The Steel Mill Modelers Journal serves as the official publication of the Steel Mill Modelers Special Interest Group (SMMSIG). Four times a year a 32-page, all-color Journal is mailed to each member. Each issue contains up-to-date information about our organization and the people in it. The majority of the issue is devoted to articles—both model and prototype—related to steel mills and their operations.

The Journal is highly acclaimed by our members. To start receiving your copy of the Journal, join us here. To order back issues, go here.

All members are encouraged to submit photos, articles, or information explaining what they are doing with their hobby. Construction articles, whether describing buildings or mill devices or rolling stock, are always welcomed. The editorial staff will assist converting your ideas into a published article that all readers will enjoy.

The Journal’s editorial process involves carefully reviewing the text and images that are submitted and making changes to correct or improve them. The goal of editing is to ensure that every issue has consistency in presentation. The content, language, style, and design will be revised as needed to meet the expectations of the reader.

To assist with categorization of submittals, a number of frame-worked columns are established in the Journal. Consider drafting your manuscript to fall under one of the following headings.


MEMBER ACTIVITIES has no restriction on content. Just tell us something about what you have been doing or what places you have visited. In previous issues, members reported on operating sessions they attended during NMRA Conventions in Orlando and Salt Lake City.

ITEMS OF INTEREST is the place where anyone can submit short, newsworthy write-ups about engagements that have occurred in the past or ones that will happen in the future. If you have something that other members would be interested in, write it up. If there are train shows scheduled to arrive in your area, especially ones that have a steel presence, let us know.

SMMSIG ACTIVITIES is the column that highlights functions of our group. Whether it’s a recap of our attendance at the NMRA National Convention or photos of our booth at a local train show (such as an RPM meet, Trainfest or the Amherst Railway Society show), this is where the story gets reported.

FROM MY WORKBENCH can be anything you are working on, from the simplest project to the most complex. Tell the readers where the idea came from. Illustrate the tools and techniques you used. Explain how you built a kit for your layout.

MODELER’S REFERENCE starts with an engineering drawing or a detailed photo of the prototype. Show how you transformed that information into a realistic model.

SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT is a brief, informational overview of a specific item from a manufacturer. The SPOTLIGHT informs the membership of merchandise they may not be familiar with. If you (the member) have purchased any product related to steel modeling, and you like it, let your fellow modelers know. Each SPOTLIGHT is one page long and should include a photo of the product.

STEEL IN PRINT and STEEL ON DISK are the columns where you become a media reviewer. Many of us have sizeable book and video collections. If you’ve recently read a book or watched a video, new or old, the members would like to know what you thought of the presentation. Hopefully the media is still available for purchase.


  • Articles should be submitted electronically in WORD format. Use only basic formatting, nothing fancy is required. Do not embed images in the WORD document. Send them as separate JPG attachments.
  • High-resolution images are mandatory. Set your camera’s “Recording Pixels” at the maximum value. The minimum acceptable value is 8 megapixels (MP), roughly equivalent to an image file size of 1.5 to 2 MB. Images containing 12 or 16 MP are ideal.
  • Submit only original images. Do not send pre-cropped or sized images. Our graphic designer will handle the re-sizing function. Because every application of photo-editing degrades the original image, that function can be performed only once.
  • Do not imbed date-time stamps on the images.
  • Failure to meet the above requirements does not mean the image will be rejected for publication. However, it will restrict the image from being printed larger than postcard size.
  • Note: images taken from the internet are usually NOT ACCEPTABLE for reproduction even though they may look decent on your computer screen.
  • Photos must have captions and must acknowledge the photographer.
  • If people are shown in the photo, they need to be identified.
  • Material (text or images) taken from another publication or website must submitted “With Permission” of the original publisher. We cannot publish copyrighted material without appropriate permission and credit.
  • The Journal is published in January, April, July and October, and is delivered around the middle of the month. Keep this in mind when submitting time-dependent notifications.