Hobby Shops in Paris
By Valentin E. Bueno
There are several good hobby shops in Paris. All are within easy reach of the Metro or RER subway system. The best is within spitting distance of the famed Notre Dame. They can all be visited within a four-hour period, minimizing the amount of whining and moaning from travelling companions. I put with museums galore and crowded department stores in exchange for one day of hobby shop hunting. Compromise, patience and above all, a straight face while waiting patiently in 40° F weather outside a perfume/shoe/dress shop for half an hour. Do not, however, expect the same while they wait as you shop in your warm hobby shop.
This hobby shop is on the eastside of the city. The #8 metro has several stops within walking distance off all the hobby shops save Kit-n-Doc. Get off the #8 at Daumesil, and follow the map to the shop. They have a very large selection of kits despite their small size. The French woman behind the counter speaks a little English. If you know what you want, write it out and she will understand. 22 bd de Reuilly, 75012, Paris. Tel: 01-43-43-33-51.
Armor modelers' heaven. Bring a towel, you will be drooling from both corners of your mouth. They have a very large selection of everything under the sun for armor modelers. They also carry a large assortment of aircraft stuff as well. No car stuff that I can remember, but then I was in shock at having died and gone to Nirvana. They accept credit cards (Visa /MC+) and are open sans interruption Monday through Saturday. 113 rue Turenne, 75003 Paris. Tel: 01-44-59-33-44. Many thanks to Hisashi-san for snapping the above picture during a recent trip to Paris.
Armie and Collections (a&c Librairie)
This place is THE place for the bibliophile in all of us. Back issues of all your favorite H&C magazines (I even got a Steel Masters #1 here). Books from Germany, Italy, the US, Great Britain, and of course French books. This is a place that must be visited twice, unless you have a strong back to help carry it all to the hotel. All major Credit Cards accepted, open Mondays through Saturday sans interruption (remember, this is France, they take their meals seriously). You need to take your time, they pile everything on top of everything else. 19 avenue de la Republique, 75541, Paris, Cedex 11. Tel 01-49-23-72-22
Kit n' Doc
This hobby shop is outside of Paris proper. It is in a suburb called Clichy. Transfer from the #8 to the #13 at Invalides. In here is another shop filled floor to ceiling with kits, mostly aircraft, some armor. The kits are to the right of the door. To the left are books galore. If you didn't find the book you're looking for at a&c, it will be here. Warpaint, Aerodetail, Squadron, etc. I was surprised at the amount of after market material they have. Tons of Cutting Edge stuff, Hi-Tech, even Contrail struts! Be warned, they are open only on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Plan your hobby shop hunting day carefully. I did mine on a Wednesday. 144 rue Marte, 92110, Clichy la Garenne. Tel: 01-47-31-43-73
This hobby shop is just two blocks south of the Notre Dame. Walk down the main street leading across the river south towards Saint Germain Blvd., turn left on Saint Germain Blvd. and it should be within sight on the north side of the boulevard. This had to be my favorite hobby shop in Paris. It had Aircraft in a separate basement, armor, and armor accessories, paint, figures, anime, and cars, built up models on display. Basically, everything except books. All it had were Squadron/Signal and Schiffer softcover books. All major credit cards accepted. 62 bd St Germain, 75005, Paris. Tel: 01-43-54-01-43
When hunting for hobby shops in Paris, wear comfortable walking shoes. There will be plenty of walking. Also in abundance is dog s--t. I stepped into a HUGE pile when I took the photo of Kit-n-Doc. Some dogs even do it standing on their heads, I ain't kidding! Part three will have to wait until I go to Osaka and Kyoto January 2002 with three beautiful women. I wonder if they'll let me go hobby shop hunting. Hmmmmmmm…