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Hi, Finescale Modeler just reviewed the Big NX-01 from Polar Lights in their October issue.I noted he did not add the complex aztec scheme and just painted some random panels.John Plazek the modeler who built it said he was hoping someone would make custom decals for the aztec pattern.For my first Polar Lights NX-01,I will do the same,simple job!No Aztec headache,Thanks,Guy Schlicter
 

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I didnt really like the review, one of the largest sci fi models ever mass produced, and it barely got a full page. And even though I understand it can be tough, it didnt even get a mediocre aztec pattern. This is not meant to put the guy down and I hardly think I could do a better job, but its sad that sci-fi modeling has come to this, also I think that was the only science fiction model ion the entire issue, I mean c'mon we dont all build tanks and planes do we?
 

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soloboy5 said:
...also I think that was the only science fiction model ion the entire issue, I mean c'mon we dont all build tanks and planes do we?
According to Finescale, we do. :rolleyes:

Two words: Modeler's Resource.
 

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Three words...

Cult TVman Forums. Modelers Resource is "ok", and I have a subscription this year, but even as a newbie I recognise that I won't be renewing it for a second year. I get better info from back issues of Amazing Figure Modeler (to which I also have a sub, but I'm not super impressed with this years offerings).

Basically I would suggest that anyone building non figure models go read all the articles in Cult TV mans website, including but not limited to the articles by David Merrimen. Then just start building, however slow or fast suits you. The only suggestion I as a newbie (or, re-newbie) would offer is, give up thinking that if you go slow enough you'll do a perfect job. The key seems to be to just make kits, make mistakes, learn from them, and repeat.

Bookmark CultTV mans main site, and check it weekly for new articles about building various kits. Then copy the procedures described. It helps, at least it helps me.
 

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FineScale Modeler is a resource for techniques, tips, tricks and ideas (and information on other genres if you work in them as well, as some of us do). I consider their sci-fi content, when it appears, to be gravy.

Qapla'

SSB
 

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[JP, don't forget ships.]

This debate comes up with amazing regularity but I have to agree with Scott about reading FSM for the tips and techniques stuff. There was a telling letter from a reader in the current issue that criticized FSM for carrying too many articles on building kits using after-market parts. The writer pointed out that these were just articles about building a variation of an OOB kit and not articles about technique. And even if the writer builds those conversion parts from sheet styrene and chicken wire, there are only so many times this can be interesting!

And let's not get started on why there are no sci-fi modeling articles in FSM. I'm just not sure if it's because regular FSM readers are just not interested in hearing about the off-beat techniques we use or that we (sci-fi modelers) just don't know how to write about them.

Jim
 

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I'll posit a theory: If more sci-fi modelers documented their builds with detailed notes and photos, then turned the notes and photos into an article and submitted it to FSM, I bet there's a good chance the magazine would run it. FSM can only publish what gets submitted (although I doubt it publishes everything that gets submitted) and I recall one conversation I had several years ago with FSM's editor in which he decried the lack of submissions from sci-fi modelers.

That said, one must remember that when it comes to modeling, our world is ruled by guys who spend their lives sweating the markings of Me-109s or the tread variations on M-4 Shermans, and the sci-fi (and even Real Space) side of the hobby will never be similarly catered to by a general-interest publication like FSM.

What has alarmed me in the past few months about FSM, though, is that it seems like they've become an advertising mouthpiece for Trumpeter, that Chinese outfit that has produced some (according to FSM's reviews) really great 1/32nd-scale models. It seems like every other issue has some giant, glowing review of whatever kit Trumpeter has just released. And I don't mean the regular "Workbench Review" pieces, but BIG articles. I first noticed the trend a few issues ago, and it has continued.

As far as the NX-01 goes, I'm sure the reviewer was building it on some sort of deadline for the magazine and did whatever he needed to do to get it done. I'm wondering through -- what would be the harm of painting the model a shade or two of gray (ala the TOS Enterprise), replacing the "NX" in the codes with "NCC" and telling everyone it represents the ship after its shakedown cruise is over and a paint job was applied?
 

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heyday said:
I'll posit a theory: If more sci-fi modelers documented their builds with detailed notes and photos, then turned the notes and photos into an article and submitted it to FSM, I bet there's a good chance the magazine would run it.
I consider myself a pretty good writer and I've had stuff turned down by FSM. I really think that the problem is not a shortage of sci-fi submissions but a shortage of well-written, well documented and relevant sci-fi submissions -a well written review of how you built a PL Enterprise isn't enough. You need something concise, well photographed and with a special technique or approach.

If someone put together the story of how the Starship Modeler group built their Jeffries Station project, I'm sure FSM would find space for it.

Jim
 

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I perhaps should amend my previous post to say that if sci-fi (or Real Space) modelers documented their builds -- and employed unique or new techniques in the construction, painting or decaling -- then I would bet FSM would be interested. Most of us have the basics down to some degree, but someone is always coming up with a new way of doing something and a good technique is a good technique whether it be used to build a P-51 or an NX-01.

I'd be interested to know, though, if FSM has some annual "quota" for what percentage of the articles in a year have to be aircraft, or armor, or cars, or sci-fi or real space.

Having gotten into card modeling over the past year, I realize it's a part of the hobby that has been virtually ignored by FSM. I seem to recall one article on the subject years and years ago, but that's it. I could be wrong, though.
 

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For an article I think good photos area big part of it. I know I have problems documenting my builds with photos that can be published. A digital camera is great for a web article but not good enough for publishing.

As for the NX-01 article all I can think of is that the builder had a deadline and there was no way he could have masked and painted the aztec pattern in time.

Personally I enjoy FSM. I like the variety and yes Iwould like more Sci-Fi articles.


Alex
Styrofoam Guy
 

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Styrofoam_Guy said:
For an article I think good photos area big part of it. I know I have problems documenting my builds with photos that can be published. A digital camera is great for a web article but not good enough for publishing.
Well, a HIGH res digital is. 3 to 6 megapixel. Sure a cheap one won't do it, but even the pros use digital for publication now.
 

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I had a article in FSm, and wrote pages of stuff and took rolls of film, and they cut it down quite a bit, and waited four years to run it.
I got a snobby feel from them, as if SF is kids stuff and WW2 is adult. They've never been in WW2 any more than we have been in space.
 

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Kalmbach has market cornered as far as publishing hobby magazines in the US.

And FSM is their signature mag. Which makes me wonder why, why is it still in saddle-stapled format with less than 100 pages per issue?

Couldn't they make a square-bound format with 150 to 300 pages? Even with pages as thin as those in computer shopper magazine, wouldn't the majority be happier with a larger page count per issue?

From everything we've been led to believe, the reason sci-fi articles don't make it into an issue, is that there is "just" so many pages, and deciding between a sci-fi article and a more mainstream subject is no contest. But what if you doubled the page count? or tripled it?

And doesn't FSM have a large backlog of unpublished articles? Between here and SM and rec.models.scale, and several tank related forums I've read a number of accounts where people have submitted more than one article to FSM, have been payed, and the article has still not appeared in the magazine sometimes as long as 7 years later.
 

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It's just the law of numbers here. Anyone care to guess how many tank/aircraft/car modelers there are per scifi modeler? I have no idea, but the number must be huge if my local hobbyshops are any indication.

But, then consider this.... ever try one of the hundreds of websites and forums dedicated to aircraft (let alone cars and tanks)? You can't find anything. The topic is TOO BIG. Yet we have this nice little community here on this nice little bulletin board where you can find the answer to any question you can think of. And there are pictures too! Plus there is Steve's site for lots of ideas and samples. That's good enough for me.

I'd much rather have our community be as small as it is. That said, I sometimes worry that someday we might all have to scratchbuild because there won't be any production level kits anywhere. And I often feel bad because the newest ships we see in movies and television series can't be bought in kit form. But overall I enjoy the commaradery of the smaller group.
 

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Paul H said:
I'd much rather have our community be as small as it is. That said, I sometimes worry that someday we might all have to scratchbuild because there won't be any production level kits anywhere....
Well, if RC2 has anything to say about it, you're probably right! :D
 

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I think when it comes to publishing a magazine and considering an article on a sci-fi (or real space) subject, one also has to take into account the "geekazoid" factor. I don't know what others' experience has been, but most IPMS shows I've gone to relegate space/sci-fi stuff to the "other room," kind of like that scene in "Animal House" where the dorks get herded into their own room at the fraternity house pledge party. FSM just reflects what's going on at IPMS in many ways. You could be a world-class modeler, but if you're doing sci-fi, you'll never be taken as seriously as somebody who builds B-17s or Tiger tanks. They're modeling "history," we are told, and sci-fi modelers are just playing with make-believe stuff.

They even stick Real Space and sci-fi in the same categories at those things, so that shows you how little the mainstream IPMS folks (and, by extension, publications like FSM) respect what we do. What does a space shuttle have in common with a Gundam? Nothing. Yet at the last contest I entered, my space shuttle wound up in the same category (and losing to) a couple of Gundams. The Gundams were well-built and nicely finished, but c'mon -- There's no way anyone can tell me a space shuttle model should be in the same category as a Gundam. That'd be like sticking armor in the WWI aircraft category. If you tried to do that at a contest, folks would howl. But when they do it to real space and sci-fi modelers, it is considered perfectly acceptable.

FSM just reflects that mindset. I've met plenty of folks who model "real" subjects whose sanity I've questioned, and I've met plenty of sci-fi modelers who were normal as the day is long. But no matter how good their skills, by virtue of the fact they build sci-fi stuff, they'll have a hard time overcoming the "geekazoid" factor.

OK. I'll relinquish the soap box now....
 

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I think its pretty darn silly that a "tank" model builder would view a sci-fi model builder as a geek. As far as people who don't build models are concerned, you are likely a geek if you build ANY kind of model. Period!

However, a few months back, the Wife and I had been out for a weekend brunch and stopped by a local model show. As a sci-fi and figure modeler, I am pleased to report that the guys building the tanks, planes, battleships, cars and trucks were the ABSO-LUTE GEEKIEST looking bunch I've seen in years.

And to heck with FineScale Modeler - watch for my article on fashionable sci-fi modeling in next month's GQ! ;)

Ha!!:jest:

Huzz
 

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From my experience -- and other modelers in other parts of the country may have had different (and better?) experiences -- "real space" modelers are lumped in with the "geekazoids." If you spend your hours trying to find the "accurate" color of the cockpit walls of a Fw-190, or what plumbing runs throguh the main landing gear well of an F-16, then you probably have no idea what the proper color is for a space shuttle main engine, and one SSME looks the same as all the others. I've literally heard contest judges spend minutes discussing whether the instrumentation on an F-4's cockpit sidewall panel was accurate or not, but then breeze through the real space models in about 15 seconds.

Maybe I'm generalizing here, but like I said, this has been my experience.
 
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