Lots of people get a bit snobby when it comes to chain model shops. Not me.
In my opinion, any model shop is better than none. If your town, or even worse city, doesn't have anywhere you can buy a tinlet of Humbrol paint then it is a poorer place for this omission. Personally, I feel that any Council that finds itself in this situation should do something about it as the highest priority. Never mind schools, fire services or street lighting. Plastic kit purveyors, that's what drives inner city regeneration not poncy benches in the high street. After all, they are always worried about doing things for "da kidz", what about middle aged blokes ? Da kidz are even allowed in as long as they behave - the reverse isn't true of "youth clubs" is it ?
Remember politicians - people who wield scalpels can vote so pay attention to us !
Rant over, back to ModelZone in Chester.
I visited here as part of a New Years Eve trip - you can read about this here (anorak note: includes traces of train) - where I found out about The Rows, Chesters unique shopping streets. ModelZone are found on an upper row as you come out of one exit from the posher shopping arcade.
Downstairs there is all the usual diecast stuff, radio control models and sci fi thingies plus some materials and special offers. Up the narrow stairs you get the plastic kit emporium, more diecasts (the ones suitable for railway layouts), lotso of military stuff, some model boats and the railway range. A good range of RTR locos are well displayed in packed cabinets. I'll admit to being tempted by some Bachmann WWII rail tanks and even one or two of the other goodies on show. Not just locos either but a good supply of materials including Woodland Scenics, Peco stuff, Wills and Superquick buildings.
The sale advertised seemed mainly to involve Revell plastic kits. If it would have fitted in my bag and I didn't already have far too many projects already, a half price German lifeboat looked very nice and just about big enough to fit some radio control in. (repeats, "I have too many projects already...").
If you are grown up enough to make it up the stairs, I'd certainly recommend this store. Unlike a lot of chain shops, the shelves seem to be bursting with stock. Perhaps a little too full in an way that is very appealing. Bursting at the seams, like your trousers after a pleasently large pub lunch perhaps.
And there is a good coffee shop on the other side of the road for the rest of the family to wait for you in comfort. Which is handy 'cos you wouldn't want to rush.