So after visiting Rex ( more info on that in forthcoming blog posts, Podcast and Youtube content !!), on the way out of the country I visited the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. Not only is the building amazing and full of fantastic (if heavily orientated toward the clothes-horse type of ladies & gentleman) shops, but its home to Hobbyco ( a great model and hobby store) that I DID know about, but I found this gem of a store that I DIDNT know existed. Here's a link to the online store, and for those of you in NSW that may want to visit, be aware they are moving premises soon apparently and will update their address accordingly on the site;
And what a store! Beautifully sculpted, painted and classily presented toy soldiers and display scenic pieces, with many of them displayed in dioramas. I was aware of companies such as King and Country and Thomas Gunn that make these, but I was unaware of many of the other brands on display. The scale seems to be pretty consistent at 1:30 scale, described by some toy soldier sites and collectors as ' within the 1:32 scale family', which places them around 54mm and again within the family of size of your old Britains toy soldiers and Matchbox/Airfix 1:32 plastics...oh, and what a joy to see!!!
Each is a work of art within itself, basically a small statuette or vignette if a group. the painting of them is excellent, and the price they command is hefty yet strangely tempting...almost like that old Schweppes advertisement; "reassuringly expensive"! Some of the scenic items are scalable such as palm trees etc i noted, as its very hard to find a great palm tree for 28mm.
I will go on to do a photo dump below- enjoy!
It did make me wonder though- why will people pay a fortune for these toy soldiers, yet baulk at and attempt to drive down the price of even the most beautifully painted army of miniatures painted to the highest standard...if they were displayed and sold like this in a high end store...would they sell as pieces of art rather than treated with relative contempt by potential purchasers? I have plenty of thoughts on the matter- maybe its a future podcast-or- Youtube vid- worthy subject. Your opinions readers?
And here is the front of the store in its current location in the QVB ( Queen Victoria Building) near the 'Town Hall' train station in central Sydney. I believe it was on level 2 of the building.
Of other significant note to those wargamers and budding historians visiting is the fact that , being the building it is, there is a prominent memorial display in honor of the Australians who had been awarded the Victoria Cross at the time of the memorials unveiling;
hope you enjoyed the brief foray into a parallel -ish (!) hobby. I certainly enjoyed seeing them in the 'flesh' for the first time, despite my disappointment at not seeing any models painted with one good eye and one googly eye, or a canteen that was forgotten to be painted ;)
OK, amazing, went and had a look at the web site great also, although eye watering prices. Did you just stumble by this?
Yep. I just completely stumbled on it. A Happy accident!
Yes, the prices are almost as amazing as the figures themselves which generated the question in my head about why a prepainted 54mm from these manufacturers go for so much more than a prepainted 54mm would by a wargamer...why? hmmmm.
I recommend a visit sometime if you're around but note that he did say they were relocating to a new premises in the streets nearby in the future. Although since hes on level 2 at present street level may make it easier for access.