I discovered to my delight that there was an independently owned hobby store
about 5 minutes from where I work, so I wandered along during my lunch hour
for a browse...
It was one of those places that doesn't seem to have been updated since it
opened 20 years ago, but to be honest, I didn't mind, as these tend to be
veritable treasure troves of faded and long forgotten OOP kits. The elderly
proprietor wasn't the most convivial of fellows, which was a bit of a
drawback given the chaotic lack of order. Boxes were piled in no particular
order, some behind others, others tucked away at obscure angles and in weird
places. But that was where the delight ended.
I decided to "support my local" by buying something. There were a few
candidates worthy of attention and in the end, I settled on an Italeri
Dornier D0-217 K-2 in 1:72 scale, which did not have a price on it. I know
from experience that these go for less than £8 all in on eBay, and had seen
it in another hobby shop selling for £9.99. So, after having a brief chat in
which we discussed the pro's and con's of internet vs face to face buying,
and after picking up a couple of small sheets of plastic card, I asked him
to price it all up.
He wanted £15.00 GBP for the Italeri kit. I was stunned. I asked him to
check, and he told me "it's all up here", tapping the side of his head. I
haggled to no avail, and as I had no small change for the plastic sheets
(and with a £10 miniumum on credit cards), I somewhat reluctantly paid up
and left. I could've just walked out, but for some reason, seeing the state
of the place, I figured "what the hell".
Now if the difference is between buying and paying instantly, or waiting a
week or so for an eBay kit or mail order from Hannants and such-like - then
I certainly will not pay an almost 50% premium for the privilege of being
ripped off face to face. I gave it a go, I did my bit to keep this old
geezer in clover, but never again! This is one little hobby shop that can
wither and die for all I care...
When he said, "It's all up here," what was mainly up there was a
calculation on how deep he could get into your wallet. Now, maybe he was
in the first stages of Alzheimers, which might explain the relative
chaos and unconviviality, but more likely the fellow is suffering from
terminal greed. I'd have walked out without the purchase, myself, just
to see if he was bluffing, and if not, to make it clear I thought his
business practices uncompetitive. Nor would I go back. But that, in and
of itself, doesn't justify dumping on other retailers in favor of mail
order (which I have also found to be unreliable or cost-ineffective in
some cases). My own practice is to look in shops for what I want ( I
can get to four different stores easily) and if the price is wrong or
the stuff doesn't exist, that's what Hannants and NKR are for.
git! :) so you live in colindale or oulton broad then!? ;) incidentially whom
or what is NKR? sometimes i think that the best model shop is often the box
under the table of a modelling club or society at a show. prices are often
quite reasonable too.
is an Australian vendor of mostly
Eastern European air and armor kits and attendant aftermarket bits. I'm
not certain how economical it is for UK-based modelers, but NKR is very
competitive in price for the west coast of the U.S., and I've never seen
a mail order establishment with better service.
As I live in sweden, my "local" shop is a shop in sweden. But the problem
is, as mentioned before, the pricing. To pay $20-25 for a hasegawa kit, when
I can buy it from japan, shipping included, for $8-10, well that's not going
to happen. The future for small local dealers is aftermarket producs.
"Raffi Varoujian" skrev i meddelandet
We used to have a shop owner hereabouts that had the same problem. He
tried hard to convert a tank modeller to trucks. It didn't happen but
the poor guy got a woman who converted him to a non-modeller. :(
You'd be happy as heck to live here as there are several model railroad
shops to choose from. But it's all US prototype stuff. The only shop
to sell European trains went out of business several years ago. I still
have a couple of boxes of Lima catenary wire that I bought in the
Bill Banaszak, MFE
We used to have a good shop over in Reading, Pa. like that. The owner
really liked doing it and lived over the store. One could freely move
boxes of kits about to see what was behind the front piles. I got many
goodies from there over the years at reasonable prices.
He eventually transferred the business to a niece and her husband. One
day I was told not to ever move the piles around. Everything behind was
the same thing. Well, yeah, the husband had taken all the goodies out
to shows and sold them for collectors' prices. I haven't been there in
10 years and from what I hear the neighbourhood has gone downhill. It's
not a safe place to go and there's no joy in it. Why bother.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
When I was Railroad Modelling (I live in the Uk and have been a long
term US Outline fan) I used to hunt down model shops whenever I went
to the States. My wife will tell you about walking for miles in
Honolulu just to find the model shop - with Waikiki Beach outside the
hotel door! I drove miles in Austin to get to Kings and they were
great! H0owever, the shop I do remember was in San Francisco - a long
cab ride, let the cab go, found out that the shop was locked and
barred but entry was allowed to modellers. Even that wasn't too bad as
we got into the shop very quickly - it was waiting for a cab outside
afterwards that was the problem - very scary!
BTW, my local model shop is Galaxy Models in Ipswich which is a great
shop - if you are into RC. I don't think that their platic has changed
in a year. I went in there in lat Feb to buy some Tamiya White paint
and they told me they had been out of white since Xmas!
Give me the drive from Ipswich to Oulton Broad any day!
Well, it not here that the "missing" shops are a problem then, we do have
toy stores selling an occational kit, some even stack as many as 50! and
they do have Humbrol paints. So my Hobbyshop is 400 kilometers away, but
luckily the owner often knows what I'm after so when he gets it in the
he calls and ask if I'm interested. I normally only meet him two or three
times a year. But he does get me some good stuff like two of the Rare old
Revell kits in 1:32, the Jack and the Tony. And at resonable prizes too.
I was thinking of Kleins when I started reading this thread. Back in
the 60s and 70s they were just up the street from where they are now and
carried everything, not just trains. I'll never forget going in that ancient
building and leaving with the 72 scale Airfix figure and aircraft and the
ROCO armor kits that got me started so long ago. A musty, cluttered mess of
kits to the ceiling! What a place. They don't make model stores like that
anymore. And it's a shame.