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What Is Next For Fine Scale Modeler? Locked

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  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, October 18, 2020 2:47 PM

richs26

Is there anybody that has a subscription to Kalmbach's prestigious flagship magazine, Model Rairoader, and participate in those forums?  Are those forums free to join? 

 

The Model Railroader forum is free.

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Boston
Posted by Wilbur Wright on Sunday, October 18, 2020 7:37 PM

I just heard this news and I am sorry to hear this.  I received a great deal of auto/car modeling advice on their forums from people that do nothing but build scale model cars and trucks. There was a lot of expertise over there in this niche.

 

Auto modeling and gloss painting and finishing is a completely different beast than military modeling.

I hope that some of the people at Scale Auto forums will come to these forums in the Auto section.

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Sunday, October 18, 2020 7:45 PM

Looks like some have, auto page has new names and some good looking builds from them.

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Sunday, October 18, 2020 8:03 PM

waikong
So, long time family subscriber and forum member. Curious as to why some have said if fsm goes all digital, ie. the magazine is only available digitally, you will be gone. Personally Fsm is the only print modeling magazine I have. All others are digital only because they actually charge less for the digital edition. And it sure saves a lot of room for back issues.
 

An FSM subscription is the same price for digital or print.   Kalmbach doesn't seem to believe in a digital discount on any of their magazine titles.

I'm not opposed to digital, I have been a quick convert to digital books on my Kindle, but a magazine is a whole different ball of was in my mind.  Kind of hard to view pictures on my HD Kindle from reference books as it is, viewing a magazine that revolves around pictures would require a device upgrade in my case.

Not impossible, just unlikely that I'd renew without a lower price if it went all digital.

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: NYC, USA
Posted by waikong on Sunday, October 18, 2020 11:28 PM
Totally agree digitalshould be a lower price!

My website: http://waihobbies.wkhc.net

   

  • Member since
    August 2015
Posted by Modeltruckbuilder on Saturday, October 24, 2020 10:36 AM

This thread is now 2 weeks old and hasn't had any replies for just about a week. It started out as a back and forth discussion, a point counterpoint type of thread that generated a lot of interest. Good stuff, the type of conversation that helps promote a forum for all of the right reasons. One of the replies made reference to an article on another website that quotes Kalmbach's CEO. It mentions his vision and strategy for the company, what he believes is the proper course for not only Fine Scale but for Kalmbach Media. Since that post the direction of this thread suddenly changed. The enthusiastic and hopeful tone shared by many of the posters in this thread quickly turned into doom and gloom, and understandably so. Although I'm not surprised, I am however disappointed that we haven't gotten any response from anyone at Kalmbach. It is not my intention to *** anyone off here, whether it be members or management. I just find it very frustrating and extremely disappointing that no one has denied or confirmed any of the speculation regarding the future of Fine Scale as has been discussed in this thread. The lack of response from management is very discouraging. Not only am I disappointed that Scale Auto has ceased all operations and no longer functions as an independent enterprise, I also find myself concerned about the future of Fine Scale Magazine and it's forum.          

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Saturday, October 24, 2020 1:15 PM

I would imagine the FSM staff is either in the dark on what the CEO's goals and plans are, orif they do know they certainly wouldn't be allowed to post on it without going through corporate channels first for approval.  Besides the last time they commented on a thread asking if FSM was going away, they denied it and lock the thread.  Perhaps this is still the answer.

But it would be nice if they would chime in on what they do have control over: future content of the magazine.  Such as if there will be an expansion of auto modeling topics to accomodate the new auto building crowd, and what current areas will be pared back to make room for this.

 

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Nashua, NH
Posted by Mr Mike on Sunday, October 25, 2020 7:47 AM

It is my understanding that the staff of Kalmbach do not look in on the forums or even bother with anything we have to say.  I seems to be, "their way or the highway" mentality.  This is something that I don't like especially with no moderators on this forum.  I don't expect them to stick their heads in here all the time, but an occasional hello would be nice.  Something a little more than an announcement once in a great while, but I'm sure that they are rather busy putting out their magazines.  The CEO of Kalmbach seems to have his own ideas and they don't seem to jive with forum members.  I fear that we are on the losing end of this deal.   

"That's Spenser with an "S", like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club 

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Sunday, October 25, 2020 11:15 AM

Mr Mike
I fear that we are on the losing end of this deal.   

I have a sub to FSm that ends in April. I also bought this last summer a 2 yr to SAM, which got killed just 3 issues in for me and the rest to be placed on an FSM sub or continuation thereof. I just got my renewal notice that states I will be out of new issues in April. SO much for the "moving my sub to FSM from SAM." I'm afaid we've been hoodwinked boys and they getting desperate for money. The amount of emails I get now from them to sell something is off the chart lately. I'm afraid the end is nye. Time to sit back and listen to the doors "the end" and chill. I'm not even gonna raise a fuss over the sub because I don't think there will be a mag to send out even if I got them to fix the sub issue. Whatever, talk to the hand.

BK

On the bench: Alot !

On Deck: Alot more !

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, October 25, 2020 11:48 AM

Well, how many folks here, subscribers and non subscribers, have bought anything of either products or project kits that Kalmbach is selling? Yes we all like our own particular special issues of the magazine that we prefer. But how about all the various project items, or even tools and supplies, that are advertised on here? I suspect not many. Aside from seeing a single Millennium Falcon project or something along those lines of one of those items offered for sale awhile back, I can't think of seeing any others shown on here by a forum member.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Sunday, October 25, 2020 12:05 PM

I hear that.  I've gotten the sales pitch e-mails...to me way over-priced.  I think some are even subscription kits...a few parts a month for a couple of years.  Might not even be around to send all of it out to the buyer.

BK-  I get the same thing even though I'm good till 2-23.  Check the address label on the mag, they might have already updated the expiration date.  But who knows what other they'll replace it with, or just switch it over to digital.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, October 25, 2020 3:27 PM

Hello!

One thing - the FSM Staff doesn't work on weekends. I've seen it for years, sometimes somebody (Manny!) started a thread drastically violating the status quo on friday afternoon and it was allowed to rage on until monday morning (local US time - meaning until monday late here in Poland) when hard working businessmen and businesswomen returned to work.

So it's still at least about 18 hours before we can expect anything from FSM here.

And as sad as it is - because it's a good feeleing to have the FSM mag around - I wouldn't subscribe because there are too many issues where I find nothing or too little of interest for me to justify the cost of those issues. About once a year there is an issue that is so interesting, that I'm willing to buy an individual issue of the FSM and then it's about three times as expensive as modelling magazines that come out locally (and I normally don't buy those neither).

Thanks for reading and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

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  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 10:34 AM

Wow! A lot going on in this thread.

Let's begin with Scale Auto (SCA)?

The decision to close a publication is never one made on the spur of the moment. However, when the decision has to be made, it may come at an inconvenient or uncomfortable time. And it leaves no one with happy feelings of eider down floating on a summer breeze. We're all here to do a job, and sometimes the job sucks. 

When Kalmbach decided to cease regular print publication for SCA, Aaron and I immediately began planning for the integration of SCA content into FSM. The FSM November 2020 issue was already on its way to the printer and the December 2020 issue was deep into design and edits. There was no way for us to insert SCA content into the November issue--it was already out the door. For December, we lifted a story I had initally scheduled for SCA December 2020 by Mat Irvine as a follow-up to Mark Jones' build of the Supernatural AMT Impala four-door that appeared in SCA Jun 2020. We did this while winding down the regular print operation and figuring out what to do with dozens of projects that were in the works. You can't just flick off the lights and call it done. There's a lot going on behind the scenes besides just putting out the magazines.

With FSM January 2021, we start to get our feet underneath us, and the car content will begin to appear with regularity, starting with a story by Marcos Cruz. More how-tos will follow. Scale-auto content is another topic that will be part of the content mix going forward, just like planes, tanks, and sci-fi. Further, there are some announcements in the offing for more car goodies coming in 2021. Yes, we plan to continue to produce Contest Cars. You'll notice that we're hosting the ACME Southern Nationals Online Model Contest and Show. We've had a tremendous outpouring of support and tons of great models have been entered. There may be more online shows coming up in the future. 

I'm not sure what more I can say regarding SCA except that we're working with Tim Boyd, Bob Downie, Marcos Cruz, Mark Jones, and many others to continue to bring modelers scale-auto-related content. Continuting to operate a nationally distributed magazine dedicated solely to scale-car modeling was not financially feasible, but auto modeling is as important to the hobby as tanks or planes and deserves support and inclusion in FSM. And BTW, as others have pointed out, cars have been in FSM before. Past editors decided to minimize auto content in FSM after Kalmbach purchased SCA, which made sense decades ago. Not so, now. 

Let's try another:

Will we charge for membership to the Forums? That's not what Dan is talking about when he talks about membership. What we're looking at is providing more content on the website to complement the content in the print magazine and adding more value where, as some of you have said, you don't really see any.

Over the next months, beyond a much-needed facelift for FineScale.com, you'll notice  a lot more content hitting the website--the lion's share accessible only to subscribers. For instance, subscribers should already notice more reviews on the website. New reviews will appear on FineScale.com weekly now, rather than waiting for the print magazine. This is just the beginning. 

Over the next few months, you'll also notice a steady increase in videos on the website, and new content will appear daily. Of course, all of this takes time because we're moving to fully integrate the digital and print sides into a cohesive whole. But  membership means subscribers will start to see more and more content appearing on the website available only to them.


In the meantime, the print magazine will focus on bringing great how-to stories to readers just as it always has. With the infusion of contributors from SCA, we'll add a steady stream of auto content, and we're always on the hunt for talented modelers to submit excellent stories. 

In the end, while we have to operate within a larger company, everything we're doing here at FSM on the editorial side is to bring MORE to our audience. And that means championing modeling in all its forms; extolling the experience of modeling, not just pushing the technical skills required; entertaining as well as enriching. We believe in our hobby, and we will work to grow it and FSM.

Right now, I have to edit stories for the web and a March 2021 feature. I'm sure you have more questions, and I'll answer them when I get a chance.

TK

  

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 10:37 AM
Thanks for the update Information and communication is very important

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Albany, NY
Posted by jeffpez on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:17 AM

Tim

Thanks for the update. Might I suggest that every so often you or Aaron do it again to keep us up to date rather than leaving us to speculate. The changes you mention sound great and I'm looking forward to them. I hope your failure to mention ships was simply an oversight. I have little interest in tanks and military aircraft and would love to see more content on things that float.

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:33 AM

jeffpez

Tim

Thanks for the update. Might I suggest that every so often you or Aaron do it again to keep us up to date rather than leaving us to speculate. The changes you mention sound great and I'm looking forward to them. I hope your failure to mention ships was simply an oversight. I have little interest in tanks and military aircraft and would love to see more content on things that float.

 

 

Hi Jeff,

That's on me. I've poked my head in a few times, but mostly, I've been swamped with the day to day, and as long as no one was setting a fire in here, I've been inclined to let things rumble along. I'll be around more going forward.

Never fear, ships are part of the mix, too. 

TK

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:59 AM

Tim Kidwell
 

...Over the next months, beyond a much-needed facelift for FineScale.com... 

Just make it more user-friendly.  There's a ready-made punch list down in the forum issues subforum.  Content doesn't mean anything, if a website is kludgy to use.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 6:22 PM

Great to see you around again Tim and thanks for the update. 

                   

 

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 7:16 PM

Tim, thanks for the update.

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 9:17 AM

Thanks for the update. Sounds like good things coming up next year. Please drop by and give us a tickle of info now and again just so we don't start any fires.

Bk

On the bench: Alot !

On Deck: Alot more !

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 12:59 PM

Thank You ! 

      All the speculation was confusing. As you know I post almost regularly. Not many Pictures because of Life. But I do live to share what life has taught me about Modeling and Modeling out of the Box. Which of course is Modeling with found materials as well.

 I look forward to the new reviews and comments.

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 5:37 PM

Thank you for the info, Tim!

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Thursday, October 29, 2020 4:34 PM

Thanks Tim for chiming in. Should dispell whining and rumors. 

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
    April 2015
Posted by Mark Lookabaugh on Friday, October 30, 2020 12:08 AM

The Baron Posted

"Just make it more user-friendly.  There's a ready-made punch list down in the forum issues subforum.  Content doesn't mean anything, if a website is kludgy to use."

Any idea how much time and money goes into the nifty easy to use websites like Amazon, Google, etc. ?   Do a bit of "back of the envelope" estimation about how much this company receives for each user of this forum vs the cost.

Honestly, we're pretty lucky this forum is still online at all. 

Mark

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, October 30, 2020 7:29 AM

Mark Lookabaugh

...Any idea how much time and money goes into the nifty easy to use websites like Amazon, Google, etc. ? 

Yes, Mark, I do.  I have worked for the past 20 years in software development, as a QA tester and as a business analyst.  I've gathered requirements from customers, written requirements, worked with the developers as they write the code, tested it for bugs, including usability, and then worked with customers when an application is rolled out.

Before that, I was a support analyst, working directly with external customers to help them use my company's software.  I got to hear how they used, what they liked, what they didn't like.

And before that, I was a banker.  I jumped to IT, after working on implementing a new computer system for our bank.  That was when desktops had become common, and a rack of servers in a closet replaced the old mainframe that took up a whole building.

So I've got 30-odd years in customer service in one way or another.  I learned that you listen to your customers.  Not everything they say or ask will be possible, but you listen.

And looking at the items in the Forum Errors section, to get an idea of existing issues and complaints, is certainly part of developing a new version.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Tim Kidwell on Friday, October 30, 2020 9:17 AM

Hi Baron,

"Kludgy" site: The FineScale website and the FineScale Forum are two separate issues, though they may look like one in the same. Upgrades to both will be dealt with in  phases. The focus of Phase 1 will be the redesign and replatforming of FineScale.com, where FSM-generated content resides. We are certainly looking at plugins with the replatforming that will constitute the foundation for a new FSM Forum, but we have only so much dev firepower at any one time and it's spread over many Kalmbach projects. I can't give a timeline yet, but we're in the prelim stages.

And we do have a long list of suggestions for the next iteration of the Forum.

Off to shoot video!

TK

--

Timothy Kidwell
Editor
Scale Model Brands
Kalmbach Media

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, October 30, 2020 9:34 AM

Tim Kidwell

Hi Baron,

"Kludgy" site: The FineScale website and the FineScale Forum are two separate issues...

Thanks for clarifying, Tim, sorry, yes, I'm referring to the forum rather than the FSM site.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Saturday, October 31, 2020 6:19 AM

Tim Kidwell

Hi Baron,

"Kludgy" site: The FineScale website and the FineScale Forum are two separate issues, though they may look like one in the same. Upgrades to both will be dealt with in  phases. The focus of Phase 1 will be the redesign and replatforming of FineScale.com, where FSM-generated content resides. We are certainly looking at plugins with the replatforming that will constitute the foundation for a new FSM Forum, but we have only so much dev firepower at any one time and it's spread over many Kalmbach projects. I can't give a timeline yet, but we're in the prelim stages.

And we do have a long list of suggestions for the next iteration of the Forum.

Off to shoot video!

TK

 

,aybe one of the items that can be addressed is the damned ads that I get when visiting from my tablet, the ones that surround the whole screen and then swell p to eave only a small amount of the screen visible for 15-30 seconds?  I mean, I gethink the need for ads to offset costs and what not, but maybe eliminate the invasive ads?  They are some of the reason for my limited traffic to the site...it's a pain to browse uninterrupted.....

"...failure to do anything because someone else can do better makes us rather dull and lazy..."

Mortal as I am,I know that I am born for a day.  But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth...

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, October 31, 2020 6:29 AM

Those ads are from your browser not FSM,for example I get pop-ups from Ingles a local chain and local car dealers,they appear on all the sites I browse  not just FSM.

Access FSM using a ad blocker you will never see them again.I use Ad-Blocker Ultimate.It works great.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Nashua, NH
Posted by Mr Mike on Saturday, October 31, 2020 7:18 AM

I'm wondering right now, will FSM have additional pages with the addition of Scale Auto content?

"That's Spenser with an "S", like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club 

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