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Selwyn

Scale Aircraft Modelling 41/8 October 19 Failed again!

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Dropped my subscription of SAM about a year ago due to to the annoying little mistakes  and typos that were becoming the norm  and the articles were not very good or detailed. For some reason every few months or so they keep sending me an unsolicited  copy with a nice "renew your subscription" letter attached. 

The October issue was on the mat when I got home from work,  so I thought I would give it a  fair look to see if  there was any improvement.  What instantly caught my eye was that there was a  feature on the F 84F  one of my favourite jets.

To my horror  the "Feature" wasn't a feature at all   but a build article  on the PJ productions F84F by Steve Corvi,  and not only that, the title  of this article   is in big letters  F84F Thunderflash,  and this title is used throughout the article.  It is I must admit a nice build  but spoilt for me by the raging howler of a title. So well done  Mr Meddings on another editorial masterpiece,  You really need to brush up on what  a  F 84 Thunderjet , F 84F Thunderstreak, and the RF 84 Thunderflash actually are! And in particular you desperately need to brush up on the technical term "proofreading."

I suppose I should have been forewarned when reading the  contents list,  as the built kit picture on page 4 says its a F-84F and the contents list on page 5 describes it as a F84-F!

My mistake, I was optimistic that SAM may have improved, but it It appears its actually getting worse.

 

Selwyn

 

You will be pleased to know that the SAM renewal letter has just made a very satisfying noise  as it worked it way through my document shredder! I hope my neighbours hamster has a warm winter with it!

 

 

Edited by Selwyn
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I did exactly the same about 12years ago. Up until then I had bought every issue of the magazine from issue one but I too couldn't stand the multitude of errors & when they employed a new editor the slow decline turned into a steep nose dive so I binned it along with SCAM which had also been on a downward trajectory with regard to production standards. The standard of reviews was also a factor. When I buy a kit the choice of colour schemes is an important factor in the selection process but the number of times a kit review stated 'comes with three colour options' without telling you what they were as the reviewer was more interested in demonstrating his plagiarised painting techniques to actually inform you about the kit. I sometimes pick up a magazine to check it out but usually end up putting it back as there has been very little change, the reviews still suck & the production standards are still dismal. It's not just mags where standards have fallen. At last years Nationals I bought several heavily discounted SAM Publications books & to say I was disappointed just doesn't cover it. I won't bore you with the details but I only use the books as photographic reference as the text just winds me up too much & even the colour profiles, which are usually the high point of books like these are annoying, as they couldn't even be bothered to provide colour information or background on the profiles rendering them pretty much pointless for anyone who doesn't have enough other reference to interpret them.  The overall impression is that they have been cut & pasted together as cheaply as possible in order to make a fast buck.

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I just can’t see the attraction of magazines at all. Now the internet has taken off and these forum thingys are a goldmine of info or request for info, how these survive is beyond me. I’ll save my cash for for a nice day out in Telford.

 

Steve.

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There is a modelling magazine on the shelves at the moment with an article about the infamous Skyraider toilet bomber; on the cover it is mentioned as the “tiolet” bomber.

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I got a free issue with a please come back letter, no chance, editing is awful, as @speedy says above, the internet is a gold mine of information, there are a number of really good websites. I am not going to spend money on something that is poorly written, also in a years subscription how many articles would I be interested in!!!

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I've yet to see the internet article or posting to match the articles by Paul Lucas and David Johnston in the latest issue.  The internet is good for quick answering of specific queries, news, chat and for looking at pretty pictures of models, but is very poor on long term information retention and access.   It has yet to replace the better magazines as a reference source.

 

Not all magazines offer or even pretend to offer real value in this area, and I would agree that these have little or no place nowadays.  However the number and sales of these don't seem to be flagging, so clearly not everyone agrees with either of us!

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I agree and disagree on this. 

 

I used to buy certain mags religiously regardless of articles. 

 

Then the internet and ‘bookmarks’ took over. 

 

Until the photo bucket scandal left most of that online reference dead/useless. 

 

So I will buy the odd mag again now and then If relevant to a build or scheme I have planned in the future. 

 

Tony. 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I've yet to see the internet article or posting to match the articles by Paul Lucas and David Johnston in the latest issue.  The internet is good for quick answering of specific queries, news, chat and for looking at pretty pictures of models, but is very poor on long term information retention and access.   It has yet to replace the better magazines as a reference source.

That depends on how you use it - internet pages can be 'saved' for offline viewing at later dates, and if you download everything of relevance associated with them (eg., linked photos), you will retain access on your own device even if the original source disappears...

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And the quality of the home printer you use to study these sheets away from the computer?  Assuming you do have a decent monitor, of course. Or the time taken to carry out all this save/copy/collate actions?   

 

Please don't attempt to argue that reading online magazines are anywhere near as convenient or comfortable as paper ones.  I've tried them and they aren't.

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26 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

And the quality of the home printer you use to study these sheets away from the computer?  Assuming you do have a decent monitor, of course. Or the time taken to carry out all this save/copy/collate actions?   

 

Please don't attempt to argue that reading online magazines are anywhere near as convenient or comfortable as paper ones.  I've tried them and they aren't.

I do agree with you graham. but the problem I have personally is that  if they are at the stage that they can't even get the correct name/designation of an aircraft correct  it puts a worry wart in my mind that perhaps the  rest of the magazine content may not be the best information. If you are slipshod in one area why not the next?

I had taken SAM from issue 1  up to a year or so  ago, and still have all of them filed, and they are a great resource and  still full of good quality stuff.  Its just the quality at SAM seems to be falling off  a cliff at the present moment. I find that very saddening.

 

Selwyn

Edited by Selwyn

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I just wonder how these magazines make money? 

 

I go to a bookstore and I see so many of these modeling magazines. Some of the work published in those magazines have actually inspired me. Most of the time however, I get my inspiration or the info I need from this board or the other I follow. 

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I agree with you Selwyn that the number of such failures is disappointing (not to mention those in more "technical" details) but in all fairness a modern issue has much more text and content than an early issue of SAM or even earlier Airfix Magazine.  I would also suggest that modern word processing on computers with automatic word correction introduces more errors than traditional methods where simple typos were the main thing to be wary of.  And knowledge was more limited...  Without modern technology, of course, such large issues would not be possible, but for both reasons it is a more difficult task for the editor.  I think the old trade of sub-editor is long gone, if it ever existed on specialist magazines such as ours.

 

The way I approach it is simply to try to ignore most of what is said in general chat/reviews/builds made by people with clearly little or no knowledge of the subject (yeh, nice pictures of well made models, but...), and restrict close attention to work that displays serious knowledge of and attention to the subject.  Strangely enough, the articles from the latter also lack the irritating errors seen elsewhere.  Or perhaps that's not so surprising.  However, no editor has ever had sufficient numbers of informed, enthusiastic, and quick-working specialist contributors to properly cover the flood of subjects we are gifted with nowadays - incidentally another comparison with previous times to the benefit of the present day - so every editor has to do what he can to satisfy as many as possible of this varied and cantankerous bunch.  

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1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

And the quality of the home printer you use to study these sheets away from the computer?  Assuming you do have a decent monitor, of course. Or the time taken to carry out all this save/copy/collate actions?  

I'm fortunate in having a good quality colour laser printer, but very rarely do I ever print downloaded magazine material - I often have references (be they downloaded magazines, photos, or 'live' webpages) open on screen like others here do (as evidenced by various WIP posts with monitors visible in the photos)...

....I was merely pointing out that internet-based information can be saved/downloaded to provide long-term retention/access...

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

Please don't attempt to argue that reading online magazines are anywhere near as convenient or comfortable as paper ones.  I've tried them and they aren't.

....I wasn't making any attempt to do so, though I've no doubt that others will disagree - after all, many publications including modelling magazines offer digital versions which are probably only ever viewed on a computer/tablet/phone screen. I'd be willing to bet that there are many people out there who've never possessed a printed copy of their favourite read...

Edited by andyf117

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I have a " dude " that somehow downloads a lot of magazines and he sends me copies through Dropbox. I sort through them and keep what I like.

SAM is one that I usually keep. I like the scale drawings that accompany some articles and I really like the Paul Lucas/David Johnston stuff. 

The only paper magazines that I buy now are Aeroplane Monthly and Flypast and they are both about to be dropped. They just aren't doing it for me anymore. 

 

 

Chris

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As with others here, I got a free copy this month trying tempt me back. Guideline Publications should have saved their money!

 

As mentioned, it is littered with errors.

 

Whilst the editor may be an excellent modeller from what I saw, he needs to do what he is paid for first and foremost.

 

Proof reading is his responsibility even if he doesn't actually do it himself.

 

I honestly can't see the magazine lasting much longer, what with the poor quality of writing and the lack of attention to detail

 

Andy

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Once or twice, I did try online copies of these magazines. I must say I did not enjoy the experience at all. Its so much better to have a paper copy in hand. There is no alternative to a physical copy. 

 

 

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On 9/26/2019 at 7:07 PM, stalal said:

Once or twice, I did try online copies of these magazines. I must say I did not enjoy the experience at all. Its so much better to have a paper copy in hand. There is no alternative to a physical copy. 

 

 

I agree with you entirely. My wife has a very different view though........🤬

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Hi @stalal, always used to, it was payment by the page. I don't know if that is still the case. I'm guessing your mind has gone down a similar hole to mine.....padding out the article with superfluous waffle.

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10 hours ago, stalal said:

Do the contributors get paid for their submissions in these magazines?

Well, yes, but as far as I can tell, little more than I got per page for the occasional article I wrote for Airfix magazine in the 1970s.
I'm just returning to modelling since then (after 40 years, and I can say most definitely that the quility of kits, magazines, and completed models is immeasurably improved.

 

If you think that SAM etc. are bad for typos, don't even think of buying a newspaper! My local newspaper group outsourced sub-editing to India for a while!!! One howler this produced was 'Nearly 18 people made redundant'

I notice Airfix Magazine has been criticism-free so far. I've only seen/bought a few since my return to the hobby, but I didn't notice any howlers there particularly, and I think The Aeroplane is a fabulous historical info source. Not everything is on the internet, you know.

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10 minutes ago, alancmlaird said:

If you think that SAM etc. are bad for typos, don't even think of buying a newspaper! My local newspaper group outsourced sub-editing to India for a while!!! One howler this produced was 'Nearly 18 people made redundant'
 

I was reading a story in The Telegraph. A British newspaper with a lot of pedigree. I never expected it. But there were so many typing and grammatical mistakes that I couldnt but type an email to the editor mentioning those mistakes. The editor did respond apologizing and promising to scrutinize proof reading methods. The mistakes were the types non English speaking would make not a British newspaper.  Your point about outsourcing reminded of this. 

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2 hours ago, PhoenixII said:

Hi @stalal, always used to, it was payment by the page. I don't know if that is still the case. I'm guessing your mind has gone down a similar hole to mine.....padding out the article with superfluous waffle.

 

Yes! Reading through this topic here, I wondered if I could write a short article but my photography will need to improve. 

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1 hour ago, stalal said:

I was reading a story in The Telegraph. A British newspaper with a lot of pedigree. I never expected it. But there were so many typing and grammatical mistakes that I couldnt but type an email to the editor mentioning those mistakes. The editor did respond apologizing and promising to scrutinize proof reading methods. The mistakes were the types non English speaking would make not a British newspaper.  Your point about outsourcing reminded of this. 

These days, a large proportion of the English-speaking people in the UK is for all practical purposes semi-literate. People in this category probably never read anything of any great length, so they don't become familiar with the nuances of the English language and they can't use the written word correctly. It might surprise you how often I have to puzzle over an email at work in an attempt to comprehend what the author is trying to convey. As for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, they're commonplace even in communications that go out to customers. The mistakes in the Telegraph are quite likely home-grown. 

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Language evolves. It always has done. It's also always the perogative of the old to bemoan the direction the younger generations take. I can absolutely assure everyone that all of the elderly gentlemen today who disapprove of this literary evolution immensely irritated people who have now been dead for 6 decades.

 

Reading a Victorian era book, for example, even by acclaimed authors often gets tiresome, repetitive and unnecessarily verbose. There are turns of phrase in there which nobody uses any more and whilst old people today need to cross reference what younger writers mean, the same is also true in reverse.

 

Language simply changes. You don't have to like it, but it's going to continue to happen whether you choose to spend your time complaining about it or not.

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