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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Join Our Collectors Club for More Fun!

What is the Collectors Club?
What will be in the Newsletters?
Anyone signing up for the Chinook Collectors Club will be entitled to the following:

  • Birthday Club: On the month of your birth, you will get a ‘surprise’ from us.
  • On your club selection you will be notified, when your items of interest are on sale or when new items arrive.
  • Reserving your birthday party, club event, or meeting at a discount.
  • You will be notified of any clinics/classes in your area of interest (e.g. How to build realistic dioramas, How to maintain your locomotive or how to add the ‘light’ to your figures Lightsabres)
  • On your area of interest you may be invited to attend one of our ‘invitation only’ events.
  • Kids (aged 13 and younger) that sign up get to use Canadian Tire money to pay for up to one third of their purchase.
  • Access to surprise freebies.
  • Quarterly Newsletter ‘The Chinook Wind’.
  • Early entry to contests.
  • And more.....

Just email us the following information:
-First name
-Last name
-Over or Under 18
-Birth month and day (year isn't needed)
-mailing address including postal code (so we can mail your gift)
-Email address
-hobby interest(s)- you may name more than one hobby interest and we only send you updates on those you ask us to.
-Phone number

Those that sign up for the ‘Chinook Wind’ Newsletter can expect the following:

  • Quarterly newsletters
  • Contest notifications
  • Coupons and discount offers
  • Info on what’s new in the hobby industry and toy collectibles
  • Tips and techniques on different departments.
  • A customer comment section (a chance to have your opinion or comment in print)
  • An occasional customer article with their name in by-line
  •  And more.....

We do Birthday parties teaching kids how to do diorama or model building.

We have Charity events with special guests.

We love to share special events and exciting news of what's happening. This is a picture of Loco 2816 known as 'The Empress'. She lives here in Calgary and does regular runs through the city.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Airbrushes - Differences

Before choosing an airbrush ask yourself: What will it be used for? How often will I use it? What type of material will I be spraying? What kind of paint will I be using? Will you be using a can of air or compressor?

Make sure to hold the airbrush in your hand to feel the weight & balance. If it is too heavy your hand will easily tire or cramp and affect how you paint.

INTERNAL MIX - the air and paint mix inside the airbrush giving an atomized 'fine dot' spray pattern.
EXTERNAL MIX - the air and paint mix outside the airbrush making a larger, coarser spray pattern.
DUAL ACTION - the trigger on the airbrush controls both the air and paint seperatly. this allows for different line widths when spraying.
SINGLE ACTION - the trigger only controls the air flow. Turning the needle adjustment screw gives a pre-set amount of paint when pressing the trigger.
GRAVITY FEED - a top-mounted colour cup uses gravity to draw the paint into the airbrush. (this one is great if using a can of air with your brush)
BOTTOM FEED - the paint enters through a tube or colour cup attached to the bottom of the airbrush. This requires a high PSI so a compressor drived airbrush is better.
SIDE FEED - uses a small colour cup that fits into the side of the airbrush. This requires at least 20 PSI and either air method is OK for this one.


The needles and nozzles come in varying sizes to accomodate many different projects on many different materials. Come in and see us for great books, DVD's and knowledgeable staff.

For more information visit:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Charity Event and Grand Opening! Fun and Surprises!

Come celebrate with us!
October 15th 2011 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
It’s our 39th Anniversary of Chinook & Hobby West
AND Our GRAND OPENING of our North Location

                     Supporting The Calgary Food Bank & The Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta

v  50% off Red Tag Merchandise (Oct 15th & 16th only – Discount with donation)
v  25% off Regular Priced Merchandise (Oct 15th & 16th – Discount with donation only)
v  Free BBQ Sponsored by M &M Meat Shops
v  Live Action Star Wars Characters from the 501st & Rebel Alliance
v  Get a keepsake photograph with your favorite character (with donation)
v  Surprises for kids and adults (October 15th only)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Storing SuperGlue -CA glue & helpful tips

Super glue also known as CA glue or cyanoacrylate adhesive can be as helpful as hard to work with. I imagine your 'huh' expression.
It is great for bonding all kinds of different materials together, especially skin to skin. I like to use it when building model kits, but if you don't test it first it can melt some plastics.  Its great for ceramics, some denser wood, some metals and many other items.  I would not recommend it for repairing high impact plastics such as dashboards in the car or the frames of glasses as it can cloud the lenses.

Here are a few tips:

-Cut the tip of the glue bottle neck at an angle, this prevents clogging and gives you a guide to help control application.
-Store your CA glue in the door of your fridge (just make sure you keep in in the original safety bottle to prevent children from getting it). This will extend the life of your super glue up to six months.-Remember a little goes a long way, using a toothpick to apply to small areas will minimize oozing.
- Never use Superglue on clear parts, it could cloud them.
-If you happen to glue your skin you can use nail polish remover or Debonder (we have the brand "Speed" and "Speed Reverse").

Tell us your helpful hint.....

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Different Scales in Model Trains

Model trains come in various scales (gauges):

Ø      Z 1:220 (with all the letters identifying gauges Z became the smallest so they used the last letter in the alphabet)
Ø      N  (rails are Nine mm apart- hence the N) 1:160 **
Ø      HO  (Half O or ‘aitch oh’) 1:87  **
Ø      OO  - 1:76 runs on HO track and is the British version of HO
Ø      S   scale 1:64
Ø      O   (was referred as zero (or 0h) gauge) 1:48
Ø      G (Garden) 1:20.3 to 1:32
Ø      T is the newest (Tiny scale) and is the width of a pencil
Ø      There are many more gauges, although they are important to die-hard railroaders, we will not be listing them here.  Many of our staff is well versed in the different scales and would be happy to review them with you to make a stronger choice for what works for you.

Gauge refers to the width of the track, measured between the railheads.  Different from scale, which is proportion to life-size.

At present, Chinook & Hobby West carries two Scales of Model Trains for Sale:  
**HO Scale which is 1:87 scale, and N scale which is 1:160.  
For your information, the large train in operation high above the sales floor is ‘G’ Scale or Garden Scale; we do not sell this scale in this store at this time, although we can special order it.

-- Next time - the different grades of products and different types of track

Monday, 19 September 2011

Collecting Diecast Cars

By Jesse Millington

When you hear Camaro SS 396, Boss 302, Hemi or Buick GS, the first thing that comes to mind is a nice, old, fast and expensive muscle car. One we love but may never own. We admire them at car shows and never think we can have one.

Do not fear though because you can own one, just smaller! What I'm talking about is collecting Diecast Metal Cars and enjoying that car passion weather its '50's Cruisers, Muscle Cars, Exotics or Tuners.

Having that small piece of automotive history in your hands gives a great sense of pride in collecting what you love and want.  It doesn't matter if you want to fill a vast basement, small room (TV room looks great with diecast cars...), or even just that spot in your office or garage wall dedicated to that one special piece or many exciting pieces. Collecting diecast can really bring the satisfaction and joy of owning 'that car'.

Starting off as a beginner I recommend doing some research on what you like and seeing if its available.  Search online, come see us (or your local hobby store) to help in the search.  Or if you like the hunt, go to local Flea Markets, garage sales, Toys R Us (there is no age limit in the toy isles!) or Wal-Marts.

People may not understand why you like those cars you've chosen but its for your pleasure not theirs. Maybe it was a first car you owned and experienced freedom or one you saw in a chase scene in a favorite movie. Maybe it was while walking down the street and some old greaser laid a 10 footer of rubber and was gone!

I always say, collect what you like because in the end, you own it, you'll enjoy it so make it worth your money and time!!!  Have fun!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Vintage Craft Friday- Liquid Embroidery

Liquid Embroidery Crafts

Liquid embroidery can be done in the place of embroidery or screen printing without expensive equipment. The result is a pattern or text that is imprinted on fabric by using an embroidery pen. Embroidery pens are ball-point pens that are used like markers. Wash fabric that has been liquid embroidered just as you would normally wash the type of fabric. Ideas on how to use it on different mediums can be found:

Liquid embroidery is great for kids and adults alike. My daughter decorated her 'indoor' school shoes and she is in grade one. I have decorated wooden and papermache boxes, shirts and pillow cases.

The brand we carry is called Vogart. Great for Clothing, fabrics, china, wood, leather, and more.  We have a great selection of colours and the tip cleaner too. 
You can find these and many more Vintage crafts at our stores. We have two locations in Calgary, one in the North West and one a few block north of Chinook Centre. See the addresses in yesterdays post.

This article was authored and found at :

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Getting Started in Model Railroading

Model railroading is fascinating and has been dubbed by any as the "World's Greatest Hobby". It is very versatile and incorporates many learning opportunities and is so much fun for all ages. It includes creativity with sculpturing, painting, airbrushing , decorating and landscaping, and encourages scientific exploration of electronics, physics, mechanics, engineering and architecture, all combined with humor, friendship, family activities, social interaction, and the great sense of accomplishment.

Things to Consider Before Starting
  • Space - plan out how big your layout can be, within the room you have available. Keep in mind that you need to get to all points that has track.  So you may want to consider a U shape or a hole in the middle that you can get to should you need to.
  • Scale - this goes with the Space point.  If you have outdoor space, you may want to model in G, in a small to large room HO, or for a really small space N.
  • Budget - plan to spend on the materials for the table, base, roadbed and track first.  Then some model train pieces, buildings and landscaping.  This will also prevent you from getting overwhelmed with too much to do.
  • Tips - if you are interested in using long flat bed cars,passenger cars or other long cars you need to make allowance for large radius curves or they will derail.  Come and visit us for great beginner guidebooks and guidance in planning
Next week: the scales (gauges) of model railroading

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Two Locations to serve you better!!!

We now have two locations here in Calgary to serve you, our Customer, better!  Our main store is located at 5011 MacLeod Tr. SW and our new second location is located at 2604-4 St. NW.

Hours for both:
Mon. to Fri. - 9:30 - 9
Saturdays - 9:30 - 5:30
Sundays - 12 - 5
Select Holidays - 12 - 5

Monday, 12 September 2011

Military Idea

Looking for diorama material, a historical collection or if your just building up your collection of military craft and figures? Then look no further as we have an excellent stock for hobbyists of all ages. We have selection of naval craft including several aircraft carriers! We have many kinds of aircraft including our sale special of Hasagawa models. If army is your forte we have a division of armed and armoured
Vehicles and dozens of kits of infantry to accompany them as well. Be sure to check out our clearance center upstairs in the south store where there are scores of Army, Navy, and Air Force models as well as photo etching, accessories, and infantry.
Lastly we have our usual great selection of diorama building supplies and terrain flock, ballast and turf. So if the military style is your kind of hobby, stop on by and see what great models can work with!

Items to feature for this newsletter are the ships of the Japanese navy. We have a flotilla of destroyers and cruisers for the naval enthusiast. Nothing like a massive fleet in formation, that is heavy metal!