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Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models
Publisher: Next Millenium Publishing Limited (1st run)
Happy Media Press (2nd run)
Published: January 1994-March 2000 (1st run)
2006-current (2nd run)
No. of issues: 55 (1st run)
still running (2nd run)
Editor(s): Michael G. Reccia, David Openshaw

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models was a British magazine that started out as a specialized magazine on model kits and models in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Aimed at the hobby market, it originally consisted of review and "how-to" articles of commercially-available kits and models of those specific genres, covering licensed and unlicensed ("garage" kits) products alike. A bi-monthly magazine, publication started in January 1994 with two test issues, then titled SF & F: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Model Review. The regular run, now called Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models, began in July with a re-started numbering. From the beginning the magazine was printed on high-gloss paper, and while color content was low at the start, that increased considerably in the years to come.

Beginning publication at a time when interest in, and production of Star Trek, was at its height, it came as no surprise that coverage of Trek-related merchandise in the form of model kits and models was extensive. Illustrative of that was the multi-part article on the history of the Star Trek model kits that ran through the very first (test) issue to issue two of the regular publication run (four issues in total), written by Simon Roykirk.

Though initially a hobby market model kit magazine, from issue five onward it was beefed out with behind-the-scenes articles and interviews with visual effects (VFX) staffers, most notably the props and studio model builders, of the actual genre productions of both television and motion pictures. A large number of those articles were submitted by the staffers themselves. Originally intended to be illustrative of how professionals went about their business, the proportion of these article rose over the years to an extend that half-way through its run the original formula of the magazine was increasingly relegated to the fringes. The change was reflected in that the magazine changed its title twice during its lifetime, first to Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models International from issue 35 to issue 47, and second to Sci-Fi & Fantasy FX from issue 48 until the end of the run. The last name change was intended to reflect the advent of CGI, which by that time had become an ever more important technique in producing VFX.

Star Trek, as one of the genre franchises very much viable at the time, has been also well represented in that respect. Trek VFX staffers that have submitted or contributed to articles on their work were, among others, Rick Sternbach, Ed Miarecki, David Merriman, Jr., Ron Thornton, Robert Bonchune, Adam Lebowitz, Brandon MacDougall, Bill George, and John Goodson. Many of them also submitted articles on work they had done on genre productions other than Star Trek. The amount of submitted articles was such that chief editor Mike Reccia started an intended biannual spin-off magazine Effects Special in 1998 that only ran for two issues due the unexpected ceasing of publication of the main magazine in 2000.

The reasons why the magazine ceased publishing with the number 53 issue of March 2000 have remained undisclosed.

In 2006, editors Reccia and Openshaw opted to start over with the quarterly magazine (though in style they more resemble paperback books and as such are endowed with ISBN numbers), Sci-fi & fantasy modeller, which is currently still running. Though having returned to its original formula of a specialized genre (model) kit review and "how-to" magazine, it does contain some behind-the-scenes articles, though care is taken that their proportion is subordinated to the primary content.

Notable issues

(This list is currently incomplete.)

Discounting the merchandise, of particular relevance to Star Trek where coverage of VFX materials used in the actual productions was concerned, are the following issues:

Issue Cover Contents
#6, May/June 1995 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 06 Mike Reccia & Bob Smith, Star Trek: The Exhibition: The Models, pp. 24-27
#7, July/August 1995 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 07 Mike Reccia & Bob Smith, Star Trek: The Exhibition II: The Return, pp. 42-45
#14, September 1996 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 14 Roger Sides, 1701: Ultimate Refit, pp. 26-28
#16, December 1996 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 16 Ed Miarecki, ''The Making of the Cardassian Warship., pp. 24-27
#24, November 1997 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 24 Mike Reccia, Applying Magic: Alan McFarland in conversation with Mike Reccia, pp. 28-33
#25, January 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 25 Peter Hardy, Smithonian Trek Photo-Feature, pp. 53-55
#29, June 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 29 David Merriman, Jr., So, you want to build effects miniatures?!, Part One, pp. 51-57
#30, July 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 30 David Merriman, Jr., So, you want to build effects miniatures?!, Part Two, pp. 36-42
#1.1, 1998 (as Effects Special) Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 1.1 (Effects Special) Steve Burg, Species 8472–design concept, pp. 60-66
#32, September 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 32 *Ron Thornton, The Year at a Glance, p. 50
*Mojo, A Month in Hell, pp. 51-52
*John Teska. Aliens aboard the Voyager, p. 52
*John Allardice, Deep Space Nine: "Sacrifice of Allardice", p. 53
*Rob Bonchune, Building and Refiiting Starships, p. 54
*Brandon MacDougall, Foundation Imaging: Dream Job for Spaceship Modelers, pp. 54-55
#34, January 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 34 Jim Key, Star Trek: Insurrection-The "Next Generation" of Miniature Effects, Part One, pp. 24-31
#35, March 1999
(as Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models International)
Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 35 Jim Key, Star Trek: Insurrection-The "Next Generation" of Miniature Effects, Part Two, pp. 18-23
#36, April 1999 180px Rick Sternbach, Anatomy of a Shuttle, pp. 29-34
#37, June 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 37 Jim Key, The Intergalactic Arsenal of Star Trek: Making classic TV and Film props, pp. 26-30
#41, October 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 41 *Adam Lebowitz, What's Going Down in MojoWorld?, pp.24-25
*Robert Bonchune, Creating fifth season FX for Star Trek: Voyager, pp. 25-26
Volume 12, 2009
(as Sci-fi & fantasy modeller)
Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 12
ISBN 9780955878138
Jason Eaton, Restoring Star Trek: The Next Generation's Earth Station McKinley, pp. 66-73

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