Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quarterly magazine review

Well, its that time of the quarter again when both local magazines arrive within a couple of days of each other (maybe if they were staggered it would be better, but who would blink first?)

First up on my doorstep (or rather the book shop display) is the Railfan. This months features are;

-The variations on the Kiwirail colour scheme. Lots of pictures of modern era trains. Not my thing, but still very well done (and Drew gets a picture on the back cover).

-Dq's banking out of Picton and over the Dashwood pass. Another Andrew Gorrie photo essay. I'm still not sure about these but they are oddly compelling, and do tell a good story.

-An update on the Auckland suburban area upgrades. I'm starting to think that This would make avery good layout idea. The track layout at Newmarket is very modelable, and the trains look interesting. Plus I think they still have freight movements through there as well.

-Noted historical photographer J.A.T Terry presents an album of his favorite photos. These include the Wd and R that ran on the Timaru harbour board line that I believe that my grandfather may have drove (we still have his steam tickets somewhere).

-Pt 2 of the NZR bogie carriages. This series is a great idea, and now that we have vans out of the way..

Then we look at the Journal;

-A large article on Glenn Anthonys Gn15 gold mining layout (plus both covers).

-An article from Les Downey on building a UG horsebox from the old Branchlines G etch (plus an article on the prototype). I have a vague memory of a similar article in the journal in the early 1990's?

-Peter Ross ongoing saga of how to make smooth running steam engines. I should really pay more attention to this but Iain Rice sums it up very nicely in his book on locomotive chassis construction, and I think a bit more concisely to.

-Plan and potted history of Auckland D class cars. These were locally built.
-Inagahua Junction from 1914 to 1940 (with a second part to come).

-A first part of an article on the history of NZ120. The 'to be continued' part means that the remainder of the article will be published at a later date. If I had known it was going to be spit into 2-3 parts I would have written it completely differently. the photos don't seem to have come out as well as they looked on the computer (maybe its time for Mr Bond to complete his magnus opus on photographing models so that we can get better at it) I also note that there has been no mention yet of the re-availability of the Trackgang kits.

-Area group reports (grrrrr)

As an interesting aside it was pointed out to me yesterday that the most modern item that appears in the journal is my pair of Dc's from the mid 1980's. For the modern image modeler there is a bit of a drought of material.

So, for this reviewer, the Railfan has some bits of interest(lots if you are a modern image fiend), but once again the Journal seems to miss the mark for me. The last 5 issues have had large layout spreads (~8 pages) of layouts that while very well made and detailed, tend to have limited appeal to most New Zealand modelers. I'm not saying that they should not be there, just that maybe not quite so much of them should be there.

I have heard rumors that some alterations to the Guilds information communication and publishing strategy will be rolled out/discussed at the Convention this weekend. it will be interesting to see what happens.


lalover said...

I think that there is a reasonable variety in the Journal this month.

But yes the Ug/Uga story has been covered before (though there is some additional info). i gather the point is here that this variety were built to a slightly different diagram.

Good amount of colour too which is good, and the 1/120th pics are good for the casual reader to pore over!

Not a big fan of the non NZR layout theme, but I guess it adds variety, and besides, what other layout article choices does the editor have......

manaia said...

Mr M-D as a produser of such locos as the DI DF and latist DX(wow) and a man with conections to the magazine you should be puting these things forwold for publishing to help bring atention to the scale and whot can be dune.

Motorised Dandruff said...

I'm sorry, you are looking for the Long Island locomotive works. I don't make models more modern than 1965.

The other problem is that The lead time to get anything into the journal is quite substantial.

Amateur Fettler said...

Speaking for myself, I am finding that the journal is no longer relevant for me and for the period that I model since I hurdled the fence a few years back, although it seems to quite happily support its target market (i.e People who model the 1950's).

Now the argument I am going to get back is going to be "So why dont you do something about it?" And frankly, I cant be bothered. I cant see the point in putting the time and effort into crafting an article when its words will be falling on deaf ears, the owners of which will quickly move to the next article about wooden cars or steam locomotives. If I want to reach my target market, I will do so by using this blog and Nz120.org, both of which are immediate and inclusive.

The idea has been bandied about at Druff HQ of hijacking an entire journal and making it "The Nz120 issue", but I fear that it will be seen as nothing more than a "blip" on the radar by the readership and quietly consigned to the back of the shelf, never to be seen again.....plus I fear individuals would clamour to be included, and by their very prescence destroy any credibility the other articles may have built up. I believe we will actually get more converts to the scale by word of mouth and exposure at shows than I think we ever will through the Journal....

Harsh words possibly, but the hobby in this country isnt as one dimensional as it is portrayed. And I do have a lot of respect for those concerned who produce the journal (Mr Corosado is at the top of the list, an absolute gem of a man).

Amateur Fettler said...

(But wait, theres more)....

We all need to get involved to change the perception in the hobby, and its all about doing.....this isnt a passive hobby. I feel sometimes we are easily dismissed as a scale as being (to quote the film "Mama Mia") "All talk and no trousers." We need to be turning up again and again with new models and layouts to run them on. Its okay to have "wish lists", but they are useless unless they become "to do" lists, or even better "currently building" lists.

Right, I'll climb back down off my hobby horse now.

Andrew Hamblyn said...

Still waiting for that rich financier to bankroll the "ready to run" line of highly detailed models....


Seriously, the 1950's is well past its usedby date and my "Golden Era" is the 80's and 90's.

I think the phase shift from the 50's to something more modern is slowly coming about, as more old souls entrenched in the rock'n'roll period expire or retire and there are less and less people who remeber "the good old days"

Its time to roll out those "modern image" wagon kits and loco shells.

Perhaps its time to join the rest of the world and get some stuff "made in china" ??

Motorised Dandruff said...

You had better be carefull, you will wear it out!

Kiwibonds said...

I think AmbulanceNettles words might be a little harsh.

I think the majority of journal readers can appreciate decent modeling regardless of scale.

And lets face it NZ120 modelers have been pushing boundaries for years - we've been extensive users of resin molding (Magikman has some superb examples), Greytrains has had his computer generated buildings for ages, Andrew Wells was an early adopter of CADded etched brass and homemade decals and we've now we're RPing and laser etching models, building featherlight layouts, using some decent scenery techniques and spinning out all sorts of models from the superquick and dirty to fancy schmancy ones. I think that's all relevent no matter which scale you work in.

So... I would love to see an 'NZ120 edition' of the journal. We have plenty of material here on the blog and i have a few decent hi-res pictures, so its not as as if there is a lot of effort required (as the how-to pictures are kept fairly small in the journal due to blog lo-res as we might not have hi-res versions of all them).

Kiwibonds said...

... and as i push 'post' too quickly...

..and its not just publishing something everyone has seen before because not the entire journal audience even knows this blog exists.

Motorised Dandruff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Motorised Dandruff said...

It would have been nice if whoever chopped up the article had added the Web addresses so that people could have a look for themselves.

sxytrain said...

Still in Chch, after convention. Our presence with Trackgang trade stand and Earwickers modules, the scale did create considerable interest amongst the attendees. We had our SIG with about 10 attendees, and following on in the evening, I spoke briefly at the NZR SIG about nz120, to approx. 40 more attendees. Spent today helping on a private nz120 layout which will be ready for the Chch Train show in October. Good weekend all round as far as I was concerned.