Thursday, February 14, 2019

In Olden Times

When I was nobbut a lad, toy stores and hobby shops were common. Not, of course, in the sleepy wee New England town of my birth and upbringing, had to cross the river and go to the nearest "city". Which for us was Claremont over in the Granite State. (In 2010 Claremont's population was only about 5,000 more than my hometown. Both numbers are under 15,000. Small town New England right there.) At any rate, Claremont had a combination toy store/hobby shop. Up on a hill it was, Toy Castle was its name and , as you can see, it was aptly named.

(Source)
I bought my first Avalon Hill board game there, Afrika Korps, which I still have. Over the few years between discovering this place and then moving on to be a semi-adult in the Air Force, I'm sure I spent a lot of money in there. Worth every penny it was.

On Okinawa there at least one hobby shop as I recall, they stocked model aircraft, tanks, figures, cars, motorcycles, ships, and the like. The opening photo of the Tam Tam Hobby Shop in Tokyo reminded me of what you used to see in hobby shops. The picture below is another example of the things I used to spend my hard earned shekels on, but as you can see by the price tag on the box, times (and prices) have changed.

For those of you who don't have a handy yen to dollars conversion tool at hand, ¥5880 converts to roughly $52.99. Back in the day a kit like that would go for maybe ten bucks, less in some shops. Now you almost need to be independently wealthy to build model kits, or so it seems to this grognard*.

Not that long ago I was in the mood to build a model of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. I managed to track one down in a (now defunct) hobby shop in the local area. It was in 1/35 scale and was very nice. With a price tag of eighty-five simoleons, it went back on the shelf. While I could afford the kit, I doubted that The Missus Herself would be that understanding. While we're not poor, we're not exactly stinking filthy rich. So I passed, I still regret it.

But I am not looking at the not-that-long-ago, I need to go further back in time, when hobby shops had games, figures, models, radio-controlled stuff, trains, and all sorts of accessories for those. (Think paints, putty, glue, etc., etc.) While in college there was an awesome hobby shop not that far from where I lived. As Uncle Sam was paying for college and giving me my regular paycheck, I went to that hobby shop nearly every other week. Didn't always buy something, got to know the folks who worked there though and did spend more than my fair share of my scarcely earned pay therein.

While at Offutt AFB, found an even better hobby shop in nearby Papillion. I went there quite a bit as well. Bought a lot of HO scale Napoleonic figures, which I still have and swear to paint and mount on stands someday for to play war games with miniatures. We didn't use our garage that much in Omaha, that's where I held my battles. The Missus Herself wouldn't go in there, too many "toys" as she called them laying around.

One day I went off to work on a Monday, leaving the battle in progress. I returned home to discover that the neighbor kid, The Missus Herself was the "emergency" babysitter for the little guy, his Mom was Korean, his Dad was American, like us, so she would help them out when they needed to be someplace of an afternoon without the progeny tagging along.

Well, little Nathan (for such was his name) managed to find the garage whilst TMH wasn't looking. She found him quick enough but not before he had gone on a rampage across the battlefield and scattered the troops of both sides to the four corners of the garage. It was like Godzilla had wandered onto the field of Waterloo and sent the forces of the Emperor and the Duke reeling.

Yes, I was a bit miffed. But in my angst at this occurrence, TMH decided that that would be a good time to cease all "gaming" (playing with toys more like) activities in the family garage. For she needed to use that space for other things, like parking the car. What a concept!

In 1992 we were off to Germany, and while the Germans did have hobby shops, finding World War II models therein was not to be done. Seems die Deutscher have no fond memories of the period 1933 to 1945. Can't say I blame them completely, not what you'd call "good times." Also the prices they were charging would've made a Rockefeller choke! (Didn't stop me from buying a few things, trinkets really, don't tell TMH.)

When we returned to the States the whole hobby shop concept seemed to be on the wane. There was one nice place in Keene, New Hampshire, where I would always stop on my way to visit my parents. One day we parked, The Missus Herself sighed at the thought of the funds I would no doubt expend in that place, and in I went. Arriving at an empty store front.

It was an ex-hobby shop, bereft of models, figures, games, and toys, it was pushing up the daisies, the business had joined the choir invisible. Leaving me to pine for the days of the hobby shop.

There are a couple in Little Rhody which aren't too bad, based on what they have in stock, the prices, and the dearth of clientele, I cannot imagine how they stay in business. Perhaps they have rich parents who gave the kid "something to do" to keep him out of trouble.

But many businesses of that type are no longer around, I mean it's kind of a specialty thing, your average Walmart customer isn't in to that sort of thing. I know, I know, I can get whatever I want online, if I'm willing to pay, and often I am, but it ain't the same.

I miss going to one of those places, nothing in mind to buy, just wanted to see what there was to see. I was a frequent browser and often I would buy something. Didn't have any one thing in mind, just wanted to look.

I'm the same way with book stores. I often go there with no firm commitment to buy something in particular. I want to see what they have, usually I walk away with at least one book, often four or more.

Yes, I do Amazon, just bought a book from them which a friend recommended. Bought it because he recommended it, the subject matter is near and dear to my heart, and the wee blurb on Amazon looked good. So I ordered it, had it in two days.

But I like the physical brick and mortar locations. You can't smell the new books online, and let me tell you, the smell of a new book is, to me, better than the smell of a new car.

A lot cheaper too!

Ah well, I guess I'm just an old coot who is set in his ways. But I miss those olden times, at least certain aspects of them.

Sigh...








* grognard - French slang for an old soldier, literally "grumbler."

70 comments:

  1. Yeah, kits used to be ten bucks or whatever, so teenage me could afford them in the 90s. There was old dusty stock lying around cheap, too. (Revell “F-4E Phantom II and Mig-21” kit for dirt cheap? Yes please. I was into WWII stuff mostly, but the power of cheap, large kits compelled me.) Dad loves his Lionel trains, and the train store in town had models, so it worked out okay for both of us.

    I mean, all my kits are unpainted and have glue everywhere, but what do you want?

    https://m.imgur.com/gallery/bwxTgw2

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    1. Man, that Calvin and Hobbes strip brings back some fond memories.

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    2. "a bear" Thanks so much for the link to that strip! Two of my all-time favorites together!

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    3. Phantoms and Calvin and Hobbes, oh my!

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  2. My bedroom ceiling was a diorama with angel hair clouds, a formation of long range bombers ( B24, B17 , Avro Lancaster dam buster.) And German and American fighters mixing it up. All 1/72nd scale. This is where my $0.25 a day lunch money went.

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    1. Now there was a quarter a day well spent!

      I had a similar air battle on my ceiling, from WWI right up to Korea. Jets and biplanes, Fokkers and Messerschmidts, P-51s and F-86s all mixing it up over my bed.

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  3. Nice post, Sarge! At one point in my youth, I had a collection of two or three doze models of different types of military aircraft and armored vehicles. As well as the little green army men (both American and German) that I could arrange in various scenarios on the big sand pile next to our driveway (which I made into a replica of Mt. Suribachi complete with caves and which I sniped at with a BB gun, aka naval gunfire support). Fond memories of opening a new model's box, snapping off the pieces from their supporting frame, laying them out and figuring out where to start (directions? we don't need no stinkin' directions!). The smell of the glue, taking care to not put on too much lest it melt the outside surface of the pieces, and no matter how hard you tried, getting a fair bit of glue on your fingers that you peeled off later, if you could do so without taking a layer of skin off. The little bottles of Testor's paint in a ton of colors were a necessity, the decals were a pain in the butt, but both taught good lessons in paying attention to detail. Then after some of them got banged up a bit, strapping on firecrackers on July 4th, lighting the fuses and heaving them into the air where the AAA was very effective in blowing them to bits! And IIRC, even the good quality Revell kits only cost less than $5 unless it was a really big model such as the one for the USS Forrestal. Thanks for making me think about these things again!

    Oh yeah, Revell still makes model kits - https://www.revell.com/products/ - but they are just a bit more than $5 now !!

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    1. We had similar childhoods I think.

      Right down to peeling glue off of one's fingertips!

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  4. I still.find good kits at "resonable" prices at outlet chain store called Ollies.

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    1. Good tip James, seems we have an Ollies right here in Little Rhody!

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  5. There was a hobby shop in town where I grew up which I visited it a lot during junior and senior high. The money from grass cutting in the neighborhood ended there quite often since their kit selection was awesome. The owner was a model railroader and those offerings there were voluminous since he did repair also. There is a lot to be said for "hands on" shopping, it certainly recharges "the batteries" much more than web browsing does (you sometimes have to have the courage to not buy the item neh?) Thanks for this post Sarge, got me to walk down memory aisle.

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  6. I started building models while Dad was stationed at Ent, so ~3rd grade. I remember having a ceiling full by the time we left for Webb. The only one I remember though was a KC-135 and then only because I glued the horizontal stabilizer on upside down. For some reason, Dad thought that funny. When we moved to Webb, the BX was only a couple of blocks from our house. I was richer than a Saudi prince from my Lawn Mowing Corporation, so I would peruse the model aisle every weekend. Parents were ok with that as long as I saved half. I remember a trip a friend and I took to Dyess AFB in Abilene, not sure what it was for, but we were going to a hundred miles away from our parents! I also had heard that their BX had a whole building devoted to kids stuff. My buddy and I were both into models as well as Hot Wheels cars. The thought of new choices of each to purchase was enticing. Then we learned about centralized purchasing. However, they did have an F-105 model available. Thud's ran off the shelf at Webb as a Pilot training base. Seems that a SAC Base didn't have quite the demand for them, so I scarfed that one up.
    I built my last model Christmas of my Sophomore year at Tech. I'd gone home for the holidays and except for Family, didn't know anyone else there. Picked up a model from the BX and built it over the remainder of the holidays. Turned out perfect. Had filled in the seams with putty, painted it just as the specs said. Configured it the way I wanted. Little did I know that within 5 years I'd be flying an F-4E just like it, if a bit bigger and louder.

    Thanks for, as someone else said, a pleasant "walk down memory lane."

    Oh, and the F-4E model was configured 4 Aim-7s, 4 Aim-9s and the gun. But you knew that.

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    1. Surprise, surprise! (That your model of the F-4E would be configured solely for air-to-air.)

      I still have my model of an F-4D, which I kept for sentimental reasons even though both The Naviguesser (playing with it, who can blame him) and The Missus Herself ("cleaning" it) did substantial damage to it. The reason I kept it (not just because I worked on the F-4D) was that the decal set included the markings for 7463. A jet famous for killing MiGs and upon which I worked both at Kadena and at Kunsan, (it's like she followed me to Korea). I also spent a lot of hours on that model, getting it "just right" even down to the camouflage scheme standard for the Phantom at the time I worked on it. She even has the tail code for the Wolf Pack, "WP."

      7463 still lives, she's on display at the USAFA.

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    2. I don't remember that tail #, must have been a 35TFS jet.

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  7. When we moved to this little rooster-poot town, we met a guy 2 doors down that was a modeler. A real one, like you guys. He was also a member of an aces group. He would attend ace reunions and flyer meetings all the time in San Antonio. My son was old enough to learn to model and when he was about 13, he went to these meetings, too. He met about half the Doolittle raiders, and got their signatures. Quite a few WW2 aces, some Korea and VietNam guys, too. I don't know how many signatures he has, but probably a few hundred.

    We went to talks that the old timers gave, telling war stories, all aviation related (down at Stinson airfiled)... My son got to fly in old Bird-dogs and drop flour bombs, and generally have way more fun than I did at that age!!

    Lots of good memories....

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    1. Dang, that's like every kid's dream right there. (Certain kids, and not all boys either!)

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  8. The thing I miss most about the vanishing hobby shop, is that they were a source of information, in how to do things, and how to do them better. It Was also a good place to go for a good yak, with people who had similar interests. The internet just isn't the same.

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  9. For me it was HO scale slot cars and for a while Cox control line planes. There was a hobby shop across the street from High School. Built some model planes (Me-109, Wellington, Halifax, P-51, etc.) but I always dreamed of having an R/C airplane. During High School I was going to build a diorama of a "British Air Museum" containing an example of all the Brit bombers I'd accumulated. Would have been the size of a large room if I'd ever done it...

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    1. I do like the concept.

      I had a control line Ju-87, really cool looking plane until that semi-controlled flight into terrain.

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  10. Growing up, both hobby shops were a distant bike ride away, while the BX sucked rocks for anything kid related (retiree related like really cheap old fart clothing? Tons. Kids? No...) So opportunities to peruse were few and far between at a young age. Though as a teenager I could bike down to Indiatlantic, and go game and shop there. Which required following bike paths that criss-crosses the barrier island at least twice, with lots of winding roads, so the trip was twice as long as it could have been (you did not want to bike along A1A, that would be like dancing in a tutu with combat boots in a minefield.) Lots of money spent there.

    The other store was in Melbourne central, which required a trip over the Indian River which meant riding up a friggin causeway bridge (sized tall enough to allow barge traffic and sailboats) and up-and-over the old dune line on the mainland, then wend the way through really bad traffic. But that store was models, rc stuff and model railroad stuff. First time I saw a $500.00 brass locomotive in HO scale, and that was a cheap one. The details.

    Spent too much on D&D, only got to build a few models (which was good, as my hands were really shaky back then, now only a little shaky.) But I miss going and window shopping...

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    1. Man, an adventure worthy og Indiana Jones just getting to the hobby shop!

      Played D&D on Okinawa. A lot.

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  11. Great memories.
    I think thre first model I built was the USS Sullivan’s, a Fletcher class tin can.

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  12. I actually worked in a hobby shop in the good old while in high school. And they PAID me. But, I seem to have spent a lot there. That was near the end of my modeling days as other interests took over. Still have a couple of kits somewhere that seem neat enough to keep, but I will probably never get around to building. Apparently the do-gooders decided that traditional model cement was too convenient for abusers to get high on, and it was replaced with watery crap that is useless. And the bottles of paint (I greatly preferred Pactra over Testors) have gone up from 15 cents and 10 cents respectively to absurd prices and in far fewer color choices.
    Ahh, the good old days. We learned a lot about history, technology, fantasizing about things, and mechanical dexterity and patience from modeling. No wonder kids today are so screwed up with nothing but touch screens and instant gratification or they go all ADHD and get drugged up.
    John Blackshoe

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    1. You got to work in a hobby shop? OMG, dream job, right there.

      Amen on your last, kids these days don't know what they're missing.

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  13. Your post brought back some fond memories of walking with friends a few miles to the local hobby store in the town over to go “waste” our allowances on packs of 1/72 scale model soldiers. By the time I grew out of it I probably had at least a few banker’s boxes filled to the brim. This was in the first half of the 1990s. Back before the internet became a thing.

    I had a bunch of models too, but those were much fewer and farther between. They costed more than the $3-5 for a pack of 50 or so soldiers, and were usually received as gifts from family members for birthdays and Christmas. My favorite were the tanks from WWII. I also seem to have had a weird fascination with the T-72. Ah, youth.

    I remember now getting hobby catalogues from said store and flipping longingly through the pages as a admired other people’s work on display in various dioramas. Despite my best efforts, I could never create anything as lifelike as what I saw on those pages. But that never lessened the joy I took with my own creations.

    Like you, I one day walked to said hobby store to discover everything had changed. Oddly, this time, it was packed with people. Half the shelves had been stripped of their inventory. It was a going-out-of-business sale. And just about every damn hobbyist in the county (and, by the looks of it, perhaps a few others) had descended on the place like rats to the carcass. We bought what we could with our meager allowances and then went back home to ask for more money. The lawerly skills I developed somewhere later in life were clearly not yet ripe, as my parents remained firmly unpersuaded by my sophistry. But a friend of mine shared some of what his mom had given him and let me pick out a few things—including a T-72 tank that had been professionally painted and had been sitting in the store’s display case for as long as anyone of us could remember. Indeed, everything must go.

    Afterwards, we’d often ride our bikes past the old shell of the store. There was a 7-Eleven right next door where we’d fill up on slurpees and other sugary goods. The old hobby store building stood vacant for a while. Eventually, it became the landing pad for some off-brand insurance agency. But even to this day when I go past, I always remember what once was—and, sadly, will never be again.

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    1. Lots of HO (which is close to 1/72 right) soldiers still in residence at Chez Sarge. Revolutionary War, Napoleonic Wars, Civil War, WWI and WWII. I once mentioned using them to fight a war for control of the entire domicile. Yeah, that got vetoed in a hurry. Also the cats would have a field day with the two armies.

      The Toy Castle that I mentioned in the post? Some few years after it went out of business the local fire department burned it down so they could practice their fire fighting techniques. An honorable end I suppose, I'm glad I was overseas and didn't see that!

      Nothing wrong with the T-72 (as long as the gunner stays out of the way of the auto loader) Soviet tanks look pretty cool. (Even when they're not!)

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    2. I would say that juvat and many here like their Soviet tanks much like they like their canned beers. With the top popped open...

      They were definitely designed for the flats, with horrible gun depression and elevation. Which means they're dead in a city or mountainous terrain. Definitely designed to travel in large packs.

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    3. With the top popped, the ammo cooking off, and the supporting infantry fleeing in terror.

      But that's just me.

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    4. hmmmmm...Tanks designed to counter infantry. Mavericks designed to pop the lids off tanks. Yes...I'm good with that.

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    5. Friend went to Gulf War I and got to look into an Iraqi tank that got gun-hit by a Warthog. Couple small holes on exterior of turret. Everything on the interior was now lying on the floor, as the rounds just bounced around and scrubbed the interior clear. Including the occupants. Then there was the one caught under a MOAB... Bleh.

      It is much better to be the launcher than the recipient.

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    6. @OldAFSarge—I had tons of Napoleonic Wars soldiers as well. At this time in my life, I knew little and less about the conflict, as it wasn't taught at my age in ye olde public school system—if it was even taught in public schools at all. I got them mostly because they looked 'cool'. Thankfully, I had an uncle that taught me the history behind them—and a public library.

      That is a sad end to the Toy Castle. But at least it went out in a literal blaze of glory. Not too many such places left anymore.

      As for my fascination with the T-72, well, let's just chalk it up to a youthful indiscretion. :)

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    7. I well understand youthful indiscretion!

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  14. Here I go dating myself again.
    My first models were solid balsa. The not for flying type. You were to sand the pre-formed cylinder into the shape on the instruction pages and then glue the wings, etc on. The first plastic models I put together were the mighty thunderbird and X-15. I made A LOT of X-15s, probably because my friend Jerry and I put firecrackers in the exhaust, lit them and threw them in the air. Getting hit by a 37mm could have had similarities. Like Juvat, who knew what I'd be doing so few years into the future. I did miss out on the X-15, though I did meet Chuck Yeager one time. He brought an F-104 to our Pilot Training Graduation.

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    1. Solid balsa?!?!? Not the framework style which one covered in tissue and could (theoretically) fly?

      Very old school, very cool.

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    2. Now you're really dating yourself, Fuzz!

      😊

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    3. I'm dangerously close enough to that era. Balsa was beyond my skill set. Put me off, yes it did.

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    4. I attempted some of the balsa kits where you built the bird from the framework up, as a callow youth I had not the patience, nor the skill, to ever finish one.

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  15. I used to build a lot of scale models. Learned the metric system buying different shades of enamel paint by the cc.

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    1. That's one way of doing it, Mike!

      Oh the different shades of paint I bought, sometimes just to paint the wheel wells of an Me-109 the right color!

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  16. Ah, the smell of Testor's glue and paint. Brings back memories.

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  17. Hah! I wondered if the mentions of models in a previous post would trigger a new post.

    I built probably 100 or more when I was in the 8~15 year-old range. I built every_single_one of the Monogram US Navy planes molded in the dark blue plastic, several of the "Visible P-51" models, dozens of Century Series fighters, and all the Revell X-Planes.

    Then I got real involved in "1:1 Scale" stuff and put my tools away until I moved to California.

    Having no race car to work on, I got back into building models again, and wound up custom building several Tamiya 1/32 F-14 Tomcats for various people on the AIM-54 and AWG-9 programs while I worked at Hughes.

    There were several "Pro Level" hobby shops in Torrance, CA, and they had all the neat accessory stuff I'd see in the magazines, like photo-etched parts kits, specialized decal sheets depicting certain squadron markings, and hundreds of missiles, bombs, and other ordinance kits for modern aircraft.

    And they carried unusual imported and resin kits that you simply couldn't get "Pre Internet".

    And the same for ships, cars, armor, figurines and fantasy/SCIFI!

    And they carried a full line of building supplies for scratch-builders, like aluminum, copper, and brass sheets and tubing, balsa and hardwoods, glue, paint, covering material, yadda, yadda, yadda!

    And I could never get out of the store for less than $100 bucks in the middle 1980's.

    Amazing places to go and visit and hang out with the people that worked there. If you needed advice, they could help, and knew the products very well since the guys that ran the place also built models for a living, so they knew good vs bad products, and what was and wasn't compatible. I think the interaction with knowledgeable staff is what I miss most about the slow death of brick-and-mortar stores.

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    1. Ah, you know me too well drjim!

      I love talking to the folks at stores I frequent. My local Barnes & Noble has some very good employees who share my love of reading. I can usually get good information from them that even eludes my best Google Fu!

      Which is what I miss about the old hobby shops.

      Those places you mention from back in the '80s were awesome. Miss those I do.

      The internet can't even hold a candle to those places.

      Those were the days my friend. (And yes, I thought they'd never end. But dammit, they did.)

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    2. DrJim, aa I unsterstand it...You are rebuilding actual Battleships. How cool is that?

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    3. Well, at least the Big Badger Boat, sail it up to Mordor on the Potomac...

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    4. Yeah! WISCONSIN was the only IOWA that got the full refit to carry and fire W-23 "KATIE" nuclear 16" rounds. She was also the only to ever fire one, albeit a inert one. Morder on the Potomic, the Big Badger Boat could send KATIE to visit.

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    5. Beans - A battleship isn't what you need for Mordor on the Potomac, too indiscriminate, there are a lot of good folks who live and work in DC, remember it's the nut jobs and loons who get all the press.

      What you want is ninjas, about 50 would do the trick.

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    6. Hhmm, I sense a connection with those nuclear rounds and your warrior lady. Is there?

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    7. Rats! I forgot to check the "Notify me" box when I replied, so I missed the incoming until I checked again this morning.....

      @STB....the Iowa had *some* of the mods done to use the Katie rounds. There's a unique "Loading Hatch" at the base of either Turret #1 or Turret #2, I forget which, but I was told that it was installed specifically to load a Katie. There's also a special magazine to store the Katie rounds. Only the Iowa and the "WisKy" have those mods.

      And I can neither confirm nor deny the existence/non-existence of these types of rounds.....

      @juvat....Yes, I was honored to be allowed on the ship as a volunteer for six years, from when she came to L.A. to when we moved here to FoCo. An astounding piece of hardware, she is, especially considering she was designed in the 1930's. I worked on getting FACCON1 and FACCON2 functional (minus the crypto gear), got the Amateur Radio station up to date, helped restore the CEC, and got most of the 1980's USN transmitters running again. Some were missing, and some were gutted, but we managed to scrounge enough parts to get all but three of them running again. Since then, The Guys have made several trips up to Bremerton, where the Navy has been extremely helpful i n allowing us to salvage items we need for the Iowa.

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    8. When we first arrived in Little Rhody, we took a drive. As we drove past NUWC (Naval Undersea Warfare Center) we came over the top of a slight ridge and there, tied up pier-side, left to right, were the USS Iowa, USS Forrestal, and USS Saratoga. USS Iowa was at NS Newport from 24 September 1998 to 8 March 2001. She was then towed out to California. Then, you know the rest drjim.

      Thanks for the information.

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    9. Yeah, she sat in Suisun Bay until 2012, when she was towed to Richmond, cleaned up, painted, hull scrubbed, Main Mast reinstalled, and made ready for the tow to L.A. Harbor.

      From the videos I've seen, the outside was in pretty poor condition, and the crew in Richmond did a first-class job getting her all spruced up.

      If you ever plan on seeing her, drop me a line and I'll send you some "Buy One, Get One" coupons for the admittance fee.

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    10. I shall keep that in mind. I do have occasion to go to California every now and then. The kids aren't that far from L.A. (Few hours, but closer than I am!)

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    11. Turret 2 is where KATIE would live. Bigger magazine, so more room to put her.

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    12. Ah, yes, the "secret" hatch located right next to Turret #2. Immediately aft, and a bit port of the centerline.

      I saw it every time I went to the soda machines they have there.

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    13. Scott - Turret 2, good to know!

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    14. drjim - Hahaha, "secret" hatch, I love it!

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  18. Lacking fine motor skills needed to make decent models, I could only look on with envy. Some may remember the Fisher Auto Body contest of the 50-60's where you created futuristic model cars and entered them. A gifted cousin won several times from Wyoming (maybe he was the only entrant from that sparsely settled state?).

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    1. I had to do search to find that contest. Pretty awesome that your cousin won, there were some pretty cool looking cars.

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  19. There was a wonderful model hobby shop in Newport back in the 70s that had everything. My brother and I used to go there and spend hours looking before buying. I got a paper route just so I could buy stuff there. There was also the scale shipyard out of Long Beach at the end of the last century that had R/C scale model ships that came with engines. I use d to go to the model boat pond in San Diego every weekend when I could to watch them and drive them. I built a hundred models but few survived our frequent moves. Where I live now I probably have 100 model aircraft and a dozen or more model ships and they're on every floor of the house except the basement.

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    1. There was a pretty good hobby shop in Newport when we arrived in Little Rhody nigh on twenty years ago. They scaled back and moved to a different location in Middletown.

      'Tis but a shadow of its former self.

      Love the R/C model ships!

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  20. Yeah, my neighbors look at me funny when I'm out in my garage building models. I mostly scratch build tugboats @ 1/24 scale and rig them with radio control gear. I used to drink and troll for smallmouth bass with my models, but an osprey scooped up the fish one day, and ended up in the pond (the tug was 80lbs, ballasted) and a neighbor got all fussy.

    Michael's sometimes has good cheap plastic models. The test pilot in my family regularly raids them.

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    Replies
    1. I've seen your work over at your blog, very nice!

      Hhmm, Michael's? I may have to make a raid, we have a couple in the area.

      Delete
  21. When I go to Madison, I always check out Micheal's, you can find lots of good stuff there!

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    Replies
    1. Cool, I'll put that on the "check them out" list.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)