I have made no secret of the fact that my hobby is all-encompassing taking inspiration from a wide range of different sources and firmly founded in a number of key family members and their long-lasting support. Since I was a teenager I have loved reading model making magazines and books; be they model aircraft, boats or military, even model railways. With a Grand-Father who made models from card and had a huge railway layout in the back bedroom, a Father who put ships in bottles and taught me to skin flying balsawood air planes with coloured tissue to an Uncle who built plastic aircraft kits to a level I could only dream of. It should come as no surprise that my hobby is making models.....
Given the above I am always on the lookout for magazines and books which show step-by-step tutorials on how to build or how to paint models, in fact I have quite a personal collection of the same - much more that I need. In this short post I wanted to point out how my buying habits have changed over the last couple of years.
In the above image you can see a wide collection of different titles and subject manner that I am sorting through prior to selling them or donating them to fellow model makers. In the lower image is a selection of similar titles that were bought at the IPMS show in Telford last November. As you can see I have quite an appetite for this type of publication.
In the past I would regularly browse the new releases on display at the local W H Smiths (a major stationers and retailer in the UK) and pick up a copy or two using gift vouchers that my Mother would supply for either my birthday or as Christmas presents. I can confirm that at this very moment there is a W H Smiths voucher for over £15.00 in my wallet, however I have over the years become much more selective about the magazines that I buy new feeling that there is a lot that is re-hashed or similar on display. I will regularly buy a new magazine if the content takes my fancy, but feel that there has to be more than one article of interest per magazine or I will walk away.
A good example of this is Military Modelling and Continental Modeller (a railway modelling magazine) which regularly has articled and tutorials by Emmanuel Nouaillier (one of a number of modellers who build ultra-realistic dioramas from scratch). I found that I would automatically purchase any magazine with an article by Emanuel but on a recent visit to an Oxfam bookstore in Shrewsbury, I found a dozen or so magazines for the knock-down price of 50p each - at these prices, I have been able to satisfy my appetite for these tutorials at a fraction of the price of buying the magazines new. In fact while visiting The Severn Valley Railway, Bewdley, I picked up 13 French language modelling magazines called 'Le Train' which also featured articles by Emmanuel for £1.20, thats £1.20 for all 13!
So what has this taught me.
Firstly, there is very little that is truly new in these magazines and picking them up second hand has become the norm for me.
Secondly, I tend to enjoy modelling articles where the author has done some 'scratch-building' rather than buying resin updates and add-on's for a particular kit or model. (Usually at a considerable price and sometimes more than the original kit).
Third, There is a huge wealth of magazines and articles available to us modellers.
In the attic, I have a large collection of Fine Scale Modeller, literally hundreds of magazines which I really should be culling, but I enjoy the content so much. There is also another collection of early and mid White Dwarf magazines which I would be loathed to part with. Then there are 'specials' one-off magazines with a particular favourite article or tutorial that I will re-read or (God forbid) cut out and store in folders for research and inspirational purposes.
My hobby magazine obsession knows no boundaries, Military Modelling, Boat Modelling, Aircraft Modelling, Model Trains - even magazines focused on building Dolls Houses are all fair game as most have something worth reading. I can even admit to having a number of foreign language magazines in my collects as (let's face it) most of us can glean the content from a couple of pages of coloured images!
At this stage I should also say that I very rarely keep the magazines I have read (if the article is of interest, I will either store the whole magazine, cut out the particular article of as has recently happened scan the image and store it on my computer). Those that I have enjoyed are then recirculated to interested friends or charity shop donations. In so doing I can stop the attic collapsing under the weight of thousands of used magazines.
In the past Military Modeller as one of my favourite, but of late I have moved across to Airfix Model World, which I feel gives a better cross-section of 'how-to' builds. In addition the members only IPMS magazine which is published four times a year offers great start-to-finish modelling articles which go into considerable depth and detail.
So what do you think, or buy?
I'd be interested to see if my own cross-genre interests are mirrored by other modellers/gamer's.