Scale Models International

Aviation-related Magazines Guide

Key Facts

Availability: News-stand
Issues / Year: 12
ISSN: 1475-3391
Barcode: 9-771475-339001
First Year: 1969
Last Year: 2008
Publisher: Model & Allied Publications Ltd
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Main Genre: Plastic Modelling
Aviation Only? No
Current Status: Ceased

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‘Scale Models’ was launched as a spin-off from ‘Aero Modeller’ magazine, dedicated to scale plastic modelling of all kinds. Areas covered included aircraft, cars, ships, engines, motorbikes and space vehicles – and also armoured vehicles and military figures until the launch of sister-title ‘Military Modelling’ a few years later. Each issue normally included very good aircraft modelling coverage – especially camouflage and markings details and (in later issues) stunningly detailed scale drawings. Also featured were tone (and later colour) profile drawings and many b+w and colour photos. In the UK market is was the main rival to ‘Airfix Magazine’, which it gradually overhauled and surpassed.

From an aircraft modellers point of view, the May-November 1973 issues of ‘Scale Models’ were a low point when the title was revised to ‘Scale Models incorporating Model Cars’, and the magazine wasted considerable page space on toy cars. Fortunately, this revised title was dropped at the end of 1973 and normal service resumed. It gobbled-up another rival when it became ‘Scale Models incorporating World Models’ in July 1978 – fortunately this time without adverse affect. For some strange reason ‘incorporating Model Cars’ reappeared on the cover from the November 1979 issue until the September 1980 issue when ‘incorporating PAM NEWS’ replaced it. ‘PAM News’ was dedicated to scale aircraft modelling and the amalgamation boosted the appeal of the magazine. In December 1980, the cover title reverted to simply ‘Scale Models’. From the August 1983 issue it became ‘Scale Models International’.

By January 1995 (Volume 26) the magazine had been sold to the publishers of ‘Scale Aviation Modeller’. Between 1995 and 2000 the feature articles strongly emphasised aircraft topics, but in early 2001 it ceased publication for 6 months and was then resurrected under the editorship of Richard Franks. From here onwards the aircraft contents declined significantly. The editorial content now primarily consists of in-depth reviews of new kit releases, illustrated by lots of colour photos. No scale drawings or conversion projects are included. The kits featured cover the whole range of available models, including cars, armoured vehicles, ships, sci-fi and aircraft – although aircraft no longer appear in every issue.

From mid 2005 it went through an appalling period when nearly every issue featured a car on the front cover. From the May 2005 issue the main title was simplified to just the initials ‘SMI’, and with effect from the October 2005 issue, the additional subtitle ‘Scale Models Collector’ was introduced. The last issue to appear under the ‘SMI’ title was July 2008. The last three issues showed a definite move towards military vehicle modelling, and in August 2008 the publisher launched ‘Scale Military Modeller International’ as a companion to ‘Scale Aviation Modeller’ and replacement for ‘SMI’. In fact the first few issues of ‘Scale Military Modeller International’ carried the gold label “Scale Models – 38 years of excellence”, in a reference to its predecessor.

Publishing History

First issue dated October 1969. Published monthly until its demise in July 2008.
Publisher: Model & Allied Publications Ltd 1969-1984 [ISSN 0036-5432], Argus Specialist Publications/Argus Press Group 1984-1994 [0269-834X], SAM Publications 1995-2008.

Editors: R G Moulton October 1969-August 1976, R L (Ray) Rimell September 1976-1983, Kelvin Barber 1984-Feb 2001, Richard Franks Nov 2001-?, Nick Wigman ?-2008.

Contents/Issues Produced

See the Wikipedia link below for contents listings of the earlier issues.
[*] Contents Listing, 1969 – 1979
[*] Contents Listing, 1980 – 1989

Digital Access

No digital versions of back issues appear to be available.

Special Issues

Only a couple of special issues were produced “Warplane Special” and “Aircraft from the Battle of Britain”.

Further information

[No WorldCat entry]
Sprue Brothers
Magazine Exchange

Cover Gallery

To be added.
See All

See other aviation-related magazines from United Kingdom.
See the full aviation magazines database here.

One thought on “Scale Models International

  1. Another Special was „Model Colour“, the „Complete How-to on model painting“.

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