Hornby's book is fatter than ever. At 956g (the same as last year and only 69g less than the centenery issue) and 227 pages long, it's a bit of a beast. Beautifully laid out and printed, the company know that this is as much a collectable as many of the models shown within it.
If shiny red boxes are your thing, then there are many hours of enjoayble persual ahead of you as you formulate your shopping list for the year. But, and it's quite a big one, many of these models are sold out on pre-orders. Even if you are lucky enough to have a local model shop, the chances of them stocking the more glamourous items on the shelves isn't high, sadly. Worse, the news will be spread by the web first, and so those orders are likely to be made by people looking at website, and not the catalogue.
Does this mean it's a pointless publication? No. As I say, the Hornby catalogue is a collectable and the one year they didn't produce one, people complained. Even if you don't place orders on the back of the paper publication, there are models to dream of inside, and in many ways, that's what is being sold - pleasent dreams.
The ModelU catalogue is also very impressive at 506g and 117 pages. Inside, most of the range is on show, although I notice the BRM figures which include me aren't in there...
What I like is that there are also articles on painting figures, and the people who have been scanned so you can put a face and name to the miniature figure. OK, I know it doesn't really matter, but I think it's fun.
What's interesting, is that ModelU, a very new technology business, has chosen to go "old skool" with a paper catalogue. You can browse the website, and keep up to date with their social media, but this allows for a different browsing experience.
Again, it's a very nice thing. Quality paper. Colour print. Like the Hornby version, this is saying something very positive about the business. If you've never played with ModelU products before, this catalogue is likely to persaude you.