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RIP Squadron.

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  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
RIP Squadron.
Posted by Straycat1911 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 4:35 PM
  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:14 PM

If true, a sad end to a once major mail order retailer.  When I was in school, a friend would bring the monthly catalogs for us to pore over during recess.  Heady days.  They charged straight retail plus shipping, but we liked looking at the pictures of all the kits.  It was one of the few sources of new kit information too - no internet back then, kids!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:45 PM

web site says:

Store Close for Renovation

Thank you for your business and your patience.

I ordered tons of stuff from them.  Me and my boss used to put orders in and split the shipping.  

Thanks,

John

Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 6:01 PM

Its been 4 years since I ordered from them,I have to say I'm not even noticing.

But yes sad,I remember their catalog,and stopping at their store in Silver Springs,Maryland

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • From: Central CT
Posted by xenon55 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 6:17 PM

I bought from them a few times over the past year when I got back into the hobby. They definitely weren't the least expensive or my first choice to buy from, but they'd be close or cheaper with the discounts they'd sometimes offer. I bought a few kits last week when they had the 70% off sale. I haven't gotten any tracking info yet. If I don't receive what I ordered, I'll submit a claim through PayPal.

 

Jay

  • Member since
    February 2016
  • From: Ice coated north 40 saskatchewan
Posted by German Armour on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:33 PM

That's too bad. I haven't purchased anything from them. But have seen the news on different forums

 Never give up, never quit, never stop modelling.Idea

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by JBRaider on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:19 PM

I thought the end was near when I saw the 70% off email on Friday. I ordered a couple of Sci-fi kits that morning.

They shipped on Saturday and I recieved them yesterday. 

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • From: Malvern, PA
Posted by WillysMB on Thursday, January 14, 2021 11:46 AM

The store in Silver Spring, MD, had a very nice and extensive set of display cabinets with finished models. Quite inspiring to a young modeler, and even older modelers.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, January 14, 2021 11:50 AM

There has been no real confirmation, either way.

I wouldn't say that the Google screenshot that is circulating is definitive, neither is the comment from the contractor who worked for Squadron.

Some people have reported in forums that they tried to place orders and got no confirmations, others that they have successfully placed orders and got the usual responses.

Still others, who live near the shop, have said they've been to the store and picked up orders and bought new things.

The message on the website doesn't indicate that they're closing, either, though it doesn't help.

What Squadron really ought to do, is to make a formal announcement, if they are indeed closing.  A message from the president or CEO, whatever his title, would be good, would be professional.

It seems to me that Squadron is managing this about as well as they have managed their business for the past 20 years.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:52 PM

I always hate to see places shut their doors unexpectedly, but I think the last time I ordered from them was a Black Friday 3 years ago, loaded up on a bunch of Vallejo paints and primers.  As said before, I never found prices very competitive and shipping a tad high.

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • From: Mountains of Western MD
Posted by BBorBust on Friday, January 15, 2021 12:35 AM

Sad if they are indeed going under and closing their doors. I am pretty new to modeling, but before I found places like scalehobbyist and sprue brothers, I found squadron. Ordered my first model from them last year (trumpeter 1/350 QE) and the buying experience was just fine. Shipped quick with no issues. 

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, January 15, 2021 2:11 AM

Real G

If true, a sad end to a once major mail order retailer.  When I was in school, a friend would bring the monthly catalogs for us to pore over during recess.  Heady days.  They charged straight retail plus shipping, but we liked looking at the pictures of all the kits.  It was one of the few sources of new kit information too - no internet back then, kids!

 

Those monthly supplements and annual catalogs were great sources of information. Before there were internet search engines, you'd just look through old Squadron catalogs until you'd see when the kit first hit their pages as "new" and what the price was.

I remember using them to compare what prices were on eBay in the mid 1990s. I discovered eBay in 1995, but didn't take the plunge until 1996.

If I could get it from Squadron delivered for a certain price, an eBay auction would have to beat that by at least 25% including shipping. This was before "watch lists" and subcategories of models. All there was was a model category.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, January 15, 2021 11:56 AM

I think it's the older guys, of my vintage (b 1964), and may I assume, Rob, of yours, people who are old enough to remember buying from Squadron at their original bricks-and-mortar location, or via mail order up through the 90s, who will lament Squadron's demise the most, if it is indeed going out of business.  They would be the longest-served customers, and they have a nostalgia for the days when Squadron was pretty much the only mail-order option, or the best-known.

For me, personally, I never dealt with them back then, because the small local hobby shops run by a sole proprietor were still common.  I bought everything I needed there, and at the other stores that sold model kits and paints.  I think I saw an ad for Squadron in "Boy's Life", when I was a Scout, but paid it no mind.

I never even bought from Squadron till we were into the Aughts. I still could buy supplies locally, and like Rob, as soon as I joined eBay, I bought almost all of my kits there.  Since I build mostly old kits, this was the best source for me, along with buying kits at club meetings and model shows.

By that time, Squadron really was not much better, if at all, in its selection or service, than the online vendors who emerged, like Roll Models or Sprue Brothers.  And I could buy things like paints direct from manufacturers.  The catalogs only reinforced this in my mind.  They had a lot, but you could find other things elsewhere, often cheaper, and often without the wait.

So I feel sorry for Squadron fans, for seeing an old friend go, if it is, and for the employees who will have to find new jobs.  But at this point, as far as losing a source goes, I think many will just say, "Meh".

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, January 15, 2021 12:48 PM
I didn't begin to use Squadron until the late 80s when I was stationed in Germany in 1988. I too was born in 1964, and they were an awesome source of modeling. Since I was in the Army, my local hobby store greatly depended on what was available outside the front gates. I was still a loyal customer until about the last 5 years when their stock was often "available to order". And then, the roles of eBay were reversed; if I could get it delivered from eBay for less, then their price wasn't very good. I used to use Squadron as a benchmark for what a good price is on eBay. Later eBay became the benchmark for what a good price at Squadron was.
  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, January 15, 2021 2:45 PM

keavdog
Store Close for Renovation Thank you for your business and your patience.

This isn't even English. Makes me wonder if their site has been hacked.

-Greg

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Friday, January 15, 2021 3:16 PM

I remember getting things from them back in 1966.  I had to give my brother the money so he would write a check for me to mail off.  Back then I was just starting high school and used money from a paper route and digging out the cellar under our house, made a penny a bucket on that one.  I found better jobs later until I got drafted.

I used to use them for small detailing parts I coiuldn't find whereever I was stationed.  I haven't used them much since I got out and moved here.

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Bucks county, PA
Posted by Bucksco on Friday, January 15, 2021 5:31 PM

As the saying goes "All good things must come to an end". I was there when it all started. I grew up as a fan of the "Squadron Shop". I live outside of Philadelphia so I spent a lot of time in the store on Roosevelt Blvd and was lucky enough to have gone to college in Northern Virginia and spent a lot of time at the Wheaton, Maryland store (the final brick and mortar store). I remember sitting on my front steps in my youth waiting for mail orders from Squadron. Being a figure painter I fondly remember Squadron/Rubin figures and their publications. I believe that changing times and the passing of owners tend to have lasting effects on businesses and Squadron was no exception. I will always have the fond memories of my youth that were fired by the models I bought from them and all the trips to their shops to see all the great displays and check out all the great products that were only available from that cool store! Thanks Squadron shop!

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Saturday, January 16, 2021 8:49 AM
 
If they are going out of business it won’t be a surprise. My father started ordering from Squadron in the 1970’s till around 2010 or so. Things started to change when the print flyer went from being in B&W to colour. Along with this change prices started to go up and they started carrying a lot more non-modeling related products. In 2012 I stopped using them and switched to Sprue Brothers.
 
It’s unfortunate to see them go I have very fond memories of looking through the yearly catalog and the monthly flyers.

 
  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, January 16, 2021 9:12 AM

For years it was like the old Sears catalog- my wish list that showed me what was available.  I was satisfield with its service until more recently.  They were the last model vendor to send print catalog/flyers.  Then it got to where when I ordered, the majority of the items I wanted were not in stock.

However, by then most hobby vendors had good web sites.  However, if FSM ever goes belly up or online only, I will have a hard time finding out what is new in terms of kits.

I still love reading printed material.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Saturday, January 16, 2021 12:58 PM

Greg
 
keavdog
Store Close for Renovation Thank you for your business and your patience. 

This isn't even English. Makes me wonder if their site has been hacked. 

Interns.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, January 16, 2021 1:05 PM

the Baron
Interns.

You probably nailed it, Brad. I sometimes forget the way things are.

Oops! Embarrassed

The slow death of literacy is what it is, but I have a hard time accepting it when the writer is writing professionally. I guess I might as well get over it.

But I won't , of course.

Back on topic, I too am/would be sad to see Squadron go. I liked their selection and fast shipping.

-Greg

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 16, 2021 6:16 PM

On our employee face book page, I'm not even sure some of the younger workers even know how to write or spell.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, January 17, 2021 6:34 AM

Rob Gronovius

On our employee face book page, I'm not even sure some of the younger workers even know how to write or spell.

 

Or read.  And I even see school teachers consistantly mis-spell things these days.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 17, 2021 6:58 AM

Hmm

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Monday, January 18, 2021 9:40 AM

I have been expecting the demise of Squadron since they ceased to be a family ran business that focused on the customer, hobby, and great deals.  When they sold off to an invenstment group whose sole goal was to increase profitablity with low inventory and developed a poor website and customer service, they could not compete with the dozen or so internet companies that still work under the old business model that Squadron once had.  I'm a die hard hobbiest, I am not interested in trinkets such as coffee mugs or t-shirts, and any model I was interested in was either way over priced or out of stock.  Dealing with their website was worse the worse part of shopping for me.

However, if it wasn't for Squadron, I would not have a stash.  Back in the 90's, that little paper flyer would come in the mail every month and, with a racing heart, I would open it to a plethora of models under $10, and every month I would call in an order for a stack of models to come in the mail and not spend more than $50.   I think I bought every sailing ship model Heller made except for the Victory and Soleil Royal, only because I never had the space for them, but still kick myself for not buying them when being advertised for $30. 

Its and end of an era, one that I was thankful for at a time when money was really tight.  Fortunately, we do have a number of really good suppliers who can fill the vacancy.  Such as how capitalism works. 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, January 18, 2021 10:36 AM

scottrc
I'm a die hard hobbiest, I am not interested in trinkets such as coffee mugs or t-shirts, and any model I was interested in was either way over priced or out of stock.

Funny you should mention that!

I vividly recall the first time I saw belt buckles featured in their 'new' catalog...and thinking to myself, "This is not a good sign...."

Of course, the real story is that I had long-since ceased using them, for all the other reasons you mentioned.

(But I, too, have very fond memories of them in the 'good old days.')

Any mention of the True Details line and its possible fate?

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, January 18, 2021 12:02 PM

I posted a video by Jef V, who was there during the decline and has insights on what happened.

The video is about 40 minutes long and he gets to the point around the 15-25 minute mark. Tough to listen to due to rambling, but informative and interesting if you have the patience to sit through it.

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