(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. 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 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 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 Sci-fi & fantasy modeller, which in style 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 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 customers 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".
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:
|#6, May/June 1995|
|#7, July/August 1995||
|#14, September 1996|
|#16, December 1996|
|#24, November 1997||
|#25, January 1998||
|#29, June 1998||
|#30, July 1998||
|#1.1, 1998 (as Effects Special)|
|#32, September 1998||Foundation Imaging special:
|#34, January 1999|
|#35, March 1999|
(as Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models International)
|#36, April 1999|
|#37, June 1999||
|#41, October 1999|
|Volume 12, 20 January 2009|
(as Sci-fi & fantasy modeller)
|Volume 20, 17 January 2011|| |
|Volume 23, 10 October 2011|| |
note: Cover B for US November dissemination; only known instance where the variant cover format is utilized
|Volume 26, 9 July 2012|| |
|Volume 44, 25 January 2017|| |
note: Sold out within a month, without any possibility of a reprint due to the sudden cessation of the publication