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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dr EMD on February 21, 2007, 07:30:03 PM



Title: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Dr EMD on February 21, 2007, 07:30:03 PM
I received my April 2007 Model Railroader (as well as April 07 Trains) today - 21 Feb 07. This is the earliest I have ever received of any monthly railroad magazine (6 weeks before cover date, and on the 21st of the month). By this time 30 years ago, I would expect March 77 issue to hit hobby shop by the 21 of Feb.

As I looked over this April 2007 edition, a short news item called "Trackplan for Life" got my attention. For those who read MR, what do you think of the story ;)?   


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: r0bert on February 21, 2007, 08:43:40 PM
I hope you're not refering to the annual April fools item!, because I REALLY hate when somebody spoils things by telling me how a movie ends before I've seen it!!
If that's the case, then just KEEP QUITE!!!


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Dr EMD on February 21, 2007, 10:27:17 PM
I won't spoil it. 8)


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: ben_not_benny on February 21, 2007, 11:54:05 PM
There's one last year about a near-perfect DCC system. I think what you're talking about should be something simular.


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: SteamGene on February 22, 2007, 09:53:06 AM
I think my favorite was the "rails to trails" layout of several years ago.
Gene


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: r0bert on February 22, 2007, 01:24:03 PM
I think my favorite was the "rails to trails" layout of several years ago.
Gene
and don.t forget the "zero G" train, the 1:1 scale model review, London's Tube layout, or my all-time favorite, the alien engineer in the cab of the loco on the cover photo!!!


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: SteamGene on February 24, 2007, 08:15:29 AM
Wife: Isuppose you're going to get one of those next.
Me:  Look at the issue date, dear. 
Gene


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: John in Santa Cruz on February 24, 2007, 03:32:04 PM
   The annual April Fools item in this particular issue has the distinction
of being the highlight of what I feel to be the all-time worst issue of
that publication. What a yawner.

-John


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Atlantic Central on February 24, 2007, 09:39:53 PM
John,

I stayed out of this until now, but I have to lend you my support.

Model Railroader is not the publication it once was, that is for sure, and only 114 pages in April. They seem lost, not knowing what to cover or how to cover it. and I think they have run off a number of contributors and scarred away future ones with their requirements for articles and their snobby views about the hobby.

I have considered writing an article from time to time. If I ever get around to it, I will submitt it to RMC, not MR.

I am not much for April Fools jokes, but this was by far their worst. Or maybe my old fashioned values are just so out of touch I don't get it. But that's OK, I am very happy not getting it and reading RMC and other publications more than MR.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: glennk28 on February 24, 2007, 09:53:17 PM
I liked the item in one of the first "April Fool" issues MR did--back in the 1950's--The author found a way of eliminating all the supporting columns in his basement by pressurizing the space to hold the house up.   Drawbacks included having to wear "hard hat" diving suits and certain tenk cars collapsing under pressure.

Ya gotta be able to laugh once in a while. 


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Paul M. on February 25, 2007, 01:44:00 PM
The "trackplan for life" article was good. ;D


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: John in Santa Cruz on February 26, 2007, 11:51:13 PM
   The one nice thing about recent issues of MR has been the articles
by Pelle Seoborg (who lives in Denmark), on scenery and backdrops,
and there was one a couple of years ago on laying flextrack that
should be required reading.
   I have sliced all these articles out and put them into pocket pages,
creating my own collected edition of his work. I have never scene anyone
do better desert scenery.
    That is the one nice thing. I have not been able to detect any others.

-John


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Joe Satnik on March 05, 2007, 09:40:30 AM
Dear Robert,

Do you recall the year (or approximate year) of the issue with the alien on the cover?

My all time favorite is Warren Buffet's HO scale Wisconsin Central, April 2001.

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: r.cprmier on March 05, 2007, 01:37:32 PM
Sheldon;
The "kids" won't remember the old MR mags, the ones with guys like Gordy Odegard, Linn Westcott, a very young Russ Larson, et al. 
I am somewhat ambivalent in my take on the contemporary MR, as it is in colour, not B&W; it is bigger, paper is higher quality, etc; but it is somewhat becoming a directory for products and not a magazine to be read for its articles and knowledge; nor will reading it now neccessarily further one's skills in one aspect or another.

When I first got into the hobby as a serious modeler in '67, there were articles by Whit Towers, Jim Findley, Chuck Yungkirth etc, on how to build this or that, which is what played heavily into cultivating my interest as a modeler.

You mentioned RMC; but I can remember when Hal Carstens too, was putting out a rag that was much better than the present-not that that is an indictment upon its quality-at least I do not intend it to be.

Things do change though; and not neccessarily for the better where you or I are concerned, but it is evolving as perhaps it should be and serving a newer type of modeler; after all, we're all in business to make a profit, and you cannot make one by not giving the majority of people what they want, right? 

Rich


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 05, 2007, 02:59:04 PM
Rich,

As I sit here and type this, I am looking across the room at book shelf containing almost every issue of Model Railroader from about 1965 to now, and decent percentage of the years before that. In the next room is a similar collection of RMC on another bookshelf.

My disapointment with MR is not the modern format, or even the large amount of advertising, or even the lack of simple "how to" articles from all those great modelers you mentioned. I know times change, and as both a long time modeler and someone who has worked in the hobby industry I know the hobby has changed.

What disapoints me the most about MR is that as the hobby's biggest mag, until a few years ago, they always tried to represent a broad approach, at least within the scope of scale modeling in N thru O scale, leaving highrail and other areas to their own niche publications.

But it seems now more than ever they have lots of agenda's but no real direction. They have latched onto some supposed trends and tried to make them gospel, or they jump into niche areas with no respect for established conventions in those groups. Some examples:


Trying to "rename" On30 to On2-1/2.

The bias against anyone still using DC. This is more about pushing the idea of walk around operation then anything, or, maybe it is advertiser driven - see DCC below.

The bias against freelancing and selective compression. A discussion of passenger car modeling a while back included lots of model manufacturer specific info and totaly ignored Athearn's products. Fact is, while feelanced, most of Athearn's heavy weights are darn close to actual prototypes. And, since we all seletively compress our curves, a reasonable discussion would have included both lines of thought.

The bais in favor of sound and DCC, is this out of loyality to manufacturers desperate to sell enough of this stuff to justify its production?


This is just few of my observations of what I see as an anti fun bias that would be more at home in some stuffy niche publication called "ultra realizm our way" than in what used to be the main stream, starting point, reference point publication of the hobby. It all started about the the time they removed the "Model Railroading is Run" banner from the cover.

You used that dreaded term that so many scolded me for, so I will use it. I too consider myself a "serious modeler", but I don't need Model Railroader to define it for me. We the modelers should be defining it for them, but they seem lost in their own world of rigid writing style requiremments for articles and in presenting only that kind of modeling that fits their "agenda" for the hobby.

RMC is doing a much better job of expanding ideas rather than limiting them these days. One good example - Howard Zane's layout and the style of his articles recently published in RMC, would not have made it into MR under the current management. Maybe that is why he ended up in RMC and I'm sure RMC was very happy to have a modeler with his accoplishiments and notablity in their mag.

Howard has fun with model trains, he is not documenting some division of the Nickel Plate down to the last tie. Both are valid choices, but I would bet you could overhear this comment in the MR offices as they looked through his book and/or RMC article - "What a shame, all that space, effort and talent and he just freelanced the area and runs any old roadname he likes".

I don't model the way Howard does, nor do I model the way Tony does, and both are great talents in our hobby. But MR sure gives the impression these days that the one is "better" and therefore welcome and the other is not.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: r.cprmier on March 05, 2007, 11:49:26 PM
Sheldon;
Having had met both Howard Zane and Tony Koester, and having had the chance to talk with them, I find that I am more inclined to tap into the trememdous wealth of information and smarts they both posses; as well as their experiences in this hobby.

I can agree with you to an extent about the context of MR, rather than the format, as I have seen the former, especially in their DVDs.  I have somewhat departed from using MR as the backbone of my reading, and am now more inclined to get into the lesser trod, much more technically astute areas.  A greatly refreshing person here is Scott mason.  WHile I sense the same droll humour in both he and George Sellios, I can both respect and identify-connect-with both men in my thinking; because I am going where they are now; especially as a modifier, craftsman type kit builder, and scratchbuilder;so I will take all the help I can get.  To me, there are not too many other better sources-and George's wife, Cathy, has a great smile.

I think a great deal of personal satisfaction is had when I can "ape" one of Bob Van Gelder's kits-or at least create a reasonable facimile thereof...Or when I build one of Steve and Sharon's kits (F&C) and it actually comes out good!!  Taking the parts lines of the late Cliff Grandt, and Don Tichy, and expounding an existing production kit, or peering into the westering haze, and come up with my own scratchbuilt concoctions grabs me...But...this is where I want to be in this hobby, and what I want isn't neccessarily what should be the elixer de jour for every one else here.  I am a serious-and hopefully somewhat accomplished- hobbyist-not a fire-breathing edict.
To me, putting together, f'r'instance, a turnout set using Central Valley componets is the type of stuff what grabs me....and to me, what grabs you or anyone else here is just what is going to make the world go 'round.  I like it that way!

Rich


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 06, 2007, 10:46:26 AM
Rich,

It seems we are much in agreement. The main reason I go to the Timonium shows is purchase the latest F&C kits. I only once spoke to Howard breifly, but many I used to model with at Severna Park know him well. Never met Tony, but have corresponded with him by e-mail a few times. I actually limit my model socializing a bit and keep to a small group of friends.

I have been doing this long enough to know what I enjoy about it, and what does not interest me. While I enjoy and do build lots of kits and do lots of kit bashing, some mild, some major, I have lost all enthusiasm for being a rivet counter and am often just has happy to buy and Athearn box car, put better trucks and couplers on it, weather it very lightly and send it on its way in the next train.

My goal now it to reach relative completion of  a moderately large frelanced layout and enjoy operating it. And, enjoy just watching the models I have built operate on it.

I never could get deep into the prototype modeling thing, although I do work at making the real railroads (B&O, C&O, WM) that interchange with my Atlantic Central reasonably representitive of their prototypes and maybe a little ironicly, I am considered by many modelers I know very versed in the prototype.

I have never met George Sellios, but have built a few of his kits years ago. I have great respect for his obvoius talent, but his layout turns me cold. It is too depressing in my opinion. I am in this hobby for pleasure and to think of the world as that dismal and run down is depressing not fun. And I do not feel it is a realistic presentation of that time period. But I feel a lot of models are over weathered by a lot of people.

Maybe it is my personal profession as a Residential Designer and Historic Restoration Consultant that does not allow me to see the world as run down neglected wreck. Or maybe it is my own values of hard work and respect for property and the work others have done before me. But is just the way I feel.

Rich, thanks for sharing your thoughts, it is always informative and interesting when I see your name on a post.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: John C on March 06, 2007, 08:39:28 PM
Both MR and RMC seem to have a lot more advertising in them than in the past.  That's not all bad - as part of model railroading is the product knowledge that goes with it.  An honest evaluation of tested products would be nice though - instead of politically correct nonsense.  I do miss the how to do it, build a dollar model etc. type articles in both publications.  I know that MR is promoting their online (purchasable) files, and maybe that's why there are fewer topics presented in print.  I have a number of years of both magazines, but I'm beginning to think that something like the Narrow Gauge Gazette might be more helpful as far as building things from scratch goes.  Alas, all things change with time.


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: newyorkcentralfan on March 22, 2007, 05:04:15 AM
I don't agree.

O scale models using HO track  to represent narrow gauge has always been called On2-1/2 in MR.  MR has always used the foot nomenclature for narrow gauge, not inches.

They're not renaming anything.






But it seems now more than ever they have lots of agenda's but no real direction. They have latched onto some supposed trends and tried to make them gospel, or they jump into niche areas with no respect for established conventions in those groups. Some examples:


Trying to "rename" On30 to On2-1/2.





Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: r.cprmier on March 22, 2007, 07:36:48 AM
To me, using HO track for anything O scale is somewhat out of proportion.  Maybe it is just me, but it does stand out.  One difference is in the tie dimensions.  A really "properly" scaled O scale tie would be a bit more stout than the HO fare.  This is not to say that people shouldn't use HO scale track for On30 layouts-to advocate such would make it appear that I perhaps have way too much time on my hands.  It is only my hazy observations, viewed from an imperfect window, out onto an imperfect world.
I do think that On30 is a very nice alternative in the modelling world; especially what I have seen from Bachmann.  I do have some, but I think that ultimately, I will keep it more or less at HO, HOn3 and Fn3 scales-  Sort of like dating three women; all named Diane...

Rich


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 22, 2007, 08:53:51 AM
newyorkcentralfan,

Do you personally know anyone in that scale? Ask them what scale/guage they model in. 99.9% of them will say "On30" not "On2-1/2". Every manufacturer who makes it calls it On30. I am personal friends with a number of noted and published modelers in that scale. They all call it On30 and share this same complaint about MR. Who died and left Model Railroader in charge of "correcting" a whole segment of the hobby?

Sheldon


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: SteamGene on March 22, 2007, 09:38:41 AM
Let's see.  A three foot narrow gauge railroad is called "n3."  A two foot narrow gauge is called "n2."  A five foot broad gauge is called b5.  I think there were some narrow gauge roads that were two and a half feet wide and were called n2 1/2.  So MR is consistent in calling On30, 0n2 1/2.  On the other hand, the company that created it called it On30 as does just about everybody else. 
OTOH, I know soldiers who weren't born when the M-1 rifle left the inventory and they still call the box that holds the bullets a "clip." 
Gene


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: jsmvmd on March 23, 2007, 09:24:22 PM
Gene,

There is a story about the Army Sgt. instructing the troops in the use of the M1 US 30 Army, who, when asked if it was not the same as the 30.06, replied, "I don't know anything about civilian calibers!"


Best, Jack


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: newyorkcentralfan on March 25, 2007, 02:00:21 AM

Do you personally know anyone in that scale? Ask them what scale/guage they model in. 99.9% of them will say "On30" not "On2-1/2". Every manufacturer who makes it calls it On30. I am personal friends with a number of noted and published modelers in that scale. They all call it On30 and share this same complaint about MR.


I don't really care what they call them.

Model railroader has been publishing articles using the nFOOT nomenclature at least since the early 1970s, which is a far as my collection goes back to, maybe earlier.

As for people currently using nINCHS, there will always be inadequately educated people who don't know the proper term making up some half assed description because they don't know any better.

Just watch news people talking about tanks when standing in front of self propelled artillery pieces.


Who died and left Model Railroader in charge of "correcting" a whole segment of the hobby?



Since they first defined the term they obviously get to. That's how things work in the real world.


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: Hunt on March 25, 2007, 02:32:17 AM
newyorkcentralfan and others,

MR using On2½ and not On30 followed the name of scale paradigm for the NMRA Standards.

BUT in July 2004, the NMRA Standards were changed. The replacement of On2½ with On30 was one item of the changes.
http://www.nmra.org/standards/S-1_2StandardScale.html (http://www.nmra.org/standards/S-1_2StandardScale.html)


Title: Re: Model Railroader - April 2007
Post by: SteamGene on March 25, 2007, 10:04:49 PM
I've known/heard of lots of folks who confuse self-propelled artillery with tanks, including a regimental commander of the 11th U.S. Cavalry.   I had one of his how battery commanders as a classmate in 1-73 AOCC.
Gene