Wander around our capital city and you'll be disappointed by the lack of model shops. It seems that shops selling buttons can thrive (there are 2 more), try and flog conventional model making stuff and you'll run out of money very quickly. (4D Models don't count, they are trading to designers and students).
That doesn't mean there is nothing interesting, we just have to be imaginative. A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering the streets and tripped over L.Cornelisson & Son. The shop proclaims them to be artists colourmen. I think that means they sell the ingredients for art paints.
With time to spare, I had a look inside and what a delight. The basic fittings appear to date back to their founding in 1855 and could come of of the BBC cupboard marked "Victorian Shop".
The stock is just as interesting. As expected, there are ingredients for colours, something I don't think I have ever seen before. Jars of powders which I assume are to be mixed up. If that's too much trouble, and I'm not sure why you'd bother, then pre-mixed paint is also on sale. I spent quite a long while considering the range of metal colours and wondering if they would be any better then the ones I already have in stock.
In the window there is a press for printing etchings along with the tools and equipment for making them along with lino cutting. I also spent time looking at gravers since Odds seems to think they are invaluable and on that basis I want one.
As it was, I enjoyed 20 minutes browsing and left with three more brown pencil crayons for my collection. Pathetic really, but I'll be back. This is one of those shops where you want to try some of the techniques just so you can buy the tools and materials in an informed way. The staff are ever so helpful, one was advising someone on calligraphy pens and materials which sounded fascinating, that being informed should be easy.
One thing that has moved with the times, the shop has an extensive website with on-line shop. Visiting in person is much more fun though.