Overview by: Shane Jenkins
Plastic Ship Modeler (PSM) is a quarterly publication, published by Dan Jones.
It has been around since 1994 (1993 if you include the test issue where it was called Plastic Model Ships or PMS - no wonder why Dan changed it). In it's run so far of 25 issues, it has gone from strength to strength. It is a must read for static ship modellers.
While the image quality over it's run does compare poorly to more commercial magazines, Dan has been constantly improving the image quality. However, while images may not be as good, the actual content is second to none. PSM has model/accessories/book reviews, research articles and regular columns such as: NAVINFOTEL an update on the real thing by Ray Bean, a column devoted to 1250/1200 modelling by Paul Jacobs and a letters page. This all goes in to make a very well rounded magazine.
Dan's review policy is that the readers are more important than manufacturers, he won't hesitate to call it as he sees it, this is especially true when it comes to high priced kits.He believes that if you're going to outlay a large amount for a kit, that the review should reflect what the kit is like. Now, some may see this as being overly harsh, but I can only say that I agree with that philosophy.
The research articles in PSM include articles from notable authors including Alan Raven who wrote a great multi part series on the "Development of Naval Camouflage".
Dan publishes PSM in his spare time and this has led at times to PSM running
late for a variety of reasons. He also used to be the IPMS(USA) "Quarterly"
and "Update" Editors, this experience has held him in good stead in
publishing PSM. Because of this PSM has had more of a model club magazine feel
to it, rather than a true commercial publication This is, my opinion, to it's
benefit as it tends to reflect more what the readership wants and is not bound
too much by commercial imperatives. As an Asst Editor for a club magazine myself,
I can appreciate the hassles that go into producing a magazine in your spare
PSM is available from many vendors. If you email Dan, he'll be able to give you up-to-date infomation on where it is available.
UPDATE: Sadly PSM is no longer being produced. Back issues are
for the moment still available from Dan and other vendors. We thank Dan for
his efforts over the years and wish him well in any future endeavour.
Check out my Shiplist in the reference section for a listing of ship reviews/articles in model magazines which includes PSM.
Disclaimer: For those who are concerned about such things, SANDLE Hobbies, which is run by the owners of SMML, now stock Plastic Ship Modeler in their range. Since the reviews up to and including Issue No 25 were written before this came about, they will remain on this site and further issues will be reviewed by someone else.