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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

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 and was released through publisher "Next Millennium Publishing Limited", especially established for the publication on 27 May 1994 by its chief editors Michael Reccia and David Openshaw. The publishing house held office at 564 Burnley Road, Crawshawbooth, Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4 8AJ, United Kingdom. [1]

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 model 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 from the very first (test) issue through 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 secondly 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. Still, in an effort to somewhat counteract this trend, several stand-alone spin-off book titles, specifically dealing with the hobby aspects of modeling, were also released during this period of time.

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 and unannounced cessation of publication of the main magazine in 2000.

The reasons why the magazine ceased publication – resulting in its publishing house becoming defunct as of 29 January 2002 [2] – with issue 53 of March 2000 have remained undisclosed.


In 2006, editors Reccia and Openshaw opted to start over with the quarterly magazine Sci-fi & fantasy modeller through the by them newly established publishing house "Happy Medium Press", which in format however, more resembled trade paperback books and as such were endowed with ISBN numbers. Though having returned to its original formula of a specialized genre (model) kit review and "how-to" magazine, with contents "modeled" after the spin-off books they had published the previous decade, the renewed publication did incorporate some behind-the-scenes articles, though care was taken that their proportion was subordinated to the primary content. Yet, the volumes wherein Gary Kerr reported on the actual, original 11-foot Enterprise studio model, were particularly well received, each of them becoming instant bestsellers and selling out within a matter of weeks after release, with Volume 26 of 2012 gaining the very rare distinction of seeing a limited reprint run.

On 9 March 2017, (newsletter) subscribers received an email in which publishers Reccia and Openshaw announced, but yet again unexpectedly, the definitive cessation of the publication, with the April issue, Volume 45, slated to become the very last release. Reiterated on their official site, it was concurrently announced that that final issue could only be obtained through the site as a pre-order, on-demand print issue only until 16 March, and that no retail dissemination was planned. Only the email specified that the site would remain live until the end of July in order to give customers the opportunity to acquire back issues still in stock at the publisher. Giving no reasons for the cessation, the publishers bode their readership a "very fond farewell", hoping that "our titles have brought pleasure to you over the years and that you will continue to enjoy sci-fi modelling as a rewarding and inspiring hobby".

Unlike their previous effort however, the publishers did not intend to quit the modeling magazine publishing business this time around, as they already had a new publication in place as of December 2016, the digital only Modelling magazine. However, this new outing was no longer genre specific, as their previous efforts had been, but rather a generic modeling magazine, though it appeared to have folded as well as its site went dark after 2016. [3](X)

Notable issues

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

Issue Cover Contents
#6, May/June 1995 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 06.jpg
#7, July/August 1995 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 07.jpg
  • "Star Trek: The Exhibition II: The Return", Mike Reccia & Bob Smith, pp. 42-45
#14, September 1996 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 14.jpg
  • "1701: Ultimate Refit", Roger Sides, pp. 26-28
#16, December 1996 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 16.jpg
#24, November 1997 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 24.jpg
  • "Applying Magic: Alan McFarland in conversation with Mike Reccia", Mike Reccia, pp. 28-33
#25, January 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 25.jpg
#29, June 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 29.jpg
#30, July 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 30.jpg
  • "So, you want to build effects miniatures?!, Part Two", David Merriman, Jr., pp. 36-42
#1.1, 1998 (as Effects Special) Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 1.1 (Effects Special).jpg
#32, September 1998 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 32.jpg Foundation Imaging special:
#34, January 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 34.jpg
#35, March 1999
(as Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models International)
Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 35.jpg
  • "Star Trek: Insurrection-The "Next Generation" of Miniature Effects, Part Two", Jim Key, pp. 18-23
#36, April 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 36.jpg
#37, June 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 37.jpg
  • "The Intergalactic Arsenal of Star Trek: Making classic TV and Film props", Jim Key, pp. 26-30
#41, October 1999 Sci-Fi & Fantasy models cover 41.jpg
Volume 12, 20 January 2009
(as Sci-fi & fantasy modeller)
Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 12.jpg
ISBN 9780955878138
Volume 20, 17 January 2011 Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 20.jpg
ISBN 9780956430663
  • "Bill George: Modelling Memories and Movie Magic", pp. 73-84
Volume 23, 10 October 2011 Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 23A.jpg
Cover A Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 23B.jpg
Cover B
ISBN 9780956905307

note: Cover B for US November dissemination; only known instance where the variant cover format was employed

Volume 26, 9 July 2012 Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 26.jpg
ISBN 9780956905352

-)The first printing was sold out in a matter of weeks, and this issue gained the rare distinction of becoming the first and only issue to see a limited reprint run in late 2013
-)Being the first of a four-part article, only this issue is listed, as the three consecutive issues only deal with Kerr's involvement with the various commercial model projects and not the actual production models

Volume 44, 25 January 2017 Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 44.jpg
ISBN 9780995608900
  • "Restoring a Legend: A history of the Starship Enterprise, from its construction in 1964 to the restoration in 2016 - Part 1", Gary Kerr, pp. 33-45

note: Sold out within a month, without any possibility of a reprint due to the sudden cessation of the publication

Volume 45, 10 April 2017 Sci-Fi & Fantasy modeller cover volume 45.jpg
ISBN 9780995608917
  • "Restoring a Legend: A history of the Starship Enterprise, from its construction in 1964 to the restoration in 2016 - Part 2", Gary Kerr, pp. 73-92

note: Final, pre-order print-on-demand only issue; no retail dissemination

External links