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  • Topic: Unbias review of Garden Railways Magazine.

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    • February 4, 2019 4:32 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Unbias review of Garden Railways Magazine.

      I don't think I'm unbias, or informed enough to write a good review of Garden Railway magazine's latest editions, or any editions since the change to fewer editions in a year.

           I was given a subscription for this year, and have received the December (Before Christmas), and whatever month the latest one is dated, and am truthfully "Under impressed".

           I do hope someone can point out something outstanding about it, so I may find some redeeming feature(s) in the next two copies I supposedly will receive before the subscription expires.

            Fred Mills

    • February 4, 2019 6:42 PM EST
      • Right here 'X', Pa
         
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      Fred I do hope that you were much more positive toward the person, when thanking them, who was thoughtful enough to give you a gift they thought you would enjoy

    • February 4, 2019 9:04 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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       Dave;

       My friend who gave me the subscription knows very, VERY well how much I appreciate his kind gift.

       He knows how much I like to keep my ear to the ground, on what is happening in the Model train hobby, and especially Large Scale.

         My thread is only to promote discussion on the magazine, and hopefully to find other views on how to look at the product, with the hope of helping it give better product for those purchasing it.

         Hopefully, the editor and staff can learn from any positive suggestions, on this thread, if they care to read it...I hope their vision is broad enough to allow themselves a view to Large Scale Central, as a possible source of ideas for future articles.

       Thank you for asking Dave...

        Fred Mills

      This post was edited by Fred Mills. at February 5, 2019 7:29 AM EST
    • February 4, 2019 9:18 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      When it went on a diet, is about the time I stopped my subscription.

       

      I kept comparing it to the Model Railroader of yore... when a review was unbiased and pointed out the strong points and the weak points. When you bought that loco or item, you knew a lot about it. Now you buy something with a glowing review, and often it is anything but.

       

      A better job of "selling truth" to the manufacturers must have been done long ago... no manufacturer threatened the magazine to pull their advertising as I remember...

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • February 4, 2019 9:54 PM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Seems like if you wanted to start a dialogue on the magazine you should have given a little more comment than I am in- impressed. I got mine today and have not had time to read it yet, but still look forward to it showing up. I think there needs to be a magazine, which will also include a website, and the2 can feed one another, bringing more to the hobby. If the product reviews  can be true then I welcome it. Going to go read it now and see what the new guys have to say/do/show .

      This post was edited by Pete Lassen at February 5, 2019 8:16 PM EST
      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • February 5, 2019 5:58 AM EST
      • Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
         
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      I used to have a subscription to Garden Railways and the UK's Garden Rail. The problem seems to be trying to provide a depth of material in any given issue that will interest a branch of the model railway hobby that includes such a diversity of scales, subject matter and operational methods. As they say "you can't please all of the people all of the time". To my mind the plethora of forums we now have available, both more general ones like this and the more specialized, have taken over the primary function of a periodical publication in informing hobbyists. That and how our interest is defined in a hobby, I might have an interest that spans a subject area that covers a couple or more scales (I do) and how you focus a publication then becomes an issue to meet that need.

       

      I think the idea that Pete mentions of having an associated website is probably the way to go, so long as the publisher understands the need to update and supply new content due to the immediacy of the medium. Going the other way, here in the UK, we have the 16 mm Narrow Gauge Modeler's Association ( https://www.16mm.org.uk/ ) that produces its own highly regarded in house quarterly printed publication. It's production standards could teach some specialized magazines a thing or two. Even that though suffers from the now broadening appeal of its own host publisher's society and is finding it difficult to meet the demands of the wider interests of its growing membership base.

    • February 5, 2019 8:35 PM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Ok, I read through the spring issue and so far I am happy with it. A great article from LSC. builder and poster Eric Schade, a review of the new Piko 25 ton switcher, a how to taking a live steam stationary engine and making a small tram( guessing Shawn V is working on his version of one by now!)and a nice editorial from the new guy, Kent Johnson basically saying tell us subscribers how and where you want the magazine to go! So I am guessing he is open to suggestions, so take a look and throw some suggestions his way. One of the reasons I read it is the information on plants and beamed of plants since I am still building and learning as I go, getting some USDA Hardiness guidelines about plants that work for scale trees is In my mind helpful. 

      Another reason is for a fairly new guy like me reading about the technique used to make roads and infrastructure is helpful , since they sometimes give a little more detail. Plus the pictures of different layouts hold clues and shows what others do.

      maybe some will say they are not impressed , or it lacks modern or steam or ops or roundyround c overage but it has only been one issue into the new editor. Having a magazine cannot hurt the hobby, but it can help grow it. 

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • February 8, 2019 4:02 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      The current issue format looks more like Finescale Modeler than GR of the last couple years, and thats okay. Content is still a bit thin but then new items from manufacturers has also been mighty slim.

      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • February 8, 2019 5:18 PM EST
      • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Magazines are having a tough time no matter what the content. I was a Garden Railway and Outdoor Railroader subscriber when I first started in the hobby in 1991. I eagerly looked forward each month for the new issue to see what was new. But times have changed.

       

      Now magazines are having a tough time no matter what the content. By the time they print, their news is at least 3 months old ,and thoroughly discussed on websites like this. Everybody here has a chance to offer their information, and often broaden the scope of the topic with great detail and alternative options.

       

      Many of us here have also been in the hobby a long time. So there is not much new they can offer us. And as previously mentioned there is not much new from the manufacturers either to perk our interest.

       

      I have been in the hobby for 28 years, so by now I have bought and made everything I wanted. Actually over the last number of years I have been selling not buying. If I decide to do something new, I e-mail club members and friends I met over the years for advice.

       

      So I don't buy skinny over priced magazines. However I can see the need for them to draw people into the hobby and provide them with the information they need to build their dream railway.

       

      This post was edited by Paul Norton at February 10, 2019 10:36 AM EST
    • February 8, 2019 7:49 PM EST
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      Pete Lassen said:

      Seems like if you wanted to start a dialogue on the magazine you should have given a little more comment than I am in- impressed. I got mine today and have not had time to read it yet, but still look forward to it showing up. I think there needs to be a magazine, which will also include a website, and the2 can feed one another, bringing more to the hobby. If the product reviews  can be true then I welcome it. Going to go read it now and see what the new guys have to say/do/show .

      They do have a website ?

    • February 8, 2019 9:49 PM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Rooster, what I was trying to say was that a magazine needs a website with content also, I know GR has one, used it before I found LSC and its fine inhabitants!

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • February 9, 2019 6:39 AM EST
      • Elizabeth City, NC
         
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      Paul Norton said:

       

      ...However I can see the need for them to draw people into the hobby and provide them with the information they need to build their dream railway.

       

      Indeed. A hobby is only as robust and long lived as the new members it brings in. I doubt that many start off with the idea that they want to model a specific railroad in a particular era and an exact locale. You need the rail fans, the rivet counters, the detailed modelers and the goofy ladies that run excursion cars full of lalaloopsy girls and have a Hello Kitty train. We all buy trains and parts and help keep manufacturers in existence. I enjoy my GR magazine and I like the diversity of articles it presents.

       

      NC Sophie

      Dismal Creek Railroad

      This post was edited by Sophie Boone at February 9, 2019 9:41 AM EST
    • February 9, 2019 8:24 AM EST
      • Lancaster , Ohio
         
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      I suppose it is fine for what it is and what it does. When it stopped having stuff I was interested in and got painfully thin I gave it up. Too much money for too little useful content.

    • February 9, 2019 8:57 AM EST
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      I didn't think the new GR was bad.  It seemed to cover a little something for all.  From buying used trains to scratch building tipper cars, kitbashing a live steam tram, rehabbing a railroad, photo gallery and the usual garden railroad of the month or in this case of the season.  They can only print what people send in and they have to cover a large range of abilities and interest.  If you are interested in live steam, we have steam in the garden, if you are into narrow gauge there is the Gazette et.....   There are magazines that cater to more specific areas of the hobby.  The magazine is thinner but we also have to remember there are a lot fewer advertisements.  Trainworld use to take up pages as well as wholesale trains etc......  Take away all those advertisements and the magazine becomes thinner. When I first got into GR, I read it from cover to cover, multiple times, absorbing everything I can.  Over the years as I gained knowledge, I found I only read what interests me.   I also think as we gain more knowledge we find a lot of the stuff less interesting. I also get steam in the garden, 16mm association, and the Narrow Gauge Gazette to fill that void.  

      I will miss Jeff youngs steam page and I miss scribblings on a workshop wall.  I wish there was more content now, especially since we only get GR quarterly. If people are so unhappy with the magazine what would you like to see?  Its hard when you have to cater to such a wide audience.  I still enjoy flipping through the pages seeing other garden layouts.  No other US magazine shows garden Railroads.  Would it be nice to have a separate Narrow Gauge Garden Railways and  Standard Gauge GR  magazine?  That would be great.  Maybe they can devote part of the magazine to standard gauge crowd and another section for the narrow gauge crowd.  Im sure they have enough articles to cover this since it takes so long from the time someone submits an article to the time it's published.   What else could they do keeping in mind that they have to cater to a diverse crowd?    I will still get GR to support the hobby but also because I rather flip through pages then look on a screen.  

      This post was edited by Shawn Viggiano at February 9, 2019 10:46 AM EST
    • February 9, 2019 11:56 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      If people are so unhappy with the magazine what would you like to see?  Its hard when you have to cater to such a wide audience.

      There's the rub, indeed.   EVERY one of us wants something different so it's hard to make everyone happy- or even any one...

      I think back to last century when I got started with model railroading and I got both Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman on a monthly basis.   At that time, those were basically the only communications available to learn what everybody was up to; it didn't really matter that they only came out once a month - there  was always so much to absorb especially since I was just starting.   Now, we can absorb information on an hourly basis and get real time feedback for any comments we make online.   We can easily share our pictures (well, some of us still struggle with picture posting

       

      Once you've been in the hobby for awhile, everything starts to look the same and there's no need to read the 108th article about how to get started.   Sure, still handy for the newcomer, but the old timers probably get bored.   Plus, it's just tough for magazines that have at least 3 months before an article can be published.   Very hard to please anyone in this day and age, especially since people want instant gratification.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • February 9, 2019 12:38 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Exactly Bruce, the audience is just as wide, but the market smaller, you need lots of different articles to keep people happy. That costs more money to produce.

      Add to that the lack of new stuff, and less advertising and it's an impossible task.

      Now heap on "free" magazines, forums, and the 3 month delay for any news and it's death for magazines.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • February 10, 2019 10:53 AM EST
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Bruce hit the nail on the head!  After my almost 40 years in large scale, there is nothing in Garden Railways that I haven't seen or read about. In my later years as a scratch builder / basher, even less.

      I was digging in my storage room the other day and found all my Garden Railways, (dating from almost the first issue), Outdoor Railroader, Timber Times, Finescaler, and Narrow Gauge Gazettes.

      Next on my agenda is how to dispose of them. When one of our club members passed away several years ago, we took boxes and boxes and boxes of the above, plus Model Railroader and a few others to a local show and sold hardly none.

      So I took a truckload to the recycler. 

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • February 10, 2019 12:46 PM EST
      • Southwestern, NH
         
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      Well I for one have yet to see the new edition, the last one on my digital subscription, Klambake hasn't come up with an answer yet, and they want me to renew? good luck.

       

      Al P.

    • February 10, 2019 1:07 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      One solution for finding a use for all those old magazines, that few even think of is:

           Leave a bundle of them in the waiting rooms of all the offices you visit...The vet's, your eye doctor, your many medical doctors; the barber shop; the auto repair centre; the local mall where you shop, if it has seating areas; the emergency waiting area at your local hospital; your local senior's homes; and any where you see people sitting and waiting.  Don't forget the Dentist's office too...along with your lawyers...and undertakers...!!!

          By leaving them in these places, it solves the problem most of us have in "Waiting rooms"...boredom with the crap magazines usually offered.

      It also promotes our hobby at the same time, and plants the seed for possible new people to enter our hobby.  

          All these offices will eventually recycle them for you, or people will walk off with them...

        It will also give YOU something to read, or reread, while you do your waiting...you might even find an article you had forgotten...!!

        Fred Mills

      This post was edited by Fred Mills. at February 10, 2019 3:23 PM EST
    • February 10, 2019 1:34 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Times are a changing. How many newspapers have stopped coming out in print versions, or have folded altogether? One paper I know of, went from a daily paper to 4 issues a week. Hobby shops, heck complete shopping malls, are closing down. The internet has changed the landscape of information gathering and communication so much in the past couple of decades. I hate seeing some of these changes, but with almost instant communication at our fingertips, the change is inevitable. That is why we, members of sites like this one, need to be welcoming and encouraging to any and all newcomers. We may be the newcomers first, and maybe at first their only, source of information.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

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