Jump to content

Southern Kalifornia Hobby Shop

Recommended Posts

I recently was given a good deal, well better than Spectrum, for my cable and internet and made the switch to AT&T for everything. Aside from a lifetime discount for my military service I was sent a gift card for $300 dollars. Since the town I live in lost all of it's brick and mortar stores between 07 and 2010 all we have left is a pair of Michael'stores, a Hobby Lobby and one local hobby shop that tries to serve everyone but due to poor selection, especially all manner and scales of military kits, and very poor customer service I and my friends have few reasons to visit the place. In fact the only reason I do spend some of my money there is when I need paints or certain adhesives that I can't get at the big name stores. The problem with buying paint is that both due to local anti-graffiti laws and the owners paranoia of getting ripped off by younger customers trying to get paint is an exercise in futility as no one seems to have the patience to help you and all the paint is a good six feet, nearly two meters from the customer side of the counter. 


Frankly, I'm fed up with that situation since Hobby Lobby has their non-aerosol paints where I can actually see the rack and put my hands on the paints. So, I figure that instead of my local store, I and my wife decided that it was worth the two to two and a half hour drive to the Los Angeles area for paint and anything else that we can't find in the land of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Aside from Brookhurst and Smith Brothers hobby shops as well as Anime Jungle in Little Tokyo, who is still open or are there any new stores worth visiting? Since I'm retired and my wife has Sunday and Monday off from work we both have the time to spend browsing different places. My one brand of paint I really want to stock up on is Humbrol, the last cans I bought were back in 2007 before Riverview Hobbies closed for good. The only bright spot is that the majority of those cans are still unopened and the ones that were have been recently inventoried and found to be still viable. I guess making sure to tap the lids back into place with a small hammer and then storing them in a cool place lid facing down does work. The pigments settled on the lids and made an airtight seal so nothing evaporated. I'm also curious if the two hobby shops near Bellflower are still open. One was on an intersection south of the 91 by a Jack In The Box drive in and was called, I think, Hobby Warehouse. I still have some Testor's paint jars with their price tag on it and yes, as of two years ago the paint was still good. The other store was north of the 91 on, once again, I believe, Bellflower Blvd. 


When I was single I made twice a month trips to the shops in the LA and OC areas before I ended up living in Long Beach between 85 and 88. Over the years the stores I was loyal to began shutting their doors so I have no real idea as to who is left. I had a big shock the day I  drove down Sepulveda and found that Allied Trains had closed. That was my favorite place to get all the little things to busy up areas on my models like landing gear wells or making a building such as Airfix's control tower look lived in. Shep Paine called it 'creative gizmology' but I always called it the greatest tip that I had ever read. Unfortunately with the closure of the local train store 12 years ago those little parts are out of my reach locally so places that also cater to railroad modelers are on my must find list. Smith Brothers has some train detailing parts but nothing like B&F here locally or Allied Trains in Culver City so any bit of information will be welcome. Even just a name so I can look it up is fine. When I was first looking for a place to live I found an apartment next to John's Hobbies in Long Beach but the price was too much for the area and the manager made a few remarks about my being in the service after he saw the base sticker on my car. While he didn't just come out and say what he was thinking, had he done so I could've filed a discrimination complaint, it didn't take a genius to  see that he was like most of Long Beach at the time and disliked the Navy and Sailors. So, for  $50 less I found a place that had a bar and a used bookstore on the first floor and was within walking distance of all the good places in downtown Long Beach. Pity, I would've traded the bar for the hobby shop if I were able to. Since I retired it has been a struggle to get to the point that I can start building kits agin but the days of the town I live in having several hobby shops where each one was able to carry a small general assortment of kits but specialize in one or two genres are long gone. I keep hoping that someone else will take the leap and open a store that is stocked to the gills with plastic kits of all kinds and scale but that'll never happen since one can make ten times the amount selling pot since it's been more or less made legal in this state.



I'm also curious if   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brookhurst Hobbies in Garden Grove

Military Hobbies in Orange

Tony's Hobbies & Toys in Baldwin Park

Pegasus Hobbies in Montclair


The Hobby Warehouse and the multiple Hobby People are all gone, as is that place on Bellflower. 


IPMSOC has a meeting this Friday at 7:30 at the La Quinta Inn in Buena Park. The theme is D-Day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're in the Burbank area Train Shack and Burbank's House of Hobbies are worth checking out.

Keep in mind that I escaped SoCal 12 years ago, so I'm not sure what these shops are like currently, but Train Shack had a great selection of detail goodies and House of hobbies had a growing stock of kits, including obscure and vac-form and they do list Humbrol paints on their website.

If you do visit these store please snap a few pics inside and share them here. These shops along with Smith Bros (and T&A Hobby which unfortunately closed) are about the only thing I miss from there.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...