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www.scalemodellingnow.com - launch!


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Hello Everyone, :welcome:

I'm really excited to be able to announce the launch of www.scalemodellingnow.com a major new scale model mag for all of you interested in military subjects: Aircraft, Armour or Maritime.

You may know me, Geoff Coughlin? perhaps from my posts here or from visiting my old website? I've launched this new mag after some serious investment in all senses of the word, to try and bring to modellers a completely new experience that looks to overcome so many of the problems we face these days with paper-based magazines: loads of adverts? Not enough images? Chopped articles? Where do you put all the mags you buy? Can you quickly find an article or review? I guess the list goes on...

This new magazine is aimed at modellers of all levels; Feature Articles for those more experienced (with add-ons and extra detail); Club Model for those new to or returning to the hobby and a large number of Full Reviews for the majority in between.

SMN is building rapidly and as Editor, I'm leading a team of 17 talented reviewers bringing members:

- daily and weekly updates (a full detailed Early Inspection Review of the Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IX is already there - within 24 hours of getting the kit)

- lots more images per review and more words - we have no specific deadlines and space issues so I allocate what's needed to do the job

- special ZOOM images in every review and Early Inspection Review (EIR) - these are great and allow you to actually zoom in to see all the detail in the areas you

need like cockpits, turrets, flight decks and wheel wells - whatever?

- a large Techniques Bank (TB) - lots of 'how-to' techniques fully illustrated, with short videos demonstrations to follow soon

- access to a huge Photo Reference Library (PRL) where you can access type-specific sets of images (aircraft and armour at present) to help with much needed

reference

- storage problems solved! it's all kept securely on-line so you can just go and refer to, read and even download PDF hard copies of full and Feature Articles when

you want - like when you're building a project and want a copy of the review to refer to?

- ask the Info Doctor - any technical reference questions you need answered - ask away to our dedicated team (aircraft, armour and maritime questions)

Do take a look - Mike has agreed to a sub-forum for all those members and others interested in following SMN here in Britmodeller.com - so chat away there and please let me know what you think? And do contact me directly if you have any questions and suggestions... thanks.

Best wishes,

Geoff

Geoff Coughlin, Editor

www.scalemodellingnow.com

geoff@scalemodellingnow.com

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I am suprised at the lack of comments, THANK YOU Geoff, It looks very good, have bookmarked it. will think about registering when Chrissy is over and wish you well with it :)

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I'm awkward. But I'm not un-typical of web users. If anything, I have more patient than most.

I just spent a few mins looking over the site, and like most, I skimmed through most of it. I didn't see anything that made me want to sign up. In fact I hate signing up to anything, even if it's free. If I have to pay I really need some incentive!

I don't mean you have to give me something for nuffing... I mean I must really want to get in there because you have something I want.

The problem is that I haven't seen what it is that you got. So how do I know if there is anything useful in there? I sure as hell don't want to pay to find out what you have.

I did see the Pay-as-you-go option. I like that, I don't like subscriptions. And I'm happy to pay a fair price for things I want.

I did see the tower-banner that said 'Currently available in the members area'. I tried clicking on the button-like graphics hoping I would come to a directory of content, maybe some teasers. But nothing happened.

I looked around for a list of your articles. I didn't see anything obvious although I clicked on a few buttons. I got a stiff neck and gave up...

As Steve Krug would say, I visited the website with a certain amount of good will. As I am a bit of a High-D type personality, I asked, "What's in it for me". And every click I made trying to find out ate away at the good will.

I clicked more than I normally would because I read the above and you asked us to tell us what you think.

The good news is that its easily fixed. The bad news is that if I ask a search engine a question, and it serves me a page that looks like it is promising me the answer... but then I find out that I have to pay for it... I get really wee weed off. Maybe that's why the business model you have chosen isn't the one most magazines are choosing?

Other than that, I like it, it's clean, simple, follows all the standard conventions, and I love the zoom-lens on some of the photos... I'm fond of using this on my websites. Being able to download it as a PDF is another good feature.

I wish you all the best with this venture, it looks promising.

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Maybe that's why the business model you have chosen isn't the one most magazines are choosing?

This sums up my thoughts. I don't think this is a business model that works in this market. The vast majority of the commercial web is based on advertising income, not subscriptions.

Many people, including myself, are contributing reviews, builds and features to free community sites (without hope for any reward other than feedback).

However, I may not be your target audience, as I don't buy magazines.

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Geoff's kindly given me a month's access to the new site, to enable me to give you all a taste of what's in there. I'll be pootling round there shortly (when I've sent Geoff my details) and will report back in the reviews section when I've scoped it out :)

I'd like to wish Geoff good luck with his new endeavour too... if it works out, it could change the way we think of "modelling magazines", and make them more immediately accessible, and up to date.

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Wish u well, but as has been said already a 50 pounds a year subscription won't work I don't think, this site is superb ,free, and offers ostensibly the same content but has been up and running well for some time, as have many others

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Just saw this thread.

Well, this puts me in a cleft stick. I already buy Tamiya mag- now the ONLY "cross- genre" mag out there. Perfect photography, and so on. So is this as well as- or instead of?

I DO see the benefits of this and am quite tempted, but it IS expensive, and the other negative is that you can't take your pc to the bog with you, or take it to bed- well, maybe some do...?

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I already buy Tamiya mag- now the ONLY "cross- genre" mag out there. Perfect photography, and so on.

Sadly dosn't do owt for me because of the total lack of Non Military subjects. Not truly Cross-Genre if you miss out that significant a lump of the potential readership.

I subscribe to Tamiya Mag (well you just do don't you) and also I'm trialing Max Modelling the new C-G from the AFV Modeller guys.

This however leaves me very cold.

THC

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Would'nt pay for access to a modelling site certainly not £50 as I had my fingers burnt when the Narvis site folded.

But as others have said all the best,

Malcolm

Edited by Mal
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Im my experience people usually only sign up for things 2 on the net and that is porn and newsgroups ( to get the porn they dont want to pay for) but for only £4 a month seems alright to me if you want to pay it.

Quite a few years ago one of the biggest simulation sites around Combatsim went Pay only most folk deserted the site and made SIMHQ thee place to go as it was free. Combatsim have since changed the policy of locking everybody out of there site and you can view quite a bit of the website now. The damage was done and its never been the same since.

Good luck.

Me a cynic...noooo

Edited by Pilgrim_UK
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This raises an interesting question re web content. As we've seen with the recent Google/ Murdoch deal to limit free views of paid for content: The accepted norm for the net for most sites is free access, but perhaps with Geoff's site we are seeing someone try to provide more detailed content without having to raise revenue via sponsors ( which of course can lead to accusations of bias when reviewing product).

I'm going to think on this, and I like the pay per issue option too. I say good luck and hope it goes well.

Jonners

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Had a look but the biggest problem has already been covered. With a new magazine you can buy a copy and get a feel for it or even flick through it at a newsagents. After checking through the site I really had no idea what was on offer and frankly the "Big Sexy Builds by Celebrity Modellers" thing does nothing for me. This hobby seems to be getting close to information overload and elitism. The "Airfix Big Christmas Model" syndrome seems to have become a new modelling religion (there is definitely something psychological going on there). There are now at least six dedicated aircraft modelling English language magazines available here and all of them to a lesser or greater degree scratch that itch. While I'm in grumpy rant mode I noticed that the kit reviews in one well-known modelling magazine don't even tell you what the markings options are or what you get in the box!

Good luck with it but I won't hold my breath.

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Site looks great - I wish Geoff the very best with this...

But - having been in the Internet Industry as a senior marketeer since 1997 - and having been involved in trying to build a music lessons site that started off buy trying to sell content (of extremely high quality - and to a huge potential audience) and found that didn't work I have my doubts as to viability of the business model in it's current format.

As has been said - the net 'community' in general have got used to getting stuff for free - and in the modelling world there is no shortage of free content.

With the music site we changed the model to include mostly free content - generating most of it's revenue from advertising. But - to make that work profitably you need pretty large traffic numbers and click-through rates.

Current 'buzz-word' in the Internet Marketing world is 'Freemium' services/content. But there are a lot of extremely popular social networking sites out there that have yet to break even and get a balance that works revenue wise.

Just my personal experience for what it's worth...

Iain

Edited by 32SIG
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Geoff's kindly given me a month's access to the new site, to enable me to give you all a taste of what's in there. I'll be pootling round there shortly (when I've sent Geoff my details) and will report back in the reviews section when I've scoped it out :)

I'd like to wish Geoff good luck with his new endeavour too... if it works out, it could change the way we think of "modelling magazines", and make them more immediately accessible, and up to date.

Hello everyone and thanks for your comments so far.

Now that a few of you have left comments I thought it might be a good time to give you a response and some additional information?

  • One of the major additions is the inclusion of a full content listing for each main area - letting all visitors and members know what is available in the members area. This facility is imminent and should be available in the next 2-3 days. A good spot and already in hand, thanks
  • All the Full Reviews and Feature Articles are available to download as a simple PDF. Anything else you want to print can usually be highlighted, copied and pasted into a Word doc if you really need it. Lots of people now access the Net on the move and and so access whenever and wherever you are can be useful
  • I do take a bit of exception to the suggestion made that we have lots of 'celebrity' reviewers and mention of 'elitism' - the fact is that two-thirds of the review team have never submitted a review in their lives but are good scale modellers who believe in the concept and want to help to try and share their experiences, skills and techniques with the membership. Several of the team are working on additional contributions to the growing Techniques Bank that I believe is unique
  • I am very keen to hear from anyone interested in submitting their work: aircraft, armour or maritime project - no problem at all there.
  • Subscription rates - we looked at many of the paper-based mags and an annual subscription with SMN compares well. what I also wanted to do is offer a 6 month subscription option: £29.95 AND the pay-as-you-go option for a very small fee per review. Some of these are outstanding value like the one for the Italeri Type 100 S-Boot that has over 80 images and over 2500 words. I just mention this to illustrate the value for money that you can get because all the articles and reviews offer more images (many with ZOOM facility) and explanation than we are used to getting in the average paper-mag article.
  • SMN is a magazine, not a 'site' - it just happens to be published on the internet saving you all those storage problems! And we wouldn't expect to pick up magazines for nothing...

Many thanks for all your comments - I hope you find this additional information helpful and I will now let Mike do his stuff and report back to you in due course. Do keep enjoying your modelling and please come and say hello at one of the shows we will be attending in 2010. Definitely the FAA show at Yeovilton in February and hopefully Milton Keynes if we're allocated sufficient space.

Best wishes, Geoff

Geoff Coughlin, Editor

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"I do take a bit of exception to the suggestion made that we have lots of 'celebrity' reviewers and mention of 'elitism'"

Well don't because it was not directed specifically at your site but was a comment on the hobby in general and magazines in particular.

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Nice looking site. Great effort.

Me personally, I like the internet to be low or no cost. I pay for a computer, access, wireless router and adapters - I don't fancy shelling out for subscriptions on the 'net itself.

As for magazines, I like to hold them in my hand. There are negatives to them, like anything, but nothing beats a bird in the hand, as they say. I'm also not keen on the latest and greatest of everything. For example, I think an old Airfix Britten-Norman Islander is just a dandy little kit. Pictures of them abound and I find a virtual glut of information on them at my fingertips with my already paid for internet access. Something like this would be wasted on the likes of me.

However, some people crave the ultimate and latest in information from the hobby. They think nothing of spending $100 on the newest kit or resin conversion set. An online magazine to tell them what they are missing would be just the ticket. This will be money well spent for those sorts. To each his own, I say.

Again sweet looking net-zine you have going. I predict great things for you.

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"I do take a bit of exception to the suggestion made that we have lots of 'celebrity' reviewers and mention of 'elitism'"

Well don't because it was not directed specifically at your site but was a comment on the hobby in general and magazines in particular.

Thanks Nick, glad to hear it and no probs mate - best wishes, Geoff

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[*] AND the pay-as-you-go option for a very small fee per review. Some of these are outstanding value like the one for the Italeri Type 100 S-Boot that has over 80 images and over 2500 words. I just mention this to illustrate the value for money that you can get because all the articles and reviews offer more images (many with ZOOM facility) and explanation than we are used to getting in the average paper-mag article.

Except that £2.50 an article is nowhere near as good value as an article from AFV or Air Modeller that can be bought as a PDF download for £1 + VAT. Were your price the same or similar Geoff I may have been tempted to have a look at one or two (even if only because I've always enjoyed your builds in mags & on here in the past), but as I'm another one who's practically given up on modelling mags now (& therefore obviously not your target demographic!), I think I'll pass as well.

But as the others say, best of luck with your new venture!

Keef

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Hello everyone and thanks for your comments so far.

Now that a few of you have left comments I thought it might be a good time to give you a response and some additional information?

  • SMN is a magazine, not a 'site' - it just happens to be published on the internet saving you all those storage problems! And we wouldn't expect to pick up magazines for nothing...

Geoff Coughlin, Editor

Geoff

(some snips above to extract the comment in question)

Here's my biggest problem with web magazines encapsulated in one line.

I'm not, no way, never, ever, ever going to pay good money for a product which resides anywhere except on my own disk drives. I've been burned far to often by disappearing websites, site archives that get trimmed to make room for new content and site archives with horribly bad search functions. Neither will I buy a web magazine which *allows* me to download individual articles in pdf or whatever form because I don't know *now* what I want to know *then* and inevitably will save the wrong items.

IF I could download the whole issue with a single click, it might be worth considering. At least, it will be when I can then roll it up in a side pocket of my pack to read on the bus to work.

Good luck with this venture. I don't see that the model fits me, but I'm not everyone else!

Shane

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Hi Geoff

I have had a good look at the website and to be honest I think you are on a hiding to nothing here. There are so many forums and sites out there that offer FREE advice, FREE pictures of builds, FREE reviews of new models and FREE MEMBERSHIP. I know that there is talk of papers going down the fee route but again, why pay when you can get it free. Magazines and book sellers have already been hit hard by this and unfortunately if you go with the prices quoted, I think you will struggle for membership. May be if you look at other clubs, organisations and checked their fees, you would see how much more you are charging. I think you really need to look at a price to entice people to you, escpecially at the start of your new service. I would also review your decision to offer free adverts for traders and suppliers - do magazines and websites do this - No.

I hope it does work out for you but at the current price I would not consider it.

Regards

Daryl

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Looking at the T&C it appears to me that there is no guarantee that the "magazine" will last the whole subscription length.

It can be pulled at any time.

For £50 up front I can get a 1:32 Swordfish and surf the net for free how to articles.

Im interested in the concept,especially as I no longer subscribe to any mainstream magazine (modelling),but dont see subscibing to any magazine as a trip to the bookies.

If your up an still running in the next six months Ill certainly reconsider.

No flame intended and I do wish you well in your venture.

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