Hold The Front Page! Read All About It!

Bob Barlow's new baby!

Bob Barlow’s new baby!

Bob Barlow of http://www.greystarpublications.com/ last week launched a new entry into the  UK magazine market, Finescale Railway Modelling Review, http://www.greystarpublications.com/fsr/  the first of which is seen above. This will be a welcome addition to the mag market place, MRJ readers will likely be very interested in this too, as in addition to Bobs well respected Narrow Gauge & Industrial  review http://www.greystarpublications.com/ngi/ , this will give more quality reading and importantly quality articles at the finescale end of the market. Interesting that Greystar have chosen ‘Finescale’ as the name/branding. I anticipate some saying ‘but that means nothing to me’, in which case the magazine probably isn’t for you. Generally the market sector may not be able to define what ‘finescale’ is, but like porn, they’ll know it when they see it.  Bob tells me it’ll be different to MRJ, and he should know, he was one of the first editorial team on WSP/MRJ that brought a fresh look into this genre with MRJ’s release 200+ issues ago. From my peers I get the impression that this won’t tax Wild Swan overmuch, there appears to be a desire for more of this kind of publication, and I suspect like MORRIL before it, many finescalers will buy both. At the very least WSP will take note and whilst some MRJ’s have been a bit ‘meh’, I feel this will put a bit of sparkle back, where sometimes it has lacked. The content style looks to be of interest too, with promises of a wide range of era’s being covered in a different editorial style to MRJ, but a world away from the perhaps ‘red top’ style where the mainstream contemporary magazines seem to have settled. That to me will be a good thing, the Garratt being a particularly challenging conversion to EM, will make interesting reading in purely the presentation of the subject matter. I understand imagery will be very different from the mainstream, so hopefully no over sharpened, FUJI saturation+ lego pixel pics, and more moody evocative shots, with ‘left field’ imagery. I usually get one or another of the mainstream mags, these past two months not one has had me buying. Have I a vested interested in this magazine? Yes, and no. No financial or editorial interest, but yes in terms of contributing and buying it. A subscription is highly likely to be on the to do list, and sooner rather than later, Bob expressed pleasant surprise that it has already done well with subs being taken up and orders through the web site, thus hopefully validating the thought a good number of us have, that there was space for a new finescale mag, I’m reasonably confident FRMR may fill that niche easily. Greystar have a stand at this weekends Scalefourum.


More on Meejah, the DVD which has occupied a good deal of time for both myself and Paul Lunn for the past year is now out and available from Activity Media.
It’s been weird watching yourself and a best mate on telly, Paul L did a huge amount of work, particularly with the scripting and running sequence for which I’m very grateful indeed. Chris and Wendy at Activity Media put up with us and gave real guidance for us throughout the project. We’ve also taken a different approach in addition to the mainstream reviews process, and it’ll be very interesting to see the results in due course.



Arguably I did the easy bit, nailing a trainset together.

The arrival of a new ‘analogue’ mag from Greystar also gives a strong indicator that the printed media is not dead yet, but will certainly evolve, as will online media. Two fellow modellers over the past couple of weeks have refreshed their blogging activities, coming away from posting on a forum, and that has been no shock to a good number of people I regularly talk to. The reasons why are also of no great surprise either. One of my oldest modelling mates hasn’t grasped the concept behind blogging, but he currently doesn’t ‘write’. On blogging I also read a wonderfully ill informed piece on a forum this past weekend.

“Shame really – if you are going to make the effort to write a blog at all, it makes sense to me to make it available to the widest possible audience. With a personal blog there is little chance of anyone other than a small, dedicated audience ever being aware of it, never mind remembering to read it.”

The comment really does show the level of ignorance regarding the internet and how it works. Like good modelling a good blog takes effort to generate regardless of subject matter. Its all too easy to just ‘graze’ on a forum, wasting time. It’s taken a couple of years for me to get the blog where I want it, and to carry it forward, that takes effort. Readers have to come to it, rather than just click to the next page and strike it lucky amongst a sea of mediocrity. We are competing with the ‘internet’ in terms of attracting readers, this is part of what makes the effort in producing it, in my opinion, worthwhile. Our blog stats tell the story, they tell us where the views come from, the majority of mine are from search engines and quality blogs such as those on this sites blogroll to the right. Hardly any come from the forums, which maybe means that the readers recognise the ‘blogging community’ as a standalone entity. They know how to use a search engine, and critically they can be bothered to find ‘us’ and read what we are writing about, rather than ‘grazing’ a forum. That’s where the real challenge is, building an audience prepared to come back, or read more than the first page, and, they have to find us!

The two blogs in question are of the same kind of modelling that attracts me and many of my friends, one in 2mm finescale, (that kin word again!), and one in 4mm scale. Both are written engagingly, and illustrated well, as are their peers in the blogroll on the right hand side. Whilst neither hold subject matter specific to my interests I do, and will, continue to read them. They have that ability to make you think, I can do that, or try that. That to me is so much better than reading someone saying ‘I could never do that!’

Julia, http://modelopolis.blogspot.co.uk/  and Tom, http://50aworks.wordpress.com/

If you do go to Scaleforum and see Bob and you picked up the news from here, please let him know, I’ll be interested to hear how many of you who have provided over 130,000 hits, couldn’t remember to read my blog …


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11 Responses to Hold The Front Page! Read All About It!

  1. Thanks for bringing FRMR to my attention. Despite subscribing to NG&IR I hadn’t picked up that it was launching. Needless to say I’ve subscribed to it now and lookign forward to the first issue.

  2. neilsidea says:

    Thanks for the info. Correct about blogs – I’m interested in model and real railways, classic cars, illustration, art, graphic design, architecture and photography and have settled on a small number of blogs that I regularly visit (including this one) and have a look at new ones but there are too many! Now being domiciled in south west France, the internet is a fantastic way to keep in touch with what is going on in the UK so I especially enjoy reports from the exhibitions – very light here unfortunately.

    • bawdsey says:

      Thanks Neil,
      Both forums and blogging have their places, as each forum becomes more popular there’s more chaff to fight through, and the worthwhile content is rarely provided by more than a handful in percentage terms of the whole membership. The big difference for the bloggers that I’ve spoken to is they write in effect as part of their hobby, and that makes a big difference in the content and quality. As far as exhibitions go, I’ve cut down massively on the number I go to, and I’m not distance shy of going to a show. I feel there are far too many these days, the quality has suffered and I won’t be surprised to see a few of them go. There is a need for good showcases and fortunately there still are a reasonable number to choose from today.

  3. julia adams says:

    Thanks for the Link Paul.

    I am afraid I have to agree with you about blogs and ‘blogging’. I was always aware about how many people never visited the blogs on the old forum where they are vitually served to you on a plate. That sort of reluctance really is amazingly shortsighted. Since moving to my own blog I have been amazed on how many likeminded people are around with thier own blogs, its a community in its own right. Maybe some sort of ‘central hub’ would be possible in the future?

    As for the magazine I have subscribed already, I have no doubt in my mind that this publication will ‘tick all the boxes’.


    • bawdsey says:

      A central hub? careful Julia, you’ll frighten the horses with such talk.

      Some say, there’s one developed already … ;0)

  4. Wonderful news about the magazine, I subscribed immediately, sight unseen!

    A central hub for blogs…interesting and it might well work, although I find blogs out there easily by clicking the fascinating blogrolls of the generous members of the community who know that the best way to build the platform and readership is by sharing.

    I love it when someone new to me finds my blog and I see them gradually trawling through my old posts, perhaps making the occasional comment…the best feeling. Blogs like yours and those on your blogroll are invaluable reference works, all the more entertaining because of the disparate views and temperaments of the writers.

    Anyway, can’t wait to have the new mag in my hands. I’m very sad, I know, but…wheee!

    • bawdsey says:

      Thanks Iain, the hub is something I anticipate will help readers find those interesting sites, I work on the one click approach, and no, it won’t be just a list …

    • James Finister says:

      I’ve never got on with web-rings and hubs. Like Iain I tend to use the links from other blogs I enjoy. Patterns tend to appear!

      • bawdsey says:

        I agree about the patterns James and that may not change with what I’m thinking of using. As bloggers will be ‘driving’ the hub/content if they buy into it, it won’t be static, and will reflect a wide variety of subjects/scales. If only a few do then it won’t work, I anticipate web sites could participate too.

  5. neilsidea says:

    It’s all about networking. You have to be on everything, everywhere these days as you never know where the next interested audience may be.

    • bawdsey says:

      Not sure I agree entirely with that Neil, though I do acknowledge where you’re coming from. I found yesterday in my stats an author whom I’d read a bit from, who had found me via something else. I’ve now read a good bit more about his stuff and his influences and interests. Its all connected certainly, but not sure you have to be ‘everywhere’ (to paraphrase), Interesting stuff seems to find its own place, and subsequently be passed through contacts, be that blog/social media word of mouth or forum. Having Albion Yard on facebook has certainly lifted the figures a bit, but not significantly yet, though I’ve not yet really explored FB as a conduit. I guess with you in France, it is perhaps more relevant, where as we may pass contacts at a show or physical social gathering.

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