Model Railroader Magazine

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by hooknlad, Oct 5, 2005.


What did you do with your CD?

  1. I kept it and sent in the money so I can get future releases

    0 vote(s)
  2. I sent it back like they asked

    0 vote(s)
  3. I kept it, didn't send the money and I'm glad, even though they keep sending me "shame" letters.

    0 vote(s)
  4. I kept it, didn't send the money and now I feel guilty

    0 vote(s)
  1. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Hello all,
    I would just like to start off by stating that I do not have any affiliation with Model Railroader Magazine.
    Yesterday I recieved a DVD in the mail which is part of a series: Dream, Plan, Build. They offered this DVD to me on a trial basis. If I wasn't pleased with the DVD, all I had to do was to send it back in the return postage paid box. They send a new DVD every 2 - 3 months.
    Well, I thought this was another gimmick on Big Businesses behalf to get my money. I was wrong, I previewed this DVD and it was great. It was extremely informative on layout building ( scenery, mountains, painting, etc ) . The DVD also showed different gauge clubs as well as the history of the Union Pacific Railroad. I am only half way through the DVD and I cannot wait to watch the rest of it. It is well worth its price, and it comes with a commemorative railroad medallion !!!
    I cannot wait for the next DVD !!!! I will definitely subscribe and highly recommend this great helpful video from Model Railroader.

    10 thumbs up. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I got one yesteday as well. I haven't played it yet, just put it in the CD to see if it would play. I wondered about sending them the $9, sending it back, or as they say in the letter, keep the DVD as a gift, only if I didn't mind screwing someone else out of the opportunity to view this wonderful DVD.

    I haven't seen it yet, so I haven't made up my mind. But, seeing as how I've been a sucker all these past years and buying just about every new "special" magazine they put out, I might make a few tradeoffs this year. I'll give you my opinion after I've played the whole thing.
  3. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I have watched the whole thing and will not be subscribing. Most of the stuff is old stuff they had laying around. Examples: The bonus video on building your first layout is a repeat of the footage from the WGH DVD, the part on the F&SM is from about 7-8 years ago, ect. Having said that I'm sure folks new to model railroading would get some use out of this one, don't know about the future ones, but I didn't see much of interest to the more experienced modelers. Working at the Lionel musuem I'm always meeting people new to the hobby and plan on loaning it out to them on a regular basis (or until someone doesn't return it :D ).
  4. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Tyson, I'm not touching this one again LOL
    (i did give a rather lengthy oratory over at Trains (kalmbachs site)

    I am glad that some folks have enjoyed it.I still have yet to actually watch it.
    I'm sure it cant possibly be as good as Lou Sassi's recent article in the magazine. Ive heard some guys say that alot of the material in it is actually old (kinda like making books out of old articles?? ):D
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I guess they have decided "if'n it ain't broke, don't fixit". I think that is one of the more disappointing things I learned about the Kalmbach books -- for the most part, they're just compilations of past (sometimes many years past) magazine articles. My favourite is when they do not even edit the text, so sometimes you find an editor's note referring to something else in the magazine that did not end up in the book :rolleyes:

  6. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    OK, i actually sat down and watched the whole thing. Its not bad,its not fabulous, I enjoyed seeing George selios's layout once again and Tom lund did some nice backdrop work.
    It is just what model railroader is best at, a good beginners DVD and beginners will get a good jump start more than likely.
    I still however dont like the marketing approach.
    Rather than give it back though, I am going to find an aquaintance who I know really needs a hobby and might just be coerced into this one with this DVD.
    Perhaps MR and thier sponsers will end up winner's in the end afterall!!!
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I still haven't seen it all the way through so I haven't decided what to do yet. I enjoy seeing what others have done, new stuff or old, it's always a joy to watch masters at work. That being said, there is a limit to what I'd pay for that privilage. $9.00 isn't so bad, but I saw somewhere else there was a discussion, and someone said subsequent DVDs would be $24.95.:eek: Can anyone else verify that? To me, that's going to be a deal breaker for a lot of folks, including yours truly.:wave:

    I suppose if I want to see movies of layouts, I can always watch The Train Show on RFDTV. Only problem there is that it really isn't very professionally put together, still better than nothing though seeing as how there really isn't anything else on TV dedicated to model railroading.;)
  8. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Don that is correct, the price will be something like $19.95 plus $4.95 S&H. If you want to see really great videos of what other people are doing and get some fantastic how-to's from the likes of George Sellios, Lou Sassi, Howard Zane, the Reid Bros. and others I would suggest Allen Keller's Great Model Railroad series. They are a little pricier though at about $40 each, but light years ahaed of the MR offering. No I'm not connected with Allen other than being a very happy customer.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    A buddy of mine dropped his copy off for me to watch..He said he will not send it back nor will he send the $9.95 in because it was unsolicited and therefore a gift.I fully concure since that is according to law.
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I like your approach :D :thumb: I hope that there was not some sort of little check box of something in the past that allowed them to send this stuff out...

    Can you tell that I really do not like the negative option approach? Rogers Cable tried that here in Ontario (and maybe elsewhere in Canada - not sure) a while ago with extra channels. There was such an outcry that they actually changed the laws around this. To this day I do not have Rogers Cable TV, internet or phone/cell service.

  11. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I just got mine today.
    The letter that came with it said you don't have to send it back, because it was unsolicited.
    Haven't watched it can't make an opinion.
    The coin that came with it is cool though..........
  12. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I just got a copy the other day but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. The only part that irked me was where they say that:

    "Because you didn't ask for this special video, you don't have to participate or send it back and you could consider it a free gift. If you do return the DVD we'll give another Model Railroder subscriber the same Preview opportunity!"

    It's like they are trying to lay a guilt trip on you if you don't either pay for it or send it back. That if you don't you are depriving someone else if you keep it without paying for it. Two things I can't stand on the web, chain letters of any kind, and guilt trips. So to the poor soul out there that is being deprived because of my greed, :p .
  13. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Just finished watching it.
    Not bad..........I'll give it half a thumb up :thumb:
    Could of spent more time on the layouts and prototypes. The modeling methods, though good for a beginner, I've been using for years.
    I think I'll send it back. Just so someone else can have a shot at it.
    But.....I'm defintatly keeping the coin!!!
  14. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I got mine and have watched most of it. I for one appreciated it and will send them the nine dollars. Yea a lot of it looked like rehashed old stuff. I already know the F&SM had expanded but this was the first video I had seen of it and really enjoyed it, although it wasn't long enough. I liked Tom's backdrop methods because I'm lousy at that and I really learned from it. I think it has the potential to improve enjoyment levels of many newer modelers and keep them in the fold which ultimately will help this hobby. Guilt trip? Is's all how you perceive it...I'm sure they sent it to everyone on their mailing list and the returns will go into the dumpster. At least they provided return postage, a nice gesture. I will pass it around when I'm done.
    I wonder whether they had to pay royalties to UP for the Bailey Yard segment?
  15. screen

    screen Member

    I didn't get the DVD so that would be a mood point by me but has anyone noticed that several of the mags are reprinting articals that ran in the 80's even 90's - I could understand in a beginers page but don't they have so much more to show that is new how too's - and how about the revisited layouts that aren't updated?

    As for EZDAYS comment about RFDTV - I agree but now their premting shows with more horse shows - maybe The Gauge should put together a modelers how to show and present that to RFDTV - Now that, we all would watch and sponsors (and there are thousands) would pay for!
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Or, you can pay $10 to deprive someone else of this opportunity... ;) :D

    It is interesting that you can consider it a gift as it was unsolicited. I don't know if that there is a similar law in Canada, although the negative billing option is out (I think/hope).

  17. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    I'll chime in here too... both on the video and the way it was sent out. I'll say up front I'm an MR subscriber, plan to remain one, and am generally a fan of the mag.

    I got and watched the video: Ho-hum. I have the same issue with it that I have with MR in general. I'd rather see fewer, more in-depth features both in print and in this format. e.g. I'd much more likely subscribe to a series where a DVD of equal length was devoted to 2-3 features only, spending more time on each one. The backdrop primer was an example. Good enough, but very basic and lots left unsaid. I'd have gladly watched 30-45 minutes of in-depth backdrop guide. Layout visits are the same. I'd much sooner see in-depth features covering the layout, evolution, benchwork, detailed scenery etc. If this had been a 'preview' reel with each item being fleshed out to a standalone DVD in the future that would have been fine. For this to be the actual 'content' as it stands is just not compelling to me.

    But more importantly, I strongly objected to the method of sending it. This is Publisher's Clearing House level stuff. Sure you don't have to actually send it back OR pay for it, since it was unsolicited. You also don't (didn't) have to subscribe to a magazine to enter the PCH sweepstakes... But boy PCH sure made it SEEM like you had to subscribe - or that it would improve your chances, and likewise MR sure didn't make it real clear up front that you don't have to either send it back _or_ pay for it. I didn't actually mind sending it back since it was prepaid and all...

    But I'd FAR FAR rather have had the "reply card" show three choices and be up-front about it. Rather than saying "keep it and pay" or "send it bacK" I'd like to have had a box saying "I'm keeping it but I don't want any more". It's beneath MR to operate this way, using false impressions and misleading implications to drive a promotion.
  18. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Ive got some extra trains and about a ton of unsolicited books ,music cd's, discontinued video tapes, new magazines, software programs, tools from china, hair products from sri lanka, collector coins, stamps,toothpicks etc that needs repackaging and mailing back..............want the job???
    That will become the scenario if too many actually buy into this particular marketing technique.

    I agree, I am not in favor of the marketing technique (can you tell ;) )and expect columbia house , BMG Music and all the video and book club companies out there to soon follow suit if people actually pay or return unsolicited material.
    I dont think it is in the publics best interest or the companies that get involved's best interest.
    And once you pay for 1, getting them to stop sending and invoicing you can be a nightmare of epic proportion.
    I was a sucker once long ago, but the learning curve was very high!!! Never again!!
  19. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well,after watching this video I can now pass judgment..Its a re-rash of some of the older how to and layout tour videos that Kalmback did some time back.. :(
  20. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Good point, Tileguy. Upon reflection, I completely agree. The problem isn't whether I minded sending this one thing back to Kalmbach, but rather the 'slippery slope' it creates where you get a mailbox full of unwanted junque every day... So I think the best way to avoid this is the teach the senders it's ineffective by NOT sending it back OR responding and subscribing. Just keep the freebie, run their costs up, and convince them it's a poor promotion technique.

    PS - Since my day job is advertising, marketing and promo, I can guarantee you that increasing their cost-per-desired-result is the fastest way to put an advertiser off a given method... Thanks for pointing it out, I shoulda thought of that myself.

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