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SAM November2019


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I haven’t bought a modelling magazine for several years now: I’d stuck with SAM since its inception but for me things really came to a head when Jay Laverty took over as editor and I allowed my subscription to lapse.  I used to enjoy articles that explained how and why the modellers had done what they’d done and, better still, where clear photographs of the work in progress were provided.  What I don’t want or need are images the size of a very small postage stamp or a blow-by-blow account of pre-, post, and in-between shading, panel line washes and paint chipping.  Two dozen images of the completed model may fill pages but they’re no substitute for some decent detail close-upsof how the end result was achieved.

 

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On 11/15/2019 at 5:49 PM, modelling minion said:

Terry used to be a member of the same modelling club as myself until he decided to leave the modelling scene a few years ago, we're still not sure why. He is still alive. and as you say it was his partner who tragically died young.

Thanks for clarifying this.  I'll leave my original post intact but add an edit below.

Cheers

Jonners

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On 15/11/2019 at 18:54, stever219 said:

...but for me things really came to a head when Jay Laverty took over as editor and I allowed my subscription to lapse...

Same here, I have every issue from the start 'til the current day, with the exception of the Jay Laverty years!

On 15/11/2019 at 18:54, stever219 said:

What I don’t want or need are images the size of a very small postage stamp or a blow-by-blow account of pre-, post, and in-between shading...

My pet hate, especially when the accompanying text points out some minute detail which is all but invisible or has even missing due to having been cropped out in the image editting process, really, really, REALLY grates!

Plus, why do we need a clean paint brush pretending to paint or an airbrush hoovering above the model, in the pictures?

I'm sure most of us, by now, know what a paint brush or airbrush look like!

 

Edited by Tony C
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Further to my grumbling at post 26 above I also get irritated with reviews that simply describe the contents of the box and the suggested sequence of assembling them.  What I want to know is are those parts a reasonable, in scale (as far as practicable) facsimile of the full-sized article, is it easy to assemble and, if not, where the problem areas are and how, if at all, they were remedied.  It also helps to find out if the instructions are fit for purpose or if there are “gotchas” waiting for the unwary.  Finally do the decals do what they’re supposed to and look the part once applied?  For a review it doesn’t matter to me which paints were used, how they were applied or whether pre-, post-, in-between-, or up-the-garden-path-shading was applied and whether or not umpty-dozen filters were used, just give me the important bits and I’ll sort out the rest for myself.

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Have to say my biggest issue is the poor editing of the digital issues. Blocks of text missing, clashing colours that make reading captions or looking at images impossible and images lying over text. This isn't just an issue with SAM, rather with almost every magazine I receive digitally. Problem is I've no idea who's best to bring this up with.

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:35 PM, stever219 said:

Further to my grumbling at post 26 above I also get irritated with reviews that simply describe the contents of the box and the suggested sequence of assembling them.  What I want to know is are those parts a reasonable, in scale (as far as practicable) facsimile of the full-sized article, is it easy to assemble and, if not, where the problem areas are and how, if at all, they were remedied.  It also helps to find out if the instructions are fit for purpose or if there are “gotchas” waiting for the unwary.  Finally do the decals do what they’re supposed to and look the part once applied?  For a review it doesn’t matter to me which paints were used, how they were applied or whether pre-, post-, in-between-, or up-the-garden-path-shading was applied and whether or not umpty-dozen filters were used, just give me the important bits and I’ll sort out the rest for myself.

Believe me, we do try and do that as much as possible. When you have a set word count for an article you have to be selective what goes in. For every person like you who gives not a rat's reverse for painting there is someone who will be interested. 
Forgive me here, but to play devil's advocate, you seem to be asking for a build only review, but you want the decals on too. Well to apply decals one really must paint the model, and if you are going to do that in a review you are kind of honour bound to say what you did. 

There is another issue with build type reviews, in that many modern kits are very much fall together things, so for many models one could very easily have a review thats says "I followed the instructions, and the kit went together easily with minimal fuss."  I mean you could drag it out a bit, but essentially that's what you'd say. So what do you do next? well maybe you describe the only thing that differentiates your building of the kit from someone else's- the painting?  See what I mean?. It's tricky to strike a balance, and while I firmly agree that there was a trend a few years ago to be very, very focussed on painting and paint techniques, I would suggest that the magazines are a little more balanced nowadays. 

If you want a nice gritty build review then pick up the next SAM where with luck you'll see me wade into the Special Hobby 1/32nd scale T-33A, a model that needs a muzzle and a leash :)

As you state you "haven't bought a modelling magazine for several years now". Perhaps its time to try one again? Hell I'll even buy you a copy - just PM me your address.

cheers 

Jonners

On 11/21/2019 at 10:47 AM, charlie_c67 said:

Have to say my biggest issue is the poor editing of the digital issues. Blocks of text missing, clashing colours that make reading captions or looking at images impossible and images lying over text. This isn't just an issue with SAM, rather with almost every magazine I receive digitally. Problem is I've no idea who's best to bring this up with.

Sorry you are having problems, contact the editor of the magazines in question. Also, and forgive me for asking, but as you state you are having issues with multiple digital issues and assuming you mean different titles, have you checked your software and OS are up to date? It's amazing how quickly apps will go out of date and stop being supported, or dont support newer features.
I'm not trying to turn the blame on you, but its always worth asking first.

Cheers 

Jonners

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3 minutes ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:

Forgive me here, but to play devil's advocate, you seem to be asking for a build only review, but you want the decals on too. Well to apply decals one really must paint the model, and if you are going to do that in a review you are kind of honour bound to say what you did. 

To be honest, no. The model must be painted, yes, but the techniques used aren’t essential to a kit review. More important, to my mind and especially so in these days of CAD and tight tolerances, are things like whether the instrument panel and other internal details need to be adjusted to let the fuselage fit together. 
 

It's the kind of thing I see in WIP threads on this very forum, and what I try to mention when I’m documenting a build. The way I choose to decorate the model is my own preference, but if the decals are rubbish I’ll mention it. 

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1 hour ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:



Jonners

Sorry you are having problems, contact the editor of the magazines in question. Also, and forgive me for asking, but as you state you are having issues with multiple digital issues and assuming you mean different titles, have you checked your software and OS are up to date? It's amazing how quickly apps will go out of date and stop being supported, or dont support newer features.
I'm not trying to turn the blame on you, but its always worth asking first.

Cheers 

Jonners

He's not alone, but it's a problem I only have with SAM.  Also find that images which are really too small in the paper edition can't be scaled to become of much use digitally either. Quite often this means that decals or text on the image, often the reason it is there, are not decipherable except as coloured, information free blobs. This is using a Kindle Fire, and also the Pocketmags reader on a Windows PC. Being an old fogey, however, I'm afraid I also agree  with many of the complaints about style, fact checking, and editing prowess (or not) expressed by others in this and similar threads. Which means I don't have that much incentive to complain to the editor of the day. I used to, back when every year the then editors of both SAM and SAMI would say how sad it was that Aeroclub products were no longer available since John Adams died, but since I never got a reaction, or saw an in-print apology to John Adams I was quickly disillusioned. 3 (polite) corrections, then rightly or wrongly I gave up. I still subscribe to SAM, as well as Airfix Modelworld, but am beginning to consider voting with my feet, which I am loath to do because it doesn't help.

 

Paul.

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IMHO, in these days of the web, the only thing of interest a printed publication can offer is the "narrative" in the unique style of the writer. If I want previews, what's new etc., I can more easily (and quickly) get that on the web. It's the methodology and technique of the individual reviewer that has the most appeal to me. It's here I'll find new approaches to problems, use of unexpected materials etc. and yes, what paints were used (that's how I discovered Colorcoats).

 

For this reason, I'll read build articles on anything, regardless of whether or not I'll ever buy the model discussed.

 

If I pay for a magazine, I want to be getting something I can't get for free elsewhere - for this reason I think the best value are those articles that cover conversions or scratch building OOB thinking, not OOB building 🙂

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 6:54 PM, stever219 said:

I haven’t bought a modelling magazine for several years now: I’d stuck with SAM since its inception but for me things really came to a head when Jay Laverty took over as editor and I allowed my subscription to lapse.  I used to enjoy articles that explained how and why the modellers had done what they’d done and, better still, where clear photographs of the work in progress were provided.  What I don’t want or need are images the size of a very small postage stamp or a blow-by-blow account of pre-, post, and in-between shading, panel line washes and paint chipping.  Two dozen images of the completed model may fill pages but they’re no substitute for some decent detail close-upsof how the end result was achieved.

 

I'm very much the same .  I bought SAM right from the very first issue but started losing interest when Jay Laverty took over & mucked about with the format .  The last straw , however , was when his Falklands  War 30th Anniversary issue was almost entirely Argentine aircraft .

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3 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

To be honest, no. The model must be painted, yes, but the techniques used aren’t essential to a kit review. More important, to my mind and especially so in these days of CAD and tight tolerances, are things like whether the instrument panel and other internal details need to be adjusted to let the fuselage fit together. 
 

It's the kind of thing I see in WIP threads on this very forum, and what I try to mention when I’m documenting a build. The way I choose to decorate the model is my own preference, but if the decals are rubbish I’ll mention it. 

Thank you Heather for that Meatloaf moment (“You took the words.....”)😉👍.  A review of a new or revised product should tell and show a new modeller what they should end up with if they follow the instructions, assuming that the instructions are followable, those for the MPM Meteors, for example, are not particularly well thought out and could lead an inexperienced modeller attempting to get an assembled main wheel bay and leg into an already assembled wing.

 

It’s also important that reviewers point out any necessary modifications to produce the most accurate rendition possible of the chosen subject, for instance on the Airfix Victor B. 2 and SR. 2 you need to represent a large circular intake in the port wing root leading edge that isn’t provided for in the kit and for the K. 2 you need to add some reinforcing plates to the starboard side of the nose opposite the door and some floodlights in way of the HDU fairing on the fuselage sides.  (Please don’t get me wrong here: neither the MPM Meteor, nor the Airfix Victor is fatally flawed nor terminally unbuildable, but both probably suffer from “what are the accountants going to let us include” syndrome.)

 

I appreciate that reviewers can be given a brief along the lines of “Write 500 words on the new Airfix Hunter F. Mk. 4 and give me 3 images by tomorrow teatime.  Here’s the kit, there aren’t any instructions, just do it” and they have to get on with it.  If you (and your audience) have got the F. Mk. 6 kit you’ve got a bit of a start but in this case concentration on the differences, and how easy or not they are to achieve, might be the way to go.  Whatever any given reviewer does he or she will not be able to please all of the readers all of the time.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:

Believe me, we do try and do that as much as possible. When you have a set word count for an article you have to be selective what goes in. For every person like you who gives not a rat's reverse for painting there is someone who will be interested. 
Forgive me here, but to play devil's advocate, you seem to be asking for a build only review, but you want the decals on too. Well to apply decals one really must paint the model, and if you are going to do that in a review you are kind of honour bound to say what you did. 

There is another issue with build type reviews, in that many modern kits are very much fall together things, so for many models one could very easily have a review thats says "I followed the instructions, and the kit went together easily with minimal fuss."  I mean you could drag it out a bit, but essentially that's what you'd say. So what do you do next? well maybe you describe the only thing that differentiates your building of the kit from someone else's- the painting?  See what I mean?. It's tricky to strike a balance, and while I firmly agree that there was a trend a few years ago to be very, very focussed on painting and paint techniques, I would suggest that the magazines are a little more balanced nowadays. 

If you want a nice gritty build review then pick up the next SAM where with luck you'll see me wade into the Special Hobby 1/32nd scale T-33A, a model that needs a muzzle and a leash :)

As you state you "haven't bought a modelling magazine for several years now". Perhaps its time to try one again? Hell I'll even buy you a copy - just PM me your address.

cheers 

Jonners

Sorry Jonners, I responded to Heather before you (brought up under the “ladies first” system🙄).

 

If you’ve read my earlier post I apologise for reiterating some of it here using different wording.  There are indeed some kits that do fall together and some that fight back every step of the way and, as you rightly point out, that needs to be brought to potential buyers’ attention.  If a kit does fall together and you found a better/simpler/more fun way to do it then so too does that, for example the Airfix 1/48th Javelin main wheel bays and legs can be built up before building the wings around them, rather than trying to juggle a large, heavy model whilst fiddling the jacks and side stays into position.

 

With regard to painting we all have our preferred methods and materials, but “little Johnny” may not have access to these so is stuck with what’s available in a starter set or the local Hobbycraft (other large retailers are available).  By all means use Humbrol 116 or 163 instead of 30 for RAF Dark Green and tell us that you’ve done so and why, or use another manufacturer’s paints altogether to produce a model that can, if need be, sit happily on your display shelves or a display table at a model show, but maybe the “how I painted my review model” might be better suited to a “Tools & Techniques” type article of the sort that SAM (amongst others) used to do so well, and which I usually enjoyed, even if I was too ham-fisted to actually copy.

 

Sadly 1/32nd American post-war jets don’t really fit into my modelling scheme unless they’re wearing RAF national markings, but I’ll certainly have a browse of the next SAM to see what you’ve been up to.  There are a number of reasons why I’ve not bought a modelling magazine for years, often there’s not enough content that appeals to me to justify the cost and living in a late ‘80s built shoe box I’ve no real space in which to keep them being the two uppermost in the decrepit pit that is my mind at present.  Thank you for your kind offer of a free mag though, it is appreciated.

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4 hours ago, Paul Thompson said:

how sad it was that Aeroclub products were no longer available since John Adams died

I think @John Aero will tell you that rumours of his demise have been greatly exagerated! Though his products are sadly missed by many modellers, he's now building models again for the fun of it :thumbsup:

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Thank you Paul and Dave. I just used my mobile to dial my house number, and I answered it!! So I'm still here. 

 

Joking apart, my sudden and enforced retirement and closure of Aeroclub was due to a couple of pressures one of which was the diagnoses of Prostate cancer in 2017, followed by a year and a half of fun. On the Wednesday following this last Telford I went to see my Oncologist who gave me some very good news so "I'm still trying" or as Clare would put it "very"..

 

I now make these model thingies for fun and occasionally assist other companies such as Airfix, Dora Wings and AMG with technical and historic data. I'm now going to put a Lasagna in the oven for when Clare comes home.

 

I'll phone myself again tomorrow..

 

John

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7 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

To be honest, no. The model must be painted, yes, but the techniques used aren’t essential to a kit review. More important, to my mind and especially so in these days of CAD and tight tolerances, are things like whether the instrument panel and other internal details need to be adjusted to let the fuselage fit together. 
 

It's the kind of thing I see in WIP threads on this very forum, and what I try to mention when I’m documenting a build. The way I choose to decorate the model is my own preference, but if the decals are rubbish I’ll mention it. 

If you want a review to mention whether tight tolerances of today's CAD assisted models will fit, then "how" you paint the model is pretty important. For example, if you brush paint you will add more paint into grooves etc and fit will be fouled. If you airbrush that will not "necessarily" be the case. If you mask  surfaces to be glued first (as i know some WNW modeller do to try and reduce these tolerance bases fit problems) then that is a painting technique and is relevant.  Also in terms of painting, how many times have we heard something along the lines of, "the panels lines are a little deep but will look OK under a coat of paint" in a review. Well you have to test that theory if you state it don't you?  so again how you paint it will determine how true that assertion is.

 I would also point out that the old 80's / 90's style of review isn't as prevalent as it used ot be. They are either "in box looks" or builds, the latter tend to be both a review and an, erm ... personal build. I've done some pretty complex WIP threads on here over the years and they are not the same as writing 2500 or 3000 or 200 or 600 words for a magazine with a deadline and a subject you are perhaps not totally "in love" with.

I like your trains too, and I hope that Dornier comes good. 
cheers

Jonners

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3 minutes ago, John Aero said:

Thank you Paul and Dave. I just used my mobile to dial my house number, and I answered it!! So I'm still here. 

 

Joking apart, my sudden and enforced retirement and closure of Aeroclub was due to a couple of pressures one of which was the diagnoses of Prostate cancer in 2017, followed by a year and a half of fun. On the Wednesday following this last Telford I went to see my Oncologist who gave me some very good news so "I'm still trying" or as Clare would put it "very"..

 

I now make these model thingies for fun and occasionally assist other companies such as Airfix, Dora Wings and AMG with technical and historic data. I'm now going to put a Lasagna in the oven for when Clare comes home.

 

I'll phone myself again tomorrow..

 

John

Top news John!  It was great to see you at Telford again too, and thanks for a tour of the Aerodrome :)

Jonners

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37 minutes ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:

I've done some pretty complex WIP threads on here over the years and they are not the same as writing 2500 or 3000 or 200 or 600 words for a magazine with a deadline and a subject you are perhaps not totally "in love" with.

That’s fair enough. I certainly wouldn’t expect an extensive blow-by-blow in a magazine format. My point, really, was that paint techniques are not necessarily relevant to a kit review.

 

Anyway, having edited a couple of society journals in my time, I can empathise with you. Everyone's a critic!

 

I also hope the Dornier comes together. My braincell seems to have had an idea about the nacelles, which I think I’ll go and try now. :) 

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@John Aero glad to see you’re still ‘sticking silly bits of plastic’ together (c) my better half’. More power to your Swan Morton!

 

I enjoyed building your Gnat T.1 in 1/72 in the day and still have it in my AMARC.

 

An appreciative Trevor

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My main issue with some articles I have seen recently has been the amount of space given over to preshading, weathering, panel line shading etc, etc. OK once or twice is fair enough and some repetition is probably relevant to catch new readers, but to me it gets boring after a while. 

I am fully aware of having to fill space to fit a word count and a deadline, it was part of my academic life, both writing and the great many pieces of work I had to read and assess over the years. 

What I do find interesting is the lack of articles where someone builds a model using a conversion or does  a different variant themselves. You find a goodly number on here, but not in the printed magazines. 

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After about 10 plus years of not buying any model magazine, I decided to treat myself to a magazine this month(I did browse magazines in Smiths, but nothing really induced me to buy) I found I had been correct in NOT buying magazines?  I agree whole heartedly with ckw and Mr T in the posts above ..……the model makers submitting builds or commissioned to build for articles no longer know what OOB means as during the build, they will let slip they replaced the cockpit seat followed by an after market wheel set, etc etc, some modellers in the write up name the paint they are using and if the colour is not right, the ratio of various colours used, weathering pre- shading, nothing to do with a straight forward build...……..photos becoming smaller and smaller, this is not OOB, not only does this increase the cost of the kit, but for beginners who have not worked with resin before, could present problems...…….What was advertised as an easy kit to build soon takes on large job and a straight OOB build becomes an endurance test.  

 

What annoys me more than anything, I checked out Smiths recently, every magazine seems to build the latest released models at the same time and consequently most magazines have the same content...…….As Mr T says above, a complete lack of articles of/for conversions of kits...…..I hope somebody does a kit build and conversion of the recently released Airfix Hunter  and the Hawker Hunter T7 conversion...…..Alan Hall always ran conversion topics in his magazine and how to achieve a wonderful result. We need more conversion topics and somebody that knows what Out Of the Box means

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mr T said:

My main issue with some articles I have seen recently has been the amount of space given over to preshading, weathering, panel line shading etc, etc. OK once or twice is fair enough and some repetition is probably relevant to catch new readers, but to me it gets boring after a while. 

I am fully aware of having to fill space to fit a word count and a deadline, it was part of my academic life, both writing and the great many pieces of work I had to read and assess over the years. 

What I do find interesting is the lack of articles where someone builds a model using a conversion or does  a different variant themselves. You find a goodly number on here, but not in the printed magazines. 

I'm very very sorry but we do not fill space to fit a word count. That is actually as offensive as me suggesting you must have been a third rate academic or a clock-watching form filler to do that in your field. 

If you find the lack of articles about conversions to be an empty point in your periodical life, then do what i did, practice, what you preach. I did a conversion of the Eduard Tempest V into Mk II using the old MDC resin set, and Tamiya mag asked me to write about it.  I'm working on that Hunter T8 conversion at the moment, it might be published, it might not. 

I appreciate the annoyance at the lack of what you want - so do something! Write an article for gods sake!  

I do appreciate magazines cannot be all things to all people. Is there anything you do like in them?

cheers
Jonners

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10 minutes ago, rayprit said:

After about 10 plus years of not buying any model magazine, I decided to treat myself to a magazine this month(I did browse magazines in Smiths, but nothing really induced me to buy) I found I had been correct in NOT buying magazines?  I agree whole heartedly with ckw and Mr T in the posts above ..……the model makers submitting builds or commissioned to build for articles no longer know what OOB means as during the build, they will let slip they replaced the cockpit seat followed by an after market wheel set, etc etc, some modellers in the write up name the paint they are using and if the colour is not right, the ratio of various colours used, weathering pre- shading, nothing to do with a straight forward build...……..photos becoming smaller and smaller, this is not OOB, not only does this increase the cost of the kit, but for beginners who have not worked with resin before, could present problems...…….What was advertised as an easy kit to build soon takes on large job and a straight OOB build becomes an endurance test.  

 

What annoys me more than anything, I checked out Smiths recently, every magazine seems to build the latest released models at the same time and consequently most magazines have the same content...…….As Mr T says above, a complete lack of articles of/for conversions of kits...…..I hope somebody does a kit build and conversion of the recently released Airfix Hunter  and the Hawker Hunter T7 conversion...…..Alan Hall always ran conversion topics in his magazine and how to achieve a wonderful result. We need more conversion topics and somebody that knows what Out Of the Box means

 

 

Why not do the conversion of the T7/T8 yourself and submit it? Perhaps write an article about working with resin? Maybe do a quick build OOB for a beginner using just the colours on the instruction sheet. Come on - participate - help - do something useful and give something back. 
The issue of simultaneous builds in different magazines is I admit annoying. Thing is we are all modellers so when a good kit comes out we all want to build it!   BTW you assume that when asked to do a build we are asked to do OOB. Given the amount of aftermarket at Telford and the rate it disappeared off the shelves, and given the rate at which Hannants sells out of resin and PE for any new release I'd say most modellers stock up on the stuff like a junky hordes skag. It seems many modellers like aftermarket, so I guess when we use it in articles we reflect that.

I didn't notice much balsa, talc or dope on sale at Telford though ... times change perhaps?

Cheers, 
Jonners

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1 hour ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:

I'm very very sorry but we do not fill space to fit a word count.

I have to say, back in the days when I did reviews for Gary's SAMI and the odd build for AMW, the word count was always something I had to work hard to get DOWN to, not the other way round... I'd say it took about a third of the total time for each of first writing the article, then cutting it down to length, and finally writing all the captions. What you probably don't appreciate until you have to do it, though, is the additional burden of stopping regularly in the build to take "in progress" photos IN THE HOUSE STYLE (so none of the quick benchtop shots most of us use in WIP threads), and finally taking the finished article (RFI) pictures to the expected standard (brightly lit, 100% in focus over the entire model...) It's all a lot harder than sometimes the results in print make it look...

 

best,

M.

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