David Knights' Weblog

January 14, 2016

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 36 #4 (June 2014)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:33 pm
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OK, I admit it.  I am behind.  I am back-filling.  This issue is so old that it is back when Jay Laverty was editing SAM.

I will admit that Jay’s period at SAM isn’t my favorite.  However, this is a pretty good issue.  Lots of 72nd scale content.   There are the usual typos that were the hallmark of the Jay era.  The feature article is on the Pucara.  The overall theme of the issue is Latin American air forces.  Nice review builds of a 72nd scale Vampire and P-51.  While not an issue of the Alan Hall era, it is certainly worth having.

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October 4, 2015

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 37 #3 (May 2015)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:14 pm
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OK, I am a bit behind in posting.  This is the second or third issue of the new editor of SAM.  I must say I am pleased with the direction that SAM is going.  The three improvements I see are, more 72nd content, more history articles and a better text to photo ratio.

This issue has a nice article on the 72nd scale Airfix A-4, a 72nd scale Cyprus diorama featuring a Bell 47 and Fly Whitley.  The historical articles feature the Su-9 and the Jaguar.

While not perfect, the magazine is moving in the right direction.  I continue to recommend the magazine.  While it isn’t RT, it is pretty good and getting better.

March 7, 2015

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Magazine Vol. 36 #11 (January 2015)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:07 pm
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Jay Laverty, the editor of SAM has left the magazine.  The details are somewhat sketchy.  Facebook would lead us to believe that the parting was not amicable.  The editor of Scale Aircraft Modeller International has left that magazine and is taking over editorship of this one.  That worries me, as I have thought that SAMI is a very poor magazine.  I hope that the quality of SAM doesn’t slip further.

I wish I could report that Jay”s last issue was a good one.  Unfortunately, it isn’t.  The good news is, there are fewer typos.  The bad news is that the content is poor.  The models aren’t of poor quality, like SAMI.  Rather, most of the articles are just a couple of photos of a very nicely finished model, with text that amounts to look at what I built.  There are few in progress shots, and you learn nothing of new techniques.

I hope for improvement, but I am worried.

 

January 10, 2015

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 36 #7 (Sept. 2014)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:54 pm
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Yes, I am still catching up on doing reviews of previous SAM issues.  I know that I am critical of some issues of SAM, but I have to say this is a pretty good one.  Not great, but good.  As far as 72nd scale content goes, there are builds of a J-29, DB-8A and a B5N2.  The articles are, in general, a nice combination of text and photos.  I’d like a bit more text and a few more photos, but I understand the pressure editors are under.  The B5N2 article is a build just so the author can use a Vallejo chipping medium to try a chipped finish.  I’d like to see more of that where the articles feature a particular technique.  Otherwise, the articles are just simple builds, which can get boring pretty quickly.

The magazine still suffers from typos, etc.  It is annoying and shouldn’t be happening in a professional publication.

September 11, 2014

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol.36 #6 (August 2014)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:32 pm
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This is the second of the two issues I picked up at the IPMS/USA Nationals in Hampton, VA for the bargain price of $4.50 an issue.  As noted previously, the July issue was very light on 72nd scale models.  The good news is that the August issue gives us slightly more 72nd scale stuff, with two 72nd scale builds, including an SB2U mini-featurette.  I was especially pleased to see this as I am working on one of these kits.  The bad news is that for a second issue in a row 48th scale kits seem to get the lion’s share of the love with at least 4 articles.  Additionally, the issue is pretty light on historical articles and this use to be a lot of what made SAM great back in the Alan Hall days.  Finally, the typos continue to occur.  In this issue, about 12 paragraphs in the Fiat G.91 article repeat twice, making the thing a real dog’s breakfast, though the accompanying kit looks very nice.

 

SAM continues to disappoint, going quickly the way of FineScale.  Sad to see.

September 3, 2014

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 36 #5 (July 2014)

Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 8:28 pm
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I managed to pick up the July and August issues of Scale Aircraft Modelling from the SAM stand at the IPMS/USA Nats in Hampton, VA.  Better still, they were selling the issues for the price of $4.50 USD instead of the cover price of 4.50 Pounds Sterling.  If I could get this magazine every month for that price, it would be the best deal in modeling magazines, other than RT.

As I have said before I have every issue of SAM from the beginning.  One of the things I’ve always loved about SAM is that it tends to focus on 72nd scale modeling.  It doesn’t ignore other scales, but it seems to concentrate of 72nd scale. (God’s One True Scale)  However, the July issue has almost all 48th scale subjects.  The only 72nd build is the new Eduard MiG-15.    It’s a nice article, though nothing special.

Also, SAM continues to be plagued by typos.  Bad ones.  Ones that should be noticeable to any proofreader with even a basic knowledge of the subject.  I don’t understand this.  It is one of the quickest ways to convince readers your magazine isn’t a serious publication.  I thought a year or two ago, they had this problem fixed, but it has gotten very bad again in the latest issues.

August 24, 2014

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 35 #10 (Dec 2013)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:38 pm
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OK, I admit it, I am behind on posting these magazine reviews.  I actually read this issue when I got it in Feb. of 2014, but it has taken me till now to do a review of it.

It is a typical SAM.  The production values on the magazine are first-rate.  (Though there are still a disturbing number of typos)  The photos of the models are good and the models themselves are well built.

This issues has a number of items for the 72nd scale builder.   There are a couple of 72nd scale Spits in Israeli markings, along with a feature article on the Spitfire in early Israeli service.  There is also a build of the Russian Mi-10 heavy lift helicopter.  There is an additional feature article on the Sea King helicopter in Royal Navy service, though the build accompanying that article is a 48th scale build.  (Yuck!)

The biggest complaint I still have about SAM is the price here in the States.  At the recent IPMS/USA Nats, the SAM publishers had a booth, and  they were selling issues, including the current one, at $4.50 each.  At that price I’d have no problem buying them as the best value in modeling magazines.

April 27, 2014

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 35 #12 (Feb. 2014)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:33 pm
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This issue attracted me immediately since on the cover it had a model of one of my favorite aircraft, the MiG-17.  Sadly the model build of the 17 inside is in 32nd scale.  However, the feature article is also on the MiG-17, so it is well worth the price of the magazine.  The article itself is nothing special, but the plans and color side drawings are great.

For the 72nd scale modeler, there are build/kit reviews of the Hobbyboss Tu-2, The Airfix Harrier GR.1 and the Special Hobby Yak-23.

All in all, it is a good issue, though the typo/proofreading issues of previous years seems to be coming back with a vengeance.  I spotted over a half dozen in on quick skim thru the issue.  I hope this doesn’t continue as it mars an otherwise good magazine.

June 6, 2013

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 34 #9 (Nov. 2012)

Filed under: IPMS,Kentucky,Modeling — dknights @ 9:05 am
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Yes, I know I’m going backward.  This issue of SAM was published months before the one in my last review.  Honestly I had read the issue last year, over Christmas I think and then it, sadly, ended up on the floor of my car.  I only recently discovered it, which tells you way too much about the floor of my car.

This is a really GOOD issue of SAM.  Not perfect, but really good.  This is especially true for the 72nd scale modeler.  There are at least four good 72nd kit builds, including a build of the (then) new Eduard 110.  The magazine also contains a feature on the RF-4 and an article by an RF-4 pilot in Vietnam.  One of the color profiles of an RF-4 in the magazine article is an RF-4C of the Kentucky Air National Guard.  The issue seemed pretty devoid of the typos that plague SAM issues from time to time.

This is SAM at its best and I wish all the issues were this good.

June 3, 2013

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol. 35 #2 (April 2013)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:22 pm
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Despite its price, I enjoy SAM.  This is, in many respects, a good issue for 72nd modelers, with build articles on an Airfix Vampire, Fujimi A-4 and Sword Harrier T.4.  The quality of the builds are far above what is in the most recent SAMI.  However, there are a couple of disturbing things as well.  First, a small matter.  The editor’s review of the Airfix Vampire talks about replicating a bare metal finish, when the Vampire’s fuselage was made of wood.  That error wouldn’t be a big deal if the same article didn’t have a condescending  tone to both Airfix kits and 72nd scale in general.

SAM was built on 72nd scale.  I’ve noted previously that Jay, the editor, recent said that he is moving away from 72nd to the larger scales in his personal modeling.  That is fine, and so far it doesn’t seem to have influenced the content of SAM.  However, the tone of the article is troubling.  It isn’t so much what is said, as the way it is said.  It is almost as if Jay, as editor, needs an editor to edit his article.  I think a good editor would have spotted the problems with this article and corrected them.

I’m going to “put a pin” in this issue as they say.  I want to see if this is an aberration or the beginning of a trend.

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