I recently broke my 10 year White Dwarf addiction (yes, I do measure my WD collection in linear feet) and have been looking for a replacement hobby magazine. The local library carries Fine Scale Modeler in the periodicals section & I’ve been reading through a few back issues to get a feel for the magazine. Fine Scale has always been referenced in the best light, and after reading two issues – the accolades seem well deserved. This 80+ page magazine generally publishes 4 or 5 step-by-step articles where a modeler demonstrates the use of various techniques used in the creation of a stunning tank, plane, boat or diorama. Also included in FS are 8 to 10 model kit previews/reviews and a health portion of advertising pages. Over all, a rather pleasant product filled with new ideas, but I’m not sure I’ll make a habit of purchasing this $6.50 magazine. Instead, I will continue to pick up a copies from the library to page through.
When comparing the two magazines, I find it amusing that the standard GW fanboy complaints about WD carry over to Fine Scale:
too much advertising
not enough content
WD retails for $6.00 and delivers 140+ pages, FS retails for $6.50 at 80+ pages. So much for WD being too expensive.
Fully a third of FS is advertising for various model makers. Granted, the adverts come from a large number of companies instead of one and might actually be useful or interesting- but the principle is the same. In addition a substantial page count is given over to reviews of new kits by various modelers. In the WD, it is common for GW to preview new products – an effort that is dismissed by many readers as just more advertising.
The main articles in FS are high end modeling content designed to raise the bar for its gronard readers. Most of the articles seem to first present a technique, then show how it is used on the model but fail to actually demonstrate how to achieve the effect. WD focus on beginning to intermediate articles that attempt to teach the new hobbyist the basic skill set (build,paint, play) needed to use the game. WD achives its goal of educating the reader as much or more so than FS.
Let the old farts read FS and let the young turks read WD – just don’t confuse the target market & everyone will stay happy.