I was in WH Smiths in Kingston today to pick up a printer cartridge when I saw an interesting poster on the outside of the shop. Having not bought the cartridge there (as they wanted £24.95, compared with Tesco and Sainsbury's £9.99) I looked in the basement and discovered a mini Modelzone.
It looks just like the original (they're probably the original cabinets) and carries a small range of Airfix and Revell (mostly) kits, die-cast cars, some Hornby trains, railway scenics and one of the familiar circular racks of Ospreys. There were two staff in distinctive ModelZone uniforms but you paid at the normal checkout.
The best news for the Legatus is that they have the full range of Humbrol enamels there. Hooray! Now I wonder whether they have done the same in the big WH Smiths in Holborn? Even better they had some leaflets at the cash desk with a 20% off voucher. I didn't buy anything, despite being tempted by a Revell Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper (should have bought it - just the thing to do at Christmas!). If the Old Bat hadn't been around I might have succumbed but she's trying to get me to spend £62,000 on an extension just so Guy can have a bigger room! Forget it! Actually, I did buy a copy of the Osprey interwar rules A World Aflame as they do have (small) army lists for Chinese Warlord armies and maybe the casualty rate won't be as high as the Chris Peers rules!.
It's doubtful if the independent Modelzone shops will be revived but Hornby, for one, are delighted to increase their footfall on the high street with the deal.
I hope it does well!