The Model Railway Journal story

Model Railway Journal is fast becoming my favourite hobby magazine, even though the subject matter within its pages is almost exclusively British and therefore should be of little direct interest to someone modelling a sleepy Canadian National Railways branch line in southern Ontario.

But, the model-building presented is exquisite, the techniques are advanced and MRJ is where I find out about many other excellent resources published by the magazine’s parent, Wild Swan Publications – such as Gordon Gravett‘s tree books, Iain Rice‘s best books on layout design, and Martyn Welch‘s tome on weathering. (Those who are familiar with these books will know what I’m talking about. If you’re not – well, there’s a great journey ahead for you if you’re willing to take that first step.)

As a fan of MRJ, I was interested to discover The Model Railway Journal Story while browsing the pages at the Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop.

My thanks to the bookshop for posting this piece!

(I’m also pleased to see that even though Wild Swan does not have a web presence, somebody has created an online index for MRJ.)

10 thoughts on “The Model Railway Journal story

  1. The story of MRJ is an interesting one and not one I had read before so thank you for pointing it out. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Though I was responsibly raised on a steady diet of Model Railway Constructor and Railway Modeller magazines, I discovered MRJ in my teens and have tried to collect “new to me” copies whenever possible. We are very fortunate to have so many different publications to inspire us to go further with our modelling projects it was this magazine that really helped me to understand what modelling a railway was about. The modelwork is superb as is the publication quality yet somehow always presented in a very open and approachable manner.

  2. Hello Trevor

    I fully agree with you. As a subscriber to MRJ I always discover new aspects of the hobby even if as you I am not primarily interested by British railways.
    MRJ should be a mandatory reading for every serious (and not so serious) model railroader.

  3. I’ve been reading MRJ for a few years now. Every issue has useful technique articles for the modeller–I even enjoyed “Futurist Naff”. I find the UK publications to have some interesting technique not used on this side of the pond.

    • I agree Steve:

      I think the hobby is more focussed on “building stuff” in the UK, versus “buying stuff” here. People in North America build when they have to, but it’s not the focus of the hobby the way it is at the upper end of what hobbyists in the UK are doing. (We’re more likely to model a big railroad with compromises, instead of choosing a small prototype and doing it without compromises.)

      As a consequence, UK modellers are developing some great techniques out of necessity.


  4. What stands out about MRJ as a periodical is that it is a serious “adult” read written by very knowledgable authors about their own passions and produced by an editorial team who are not afraid to publish long articles intact.

    Although my own particular modelling interests are not British despite being located in the UK, MRJ can be relied upon for rainy day reading because the techniques, interests and even passions can be transferred.

    Another Wild Swan publication that I use is Locomotive Kit Chassis Construction in 4mm by Iain Rice because it deals with very similar issues and component sizes to those I use in my even more specialised interest. I would recommend it to any person who needs understand how to make an electric powered small scale (ie below O scale standard gauge) locomotive work properly.

    Terry, modelling MaineOn2 occasionally in rural Shropshire

    • Hi Terry:
      Good points about MRJ and Wild Swan. I have a number of their books (including the one you reference) and they’re always, always informative and well-presented.

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