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As I was touching down on my Continental B757 after a superb holiday in New York and cruising on the Crown Princess , I was at least consoling myself that although back at work the next day, at least I would have some catching up to do on model railway mags.

What would be the reaction to the previous months Simon Kohler Hornby advert, sorry interview?

And I was not disappointed. Chris Leigh seems to have taken a particularly patronising line this time. All of us in internet groups should just shut up because he and "Simon" and "Graham" know best (I exclude the Dapol gentleman as his approach to the hobby is singularly refreshing).

There was "much heat but precious little light in 4 web pages pontificating". Wasn't this because the original Model Rail left much to be answered? For instance , how do Hornby attempt Quality assurance? Do they test every model? No mention of it in the article.

Chris also leaps to the defence of Hornby on their DCC criticising the words "seems" and "apparently". Well again ,thats only because of the distinct lack of information from Hornby who are purporting their Elite and Select as the best things since sliced bread (but when people actually use them they are finding issues). Interestingly Chris makes no mention of 2 letters back on page 39 of the same mag ,one of which is by Didrik A Voss ,Manager of Conformance Dept of NMRA. In it he criticises Simon Kohler over his use of "compatibility" amongst other things. So it would seem that the 4 web pages of pontification are actually correct and vindicated!

But where Chris finally loses the plot is"How many modellers will be mixing Hornby Elite with other equipment anyway?" Erm , quite a few I should think Chris. There's these other makes called Heljan and Bachmann we might quite like to use some already have their own DCC chips fitted others need something better than the Hornby Chip.

Finally if you know Simon a little bit , says Chris, you'll know he likes to drop hints- the Electrostar was no misprint. Not a great surprise there either..........another Southern model from Hornby. Just what we all need!

Looking forward to "Grahams" interview next.

Russell
 

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Russell

As I'm sure you and others will remember how Chris Leigh has been in the past his and the rest of the model rail team's loyalty allies to which ever Model Manufacturing Company pays the most to his magazine, and is very critical of things unless they have some benefit to his magazine.
Remember in one issue he said that modellers were not supporting cottage industry side of the hobby and the local model shops, and in the same issue he started to sell brass etched conversion kits and his motor-rail conversion if that's not the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is?

I think the man would sell his grandmother if he could get enough for her?

Pete
 

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QUOTE (Peter_Harvey @ 30 Jul 2007, 06:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Russell

As I'm sure you and others will remember how Chris Leigh has been in the past his and the rest of the model rail team's loyalty allies to which ever Model Manufacturing Company pays the most to his magazine, and is very critical of things unless they have some benefit to his magazine.
Remember in one issue he said that modellers were not supporting cottage industry side of the hobby and the local model shops, and in the same issue he started to sell brass etched conversion kits and his motor-rail conversion if that's not the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is?

I think the man would sell his grandmother if he could get enough for her?

Pete
This is what we have been saying about the mags.

I have noticed that recently Model Rail has been giving the Internet Forums a bit of a slagging under the guise of editorial comment. I guess he must be reading our threads?
 

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As well as writing a load of uninformed twaddle about the possible knowledge of members who have criticised Hornby's DCC offering, I have to take issue with him about his attitude to those of us who use the internet.

Maybe he sees some of the informative and enlightened discussions, which are always frank and open, as a direct threat to the circulation of his precious magazine!
If so he is right. I, along with many other good railway modellers I talk to, am dismayed that he has presided over the decline in factual quality of what was an excellent monthly magazine capable of taking over as the No 1 UK offering.
Now mealy mouthed cow-towing and forelock-tugging to big advertisers has replaced good, honest and in depth reviews of new products.

The final insult to forum members everywhere, many of them subscribers to his magazine, is the insinuation that we are hiding behind "pen names" because we don't have the bottle to criticise in our own name.

Well Chris, I have followed your career for many years, spoken to you at numerous shows and exhibitions and have always thought of you as a fair minded individual, but I'm sorry to say you have lost the plot!!
Should you read, or be shown this post, and be willing to debate the issues you raise in your magazine by publishing my opinion, Email me and I'll be glad to give you my full name, address, Email No, telephone No or anything else you want. Something tells me though that a cheap editorial dig at forums in general is all that this piece was about, in which case I will hear no more!!

You have obviously settled for a safe, quiet life, cosying up to your big advertisers whilst you work towards your retirement. Your place in my esteem is somewhat diminished. Enjoy your "Autumn Years" in controversy free peace and quiet.

 

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Until last month I would have to say I'd side with you. After they published the now famous criticism of Hornby Digital I'll give Model Rail my support for now. I do read the editorial eventually it's probably the last item I read in the magazine. One thing in favour of model Rail is that at least it broke the dominance of the Toddler, at a time when it was really looking tired, unchanged, and boring.
 

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Fair comment, but that still doesn't excuse sly swipes at forum "pen name anonimity".
That's what really got up my shirt.
Why should I be afraid of him (or Hornby) knowing my name


My security, both on and off line is an issue I take seriously though and not one Chris Leigh should poke his nose into!!

 

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It is a growing situation that the Internet Forums are becoming the last place that individuals can speak there mind as the vast majority of the magazines are basically run by the company's that advertise in them I think there are only two that seam to be truly impartial at the moment and one of them is only three issues old. it is starting to get in a very sorry state if the editors are reading these threads then lets hope that they listen to there customers and try to do a good job in future issues of there magazine's.

Pete
 

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QUOTE (Gwent rail @ 29 Jul 2007, 23:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have to take issue with him about his attitude to those of us who use the internet.

Probably a truckload of sour grapes !

As a modeller, I no longer buy both the Toddlers, Model Rail & at least one or two of the others every month - that saves me something like £170 annually which will allow me to buy one high quality locomotive for my own collection - what would I prefer at the end of the year - a 6" stack of magazines, never to be read again or a nice DR01 ?

Forums give you a wider range of unbiast opinions (it's quite easy to sort the chaff from the wheat), responses are quicker & the amount of advice/information available can be almost instant - I remember the days when you wanted information - write to the magazine, await publication, someone writes in with the information, await publication & then if you were lucky you would get the answer in about three months - these days you usually get the answer in minutes !

Having said that I do buy the occasional magazine if there is at least one artical of interest in it for me - last year I bought maybe four or five & when I've read them they now get passed on.
 

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Well, Emap is up for sale, as a whole or in parts. The leisure interest mags are anticipated to be of least interest to potential purchasers, so for anyone with a wad of cash burning a hole in their pocket, and an ambition to be in model railway publishing...
 

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QUOTE (Gwent rail @ 29 Jul 2007, 23:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The final insult to forum members everywhere, many of them subscribers to his magazine, is the insinuation that we are hiding behind "pen names" because we don't have the bottle to criticise in our own name.

Model Rail's own 'Webmaster' column is anonymous! Unless I'm missing something.

I do think though that recently Model Rail's reviews have got a bit less grovelling. I thought their review of the Heljan 33 was a good attempt to provide the right information and let the reader decide if the shape issue was a problem to them. It's still the mag I'm most likely to buy.
 

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I read both American and English magazines including camera magazines. It seems to me that many are written in the same manner as if you were not a reader you had your head in the sand. Not sure what this style is called but they do seem to have some odd reviews in them where you would have to question what was this person actually reviewing.
 

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I have to agree with Chris Leigh's OBSERVATIONS [for that is all they are, and dont pretend to be anything else] re the internet forums.

on far too many issues, I read the posts, then the object of the thread topic...and find great disparity...sometimes as if posters have only read every third word?

I don't think C Leigh 'panders' to any large advertiser.

He merely observes and states the model rialway scene as he see's it..from an experienced viewpoint.

If that involves giving encouragement to Hornby or Bachmann, then so be it.....the observation being, we are ever so lucky as modellers of british prototypes in an odd scale, to have so much excellent trade support.

I would far sooner read a mag that gets its revenue from a large cross section of the trade, than one that is owned by one single manufacturer?

forum anonimity has been thoroughly covered elsewhere, in this forum.

Chris Leigh's contribution to our hobby, and his editorials, have also been covered previously in this forum.

The continued popularity of his magazine, is proof that critics are in the [vociferous] minority.

which sadly seems to be what a lot of forums are all about?

the vociferous minority? Me included!
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 30 Jul 2007, 17:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry, I haven't read what Chris Leigh said about forums. Can someone please enlighten me.

Model Rail 107 Editorial Doug.

I thought , in particular, the bit about Hornby Elite users not likely to mix other manufacturers equipment , showed the extent to which Chris has lost the plot!

Glad to see I was not the only one who was a tad annoyed with his comments.

Really looking forward to the Graham Hubbarb article- will the subject of internet forum criticism come up?

Russell
 

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QUOTE (Peter_Harvey @ 30 Jul 2007, 08:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It is a growing situation that the Internet Forums are becoming the last place that individuals can speak there mind as the vast majority of the magazines are basically run by the company's that advertise in them ...

Pete, this is not a UK magazine exclusive. On German magazines, when they review a model, and even if it is the worst POS ever produced, you really have to read between the lines to get the hint of an idea that this very model may have issues.

On internet forums, people who bought the model will usually post their impressions in a very down-to-earth (if not explicit) way. This seems more honest to me, as I can see whether I can live with a certain issue, or not. And if a model disintegrates on the test track, like the Heris DE2500, then this fact will be issued as a warning to others before any magazine can distribute their candy-coated version of the truth according to them and their balance sheet. From this, we all imho benefit, as bad news travels fast, and no manufacturer can attempt to cover up issues or major problems any more.
 

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I agree with some of Chris Lieghs comments and also disagree. I did read that articals and knew they would upset a few people. I was a mod on another forum, until I made a comment that upset a few people and started WW3. It is very easy to type something that means well but starts the 3 min warning. Somethings that get typed or published my upset someone, you can't please every one, there is always someone out there that will disagree with something, not because they are that type of person, but because we are only human. Yes there was a few comments about forums in the magazines, but we are just as bad, with comments made in the forums about the magazines. It works both ways we comment about them they comment about us and vise visa.

Thanks for you time
Martin
 

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It is funny that Model Rail themselves are venturing into Forum Land.

http://forum.railwaymags.com/forumlive/default.asp

They haven't quite got there yet and they are using one of the worst pieces of forum software available (IMHO). Free forum software... you get what you pay for
But they seem to have started something... I wonder where it will end up. I also wonder, knowing their editorial styles, how they will moderate posts concerning their main sponsors...
 

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It's interesting that in British modelling [ meaning either British outline, or British domiciled] ,all the main forums - like MRF - are independant operations .

Whereas in the US , Model Railroader Forum seems to be one or /the major internet forum , and similarly in France LocoRevue forum appears to be one of/the main forum.

Personally , the fact that our forums in general are independent of magazines seems an advantage....
 

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The magazines will all have to 'go Internet native' or die a long drawn out death. Look at the newspapers and the competition they now face from blogs - the only possible solution was to adapt and set up their own websites with their own correspondents writing blogs on them - even the BBC does it! The magazines are a direct competitor to forums for modellers's time (and money in the case of magazines; I agree with dbclass50...choose the forums and buy an extra model or two a year, instead of a stack of glossy woodpulp!) and so no wonder they slag us of whenever possible! However as Model Rail has now got a forum (of sorts) then it just shows that the traditional magazine has already lost...

The magazine is dead! Long live the heavily-moderated-quasi-forum-e-magazine!

Ravenser is absolutely right about independence but also the freedom to call a dollop of excrement a dollop of excrement should never be surrendered; Clover, Daisy and Hornby are cows and that is what cows do...

Goedel
 

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QUOTE The magazine is dead! Long live the heavily-moderated-quasi-forum-e-magazine!

ooh, I think not.....somehow the e -mags I have come across, the blogs, the 'how-to's', don't quite hack it as a relaxing read.....sat up in bed of a night, decent hot drink and a fresh issue of Model Rail to peruse...or MRJ.....cannot be beaten by a red-hot laptop fuzzing the backs of one's eyeballs.

The most usual...and possibly the greatest expense, apart from tools, that I buy, to do with model trains, are BOOKS.

I may be a luddite in most folk's eyes....but we are still in relative infancy regarding e-resources, and model railways, I think.....

there is far more resource material in books at present.

Until that information is e-available, then that will be the focus of my attention..paper print!
 
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