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Who may submit magazine articles?
Anyone may submit articles for consideration. We are always interested in seeing material from new writers. Although we do not generally "assign" or commission articles, we do review those sent to us and, if suitable, they are eventually used in Scale Auto magazine.

We don't expect our writers to be Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists; we are looking for model builders, collectors, and enthusiasts who feel their models and/or modeling techniques and experiences would be of interest and benefit to our readership. When we evaluate articles, we look at the quality of accompanying photos and illustrations, content of the how-to-material, and the writing style. If the photos and content are good, the article can be worked on by our staff, if necessary, to improve its readability.
What kind of material are you looking for?
Above all, our readers like how-to material: how to paint, how to scratchbuild, how to chop a roof, etc. Our readers want to know how to make their models better, so any help or advice you can offer is what modelers will want to read.

Features about your own modeling projects also make worthy topics. A step-by-step writeup with clear, close-up photos can relay techniques and shortcuts to other modelers.

Articles should be brief - usually in the neighborhood of 750 to 3,000 words. Readers want to know how you wired your engine, not how you built up an entire junkyard, complete with 75 cars. However, if you have a topic worthy of more than 3,000 words, ask us about it before you begin writing; we might be able to turn it into a two- or three-part feature. Just remember that readers won't stay with you for four or five pages of text unless you can find a way to hold their interest. Writing a short article that focuses on a particular model or modeling technique is your best bet.
What about writing style?
Write as though you were telling a friend how to duplicate your modeling project, and organize your article in a step-by-step manner.

If at all possible, give your article a "hook" - something to grab the reader's interest in the first paragraph. Use this theme throughout the article. Sometimes this is easy, because the focus of an article is to make a particular point. Interesting articles that have a point or theme tend to be read more thoroughly. Let your personality come through in your writing, and keep it simple and direct. Our readers want a clear description of what you did, how you did it, and the tools and materials you used.

Don't be afraid to tell how specific products performed for your project. It helps if you include a list of references and a list of sources for the materials you used.
How shall I prepare my article?
Manuscripts should be typed, using upper- and lower-case letters; pages should be double-spaced; and your name should be on each numbered page. If you use a word-processor, print the manuscript in letter quality (or near-letter quality) rather than draft mode.

Are product names spelled correctly? Are your instructions in the correct order? Page space is limited; is the article "wordy" or is it to the point?
What kind of images should I send?
Image quality and content is important; an otherwise-good article may be rejected because of poor image quality.

Digital images are greatly preferred. See the digital-image guidelines below.

If you plan to submit a how-to article, be sure to take pictures during construction. It's difficult, if not impossible, to write and photograph a how-to article after the model has been completed. These images should be taken against a plain background; white or light gray are good color choices. Captions should also be included.

Downloadable File(s)

How shall I submit my project?
The best and easiest method is electronic submission at It's a special Web site set up for this purpose. Your digital images and text file can be sent quickly and easily, with no risk of loss, no CD to burn, and no postage charge.

If you prefer to mail your submission, send a printed copy of the text and images, along with a CD of images and the text file, to the address below. Place a stiff piece of cardboard in the envelope to guard against damage. If you want any of the materials back, please include a large envelope with sufficient return postage.
After all this work, do I get paid?
Payment is made upon acceptance of the submission. Compensation is determined by the quality of the article and images, and the amount of work required to make it ready for publication. We do pay, but don't quit your regular job yet! (And if, after reading these guidelines, it just sounds like too much work - but you really do have a sharp model or two you'd like to share - you might consider submitting images of them for possible inclusion on one of the pages of Gallery. All fame, no fortune.)

Please send all material to

Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Scale Auto Magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha WI 53187-1612


Tim Kidwell
Scale Auto
(262) 796-8776 x534


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