For a dozen years have I been working in the offshore oil industry
and travelled to different countries - being an aircraft modeller at heart
I try to visit museums and model shops when it can be incorporated into
my journeys. Unfortunately, ordinary guide books are not written for modellers
and I began after a while to make my own notes after visiting cities that
I was likely to return to.
The IM editors agreed that it could be an idea to make this information
available to others and I hope that readers will get in touch with me
when you see that I have missed something. First city in this guide by
modellers ñ for modellers is Paris.
Paris has a good selection of model shops and a wonderful aircraft
museum at Le Bourget. When moving around in Paris I use the Metro and
RER local trains, usually buying a 'Paris Visite' card that is valid for
one or more days on all public transport in the city. You find more information
on the card and maps on www.ratp.fr.
For an 'etranger' it is almost impossible to find his/her way around
in central Paris in a car, there is a reason why most model shops give
the nearest Metro station as part of its address, you are unlikely to
find somewhere in central Paris more than a 5min walk from the nearest
Most Metro stations has a 'Relay' newsstand where you can pick up French
modelling magazines like 'Replic' and 'Wing/SteelMasters', besides a number
of great model builds they have advertisements from shops which detail
opening hours and the nearest Metro. Since no museums or shops that cater
to our interests open until 10 in the morning and some shops have limited
opening hours, you might want to sit down and have a baguette while coming
up with a plan for how to get to the places you want to visit.
A French modelling site has
updated info on shops kits etc.
If you arrive at the Paris-CDG airport you take the RER-B train either
straight into the city centre or alight at Le Bourget and visit Musee
de l`Air et de l`Espace and its 'Pilots-station' shop located in the same
To get from the train station to the museum you need to catch bus 152,
it runs from a street a couple of hundred meters from the station, but
stops just outside the museum. It is not necessary to buy a ticket to
enter the museum itself to visit the shop, but if you have any interest
in old aircraft or modern French, you should definitely spend some time
The shop itself has a good selection of built-up models, kits, books
and magazines, some second-hand items and bargains. Prices as in other
Paris shops, friendly staff which speaks good English. See www.mae.org
for more information.
is a new shop which opened just a couple of months ago, it is the largest
of the shops I have been to in Paris and stocks both aircraft, ship, figures
and armour models. They had all the latest mainstream releases and some
resins, but little in the way of old kits. Some great builds on display
there and friendly staff which speaks English. It is within 5 min walking
distance of Gare de Lyon station and a couple of Metro lines. They are
on the web as www.euro-maquette.com
EOL is in the main tourist area, the Latin Quarter at boulevard Saint
Germain. There are three shops with the same name, one with RC models,
one with die-casts and one with kits all in the same street. There are
a couple of years since my last visit, a decent sized shop filled with
all kinds of kits, including some special releases with different decals
and detail parts. The model shop used to be in #55, but appears to have
moved to #70 and a second shop is located at 3, rue du Louvre. It is easy
to get to EOL if you are travelling with others as they are close to Notre
Dame and the other tourist traps. You can find more information on www.eolhobby.com
not suited for modem-users
Flight 66 is another good model shop, it is some distance away from
the main tourist trail. To get there take Metro ligne 8 to Faidherbe-Chaligny,
find Rue de Montreuil when you leave the station and walk 200m to find
it on your right hand or find your way from Nation station on RER A. Mainly
aircraft models and books, some old kits and special offers can be found.
Open 10-19 Monday to Saturday. Family run shop, English spoken. Email
n Doc is the traditional kind of model and book shop, stuffed from floor
to ceiling with books and kits, some of them old and rare, good selection
of second-hand and special offers. It is worth a visit even if located
some distance away from the city centre. To get there, take Metro ligne
13b to Mairie de Clichy and use exit marked rue Martre.Follow the road
for about 500m and find number 144 on your right hand. You walk past the
communist party headquarter and a couple of restaurants on the way. It
has limited hours, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 12.00-19.00 and Saturday
First time I visited the shop I was travelling with my son, after the
man behind the desk heard we were Norwegians, he knew my name I
didn't think about asking how he could before my son wondered how the
man knew me as we had just arrived in Paris! It must have been because
my travel plans were mentioned on the www-models.org
list. Basic English is spoken, you need some time to browse the contents
of that show.
One shop I haven`t been to myself is TMA, they have as far as I know
limited opening hours (Friday and Saturday) and I have usually been in
Paris on Thursdays.
Paris model shops are worth a visit if you are in the city, French
kits might be a bit cheaper than what you find in your own country, but
prices are in general quite high.
You can also come across some resin kits that are not generally available.
Staff is friendly and is willing to speak English more easily than what
you often encounter in France, there are often a number of great builds
on display in the shops.
French modelling magazines are easily available from newsstands and
show some great builds and documentation that you may not find in English/US