I just found out recently that the polish paper model company Shipyard, is changing its product lineup a little, in order to make room for their new line of HO scale railroad accessories. Basically, the name of the company is now VESSEL, and they now have two separate product brands: Shipyard and Railway Miniatures.
Basically, all HO scale products are now sold only under the Railway Miniatures brand. This includes all HO scale lighthouses, dockyard accessories and some new buildings. I think it’s a great idea, but there are some oddities, particularly for American model railroad enthusiasts, in that the products are a mix of 17th through 19th century dockyard equipment and European buildings. Some new stuff is modern era, but still has a European flavor.
So, there’s probably not a lot in this product line that will appear here in the U.S., but I still think it’s good for VESSEL to expand its product lineup.
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Another brick and mortar hobby dealer has fallen asunder! Just received a letter that the Hobbytown store in Concord, California is going out of business. They have some big sales starting today, so it’s a good opportunity to stock on some supplies.
This leaves the San Francisco East Bay with few real hobby dealers. The biggest ones that come to mind are Hobbies Unlimited and the Ages of Sail shop, both of which are in San Lorenzo, CA, just a few miles north of the Dumbarton Bridge.
In all honesty, as far as ship modelers, or even plastic model builders, the Hobbytown didn’t offer much. They focussed so much on RC planes and cars that it was mostly a big empty store with absolutely nothing to offer ship modelers, except for maybe glue, paints, and some basswood. So, I doubt the store closing will have much impact on us model builders. It mostly now leaves more business for the other local shops.