Thursday, December 21, 2006

Opinion - The perfect hobby shop

Now I think this is going to take me a few times to get this where I think I want it, but I need to start somewhere, so here goes.

I keep looking, you know, for that perfect hobby shop. It must be somewhere, I have found three really good ones, but each of them, well, I'll keep looking. Now I am not trying to be difficult, mind you, but I have this place in my mind.

Look at that parking lot, how did they get all those spaces right next to the front door! Clean, well kept, and the spaces are so big, I parked right between Ford and GMC 2500's and still had room to open the doors! Wow.
And the bathroom is right near the front door. Great, I don't have to ask someone where it is! Gosh is it big! Look at those isles, and I love the carpet, feels good on my feet. Was that a Brass Mikado that just went by over my head? Well, for G Scale it sure looks like brass.
Look at that tyke layout, I must bring my grandson next time, he will have a ball, and that nice lady is watching all those children, I think she works here, yep, she is the kid's hostess. Grandma will even like it here.

I love looking at hobby shop layouts. They should always be first class and this one has the best, very nice scenery, and look, they have a real train, with cars on the tracks! And it runs too! Gee, look at the signal crossing gates, they work! Wish I could get mine to be as smooth. You know, I think every inch of this layout is completed. Oh, am I envious.
Hmm, let me see, N, HO, O and G, and each one of them has that section of merchandise right behind it. Wow, this is nice. Z has to be here somewhere, my eyes are not what they once were, oh, here it is!

Well, now, would you look at this, an amazing collection of books and magazines, all in one place, and a lounge area to browse. Way cool! I don't think I ever saw so many DVDs! They even have some VHS. Wow, old Jake will love that, sorry, no Betamax.

Scenery Barn
Don't get me wrong, Woodland Scenics has done a tremendous job serving the needs of model railroaders everywhere, but so many hobby shops think that just having their wire racks about 1/2 full is all that is needed to meet our needs. My ideal hobby shop has a whole section, I'll call it the scenery barn for lack of a term, just chock full of trees, backgrounds, molds, ballast and every glue that NASA knows about. And for goodness sake, have Hydrocal in 10 lb bags for a low price too!

Snak Bar
Right at the front of the store, there is a little coffee shop, no they won't let you take your food or drink into the rest of the hobby shop, but it is a great place to meet your buddies for a cup of joe and a stroll through the place afterwards. It would also be a nice place to park your dearest who decided to ride to town with me, she can sit there with her latest book and sip on diet Pepsi!

Loco demo
Imagine all the different locomotives in one place, kind of like a round house with the test track where the turn table is. They have someone there to run your favorite locomotive, and they are happy to do it. They know the DCC system inside out and will even test your own loco if you wanted. Want to see an N-Scale diesel next to an HO or O? No problem, just tell the fellow (or lass) what you need and bingo, you get a dose of model railroading up close and personal! And, you know, the test track is about 53 inches high, A little step discretely to the side for those who might be height challenged or want to see a view from the top.

Electronics are Us
At my perfect hobby shop, there is no need to go to Fry's or Radio Shack, everything is there, and not just the Lenz or Digitrax DCC set. They even have someone working there who actually knows more about DCC than I do, alot more than most people do, you know a real specialist! Someone who has actually used a Switch Decoder and knows that a Rabbit is spelled with a W! Have you ever seen so many LED's? And they have all of Tomar and Oregon Rail's stuff in stock!

Repair Center

Training room
What a place, a hands on lab, with a series of test tracks and work tables, even a place for your own tools and a panavise at each station. The schedule is amazing and the one on the website matches the one on the training room wall and it is up to date! Unheard of!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh woudn't that be nice, To open the door and a choir starts singing Hal a'lua! Back to reality such a place does not exist because this bussiness is so expensive to set up, maintane suffiencene stock, cater to a special class of modelers and at times a fickled bunch artisans. Dealing with importers and small mom and pop shops that go in and out of bussiness with regularity. I have seen this dream before with slot cars ages ago at Toma's in Silver Spring, MD. A place where you can do all of the above but with slot cars not trains. A year or so later slot cars left and trains entered, alas it did not last long they were out of bussiness within a year. It would take someone with very deep pockets and an even deeper love of the hobby to make that dream come true.