I'm not a regular buyer of MRJ, I'll have a flick through in Smiths and only buy if there's something that catches my eye. This month I did due to Geoff Forster's O gauge piece and Stephen Hannington's article on SR electrics. I have come away in worried mode though.
The inside gets worse. They've lost their office and appear to be working out of a lock up. This is unfortunate and could happen to anyone. They are are also 'not taking subscriptions over four months'. And, 'the publication date of MRJ 282 is not known'. This gives the same feeling as walking into a shop that has less stock than the last time you were there; you are waiting for the place to not be there at all next time.
What happened to the great white hope of the 1980s? I've changed my view on MRJ in recent times - witness the chopping up of my collection a while back, but we do need it. It's a counterbalance to the young pretty ones. I don't know what the sales figures are, but it hangs around on the shelf for quite a while and I'll wager that a good proportion of the run gets pulped: don't for a minute think that those nice people at Smiths send the unsold copies back.
When it was first launched the other mags were terrified as it was aimed squarely at pushing things forward and very much not aimed at the average modeller. Now the roles are reversed and it's MRJ which looks tired and dated with an out -of-focus photo in each corner, and an over-abundance of text; still holding the etched kit and a lathe as the pinnacle while the young pretty ones are at the cutting edge using new technologies and techniques. I know that the finescalers hang on to it and view it as some sort of religious text, but only sales will keep it viable and at the moment it's looking very much like the later days Scale Model Trains. This too had great constructional content by the likes of Vivien Thompson et al, but still folded.
If if doesn't change it's spots I reckon two-five years tops, maybe just four months or maybe No 282 will never appear.