Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas Away-Day, Birmingham

Last week Dave Bodley (Grand Manner) and I had made plans to visit Richard and Mark at The Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company, Birmingham or HLBS. Due to circumstances beyond our control (Richard had Man-Flu) the visit was cancelled at the last minute.  However not to be put off we rescheduled the trip for Friday 2nd December.  I picked up jam doughnuts and Dave had a selection of soft cream buns for our long and arduous day out.

After finding a parking spot in The Jewellery Quarter we marched across to Parabellum where strong hot tea was waiting.  Anyone who has yet to experience the pleasure of a visit to this modelling emporium will realise just how popular it is when I tell you that for the next two hours Mark was kept busy making cups of tea for literally dozens of visitors and customers and we spent a great time dissecting the current situation of the Modelling and Wargaming industries.

Just before we were about to leave Jim (a regular visitor and character) arrived to say that he had been delayed by the Christmas Market and a stabbing at the local pub just under the Birmingham Central Library. "Weather something or other".  "Weatherspoons,?" Was the chorus of replies.  No said Jim with a knife!  (A joke that will only have any meaning to someone familiar with local Pub Chains in the UK and should also illustrate the level of humour that two hours in a cramped model shop can deteriorate too).

On a serious note Richard showed me some fantastic 28mm ACW Coastal Battery guns that he is working on, true masterpieces of the model makers art, tiny details on superb resin guns and carriages. Later I was shown the new 28mm Nautilus. A breathtaking water-line model of the famous Submersible. And seeing it in the 'Flesh' took my breath away, a fantastic model and a snatch at just £75.00. For full details go to;

Discussions moved on to 'what is currently on the workbench' and I was shown two spectacular masters that Richard is working on and should be available very soon. The first is one of the biggest and most beautiful modern 'water line' boats I have ever see, sorry sworn to secrecy at this moment, but as soon as I have the green-light I will post more details and prices.

The second model is a tank and I predict it will be the best selling model in the range, once again sworn to secrecy, but when this model is released the whole hobby will be clambering for one.  Honestly, it is that good and of a prototype that everyone will recognise.  I mean everyone, Hint, Hint.

(Sorry its all secret, but I have been asked not to betray a confidence, I can still hint at it! Can't I Rich?)

After a couple more cakes - a real Sugar-Rush, Dave and I visited Wayland Forge, then walked down to Ian Allen Books for a browse at the shelves.  Prior to making our way back to Droitwich and Bromsgrove we had an hour in the German Market.  A day out, that I had told my Wife would finish by 4,00pm, actually lasted until 6.30pm and when Sue asked what I had been doing?  I replied by saying. "Standing around in a cramped Model Shop, drinking tea and moaning about the state of the economy and how wargamers can be such a strange breed!"  "So you didn't enjoy it?" Asked Sue.  "Oh no, I loved it - and I can't wait to do it again." I said.



Ubique Matt said...

Sounds like a good day out. Parabellum is a proper 'old fashioned' model shop. Have you ever tried Mr Models in Smethwick, that's similar?


Paul O'G said...

Sounds like a blast - love that Nautilus!

Tony said...

Hi Matt,

Mr. Models was on our Too-do list, but both Dave and I had already and bought from them at the IPMS Show, Telford where they had a HUGE trade stand.

Modellers who live within easy travelling distance of Central Birmingham are very lucky as the number and quality of model retailers is so good.


MadWelshWizard said...

I have been here in Birmingham for 15 years and have not heard of Parabellum ? I shall pop over the week after next :)

Am doing a big bathroom refit this week - 1:1 scale modelling really ;)


Colonel Tavington said...

Richard with man-flu! The poor man! I have an incling what the big water line boat is if he has stuck with what he told me at Partizan, as for the tank I don't have a scoobey-doo! As for the post Tony enjoyed reading it!

All the best,

Col.T (aka Paul)

Anonymous said...

Did you actually spend anything or did you just waste the poor mans time and drink his tea?

Tony said...

Yes we did buy. I came away with a whole bunch of items and Dave spent much more as he needed to restock a number of lines.

Tony :)