Tuesday, October 30, 2012

American Narrow Gauge Magazines

For the aspiring writer, it can be difficult to know where to pitch your first pieces to get that first publishing credit. For us railway modellers, this isn't so much of a problem. Mostly it is because we are such nice and interesting people. Editors are queueing up for our exciting and stimulating words.

It's also because we have so many more targets to aim at. If your only interest is watching the telly then the market is limited. Radio Times and its downmarket ITV tribute act, TV Times, have staff to do this sort of thing. We love watching daytime TV while stuffing our face with doughnuts etc. probably run out of an office with a couple of people wearing shell suits and very thick glasses from too much screen time. You'd have to come up with a pretty good take on the latest Eastenders plot to outdo staff writers who know every twist, turn and intermarriage. Even then you will need to write it for an audience who find the menu at Greggs challenging.

No, model railways are where it's at. Look at these three US titles I picked up for 25p each. All old back numbers but just as relevant today as they were when new.

Light Iron Digest aims to provide "Pertinent information for the Narrow Gauge, Industrial & Shortline Enthusiast" and presumably eyed up Short and Narrow Rails (Railroad history for the short-sighted & narrow-minded enthusiast) with looks that could set fire to paper if not actually kill. At the very least, I can't find a website for the later so I assume it worked.

Both are A4 sized and offer prototype and modelmaking articles and plans. They also are happy to accept articles submitted by anyone who fancies having a go.

Sn3 Modeler covers much of the same ground but supports the more esoteric (to UK eyes) S scale models of 3 foot gauge railways (14.3mm track gauge since you ask).

The thing is, all of these are proper, professional magazines, not society journals. It just goes to show the breadth and diversity of our hobby.

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