Port Rowan in RMC :: Thanks, Chris!

Railroad Model Craftsman editor Chris D’Amato asked me for a few photos for his column in the June 2014 issue. He wanted to write some thoughts to go with a special supplement on S Scale, produced by RMC and the NASG. Click on the cover to read an excerpt of that supplement at the RMC website:
 photo RMC-2014-06_zps4c46e045.jpg

Chris ended up writing some very nice words about my layout. Thanks! I appreciate the shout-out, and I’m glad I could help illustrate your column.

If you’re here because you read the piece in the June RMC, then welcome! I hope you look around and enjoy what you see.

As for RMC itself…

There’s been a lot of discussion online in recent weeks about the magazine’s imminent demise. It’s a pretty open secret that the magazine has been late shipping to subscribers and newsstands and that authors – even regular contributors – have had to wait a long time and repeatedly pester the publisher to be paid for their work.

I was a regular contributor for about a decade – from 2002 to 2012 or so. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had over those ten years to share so much of my passion for the hobby through a magazine that always attempted to inspire readers to do better and never, ever talked down to its audience. In particular, I’m thankful that then-editor Bill Schaumburg took a chance on an unknown writer from Canada – and pleased that our business relationship quickly grew into a great friendship.

On a broader note, I would argue that the success of the prototype modeller’s movement is due, in part, to the awareness generated by the regular reports on RPM meets from Bill and various contributors. That, in itself, is a great legacy.

Like so many others, I hope the rumours are false. But if true, I hope magazine continues in some form. Either way, my thoughts are with the Carstens staff: It must be tough to find the enthusiasm to come into work when such rumours are swirling about – regardless of how closely they are to the truth.

I frequently get emails from people asking, “What’s up with Carstens Publications?” The short answer is, I don’t know – I was a contributor, not a member of the staff. But I think everybody can review the evidence and draw their own conclusions. And I’ll be sure to post something to my blog on this if and when I hear something official.

5 thoughts on “Port Rowan in RMC :: Thanks, Chris!

  1. Whatever the problem, I sure hope they overcome it and continue on. Of the printed mags, they have always been my favorite for good and accurate information

  2. Bill is a class act; really enjoyed meeting him.

    RMC is the magazine you graduate to after realising that MR is just a Ferris wheel; you can occasionally see a wide vista but you always end up back at the bottom where you started. RMC provides real tools and info to build your skills and knowledge base.

    If the worst happens, I hope the IP will be available digitally. I’ll stump up the cash for an archive of this valuable information – but keep the res up! Don’t provide blocky images for a premium $ like the LCD did.

  3. I view MR as the “USA Today” of model railroading: accessible, flashy graphics, but not the place where you go for an in-depth exploration of a topic. For that you need a more considered approach and an editorial staff that will dedicate 10 or more pages to a topic. RMC under Schaumberg’s leadership would do that. There are also H&T society mags that do a good job of taking on length articles. It would be very sad to lose RMC and I hope it survives. I recommend that anyone who feels RMC is valuable, take a little risk and re-up early so they have some cash flow to keep moving. As an occasional contributor I feel that that the “slow or no” pay issue is just another contribution to the good of the community.

    Sadly we seem to be heading to a world of ONLY internet pubs and a lot of video, which is nice, but not the sort of reference material a print pub (whether hard or soft copy) provides. OTOH as the realities of our demographics make themselves felt, it is nice to have the electronic alternatives.

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