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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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Julien

Models in WH Smiths

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Well there is no hope of it coming to my local WH Smiths but this has brought back fond memories of the early 90s when I first got into modelling and collected the excellent TAKE OFF magazine with a few parts for a 1/72 desert storm Tornado each week them was the days...

It would be good if they did something like that now.

Rob ;)

Edited by robvulcan

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They do, but you end up with a big Spitfire/Lancaster/HMS Hood* (*delete as appropriate) made out of wood that has cost you the best part of £800-900.

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Not quite the same then. I don't know how much it cost as my parents got it me but it would not be that much !

I think it was an italeri Tonka by the looks of what I remember the engines looked like on it. Bit small.

But nonetheless a lovely tonka. I build one recently its a nice classic kit.

Cheers Rob

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Just came back from Kingston and looked in on the MZ there, small section on the lower ground floor two rows of shelves with die cast on one side a selection of Revell, Airfix and Tamiya on the other side, tools and paints with railway stuff on the final row.

Display cabinets with a selection of di9e cast and Hornby, Bachmann on the wall, staff were there offering 20% discount but were quite happy to let you browse without interrupting, bought a new finger sander and some bands and as my eyes are getting bad or kit manufacturers are printing their instructions smaller :winkgrin: I also picked up a Compact flexi magnifier lamp all in all £30 quid with the 20% discount, I hope it will be a success for them.

Glen

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Was in the Cardiff one today - an old friend from Cardiff MZ was there manning it, so it was good to catch up. They have an allowance of a certain number of bays (28?) which they are held to in order to allow for fair store to store comparisons, which is obviously limiting but they put on a good show nonetheless. Nice, clean presentation plus a full range of Humbrol paints, including the acrylics, which is a first for central Cardiff. I'm delighted to see them back and grateful to W H Smith for bringing back some interest to the High Street! More and better to come, I hope.

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What about Guildford then?

The Farnborough manager told me there would be a Modelzone opening in the Guildford store.

I was in Guildford today and there was nothing there not even an advertisement about a Modelzone area opening in the near future so I guess that it may not happen here too soon. I did not get to speak to any of the staff as it was rather busy at the time.

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There was an advert in this months AMW stateing which shops were actually have a Modelzone outlet in.

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There was an advert in this months AMW stateing which shops were actually have a Modelzone outlet in.

As Spookytooth said, the advert (with a 20% off voucher) in Airfix Model World lists the WHS stores with MZ sections as:

  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Croydon
  • Gateshead Metro
  • Glasgow Sauchiehall
  • Kingston
  • London White City
  • Manchester Arndale
  • Meadowhall
  • Reading

I'm disappointed that there are none near me, but let's hope it is successful and WHS decide to open more.

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Thanks for the kind comments about the Cardiff WHS / MZ. We do our best.

Two of the three staff there are ex-MZ, and keen modellors who do the job for the love rather than the money.

It was certainly happier opening the new MZ store than it was closing down the old one.

What is in the stores now is the launch range, and all credit to 'Smiths for seeing the opportunity and getting the shops open this side of Christmas. It may be a limited range, but I`m for anything that gets new blood into the hobby.

If there`s something you are after then I`d suggest asking the staff to pass it up the chain.

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Looked at the link for Modelzone/WHS...I fear I was right in the beginning. An airfix/Revell and Tamiya outlet and nothing to give us a wow factor...lets get parents to spend on their kids section with all the old back catalogues...ho hum.

I missed the Islington show so I am looking at the diary for next year to get my fix and go shopping.

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Rest assured that the in-store range is rather bigger than the website would suggest (and which itself indicates that there is more to come.) I'll try and take some pictures when next in-store to give a flavour.

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Looked at the link for Modelzone/WHS...I fear I was right in the beginning. An airfix/Revell and Tamiya outlet and nothing to give us a wow factor...lets get parents to spend on their kids section with all the old back catalogues...ho hum.

I missed the Islington show so I am looking at the diary for next year to get my fix and go shopping.

To be honest, these are the ranges that will sell the best to the broadest market which hopefully would be the new and less finicky modeller buying for themselves. (I am finding this attitude of chasing 'kiddies' rather disturbing.) Maybe I've hit the modelling menopause but I'm no longer exclusively interested in "the kits that bite back" and have found some wonderful material in the new releases from Tamiya, Airfix and Revell. I still like the idea of some of the more outré kits (the Nautilus by Pegasus is fascinating) but I personally accept that I will have to go and look for them.

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To be honest, these are the ranges that will sell the best to the broadest market which hopefully would be the new and less finicky modeller buying for themselves. (I am finding this attitude of chasing 'kiddies' rather disturbing.)

Exactly! WHS are not going to stock obscure model kits which only appeal to a few hard core modellers. They will stock Airfix, Revell and maybe a couple of other makes with mass market appeal.

Again its not so much chasing kiddies though I suspect that is part of it, its also the present buyer and the likes of us who will buy Airifx kits from them if we see them. I know I got a couple from my local WHS.

WHS have made money recently by going with what sells and they are not putting money into this if they dont see a return.

As far as I see ANY high street presence for selling kits can only be good.

Julien

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Tamiya will always be at the centre for some hard core modellers. My attitude is that if I want the more "obscure" kits like Dragon, Trumpeter, Hasegawa et al. I will have to wait for a model show or buy on line. This disappoints me - I fuly appreciate that WHS need to approach this as business like as possible so you can't have a WHS MZ fully stocked but at least sell Dragon products and keep a hand on release of a new models such as Bronco and Hasegawa - don't just stick with the top three.

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WHS are out to win the populist market; any perusal of their bookshelves will confirm that, so they will only stock those brands that have brand recognition outside of the modelling fraternity.

If my experience in the shop is anything to go by, those who built models in their youth and dropped out of the hobby generally recognise only three names: Airfix, Revell and Tamiya...

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I suppose it is their large-scale tanks and RC cars that provide that brand recognition for Tamiya: as an aircraft modeller I'd have expected Hasegawa, Heller or Italeri to rank ahead. Or even all three. There's also nothing like having your name on a magazine title.

As long as the Modelzone is only going to be a sub-division of a shop, in a chain (any chain) primarily selling something else, there'll never be any chance of getting more than the occasional scattering of anything out of the ordinary. However, as my only experience of Modelzone was discovering that a first-rate model shop in Manchester had been turned into an emporium for over-priced diecasts, I didn't expect anything better anyway.

If you do have any interest in modelling outside the "populist", then you have to buy all your kits from the specialists to keep them in business. If that means paying 3p or whatever more for a standard Airfix kit, so be it. If you are that cramped for cash, then you won't be buying new kits from the more exotic producers anyway.

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Tamiya's 1/32 series of planes have set the standard in engineering quality.

Yes WHS are going for the populist market but they sell all the model magazines that extol the virtues of Bronco, Trumpeter, Dragon etc. WHS cannot carry every make we have established that but Airfix, Revell and Tamya are not the be all and end all...WHS I feel need a buyer that will cater for the more seasoned modeller...perhaps have hub Model Zones in larger WHS branches.

We all know that the specialist items are really only available on the net and at shows...but the mainstream kits are not just Airfix Revell and Tamiya...those who have dropped out of the hooby and return have a bigger choice now and most will look at the magazines or on the net for a version of the hokey cokey 2000 model that A, R and T do not make. WHS are overlooking those who actually spend money on models and that is not the 15-25 year olds...it's us over 35 that still spend on models and we spend not just on A R and T.

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Sorry if I wasn't clear JBOHMSS - I was referring to T7 Models comments on returning modellers only recognising three companies, not current capabilities.

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No...don't be sory we are all adults and this is such a friendly place - just talking and putting points forward.

WHS are filling a tiny gap.

My main point is that we have lost the model shop as we know it. My local WHS doesn't have a Model Zone, my local model shop is Mick Charles - RC with a sprinkle of plastic kits. My nearest model shop is Dorking! And he's only open three days a week now.

I have to get all my stuff now via the net or shows.

It is frustrating that I have to do this!!!

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Morning, All.

I had a look around the Model Zone section in the WH Smiths at White City Shepherds Bush yesterday. A nice, well-lit, welcoming area with a (half) decent selection of kits from the big three manufacturers (Airfix, Revell and Tamiya), but certainly no surprises whatsoever. It strikes me they are catering for the Mum & Dad looking for little Timmy's Xmas present more than anything else - and I can see where they are coming from in a business sense. Whilst I fully support any company which increases the availability of kits to Joe Public, they are not stocking the sort of kits and accessories I would buy personally... (and the prices are all very "list").

All the same, I hope that Smith's efforts are successful.

Cheers.

Chris.

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Although the range of models may be a bit limited for the tastes of adult modellers, in the long run it may help us all. The hobby will only thrive if the young and those with a casual interest are drawn into it. For this you have to have high-street outlets selling recognised brands. Some of those drawn in will then go on to become life-long modellers, which then feeds the specialist market.

Incidentally, as a kid in the "glory days" of the early 70s, the only kits readily accessible to me was the relatively limited range of Airfix at my local Woolies, but it led to me having a life long interest in plastic kits.

Stewart

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Stewart, you've hit the nail on the head.

I've just bought my godson his first model as a Christmas pressie. As his Dad is away in Afghanistan for the next five and a half months, it falls on me to give a bit of "male influence". Hopefully it will lead to him wanting another, so seeing models in a high street store can only be a good thing. Stack high the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters I say.

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Finally went to Model Zone in Croydon yesterday.

Very slick area on the upper floor - at least I can get Humbrol paints easily.

It was a very underwhelming experience - more emphasis on collectors models than plastic kits and advertising a range on their leaflets that were not available in store.

To be fair there was a few Italeri as well as Tamiya and the usual Airfix and Revell but I have to say I have more kits in my stash than they do in their shop!

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Still nowt in Ipswich, which is surprising given the size of the town centre.

I'm stuck with on-line, or a 28 mile trip to Bury St Edmunds...........

Roy.

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