Scale Auto Magazine
For the last several years, Scale Autohas been an attractive, authoritative, useful and entertaining magazine. It is published six times a year, and its aim is to provide car modelers with ideas, inspiration, instruction, and both current and historic hobby information. Its target audience are those hobbyists building and detailing styrene and resin automobile kits—the majority of kits being in 1/24 and 1/25 scale. What may come as a surprise is that those writing how-to articles and those building featured models are grown men; more likely than not, a photo of a master builder will have at least a touch of grey. It is not surprising, however, that the vast majority of contributors and featured builders are male.
This is the third issue for the editor Mark Savage. He replaces the long-running and well respected Jim Haught. The magazine has kept its look and purpose under the new hand—with perhaps slightly less emphasis on traditional hot rods and customs and slightly more emphasis on contemporary sedans and sports cars. There have always been at least a few pages devoted to model trucks and this remains unchanged. The issue here under review is typical of the many that came before and, presumably, those issues to come.
The magazine begins with a note from the editor, followed by a few pages of new products. Tips & Tech answers readers’ questions and offers modeling tips from readers and staff alike. Look how easy it is to build a continental kit for your classic. Should you attach the door handles before or after you spray on the clear coat? In this issue modelers are also given eight pages of information on how to detail a muscle car interior and four pages showing ways to replicate a vinyl roof. Reviews are given for new models describing the pros and cons of each, and the ease—or problems—of the build. At least one, usually two or three model shows are covered in each issue. Our April 2018 issue offers two, the IPMS Nationals from Omaha, Nebraska, and the NNL South from Smryna, Georgia. Here we find the latest trends—donks, for example—along with the old-skool hot rods, rat rods, customs from the 1950s and 1960s, drag racers and sports cars.
Perhaps the best feature is the One Great Model. The two-page spread for this issue gives us a large photo of a 1972 Ford Maverick Pro Mod—a 1/25 scale model conceived and built by one Curtis Dillon. The car’s exterior is a styrene canvas of intricate hand-painted and decaled graphics. Surrounding the car photo are blocks of text describing the rich details: “Scratchbuilt GoPro Camera”; “Cloth parachute bags with correct cables”; “Rubber tires on wheels with aluminum lug nuts and studs.”
This brings us to the fact of how the hobby has advanced through the last fifteen years or so. If you were a kid, back in the day, who hurriedly painted and assembled an AMT 3-in-1 kit out of the box, you will be favorably impressed by the amount of detail today’s hobbyists create for their models: scale inspection stickers, tiny keys in the ignition, valve caps, brake calipers, u-joints, flocked interiors—and the engines are completely wired and plumbed. Scale Auto examines, showcases and champions such attention to detail, and, along with the how-to and other features mentioned above, the magazine does these things with pleasing layouts (occasionally the how-to photos could be a bit sharper, clearer) and professional authority. So if you, like most Speedreaders readers, are an automotive enthusiast, why not truck on down to your local newsstand and pick up the latest copy?
Copyright 2018, Bill Wolf (speedreaders.info).