Scale Model Supplies

★★★☆☆
The Biggest and Best Hobby Store in the Twin Cities
  • 458 Lexington Pkwy N

    Saint Paul, MN 55104

    Map & Directions
  • 651-646-7781

About Scale Model Supplies

Categories
  • Hobby Shops
  • Crafts & Hobbies Stores
Hours
M-Th 10am-6pm, F 10am-8pm, Sa 10am-6pm, Su 11am-5pm
Special Offer
Call Today
Emails
  • dwgsms@yahoo.com
Year Established
  • 1986
Specialties
  • New Buildings
Payment Options
  • Discover
  • Cash
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Brands
  • Lionel
Services
  • Buy & Trade
Languages
  • ENGLISH
Products

Hobbies

    Coins & Stamps Dealers & Supplies

      3.4 5
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      .

      I wonder what kind of sterile, Wonder Bread world Chad comes from if he thinks that University and Lexington is a "very criminal urban area". I've been going to SMS for many years, and I've never felt uncomfortable or worried about my personal safety. I've never been approached by a panhandler or other unsavory people, nor have I even seen any suspicious or criminal behavior.

      Is the area (and the store for that matter) a little run down and seedy? Sure - but criminal?? Give me a break! God help Chad if he ever does find himself in a bad neighborhood.

      SMS has the best selection of model railroad items in the Twin Cities, bar none. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, and helpful, but at the same time, unobtrusive. If you just want to go in and browse a great selection of hobby supplies this is the place to go. They won't hassle you, but if you have a question, they can answer it.

      Don't let Chad scare you off. If you're looking for a great hobby shop, this is it!

      5
      ★★★★★

      I wonder what kind of sterile, Wonder Bread world Chad comes from if he thinks that University and Lexington is a "very criminal urban area". I've been going to SMS for many years, and I've never felt uncomfortable or worried about my personal safety. I've never been approached by a panhandler or other unsavory people, nor have I even seen any suspicious or criminal behavior.

      Is the area (and the store for that matter) a little run down and seedy? Sure - but criminal?? Give me a break! God help Chad if he ever does find himself in a bad neighborhood.

      SMS has the best selection of model railroad items in the Twin Cities, bar none. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, and helpful, but at the same time, unobtrusive. If you just want to go in and browse a great selection of hobby supplies this is the place to go. They won't hassle you, but if you have a question, they can answer it.

      Don't let Chad scare you off. If you're looking for a great hobby shop, this is it!

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      .

      I started going to SMS when I had just gotten out of rehab, and had hardly any $$ to spend on anything except food and shelter. And I belong to a sexual minority. Hardly what you would call a target customer for a hobby shop, hey?

      I got the "cold" treatment sometimes, too, I thought it was me, guess not, LOL!

      Anyway, whenever I asked to see something (say, a loco with sound demonstrated), they were more that happy to accommodate me. I wasn't buying at the time, and told them so, but still, they were more than happy to show me whatever I requested.

      I used to spend all my meager $$ buying old issues of magazines (in the far back room) at $.50 a copy, 10 to 20 copies at a time. No one ever acted like I wasn't welcome there.

      Yes, some of the employees could use some customer relations training, but then again, I was able, always, to wander around the store looking at this and that, and never have some eager beaver constantly asking me, "Can I help you?" If I wanted help, or had questions, they were there, but otherwise I was free to browse to my heart's content.

      I think I surprised them when I started going in there and dropping $500-$1000 at a time instead of the $5-$10 they were used to seeing from me, but you know what? They treated me the same, LOL!

      They are kind of nerds, but, heck, so am I! ALL model railroaders have a bit of the nerd in them!

      Bottom line, IMHO, it is the BEST model railroad hobby shop that I have ever been in, and I have been in them all over the US.

      4
      ★★★★☆

      I started going to SMS when I had just gotten out of rehab, and had hardly any $$ to spend on anything except food and shelter. And I belong to a sexual minority. Hardly what you would call a target customer for a hobby shop, hey?

      I got the "cold" treatment sometimes, too, I thought it was me, guess not, LOL!

      Anyway, whenever I asked to see something (say, a loco with sound demonstrated), they were more that happy to accommodate me. I wasn't buying at the time, and told them so, but still, they were more than happy to show me whatever I requested.

      I used to spend all my meager $$ buying old issues of magazines (in the far back room) at $.50 a copy, 10 to 20 copies at a time. No one ever acted like I wasn't welcome there.

      Yes, some of the employees could use some customer relations training, but then again, I was able, always, to wander around the store looking at this and that, and never have some eager beaver constantly asking me, "Can I help you?" If I wanted help, or had questions, they were there, but otherwise I was free to browse to my heart's content.

      I think I surprised them when I started going in there and dropping $500-$1000 at a time instead of the $5-$10 they were used to seeing from me, but you know what? They treated me the same, LOL!

      They are kind of nerds, but, heck, so am I! ALL model railroaders have a bit of the nerd in them!

      Bottom line, IMHO, it is the BEST model railroad hobby shop that I have ever been in, and I have been in them all over the US.

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      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      I cant disagree with the last two comments more about Scale Model Supplies (SMS)... While Chad is right, its not in the best area of town, University and Lexington is not my Favorite place to be when it gets Dark, But I have yet to ever see "Panhandlers in the parking lot". And by appearance the Store is not what your going to find at Mall of America.. I believe I was told at one time that it is what used to be an old Bowling Alley...
      This is one place where if its made for hobby's, more then likely your going to find it there, or they can order it for you.

      I have shopped SMS for I think more then 20 years or so... Since the days when the store was located a few blocks north of where they are now and was located in a Residential House, the isles were tight and small and it was hard to walk around in. I have yet to be in a store with as much inventory as they have and with my travels I have stopped in a lot of hobby shops around the country.

      These are some Guys here who are serious about their hobbies and they know what they are talking about. Granted sometimes, they might not appear to be the most knowledgeable, And you might have to get past their somewhat Nerdy appearance (Sorry SMS Guys if you read this, But Railroad Modelers have a Unique and Geeky Look) But just ask them a question and I bet you get the answer you need. I have been in many stores, you ask a question and you get a blank stare and a finger point to some area or you find Baby Dolls mixed in with HO scale Diesel Locomotives, Bags of Marbles with Plastic Pontiac Firebird model kits or the employee's just don't know or let alone care.

      Remember, everybody from time to time has a bad day and for what ever reason, perhaps you were there on one of those days... This is not something that is limited to this store either... Go anywhere now days and people hate the places they work and are only there to put in there assigned hours to get paid. Too many don't know what Customer Service is or even care. And at the same time, lets not forget about those Customers who walk into a place and ask a question with only a tenth the information they need, and expect the person behind the counter to read their minds as to what they want or those with the attitude that they know all there is to know and leave me the F alone I can find it my self attitude...

      Prices on some things can be a bit higher then most, but in a lot of cases I have found prices to be right along with other stores and online stores. I have been in to get something, they were out, they ordered it and I got a call not to long afterwords that it was in and I could pick it up and I didn't have to pay shipping fees, handling charges or some other fee that it seems more and more online retailers are imposing.

      I'm assuming here that the complaint about Higher then expected prices on something that had been in the store for years are more then likely related to something that is out or production at this point and has fallen into the "Collector/Collectable" area and if your looking for something that is no longer in production then you know very well that if someone has it, and you want it, your going to pay what they want or you can haggle to see if you can get a more agreeable amount. I know they have a lot of out of production model kits there.. I have bought some of those kits in the past and the prices are higher. but again, if I cant find it elsewhere, then I have to decide if I really want to pay what he wants or not.

      Bottom line, Lets not forget the owner of SMS is in business to make a living providing a service to the public, he has to deal with everything you don't.. commercial expenses of rent and utilities, employee payroll and taxes, Insurance to protect himself and his store, He has to pay for all that inventory long before anyone walks into the store and buys something off the shelf, he has to deal with the ever increasing price of a barrel of Oil and how it relates to the cost of someone producing a model kit or anything made from plastic. I'm sure he's prolly not banking as much as Bill Gates, But I'm also assuming he's not starving either. But would you want to give something away for nothing if you were in his shoes? You expect to get paid by the company you work for for the work you do for them right? So why shouldn't he make his living?.

      It's not in a Good Area, Go during the daylight hours or the weekend, Don't be fast to Judge the Book just on the Cover, These guys are more Knowledgeable about Hobbies then Most in this Town are. Prices are moderate, Somethings Higher, Somethings Lower, But you cant Beat the Inventory (I'd say its the Cub Foods of the Hobby Industry).

      Its a Good Store, Perhaps even Greet who ever is behind the counter with a Bright Smile and a Warm Hello. Go in and find what you want, Go in and ask a Question, I bet you get the Right Answer. But at least give SMS a Try. its Well worth it.

      5
      ★★★★★

      I cant disagree with the last two comments more about Scale Model Supplies (SMS)... While Chad is right, its not in the best area of town, University and Lexington is not my Favorite place to be when it gets Dark, But I have yet to ever see "Panhandlers in the parking lot". And by appearance the Store is not what your going to find at Mall of America.. I believe I was told at one time that it is what used to be an old Bowling Alley...
      This is one place where if its made for hobby's, more then likely your going to find it there, or they can order it for you.

      I have shopped SMS for I think more then 20 years or so... Since the days when the store was located a few blocks north of where they are now and was located in a Residential House, the isles were tight and small and it was hard to walk around in. I have yet to be in a store with as much inventory as they have and with my travels I have stopped in a lot of hobby shops around the country.

      These are some Guys here who are serious about their hobbies and they know what they are talking about. Granted sometimes, they might not appear to be the most knowledgeable, And you might have to get past their somewhat Nerdy appearance (Sorry SMS Guys if you read this, But Railroad Modelers have a Unique and Geeky Look) But just ask them a question and I bet you get the answer you need. I have been in many stores, you ask a question and you get a blank stare and a finger point to some area or you find Baby Dolls mixed in with HO scale Diesel Locomotives, Bags of Marbles with Plastic Pontiac Firebird model kits or the employee's just don't know or let alone care.

      Remember, everybody from time to time has a bad day and for what ever reason, perhaps you were there on one of those days... This is not something that is limited to this store either... Go anywhere now days and people hate the places they work and are only there to put in there assigned hours to get paid. Too many don't know what Customer Service is or even care. And at the same time, lets not forget about those Customers who walk into a place and ask a question with only a tenth the information they need, and expect the person behind the counter to read their minds as to what they want or those with the attitude that they know all there is to know and leave me the F alone I can find it my self attitude...

      Prices on some things can be a bit higher then most, but in a lot of cases I have found prices to be right along with other stores and online stores. I have been in to get something, they were out, they ordered it and I got a call not to long afterwords that it was in and I could pick it up and I didn't have to pay shipping fees, handling charges or some other fee that it seems more and more online retailers are imposing.

      I'm assuming here that the complaint about Higher then expected prices on something that had been in the store for years are more then likely related to something that is out or production at this point and has fallen into the "Collector/Collectable" area and if your looking for something that is no longer in production then you know very well that if someone has it, and you want it, your going to pay what they want or you can haggle to see if you can get a more agreeable amount. I know they have a lot of out of production model kits there.. I have bought some of those kits in the past and the prices are higher. but again, if I cant find it elsewhere, then I have to decide if I really want to pay what he wants or not.

      Bottom line, Lets not forget the owner of SMS is in business to make a living providing a service to the public, he has to deal with everything you don't.. commercial expenses of rent and utilities, employee payroll and taxes, Insurance to protect himself and his store, He has to pay for all that inventory long before anyone walks into the store and buys something off the shelf, he has to deal with the ever increasing price of a barrel of Oil and how it relates to the cost of someone producing a model kit or anything made from plastic. I'm sure he's prolly not banking as much as Bill Gates, But I'm also assuming he's not starving either. But would you want to give something away for nothing if you were in his shoes? You expect to get paid by the company you work for for the work you do for them right? So why shouldn't he make his living?.

      It's not in a Good Area, Go during the daylight hours or the weekend, Don't be fast to Judge the Book just on the Cover, These guys are more Knowledgeable about Hobbies then Most in this Town are. Prices are moderate, Somethings Higher, Somethings Lower, But you cant Beat the Inventory (I'd say its the Cub Foods of the Hobby Industry).

      Its a Good Store, Perhaps even Greet who ever is behind the counter with a Bright Smile and a Warm Hello. Go in and find what you want, Go in and ask a Question, I bet you get the Right Answer. But at least give SMS a Try. its Well worth it.

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      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      I've had much the same experience as the first reviewer. Went to them several times to find items I didn't want to wait for online, and found as I descend the staircase to the store (in the bottom of a ratty old single level building) an amazingly rude, nasty looking, and smelly guy behind the counter stares at you like you're a piece of dog meat.

      Prices are much more expensive than online, and found that the owner is only willing to deal-down pennies on items they've had in stock for far too many years.

      Sad really, I'm sure a friendly face and better prices would make me want to buy there again. I just don't understand how they stay in business - it's a real mystery.

      Conclusion: Don't go there unless you're really desperate and have far too much money in your pockets!

      1
      ★☆☆☆☆

      I've had much the same experience as the first reviewer. Went to them several times to find items I didn't want to wait for online, and found as I descend the staircase to the store (in the bottom of a ratty old single level building) an amazingly rude, nasty looking, and smelly guy behind the counter stares at you like you're a piece of dog meat.

      Prices are much more expensive than online, and found that the owner is only willing to deal-down pennies on items they've had in stock for far too many years.

      Sad really, I'm sure a friendly face and better prices would make me want to buy there again. I just don't understand how they stay in business - it's a real mystery.

      Conclusion: Don't go there unless you're really desperate and have far too much money in your pockets!

      Was this review helpful to you?
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      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      .

      I walked in, got glared at (I don't know if it was because they thought I was stupid to be in a suit and tie in that extremely criminal urban area, or they just don't like the guys who work in suits?). I was in a suit because I came from work, as I didn't want to be in that area of St Paul anytime after dark. The selection was really nice and they have many items. The prices are a little higher than most hobby stores in the Twin Cities, but they probably have to charge more because of the security system they need at this store. There is a gentlemen with horned rimmed glasses, that is very friendly, and helpful (if he's in). Unfortunately, none of the rest of the staff is helpful or friendly. They appear pained that you are even there. My first visit I asked no questions, and spent over $100 and didn't even get a smile. The cashier muttered or growled something, and I think it was a thank you, but it could have been an F-you for all I know. I shared this experience with some of my co-workers at IDS Center, and another co-worker said he had much the same experience at around the same time (4-8 pm) last spring with his 12 year old son. He was also hit up by numerous panhandlers in the parking lot which is adjacent to a Dairy Queen in this blighted area of St Paul. I only go to this store if I can't find it online. When I say rude employees, I mean rude.

      2
      ★★☆☆☆

      I walked in, got glared at (I don't know if it was because they thought I was stupid to be in a suit and tie in that extremely criminal urban area, or they just don't like the guys who work in suits?). I was in a suit because I came from work, as I didn't want to be in that area of St Paul anytime after dark. The selection was really nice and they have many items. The prices are a little higher than most hobby stores in the Twin Cities, but they probably have to charge more because of the security system they need at this store. There is a gentlemen with horned rimmed glasses, that is very friendly, and helpful (if he's in). Unfortunately, none of the rest of the staff is helpful or friendly. They appear pained that you are even there. My first visit I asked no questions, and spent over $100 and didn't even get a smile. The cashier muttered or growled something, and I think it was a thank you, but it could have been an F-you for all I know. I shared this experience with some of my co-workers at IDS Center, and another co-worker said he had much the same experience at around the same time (4-8 pm) last spring with his 12 year old son. He was also hit up by numerous panhandlers in the parking lot which is adjacent to a Dairy Queen in this blighted area of St Paul. I only go to this store if I can't find it online. When I say rude employees, I mean rude.

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      Message from Scale Model Supplies

      Welcome to Scale Model Supplies one of the biggest and best hobby stores in the Twin Cities! We carry everything from model trains, planes, cars, ships and rockets, to dollhouses, memorabilia and more. The aisles are packed with all the hobby-related merchandise you're looking for!We carry all the top brands of: model kits, slot cars, plastic models, die-cast items, rocket, car, ship, aircraft and armor model kits, stamps and coin collecting supplies and so much more. Plus, we know our inventory very well, so if one of the categories on the left isn't what you're looking for, call us -- we just might have what you're looking for in the store!. Automobiles & TrainsBrassDie CastDie Cast CarsPlastic ModelsRocketsStampsVideos

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