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What about your favorite hobby shop makes it so?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 14, 2003 7:50 PM
My local hobby shop usually doesn't carry the armor scale that I build, (1/72). And the aircraft are pretty pedestrian, nothing too esoteric or unusual. And the parking situation is really lousy. But, when I need a tube of CA or a just that right shade of Polly Scale or a pack of Flex-I-Grit, I know that it will be there and it's just going to cost me $3.29 or $2.50 and not an additional $4.95 shipping and handling. Plus, every now and then, some kid will be there with their Mother or Father and they will be picking out his or her first kit and the shop owner will be trying to guide them towards a good choice along with some free advise and I'll reflet back on how and why I got involved in this hobby and I'll leave that shop feeling a little better than when I walked in.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Rain USA, Vancouver WA
Posted by tigerman on Saturday, June 14, 2003 5:18 PM
They just have the products such as paint, models and references that I need. I mean, I'm not going to order something and pay for shipping costs whan I can go down the street and pick it up that minute! Sure, I might be able to save a little on higher end models, but I like to have it my hands right then and there. I know that the package is in one piece. Also, they will find me anything that they don't have in stock and will be fast and courteous. Many have built some the models I'm interested in and can give me their thoughts.

   http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/wing_nut_5o/PANZERJAGERGB.jpg

 Eric 

  • Member since
    March 2003
Posted by elfkin on Friday, June 13, 2003 11:43 PM
We have three large shops (and several smaller mom & pops) here in the Twin Cities (or Triplet Cities as the Census bureau now wants to add Bloomington MN to the statiscal area). The selection is good, but the customer service is non-existent. At one store you are fortunate to have the sales clerk pull her head out of her book to ring your purchase. Yes prices on the net are good, even after you factor in P & P, but I want to look at the box art, see the specs, see just what color RLM Schwarzgrun really is. And I want someone to acknowledge me as a customer who may ask questions, so please put down you !*%# burger or book and please help me! There I feel better. BTW, Dennis at Hobbytown in Fargo ND is great for service above and beyond!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 10:56 PM
My favorite has to be the local Hobby Lobby. Don't think that it's because of selection, friendliness, or anything like that. It just happens to be the only place in town that sells models. Not much choice there...
  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by M1abramsRules on Friday, June 13, 2003 6:28 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Murray Kish

There's a group of gents in our Saskatoon club (SMAS) that often frequent the shop in Birch Hills (can't recall the name). They absolutely love the service and selection. I haven't had a chance to go there yet, but I'm hoping to soon. J&P has the same reputation and they usually make a 'round-trip' to spread the joy. And, I have to agree that the cat is A LOT of fun!! (cat lover...)


Group 2 Hobbies is the name your looking for. I feel ashamed, I am only 10 minutes away and I haven't been their either. I just never thought that Birch Hills could support a "good" model shop, I'll have to remenber to check them out soon.


maybe tomorrow
  • Member since
    May 2003
Posted by karlwb on Friday, June 13, 2003 4:03 PM
The Model shop that I go to is about a half hour drive away from where I live, and it's the only decent one in the area, and there is toy shop that is near where I work that sells a few kits (some good ones) but not many.
I have found a few good ones when I travel quite a distance when away from home, so I make a point of going to them when I can manage it.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Green Bay, WI USA
Posted by echolmberg on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:46 PM
Hi everyone! I work at a hobby shop part time on weekends and it has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. Even thought the shop carries an equal amount of plastic kits and RC cars, trucks and planes, about 95% of the people who walk in go right for the RC car/truck aisle. Me? I'm a plastic plane/RC electric flyer myself so it's a bit of a bummer for me to see how few people are interested in plastic kits whether they're planes, cars, or anything else. I hope scale plastic models don't die out. With these kits I think it's pretty safe to assume that with it comes a knowledge of history and the people behind them. I don't think that's something you get when you buy an RC monster truck. But that's just my own opinion. As far as what makes a hobby shop good, I like to treat every customer the way I like to be treated. It's an old cliche but it is absolutely true. If someone is wondering what it looks like inside the box, my co-workers and I are the first ones to open it up for them. I don't know what's more fun: doing my hobby or helping others and spreading the excitement.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA, GA
Posted by erush on Friday, June 13, 2003 11:15 AM
I go to AAA Hobby in Marietta for most everything I need.

They are exclusively scale plastic model's (they have a few odds and ends)

If I wanted something else, say a wood ship kit and one of their distributors carried it, they would order it right up.

They ask ME if I want to open a kit to look at it.

The owners are a wealth of knowledge on kits and techniques and SHARE that with others.

One of the owners spent 6 months tracking down some OOP kits for me and still gave me a good deal on the pricing.

They are a good pair and there are lots of regulars that come in and also share tips and such just talking in the store.

I don't think the fact that I'm putting their kids through college with the amount of money I've spent there has anything to do with itBig Smile [:D] They really are great folks and that's what makes it my favorite. I could get some things cheaper online from the big places (and do occasionally) but I'd rather help keep them in business because it's hard to find places like that anymore.

Eric
Hi, I'm Eric and I'm a Modelholic too. I think I have PE poisioning.     "Friendly fire...isn't"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 11:05 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by minnesotafan

The one I like to go to is perfect, The guys are friendly, it is a very friendly atmosphere (at least the cat likes to play)(hey I'm not kidding) They always give me some ideas every time I go. It's the perfect place to browse for . . . let's see my record is about 2 1/2 hours now.

Murray Kish - you might have been to it. if not you should go there, it's "J and P hobby Supplies" in Prince Albert - sposed to be the biggest model shop in Saskatchewan.


Yep, been there and I have to agree with your assessment. It's definitely in the top 3 for me. Unfortunately I get to Calgary alot more than I get to P.A.. I have a significant appreciation for 'Uncle Rick Chin' at 'Uncle Bill's Hobby' in Calgary. It's a smaller store, but man he's got some cool kits that are hard to find. He's also a very avid builder and is eager to share his experiences and encouragement with anyone who cares to hear it!! If there's a kit you want or are looking for, you can bet that he'll find it for you. He takes care of his customers as far as I'm concerned.

There's a group of gents in our Saskatoon club (SMAS) that often frequent the shop in Birch Hills (can't recall the name). They absolutely love the service and selection. I haven't had a chance to go there yet, but I'm hoping to soon. J&P has the same reputation and they usually make a 'round-trip' to spread the joy. And, I have to agree that the cat is A LOT of fun!! (cat lover...)
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 10:45 AM
Hobby Island! It's like Cheers for kitbashers!

I've been fortunate enough to find a little local shop here in Houston, Texas that is fantastic. Although it isn't a big store, I have never had any problem finding exactly what I need. They have an excellent selection of kits, aftermarket parts and supplies. Their prices are competitive with some of the larger on-line hobby suppliers.

It isn't just the stock that makes it a good model shop though. When you walk into the store, it's like dropping into your favorite old barber shop. The owners and their customers are always ready to talk shop, and offer tips and advice that you just can't find anywhere else. They have several stools set at the front counter which are frequently occupied by some of the most experienced modelers in town. The atmosphere is so comfortable, I often find myself shopping twice as long simply to spend time with others who share my enthusiasm for the hobby.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 9:20 AM
the younger guy that works there speaks english as my german is really terrible!!!
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by nsclcctl on Friday, June 13, 2003 7:48 AM
To Huskerguy,
I live in Lexington and you are talking about Hobbytown. I now go there religiously. I agree about during the day. However, try wednesday evenings and ask for a guy named Dennis. He has turned me into a fanatic for WWII planes. He is incredibly knowledgaeable, friendly, patient, and seems to genuinely care about the hobby as well as the guys who flew these planes. I will tell you this, talk to him once, he will knock your socks off. He is the reason I build again. I now have a resource. Try him out, I gurantee you will be astounded by his knowledge and openess.

Hope that helps, where are you from?
email me if you choose.
jyann1@email.uky.edu
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Canada
Posted by dogsbody on Friday, June 13, 2003 4:21 AM
I wish I lived close enough to somewhere to have a favorite hobby shop. The closest place is Edmonton(Alberta) , 300 miles away. There are some nise shops there, but I don't have a "favorite". If I had to pick something, I guess it would have to be Squadron Mail Order. That's life on the backside of beyond.

"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:44 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Aurora-7

I agree with J-Hulk. It seems most Hobby Shop staff/owners amost seem to hate the fact that they need customers. They don't mind their regulars but a newbie is an inconvience.

The husband and wife owner of 'Hobby Haven' in Milford Connecticut are the nicest people I have ever met in the hobby business. 'War and Pieces' in West Hartford Connecticut is my favorite for overall variety of stock, supplies and knowledge.


Yes I know of that shop in Milford, Here I am a stranger in a strange land in Ct, I was TAD to Sikorsky for the Navy and spent a year in Stratford, Hobby Haven was a haven away from home. Nice people, it was Shirley and John I believe was the owners name. Also the gentleman in Clinton was it Wings and wheels there on the coast was also a nice gent as well. That shop in Hartford was also a pleasant visit as well. Really made my year in New England and a great experience. Nice people.Cool [8D]

Fly Navy
  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by M1abramsRules on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:25 AM
The one I like to go to is perfect, The guys are friendly, it is a very friendly atmosphere (at least the cat likes to play)(hey I'm not kidding) They always give me some ideas every time I go. It's the perfect place to browse for . . . let's see my record is about 2 1/2 hours now.

Murray Kish - you might have been to it. if not you should go there, it's "J and P hobby Supplies" in Prince Albert - sposed to be the biggest model shop in Saskatchewan.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Poway, Ca.
Posted by mostlyjets on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:05 AM
Years ago, I used to go to a place in San Diego called, of all things, "Military Plastic Models". It was run by a couple of friendly Naval Aviator types. They had a section for planes, ships, armor and after-market decals, PE parts, books, etc. and display cases for finished kits. It was there that I got the idea of building each aircraft my squadron flew when I found an article about the last TBF Avenger built, and how, with signatures from factory workers on the interior, it went to the Pacific. Naturally, with all good things, this place closed down. Now, my closest hobby shop gives the kit builder the minimum space, as they cater to thr R/C crowd. It's staffed by kids, who, to their credit, at least say "hi". Looks like I'll try online.
All out of Snakes and Nape, switching to guns...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 8:01 PM
My local home town favorite is Old Town Hobby in Shelton Washington. Richard and his wife have an advertisment in the back of FSM and they have the classic hobby shop feel, not just models but stamps, puzzles, rockets & other art type projects. Their hobby shop reminds me of Sheltons first hobby shop Hamblin's Hobby Shop which used to be right around the corner some 15 years ago before Ol Ham retired. Rich supports a model club meeting 1 2 times a month and we offer the Manogram/Revell make and take program for ALL modelers. Richard is VERY helpful and does special orders for those HARD to find items. They also have a rather large collection of OOP kits.
Tally ho
Rosie
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 7:32 PM
My favorite hobby store (and only hobby store in town) is Hobby Lobby. Their selection isn't fantastic, but the employees know my name, are nice to me, always give me a discount, are willing to deliver models and equipment to my house, make me dinner, do my laundry...Cool [8D]

Alright, alright!!!! My wife works there, OK? Whatcha want from me? Sheeesshh!
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Joisey
Posted by John P on Thursday, June 12, 2003 6:39 PM
Mainly, it's the only one in the whole freakin' county :).
Also, I've been going there for models and supplies since - well, I had to ride my bike the 7.5 miles to get there. I'm 46 now. And I've become friends with the owner and (now) his son over the years. I wouldn't know what to do if HiWay Hobby House wasn't there!
-------------------------------
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Thursday, June 12, 2003 5:49 PM
Wow, Hobby Haven is still around?

That was my favorite place to go and shop. The guys there were great and were helpful to no end. They were the first place I saw that carried figures. And that was 25 years ago. I used to live in Shelton and that was the best place in the area to go short of headng down to NYC and hitting Polks.

Geez Aurora, you're making me all misty eyed.....

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Connecticut, USA
Posted by Aurora-7 on Thursday, June 12, 2003 4:48 PM
I agree with J-Hulk. It seems most Hobby Shop staff/owners amost seem to hate the fact that they need customers. They don't mind their regulars but a newbie is an inconvience.

The husband and wife owner of 'Hobby Haven' in Milford Connecticut are the nicest people I have ever met in the hobby business. 'War and Pieces' in West Hartford Connecticut is my favorite for overall variety of stock, supplies and knowledge.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 2:31 PM
My local shop its cool, the owner always knows which paint i need and he knows all my favorite airplanes, he have tons of books that he borrow, he also give me lessons and he have teach me all i know about this great hobby Big Smile [:D], Dam F4Ufan always make the right questions and he always get answers Clown [:o)] hehehe

PeAc3 OuT "I smell your brain, or its that a fart"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 1:36 PM
My local shop is pretty much like renarts. Small place but with a good selection. A small group of regulars hang out in the place but they are all real friendly to enthusiast and newbie alike, no model-nazis in the place. And I think it worth paying a few extra bucks to shop in a place where they know my name and only carry models, no trains or r/c. Not that I have anything against trains or r/c, it just seems that in the shops that carry them along with plastic, the models are always on the dusty back shelf. A little customer service goes a long way.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 1:50 AM
Well our shop in nearby Montclair, Ca, has grown quite a bit since it's beginnings in Upland. R/C is big here so of course that prt of the shop has grown as well. But it does have a large kit section and detail sets for armor,a/c and really big on the auto aftermarket stuff since they have there own line now. But they are friendly, you can open a kit to check it out. The staff has changed and are more business like but they are not standoffish at all.
Now if I could open a hobbyshop it would be like the one I grew up with in La Habra in the mid 70's, run by two individuals who catered to young kids like me. Mostly kits with a spattering of r/c and wargaming, arts and some crafts. A liitle work shop in the back where I learned how to use an airbrush. Supported tthe local IPMS chapter. What was really nice of John and Lane that operated that shop was to help students like us to master the art of model building, we did not have much money and the high end kits were beginning to show up about that time. Most of us did not have an airbrush, but to let others learn and use an airbrush in the shop at no charge was really cool of them. Once a month they would provide transportation to the huge IPMS SpacePark meet in Torrance which was 2 hours away, allowed to bring there completed models to participate in that evenings contest. We had kids 15-18 years old competing in juniors level and winning ribbons there against great model builders. That is the type of shop I would like to have, inspire these kids that yes it's one thing flying an F-14 or Stormovick in a PC Simulator, but how would you like to build it? Not just planes but the whole aspect of modelling, cars, ships scifi it's all there and to touch your dreams not just think it!

Whew [:0] Fly Navy, Don't look back, something may be gaining on you!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 11:26 PM
Deakon must be from the southern U.K.Tongue [:P]

The shop I frequent is a little hole in the wall shop that is nothing but kits. Floor to ceiling broken down into aircraft, cars armor, ships and acessories. Nice guy, makes a point of calling me by name when I go in and is pretty free with the info. Will order anything I want, and will look for OOP stuff for me too. Has a regular gathering of guys in the shop and they are all pretty friendly.

As for my dream shop. Pretty much the same way, lit up nice and bright. Nothing but kits and accessories, details, tools etc. A sizeable section for figures. Probobly would run regular events and workshops there and a big section of reference books.

And I'd open it near each of you guys....talk about a crack dealer plying his tradeWink [;)]

Cool [8D]Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:38 PM
Yikes!
It's kinda depressing to hear how belligerent the seemingly majority of hobby shop staff is!
The guys at my favorite shop are great. Heck, I stop by at least twice a week just to have a chat! We even all go out and have the ocassional beer.
Besides that great friendly atmosphere, the shop is well-stocked, the prices are great, and it's only a 10-minute walk form my house.
Also, there are hundreds of finished models and dioramas on display there, many of which have been featured in Armor Modeling and Model Art. I've learned a lot just staring at all those masterpieces! They've even let me display a few of my modest pieces there.
An all-around great place!
~Brian
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:27 PM
I usually go to "The Hobby Shop" in Aberdeen, NJ. It's about a 20 minute drive from me. They have this huge display (must be about a 49 square foot area, enclosed by glass walls) right when you walk in, with train tracks, service stations, police and fire stations, all sorts of neat things, and have the controls in form of buttons you push and activate all the different gizmos. it is pretty neat.

The variety when it comes to scale modeling is not great, but it is better than AC More, Pearl or Michaels which would be my only other alternatives in the area (AND THEY SUCK!). They have a huge variety of train accessories, a collectible (sports cards, magazines...) section, and an R/C section. I believe they will buy your finished models and put them on display for sale.

I've never been treated badly there, the employees seem to be knowledgeable of their products, so I keep going back. although I wish there was something closer.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 6:03 PM
the hobby shop in my little town doesnt have much inventory, but they are nice enough. I make trips to Lexington, KY on occasion and visit HObbyland (I think), and their selection of kits is very good. But the complaint i have is...during the day, there is no one there that is knowledgeable about aircraft kits...I find they are competitive in price, once you figure in the shipping and handling from an online vendor. I just wish there was someone in that store i could talk to about problems and solutions. And it galls me when after you shop in a place a number of times and get the same clerk, that they fail to recognize you by name. When i was in the retail business, that was one thing i stressed to all of my employees...everyone likes to be recognized. My gosh, look at the check or the credit card and get the name in your mind.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:59 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by leemitcheltree

-The guys know my name and are friendly........they have the ability to either sell or educate and can tailor their salespitch to the buyer (not everyone needs to know about the model they are buying - it's true!!)
-They are enthusiasts - they have a great knowledge about their subjects - one guy knows about armour and what kits have been made, another is the same about cars, another one is great about plane subjects, another is great with sci-fi
-They have a great variety of different subjects, scales, aftermarket decals, detail sets, and reference books
-They NEVER refuse to allow the opening of a sealed model for an inspection
I guess there's more, but those are the important bits...........
LeeTree

I agree, and my hobby guy will find anything you need, sometimes even if it's OOP..Approve [^]Big Smile [:D]
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