Modelcrafts and Hobbies endeavours to stock (or at least quickly obtain) all the items, kits, materials and tools that hobbyists need.
Modelcrafts and Hobbies is a family business, run by a couple, Peter and Anna. They have received help from their older sons, Ben and Ron, and their youngest son, Douglas, born in 2008, is happy to assist in product testing. They have also been helped by very knowlegable non-relatives in the staffing of the shop.
Modelcrafts and Hobbies is a Wellington institution, having been continuously trading since 1956, over 60 years so far!
The gentleman who started the business sold it to Peter Howman's father after several years, who in turn sold it to his son.
In that time, the business had many manifestations - at one time having three branches and a warehouse. There was a branch in Lower Hutt which shut a few years ago.
Customers of a similar vintage to the current owners may remember the shop in the Racing building with the undulating verandah (opposite the City Council) back when that portion of Victoria Street was called Farrish Street.
In 1995 the shop was moved to the corner of Victoria and Dixon Streets.
In October 2014, the shop was moved across the road to the base of the Eagle Technology building, two doors up from McDonalds.
In March 2017, the shop was moved to the lower level (basement) of the building formerly known as the BNZ centre, (now called the State Insurance Building), 1 Willis Street. It is most easily accessible from the southern escalators from Willis Street. There is also access from the northern escalators on Willis Street, the two sets of stairs from Victoria Street.
Meet the team
Peter's background with models dates from childhood. He has been passionately involved in miniature railways, RC (remote controlled) boats, trucks and cars and constructing vehicle kits - trucks, cars and boats.
His tertiary training covered electronics and he has a degree in computing.
Peter and his wife Anna took over Modelcrafts and Hobbies on the 1st April 2014.
Peter's extensive knowledge in different hobbies enables him to advise people if needed. He is even able to advise people on their remote control vehicles, and is able to repair them.
Anna's focus in childhood was on dollshouses, and she also enjoyed visiting a neighbour with impressive railway layouts.
Anna's tertiary training was in Architecture and Development Studies.
Anna, through no fault of her own, is a serial renovator.
While occasionally serving at the counter, Anna mostly does the 'back-of-house' stuff, such as answering emails, attending to orders and paying suppliers.
Jared has been working on Saturdays in the shop since mid 2014. He also puts in extra hours in the run up to Christmas, and over the summer. And he was invaluable through the last two shifts.
Jared is a gifted modeler, having worked on constructing models and painting them since a young age, which enables him to advise people on making their kits and painting them. Jared has been teaching young people how to make and paint models, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for the hobby. Jared is also an avid photographer. Jared is also a Remote Control vehicle enthusiast, and he did well in the Cuba Duba festival Teapot Racing held in our store.
Claude joined our Saturday team a few months ago. Claude already has a full time job during the week, yet brings plenty of enthusiasm with his love of hobbies to Saturdays.
Claude is also an excellent modeler. The Millennium Falcon on display in the cabinet by the entrance was constructed by Claude. Claude make videos on You Tube and his channel features his model builds, illustrating helpful tips on model making and painting.