City-by-City -- Hobby Shops

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mb1k

Well-Known Member
These are a bit out of the way, but if you are in the military you might find yourself in Okinawa, Japan at some point...

Yonkudo and Variety Hobby Time

Okinawa City

Yonkudo is a very nice shop, very clean, don't let the small building fool you! Variety Hobby Time is older and a bit grungier, but you can find some gems tucked away in the corners there - I found a Tsukuda KBoP there, for example. The proprietors are also very nice, but the place can be tricky to find.

See the top two entries here: Okinawa City Shops


Shima Hobby

Ginowan, very close to Camp Foster

Shima is my main shop. An older guy runs it, and he speaks some English (not much). The place is stacked to the rafters with kits, tools and supplies.

See the top entry here:

Ginowan Shops

Mark in Okinawa

On the off chance you're still in JPN, any recommendations for the Nagoya or Narita area. I do find myself in Okinawa occasionally and will check out the above recommendations and see if they've weathered the Millennial generation and the economy!
 

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red4

Sr Member
El Paso, Texas: Hal's Hobby Shop

Not sure if you'll include it, since this shop does focus almost exclusively on RC and trains, but let me make a case for it. They have about 1/4 of their interior floor space full of model paints and model kits ranging from Gundams to space ships to WWII half-tracks. They also have a rotating rack full of different kinds of styrene sheets, tubes, textures, and I-beams. Also their selection of tools are extremely useful for general model and prop making. They've got mitre boxes, and mini vises, and tiny saw blades that fit into X-acto handles. Also they've got a huge selection of miniature people, animals, buildings, and road infrastructure that is meant for their train sets, but can be applied to any miniature model you want - I've personally looked at these items for my Evangelion diorama. I've never had any interest in trains or RC, but Hal's Hobby has proven extremely useful to me for over a decade for my props and models.
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
I just popped in to the Loose Caboose in Napa CA; and despite its railroad focused name, it had a surprising selection of plastic model kits including armor, aircraft and ships. I recognized several ILM standby greebly source kits. I even picked up an old stock Thor railroad gun!
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am seriously bummed by this trend. I'm Seattle area. I have felt fortunate over the years to have places like Online Metal Supply, Ballard Sheet Metal, Fastenal, Tacoma Screw, Laird Plastics, TAP Plastics, Pacific Fabrics, Seattle Fabrics, Macpherson Leather, Tandy Leather, and an assortment of other places from which I can source materials, tools, and services for everything from Warhammer miniatures up to (so far only planned) full-scale vehicle replicas. But my LHSes have taken some serious hits since the turn of the millennium.

American Eagle: This one was wonderful. Two floors. General hobby on the main floor, model railroading in the lower level. Did his best to keep stocked not just with the latest and best, but vintage stuff, as well. I scored some late-'80s Trek kits there, my Floquil railroad enamels, my PollyScale military acrylics, and a crap-ton of old RPG books, supplements, and miniatures. I had been shopping there since 1990 or so, used to get all my Warhammer miniatures there, BattleTech, West End's Star Wars RPG... Gone for almost a decade now.

Galaxy Hobby: Wonderful selection of rare-earth magnets, precision airbrushing gear, and sooooo many Japanese import kits. Closed in June.

There's one over an hour away that I've never been to, and there's my local HobbyTown USA, which has cut its square footage in half this past summer to cut costs (gave up one of the two storefronts they had maintained). I'm doing my best to support them -- give them lists of the kits and paints I'm looking for, steer other people in the area to them, etc. But I worry almost constantly what'll happen if they decide to pull the plug. I, personally, hate shopping for this stuff online. Even if in some respects it's easier, it comes nowhere near the experience of wandering around the good old LHS and the happy accident of stumbling across something you never knew existed...
 

JeffBond

Active Member
I wonder if ANY independent hobby shops are going to make it through the pandemic. I have a nice little one literally a five minute drive from my house (I live in the middle of the Valley north of Los Angeles) and Smith Bros. which is fairly large about 15 minutes away. I'm used to be able to make a quick trip on weekends and get whatever supplies I need in a heartbeat. I do think shops like this can run with social distancing fairly easily (unlike restaurants) but I just don't know if they can get through two or three months of zero income and reopen again. Hopefully they're doing some mail order business at least..
 

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computergeek

Active Member
I wonder if ANY independent hobby shops are going to make it through the pandemic. I have a nice little one literally a five minute drive from my house (I live in the middle of the Valley north of Los Angeles) and Smith Bros. which is fairly large about 15 minutes away. I'm used to be able to make a quick trip on weekends and get whatever supplies I need in a heartbeat. I do think shops like this can run with social distancing fairly easily (unlike restaurants) but I just don't know if they can get through two or three months of zero income and reopen again. Hopefully they're doing some mail order business at least..

Mine's doing pickup orders. Call in the order, pick it up same-day. Apparently they're doing decent business with it because they had to expand their hours
 

Caveneau

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Panther Hobbies

2589 Wharton Glen Avenue, Mississauga, Ontario, L4X 2A9

Website: Panther Hobbies | Hobby supplies in the GTA

(905) 848-0743

I can vouch for this place. As far as I'm concerned they're pretty much one of only 1 or 2 classic hobby shops still in existence in the greater Toronto area. And they have a really great shop. They also have really large and elaborate train track that the run on the weekends. They're clearly old school model train builders.
 

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