Has the 2004 Great Model Railroads edition reached the bookstores?
BTW, how exactly are the layouts chosen for Model Railroader [monthly]
and for the Great Model Railroads edition? Could one of us assemble a
layout presentation/proposal and simply submit it for consideration to
It would probably be best to contact MR and ask them. Be prepared to
send a few sample photos.
I personally don't bother to buy Great Model Railroads because it's way
too expensive here in Canada for my tastes (around $10.00 + 1.50 tax).
From past issues and personal contacts, it seems that MR at times
commissions photographers to shoot layouts for GMR, which usually have
greater coverage than articles in MR. An issue of GMR I saw a few years
ago featured many layouts photographed by Lou Sassi and a few other
regular contributors whose names I cannot recall at this time.
This may be true, Bob, but I get the impression that guys like Lou Sassi go
out on their own, shoot a layout, then submit it for either an article or
I have a good friend whose layout was in GMR (Seth Puffer, "Puffer Bridge
Lines," GMR 2002). He'd submitted an article about his layout and had it
published in 1995 (May, I think) when Andy had requested articles about
smaller layouts. They re-contacted him to do the GMR article.
I met Lou several years ago at an NMRA/NER convention, and I believe he
told me that MR was commissioning him to shoot layouts for them. A
modeler in Ontario whom I know was visited by Lou to shoot his layout
for GMR. He was told that Lou was in the area shooting other layouts as
well. My friend's layout was supposed to appear in the next GMR, but
didn't. It didn't make the next one and he was becoming frustrated, so
he asked me if I'd shoot some photos for an article. It was a very
large portable layout like a modular one, and he brought it to our area
twice. I did shoot the layout, but wasn't happy with the results, as
the photos were taken in the show arena after the event and weren't
lighted well enough. Anyway his layout finally did appear in MR itself
with Lou's photos not too long after, so he was finally pleased.
From what I recall, Lou Sassi is or was a carpenter whose work was
seasonal, so he had lots of time to travel around for MR shooting
layouts for them.
In another different line, I do know of a modeler who was paid by MR to
assemble several FSM kits for reviews in MR. I don't know if they
supplied the kits for free, but I imagine so.
Many years ago my room-mate at the time did some structure reviews for MR.
The "payment" was they sent him TWO kits. One he built, did the review and
returned the finished model to Kalmbach, the other was his to keep.
One I recall in particular he did was the Campbell "Seebolt & Sons".
I actually approached Jim Hediger about this myself. He told me that MR
buys the kit, pays the modeler for his/her time to assemble the model, and
then pays for the review itself. However, he also told me that they have a
fairly closed "stable" of reviewers, and that they haven't done many
structure reviews lately because so many cars and locos are coming out.