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Thread: Model shops as a kid

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Model shops as a kid

    Even though I visited several hobby shops as a kid, I never imagined I would own a hobby shop. I spent a lot of time as a kid in England (60's and 70's) while my dad was in Viet Nam and when we settled there. My dad had been stationed at Burtonwood AFB in England in the 50's where he met my mother. Near my grandparents house my dad had discovered a model shop in Garston called John's models (I think it was on Jackson st.). We went back to Liverpool in 1967-1969 while he was in Viet Nam and before he left he introduced me and my brother to the wonderful world of John's models. It was a true model shop and stocked mostly Airfix and Frog models along with the full line of Humbrol paints. Over that two years I went to John's models almost every Saturday morning. We bought lots of 1/72 scale Airfix soldiers. I seemed to buy the same models more than once LOL. I remember having the beagle airplane, HMS Hood, Spitfires, Hurricanes, BF-109's and every Nasa spacecraft that was launched. Johns Models also sold a lot of Corgi diescasts. I had Captain Scarlet cars, Chitty Chitty bang bang and a ton of others. We would build the models and then stuff them with magnesium ribbon and I hate to say destroy them. I would also go to a store in down town Liverpool called Hobbies (imagine that). Hobbies, stocked a complete line of stuff including a lot of American imports. I've been back to Garston Liverpool and there is no sign of Johns Models.

    My dad came back from Viet Nam and we moved to Hoechst Germany at McNair kaserne for a couple of years. While there I built some more models and won Comet rubber powered kit at the local community center - but I never built it, at least not that I can remember.

    My dad went back to Viet Nam and we bought a house in Wigan England where my parents eventually retired. Under the Christmas tree in 73 I found a Sterling Baby Ringmaster, Sterling Ringmaster Junior and a Guillows P-40. Along with the kits I received a Testor's McCoy .049, Fox .15 and a Cox Medallion .09. During this time my dad introduced me to Catchpoles on Bold St (down town Liverpool). This was an awesome store in its day (now gone). I joined the Navy and returned to the States - my dad gave all of my models away LOL.

    While stationed at NAS Memphis we had a nice hobby shop on base. One Friday I bought a Cox Centurion (1979) trainer system. By the end of the day on Saturday it had found a tree to attack. I stripped the radio system and engine and kept them for years, but eventually threw them away. I tried control line again while stationed in Rota Spain. The Navy Exchange had some cox airplanes and so I bought one. I lived on the beach and after the engine died and it buried it into the sand - I discovered sand and engines don't mix LOL.

    My dad took me to a lot of trains stores in Liverpool as a kid, but my interests were pointed more towards aviation.

    While I like almost any kind of aviation modeling, I have a passion for Ringmasters and 1/2A engines.


  2. #2
    I would just like to say that I am glad you are here. You have a hobby shop that I am glad to be a part of. It is a place that I am always excited to return to.

  3. #3
    Thanks, we all appreciate that.


  4. #4
    I remember my first time in a Hobby Shop for RC. It was back in 1993, my mom had bought me a Tamiya ( if I recall correct it was a Tam Tech 1/12) F40 for my birthday. It was not really a full blown hobby level car, but my mom new that even back then I would pick up the RC Magazines and she must have found this car in one of them. Well within a couple of weeks I had worn the tires out and a friend of the family had mentioned that him and his son used to run RC in the 80's and tried to see if he had tires that would fit. He didn't have anything that would fit for me, but we searched and found Red's RC over on Creighton. When I went out there, they really didn't have anything that would work for me, but they had invited me out to check out the racing the following Saturday night. So I went out and istantly new I had to have a Pan car to race on their high banked oval. As the races finished, I went back in to the shop and Paul and Linda had an Associated RC10LSS that was used for sale. I can't remember what my mom paid for it, but we walked out of there with it and a set of tires that night, and we had 3 Slot Machine motors, a Novak 410 ESC, an old Futaba Am 2 channel radio, and 4 battery packs 3 1500mah packs, and 1 1800mah pack. The following weekend I had my first car on the track. Believe it or not, I still have this car and the body that was on it when we bought it. I now have a strong love and soft spot for Pan car oval racing and can't help but try to get people interested in it.

    The real reason why I could not live without that car that night was because of a couple of guys that I met that night whom we always called the Blues Brothers. That night they taught me a lot about what it takes to get on to the track, how to make the changes to set the car up, and most of all Doc handed me the radio to his and let me run a few laps around the track.

    I have always remembered that night and the fact that these two guys as well as everyone else were so helpful in offering their knowledge openly to someone they had never met before and a strong friendship was formed. I met a lot of guys out there over the years, Les, Amain Wayne, Flyin Brian as well as some others that I still talk with and call friends.

    What I am saying is that the reason I am here and still into RC cars is because I had people like that around me that I am thankfull for, and I try my best to return this favor with everyone I meet at the track each week no matter if they are on the stands next to me racing against me, someone just standing there watching, or one of the kids out there trying to do their best racing and getting track time. I am as competitive as anybody when I am on that stand (competitive....not allways good....but competitive) but I would rather give the help to others and build the hobby, than to keep everything I do and have learned a secret.

    Of course from the first time I walked into Hobby Central around or over 10 years ago, I had the same help and attention that I got when I originally got into the Hobby. That means a lot to people and not something you see very often anymore. Thank you guys for keeping this hobby going and all that you do for it.


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