It won’t last!

We heard a lot like that when we started MEWS.

On October 11 2018, it will be ten years since was registered and work began on preparing the way for its launch in Spring 2009. At the time your editor was in the throes of being made redundant at a well-known fortnightly model engineering journal, and decided to continue with the pressures of finding material and meeting deadlines - but on a weekly basis. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

And a time to change things. The old magazine hadn’t changed much since LBSC revolutionized things and content was dominated by the swarf making activities involved in building mainly model locomotives. Nothing wrong with that, of course, up to a point. And that point had been reached. There did not seem much future in yet another serial going on for months or even years describing how to build a locomotive which might only be completed by less than 0.1% of readers who almost certainly didn’t need to be told how to build it, anyway.

The new web magazine, MEWS, would be different. It would concentrate more on actual models than instructions. Surely there were enough books on building locomotives, traction, engines, steam engines, etc to ensure that enough know-how is available for the inexperienced, not to mention the easy and inexpensive (apart from Ebay) availability of old magazine volumes. So the idea was let’s present to the reader illustrated articles of recently completed models to inspire new projects and, particularly, our Model of the Week feature (which in the early days some predicted we would not be able to keep going).

We also keep readers up to date with new products.

We also renewed contact with the amazing Julius de Wall  who had written an article for the old magazine, and who has provided readers of MEWS with,  what has become, a weekly stream of drawings of a wide range of projects, to a high standard and all in metric, including some designs originally in imperial which he has re-visited.

We do include build serials - mostly for designs that do not require expensive castings, which has been a bit of a mission for MEWS. These include techniques new to many of us bought up on odd shaped lumps of cast iron. Generally, our serials include full drawings which can be downloaded free of charge.

We have been influenced very much by the project to produce the book Cherry’s Model Engines. Cherry’s early career was in a design office and she regards the research and design of models as the key to her extraordinary success. Some of her models are even redesigned, in part, to make sure that they work unlike some of the originals. That is why we now look back 100 or 150 years for contemporaneous reports of new, potential modelling subjects. Those from 150 years ago are of particular interest as a golden age of steam and, incidentally, the source of much of Cherry’s inspiration.

The appearance of MEWS has changed over the years. In particular it has developed to work equally well on phones and tablets as well as PCs. More and more MEWS readers are viewing on small screen formats. But they don’t need an app.

Also we have never collected data from readers. There are no cookies. We do not put anything on your hard drive - or take anything from it. We do not keep any lists. We are happy to say that ‘big data’ and algorithms are a total mystery.

However, we really do like to hear from readers.

For the future we expect the content to continue to develop.

Let us know what changes you would like to see.

Thanks for your support.





By David Carpenter