Author Topic: State of N-Scale Magazines?  (Read 4853 times)

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Virginia Atlantic

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State of N-Scale Magazines?
« on: April 05, 2009, 10:35:02 AM »
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So, as mentioned elsewhere, I've been out of the hobby for a while, and am considering a return in a limited capacity.

Yesterday, I went to my one local train-shop that carries N-Scale Railroading (my old favorite, a Mag I own the first few years of issues of).  Sadly, they were sold out, and the new issues had not yet arrived.....I see some things never change, ha ha.  But they did have N-Scale.

Which made me wonder what the general view of the community is these days between the two magazines....

So with no NSR available, I bought the copy of N-Scale.  But I have to say, while I always personally favored NSR over N-Scale, I found this issue of N-Scale to be far worse than I recall.  It was realy quite boring, the layouts not very inspiring and just generally quite "meh".  What struck me most (and this isn't an attack, more an observation) was that the main layout being reveiwed was made of Kato Unitrack (or some variation of that theme).  Now, while I appreciate that some modelers choose that, generally the results are just not "Magazine worthy".

I don't know, am I being a snobbish prick here?  Whats the general view on the magazines these days, and did I miss a sea-change where Unitrack-based layouts are now viewed in a better light (for publication) than they used to be?  I seem to recall in the past these layouts would get crushed by the masses here.....

« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 10:52:50 AM by Warfish »
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CoalPorter

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 11:17:36 AM »
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Did the magazine have any Kato advertising on the inside covers? :-*
Articles that show thier product in good light would be a good idea. :o
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diezmon

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 11:20:18 AM »
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nah, everyone has their favorites and their opinion. That's why I don't subscribe, I just pick up the issues I like.  NSR, N-Scale, MR, etc..

I hope you didn't my article was too boring?  LOL

Mark5

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 11:35:37 AM »
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Some of the issues I look at are filled with roster shots of new models (hey I can see all this on the web!) and often bland large layouts with hot air balloon or helicopter camera angles. There are exceptions of course and this is why I only buy an issue here or there.

The only model RR mag I'm currently tempted to subscribe to is RMC, as they seem to have kept the emphasis on modeling (concepts that in many cases can be applied across multiple scales).

3rdrail

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 11:49:40 AM »
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A few years back there was a significant difference between the two magazines, with Bob Hundman's rag (N-S) concentrating on scratchbuilding, kitbashing, and, yes, trees, while Kirk Reddie's rag (NSR) was very heavy into layout photo shoots. Since Bob sold his to Pamela Clapp, she has been trying to get a better mix of articles, and so has Kirk with NSR. I used to subscribe to N-S and pick up NSR now and then, but I now subscribe to both.

Personally, neither one hits too many home runs, but neither completely whiffs the ball too often either. Remember, a magazine's content in this field is entirely dependent on submittals from its readers. There's at least a half dozen authors here on the RailWire.

Get back in the hobby and join 'em, Alex!  8)

pbrooks

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 01:12:31 PM »
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I think the N-scale magazines are always between a rock and a hard place... if they run inspiring, cutting edge envelope-pushing stuff, they get criticized on the web for showing stuff the average modeler can't ever achieve. If they publish stuff that everybody looks at and says, "I can do that", they get blasted as "Ho-hum".

The high-end stuff can be intimidating, (Mike Danneman, Tom Mann, Rich Yourstone or Mike Skibbe's work to name a few), sometimes makes me think I should try basket-weaving! They still inspire me and give me something to learn from and aspire to.

Financially, I think the magazines have to walk the tightrope between the two approaches to keep enough subscribers from both camps to stay in business.

Free opinions, and worth every penny!  ;D

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Virginia Atlantic

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 02:14:03 PM »
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I hope you didn't my article was too boring?  LOL

I was afriad of this very thing, since I recall we had many published authors here, the last thing I wanted to do was flame someone on what is )effectively) my second thread "back".  Would be just my luck to bash Unitrack, and the author of said piece was here just waiting to be offended at this meanspirited "new guy".

So I have to ask.....which article was yours?  Looking at your links, it wasn't the Unitrack one, so at least I dodged THAT Bullet, lol.

I think the N-scale magazines are always between a rock and a hard place... if they run inspiring, cutting edge envelope-pushing stuff, they get criticized on the web for showing stuff the average modeler can't ever achieve. If they publish stuff that everybody looks at and says, "I can do that", they get blasted as "Ho-hum".

The high-end stuff can be intimidating, (Mike Danneman, Tom Mann, Rich Yourstone or Mike Skibbe's work to name a few), sometimes makes me think I should try basket-weaving! They still inspire me and give me something to learn from and aspire to.

Financially, I think the magazines have to walk the tightrope between the two approaches to keep enough subscribers from both camps to stay in business.

Free opinions, and worth every penny!  ;D

-Phil Brooks

Great reply, and probably the "right" one in terms of the publishing business (of which I know embarassing little). 

In fairness though Mr. Brooks, I always found articles on your layouts to be just about "perfect" for my own personal tastes of what a Mag should be showcasing.  Top-notch modeling that inspires.  In the Mags, I always preferred that...it was only here on forum, actually talking to folks like you, that it became (for sensative ol' me) a bit intimidating, more like the competition I mentioned elsewhere.
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up1950s

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 04:42:26 PM »
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I get the 2 N mags , and get something out of them both , though some are a dud issue for my personal purposes , then so are some of everything else . I feel we are very fortunate to have 2 mags and the NTRAK quarterly to not have to weed through other scale stuff . I also get other model Railroad mags .


Richie Dost

diezmon

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2009, 08:18:17 PM »
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I hope you didn't my article was too boring?  LOL

I was afriad of this very thing, since I recall we had many published authors here, the last thing I wanted to do was flame someone on what is )effectively) my second thread "back".  Would be just my luck to bash Unitrack, and the author of said piece was here just waiting to be offended at this meanspirited "new guy".

So I have to ask.....which article was yours?  Looking at your links, it wasn't the Unitrack one, so at least I dodged THAT Bullet, lol.


LOL, not to worry.. mine was the one about the decoder install :)

diezmon

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2009, 08:18:59 PM »
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I think the N-scale magazines are always between a rock and a hard place... if they run inspiring, cutting edge envelope-pushing stuff, they get criticized on the web for showing stuff the average modeler can't ever achieve. If they publish stuff that everybody looks at and says, "I can do that", they get blasted as "Ho-hum".

The high-end stuff can be intimidating, (Mike Danneman, Tom Mann, Rich Yourstone or Mike Skibbe's work to name a few), sometimes makes me think I should try basket-weaving! They still inspire me and give me something to learn from and aspire to.

Financially, I think the magazines have to walk the tightrope between the two approaches to keep enough subscribers from both camps to stay in business.

Free opinions, and worth every penny!  ;D

-Phil Brooks

pffft.. and we're not intimidated by YOUR work, phil?   ;)

CNWlivesinme

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2009, 08:37:36 PM »
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I will be subscribing to NSR by the end of the month, I just have to use my one day off of the week to drive to see Chuck.

I used to subscribe to the other magazine, but NSR caters to my tastes better.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2009, 09:27:25 PM »
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Quote
sometimes makes me think I should try basket-weaving!

Nice try Phil.

TiVoPrince

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2009, 10:20:03 PM »
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Warfish
has a well known allergy to DCC.  So your article was probably skimmed but classified 'meh' since no decoder install article would be useful...
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Virginia Atlantic

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2009, 10:31:17 PM »
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Warfish
has a well known allergy to DCC.  So your article was probably skimmed but classified 'meh' since no decoder install article would be useful...

Not quite true.  I have (or had) an allergy to trying to pry off N-Scale loco shells with my giant bulbous ogre-fingers, without damaging the shell beyond all recovery.

DCC?  I love the idea of DCC. 
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: State of N-Scale Magazines?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 12:16:59 AM »
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Well.... I was also published in the last issue. But I think the article was a bit dry. For those who were always complaining about the traction tire install on the Pacifics, there now is a way!

Spring tends to be a lul for most model magazines. The turn-around time for an article can be about 6-9 months from when the project was started untill it sees print... so you are looking at summertime projects. Winter projects can be much more time consuming and involved.

I wish I was good at layout building or scenery, but I'm not... so i guess I will always be doing "how to..."

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