David Knights' Weblog

May 8, 2009

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Magazine Issue 31 #2

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Well, this is the second issue of SAM under its new editor, and I am not sure what to think.

Scale Aircraft Modelling

Scale Aircraft Modelling

A little background first.  I love Scale Aircraft Modelling magazine.  I have nearly every issue, from Vol.1 No.1.  I even have one of the mockups that Alan Hall brought to the IPMS/USA Nationals when he was starting the magazine, which shows ad rates, etc.  For the longest time, SAM was the modelling magazine for aircraft modelers.  Up until two issues ago, the familiar format of SAM had not changes since its inception in the mid-80s.

Onto the current issue.  I will say, that even though I loved the look of the old, traditional SAM, I like the “new look” SAM.  It is visually interesting and easy to read.  The type is larger and more readable than the old magazine.  The photos are attractive and the overall layout is more pleasing to the eye.

On the downside, the editing is awful.  There are typos everywhere.  The editing leaves some of the article nearly unintelligible.  The second part F4U article by John McIllmurray is nearly unreadable, or at least is very difficult to follow.  Since I have seen the author’s other work in other magazines, notably his Korean war P-51 article in MAM, I know the problem is not with the author.  On some articles, the info box tells you what scale the model is that is the subject of the article.  In others it doesn’t and you have to look at the side page tabs to get that information.  There doesn’t seem to be any uniformity to the “style guide” that should govern the layout of each article.

I will say that I like the new review style with shorter reviews that omits much of the usual, “then I put tab A into slot B” nonsense.  I am also please with the all color format.  This is a change that was long overdue.

In sum, I’ll keep buying SAM, at least for now.  Its going to have to improve a lot in order to regain its status as “the ” aircraft modeling magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Well David, you just took one of my future posts. I now have have seen three copies under the new editor and I mostly agree with you. The layout is nice, but the editing is terrible. The F4U article was hugely disappointing. I had looked forward to reading it, and then the most important part, the conversion, was left out. I will give the new editor credit that the third issue has almost no spelling mistakes, but again, at least one of the article, the Canberra build, is missing portions of the text. Also I’m not a huge fan of what I perceive as the editor’s aggressive take on what he is feeding us, we should accept. Seems rather defensive. (I also dislike the focus on 1/48 and 1/32 builds…) In the latest issue he writes about the inspiration of the Tamiya catalog…oddly in the letters to the editor section…hey dude that is what the Editorial is for…and I think what Mr. Laverty wants is really a modeling “catalog”…hence lots of pictures, lists, and minimal focus on words…kinda of sad and kind of dumbed down, but probably what we need to get used to in today’s day and age.

    Unless I see a drastic change, I won’t be renewing when my subscription when it runs out. I’ve been a loyal SAM reader and subscriber for years, but with the new format, I’d much rather read Model Aircraft Monthly…which in my opinion is closer to what SAM used to be.

    Comment by Jim — May 8, 2009 @ 8:38 am

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