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old stores (and stories) of long ago

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When I was stationed at RAF Alconbury back inthe late 70s, I had four model shops that I visited regularly. Huntingdon had 'Sports and Fashions' and one other shop who's name escapes me, but it was in a small plaza that was in easy walking distance from the High Street. The other two were in Cambridge - Ren Models and Model Mania. Both were great for plastic kits, but only Model Mania had a small selection of figures and even smaller selection of flats. Most of these were pre-painted parade or marching band figures in 30mm. I did pick up a small Hessian soldier. I painted it mostly white as I recall. I have no idea what became of it. I moved around a lot. Things got lost...



Scott Johnson:
Not that it was known for selling many flats, but alas it is true. Tradition of London, Ltd. has closed up its shop in the Mayfair section of London. I was lucky enough to pop in last October and had an enjoyable half hour conversation with its owner.

We need to have more bricks and mortar stores: toy, books, whatever. They are more fun than InterNet "shops."

It certainly was the Wall Models I used to go to .There most Saturdays though I wasnt a wargamer .i painted hundreds of little figures to supplement my wages in an electronics factory .He run up large debts only to let someone else called Eric take it over and its debts .The debts turned out to be even larger than Eric thought and it was a doomed adventure and one that warned me about about being a enthusiast not a businessman .A lot of model soldier businesses were propped up by other income including Tradition ,Willie and Under Two Flags probably .

Robert Leighton:
HI Alfsboy
Was that the Wall Model shop that used to be in Manor Park as I remember one being run there, for wargamers he had a large war gaming table in the middle of his shop for a while, then changed it to have just counters as he found that more profitable.  The wargamers used to come in play the games and then go out without buying anything. The Proprieter organised a few wargamers evenings and painting competions. He  lasted for a few years although he had a struggle to make any real profits, then overnight he was gone.

I remember under Two flags well .I used to paint for them when Jock ,the owner ,ran it .I did some flat dioramas and some 30 mm Stadden dioramas and also 54 mm's .Later he wanted a very bright Pelikan Plaka style which just doesnt suit my style which tended to be a mix of Blackwells oil bound poster oil paint and Humbrol .Jock claimed Americans liked that bright graphic style .Years later he admitted that it was a mistake to let me go and my style was in reality better .Jock took few prisoners being a scion of the Coutts banking empire  so it was rare compliment .I got most of my flats by going to Kulbach and stocking up .
      Wish I could still get Blackwells .I think Historex agents use to sell it under the Campaign Colours label .I also painted for Suren ,who made Willie figures and private customers  plus Wall Models wargame stuff.


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