Snowy Soo

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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Model railroad publications

Three issues for just $2 at a train show. You can't beat that. 

Getting my hands on a copy of Model Railroader was key to sparking my early interest in the hobby all those years ago. It showed me what was possible in model railroading, even though I lacked the skill, space, money (I could go on) to make it possible. I loved reading the how-to articles and imagining how every project would unfold. 

With my return to the hobby, I’ve returned to Model Railroader and found it hasn’t lost its quality in the years I’ve been away. It seems now to be targeting less experienced modelers than it was back in the 1980s. This suits me fine.

A few weeks ago I picked up a few dozen recent issues at the Woodstock Model Train show. Vendors were selling three issues of MR for $2, a price I couldn’t resist! Now I’ve got many evenings worth of enjoyable reading for the price of a few books.

Of course, I’m sure MR is struggling somewhat, as all publications are, to remain relevant in the Internet age. Model Railroad Hobbyist is an excellent online magazine that offers all its content, including back issues, for free. 

So far Model Railroad Hobbyist appears to be making their way on advertiser support alone. You have to wonder if they will ever move to a paywall structure as many Canadian newspapers are now doing. I hope both publications are able to survive and thrive, as they play a key role in the success of this great hobby, inspiring a new generation of modelers as I was inspired all those years ago.

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