The Southern Maryland Scale Modelers meet every third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm at High Tide Games, 22599 MacArthur Blvd, California, Maryland, (San Souci Plaza, between McKay's and Mission BBQ).

We are also meeting online via Zoom most Thursdays at 7pm -- an email is sent to members with meeting info.

Everyone is welcome, all we ask is that you bring a project, finished or not, theme or non-theme to share during our Show-N-Tell discussion. Okay, you don't really have to bring a project...

Monday, January 14, 2013

116: Spare Parts

Spare Parts
Odds and ends, tips and tricks, miscellaneous musings.

Brick and Mortar
Any modeler worth his sprue nippers would never miss an opportunity to visit a hobby shop, and I’m no exception. When traveling or just out and about, I’m always aware of when I will be passing near a hobby shop. But when I count the number of hobby shops that I can no longer visit because they no longer exist, I run out of fingers. That’s why I was delighted to learn of a new hobby shop in our region.
In August of 2012 a new HobbyTown USA store opened up, located at 4143 Plank Road, Fredericksburg VA. If you are familiar with the HobbyTown USA franchise you know that they are a full service shop, catering to scale model builders, RC modelers, and model rail road hobbyists. This new store is owned by the same people who own the Newport News HoobyTown, and the manager is active in the Richmond IPMS chapter. I found everyone that I interacted with there to be knowledgeable, helpful, and cordial.

I have visited other HobbyTown stores and this new Fredericksburg store is smaller than others I have seen. In spite of this, they carry a wide selection of aircraft, armor, and auto kits and a large assortment of modeler’s tools. I was most impressed with the paint selection. You will find full racks of Tamiya spray cans and acrylic bottles, Testors Model Master acrylics, and Vallejo acrylics. And there are three full racks of TMM enamels! These three racks include the “basic” and auto colors, and the biggest selection of military colors I have ever seen in a retail store. I’m sure that’s good news for you dinosaurs who refuse to learn new things, like how to paint with acrylics or use a smart phone.

One feature of this store that I really like is the public restrooms. You youngsters are probably saying “Big deal”, but to us more mature individuals this is a very good thing. Right Jon? Another nice feature is the HobbyTown rewards program. When you sign up at the store you are given a card. Scan your card every time you buy something and you earn points towards a discount coupon. Discounts are good no matter your age!

While we can’t really call it a “local” hobby shop, the Fredericksburg HobbyTown is definitely worth the trip. It takes me about an hour and twenty minutes to drive there. There is a great Mexican restaurant in Dahlgren, so you can time your trip to include a lunch or dinner stop. Road trip, anyone?