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In the SF Bay Area, there aren't very many full service hobby shops still operating - which is really a shame because of the number of classic science fiction craft that have been built here.

Right now, for my money the best all around hobby shop in the Bay Area is 2 counties north of the Golden Gate Bridge - Steve Elliott's Hobbytown USA in Petaluma, CA.

HobbyTown USA
Petaluma Plaza
171 N. McDowell Blvd
Petaluma, CA 94954

Carries R/C, gaming figures and supplies, model rocketry, great selection of military, car and sci-fi kits and lots of other stuff.

No one does more than Steve to promote the hobby - several model building clubs have their meetings at the store, there is Saturday "Build Day" the second Saturday of each month to bring whatever you are working on and build it at the store - so if you run out of or need anything, you are a few feet away from getting it - and if you want to have a "make it, take it" party for someone, Steve can make it happen.

The hobby shops that are still in business in San Francisco are small and usually specialize in one particular aspect of the hobby - Heroes Club on Clement Street does Japanese import figures, Chan's on Van Ness does trains, a few in Chinatown and Japantown do Japanese import Gundam type kits. There are 2 all-around shops that I know of, Franciscan Hobbies on Ocean Blvd and The Hobby Company on Geary Blvd - which I do use, but only when I need something immediately to finish a project, their stock and service aren't the best. It's a 45 minute - 1 hour drive north for me to Petaluma and Steve's shop, but for his stock and service I think the drive is worth it.
 

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Not a hobby shop by any definition, but this is a prime place to pick up drill bits, sculpting/ dental tools, heat shrink and all forms of misc. electronics (even cf/cold cathode tubes) for utterly dirt cheap pricing...

The TRW Swap Meet happens on the last saturday of every month and wraps up before noon, so get there early. Search [TRW swap meet, los angeles] and you will find better details.


Basically,
I-405, Rosecrans Ave. onto Aviation Blvd, just after Marine St.
They fill up the entire TRW parking lot. You cannot miss it.
Maybe a seller will even have a rare model kit!
They have all sorts of bizarre randomness in addition to the 'fixed item' sellers.
 

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Another Southern California hobby shop:

Pegasus Hobbies
5515 Moreno Blvd.
Montclair, CA 91763
(909) 982-6507
http://www.pegasushobbies.com/

About 35-40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, just north of Interstate 10 and Central Avenue. Good selection of auto and military kits, a handful of sci-fi and novelty kits (Weird-Ohs, Silly Surfers, etc.), RC products, model railroading products, some die cast and collectible items.

And, btw, yes, it's that Pegasus Hobbies.
 

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HiWay Hobby House
806 Rt 17 N
Ramsey, NJ

www.hiwayhobby.com

You bet, John! Hi-Way is fantastic. Props to Anthony for hosting the annual SF week and letting us put our models on display.


Also, in Hunt Valley, MD area:

Yorktowne Hobby Shop
Yorktowne Plaza
12 Cranbrook Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030


I go there twice a year when I attend the Farpoint and Shore Leave SF conventions and they are always stocked with the supplies I need which is more than I can say for a certain large chain hobby store in my area....although they're getting better.
 

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I second Carson's suggestions on both Galaxy Hobbies in the Seattle area and Burbank Hobbies in the Los Angeles area.

If you are in Chicago, there is:

Venture Hobbies
23 Huntington Lane
Wheeling, IL 60090

Good selection of kits and a few oldies amongst the new ones (I found a Hasegawa "THOR" there recently)
 

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Sure, why not

Minneapolis/St Paul area shops

Scale Model Supplies
458 Lexington Pkwy N
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 646-7781
http://www.scalemodelsupplies.com/

This is my first choice for kits - and the only place in the area I can get Humbrol paints - They still have a good stock of PL figure kits, mostly Planet of the Apes, but a couple LIS as well - and they have 'Classic Kits' for a premium price, but usually lower than what you'd pay Evil-bay for them

Hub Hobby Center
6410 Penn Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 866-9575
http://www.hubhobby.com/

This is where I go if I need tools, putty, glue, etc - last time I was in there, they still had a couple PL-Klingon kits and several PL-Scorpions. My only complaint is they try to cover it all - RC, Railroad, Rocketry, Games, Little-kid learning sets - and they don't have a huge space to cram it all in

We have several Hobbytowns in the area - but I avoid them like the plague - they think SF/Fantasy is a dying fad - though one thinks he'll order 1 or 2 of the Tom Lowe 18" Enterprise kit re-releases - "Just in case"
Great Recommendations, additional comment on the Hobbytown stores, they are not Hobby Stores but Paint Stores and sometimes not very good at that...

Hub Hobby also has a store in Little Canada, MN See the link for their web-site. Another interesting point is that Hub honors October as Plastic Scale Model Month and gives 20% off all plastic kits....
 

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In the Pinellas County, FL area:

Ralph's Hobbies
5208 66th Street N., Suite D
St. Petersburg, FL 33709

727-547-8607
If any one is ever in the Tampa, St Pete area you MUST stop by and see Ralph. One of the best guys in the buisiness IMHO. Not only does he have new odels but he has old ones too,And Marx soldiers and stuff.Good prices also.Treats his customers like family!!:thumbsup:
 

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In Tucson Arizona the best place to get kits is

Ace Hardware
6959 E 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85710

They have a hobby area thats the size of most mom and pop stores. Half is trains the other is plastic kits. Nice selection of real space and sci-fi kits including Moebius Models kits.

The other shops in the area are...
Competition Hobbies
3930 W Costco Dr
Tucson, AZ 85741
www.competitionhobbies.net

R/C and plastic kits with a small section of trains. Last visit they had dropped sci-fi kits.:(


Models Models Models
5941 E 22nd St
Tucson, AZ 85711
Lots of older kits.
The owner has been trying to sell the place and retire for a few years now.

HobbyTown USA
3700 East Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85716

The Hobby Barn
P.O. Box 17856
Tucson, AZ 85731
www.hobbybarn.com

R/C Airplanes and model rocketry


and not really hobby shops but in Tucson...

Dumas Products
909 E. 17th Street
Tucson, AZ 85719
www.dumasestore.com
Manufactures r/c boats and planes.

and
Con Cor
http://con-cor.com

model trains
 

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Hastings Plastics

Here's another 'not-a-hobby-shop' link, most useful for the SoCal set.

www.hastingsplastics.com
Around 14th @ Colorado in Santa Monica.

For the last few years, I've driven by always meaning to stop in 'one day'. That day was today.

They have every kind of resin item and accessory you can imagine, every possible fiber glass everything, lucite, and any and all things plasticy -including plastruct at exceptionally reasonable prices! (For comparison, Allied trains in Culver City had a piece I needed for $2.95, Hastings had the same piece for $1.95! Nothing like a little mark-up!) I noted that a 4x8 sheet of .30 styrene was ~$28. (I don't know if that's a good/bad price)

They mold, cut, form, engrave, stamp and do any custom job you need. They will order anything you could want. All you need is a company and part number in some cases.

I talked with the guy at the counter for a few, mentioning I build models. He shook his head in acknowledgment and I could see his mind pull all the files he had on modelers and their needs (as opposed to a different kind of client). He threw a few yes/no questions at me, narrowing the subject matter down to my specific needs in a few moments. I didn't catch his name (something obvious like Jim), but he's been in the plastics biz for a few decades and basically knew everything there was to know about casting, molding, thermo and so on. (Nothing like having someone knowledgeable at the counter!)
 

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Your right about Hastings. I used to get my plastic there when I lived in CA.

I'm still using the box of mirrored plexi scraps I got for $3.00 20 years ago.
 

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If any one is ever in the Tampa, St Pete area you MUST stop by and see Ralph. One of the best guys in the buisiness IMHO. Not only does he have new models but he has old ones too,And Marx soldiers and stuff.Good prices also.Treats his customers like family!!:thumbsup:
Have to agree with you, Ralph's is a good store. In addition to what is on display he has a fair-sized supply of older kits tucked away, some are destined for eBay but he also has some that are missing the odd piece that he will "part" with for a good price. Make sure to ask !
 

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Great news!

Great news to those in the Raleigh, NC area!

Askew-Taylors has jumped into the scratch building market with both feet!

What always used to be a great little mom and pop store that primarily sold house paint and art supplies has gone whole hog in adding all types of scratch building supplies to thier store!

Raleigh is the home to NC State University and there was a demand for the supplies based on some of the engineering classes.

I went there for some foam core today (for work) and ended up leaving with an armload of supplies (for me) no more having to drive 45 minutes to Fayette-vile to get some simple evergreen strips

I was as happy as a little school girl:hat:

I urge everyone in the area to support these fine folks whenever possible
 

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Went to a craft store yesterday. No props here.

$40 for a Republic Star Destroyer, $45 for the repop version!

I know they have to make a buck but screw that when I can get it at Hobbylinc.com for $35 shipped and I don't have to drive 45+ minutes one way to get it!

they got squat for sci fi and the cashier was a mean, grumpy old lady.
 

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Not much in Mobile, AL where I live.

We do have a HobbyTown and Hobby Lobby, of course the latter has the 40% coupons (I miss the 50% tho). Tipical retail prices and not a great stock of kits, especially SI-FI. HobbyTown's a much better choice of the two.

But, if you're ever in Pensacola, FL I would say it's well worth your time to stop by Bobe's Hobby House. Again retail (sometimes retail +) but have an outstanding selection and they will get the latest kits in faster than any one I know of. They also have an outsanding selection of aftermarket parts too.

There is a professional book collector that runs their book dept. so they have, you guessed it, an outstanding book section as well.

It takes 1hr. 15mins. to get there but I do enjoy driving over there and looking around and can always find something. Enjoy the people that work there too. They all know alot.

Bobe's Hobby House
5719 North 'W' St.
Pe'cola, FL 32505
(850) 433-2187

The is also John's Models. I don' have his # nor address handy but he is in Cantoment, FL, about 20mins. west of Bobe's. He buys a lot of old collections so you might just find something there you've been looking for and couldn't find.

That's if for me.
 

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Here's my own hobby shop for the Alberta, Canada people :

Monster Hobbies
127 3rd Ave SW
High River, Alberta, Canada
1-403-652-5019
Monday-Saturday 9:00 am-6:00pm.

Website is www.freewebs.com/monsterhobbies ... but I have to update it at some point.

I might be late opening on some days as I have a wife and 2 baby girls to get ready each morning...and sometimes that's a slow moving operation. :D
 

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I've been critical of my nsLHS (not so...) because of their lack of kits. I went today and they had tons of Moebius and Round 2 kits.
 

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Sure, why not

Minneapolis/St Paul area shops

Scale Model Supplies
458 Lexington Pkwy N
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 646-7781
http://www.scalemodelsupplies.com/

This is my first choice for kits - and the only place in the area I can get Humbrol paints - They still have a good stock of PL figure kits, mostly Planet of the Apes, but a couple LIS as well - and they have 'Classic Kits' for a premium price, but usually lower than what you'd pay Evil-bay for them

Hub Hobby Center
6410 Penn Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 866-9575
http://www.hubhobby.com/

This is where I go if I need tools, putty, glue, etc - last time I was in there, they still had a couple PL-Klingon kits and several PL-Scorpions. My only complaint is they try to cover it all - RC, Railroad, Rocketry, Games, Little-kid learning sets - and they don't have a huge space to cram it all in

We have several Hobbytowns in the area - but I avoid them like the plague - they think SF/Fantasy is a dying fad - though one thinks he'll order 1 or 2 of the Tom Lowe 18" Enterprise kit re-releases - "Just in case"
Have not been to Hub Hobby Center, but I do like Scale Model Supplies a lot.

As for local to Saint Cloud....

Baker's Hobby & Framing
www.bakershobby.com
51 3rd Street Northeast
Waite Park, MN 56387-1298
(320) 252-0460

It's not very big (I have more stuff than they do), but they are under new ownership (the original owner passed away earlier this year) and he is stocking some new items. Andrea paints, Games Workshop minis, more magazine titles and a bit more variety in plastic kits. I still don't understand why half the store is home brewing...that stuff should be in a craft store.

If you are traveling to Orlando, FL I recommend:

Colonial Photo & Hobby Inc
www.cphfun.com
634 North Mills Avenue
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 841-1485

It's almost 60 years old, built into an old grocery store and I worked there for 2 years (the reason why I have more stuff than Baker's).

And I discovered this place while visiting Milwaukee:

Greenfield News & Hobby
6815 W. Layton Avenue
Greenfield, WI. 53220
Ph: 414 - 281-1800
http://greenfieldhobby.home.att.net/

Bigger than Baker's and smaller than the other two...but packed with a lot of stuff.

:D
 
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