Sometimes you see a product that really interests you, but the price point is just a bit too high. When I first saw it, that was my impression of this product at $99.95 plus shipping. It was just a little too expensive. However, when Kalmbach Publishing Co. recent held a sale offering it for $69.95 with shipping included, I ordered it.
You receive 2 DVDs and instructions in a DVD box. You have the option of running it from the DVDs, or you can download it to your hard drive and not need the DVDs to access the program. If you do the latter, you need 10.2 GB of space on your drive.
The result is access to 19,000 plus pages of a quarter century of FSM staring with the inaugural issue.
1. While you can print the articles, the PDF files are locked so they cannot be copied. That is reasonable. It is easy to print an article to have on the workbench, for instance.
2. The installation process is very easy (the instructions are excellent), but it will take 20 minutes or so to copy the DVDs over to your hard drive if you go that route. (You will of course need a DVD drive on your computer.) The product will not play on DVD players connected to a TV. It is intended for computer use only.
3. Searching the library is easy. And, it is surprisingly fast. Just enter the words or phrase in the search box, click, and in a few seconds your results appear.
4. The page images from the early editions (pre-2000) are from scans, so they are not as good as the post-2000 images that are from digital originals. However, the early pages are totally readable and of good quality.I have found FineScale Modeler to be a great addition to the hobby. The how-to articles are clear and well-photographed, and the reviews are honest and useful. For the cost of a few volumes of research books at today’s prices, I now have this really great library at my fingertips. I am glad they had that sale!
UPDATE: 8/3/15 - I have now been using this for a few weeks, and I am finding it invaluable. For instance, today I was looking for information on weathering. A quick search gave me about a dozen useful articles. I had tried Youtube, but so many of those videos, while earnestly produced are too full of out-of-focus pictures and bad camera angles, along with woefully abbreviated presentations. (I know, if I am so smart, why don't I produce some Youtube videos? The answer is simple - I really don't think I would do any better!)