My, How Time Flies at Mark Twain Hobby Center

My, how time flies. Dan McEntee, our longest part timer (32 years) stopped by yesterday and showed me the first Mark Twain Hobby Center newsletter. It was dated November 1980. Since it was only 2 pages I thought that it would fit into this post. What is really interesting are the products and prices from 33 years ago. One great example was the Lindberg Blue Devil Destroyer plastic model kit. Back then we had it on special for $17.99. Now they retail at $129.95 with a street price of about $80.00. Or how about the Kraft 6 channel sport series radio with servos and receiver for $235.00. Those were the days.

One other thing that you don’t see much of any longer is the fact that I typed this newsletter on an electric typewriter. I know, some of you that are quite young are asking what is an electric typewriter. Heck, sometimes we didn’t even use correcting fluid, we just typed right over the mistake.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy going back a few years in time.


PS Don’t expect these prices to be valid today. (That’s a disclaimer)old newsletter

old newsletter-1


Are You Immersed In Your Hobby?

World War 1 Soldiers in France with a Bee Suit

World War 1 Soldiers in France with a Bee Suit

While this picture is not related to any of the hobbies that we carry at Mark Twain Hobby Center, I am using it to ask you “Are You Immersed In Your Hobby”? This fellow certainly is. This is a group of World War 1 soldiers in France obviously taking some needed rest. The “Bee Suit” that the one soldier is wearing is actually a swarm of honey bees. To do this he took the queen from the swarm and placed her on his clothing up around his neck. When the rest of the swarm located her they lit onto his clothing and neck and hung out forming the “Bee Suit”. Obiously, this soldier had the hobby of beekeeping back in the states and was used to being around the bees as he is very comfortable with them. Do you take the time to show people your hobby, or spend time telling others about the neat things that you do? Do you get really excited about the things that you do or build and want to share it with others? I certainly do and think that if you were to put out a survey it would show that those that enjoy their hobby the most are the same ones that share their excitement and joy with others about that hobby. Clubs are a great place to find others that have the same hobby interest and passion as you. How about sharing with others through such outlets as nursing/adult day care centers or at the library or in the schools?

Over the years that we have been in business, we have put different groups in touch with hobbyists that would go out and spend a little time with others sharing their interest and passion. One such event dealt with older men in an assisted living facility that enjoyed building balsa stick models. Dan McEntee spent time with them talking about the models and showing what was available and tips on building these models. The feedback from the facility was phenomenal as each person shared their memories of building models as a kid. Or about the times that were spent with Cub Scouts giving tips on building better Pinewood Derby cars.

Check with your church or local community center to find out the possibility of setting up a beginning model building class or take a youngster out to the field the next time you fly. You will be surprised at the effect that your enthusiasm will have on them.

Take a look at the soldiers that surround this bee hobbyist. Want to bet some of them will go back to states and set up a bee hive.

Spread the word, hobbies are fun


Joe Steimann’s Winston Eagle 1/4 Scale turbine hydroplane


Here is some eye candy for you. Joe Steimann scratch built this beautiful 1/4 scale Winston Eagle turbine powered hydroplane boat. There is not a lot that I can say that is not shown in the pictures. I attached a video to the blog as well showing the boat run. This video was taken by a camera mounted to the fin at the rear of the boat. Pretty cool. The boat is 101 inches long and 43 inches wide and weighs in at 72 pounds. It is powered by a Jetcat SPM5 gas turbine with 28000 RPM at the shaft. The boat is constructed of aircraft ply with fiberglass and graphite overlay, foam with graphite lamination and lots of hard work.

Here is a link to additional pictures:

A video of it running can be seen here. Hope you enjoy this great piece of work. By the way, it is on display at Mark Twain Hobby Center.

Happy running,


Fall Sale

Well, here we go again. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (November 16,17 and 18) only. Mark Twain Hobby Center will be having a 20% OFF whatever you can carry to the register sale. So load your carts into your car and come on in. Just as a reminder this sale does not include gift cards, lay-aways, consignment or used items or special orders of our Ebay store. However, anything else that does not fall into those categories is on sale, even stuff that would normally not be discountable.

This is our way of saying thank you to all of our valued customers and friends.

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20 percent off sale

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20% OFF sale

Rechargeable Moto Tools

Last evening I spent a bit of time in the basement working on repairing a charm bracelet for a friend of my grand-daughter. Part of this repair required me to use a rechargeable moto grinding tool. Due to the tools size I was able to get the job done quick and easy. Not so if I had to use my old reliable Dremel plug-in grinding tool. The main reason for this was the physical size. The rechargeable tool was actually smaller than the Dremel, which by the way gets a workout doing the heavy work, and a bit easier to use for this project which did not need a lot of power. That is the reason for writing this today. We were able to obtain a large quantity of rechargeable moto grinding tools that were originally sold for another purpose but the tool company customer didn’t take them. This tool comes with a 1/8 inch collet which fits all of the Dremel and other brand grinding bits and from what I can tell can use the standard Dremel chucks.

rechargeable battery operated moto tool grinder

Special rechargeable battery operated moto tool grinder

Originally we were able to get around a 100 of these tools to offer for sale at $10.99.  We are down to our last 40 units and they are now priced at $7.99 until they are gone, which won’t be very long. You can’t beat this value, even if you only use it a few times it will pay for itself in convenience. It comes with the tool, rechargeable battery, charger and a sanding drum. If you work with models, plastic or wood or any other craft that needs a lighter duty grinding tool than the Dremel, then this is your baby. Don’t expect it to replace your Dremel grinder, it won’t, but it does give you another way to work.

Keep on building,




Hobby Clubs and You

Over the years I have seen many a hobbyist go strong in their particular area of interest only to peter out as time went on because they did not have anyone to talk with that shared the same interest. Or there were times when the kids soccer games were over and the hobby interest was rekindled and the search was on to rejoin the group or club once again. While the number of clubs or number of members might not be as great as it was years ago before competition with the web or television there are a surprising number of groups or associations out there with your particular hobby interest. Here is a list of groups that we have put together:

I am sure that there are some clubs or groups that were missed, and I welcome your response to let me know of them. Whether your interest is Model Railroading, Radio Control Airplanes, Boats or Car/Truck racing, War Gaming, building Scale Models, it really doesn’t matter, there is a group of like minded people like you. As a rule there are also blogs and forums on the web that cater to your interests as well. Even if you are not a “club person” per say, just hanging around friends that share the same interest has always been motivation to keep plugging away at a project for me and will do the same for you.

I encourage you to look into and join or support the local hobby club or association that shares your hobby interest.

Keep on hobbying


Saint Louis Admirals Annual Regatta at Forest Park Boat House

The Saint Louis Admirals Radio Controlled Boat Club had their 24th Annual Regatta on September 29th and 30th at the Boathouse in Forest Park. Each year the boats keep getting better and better. Here are some pictures that were taken at the regatta and originally posted on their Facebook page. You can either click on the picture below or the link to see all of the pictures on Flickr:


If you enjoy RC boating (scale or non-scale electric) give the Admirals a call or visit their website here for more information on the club. Having known many of the members for a long time, I can assure that you will have a great time with this group.
Keep on floating,


Regatta – St. Louis Admirals R/C Model Boat Club – Newsletter

The Saint Louis Admiral Radio Control Boat Club are preparing for their 24th Annual Regatta at the Boat House in Forest Park September 29th and 30th, 2012. This is a fun event with lots of boats to see running in the lake.

Here is a link to their information page:

Regatta – St. Louis Admirals R/C Model Boat Club – Newsletter.


Plan your calendar so that you can attend sometime during the 2 day event.
Happy sailing,

New Italeri PT-109 Model Kit

Just received a news release from Model Rectifier Corp. which is the importer for Italeri models.

New Tooling … Italeri Brings the Well-Known PT-109 To Life in 1/35 Scale

Coming very soon from Italeri is the newly tooled release, the legendary PT-109 Motor Torpedo Boat (#555613) commanded by John F. Kennedy in 1943. Working from the original ELCO drawings, Italeri created about 300 pieces, plus photo-etched parts to recreate the 80’ U.S. Navy Patrol boat in 1/35 scale. The one-piece hull is over 27” long.

This remarkable reproduction is crammed with superb detailing. For instance, the four torpedo tubes, Oerlikon 20mm cannon, four .50 caliber machine guns and two depth charges are spot on. Even the transom mounted smoke generator has been perfectly replicated. You can tell the history has been well researched, as the kit even includes the 37mm anti-tank gun that the crew lashed to the bridge the day before its last mission.

The model includes a Photo Reference Manual filled with some little known historical facts, original photographs and drawings.

Here is the new Italerai PT 109 model kit.

By the way this kit would be a great choice to radio control with a brushless motor and LiPo battery.

Happy boating,