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I have to say model rail is my favourite read each month as it offers fair reviews without going to the extreme of totally panning the latest release for minor (or sometimes major) inaccuracies.
I think it is suitable for beginners and more experienced modellers alike with a good Q&A section as well as an ordinary letters page and the masterclasses each month are worth the cost on their own.
 

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I do buy all the 3 monthly UK magazines and find they all have their own merits and drawbacks. Railway modeller has a good selection of layouts generally and is good for the swopmeet dates section(even if the bloody organisers don't bother telling them when they change dates that are double booked with the British superbikes). Its also been around since the dawn of time so is well established.

BRM is good for more steam era modelling and the loco building section is second to none, the reviews are also better and more substantial than in railway modeller There are usually a lot more classifieds than the other 2 mags too. If you are ever struggling to get to sleep on a night i find the letters page to be en excellent cure for insomnia but with little constructive to offer on anything.

Model rail is probably the all rounder of the 3 with useful info for beginners and more experienced modellers alike, it doesn't tend to be aimed at steam or diesel in particular but offers a good balance of items on both areas(not forgetting electric and narrow gauge). The masterclasses are very good, its a pity i missed about 2 years worth before i took up modelling in late 2001, the Q&A pages are informative and the letters page is also worth a good read.

There is a 4th mainly UK mag that being Modern Railway Modeller which is by the BRM and traction team, this is quarterly and although it started out brightly enough seems to have lost its way a bit with many articles seeming to lack a bit of depth. I don't really see the need to include a secction on overseas layouts as there are enough magazines devoted to that type of layout, though maybe thats just my opinion because i model UK outline.

This year i have subscrbed to model rail but am still awaiting my free gift. Like the special edition loco's you guys are all waiting for the payment has been taken but the goods not yet received.
 

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I'd class British railway modelling as being too Cyril Freezer given the amount of space he manages to waffle his way through in the letters column every other month. Really puts me off buying his books, as experienced as he undoubtedly is from the correspondence he sends in he striked me as being of the i've been doing it so long i must be right, how dare you argue with me type of people.

Another thing that pees me off about BRM is their inability to finish a review or demonstration be it how to build a loco kit or a look at someones' layout within a single issue, more often you will find the first 2 parts of a 3 part review on consecutive issues then the final part several months later when the interest has dwindled and the first 2 parts have been forgotten, if there is insufficient space to run a piece in one issue then take some of the damn adverts out. Out of the 3 uk outline magazines that hit the shops each month this is the one i would miss the least.
Incidentally has anyone managed to get hold of a copy of the first BRM annual, it apparently came out in late January exclusively at WH smiths but so far i haven't seen a copy anywhere, but then again WH smiths are very unreliable with what they keep in these days as it varies from store to store and indeed month to month.
 

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Thamks for the tip off ChrisE i'll have a look next time i go in. There must be some problem as the BRM stand were sold out of the annual on Sunday at Harrogate. Probably everyone looking in the wrong place, typically in my local WH smiths the books are upatairs and magazines downstairs.

"If you buy a title that isn't your "normal" title what made you buy it?"
I sometimes buy the steam magazines if there is something relevant to my local area in.
I subscribed to model rail partly because of their offer and partly because i buy it every month anyway so thought i might as well. The other one i am considering subscribing to isn't a model mag but traction magazine and the reason for this is because it isn't stocked im my local WHsmiths so i have to go out of my way to buy it. Incidentally I first bought it when they got a batch in by mistake.

For all you continental modellers there is a free supplement in next months model rail on overseas modelling.
 

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I'd sooner they be as far away from the library section (car and bike mags especially auto trader on thursday) as possible as I find an aisle full of very smartly dressed business types too tight to buy the magazine every time i pop in either at dinner time or after work. Its no great loss if I don't find a copy but I find it daft that a product "exclusive"to a shop should be unavailable in it.
 
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