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Let's hear it ILLINOIS modelers

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In three weeks from tomorrow on Sunday Feb. 23rd is the swap meet at the Du Page Fairgrounds in Wheaton, Illinois. Weather permitting, I hope to be there buyin' kits and stuff I don't need, but it's always a good time seein' the guys I've known from over the years.

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A really nice show this Sunday (March 9th) in Cedarville, Illinois. I was there for the first time last year and was really impressed by the model car contest and number of vendors in the swap area. I've heard that this show grows every year. I hope to see some of you there this Sunday as I'm plannin' on being there.

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It was a good show today at Cedarville, with lots of vendors and a contest with 'bout 170 entries, and I left early. It was good seein' all the guys I have met over the years. Seeing how I'm in the process of "down sizing" my unbuilt kit "stash," I didn't buy any model kits today, but I did buy a nice decal sheet from Rick Lucas. The weather was great for driving today as well, and not anything like the mess we had to drive through last year. Thank God, I did.

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Back in the early 80's the Countryside Show used to be at the Hillside Holiday Inn and was run by the President of The Old Town Escorts Model Car Club Tom Lima Jr. and it was always a great show. LOTS of vendors and even a model car contest as well.

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Yeah remember going to the Holiday Inn in Hillside!!

It's nowhere near the size it was back then, but hey everything changes. I gues it's better than not having one at all.

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Just checking in. I'm in Peoria. I used to live in Chicago and I've attended several of the shows at the Hillside Holiday Inn with my good friend Mark Mattei. In my teens, I used to buy all of my model kits from Benty's Hobbys which was next to the Belmont Ave. "L" stop. After they closed, I ended up being a regular customer and a part time employee at Stanton Hobby on Milwaukee Ave. Gosh, those days are long gone. I sure do miss the old hobby shops.

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Anybody remember Dispensa's castle of toys ? That was a cool place. I remember buying the Aurora 1/16 Pinto funny car kit there.

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@ Ray (cobraman).... that sounds vaguely familiar. Was it somewhere on the southside? The only place I remember on the southside was Trost. Actually, I've been to their wholesale warehose several times with my friend Mark (late 70's). You'll probably wet your pants but I helped him carry an unopened case of COX IFC Chaparrals which he bought for pennies on the dollar. Anyway, I used to go to Toys R Us too when they used to carry model kits. SIGH :(

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I remember Trost. It was on 63 rd if I remember right. I went there quite often as I worked at 63 rd and Pulaski and would go there at lunch. Don't remember what town Dispensa's was in but I remember it was a long drive from Oak Lawn where I lived at the time. I want to say Oakbrook but I'm not sure.

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I also remember Trost Hobbies in the Bridgeport neighborhood and also Stanton Hobby Shop as my mom lived not to far from there. There was also M & G Bikes & Hobby on Pulaski near Addison and another shop further north on Pulaski at Belle Plaine Ave. And Bill's Hobby Shop on Fullerton & Ridgeway Aves. The "good old days."

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Except for the weather and the politics ( can I say that ? ) it's a pretty nice place.

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And Bill's Hobby Shop on Fullerton & Ridgeway Aves. The "good old days."

My hangout as a kid! Went there almost every Saturday morning with my $2 allowance in hand... just enough to buy a kit. B)

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I was there occasionally in the early & mid-60's, both at the Harding/Fullerton location and the Ridgeway/Fullerton location.

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And of course, no trip to Fullerton was complete without a stop at Phil's (don't remember the exact location, but on Fullerton closer to Pulaski than Bill's, and also on the north side of Fullerton... maybe Fullerton and Springfield or so?)... for a Chicago-style hot dog with the works, and fries. Mmmmmm... :D

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And of course, no trip to Fullerton was complete without a stop at Phil's (don't remember the exact location, but on Fullerton closer to Pulaski than Bill's, and also on the north side of Fullerton... maybe Fullerton and Springfield or so?)... for a Chicago-style hot dog with the works, and fries. Mmmmmm... :D

2 bucks for a kit....ah I remember those days Harry. Back then I was impartial towards model aircraft so I ended buying and building all of the Monogram 1/48 scale series. I had to save a little bit more to get the 1/32 scale Grumman F3F which was I thought the coolest ever airplane kit because the landing gear retracted into the fuselage by turning the prop. As to hot dogs, don't forget the neon green relish and the celery salt. Ultimately, a friend took me to Superdawg and I got to see some real hot rods for the first time in the parking lot. What a time that was....sigh :(

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Boy Micheal, you live a long way from Superdawgs now, and they even built another one in Wheeling. However Superdawg can't hold a candle to Portillo's. I hope to start a 1/48th scale plane soon as it would look great hangin' from my ceiling in the den/hobby room.

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Boy Micheal, you live a long way from Superdawgs now, and they even built another one in Wheeling. However Superdawg can't hold a candle to Portillo's. I hope to start a 1/48th scale plane soon as it would look great hangin' from my ceiling in the den/hobby room.

Yep, they claim to have Chicago style dogs here in Peoria but to be honest it doesn't come close. I used to frequent the Portillo's in Schaumburg when I lived in Rolling Meadows. By then I was driving around in my '86 5.0 GT with the excellent Borg Warner T5 and straight pipes. Waitress told me that I rattled their windows whenever I would pull up or leave. Actually, it was barely perceptible at idle. Full throttle was another matter.... :lol: BTW, those hinges for the folding wings on Monogram's 1/48 scale naval planes are fragile. I kept breaking them on the TBF Avenger :(

PS. There was a nice hobby shop in Wheeling that I used to go to...can't remember the name. There was also Squadron Hobby shop and Al's (Elmhurst?).

Edited by mikevillena

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Michael, the hobby shop n Wheeling was called Venture Hobbies as I've gone there for years. They're gone now as they closed up shop maybe two years ago.

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Michael, the hobby shop n Wheeling was called Venture Hobbies as I've gone there for years. They're gone now as they closed up shop maybe two years ago.

Venture Hobby!! Yes, thank you Nick. It is sad that most of those hobby shops that we once knew are now long gone. Sure, you can buy any kit you want on the internet but I think part of the lasting appeal (and personal memories) is the character and ambiance unique to each hobby shop. Add the personal relationships that you cultivate whenever you talked to the folks working there if you are a regular customer. I distinctly remember the sights and sounds especially Stanton especially when the r/c guys would be breaking in a nitro motor on the bench for a customer's plane. Man, the smell of nitro still lingers in my mind. Long sigh.... :(

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Michael, the hobby shop n Wheeling was called Venture Hobbies as I've gone there for years. They're gone now as they closed up shop maybe two years ago.

Venture Hobbies died a long, slow death. They used to be a bustling place, especially on a Saturday. The original location was farther west on Dundee in Wheeling, later they moved to that little strip mall much farther east on Dundee.

Then the owner sold the place, and things went downhill. Shelves were more than half empty, as the new owners were apparently not reordering stock. Then the owner who had sold the place mysteriously reappeared (not sure if he was now an employee or if he had bought back the shop)... and they renamed the place AdVenture Hobbies. Get it? "Adventure." But it was too late, and eventually they closed up shop.

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Yes Venture Hobbies was a "booming" place when Don Phillips owned it, and I remember the original shop further east ( you have your E & W mixed up) on Dundee as well. I was there many times. Don was a great guy, and would do a lot for his customers. I know that he sponsored many trophies for model car clubs and model car contests back-in-the-day. Don was very successful as he was able to do some world traveling while owning that shop.

You're right as the new owners "trashed" that very good hobby shop. Low inventory, not paying their bills, etc.

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Yes Venture Hobbies was a "booming" place when Don Phillips owned it, and I remember the original shop further east ( you have your E & W mixed up)

You're right. They originally were farther east and moved west. Had my east and west reversed... ^_^

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N.W. Suburbs here also. Been going to Al's hobby shop since I was a kid. Raced RC cars for many years all around the midwest. I remember all of the old school local H.S. we used to have around these parts and miss all of them deeply.

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