July 6, 2001DISCUSSING THE BIG FOUR...
Last week I asked a couple of questions about our favorite Magazines. All the feedback stated they enjoyed each of the mag's they subscribed to, and received some nicely stated feedback.
I've cut and pasted all the emails up per question to make it easier, so all of these are various posts throughout the column!
- how do the rest of you feel towards 'theme' issues?
"There have only been a couple of theme issues that I found less then entertaining, but overall I've found something of interest in each installment."
"I stopped reading Sci-Fi Effects International awhile ago (before they folded). The issues got to be more and more less about modeling (unless it was something to do with Gerry Anderson). I mean really do I need multi-issue articles on a giant Eagle Transport? Part 11: Accurizing the Eagle Transport Bathroom. Yawn."
"Of the four magazines still in existence, I feel the occurrence of 'theme' issues is infrequent enough to be just right. I like a theme issue every now and then and I enjoyed the Vampire issue alot!"
- how or what do you look for in the write up of kit articles?
"After watching David Fisher's Model Mania video #4, I would love to see more articles on making your own elaborate bases. Fred's mag covers this the best so far, but I'd love to see much more of this!!"
"I find the instructions on painting flesh and how to shadow facial areas to be of most interest to me. Especially when new and innovative ways are mentioned, besides simple drybrushing or washes. More and more article authors are sharing tricks learned or discovered as their talent grows, and that can only help all of us who are just starting out in this hobby of ours. This sharing is what I find so amazing about this hobby!!"
"I enjoy coverage of all the kits, whether I own them myself or not. My favorite articles deal with dinosaurs, and so any scaly monster and how it was approached with paints I'll usually read right away! I like as many photo's as possible, with step by step instructions throughout, but understand page constraints. ...Check out the Bill Jones Gamera article...that's the optimum layout to strive for!"
- how do you guys feel about articles featuring converted Action Figures?
"At first I too hated it. But about 2 weeks ago I was in TRU and while at the check out counter, spied two versions of Professor X. One featured a plastic, clear futuristic wheelchair, which I hated, and the other a more normal wheelchair. And the thought instantly popped into my head, that if you painted POLAR LIGHTS' Pteranadon to look like 'Turu' from the Jonny Quest episode, he would look perfect as the pet's old man!! So I'm guilty of doing it as well!! But still, like you, Buc, not sure how I feel about it inside Modeling magazines!"
[Damn! Hate to admit it, but that's a great idea!!! - Buc - a big Turu fan!!]
"Whereas the boys over on Norm's board are true modeler's, the act of taking toys, applying putty to arms and legs, slapping them on a base, & passing them off as a model kit is sacreligious!! You're right, that's WIZARD fodder!"
"...In my opinion this is a wonderful and creative option available to today's modelers, especially when you consider the abundance of well sculpted and interesting action figures on the market and the near complete absence of great model kits on subjects we like. The practice of converting these figures to models enhances them and enlarges the modeler's skills. The new breed of action figures also comes in very handy in providing extra bits and figures for existing model kits. If things continue as they are, action figures and garage kits may be our only choices in the future."
"Think it's bad in magazines?! I saw a big ass diorama entered in a show once where all the figures were action toys with a shoddy house built with moss here and there. And it won!!! No, no, no!!! Keep that crap out of our hobby!!!"
[Hmmmmm... think I saw that one as well!!! -Buc]
- do you feel that our interests in the hobby are covered adequately by the 'Big Four'?
"Some of the coverage I feel have nothing to do with modeling per say. If I wanted to know about music to model by I'd go to my local record store."
"Overall I feel most things are being covered. I personally would like to see more on Sci-Fi vehicles be they Starships, Time Machines or Submarines (one in particular). I don't really expect that from AFM, after all their focus is figure models, but others could do more. I can forget about any such articles in Fine Scale Modeling. Since their editorial change over, no sci-fi based articles have appeared. Sigh."
"I find it interesting how [Name] fails to even mention one of the largest model shows, Wonderfest, in their upcoming show listings."
"I really enjoy all of those magazines you mentioned. But I wish there were more SciFi and Fantasy ships and hardware articles. I am not holding my breathe expecting to see any in FineScale Modeler!"
"I snatch up every big issue of the Hobby Link Japan catalogs, but besides being in Japanese, it's just not a mag!! We need more anime coverage, Editors!!!! To date only Model Maniacs seems to touch on this!"
"I know the various editors want to spotlight new and current kits, but there are alot of older kits that are still readily available which can be featured. Especially in the styrene arena. What is really lacking for me are some good kit bash or scratch built articles and tutorials!! And why isn't the sculpture corner covered? There's a lot of talent on the 'Novice Sculpture' list that could send in articles like how to do hands and facial features, how to build a custom stand, and the best clay to use. CultTVman's board has a bunch of guys who can teach kit bashing SF ships as well! Enough with applying paint already. Let's get down to the more difficult beginning steps!"
"Sheet styrene!!! What is it, where do you get it, what sizes does it come in and how do you use it once you bought some?!! Balsa Foam as well!"
Around the hobby... learned today and semi-confirmed by different sources that Suzi Klimek resigned Monday from Polar Lights. Will be interesting to see who, if any, take over the moderator duties on the bulletin board.
Appreciate the e-mails, Gang! Next week we look at the dreaded 'Exclusives'!! :)
So.... Til next week...