Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Models shops

The best model shop in Essex so far

by Peter
Categories: Hornby, Locomotives, Model Railways, Models shops, Triang
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Found a new model shop within 20 minutes from home and sell just about everything you need, so went armed with a long list of paints, brushes, Plasticard and balsa that I have been meaning to re-stock for ages and couldn’t get locally, they had everything I wanted and very helpful as well, so if your in or near Chelmsford Essex call in to John Dutfield models and comes highly recommended by us.

On top of that they had lots of secondhand stock as well and came away with this little Hornby shunter from the 60′s

I have been trying to track down one of these for nearly 10 years as it was my first ever loco I bought as a kid and sold it a few years later.

The Hornby number of this Loco is R559 and just called 0-4-0 Diesel shunter and was released from 1963 to 1967, I do know the last of them had glass in the windows whether this just the later years I’m not certain, my first one did when I bought it in the 70′s.

It would of been a Triang Hornby model back then and is based on a NBL 200bhp 0-4-0 shunter, North British design.

Related pages;

Triang R858 shunter renovation

My model railway project


Where are all the good model shops?

by Peter
Categories: General, Models shops
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Years ago nearly every town had some kind of a model shop, but now with the internet most people shop for what they want online, myself included, but there is something fascinating about visiting a model shop.

Most of the small bits I need I can get at the local craft and hobby centre like Humbrol paints, brushes etc, and if I am in Chelmsford Essex I have visited the Hobbystores in Chelmsford, the guys there are always helpful, even when I am not sure what I am after and have always come out of there with what I need or whats been recommended.

Monday I was in Maldon in Essex and I know there is a model shop there, I have never had time to go in so this time found time to visit Colin Bliss Models, I always carry a list of anything I need to replace or add to the model room, and I did need some Humbrol paints and re-stock on Araldite Rapid, so went in to see if they do these items.

Now, I’m not one to complain much, in fact I actively promote model websites and model shops where I can, but I’m afraid the visit to Colin Bliss models was not a pleasant one.

I my rush to park and get there I forgot my glasses, so once in I first asked the two women at the counter if they did Humbrol paints, one said yes and pointed and carried on with the conversation she was having with here colleague, I said with a smile,  “I have forgotten my glasses I may need help with the paint numbers”, so with a sigh one came over and as I read my list of number she picked them out, there was only three on my list and they had them all, during all this I felt as though I was intruding in their conversion and at the counter I asked for Araldite Rapid and was given a set in a different colour but I could just about make out without my glasses the words ‘stronger formula’ so I thought ok could be better, so paid and left, I have to admit it didn’t seem friendly or I didn’t feel I could browse around the shop to have a look, in fact I was glad to leave.

Anyway I got home, and went to the model room to put the new items away, only to find, now with my glasses on, two of the Humbrol paints were the wrong numbers, how can someone get it wrong? I read out each number on my list and she picked them out and as I have been carrying the list over a week I couldn’t tell you by the lid colour what they were meant for, for instance I asked for No 103 and got 133, my guess is her mind was not on the job.

It also turned out although the Araldite is stronger it is also a lot slower drying making it useless to me as it stays workable for 2 hours, Araldite Rapid (which I asked for) hardens in about 15 minutes, this is partly my fault but assume, wrongly as it turns out, someone in a model shop would know the difference.

I won’t be visiting there again any time soon.