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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may mean nothing but I cannot help but notice that a recent RM layout of the month was a particularly fine P4 Cheshire Lines layout which took part in the P4S's 18.83 challenge.

The reason that it caught my attention was the odd choice of RM to debut such a fine layout, this is not to say that RM is not worthy but why not MRJ? Having allowed this thought to rattle around in my head, I took a look at the most recent issue of MRJ and it dawned on me that MRJ really is not to place that I would debut my layout.

RM's presentation of the layout was informative, in colour (not one of MRJ's strong points) and provided a decent track plan, Steve Flint's images were top notch and even SWMBO* was impressed. By contrast a recent layout in MRJ had none of these essential features and the overall presentation looked rather amateurish to say the least.

72C

*The ultimate impartial arbiter.
 

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in the end...as Iain Rice once wrote..[words to effect], the track/wheel standards really are a minor part of the whole effect.......but one issue?

viewing the layout as a complete ensemble, track/wheel standards become irrelevant??

I'm not saying P4 is irrelevant...or any finescale track/wheel standard.....I am very much in favour of such things...but they don't form the 'be-all and end-all' of a model railway.

(If the layout had been built using OO gauge [finescale?] standards....likely it still would have made the hallowed first article in RM??]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe, I didn't make the point correctly.

It seems that MRJ is no longer the the place where you show your P4/EM/S7 layout, it wasn't the standard of the layout that caught my attention but the fact that MRJ lost out.

Although it may be said that it is but one issue but looking back over the past year of MRJ and it has been losing out in terms of quality.

However, I am sure that it will recover.
 

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Surely it's down to the layout builder who if anyone he decides to approach with a view to publishing an article. Maybe he wanted his work to reach an audience who might otherwise not see it, or even to reach an audience full stop (period for our US readers)
 

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QUOTE (72C @ 28 Oct 2007, 20:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>However, I am sure that it will recover.
Never have taken MRJ, (actually don't take any mags since the online forums really got going) but given the 'so depressed' editorials reported on line recently from this journal's editor, I suspect the disease may be terminal...
 

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QUOTE (34C @ 29 Oct 2007, 10:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Never have taken MRJ, (actually don't take any mags since the online forums really got going) but given the 'so depressed' editorials reported on line recently from this journal's editor, I suspect the disease may be terminal...

I know that The Toddler has raised it's game recently (largely I suspect due to the fright given them by the new Hornby Mag), but it will take more than the odd P4 layout to keep them there I suspect.

It's reviews are thin and always way behind other mags (let alone web forums) and it still seems to me to centre on mediocre OO layouts plus garden layouts and narrow gauge. Until recently anything in 4mm that wasn't on PECO track curiously had any mention of gauge or track manufacturer omitted from the article.

MRJ isn't the place for 'layout debuts' perhaps, but its commitment to quality modelling is second to none and I know which I would sacrifice first if it came to a choice!
 

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I take MRJ out of preference......I find its style very much more to my taste.

Although I may find individual aricles from RM of interest, in general I dislike its glossy, maximum light photos,which lack atmosphere.

Having taken model mags since the late 1950's, I had long ago reached a point where the more general mags started 'repeating' themselves.

''getting jaded'' is perhaps an accurate description of my modelling state?

MRJ ,in my view, will be one of those more 'specialised' mags that will go on for 'ever'.....more or less......the whole publishing outfit gives me the impression of being run on unbridled enthusiasm.

perhaps the editorial trend noted actually reflects the dying of a ''golden age'' of modelling?

such an age linked to a diminishing generation of modellers who displayed skills and knowledge that the newer generations of modellers seem reluctant to take on board?

A sign of the times?
 

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QUOTE in general I dislike its glossy, maximum light photos,which lack atmosphere.

That is strange, I have always regarded Steve Flint's work as being a cut about average as it manages to provide the modeller the information that he needs rather than the arthouse mood images beloved by the pseudo-intellectuals of MRJ.

If I want model railways I buy a model railways magazine, if I want art then I buy Amateur Photographer.
 

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Railway Modeller has always covered finescale - Heckmondwyke made its first appearance as an RM Railway of the Month, albeit in response to a challenge from the then editor (along the lines of "when you actually build a P4 layout I'll feature P4 in the mag)

Two P4 layouts as railway of the month in a row is a little unusual , but both were entries for the same Challis Challenge event , which took place in the West Country, where RM is based. Quite a lot of layouts appear in magazines because someone from the mag approached the owner at a show and asked him to write his layout up for their publication. I suspect that may be what happened here

MRJ may exclude certain types of modelling from its pages , but that doesn't mean it has some kind of a monopoly on P4 /S7 layouts

Another relevant point is that it's getting quite hard to find somewhere selling MRJ - it's almost been squeezed out of WH Smiths, who increasingly dominate the news trade . The Smiths where I live never stocked it; the Smiths near where I worked dropped it 2 or 3 years ago. The independant newsagent near my workplace who carried it closed about a year ago. The independant newsagents where I live all seem to have disappeared in the last decade. Increasingly its a case of subscribe to MRJ or don't see it at all , ever. As someone who bought it as and when rthe issue caught my fancy, this is likely to mean I won't be buying it - I won't have the chance

If you're the owner of a layout , you might be attracted to seeing your layout feature in a publication with a large circulation found in every newsagent , rather than a specialist mag with a presumably limited circulation. The choice of options then reduces itself to 2 : BRM and RM ( to the best of my knowledge no P4 layout has ever featured in Model Rail)

Frankly as a non-P4 modeller who's read RM for years I enjoyed both articles. I'm afraid Adams442 is speaking a little more from stereotype than what the Modeller is actually like , issue by issue. As they publish far more layouts per issue than the other magazines, the average layout (or at least exhibition layout) is much more likely to make it into RM (That's where it competes directly with HM, who have declared this as their target market) . RM do actually feature a reasonable amount of modern image. Unlike one or two publications they don't focus on "reviewing as a blood sport". And it's simply not true that RM has ever hidden the fact that a layout is EM or P4 , or censored references to handbuilt track

Personally I like a varied diet , and I'm glad to see a mass market modelling magazine that is happy to publish both finescale and entry level modelling and is willing to cover modelling from all prototype periods and scales/gauges. I'm not entirely confortable with publications that define themselves in terms of the areas of modelling they won't cover
 

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QUOTE I'm not entirely confortable with publications that define themselves in terms of the areas of modelling they won't cover

I can't find the logic there........surely, if a magasine does define its coverage, to the exclusion of certain areas, surely they are simply stating that, they do not wish to compete with the established model media?

In other words, they have no intention of clogging up page space with topics that are more than adequately covered elsewhere?

In other words, they admit to focussing on a niche market?

QUOTE Another relevant point is that it's getting quite hard to find somewhere selling MRJ - it's almost been squeezed out of WH Smiths, who increasingly dominate the news trade . The Smiths where I live never stocked it; the Smiths near where I worked dropped it 2 or 3 years ago. The independant newsagent near my workplace who carried it closed about a year ago. The independant newsagents where I live all seem to have disappeared in the last decade. Increasingly its a case of subscribe to MRJ or don't see it at all , ever. As someone who bought it as and when rthe issue caught my fancy, this is likely to mean I won't be buying it - I won't have the chance

I am entirely in agreement on that one.....Luckily my ''local'' model shop gets stocks in....but it DID mean I would have to visit more often than I would have liked....[no disrespect there....I have little surplus income, so I remove temptation?]...in order to take a look at MRJ.
Now, I simply get an email when the new issue is in stock..they put one aside, with my name on it.

I also found the same problem with ''The Automobile'' magasine....which also met my interests more than adequately.

An observation...both these magasines have very limited internet access....no website, email seems to be the private one for one of the staff, etc.....

luddism?
 

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QUOTE Another relevant point is that it's getting quite hard to find somewhere selling MRJ - it's almost been squeezed out of WH Smiths, who increasingly dominate the news trade . The Smiths where I live never stocked it; the Smiths near where I worked dropped it 2 or 3 years ago.

I asked at the local WHS about their policy on MRJ and the manager took the trouble to provide a short statement from the area manager, it seems that MRJ increasingly erratic release dates and diminishing sales figures are not helping. Despite the fact that my wife runs the local independent news and bookshop I have to obtain my copies from the local model shop as Surridge Dawson wholesalers have a problem procuring from Wild Swan.

Nothing to do with quality or content, just Wild Swan.

BTW, I have dealt with PPP on several occasions as an author and I find their business practices to be exemplary.
 

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Perhaps no one has actually read the article in question, or at least, not noticed that it was to attend the Manchester MRS exhibition!

We at Manchester usually try to have a layout due to attend the show featured in the modelling press just beforehand. Our friends at RM usually manage to oblige: this year's was "Knutsford East Junction" (Next year's should be Cornwallis Yard if anyone's interested).

The builder of "Knutsford" actually wanted to "launch" it in MRJ and didn't want to put the layout in RM, but as he and most of his operators are Manchester Model Railway Society members, he was persuaded to write a piece for that magazine. It may, in due course, appear in MRJ.
 
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