Thursday, 18 January 2007
Model Railway Journal
Model Railway Journal is published roughly every two months, by Wild Swan Publications Ltd. It has been published since 1985 and focuses on the 'finescale' aspect of the hobby, eschewing the more miantream and popular aspects covered by many of the other magazines. The style and format of the magazine follows Wild Swan's distinctive style in that it is follows a traditional looking design with a predominance of black and white photography and very few advertisements. Many of the hobby's foremost proponents write regularly for the magazine including Barry Norman (whos exquisite photography also features heavily), Martyn Welch, Geoff Kent, Tim Shackleton (the current editor) and others.
I first picked up a copy of MRJ from a model shop about 15 years ago and was blown away by the quality of models I saw in it - simply miles ahead of anything I'd seen in any of the 'popular' magazines at the time in terms of realism, quality and detail. Returning to the hobby last year I looked everywhere for the magazine, including the internet and initially turned up nothing to suggest it was still in publication. Only later did I find out it was and that you can actually order it online! So in the hope it might save someone else the hassle, here's where you can get hold of it...
The magazine seems not to be stocked by many newsagents, and is not easy to find on the internet, with Wild Swan not having its own web presence. However, there are several places where you can buy it online, including back issues:
Ian Allan Publishing (Midland Counties Publishing)
The site navigation is rather confusing and doesn't seem to have a direct link to products from Wild Swan, but if you type "Model Railway Journal" into the search box you'll get a listing of all the magazines they have in stock which should cover up to the latest issue. There is a photos of the cover plus some details of the contents of each issue. They also stock most of Wild Swan's books too, but again you're best searching for a product directly rather than trying to use the menus to locate them!
Bob Pearman Books
Type "Model Railway Journal" into the search form at the very bottom of the page. No magazine details or photos.
These seem to be the only two places that stock (or at least list) MRJ on the web, as far as I can tell.
You can of course order MRJ direct from Wild Swan by writing to:
Wild Swan Publications Ltd.
1-3 Hagbourne Road
Or you can phone: 01235 816478.
Currently each issue costs £3.30 (back issues are priced at their original retail price) and the UK subscription rates are £13.20 for 4 issues or £26.40 for 8 issues.
Wild Swan books can also be ordered online from:
Kevin Robertson Books
Using the publishers dropdown menu you can see a listing of all Wild Swan products stocked. Also many other good railway (model and prototype) books stocked from a wide range of publishers.
The Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop
No online ordering facility but includes a wide range of books with good detailed descriptions (but currently no photos). Use the 'Bookshop Guide' link to browse by subject or publisher.