I was reading on Facebook with interest the other morning a discussion regarding magazines and why we buy them, what we expect and what content we want by the very talented modeller Chris Meddings which fitted in nicely with my own thoughts regarding modelling magazines. Now I have to admit that I am a magazine addict, although I only purchase certain magazines and not every one that is available, a couple of them the content is not what I am after subject matter wise, and others do not look that appealing to the eye regarding layout. When I first started modelling in the early 90’s I went into my local WH Smiths to see what was available and came away with copies of Military Modelling and Military in Scale, I found at the time as a complete amateur that Military Modelling was a touch elitist and was engineered towards the established modeller and I felt way out of my depth reading about resin updates, etch brass detailing, airbrushes and advanced painting techniques that I knew nothing about and had never heard of before. On the other hand I felt Military in Scale was written with guys like me in mind, it still talked about all the unheard of things mentioned above but it talked about them like they were your friends and not something to be scared of. Now being a novice modeller at the time I was quite susceptible to making mistakes and in Military Modelling these were never discussed, however in Military in Scale they were mentioned openly and not treated as a taboo item. I remember quite clearly an article written by the very talented Spencer Pollard about a Mercedes staff car he was building where he had messed up the paint job by depositing a stray thumb print of paint on the wing or door and not having time to rectify it due to deadline restraints, now there was a modeller I could identify with, he made mistakes and was not afraid to tell us and in print too, now this was the magazine for me. I swiftly subscribed to Military in scale and had them delivered to my door every month until its sad ending in October 2012, I still miss that monthly read it had an excellent balance of articles and in my opinion has never been bettered. I still purchased Military Modelling on and off and I still do to this day, it has fluctuated in quality over the years and I look forward these days to the building articles from the very talented Emmanuel Nouaillier and they are definitely worth a look at. I have dabbled with other magazines, Fine Scale Modeller springs to mind however I only purchase it if it has an article that I want to read, others such as Airfix model world and model Airplane International I have the odd copy of, and similar to FSM I make the purchase for a particular article. I have also purchased a few one off magazines for example model laboratory and cold war aircraft modeller, these are really great magazines covering great subjects and are very much as good as the high street available magazines.
Now skipping forward 20 odd years there are a plethora of magazines that are vying for our money, today I picked up Tamiya Model Magazine International and Military illustrated modeller, 2 magazines that I avoided buying for a while, Tamiya modelling magazine I was aware of when I was in high school and did not buy until it had a build article on the then new Tamiya Dragon Wagon, it is a great article on a great subject. Military illustrated modeller I first bought at issue 3 or 4 simply because there was no other magazine available on that particular day and I fancied a modelling magazine fix and I have purchased every one of the military vehicle editions ever since. Another magazine I look forward to is AFV modeller, I avoided buying this when it first came out as I felt it was not aimed at modellers like myself and was just full of builds by the best in the hobby, that part is still true, the quality of builds is astounding and is full of fantastic inspirational models, my first issue of this particular magazine had a picture of a WWII German Grille H (I think) and just seeing it on the front cover was enough for me to part with my money and of course I have bought every issue since, it is definitely worth the cover price every 2 months in my opinion. Model military international kind of came around close to the end of Military in Scale and helped fill the void that it left, this is the only magazine that I have purchased from issue one and still buy it religiously every month, it’s a magazine with a good balance, good articles/builds and with it some great modellers, I especially like the 1/48 scale pages by the very talented Luke Pitt, it helps keep me in the loop with everything 48, a quite under valued scale for Armour in my opinion. Being very much an armour modeller I tend to stick to magazines that feature that genre and plus you cannot buy every magazine, I probably would if I had a never ending supply of money, there are a lot of great magazines available in the high street newsagents that cover the two main modelling areas, armour and aircraft. Figure modelling on the other hand is quite poorly represented in the high street and is left to specialist publications, there are only one or two in my limited knowledge, Soldatini is an Italian magazine and I only know of it’s existence because I have seen it sold a couple of times at model shows, there is also the Mr Black publications figure modelling series however these are really classed as books, maybe a thin line, however it is also not what one would call a periodical so maybe it is a book, a quality book I may add, and not a magazine. Another magazine I have started buying of late and purchasing a few back issues of is Panzer aces, it has some really fantastic work featured within it’s pages and I have to be honest I am a real sucker for a glossy well taken photo, I find them inspirational and full of ideas when it comes down to my own work (when I do some).
Over the last couple of years we have seen the arrival of the specialist magazines in the guise of the Weathering magazine from very talented modeller Mig Jimenez and Tanker magazine from AK Interactive (which was a company once owned by Mig I am sure), I bought the first couple of issues of the weathering magazine and was impressed by it’s quality and the plethora of tips on how to get the best out of the various weathering products that have arrived onto the scene over the last few years and I have added most of the issues to the workroom reference library. The tanker magazine is in a very similar format to the weathering magazine, I rather like it and I have got all the issues so far, the most recent issue is centred around Tigers, Panthers and Leopards of the tracked variety and is full of great pictures and well written articles. I think from my point of view if a magazine features work by fantastic modellers with great pictures well written articles and a varied subject matter it is a sure fire winner and has a good chance of me adding it to the burgeoning library.
The Average Modeller