I picked this up yesterday while I was killing time waiting for an eye test. I have questions, so this is my unexpected review.
Looking at the mast head I note that Key Publishing use the Hornby brand under licence - is this a commercial brainwave or just cheating? I can't make my mind up. In any case the same mast head also states that the circulation is 26k per month which I think puts it a way behind, but in second place to RM.
There are a lot of ads, more than I expected, but a lot of unusual stuff that I've not seen elsewhere. This makes me think that either this is actively encouraged, or that the ad rates are low allowing some smaller cottage industries in. Notably there are no Peco/Ratio/Wills ads, so the flip of RM where they are predictably prolific.
Here's my main beef: I may have picked a bad example, but there is just one layout article (Gresley Beat, which is a bit like a music magazine featuring Sgt Pepper) and one shows-you-how, the rest is all about Hornby. More than that, probably 85% of the mag's written content is accredited to Mike Wild the editor; not only most of the features, but most of the reviews as well. From Key Pubs' position this looks dangerous, and from my position is deadly boring as there is only one voice and point of view.
The physical feel is OK, but not quality, but the general layout though quite in-your-face is well produced. If you just want reviews then it's worth a punt, If you want layouts, hints and tips and modelling encouragement, then one of the other three main mags are a much better bet. This then is my main question: taking all this into consideration, why is it number two and if you are drawn to a more glitzy page layout, then why not pick up the superior MR or BRM?