By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

How far do you travel to the nearest decent model shop?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Q: How far do you travel to get to your nearest decent model shop?

5-10 miles  


10-30 mile  


30-50 mile  


50-100 mil  


100+ miles  


Online buyer  


Show buyer  


(510 votes)

Tony K17/02/2015 18:45:19
228 forum posts
66 photos
Posted by Erfolg on 17/02/2015 18:06:43:

I wonder if there is any definite relationship between the number of modellers per population density and the distance to a model shop?

Interesting question.

John Privett17/02/2015 21:05:13
6049 forum posts
242 photos
Posted by Mike Etheridge 1 on 16/02/2015 23:39:52:

In the 1950's we had three model shops in Croydon. One was located at West Croydon and was called 'Sportcraft' and two were located at South Croydon, Hunts and Heset Model Supplies. There was another in South Norwood that has recently closed called Norwood Junction Models. Other model shops were situated at Crown Point in Upper Norwood and one also was near to Croydon Airport. When I worked in Lewisham I visited Dennis Bryant's model shop in Brockley. All of these shops have now gone and my nearest shops now are Avicraft in Bromley and Mick Charles Models on the way to Kingston.

Mike, there was no sign of the shops you mention in Croydon when I first moved to the area (1980.) There was however one in St. Georges Walk in central Croydon. I don't know when that one disappeared, but there was no sign of it when I started working at my current employer in Croydon 4 years ago.

Other shops I recall in the area that are long gone are Tommy Harris in Wallington and ELS Models in Sutton. For a short while in the early 90's there was also a shop near Tattenham Corner.

My LMS is about 4 miles away, I also shop online and at shows.

MattyB17/02/2015 23:26:41
2073 forum posts
32 photos

What's a "shop"? wink As a glider guy and FrSky user shops are (and have always been) mostly a dead loss for me, as they don't tend to stock the specialist bits needed. T9, GiantCod, Robotbirds and Hyperflight are my "local" shops now, along with the odd order to the 'King. Sorry, but I don't feel I'm missing out on much.

Cuban818/02/2015 07:47:13
2961 forum posts
1 photos


I am not so sure, I would hazard a guess that most of us started with airfix kits and they were available from toy shops as well as model shops - I know thats the way I got interested - Airfix kits, then other makes (Revel, Heller) lead me into proper model shops and there were HUGE great planes on the ceiling (ok they were probably 48" span free flight Keilcraft and Verons - but to me they were enormous!)

That's quite right. I suppose I started buying Airfix kits around 1964 when I was seven. They could be obtained from the local post office that had a small toy section, as well as newsagents that also sold a few toys. They were mainly the 1/72 scale kits that came in a plastic bag with the picture of the completed model and instructions stapled to the top. As I recall,  they were displayed on a rotating stand that didn't take up too much space. I came across some of these kits being sold at Old Warden a while back and it transported me back all those years to my childhood and the excitement of selecting a model with my pocket money. I think they cost about 1/3d (about 7p) so easily affordable on pocket money of 2/6d (12.5p) a week.

I see that a 1/72 Airfix Spitfire quick build kit (whatever that is) is around £6 or £7 now, so not really pocket money price any more and made in India, probably for a few pence per unit. The larger boxed kits were usually only to be found in larger toy/hobby shops.

My wife bought me a book of the art of Roy Cross, who produced the stunning artwork for many of the Airfix kits of that time (complete with Swastikas and scenes of mayhem and destruction), recommended reading for the nostalgic.



Edited By Cuban8 on 18/02/2015 07:57:13

Kevin 21618/02/2015 08:03:09
223 forum posts

My local model shop is Lancaster models 39 miles one way, usually combine a visit with SWMBO shopping expedition, about 4 times a year. Steve Webb is next nearest at 65 miles.

Cliff Bastow18/02/2015 10:21:52
893 forum posts
464 photos

About 25 miles for me to Inwood Models. However as its not far from my flying club which I pass on the way to the shop I normally go on a day I am flying. i go straight to the shop then back to the field.

Like many people I guess I do quite a lot online these days but I still like to use the shop when I can.

Mike Etheridge 119/02/2015 12:42:00
1553 forum posts
430 photos


The three model shops I mentioned that were situated in Croydon had all closed by 1976. The last and best was Heset Model Supplies (HMS). They had a sale just before closing so I bought a KK Spectre and Junior Monitor plus a Veron Mini Concorde and an OS 10 RC which I still have. My nephew Nigel may still have the Spectre. The shop was located opposite Whitgift school and exists recently as a car accessory business. Hunts was located on the corner of Coombe Road and London Road. The Sportscraft shop like most others in West Croydon probably sells anything but English goods that is assuming it burn not burn to the ground during the riots as did the former junk shop where we used to buy second hand engines such as my ED Racer.

The shop in St Georges Walk was 'Model World' which sold mainly plastic kits but some flying models, moved to the new Central shopping precinct. My wife wasted over £100 in the shop on a helicopter model I and other club members have never been able to fly. It is still in my loft-perhaps I should sneak it into the EDMAC 'Bring and Buy' event?!. 'Model World has closed as did Beatties which was opposite Marks and Spencers.

Former Member19/02/2015 14:01:08

[This posting has been removed]

Erfolg19/02/2015 15:38:43
11752 forum posts
1337 photos

I really do not see the Internet traders as being uniquely modern trend. It is an expanding trend using differing technology.

Just pick any old modelling magazine, from the 50s and 60s, there you will find piles of adverts, many for brands now forgotten Britfix, Xacto, Keil Kraft, Mercury amongst many. Along side them there were other adverts for Roland Scott, H. J. Nicolls, The Manchester Model Shop, who were not just saying come to our premises and purchase a kit, they also had lists of kits, second hand motors and RC equipment, informing the reader that both Mail Order and Hire Purchase was available.

On reflection, model train magazines have been dominated for years by mail order etc. I guess because each purchase involves quite a bit of money.

I imagine that these retailers were also chasing sales from the colonies and also the armed forces, offering an alternative to NAFI and local drinking holes.

These distance traders of old, no doubt were of a similar mind set to many of todays Internet traders, in that they were seeking far more sales than could be generated relying on footfall alone.

I will confess that I never envisaged the impact of the Internet on retailing that has occurred. My initial reaction being, not much different to Mail Order, for example Littlewoods.

Perhaps there is another option missing on the Polling options, that is my LMS is just a few clicks away on my PC, Note Pad etc.

Former Member19/02/2015 20:22:59

[This posting has been removed]

Tomtom3920/02/2015 12:34:39
691 forum posts
1 photos

I remember having to cycle six and half miles (each way) to buy my first "commercial" R/C combo (It had taken me just over two years of Saturday jobs / birthday cash etc to save up). When I got there the price (1970's inflation) had gone up by approx £1 and the shop manager was not prepared to budge (Harry Brooks) . So had to cycle all the way back and borrow from some mates and ride back again. Not sure if I'd be able to do it now! (I was 14 years 9 months 3 days old at the time!!)

JayCee20/02/2015 13:03:31
507 forum posts
117 photos

I notice from the poll that 20% are 'On Line' buyers.

I have to admit that I do purchase most of my Lipo batteries 'On Line' due to price, but try to use my local model shop as much as I can...once there gone there gone!

Nice to meet up with other local modellers and browse through all the goodies on display.


leccyflyer20/02/2015 13:09:09
1481 forum posts
324 photos

Nice to have a local model shop - for lots of folks the nearest model shop could easily be more than 100 miles away.

JayCee20/02/2015 13:22:22
507 forum posts
117 photos

Well hands up...I'm the lucky one 'Mick Charles Models' (Epsom) is at the bottom of my road.

Spent hours... and a few quid in there wink


Chuck Plains20/02/2015 22:19:17
1096 forum posts
244 photos

I can't use the poll, as my LMS is less than 5 miles away. Not as close as JayCee's one though!! Jeez, I'd be penniless if that were the case! How's your bank account feeling JC? smile p

Chuck Plains20/02/2015 22:21:25
1096 forum posts
244 photos

Teehee, ok I do buy a lot of stuff online, but I'll go to the LMS for odds and sods.

ted hughes21/02/2015 01:26:56
466 forum posts
Posted by MattyB on 17/02/2015 23:26:41:

What's a "shop"? wink As a glider guy and FrSky user shops are (and have always been) mostly a dead loss for me, as they don't tend to stock the specialist bits needed. T9, GiantCod, Robotbirds and Hyperflight are my "local" shops now, along with the odd order to the 'King. Sorry, but I don't feel I'm missing out on much.

This is the exact opposite of my experience!When lived in Wallingham, and now in B'mouth,Tommy Harris and Channel 4 models were the very places I could go to pick up the odd item straight away, and also get advice. For example, Channel 4 used to have boxes in which they kept odd items, such as servo gears, arms and screws. So I could get back into the air the same day for a couple of quid, or pence. Thinking about it, I'm the type of customer who drove them out of business!

Mind you, it is the same with everything, with a global economy, and if you can wait a week or so, it simply is not worthwhile repairing items like servos.

Steve Ashton21/02/2015 23:08:52
44 forum posts
2 photos

Hi everybody,

Not heard of the Nitroflight store, in Rotherham not Doncaster?, must pay that one a visit sometime.

My 'local' is Leeds Model shop, now, according to google maps it's 14.5 miles away but we could totally ignore my vote and the reason is that I have the luxury of driving past it on the way to/from work.

In the 5 yrs? I have been RC flying I have only gone twice at the weekend, when I very first started to pick up my Chris Foss trainer engine and radio gear and just two weeks ago to pick up acro wot foam e and we can also discount the acro wot because I was dropping the wife off just a mile away.

Just something for everybody, if at all you can do, keep your local shop alive.



trebor22/02/2015 07:19:28
1930 forum posts
216 photos

4 Max is 23 miles and Andover Models is 24 miles from me. Mainly Trains n Planes Gosport way can be a nightmare to get to depending on the time of day and ModellbauUK at Alton could be slightly nearer and has the nicest drive there. So I'm looking at a 40 to 50 mile round trip.

MattyB23/02/2015 00:30:06
2073 forum posts
32 photos

Interesting results, and not hard to see why shops are going out of business...

If we assume a 20 mile round trip in the car is the point at which P&P becomes effectively "free" if buying online instead, and we're generous and say half in the 10-30 mile category are at the lower end and squeeze inside a 20 mile round trip, that means that it only makes economic sense for just under a third of modellers to visit in person. And that's without factoring in the price premiums that have to be there for shop front operators.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Support Our Partners
electricwingman 2017
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Has home isolation prompted you to start trad' building?
Q: The effects of Coronavirus

 Yes - for the first time
 Yes - but Ive bashed balsa before
 No - Ive existing projects on the bench
 No - Im strictly an ARTF person

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E!