from announcements in this forum 4 or 5 times.
Ed


Garth Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Ed,

Yes, NARROW GAUGE AND SHORTLINE GAZETTE is still going strong. There are great techniques found here that are applicable to steam-era freight cars, as well as scenery, structures, etc., but the thrust of the magazine has always been narrow gauge, or shortlines so like narrow gauge they might as well have been.

I don't think Mike would appreciate a further discussion of NG&SLG here, since it is out of this group's mandate. That said, I will close by adding that I've been a subscriber since the first issue, and treasure every one of them.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

ed_mines wrote (in part):


I can't recall ever seeing a post about the "Narrow Gauge and Shortline" magazine in this forum. Does it stil lexist? Is there anything in it relevant to the models we usually discuss in this group?


Tony Thompson
 

Ed Mines asks an interesting question:
I can't recall ever seeing a post about the "Narrow Gauge and
Shortline" magazine in this forum. Does it stil lexist? Is there
anything in it relevant to the models we usually discuss in this group?
The "Gazette" has long been a leader in new modeling techniques, and in fact now trumpets that fact on its cover, as perhaps its greatest appeal to those who don't model NG or shortline railroads (as Richard Hendrickson says, the implied adjective for shortlines covered is "quaint" or "moldy," modern or successful ones need not apply). As many on this list will know, Bob Hundman deliberately named his magazine, when it started, as "Mainline Modeler" to contrast with the Gazette while hopefully still providing the same advanced techniques and ideas.
I'd say the Gazette is no more relevant than ever, and perhaps less; in recent years I haven't seen the pathbreaking techniques that once peppered its pages. I'd be interested if others on the list have a different view. My own interest in quaint, rundown and failing railroads of any gauge is minimal, so I rarely buy a Gazette issue at a hobby shop--though I often look through the current one to see what's up.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tony Thompson
 

I think one thing that may be hurting all the commercial magazines is the growth and success of the railroad historical societies, many of which produce their own excellent magazines (and note the superb on-line modeling issues of TKM recently discussed here). Many modelers have major soft spots for certain railroads, and a historical society can really scratch that itch in a way that no "mainstream" publication can do. I believe the same thing is part of the reason for the steady decline of the NMRA and its national convention: both historical society conventions, and our own "Freight Car Nationals" at Naperville and Cocoa Beach, are much more productive and enjoyable for many of us.
That still leaves room, I'd say, for a "national magazine" of some kind. I suppose it's natural that it may end up as the "least common denominator," which is MR today. I personally think MR overdoes its "obligation to newcomers," but its overall balance and glossiness puts it in a strong position for the majority of modelers, however much many on this list may decry its bare minimum of prototype information in many articles. I'd hope that RMC, often willing to include far more prototype information in articles, can survive alongside MR and provide many of us with better material.
Freight cars are inevitably only one component of any modeling or historical society magazine. I would doubt if a magazine aimed solely at freight cars (or passenger cars, or steam locomotives, etc.) would be viable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


losgatos48@...
 

Tony:
I for one believe the Gazette is still very relevant in the hobby today. It has maintained a loyal following with a stable circulation rate which more than you can say about the Mainline Modeler. There are still a number of very useful techniques in the pages of the magazine. Lane Stewart, for one, continues to provide interesting techniques and approaches to modeling for those who are interested in reading his articles. The magazine has maintained a consitent quality and content since its inception. Bob Brown, the editor, has maintained an editorial direction and standard for matieral better than any of the model magazines.
Moldy/funky standard gauge may be one of its editorial objectives but 99% of the material is still narrow gauge. Bob has featured a lot of Sierra Railway and V&T over the years. He will run standard gauge material from time to time.
As a way of a disclaimer, I have been associated with the Gazette since day one. I admire the magazine and enjoy each issue even if I don't relate to the content in my own modeling projects.

Gene Deimling
Los Gatos, CA

-------------- Original message --------------
From: Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@...>

Ed Mines asks an interesting question:
I can't recall ever seeing a post about the "Narrow Gauge and
Shortline" magazine in this forum. Does it stil lexist? Is there
anything in it relevant to the models we usually discuss in this group?
The "Gazette" has long been a leader in new modeling techniques,
and in fact now trumpets that fact on its cover, as perhaps its
greatest appeal to those who don't model NG or shortline railroads (as
Richard Hendrickson says, the implied adjective for shortlines covered
is "quaint" or "moldy," modern or successful ones need not apply). As
many on this list will know, Bob Hundman deliberately named his
magazine, when it started, as "Mainline Modeler" to contrast with the
Gazette while hopefully still providing the same advanced techniques
and ideas.
I'd say the Gazette is no more relevant than ever, and perhaps
less; in recent years I haven't seen the pathbreaking techniques that
once peppered its pages. I'd be interested if others on the list have a
different view. My own interest in quaint, rundown and failing
railroads of any gauge is minimal, so I rarely buy a Gazette issue at a
hobby shop--though I often look through the current one to see what's
up.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Yahoo! Groups Links






Mark Heiden
 

Before Mike rules this off-topic, there's a Walthers story that I
quickly want to share.

I worked in train store for about a year, and we used to have problems
getting items from Walthers regardless of quantity ordered. Sometimes
they would send a memo explaining why such and such an item was
unavailable. My favorite involved a shipment that was tied up in an
ownership dispute in international maritime court. It seems they were
expecting a large shipment from Japan or China that was to arrive via
a container ship. Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean the crew of this
ship took to the lifeboats, but remained alongside the ship. The crew
of a salvage tug that was lurking nearby took advantage of the
situation to board the ship and claim it as their own. Because the
rightful crew remained alongside the ship, the owners challenged the
salvage claim and the case went to court. Unfortunately, I never did
find out how this one ended, but I'm sure it would have been
interesting.

I don't think we ever did recieve what we had ordered.

Mark Heiden


--- In STMFC@..., "ed_mines" <ed_mines@y...> wrote:

Lets face it, no hobby shop can stock everything and one that stocks
what members of this group buy better have a lot of customers or
some
mail order customers. The smaller shops used to be able to order
ones
and twos from Walthers.


Tony Thompson
 

Gene Deimling wrote:
I for one believe the Gazette is still very relevant in the hobby today . . . Lane Stewart, for one, continues to provide interesting techniques and approaches to modeling for those who are interested in reading his articles. The magazine has maintained a consitent quality and content since its inception. Bob Brown, the editor, has maintained an editorial direction and standard for matieral better than any of the model magazines.
I am an admirer of Lane Stewart, and it's certainly true that Bob Brown has done and still does a superb job in quality of the magazine. No one, not even MR with all its resources, does better.

Moldy/funky standard gauge may be one of its editorial objectives but 99% of the material is still narrow gauge.
I have no specific objection to narrow gauge per se, but I have to say that article after article in the NG&SL Gazette continues to single out funky and moldy and rundown aspects of the narrow gauge as well as short lines. Whether it's the natural constituency of the magazine, or Brown's preference, I don't know, but it is sure obvious in issue after issue.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


jerryglow2
 

I know a couple small manufacturers who are suppliers to and listed
with Walthers. Often their products will be listed as "out of stock"
or "backordered" when they're sitting on the mfg's shelf. Walthers
simply had not placed an order to keep them in stock.

Jerry Glow

--- In STMFC@..., "Mark Heiden" <mark_heiden@h...> wrote:

I worked in train store for about a year, and we used to have
problems
getting items from Walthers regardless of quantity ordered.
Sometimes
they would send a memo explaining why such and such an item was
unavailable. what we had ordered.

Mark Heiden


losgatos48@...
 

Tony:
I agree with your statement about the tone or direction of the material. It is the nexus of narrow gauge modelers to model rundown and funky stuff. Standard gauge freight car modelers who follow mainline railroads won't relate to the subject matter per sec. However, I find that the articles often times contain little pearls of wisdom (techniques) that give me ideas on my standard gauge freight car model (required content).


Gene Deimling

-------------- Original message --------------
From: Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@...>

Gene Deimling wrote:
I for one believe the Gazette is still very relevant in the hobby
today . . . Lane Stewart, for one, continues to provide interesting
techniques and approaches to modeling for those who are interested in
reading his articles. The magazine has maintained a consitent quality
and content since its inception. Bob Brown, the editor, has
maintained an editorial direction and standard for matieral better
than any of the model magazines.
I am an admirer of Lane Stewart, and it's certainly true that
Bob Brown has done and still does a superb job in quality of the
magazine. No one, not even MR with all its resources, does better.

Moldy/funky standard gauge may be one of its editorial objectives but
99% of the material is still narrow gauge.
I have no specific objection to narrow gauge per se, but I
have to say that article after article in the NG&SL Gazette continues
to single out funky and moldy and rundown aspects of the narrow gauge
as well as short lines. Whether it's the natural constituency of the
magazine, or Brown's preference, I don't know, but it is sure obvious
in issue after issue.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Yahoo! Groups Links






Gregg Mahlkov <mahlkov@...>
 

List,

I think a lot of good expanations of the state of the modeling magazines have been aired here, but one thing has not - even the largest magazine "Model Railroader" is to a great extent dependent on its readership for contributions, and it is my opinion that the internet has had a greater effect on contributions than on subscriptions.

That, coupled with the number of speciality magazines now published, make for a paucity of good material on freight car modeling in individual issues. I am in N scale, and most of the freight car construction articles in that scale appear in "N Scale Railroading" published by Kirk Reddie, or "N-Scale", published by Bob Hundman.

I just got NSR today, and there is an article on building a 1950's era CofGa chip hopper, for example. Others are describing their "how to's" on various internet forums, not bothering to submit articles for the print media. That's where I learned to make my own decals.

Gregg Mahlkov
Florida's Forgotten Coast


Garth Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Friends,

As a former contributor to NG&SLG, I applaud Bob as an editor. He has high standards (as I found out to my chagrin with my first submission). Bob eventually bought six articles from me over a couple of years, all on prototype subjects and was superb to work with.

OTOH, about the same time I wrote an article for one of the "National" magazine (as it used to be unofficially called). They paid me promptly for it, and then never ran the material or even incorporated my research into one of their columns. End of story, as far as submissions to the "National" magazine go. Why waste my time?

By the way, although I mostly do HO standard gauge, I have a soft spot in my heart (or head) for narrow gauge. I still dabble in 0n30, English prototype. Once you've seen and ridden behind a boy-sized quarry Hunslet or Bagnall, you will be hooked. And no filthy grunge either (though they might once have had it). Those locomotives are polished and painted like a circus wagon. Theys will charm your socks off.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

eabracher@... wrote:

In a message dated 12/21/05 10:18:25 AM, thompsonmarytony@... writes:



Whether it's the natural constituency of the
magazine, or Brown's preference, I don't know, but it is sure obvious
in issue after issue.

bob only can publish what he gets. If you want other STUFF, submit it.

eric


Tony Thompson
 

Garth Groff wrote:
OTOH, about the same time I wrote an article for one of the "National"
magazine (as it used to be unofficially called). They paid me promptly
for it, and then never ran the material or even incorporated my research
into one of their columns. End of story, as far as submissions to the
"National" magazine go. Why waste my time?
Welcome to the club, Garth. There are plenty of us out here with manuscripts safely moldering away in Waukesha. In military terminology, it's called a "pre-emptive strike."

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


rwitt_2000 <rmwitt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@s...>
wrote: Welcome to the club, Garth. There are plenty of us out here
with manuscripts safely moldering away in Waukesha. In military
terminology, it's called a "pre-emptive strike."

Tony,

Maybe they left all those manuscripts in their former headquarters
building when they relocated from downtown Milwaukee. :-)

Bob Witt, Indianapolis, Indiana


Tony Thompson
 

Bob Witt wrote:
Maybe they left all those manuscripts in their former headquarters
building when they relocated from downtown Milwaukee. :-)
Interesting point, Bob, but I don't see the practical difference <g>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Dec 21, 2005, at 12:18 PM, Garth Groff wrote:

OTOH, about the same time I wrote an article for one of the "National"
magazines (as it used to be unofficially called). They paid me promptly
for it, and then never ran the material or even incorporated my
research
into one of their columns. End of story, as far as submissions to the
"National" magazine go. Why waste my time?
That's an experience a number of us have had. The magazine in question
had a reputation for buying stuff to file away so their competitors
wouldn't get it. Occasionally, they would actually get around to using
it – often when the information had grown more or less obsolete. Then
when they did use it, they would re-write it extensively so that it reflected their editorial "slant," which was often way out of synch
with the writer's intentions. Having the luxury of a large editing
staff is not necessarily a virtue.

Richard Hendrickson


armprem
 

I tried to resist getting into this discussion,but my subscription to the
"monthly Walther's catalogue " is about to run out and will not be
renewed.If advertising sells magazine so be it.I however plan not to
underwrite it.If a publication no longer meets my needs I can refer to my
collection of back issues.I can always pick up single issues if the contents
are of interest.I think,for the most part, and almost without
exception,today's magazines are only a shadow of what they once were.Armand
Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hendrickson" <rhendrickson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 3:44 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] model magazines


On Dec 21, 2005, at 12:18 PM, Garth Groff wrote:

OTOH, about the same time I wrote an article for one of the "National"
magazines (as it used to be unofficially called). They paid me promptly
for it, and then never ran the material or even incorporated my
research
into one of their columns. End of story, as far as submissions to the
"National" magazine go. Why waste my time?
That's an experience a number of us have had. The magazine in question
had a reputation for buying stuff to file away so their competitors
wouldn't get it. Occasionally, they would actually get around to using
it � often when the information had grown more or less obsolete. Then
when they did use it, they would re-write it extensively so that it
reflected their editorial "slant," which was often way out of synch
with the writer's intentions. Having the luxury of a large editing
staff is not necessarily a virtue.

Richard Hendrickson





Yahoo! Groups Links


cvsne <mjmcguirk@...>
 

Tony and all:


I am an admirer of Lane Stewart, and it's certainly true that
Bob Brown has done and still does a superb job in quality of
the
magazine. No one, not even MR with all its resources, does
better.

I agree -- I love Lane's stuff, and Joe Crea's as well although I
don't want to model that way myself. (that said, I like Malcolm's
stuff for it's folk-artsy bizzare quality -- but, no, it's not the first
thing I'd point to if someone asked me to show them what a
detailed freight car looked like.

Narrow gauge modelers were really, in many ways, the first
prototype modelers, and the best way to learn how a wood car
was built is to build a PBL or San Juan DRGW box or gondola kit.



I have no specific objection to narrow gauge per se, but I
have to say that article after article in the NG&SL Gazette
continues
to single out funky and moldy and rundown aspects of the
narrow gauge
as well as short lines. Whether it's the natural constituency of
the
magazine, or Brown's preference,
One of the only negative comments I've ever heard about the
Gazette (and I admire Bob as a friend and modeler) is the way
the magazine ignores, or seems to ignore, even to the point of
denying it existed, Colorado narrow gauge. Maybe Bob figures
he covered a lot of Rio Grande in the early days of the magazine,
and doesn't have to now. Personally I'd rather see a detailed look
at Rio Grande rolling stock, or operations on Marshall Pass, than
another funky little 22" line that was used to deliver mud to a dam
site.

Marty McGuirk