Bob Barlow of http://www.greystarpublications.com/ last week launched a new entry into the UK magazine market, Finescale Railway Modelling Review, http://www.greystarpublications.com/fsr/ the first of which is seen above. This will be a welcome addition to the mag market place, MRJ readers will likely be very interested in this too, as in addition to Bobs well respected Narrow Gauge & Industrial review http://www.greystarpublications.com/ngi/ , this will give more quality reading and importantly quality articles at the finescale end of the market. Interesting that Greystar have chosen ‘Finescale’ as the name/branding. I anticipate some saying ‘but that means nothing to me’, in which case the magazine probably isn’t for you. Generally the market sector may not be able to define what ‘finescale’ is, but like porn, they’ll know it when they see it. Bob tells me it’ll be different to MRJ, and he should know, he was one of the first editorial team on WSP/MRJ that brought a fresh look into this genre with MRJ’s release 200+ issues ago. From my peers I get the impression that this won’t tax Wild Swan overmuch, there appears to be a desire for more of this kind of publication, and I suspect like MORRIL before it, many finescalers will buy both. At the very least WSP will take note and whilst some MRJ’s have been a bit ‘meh’, I feel this will put a bit of sparkle back, where sometimes it has lacked. The content style looks to be of interest too, with promises of a wide range of era’s being covered in a different editorial style to MRJ, but a world away from the perhaps ‘red top’ style where the mainstream contemporary magazines seem to have settled. That to me will be a good thing, the Garratt being a particularly challenging conversion to EM, will make interesting reading in purely the presentation of the subject matter. I understand imagery will be very different from the mainstream, so hopefully no over sharpened, FUJI saturation+ lego pixel pics, and more moody evocative shots, with ‘left field’ imagery. I usually get one or another of the mainstream mags, these past two months not one has had me buying. Have I a vested interested in this magazine? Yes, and no. No financial or editorial interest, but yes in terms of contributing and buying it. A subscription is highly likely to be on the to do list, and sooner rather than later, Bob expressed pleasant surprise that it has already done well with subs being taken up and orders through the web site, thus hopefully validating the thought a good number of us have, that there was space for a new finescale mag, I’m reasonably confident FRMR may fill that niche easily. Greystar have a stand at this weekends Scalefourum.
More on Meejah, the DVD which has occupied a good deal of time for both myself and Paul Lunn for the past year is now out and available from Activity Media.
It’s been weird watching yourself and a best mate on telly, Paul L did a huge amount of work, particularly with the scripting and running sequence for which I’m very grateful indeed. Chris and Wendy at Activity Media put up with us and gave real guidance for us throughout the project. We’ve also taken a different approach in addition to the mainstream reviews process, and it’ll be very interesting to see the results in due course.
Arguably I did the easy bit, nailing a trainset together.
The arrival of a new ‘analogue’ mag from Greystar also gives a strong indicator that the printed media is not dead yet, but will certainly evolve, as will online media. Two fellow modellers over the past couple of weeks have refreshed their blogging activities, coming away from posting on a forum, and that has been no shock to a good number of people I regularly talk to. The reasons why are also of no great surprise either. One of my oldest modelling mates hasn’t grasped the concept behind blogging, but he currently doesn’t ‘write’. On blogging I also read a wonderfully ill informed piece on a forum this past weekend.
“Shame really – if you are going to make the effort to write a blog at all, it makes sense to me to make it available to the widest possible audience. With a personal blog there is little chance of anyone other than a small, dedicated audience ever being aware of it, never mind remembering to read it.”
The comment really does show the level of ignorance regarding the internet and how it works. Like good modelling a good blog takes effort to generate regardless of subject matter. Its all too easy to just ‘graze’ on a forum, wasting time. It’s taken a couple of years for me to get the blog where I want it, and to carry it forward, that takes effort. Readers have to come to it, rather than just click to the next page and strike it lucky amongst a sea of mediocrity. We are competing with the ‘internet’ in terms of attracting readers, this is part of what makes the effort in producing it, in my opinion, worthwhile. Our blog stats tell the story, they tell us where the views come from, the majority of mine are from search engines and quality blogs such as those on this sites blogroll to the right. Hardly any come from the forums, which maybe means that the readers recognise the ‘blogging community’ as a standalone entity. They know how to use a search engine, and critically they can be bothered to find ‘us’ and read what we are writing about, rather than ‘grazing’ a forum. That’s where the real challenge is, building an audience prepared to come back, or read more than the first page, and, they have to find us!
The two blogs in question are of the same kind of modelling that attracts me and many of my friends, one in 2mm finescale, (that kin word again!), and one in 4mm scale. Both are written engagingly, and illustrated well, as are their peers in the blogroll on the right hand side. Whilst neither hold subject matter specific to my interests I do, and will, continue to read them. They have that ability to make you think, I can do that, or try that. That to me is so much better than reading someone saying ‘I could never do that!’
If you do go to Scaleforum and see Bob and you picked up the news from here, please let him know, I’ll be interested to hear how many of you who have provided over 130,000 hits, couldn’t remember to read my blog …