My Friendly Local Model Shop, Piper Hobby, is closing. The owner died last year and his widow does not have the same passion about the hobby he did. That is not a criticism but a compliment to Bob as he had a passion for model building that few others ever had.
Other employees tell me that Bob had something like close to 10,000 models in his house. Many of these are now making their way into the store. Since Inauguration Day, Piper has put everything – EVERY THING – at 50% off. There are many gems to be found as Bob had a collection of models going back many years.
The RockyMountainNavy Boys and myself visited Piper this weekend. Like I feared, as much as I tried to control myself it still was an expensive trip. Fortunately, I was able to indulge in my German Luftwaffe wonder planes fascination and picked up the AR-234B-2N, the He 162A-2 Salamander, and the Do 335 Arrow. I also indulged my science fiction itch with a Revell 30th Anniversary Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper. Finally, I picked up another Navy jet that was a wonder for its time and often overlooked, the Douglas F4D-1 Skyray. Almost can call this one science fiction too!
T got a German World War II 1/35 scale Panther Aus-F tank. He loves cars but the Piper stock was so picked over there was nothing that really caught his eye. So he will try some armor. This Dragon kit from China is VERY detailed and challenging for T as his first armor kit. He is taking it slowly and methodically, and I am sure it will turn out beautifully.
Little I also got a few models, among then his own F4D Skyray. His kit is a much simpler 1/48 scale model from Lindberg. This model proved easy to build and Little I worked on painting and decals with a bit more care than his usual. It turned out really nice!
I am sad to see Piper Hobby go away. This leaves me with no model hobby shops in the area. Oh, there are a couple of stores around, like Michaels, that stock a few plastic models but those tend to be mostly Star Wars or models of very “generic” designs. Plastic model building is another way that the boys and myself connect as it allows me to share my love of military history with them. Fortunately, we have many models left to build!