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April issue

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  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
April issue
Posted by midnightprowler on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 5:58 PM

Seems to me the April issue felt a bit thinner than usual. 

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by rob44 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 6:01 PM

I made the same observation.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 8:33 PM

I'm sure Kalmbach won't appreciate the feedback, but if the March issue was any indication, FSM is going to be joining Scale Auto soon in the Kalmbach graveyard. The content was weak, the magazine was thinner because they decided to hide almost all the Workbench reviews behind a subscriber paywall (nice way to impress people who buy an issue off the newsstand, powers that be) and there were almost no advertisers. I know people hate ads, but the simple fact is, they pay the bills. Their absence is a sign of poor magazine health. 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 8:46 PM

I hope everything's OK, I just renewed for 24 months. Indifferent

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/72 Revell He177 & 1/35 Tamiya Sdkfz 251

On deck: 1/35 Bronco LWS

In the hole: 1/144 Revell S-100

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 9:43 PM
There's only one way to know for sure, get out your last issue, count the pages, and compare it with the number of pages in the April issue and that will give you the definitive answer.

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 9:46 PM

March and April both 60.  January 84.

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 4:00 AM

I didn't say it had less pages,  I said it "felt" thinner.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 4:40 AM

Kind of the same way...used to be  3-4 articles would interest me.  Lately maybe 1.

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Albany, NY
Posted by jeffpez on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 5:47 AM

I'm less concerned about the magazine going away than I am that we'll soon lose the print version. The recent move to allow print subscribers to have access to the online content says to me that we're being aclimated to what's planned for the future. I looked at the April issue when I got the email that it was available and didn't like viewing it on my computer except for being able to see the photos far better. If the print version goes away then so do I.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 7:27 AM

jeffpez

I'm less concerned about the magazine going away than I am that we'll soon lose the print version. The recent move to allow print subscribers to have access to the online content says to me that we're being aclimated to what's planned for the future. I looked at the April issue when I got the email that it was available and didn't like viewing it on my computer except for being able to see the photos far better. If the print version goes away then so do I.

 

Ditto

I felt exactly the same.  I felt reducing the number of kit reviews, while calling out more reviews online, was to get us more used to reading online, in case they have to drop the print edition.  This seems to be the way the publishing industry is being forced.  Young folks do not seem as interested in hard copy viewing.  I hate reading web pages on my cell phone- too much scrolling.  I do envy the youngsters- I wish I had the thumb agility to do all the scrolling and clicking that young people do.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 7:42 AM
I also hate reading on my phone, if I'm going to read a long article, downloaded book or magazine, I use my full size iPad, same size as a book or magazine,makes a diffrence.i would look into one,prices have come down,and it's great for vacation.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 12:01 PM

Hi Tojo!

 This is really for everyone that's commented. I don't mind reading off my computer .As a matter of fact I find it kind of pleasant. So- - as long as they still support the Website here and the forums here than I don't have a problem with it. Just make it easy to do. Some of us have enough savvy to come here, But the rest is a Quagmire to our poor old brains.

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 12:16 PM

Just a very few years ago, when the latest issue would arrive, it was something to really look forward to enjoying. After dinner it would be  quite a good one or two hour read.

For some time now, there has been little content that I find of interest or useful. I know that many modelers build other than just military aircraft, so there should be subjects of interest for them as well. I have interest only in aircraft, so space, figures, fantasy, monsters, ships, etc are just wasted pages for me. Far less in the way of aircraft now to suit me.

It seems I see less in reader gallery and reviews, disappointing for sure. But the major issue I have with the magazine currently, is the dismal quality of some photographic reproduction as printed. Very poor, fuzzy and flat in color, not much lively and clear to see now. The subscribers deserve better. The Navy Corsair on this months page 15 is my example of poor image quality, pretty much insulting the builder that put lot's of time into the project.

I've subcribed since FSM started publishing, except for periods of being based out of the country. Even then, I would look for magazine sales stores and buy off the rack if available.

My subscription is up in a couple of months, no renewal for me, I will miss the much earlier versions of FSM.

Patrick

 

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 1:18 PM

The only issues that I have with the printed magazine is that there are too few articles and reviews of car models and that the page count is getting too short. I just looked at a July 2015 FSM magazine and it had 66 pages vs. the April 2021 magazine which has 58 pages.

Regarding the quality of the pictures. Keep in mind that FSM is at the mercy of the picture quality that is submitted by modelers. Some modelers do a good job of taking pictures of their models and some don't.

Just a tip, try not to use a bold font when submitting a post.

Youe comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 3:49 PM

Its been years since I built anything other than a figure. Thats now changed since I joined the forums and without the subscription that wouldn't have happened. I don't own an IPad or a laptop and I enjoy the feel and smell of paper, and when I eventually store the finished mag on my shelf, I can still see it and know that I have that physical resource. If the mag goes I will probably read it on my PC, but it won't be the same.

As for the articles, many of them don't interest me, but I read them all and often come across little gems of information that I might otherwise have missed. I also find it intersting to read how other modelers deal with building and painting challenges. Besides, I've paid my money, so I wants to take my ride!

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 4:19 PM

As far as picture quality goes, it shouldn't be a throw up the hands and say, 'well, that's what we got'. This is where editing comes in - FSM should say 'We like your article. The pics could be better, though. Can you take them again and resubmit?'. If the author can't or won't do that, maybe some other article should be published instead. If we've reached the point they'll just take and publish whatever because it's all they've got, regardless of quality, the magazine is in even more trouble than it appears to be already.  

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 4:49 PM

Only photos of the finished model can be retaken. Obviously, photos of models "during construction" cannot be retaken.

I have a feeling that not too many modelers submit material for articles to FSM for publication. I have submitted material for articles to FSM and it takes a lot of work to creat an article. First, photos need to be taken during the build process. Then those photos need to be cropped and enhanced using something like Photoshop. Next the author needs to creat a story and create descriptions of each photo. Finally, the text and photos need to be assembled and sent to FSM. It is not a simple task. Maybe you should grab your camera and give it a try?

Youe comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 5:30 PM

As a matter of fact, I have contributed preview and review articles to a website I'm sure many have visited, without naming the particular madness. So I am well aware it is not a simple task to follow someone's guidelines and still be interesting, too. And that it's mostly a thankless chore. Also, that I am not really that good at it.

But I can say that I have, in fact, tried it. And discovered that it's perhaps not where my own talents lie. My comments were hardly disparaging of authors. More that perhaps the editing process, if there is one, should be stronger. The website in question has very clear guidelines for content, length, pics, etc. 

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 6:58 PM

JohnnyK

The only issues that I have with the printed magazine is that there are too few articles and reviews of car models and that the page count is getting too short. I just looked at a July 2015 FSM magazine and it had 66 pages vs. the April 2021 magazine which has 58 pages.

Regarding the quality of the pictures. Keep in mind that FSM is at the mercy of the picture quality that is submitted by modelers. Some modelers do a good job of taking pictures of their models and some don't.

Just a tip, try not to use a bold font when submitting a post.

 

Johnny - I'm guessing the modeler of the Corsair build likely provided good quality images, I also guess the printing process ended up with the less than good reproduction. Not long ago the photos were of much better quality.

As to bold print, I don't use it to "turn up the volume or be rude," I'm 80, the old eyes don't work all that well now, the larger size helps when typing, or reading. When I read posts from others, I appreciate their using larger print, it does make it better for me. No offense intended.

Patrick

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 8:28 PM

I usually have my copy by now.  April was supposed to be the first of the new subscription. Don't want to sit here reading a magazine on the screen. I want it in my hand.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, March 4, 2021 9:33 AM

I don't like reading articles on my desktop- my computer chair is a task chair and not as comfortable as my reading chair.  However, I suppose I can get used to it if fsm goes online only.  I hope it doesn't, but I understand what is happening to publishing.

Several other hobby magazines I used to subscribe to have gone belly up, some several years ago.  Too many people today just do not really like reading hard copy stuff Sad

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, March 4, 2021 11:27 AM

To be honest I did read most of the issue over the hour I had at work the other day. But I really enjoyed the articles on the armoured German railway car, the battered Y-Wing, and the rat rod. I picked up a couple of techniques from those that I want to try in the future. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Thursday, March 4, 2021 4:32 PM

Fsm goes completely digital,  goodbye. 

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, March 5, 2021 8:03 AM

midnightprowler

Fsm goes completely digital,  goodbye. 

 

I will still buy it if the price is reasonable.  I will not pay as much as for the print edition.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, March 5, 2021 9:11 AM

Gamera

To be honest I did read most of the issue over the hour I had at work the other day. But I really enjoyed the articles on the armoured German railway car, the battered Y-Wing, and the rat rod. I picked up a couple of techniques from those that I want to try in the future. 

 
Yeah, I got mine yesterday, and did the same. I read through it in about an hour last night, and I enjoyed every article, even though not every article was about a modeling subject that interests me. 
 
I really liked Chuck Bauer's article on adding PE details to ships.  It comes at the right time, as I look to jumpstart my old Shelf of Doom build of the Pennsylvania which stalled right at that point-adding some PE.
 
I have always had the attitude that regardless of my own interests, I can look at any model, in any subject or genre, and appreciate it for the skills of the modeler, the techniques, which probably apply to things I like to build, the work that went into the build, and the results.  Same goes for articles about modeling. FSM is a modeling magazine, so it makes sense to cover all of modeling.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, March 5, 2021 10:13 AM

Hi guys,

Well, there's quite a lot of speculation here, and there's probably not much I can say that will tamp that down. Needless to say, we don't have any plans to go all-digital. True, we decided to bundle the digital and print subs. There was no reason to keep them separate, especially with the shipping challenges USPS has been facing of late. 

Adjusting the page count for the magazine was a tough decision, and one that we have struggled with for years. For the edtiorial staff, we chose to look at the change as an opportunity. We refocused the print magazine on how-to stories and shifted other stories to the website. The kit reviews are no longer bound by the print publication schedule. At least two new reviews appear every week on the website and are far more timely. Subscribers can access them all month long, rather than wait until the next month when the magazine arrives in the mail (email or otherwise). And yes, I understand that this makes those reviews unavailable to non-subscribers, but that's one of the benefits for subscribing.

Someone mentioned advertising, and I'd like to speak to that for a moment (and I'm only hitting the tippy top of the waves here). For a long time, print publishers each had a formula they used to compare page count to advertising pages in a magazine. Every publication had it's own ratio. Some went with a Cosmo-esque ratio (ad heavy as opposed to editorial), and others went editorial heavy (we were always on that side of things). Come the early 2000s, print advertising was absolutely crushed in the move to online ads. To keep going, print pubs (particularly small and mid-sized mags) basically had to do away with the ad-edit formulas, because if they didn't, the pubs would have been reduced to 6-page newsletters, and two or three of those pages would have been ads (hyperbole, but not by much). Obviously, maintaining a subscriber base for those would have been impossible. At the same time, reader habits were changing faster than reels on a slot machine, and this impacted subscription numbers. Balancing two revenue sources under extreme pressure with rising costs of shipping and printing coupled with with the obliteration of newsstand (a third revenue source) and extreme, monopolistic consolidation on the distribution front wiped out and continues to adversely affect print magazines from small indies to massive publishing houses. The industry saw a couple of dozen closures across many categories in 2020 alone, and  COVID is not singularly to blame; it was a contributing factor, though, in the demise of several titles. 

Dire, right?

Well, not entirely. Some corners of the publishing world have been able to better weather the chaos, but that doesn't mean they're immune. And, as I said earlier, we've adjusted and will keep adjusting, and FSM is in a good place right now. People seem to like to compare FSM and Scale Auto (SCA). The comparison to Scale Auto extends only as far as the similarity in subject matter and that both brands are owned by Kalmbach. I can't and won't bore you with the internal nitty gritty. The point is, where Scale Auto was and where FineScale is are worlds apart.

I have to get back to editing the Building Muscle Cars, Restomods, and Pro Touring special issue along with stories for July 2021. Stay safe, all of you. And if you want to submit a scale-modeling how-to story, don't be shy

Tim

 

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, March 5, 2021 10:36 AM

Thanks for chiming in Tim.  

While figures and sci-fi hold zero interest on my end for projects, it's great to see well done examples.  There is enough of the subjects that do interest me, along with the how-tos, to keep me coming back.

I'll be a subscriber until either FSM or I die off.

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • From: Milaca, Minnesota
Posted by falconmod on Friday, March 5, 2021 12:55 PM

Tim,

   while your looking at this post could you check into the way the address labels are attached to the cover of the magazine? I've had several delivered to my house with the tags looking like the attached photo.

I'm pretty sure it must have come off my september issue as I never got one.  I probably should have emailed the subsription department but I just went out a bought one off the newsstand .

Thanks

John

On the Bench: 1/72 Ki-67, 1/48 T-38

1/72 EF-111, 1/144 AC-130, 1/72 JL-8

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, March 5, 2021 1:17 PM

falconmod

Tim,

   while your looking at this post could you check into the way the address labels are attached to the cover of the magazine? I've had several delivered to my house with the tags looking like the attached photo.

I'm pretty sure it must have come off my september issue as I never got one.  I probably should have emailed the subsription department but I just went out a bought one off the newsstand .

Thanks

John

 

Hi John, 

We don't apply those labels. Our printer--Quad Graphics--applies those labels before they are shipped.  Also, the labels are meant to be removable so they don't harm the magazine cover. If the glue is too aggressive, we get complaints that it won't come of. So a less aggressive glue might be affected adversely by wet conditions. Quad is usually pretty careful about application and the glue it uses. But I've let our production team know about it and sent them a copy of your pic.

Also, if an issue goes missing on you, please contact customerservice@FineScaleModeler.info and let them know. We'll get is straightened out for you. 

Thanks,

Tim

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • From: Milaca, Minnesota
Posted by falconmod on Friday, March 5, 2021 1:26 PM

Will do.   And BTW I don't mind if they come off at some point, after thet get the my house of course.   Also I'm sure everyone has had one stuck on right over something on the cover of some magazine you really want to see.  I know I know picky picky picky...

On the Bench: 1/72 Ki-67, 1/48 T-38

1/72 EF-111, 1/144 AC-130, 1/72 JL-8

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