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AltcarBoB

What model aircraft magazine should I get

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I have been offered a digital subscription to a magazine for my birthday in May and I was wondering what to get. What model magazines are available I am a bit out of touch with magazines and the only local shop selling papers/magazines wasnt interested in my business when I asked what was available to order.

 

I build military aircraft kits in 1/72 but I am looking to get into military vehicles and artillery in 1/35, not really interested in anything post 1960ish or anything civilian.

 

I used to buy Airfix magazine and another called iirc Model Construtor Magazine when I was a spotty oik and I see Airfix magazine is still going. Should I just go for Airfix magazine or is there something else I should look out for.

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I looked at this around a year ago and found none of them fit for purpose, poor editing, photo rich, writing poor, finishing focussed and totally uncritical so as not to upset advertisers. Coffee table catalogues at best. A generalisation which I am sure that there may be the odd article that is up to snuff but still not enough to justify a subscription.

 

I do get one modelling magazine which I look forward to and that is the IPMS magazine.

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I'd have to agree .  The great days of the modelling magazine are long gone .  Pretty much anything you need to know on any modelling subject is available right here & , unlike magazines , you can ask questions if there's something you don't understand .

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Thought that would be the case, I used to take a couple of model railway mags and they got very bland and boring.

43 minutes ago, dromia said:

I looked at this around a year ago and found none of them fit for purpose, poor editing, photo rich, writing poor, finishing focussed and totally uncritical so as not to upset advertisers. Coffee table catalogues at best. A generalisation which I am sure that there may be the odd article that is up to snuff but still not enough to justify a subscription.

 

I do get one modelling magazine which I look forward to and that is the IPMS magazine.

 

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15 minutes ago, rs2man said:

I'd have to agree .  The great days of the modelling magazine are long gone .  Pretty much anything you need to know on any modelling subject is available right here & , unlike magazines , you can ask questions if there's something you don't understand .

I do like a magazine to read while on the porcelain.

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48 minutes ago, dromia said:

I looked at this around a year ago and found none of them fit for purpose, poor editing, photo rich, writing poor, finishing focussed and totally uncritical so as not to upset advertisers. Coffee table catalogues at best. A generalisation which I am sure that there may be the odd article that is up to snuff but still not enough to justify a subscription.

 

5 minutes ago, rs2man said:

Pretty much anything you need to know on any modelling subject is available right here & , unlike magazines , you can ask questions if there's something you don't understand .

These two quotes pretty much sum up the case for me too. I'd use the subscription for another interest which has decent magazines still available.

 

As well as earlier comments I'd add that you never see an honest review in a magazine both for advertising and the risk of interrupting freebie samples. I had a conversation sometime back with a well-known editor who claimed that purchasing review models and doing honest articles would 'cost too much money'. Model magazines have fallen to the level of 'trade magazines' except those are free in your local builders merchant/electrical wholesaler and help a new idea gain traction. In our hobby we pay for it and manufacturer feedback has been zero although that is starting to change.

 

On the other hand magazine/book hybrids are flourishing and many are very good indeed. Morton's media do some that you may like.

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1 hour ago, dromia said:

I do get one modelling magazine which I look forward to and that is the IPMS magazine.

Just had a look at the IPMS website and I have decided to join. Thanks for the recommendation 👍

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Be aware that unfortunately IPMS seem to be moving towards all farcebook communication, their forum is moribund and they are considering closing it down. I just hope this doesn't signal the end of the magazine as well. All communication through this execrable medium is a real blow to people like me who will not use such corrupt platforms, all eggs in one basket is never a good idea in my experience. I hope this place does does not go the same way.

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2 hours ago, dromia said:

Be aware that unfortunately IPMS seem to be moving towards all farcebook communication, their forum is moribund and they are considering closing it down. I just hope this doesn't signal the end of the magazine as well. All communication through this execrable medium is a real blow to people like me who will not use such corrupt platforms, all eggs in one basket is never a good idea in my experience. I hope this place does does not go the same way.

Hmm I didnt notice that I would rather stab myself in the eye with a rusty nail than use Facebook.

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I've been a member of IPMS for 34 years and have never used Facebook. The magazine is a good general magazine and there are lots of local groups and SIGs to join. I wouldn't be without it

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It’s horses for courses but I have had a subscription to AMW for the last two years and I am quite happy with it. As with any magazine, printed or digital, there will be the odd edition that doesn’t always satisfy the reader but in my experience I often find myself going back to old issues for another read and end up finding that edition with nothing of appeal at the time has something to offer after all. 

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I'm an IPMS member and dont use facebook and find their magazine is enjoyable.  I buy the SAM magazine or AMW on alternate months or miss them all together.

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4 hours ago, dromia said:

I hope this place does does not go the same way.

We shan't be decamping to Facebook in my lifetime. It's useful to tell our members that use it about new reviews etc., but as a repository of information it's dire. You can hardly find anything that has dropped off the bottom of the page.

 

The forum is busy, and if it stays that way, we'll be here :)

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17 minutes ago, Mike said:

We shan't be decamping to Facebook in my lifetime.

Good news I tried Facebook for a while but could feel my IQ heading towards single figures.

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Just now, AltcarBoB said:

Good news I tried Facebook for a while but could feel my IQ heading towards single figures.

Does -7 not count as single figures then? :wicked:

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9 hours ago, SleeperService said:

As well as earlier comments I'd add that you never see an honest review in a magazine both for advertising and the risk of interrupting freebie samples. I

 

As a regular (though not so much recently) reviewer for three top magazines and the IPMS/USA website since 2001, I resent that very much. I've never shied away from objectively criticizing a product when reviewing kits, decals or books when it is necessary, nor do I recall any of my editors censoring my remarks. I do not go into 'attack mode,' like some on the Internet, because that is unfair and unnecessary, but I will always offer thoughtful criticism when warranted. 

 

I am a consumer of those items as well, I spend my hard-earned on products just like the rest of you; I would not knowingly mislead the rest of the modelling community. I am sure it is the case that some reviewers gloss over issues, but please don't tar us all with the same brush!

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As for OP's query, may I suggest you search for free trial digital issues - many magazines do this now and it might be a good way to see what strikes your fancy before committing. I don't do e-mags, but still get two monthly model mags plus IPMS. All have their advantages and disadvantages, but that's a personal thing - what one finds good or bad might be very different to what YOU find good or bad.

 

You might also get the latest issues of a couple of print mags just to suck it and see. 

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37 minutes ago, Paul Bradley said:

As a regular (though not so much recently) reviewer

I stand by my comment. The issue with poor reviews has been recent, and the editor I refer to was possibly one you worked for. What I wrote and what he said amounted to the same thing. There were several in the group and it did cause comment.

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Then we shall have to agree to disagree. I see your statement as being a blanket, and I resent my work ethic being impugned.

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I am fortunate that I have complete collections of modelling magazines, Airfix, Scale Models, Military Modelling, Modelworld, Aircraft Illustrated, Scale Aircraft Modelling, from the late 1960's through to the mid 1980s and again from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s and this period included Scale Aviation Modelling international, the Tamiya comic, Fine Scale modeller, Military In Scale, 1/72 scale Modeller, 1/48 Scale modeller, Aircraft Modeller International. Combined with the excellent modelling books of the first period I have more than enough high quality modelling reference to see me out. So I have a lot to compare with the contemporary crop of of modelling comics and they are a mere shadows and a shallow reflection of the hobby nowadays in comparison to the sixties, seventies and eighties. The internet and the digital revolution has killed off quality periodical publications. The plus side is that we are now colour image rich and this is good, also forums have their place but many now seem to being supplanted by the social media rubbish, this however has been at the expense of quality writing and editorial integrity and the world is a poorer place for that. Also the move to digital editions is worrying as screen reading is poor experience compared to the joy of a real book or magazine. If you removed the internet from me It would not effect my life or modelling very much but if you took away my old books and magazines then my life and hobby would truly be bereft.

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I've recently taken yet another five or six armloads of magazines to the tip (even the charity shops won't take them of your hands now for "50p each, three for a quid") and the only ones I've kept back are the Airfix magazines, simply because their more catholic coverage does illustrate the breadth of the hobby.

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I continue to buy and read magazines. The value to me is not in whether they have long-term use - I throw 90% of them away as soon as they've been read - but the pleasure I derive in reading them when they arrive.

 

I think the blanket comment above on the lack of impartiality of magazine contributors is unfair and demonstrably false. The most recent issue of Airfix Model World includes an obviously critical build of the Clearprop 1/72 Gloster jet by Mike Grant. It's not written with any histrionics but the shortcomings of the kit are made clear. That's not too say *some* editors and *some* contributors are insufficiently critical in my view.

 

My current view of the magazines covering aircraft is:

 

Scale Aircraft Modeller - has a newish editor which has meant a rise in the quality of the builds featured but a drop in writing standard (Gary Hatcher knew how to *write*). Typos continue to be annoying, but not enough to stop me reading it, although the editor lets too many clauses stand as sentences which is irritating to read. Still has a good amount of text to read and features articles with a wide breadth of coverage - e.g. most recent issue with Jon K-T's article on vac-forming canopies. I shall be renewing my subscription to this magazine.

 

Airfix Model World - has probably been my favourite magazine recently due to high production and editorial standards (compared to the competition). Mainly covers aircraft, but is suitably catholic in its coverage of other subjects. I let my subscription lapse recently and then immediately regretted it and bought the last issue off the shelf, even though there was no model in my scale or subject range of interest to me. 

 

Model Airplane International - poor quality paper, annoying editorial style (huge overuse of gerunds) but, worst of all, is very thin on content and what content there is is usually repeated. How many Spitfires/Mustangs/Fw190s/Furies/etc. does a magazine need to feature? The impression is that this magazine will build and review everything and anything by Eduard. MAI has also been guilty of reprinting articles wholesale, which I resent as I've already paid for it and read it once. In the past the editor has let the content be driven (at least partially) by spats on the internet. On the plus side, the standard of modelling is usually quite good and the comment by Jonathan Mock always worth a read. I let my subscription lapse a couple of months ago and don't regret it.

 

Scale Aviation Modelling International - in terms of grammar and spelling, so badly edited it's embarrassing. I occasionally buy it when I need something to read and I'm out and about, but the articles are generally too short or the modelling quality too low to be of much interest. Haven't subscribed for years and don't intend to start.

 

Model Aircraft Monthly - nice subjects and often nice models, but the text is so short it's often useless, and suffers from the same editorial mess as SAMI. Never subscribed and can't see that changing.

 

Military Illustrated Modeller - bimonthly aviation edition has nice models and great production. I subscribed electronically for a long time. However, cost is very high and the content rather thin for subjects and scales I am interested in, so I've let it lapse. I really like Brett Green as an editor and think this is a good magazine.

 

Meng AIR Modeller - fantastic modelling with very high production values, but usually too expensive for me to consider buying and, strangely perhaps, not enough content to maintain my interest for long.

 

Fine Scale Modeler - used to buy this a lot 10-20 years ago, but just doesn't have much content to justify a purchase these days.

 

Jon

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3 hours ago, Dave Batt said:

six armloads of magazines to the tip

Like Dave...…….I recently came back from 2-3 trips to the tip...……….took a lot of magazines to the tip...……..I decided anything over 3 years old and anything not read in the past 3 years had to go(apart from my books and reference library)However I did hold back on Airfix Model World...…….I do like the format of the builds and content and love there photography.  Scale Aircraft Modeller went as did Fine Scale Modeller, used to buy the  IPMS mag, but just doesn't have much content relevant to me to justify a purchase these days you name it.....they all went...…...not into digital mags...………I found when researching items in these mags, that the articles have all become dated and no longer relevant...….someone, somewhere has recently bought the article upto date or as so often happens, I can find it very easily on the Internet...……..couldn't be bothered to sell them on Ebay as that site is awash with old magazines.  

Currently only one magazine worthy of buying(not subscribing) that's Airfix Model World...………..I browse in Smiths and if its relevant for me then, I buy it.

 

2 hours ago, Jon Bryon said:

Fine Scale Modeler

 

I think Jon above speaks for me as everything he said I concur with, same reasons I stopped buying ALL the magazines above

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I have ordered a couple of back copies of Airfix magazine to have a look. I need something to read while I am in isolation

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8 hours ago, AltcarBoB said:

I have ordered a couple of back copies of Airfix magazine to have a look. I need something to read while I am in isolation

It is a good magazine to have. It has a decent range of subjects, the builds are high quality and it is a good read. 

 

I hope you like it!

 

Ray

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