Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My local model shop

I was in need of some grey paint and some Persians and some paint brushes last week so I toddled off down to my local model shop.


We're very lucky in Northampton (not something one often finds one's self saying) in that we have a proper, traditional, model shop. Very originally it is called "The Model Shop" and it is in the Wellingborough Road. It has been there as long as I've lived in Northampton, - over 30 years now - and according to their website, even longer. The chaps who run it are unchanged from when I first went in there, although admittedly greyer of hair.


The window display is always fun, as you never know what they'll have tucked away in there. As you can tell they're mainly in to model railways and remote controlled aircraft, but their general plastic kit selection is pretty awesome for a high street shop.


They're not too shabby on the plastic soldier front, either. They've always had a good spread of Hat figures (who buys these locally? Apart from me, I mean) and when Zvezda were really active in the 1/72nd market were good for those too. This display got me into ancient wargaming in the 1990s, when I went in there and stumbled upon the Hat Republican Roman and Carthaginian figures, followed shortly by the Macedonian and Persian ranges. If they hadn't stocked them I'd probably never have known and a lot of my wargamiong history would be different.

Needless to say they also have a good stock of acrylic paints (Tamiya) and the likes of copper tubing, balsa wood and so on.

So, in summary, it's great and long may it continue as it enters its 80th year of continuous operation. They do mail order, but alas most of the wargaming products aren't in the on-line shop.

Anyhow, if you're in the area you should pop in and support it, because it's great.


14 comments:

  1. You are very lucky having a local shop they are very few and far between nowadays,Tony

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    1. Agreed. I do my best to buy stuff in there when I can.

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  2. Nice one. I always try to support mine, too.

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    1. There should be a national or international model shop day, like they do for record shops.

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  3. Yes- good that you have a well stocked Model Shop...going back to the 1960's we had a small Bicycle/Hobby Shop owned by a Mr Barns...he had apart from cycles -a lot of Hornby, Scalextric and Airfix and Humbrol. Now, in 2017 - I yearn for a Hobby Shop that carries Humbrol, Vallego, Tamiya Paints and usable building materials- we do have a Wargames Shop - though sadly it carries nothing that interests me other than paints. The best 'Shop' for Wargames here is long gone (at Campsie )- completely stocked to the brim- wall to wall all metal gaming figures in 6mm, 15mm and 25mm....and great prices -sadly now gone. Cheers. KEV.

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    1. "Back in the day" I used to cycle out to Wilson's of Bilton, a combination hardware and model shop. We were lucky then, because Moore's (again hardware and models) was in the town centre, and Overs, the big town centre book shop, had a big model department too.

      We also have a game and GW/FoW shop in town where you can buy Citadel and Vallejo paints, but it's not the same as a proper model shop. Never lived anywhere with a proper wargames shop. Used to cycle up to Bedworth, where the art supplies shop stocked Minifigs.

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    2. In terms of obtaining Wargames Figures - the Internet Shops are hard to beat in terms of presenting a wide assortment of product available which a conventional shop wouldn't be able to carry- though postage takes time for internet sales and often is overly expensive rates- particularly for overseas customers. There certainly IS a place for Local Bricks & Mortar Hobby/Model Shops....I guess that being of an age when we appreciated the Local Hobby shop being the only place to go where you could see and handle what you were bying- certainly a different age and pace to now. Cheers. KEV.

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    3. The hands on thing is great. Plus the chance you'll stumble on to something. I'd never have got into the Hat plastics without this shop.

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  4. Shops are a financial liability due to the rents beign so high. If they are lucky the own their own freehold but otherwise grsping property owners - whose portfolio is measured on the rental income it generates are constantly pushing up rents making viable businesses close in a constant cycle of new startups or established identikit multiples everywhere. In London we have recently lost well established and successful bars that have been there for over 20 years die to 140% rent hikes or their freeholds being purchased from under them with no option for them business to buy for rapacious developers to get planning permission to pull them down and as happened in Forest Gate just this week close down 8 established businesses with overhead storage use Victorian villas to be replaced with 74 shoebox flats and new retail units because its 2 minutes from the crossrail station. They even claimed they cant provide any low cost affordable or social housing because it would not be viable but stand to make well in excess of £50M once its all sold.

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    1. Completely agree. In the case of this shop I'm pretty sure they own the freehold.

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  5. Went to visit my mum the other day and spotted this place just down the road - very definitely on my list to visit next time I go to see her!

    http://www.magictoybox.co/

    Couldn't agree more about actual shops stimulating interest.. I still to this day remember the model shop where I used to go and spend my money on Airfix Napoleonics...

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    1. That's the thing about it. When they were hardware combi stores and the like you could go in with your Dad first and discover these things by accident. And you could progress (!) from train sets and scalextrix to kit building and wargames.

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    2. The rapacity of "developers" is a byword so no surprises there. Back in the late 90s I investigated getting a bricks and mortar shop- I had my eye on a affordable property in a local market town- Lanchester Co Durham but the business rate stopped that 6 grand a year on top of the mortgage plus VAT God knows what it would be now 20 years later... so I lost all interest as you might gather. When I moved to the NorthEast I had2 good wargames shops in striking distance plus 2 other model shops- all gone now

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    3. I can't think of a good general wargames shop anywhere near here now. Business rates is another whole can of worms, with the politics around local authority funding....

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