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noelsmith

Model Cars Magazine? Will it Survive?

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Many thanks for the further feed back guys.

The IPMS UK website also tends to be a bit slow getting views and responses at times.

I guess that as society news and general modelling websites IPMS UK and USA do not elicit the high numbers of responses that single genre websites do.

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Over many decades the hobby has ebbed and flowed as the culture has changed.

Many of the forums I visit are "sleepy" right now, but some of us continue posting.

 

I did an article for MCM back in 2010 - no money. After this long I don't expect to see any.

 

In this economic climate people are just trying to hold on and maybe put off the inevitable.

 

Let's hope the pendulum eventually swings back the other way. Us die-hards want to see the hobby continue even if it's in 1/25 scale :smiley14: . (Smaller than it is now - LoL)

Edited by EstreetCruiser

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Dave, Not being paid for an article of yours that went to press in Model Cars Magazine way back in 2010 would appear to be inexcusable after this length of time. They had Golden Bell publishing the magazine at the time. I am owed a substantial fee for my Duel article that went to press over two years ago in November 2015. Despite chasing my fee up and invoicing by email, I get the impression that no money will be forthcoming and I just have a gut feeling that I am being stalled. My last email to MCM was requesting that I get my payment by the end of 2017. Realistically I am not expecting a cheque to arrive any time soon. The only option I have now, and I would encourage any other unpaid MCM article writers to do so, is to send paper invoices by recorded delivery. It will be the way to become a listed creditor on their accounts with proof of invoicing.

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I hate to say this, but given my...and others...experience with Challenge Publications, the chances of getting any money from MCM is somewhere between slim and none and slim just left town. About all you can hope for is that the publisher of the magazine we're writing for is ethical or we're pretty well screwed. Also, keep in mind that even if you're writing a monthly column...as I did for seven years in one magazine...they can drop you at a moment's notice. That happened to me recently in a magazine that was so ethical re payments that you could set your watch by the day the check would arrive.

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Richard, I just love your anecdote about Slim just left town! You may well be dead right!

I've not had any experience of Challenge Publications as you have. I think I have a couple of their very old general scale modelling magazines from the 80's (I think) kicking around somewhere with plans of the Disney Nautilus in them. Did they have Model Cars Magazine before Golden Bell became their publishers?

The problems with Model Cars Magazine appear to have started immediately after their publishers Golden Bell in Denver closed their doors. Since then subscriber deliveries unfortunately have going out very late etc. and possibly other writers like myself have not been paid for articles that went to press ages ago.

I certainly will not be writing articles for them any more, and possibly if there are any other unpaid MCM writers out there, they may well be taking the same stance as myself.

As far as I am aware, it is now being run as a one man band in Hawaii. Not sure if this is a workable business model for sustaining a commercial magazine, without the support and expertise of an established publication company behind it. However, we will see!

Will they be able to survive like this? Who knows?

Edited by noelsmith

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Over many decades the hobby has ebbed and flowed as the culture has changed.

Many of the forums I visit are "sleepy" right now, but some of us continue posting.

 

I did an article for MCM back in 2010 - no money. After this long I don't expect to see any.

 

In this economic climate people are just trying to hold on and maybe put off the inevitable.

 

Let's hope the pendulum eventually swings back the other way. Us die-hards want to see the hobby continue even if it's in 1/25 scale :smiley14: . (Smaller than it is now - LoL)

 

I do notice as I visit several forums that the same person posts the same items across different sites. I don't blame them and have done so myself a couple of times.

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Hopefully MCM will carry on surviving in 2018. What form it will take, who knows? The 'changes at MCM' thread has been removed from the general section of their own forum. Perhaps there will be some new announcement made about how they will be moving forward.

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Hopefully MCM will carry on surviving in 2018. What form it will take, who knows? The 'changes at MCM' thread has been removed from the general section of their own forum. Perhaps there will be some new announcement made about how they will be moving forward.

When the 'Changes at Model Cars Magazine' thread was running on their website a guy named Bob Turner did the math on their survival chances. His calculated figures have now gone along with the changes thread. If his figures were anything to go by, 2018 looks like being a make or break year for MCM. Let's see?

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When I first read this thread, I saw it as will model car magazines (in general) survive. Not as a specific title of a model car magazine called Model Car Magazine.

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Scale Auto looks to be doing OK......Have been going for years from Kalmbach alongside Fine Scale Modeller.

There is a more recent one, Model Car Builder...Looking at their website, they appear to be doing OK too.

 

As for the survival of Model Cars Magazine, we will have to wait and see!!!! 2018 may be a make or break year for them.

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In the U.S. hobby publishing field, Kalmbach is the 800-lb....no, make that the 2,000-lb....gorilla. Model Railroader goes back at least a couple of decades farther than Finescale Modeler, so I would suggest that any model publication under the Kalmbach banner has no problem. The ones that aren't owned by Kalmbach have reason to be nervous. Case in point is Scale Auto. They were a standalone publication, along with another auto modeling magazine. Many people thought the other magazine was superior to Scale Auto, but that is open to opinion. In any event, Kalmbach bought both magazines, kept Scale Auto and killed the other one.

 

Also, quite a few years back, I wrote for a magazine called Modeler's Resource. Focus was primarily fantasy/figures and they were doing reasonably well. They set up a distribution agreement with Kalmbach. Not too long after that, Kalmbach began making 'suggestions' relative to the editorial content. That in turn led to me losing my column in the magazine. What was particularly interesting was the fact that the writer who replaced me eventually....after the magazine ceased publication....surfaced as an associate editor at FineScale. Coincidence? Who knows, but that's the publishing business. Generally speaking, magazines come and go like mushrooms after the rain.

 

With any luck, Model Car Builder with find their own niche, one that won't interest Kalmbach. As for Model Cars Magazine, they're on the bubble and no one can say at this time which way it's going to pop.

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What most of us realize is that much of our culture has gone into

shock as the baby-boomers are retiring in mass and the latest "Gen" has come of age

and shop, and spend their money very differently and have different priorities and interests than past generations.

There is a major shift taking place and that's affecting most of our daily lives right now - stability???,,that's gone for right now too.

 

Major dept, stores are closing by the thousands all over the U.S. Gas stations are closing in mass in my area too because

of people buying less cars (Uber) higher gas mileage, and electric and hybrid cars becoming more common.

Also several super market chains have folded also.

 

The next several years will be interesting to see what happens to the model industry as well as the rest of our culture as we

continue to adjust to the constant changes taking place in this country and around the world.

 

Glad I'm retired, I think think the stock market can only go so high before there will be some massive white-knuckle flights in the

financial world again, with more downward spirals. Time will tell.

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The model industry ten years from now will probably be unrecognizable from our perspective. I would suggest that the radio control side of it will boom like never before if the current passion for relatively low cost ready-to-fly drones continues. Walk into any Hobby Town and you'll see what I mean. Static display models? I honestly don't know where that one is going. Since I've made my living...at least most of the time...from writing about models and doing commission buildups, I'm beginning to feel like the last T-Rex on earth. Or if you prefer a more modern event, it's March 4, 1836 in the Alamo.

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I think ten years from now will be pretty much like it is now. Static models have become high end items. Very few low end kits (except older reissues) and multimedia high end uber kits. Even new Star Wars kits tend to be simple snap togethers but have lights and sounds so they build into $25 toys. We've basically got two choices, high end expensive kits and low end simple kits. My local Hobby Lobby carries ancient (30+ year old) Italeri kits for $49.99, kits long past their prime that went for like $15-20 back in the day.

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I agree with you Robin although the market (high end, low end) is driven by those who buy the kits. For the high prices, blame big oil and the big kit manufacturers. Kit prices (plastic, resin, metal cast) went though roof a year or so back due to the high oil prices. Now there's a glut of oil out there and it's dirt cheap, but have you seen the kit prices drop?

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I agree with the price increases. Just bought a Lindberg 1/48 Martin-Handasyde 1911 kit as a parts source. Price? $14.95. For that you get a very small bag of parts along with a 48 piece jigsaw puzzle of the boxtop. Consider that when this kit was first produced by Inpact, the price was somewhere in the $1 to $1.98 range. From that point the molds were sold to and produced by Pyro, then Life-Like then Lindberg and now Round 2 under the original Lindberg label with prices increasing with each change of ownership.

 

Unfortunately, the price of so-called low end kits will probably continue to increase. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see $25 or $30 become the base price for the tiniest and simplest

old repop kit. High end kits? Who knows where that price is going to end up. We're all going to either have to save our spare $5's and $10's...if we have any to spare...or be content to work on whittling down the stash we all have.

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Rusty, the price of oil is going back up. Currently over $65 a barrel and headed for $65+. Unfortunately....and I really hate to say this...when a price goes up, it rarely if ever goes back down.

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...or be content to work on whittling down the stash we all have.

 

Now that sounds like a plan! I have no shortage of Flagship Models ironclad kits and cannons to build, along with my stash in the closet. No doubt enough to last till I die and then some.

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Rusty, the price of oil is going back up. Currently over $65 a barrel and headed for $65+. Unfortunately....and I really hate to say this...when a price goes up, it rarely if ever goes back down.

 

I wouldn't say that just yet with the US becoming the largest shale oil producer in the world. I agree world oil prices are volatile depending on the political climate, but let's all hope for stability from the shale oil folks to keep prices steady. You're right about prices. They are set only to go higher.

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The high end kits are also super accurate with a plethora of parts. Lots of research and development to pay for. And you do get what you pay for; many of the new uber kits are well worth the price. The biggest commotion is from new kits with a high price tag that aren't as detailed or as accurate as older kits. Academy is normally the biggest offender in the armor world. They put out a great kit, then a similar kit that's not nearly as good as one that's been on the market for decades.

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This thread appears to be wandering off track a bit.

Any other unpaid miffed MCM writers out there?

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In the last copy that I received MCM appears to be using chapters from the late Harry Pristinovik's book Evolution of the Automobile in Scale as a part series. Is this being used as fill material in the short term if short of new articles?

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I don't know who owns the copyright of Harry Pristinovik's book, but are they doing this without permission? The question is especially pertinent if the book was originally published by a publisher such as Osprey, Kalmbach, etc. Just a thought.

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I believe that the book was written and published by the late Harry Pristovnik himself. Harry was the graphic designer for Model Cars Magazine doing their page layouts etc. I guess that maybe MCM have permission to use the contents of the book as fill material if new articles for the magazine have not been forthcoming from regular and new contributors.

According to the terms and conditions banner within the magazine, any new contributions sent in on spec are regarded as a free of charge article for the magazine to use. Maybe this is putting off new contributors to the magazine? Who knows?

My advice to any would be article writer to any model making magazine, would be to contact them first to ask if they would like to commission your article, and what (or if) they are prepared to pay for it. At least this gives you the author control, to make an informed decision about whether or not to allow your article to be used or not by them. Also, look out for any wording that might constitute a copyright grab on your article and photographs in their terms and conditions before committing anything.

Unfortunately Model Making Magazines is a fickle business. Many have come and go over the years, and the tales from a number of writers are legion.

Edited by noelsmith

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