Chris

Which railway modelling mags do you read?

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Hi all,

Just interested to see what people respond with here. Which model rail mags do you read? Personally, I'm a 'Model Rail' man myself, but feel issues since Ben Jones left as editor haven't been up to the usual high standard. Anyone have any thoughts?

What do you all read? Used to quite like Rail Express too, but have gotten out of the habit of buying that one.

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I'm with you on this one Chris.

 

I used to be an annual subscriber to Rail Express having been impressed with its modern image content both in modelling and railway forms. The fact it's essentially 2 magazines in 1 is a big bonus. In fact, I went out and bought the latest copy of RE today for a bit of cheeky reading.

 

Another mag I pick up is Model Rail. I've not so much noticed a big difference since Ben left, but as with any other modelling mag, there's way too much steam stuff. Yes, there's a lot of interest for steam layouts, but I feel that Model Rail needs to include more. Their review sections are very good. Their 'Pros and Cons' bubble things are really good as is the way they write them. I just feel that they could do more to represent the modern image modellers. After all, we are talking of 16-ish years since privatisation.

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When I seriously started in this hobby I had a subscription for Model Railway Constructor (The more geriatric amongst us remember it well) I even got two articles published. After its demise I went to Practical Model Railways which only saw about 5 years.

 

Then spent several years with Scale Model Trains and its successor Model Trains International edited by Chris Ellis who is a famous name in this hobby, but in recent years he passed day to day editorial control to two elderly men (I can't call them gentlemen), who turned the magazine round from a once friendly periodical to a 'fanzine' putting in only their 'friends' articles and it has gone downhill.

 

These days I only look at RM and MR at our clubroom. The internet is my best magazine, but even a lot of the forums are getting old, tired and boring with same old, same old  - Not this one!! 

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Hi all

Model Rail, British Railway Modeller, Hornby magazine, Railway Modeller, Australian Railway Modeller and Model Railroader

and any thing else I can get my hands on,

I must be one of the geriatrics Piermaster mentioned  I still have the Model Railway Constructor's that I bought while it was still in print I might even have a couple of Practical Model Railways in the magazine mountain somewhere.

I know there are some Model Railway News Just not the ones which I want with J Ahern articles in them.

I find the older magazines better as the lets build articles have useful things like scale drawings and dimensioned sketches which the modern magazine articles seem to lack.

regards John

Edited by buz

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Magazines = Only one. For two reasons. Firstly they seem to keep going over the same basic stuff for newcomers so there's very little to be learnt from them and secondly because the layouts in them can almost always be found on the interwebby anyway. The one magazine I do subscribe to is Model Trains International because I like the preference for small layouts, often built on a shoestring.

 

Forums = Very few these days, just MTI (in connection with the magazine), here and Modellers United.

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Always been Railway Modeller for me , tried others but always go back to that one have been reading that one since early eighties, quiet liked model railway constructor in its day too. Also Internet but this is the only forum I bother with nowadays I'm sure I'm not alone there!! Err herm !!!

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I'm with you on this one Chris.

 

I used to be an annual subscriber to Rail Express having been impressed with its modern image content both in modelling and railway forms. The fact it's essentially 2 magazines in 1 is a big bonus. In fact, I went out and bought the latest copy of RE today for a bit of cheeky reading.

 

Another mag I pick up is Model Rail. I've not so much noticed a big difference since Ben left, but as with any other modelling mag, there's way too much steam stuff. Yes, there's a lot of interest for steam layouts, but I feel that Model Rail needs to include more. Their review sections are very good. Their 'Pros and Cons' bubble things are really good as is the way they write them. I just feel that they could do more to represent the modern image modellers. After all, we are talking of 16-ish years since privatisation.

Hi Jack,

I think it's the workbench section I feel has gone downhill cohere used to be six excellent projects in there, now there normally seems to be four. To my mind, the more of George Dents stuff we see, the better, he is one talented guy!

But, yes, way too much steam stuff.

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Model Rail and Hornby Magazine in print format, with the occasional BRM / selection of old magazines picked up from visiting preserved railways.

Also my library offer a whole range of magazines to read for free online / on a tablet, so I am able to get Heritage Railway and Rail Express each month digitally.

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Hi all,

sorry to bump this thread but wanted to pick brains again to see if reader trends had altered. My Model Rail subscription runs out in May and I was debating cancelling it as I still don't think it's got back to where it was.

Any suggestions as to what is considered the best out there at the moment as a possible replacement?

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I haven't had a magazine subscription for years. Used to sub to Modern Railways and later Rail Express but have since gone for a as-and-when policy. If it has something worth looking at, I'll get it. RE has good coverage of both models and the prototype, mostly modern image stuff too (90s onwards on average). 

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No change here. I do not read any printed model railway magazines.

They're a waste of money and mainly just recycle the same old same old "how to" articles. When they do feature a layout that's of interest to me the chances are that I've already seen it on line anyway. I do not spend much money on the hobby so the advertising is irrelevant and when I fancy a day out the exhibition diary pages are not nearly as good in print as are details on line, which often include images and even videos of the layouts booked to attend.

I make no secret of the fact that I dislike any commercialism in the hobby, the press have always shown bias towards their advertisers' products so you'll rarely, if ever, get a fair review of anything in print. Modellers of my generation will remember when Peco was always printed as PECO in Railway Modeller so it stood out on the page, turning virtually any layout article into an advert for the magazine's parent company. This bias has spilled over onto a certain unmentionable forum with its sycophantic fan-boys pledging allegiance to the admin's favourite manufacturers. Dare to criticise the products of these favourite advertisers at your peril.

I would much rather see a poorly made scratch built model where the owner is also the maker than a huge layout full of ready-weathered, ready to run stock straight out of the box. There's a huge difference between modelling and buying, a difference that the magazines and their advertisers largely ignore because there's no profit in it for them at my end of the hobby, they just want your money.

In short, there's much more to be learnt on the internet by reading Facebook groups, free e-zines, forums and other modellers' blogs. And I enjoy the interaction between modellers on line which just does not happen in print.

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I know this is an old thread (actually been meaning to reply for a while!) but there are ways to read railway magazines on the cheap...all you need is an iPad!

I use an app called Readly, which is a monthly subscription (around 7 quid) and you can read unlimited magazines from its library. On the railway front it has Rail, Model Rail, Steam Railway and the Railway Magazine guide to modelling (the latter I believe is a new freebie you can pick up in model shops but is really quite good!) There are loads of other magazines for all tastes...I’m now flicking through 10 or so magazines a month.

There’s also a cheeky way to read Railway Modeller too. If you get their app and take out a one month subscription (3.99) you get instant access to the entire back catalogue that’s been digitised (I’ve just looked...back to 2011). It’s great to have a flick through, get inspiration from the one or two articles that peak your interest and not have to shell out for each issue. Just make sure you cancel the subscription in iTunes (or it’ll auto-renew) and once your months up you lose access. This also works for continental modeller, but you have to do it separately.

I find that all these magazines are very similar and, as has been mentioned, the how to articles seem to keep coming around. So I don’t mind which one I read, it just gives me that motivation I need!

Hope this helps someone!

Matt

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I've actually cancelled all mine recently, moving to the Railway Modeller online subs. Like you say, it's a great way to look at old issues. I'm unsure if I'll keep it much longer or not though as I'm unsure how many articles actually float my boat. I find I'm preferring to buy books on specific topics - kit building, weathering etc - rather than looking at endless articles of 'unique' GWR branch termini!

Now, if there was an industrial modelling magazine...!

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I find that "Railway Modeller" is best for general types of article, if you want more D&E era stuff, go "Rail Express" and if you want 'fine-scale', go for "Model Railway Journal".

That's it!

In my very humble opinion, the other railway modelling mags in this country are the same as the "red top" "newspapers" i.e. total garbage.

I also read some of the Continental magazines like "Eisenbahn Kourier" and "Model Eisenbahner" and they are real magazines, highly informative, well written & researched, entertaining and accurate. British magazines could learn a lot from them.

Cheers,

John.

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