Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Model Trains International

It was pointed out to me this morning via email that I have an article published in the current MTI; an article that I had long forgotten about, such is the gap between submitting and publication. Looking at the list (via the link) it would seem that at least one contributor has died in the intervening period, and not recently either. My article is on building the hut on Pinchingfield which is pictured on the page link to your right.


  1. Now, Now, Mr Grumpy, you know the situation with Mr Ellis and his magazine. If he had to pay for articles and send free copies to all of the contributors (even the dead ones!), there would be NO magazine. Besides the link in your article to this blog has gained you at least one new reader (me) and I must say what an enjoyable and entertaining read it is. Hope to see you at Arundel. All the best, Graham W

  2. Hi Graham,
    It's not the cash, it's the presumption. A cheery 'your article's in' email would be nice.

  3. Sorry - if you want to sell and make money from a magazine then you should pay at least a nominal summ for articles. I don't go to work and then cheerily say to my boss "Don't worry about paying me, you keep all the cash." just because the business isn't making money.
    Free articles go to society magazines where everyone is a volunteer.
    Of course, if you don't pay for articles then you can't be suprised if all the good ones go to people who do - which leads to a magazine with hardly any sales.

  4. To set the record straight -:

    Phil:(I am also a daily reader of your blog). MTI is not a magazine whose aim is to make lots of money. It is an independant, specialist mag that is available only by subscription or from a few selected model shops. It has a small but very dedicated and fiercly loyal readership, many who are also contributors. The editor & owner Chris Ellis has probably done more for the hobby in his lifetime than any of the current editors of the high street model railway'glossies'. The magazine doesn't pander to the big manufacturers or the exhibition'celebrities'. Many of the readership respect that and believe that those ideals deserve support. I support the magazine both as a subscriber and as an occasional (unpaid) contributor and Mr Ellis has helped me in many ways. If fact he allows me to advertise my model making services for free and I've gained at least 2K of business in the last year from these adverts alone, whereas the greedy Railway Modeller ripped me off big time in advertising fees and couldn't care less that I am only a small one man business. I don't buy the RM out of principle.

    Chris: In the days when you were cutting your teeth writing articles you were more than happy to have them published in SMT,MTI etc. What's happened? Also I notice that you have used some of Chris Ellis's photo's in your blog(The SMT Years). Did you pay Chris a royalty fee, or email him to tell him when they appeared?

    Writen in good faith, GrahamW

  5. Graham
    You're absolutely right. I couldn't comment on RM's practice except to say that they are a business operation and exist to make a profit... We all are. The top couple of photos are Chris' and are credited. If they bother anyone I can remove them in seconds. I had to use them as they were all that remained. Yes I was happy to 'cut my teeth', would be happy to submit other articles,and I do actually agree with the ethos that you mention. What I find annoying is that there is no contact with the contributor to say when/if a piece will be published. A little bit of communication is what's missing. THAT you do get from the 'glossies' and as a regular writer for them I imagine Mr Parker will agree on this point.

  6. I'd agree that communication from an editor is important. If you are publishing an article it seems only polite to let the writer know when it's out there. I guess that Chris assumes that all writers are subscribers.

    My confusion over the status of the mag is because it appears to operate like a society publication but looks like a "normal" mag. Yet with a society mag, everyone is a volunteer.