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SAMI, MAM, June & July issues


KLN

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I was thinking of the individual segments of the modelling market within the UK.  I've no direct knowledge of the other countries you mention.  (OK, maybe a bit of the US,)  Why britain has more hobby magazines than other countries is an interesting question in itself, but not the point being made.

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12 hours ago, Ade H said:

I can think of five or six about aircraft alone, unless you're discounting the bi-monthlies. I've always been surprised by how many we have, not least because of the poor quality of most of them. Other major modelling markets generally seem to have far fewer.

Would you care to elucidate further on which you deem to be poor quality, and more importantly why?  I'm keen to ensure that we give our readers a high quality , interesting issue each month; so I'm always interested when comments like "not least because of the poor quality of most of them" are bandied around.

I think it's important to discuss these things.

Jon
p.s. to clarify, I'm Assistant Editor, SAM (that's the magazines that's been published on time each month, consistently- just to clarify)

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One of the factors which allows smaller circulation magazines to keep going is the reduction in compilation, composition and printing costs. In theory, you don't need to print or sell as many magazines as you used to make a profit - and that is what makes the current  publication reasonably viable, even at these relatively low levels of sales.

 

Maybe we are coming to the end of this era. I found out yesterday, after buying the most recent edition of Fine Scale Modeler, that they are reducing their publication rate to just 6 editions a year.

Edited by Eric Mc
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1 hour ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:

Would you care to elucidate further on which you deem to be poor quality, and more importantly why?  I'm keen to ensure that we give our readers a high quality , interesting issue each month; so I'm always interested when comments like "not least because of the poor quality of most of them" are bandied around.

I think it's important to discuss these things.

Jon
p.s. to clarify, I'm Assistant Editor, SAM (that's the magazines that's been published on time each month, consistently- just to clarify)

 It wasn't my statement but out of the three (SAM, SAMI and MAM) that I once purchased regularly SAM is the only one I ever buy now and has been for quite a few years. What attracts me about it are the 'Aircraft in Profile' piece (depending on the type featured, naturally), 'Colour Conundrum', 'Tailpiece' and the fact that you publish articles on converting/improving old kits, e.g. Dave Hooper's Avro 504 article in May 2021 and Brian Derbyshire's on the Frog Mitchell in July. Also, reviews/build articles on kits I might actually buy, like the Airfix Beaufort, and other factual articles like the recent one on USAF ASW squadrons. I used to rate MAM very highly because of its often groundbreaking historical articles coupled with a modelling feature, such as Tony O'Toole's on Baltimores and Venturas. These days its historical/"real aviation" content is thin at best and it seems to consist almost entirely of articles about assembling and finishing the sort of kit that I'm not going to buy, so the magazine is of no interest to me. I see SAMI in much the same light. I think the last issues I bought were two consecutive ones that included articles on detailing the Airfix SM79.

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I summarised a sincerely held personal opinion, formed by reading most of the British (plus several foreign) modelling magazines on and off for the last few years, but if you think that it was "bandied around", you're not exactly encouraging me to "elucidate further" are you?

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24 minutes ago, Ade H said:

I summarised a sincerely held personal opinion, formed by reading most of the British (plus several foreign) modelling magazines on and off for the last few years, but if you think that it was "bandied around", you're not exactly encouraging me to "elucidate further" are you?

Then my apologies for an ill-considered turn of phrase - please do elucidate further.

Jonners

 

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37 minutes ago, AWFK10 said:

 It wasn't my statement but out of the three (SAM, SAMI and MAM) that I once purchased regularly SAM is the only one I ever buy now and has been for quite a few years. What attracts me about it are the 'Aircraft in Profile' piece (depending on the type featured, naturally), 'Colour Conundrum', 'Tailpiece' and the fact that you publish articles on converting/improving old kits, e.g. Dave Hooper's Avro 504 article in May 2021 and Brian Derbyshire's on the Frog Mitchell in July. Also, reviews/build articles on kits I might actually buy, like the Airfix Beaufort, and other factual articles like the recent one on USAF ASW squadrons. I used to rate MAM very highly because of its often groundbreaking historical articles coupled with a modelling feature, such as Tony O'Toole's on Baltimores and Venturas. These days its historical/"real aviation" content is thin at best and it seems to consist almost entirely of articles about assembling and finishing the sort of kit that I'm not going to buy, so the magazine is of no interest to me. I see SAMI in much the same light. I think the last issues I bought were two consecutive ones that included articles on detailing the Airfix SM79.

I'm glad to see we seem to be doing things you enjoy in that case! :)
I'll pass this on, as it tells us what readers like. We obviously try and cater for all tastes, and while the "new shiny kits" will always need to be looked at we do think its important to feature articles about conversions, updating older models, vacforms etc etc.

Cheers and thanks for replying

Jonners
 

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@Jon Kunac-TabinorI have the same views on SAM. I think the mix of articles is very good, and the way they are currently written (step by step guides) is also very good. I have a subscription which was purchased for me as a gift, and have asked (very nicely....) for it to be renewed this year! With regards to the magazines that his tread is about (which we do seem to have drifted off topic a little bit(!)), they used to have a similar basis, however, over the last few years, seem to have drifted more towards the "this is my completed model - how wonderful does it look" sort of article, with very little explanation of how they got there, and very few pictures of the process. Similarly the mix of Historical to build articles in SAM over SAMI/MAM is very good as well.

 

I buy most aviation related modelling magazines (SAM, MAI, AMW, Modelling Illustrated Monthly (air) & Air Modeller) and find that all have their plus points (and very minor bad points). I do also buy FSM, but have noticed that they have been reducing in content over the last few months, and with their change to a bi-monthly publication, will probably stop buying it after the current issue. That for me is the weakest out of all the magazines currently on sale in the UK. I am aware it is a US focused magazine, but it has had some interesting articles over the time that I have been buying it. Well, that's my tuppence worth of comment!

 

Please keep on keeping on and doing what you are doing in my eyes (well, extremely short sighted eyes 👀 at least ) you are doing a lot very right at SAM/Guideline Publications!

 

Regards

 

John B

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On 11/1/2021 at 2:14 PM, John B (Sc) said:

I'd expect online publishing to increase, 'spruecutter', but there are always going to be folk who prefer to read physical text rather than view on a screen.  Many of us do both, and some of my youngest friends and relatives are amongst the keenest reader of what I will call 'real' books and magazines, Still rather easier to re-read, annotate and look back over text on a paper page, so I think some magazines will remain - maybe in both forms or as hybrids. 

 

Yep. And in my experience it's a lot less hassle if you drop your magazine in the bath rather than your phone.  

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1 hour ago, John B (Sc) said:

 

Wow.  I wonder what is in it, and who the editorial team is?

Hi John

Not had a look as at work at the mo and everything that is delivered goes into quarantine  for 3 days generally. 

I will add that  I have lost interest in the magazine too and will cut out ant useful articles and then recycle the rest.  Won't be renewing my subscription with SAMI. 

I have a subscription with SAM and tgat is a great magazine,  that will do me now.

Chris

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Thanks 'bigbadbadge'. I shall look forward to hearing more in due course.

 

I do know what you mean, sadly.  I too used to get SAMI regularly, but have little inclination to do so again, which is a shame.

I see the 'new' company publishing SAMI, Triple Six Media, says on its website "We are currently contracted to produce International Best Selling magazines in the hobby industry for MA Publications."  Quite an interesting way to describe it, given that the officers of Triple Six Media appear to be the same people who are listed as the officers of MA Publications. 

 

Like you I still enjoy SAM, though its a while since I had a subscription.  Used to get it from my newsagent for the first few years ; I still have Issue 1 somewhere.  Hopefully it and other good magazines will continue to fill the gap for me! 

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Mine arrived as well.

 

This is the October/November issue! so we have missed the June & July so that's 2 issues owed, then we get the combined Aug/Sept and now this Oct/Nov, so a further 2 issues owed to subscribers, making a total of 4 issues missed by the publishers.

 

Cover is printed in a overall bumpy surface texture and the pages re a thinner but gloss texture which all suggests a different printer, read into that what you will.

Andy has done the forward. Andy is the ME and Tim is the AE.

4 kit reviews from their 'sections'.

Further 7 builds after the decal section.

 

Judging by the news its about a month or two behind as they state that Zvesda is bring out a C-130J-30 which is now released and not news per se. Also announced the Airfix Tempest schemes but don't detail them or show them and the Kotare spitfire. Total of 2 pages dedicated to news of the 82 pages.

 

Show diary lists Eday at the 2nd October. again indicating that this issue should have been published back in August as the September issue.

 

Back page 'In the next issue, December.

All remnants of MA publications has gone. Its all under the triple six media ltd

 

This again feels like its a right old mish mash of old content and potential builds.

 

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Out of curiosity I visited our W H Smith in Kidderminster this morning - and yes, SAMI and MAI October/November issues were there on the shelf!

 

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MA Publications

The ongoing saga of missing magazines, excuses & promises.

 

Well  as a subscriber since the start of the 3 titles I am still awaiting my copies of the August/September 2021 & now the October / November 2021 issues, Mark has made promises over the last month to send out copies of the Aug/Oct issues, but so far nothing..

Having seen today at W.H.Smiths  (Thursday 4th November) the latest editions of all 3 titles, they looks & feels like it has been printed on a lower/poorer grade paper & lacks the quality of previous copies.  A sign of financial troubles maybe? 

So I have had enough of the promises & excuses and if by the 10th November 2021 I have not received copies owed I will expect a FULL refund of my subscription to cover non received magazines.

After that date it will be a discussion with my credit card company over non receipt of goods.

 

Think it is time for MA Publications to do the right thing and come clean as to the state of the Company & refund subscribers owed monies for titles not produced. 

Take a look at their website, the one on German Armour was due in February 2021, now mid November 2021, will it actually be available? Glad that I did not place an order for it.

 

Shame that I will not be at Telford for SMW as I would like to see a Phoenix rise (whatever that maybe). 

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On 11/3/2021 at 6:23 PM, Hardtarget said:

Judging by the news its about a month or two behind as they state that Zvesda is bring out a C-130J-30 which is now released and not news per se. Also announced the Airfix Tempest schemes but don't detail them or show them and the Kotare spitfire. Total of 2 pages dedicated to news of the 82 pages.

 

I still occasionally take delight in revisiting the "new to you" section in SMI and SAM of 40 years ago. But reading the announcement of a kit that has been on the market for some time simply is "yesterday's papers". IMHO it shows some kind of attitude to not even bother to assemble to new pages with current news; but then maybe they had the whole package together and prepared residing at the printer, who demanded an advance payment (which would be perfectly normal for a company with a not-so-good credit rating).

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I am a subscriber since Vol 1, #1. Last issue recieved was Nov 2020. Just received today the Aug/Sept issue in today’s mail.

masthead still says it’s a monthly but the cover says otherwise. No explanation of anything between the covers. Guess it’s goodbye to old SAMI.

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I'm a SAMI and MAM subscriber in Germany, and had similar problems receiving any issues after November 2020. Dave, at the time working for the magazines, 

very kindly helped me out with the December 2020 through April 2021 issues - contacting Mark at MA was a total loss and did not result in anything but 
soothing promises which were never kept.

 

Out of the blue, I did receive May 2021 issues for both magazines, and in the last days, August/September 2021 for MAM.

 

You will have a pretty good chance of guessing the odds of me renewing my subscriptions ... 

 

 

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