Oxford Model Centre


Tel: 01865 240 551

This shop has permanently closed.

Oxford Model Centre is one of the oldest surviving model shops in the UK and has been committed to offering modellers advice and quality customer service for over 40 years. We still specialise in kits, tools and accessories for the traditional builder as well as the ever popular ranges of ARTF and RTF for both electric and I.C.

Oxford Model Centre
94, St Clements

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3 comment(s)

Shop Information

Open Hours Mon-Wed 10am - 5.30pm, Thursday Closed, Friday 10am till late, Saturda
Shop Status:This shop has been reported as permanently closed.
Updated: 2017-04-25 23:01:05 (Added on 2005-11-25 13:27:05)

location of Oxford Model Centre

Average rating for this shop is 4.3/5.0 based on 28 reviews

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5 star rating!
Neil, Oxford
Saturday 22nd April 2017

Sorely missed

5 star rating!
Pipp, Swindon
Thursday 6th April 2017

Does talk a lot. But it is all to help you. But everything gone from shop? What has brian done? Retired?

5 star rating!
Pete Startup, Ottery St.Mary
Monday 26th September 2016

When I was stationed at Brize Norton over 25 years ago, I and other members of the RAFMAA club and the local civilian club at Witney frequented his shop and we loved it. Sometimes we used to go just for the banter with Brian.

He has everything in there somewhere, or if not will get it for you, and great advice on what you need.

I live in Devon now and like most places it is suffering from a dearth of 'proper' model shops so I'm really happy that Brian is still going and would dearly love to have his shop down here.

But, how does he fit those ARTF model boxes that proliferate now in that tiny shop?

5 star rating!
Friday 2nd September 2016

Sorry The shop was closed on friday Peter, Bryan is normally there until 9pm on a friday night but I know he had to close that day. Always worth giving him a call. He is closed on thursdays. If he goes away for any period of time his son does pop in now and again and his phone number will be on the door. hope this helps.

- Paul

2 star rating!
Peter, Oxford
Monday 1st August 2016

After reading about it here on this site, I went to the shop on a Friday in the early afternoon, but it was closed. There is no opening hours sign on the door and no explanation of why the shop was closed. Not sure the owner wants customers.

5 star rating!
Robin Bond, Oxford
Monday 13th June 2016

Well. .... l started buying small balsa wood bundles off Brian when I was about 10 years old and then made small free flight gliders, spending hours even days making the perfect glider only to lose it in a thermal and end it's life high in a tall tree somewhere ! So I moved up to control line 'haaa' with my first PAW 1.49 engine which Brian also recommend at the time, and I never regretted buying the more powerful option from a 09 haha lol. And so now in my very late 40s I shall return once more on my payday, shake his hand, and see If he remembers me, then talk about the past and then.... see how long it takes him to sell me some film covering for my new rc plane! yet to build of course, because he will rethink for me a whole new strategy concerning rc plane building ;-) the ever increasing steps of building aero models from hand launching joy to radio control is as always and a joy, and the life (to and from) a local model shop will always be a memorable chat, even to my daughter when she's old enough to sit and listen haaaaa.

All the best to Brian and his never ending Model Centre; -)

5 star rating!
GaryN, Oxford
Friday 20th February 2015

Wandered in today for scalpel blades. Bryan behind a huge stack of newly delivered boxes answering speaker phone for an enquiry. Knew exactly where to lay hands on the item being asked about and giving advice over the phone. Annoyed both him and me that we couldn't remember the name of the tool he was trying to explain. After ending the call he grabbed an RS catalogue and said "Got to look it up for both of us" - bloody pin vice! If you want good model building advice go here. You want your ego massaged go somewhere else.

5 star rating!
Mark Arnold, Shepherdstown West Virginia USA
Tuesday 18th November 2014

I did a self catered week in Oxford while visiting from the USA. Our rental was just down the street from the Oxford Model Centre. It was a great place to visit, it was like I had stepped through a time warp and into the Hobby shop I worked in in my mis spent youth. It is a very well stocked store with a very friendly owner. While I was there a young boy and his mom stopped in to buy a wheel retainer for his little R/C RTF. He showed them how to make one from a bit of wire insulation. Too cool.

5 star rating!
Jimmy, Oxford
Thursday 14th August 2014

Bryan, Is a very helpful guy. He would give you 100% honest advice.

I recently purchased a Helion Invictus 10MT 4wd Monster Truck from Bryan, I used to go to his shop when I was around 15 with my mates and have great fun with RC cars, I wanted to get my kids involved in the hobby of RC cars, Bryan was fantastic with my kids explaining to my kids about the Monster Truck, and how to get it correctly configured.

Great purchase and customer service.

5 star rating!
Ash.Shaw, Olney
Saturday 25th January 2014

As Oxford Model Centre is within walking distance of Churchill hospital where my wife was in for the day I went there for a new flight box battery. Although it was my first visit to the shop I was treated as a freind and Bryan even tested the battery on a starter to make sure it was OK although it was still sealed in original plastic wrapper. Excellent service.

Ash Shaw Nene Valley Aeromodellers.

5 star rating!
Don Kershaw, Carnforth
Monday 20th January 2014

In January I visited this shop to buy a quadcopter and was impressed with the care that was taken. The first question I was asked was "What is your experience of quadcopters?". After a lot of discussion and advice I bought a Blade 350 which has proved ideal for aerial filming.

5 star rating!
Christine, Oxford
Thursday 21st November 2013

As the long suffering wife of the afore mentioned - knowledgeable , intelligent, rude, straight talking, arrogant, passionate, opinionated, patient shop owner, I have to say that I do in fact agree with most of what has been said about my husband. I do however take issue with the comments that he is never open. I'm the one who tries to keep his meals warm for when he gets home, I'm the one who rings him at 10.30 on a Friday night to say 'I'm going to bed, dinner's in the microwave, I'm the one who didn't have a holiday for the first twenty five years of our marriage, because he wouldn't close the shop and I'm the one who had to pacify our boys when they were young because Daddy wasn't home again at bedtime, or wasn't at the school plays and sports days because he couldn't get away from the shop. He often delivers things to people's homes if they can't get to the shop, and we frequently have our private time interrupted with phone calls, seven days a week. So please don't tell me the shop is never open.

If you need your ego massaged by being told what a beautiful model you've made and how good you are, instead of being told you've got it wrong, yes, you're in the wrong shop. It may not be pretty to listen to, but if nothing else, Bryan is always honest, it's just that some people can't take it.

So next time you're buying your tube of glue late on a Friday night, please spare me a thought.

For over 37 years Bryan's life is the shop, so Mr. Very Angry Member Of Public, Oxford 9/2/2013, who is too cowardly to give his name, he must be doing something right., and as has been said, what will you all do when he retires? The Internet won't answer your questions.

5 star rating!
John, Oxford And San Francisco
Sunday 10th November 2013

It's more than 35 years since I first met Bryan in the Oxford Model Center; he was the same then as he is now - a great fund of knowledge about anything to do with models, who's ready to share that knowledge with anyone who asks.

It can take a while to get what you want in the shop, but it's time well spent, soaking up the atmosphere and hearing about what other people are doing with models.

Highly recommended!

5 star rating!
John Field, Oxford
Tuesday 20th August 2013

This man knows his stuff and is always ready to help, I had RC cars many moons ago and he used to break an entire kit just to give me a spare part to keep me running.

5 star rating!
E. Shaxted, Ware
Wednesday 6th March 2013

I've been around model shops since I was 7 made models for years. Until I took it up commercially. So knowledgeable with 24 years of model history and understanding. The best. That is if you can appreciate their honest ability. Eddie

1 star rating!
Very Angry Member Of Public, Oxford
Saturday 9th February 2013

The rudest, most arrogant people I have ever met. They don't deserve to be in business. They are very suited to the dump they call a shop. If they had even the slightest bit of customer interest they would have been able to sell me a very good rc helicopter. However they embarrassed me in front of other 'customers' and were more interested in putting me down when I asked what was a very simple question. Idiots!! If you want to visit a smelly dump of a shop with a rude imbecile then this is the place for you. Otherwise avoid at all costs.....

5 star rating!
Chris Angus, Oxford
Sunday 27th January 2013

The way people should be, knowledgeable, intelligent, passionate and straight talking. There is no 'insincere sales speak' in this establishment. Only the truth and what is best for you and your abilities. Hearing that you're not as good as you think you are isn't something people want to hear, but walking out with the best RC model suited to your talents is probably what you really want. Brian also does exchanges, bring him back your old model and he'll buy it off you for 50% of the original cost so you can upgrade your models as your skills begin to grow and you and seek bigger challenges. Overall, it's an old school shop with an old school owner. Yes, he's a bit condescending and patronising but he's brilliantly knowledgable and honest - a fine few qualities to have in this day and age. Visit his shop for a unique and one of a kind experience.

5 star rating!
Kevin, Woodcote
Thursday 4th October 2012

Probably the most passionate & knowledgeable source of help I have ever encountered & most likely to have what you need. If you need to leave in a hurry though, state that specifically or else you will be there for an interesting & enlightening hour or two.

5 star rating!
Henry Curtis, London
Friday 27th July 2012

I agree with Stuart (7/6/12) I visited him on Wednesday (25/7) and he was a tremendous help. He's an expert who is willing to share his knowledge. Having patience is part of it.

1 star rating!
Jerry, Banbury
Friday 13th July 2012

As a shop, it has everything you need; what it doesn't do is OPEN ! Living in north Banbury, its' no use having the best gear, the best of everything in the model world, if the shop is never open- if you manage to get a parking spot, and by any lucky chance the door is actually open, the chances are you will get nicked for parking, because you can't get out ! The owner will talk the hind leg off a donkey, and totally ignore the fact you only want something simple, and talk to every tom dick and his brother, rather than get on and serve the poor bloody customer !!!!!

5 star rating!
Jon, Wantage
Tuesday 3rd July 2012

By the time Bryan is finished with you:

(i) He'll know exactly where you're coming from and what you need.

(ii) You'll know exactly what you need and where you're going.

An wonderful antidote to the anodyne experience of spending many brain-numbing hours online thinking about this bit of kit or that.

You can't open the box on a web-page. He opened just about every box for me today.

4 star rating!
Chris, Oxford
Tuesday 19th June 2012

Bryan is shut on Thursday but opens late on Friday.

Best aftersales in the world.

5 star rating!
Stuart, Abingdon
Thursday 7th June 2012

What Brian does not know about models is not worth knowing he is worth his weight in gold and if you don't like him then I suggest you have a long look at yourself

4 star rating!
Andrew, Oxford
Saturday 7th April 2012

As a complete newbie to the RC world, it was a relief to find someone knowledgable and prepared to spend the time helping me. No pressure to buy anything, I was there for 4 hours and in the end came away knowing significantly more than when I went in, and yes, with my first RC kit.

Do be prepared to spend a long time in there talking, it's just the way the owner works. Also, be prepared for an honest answer and honest opinion from someone with years of experience.

If you want the John Lewis treatment, then go to John Lewis. If you want advice, knowledge, experience and kit on everything RC, then you won't go far wrong.

1 star rating!
Jim, Oxford
Friday 30th March 2012

Rude, opinionated, keeps you waiting for ages whilst he chit chats with his regulars, slags off anything you bought not from him. Several other enthusiasts I know have had similar experiences, including a newcomer that left his shop feeling embarassed and stupid. Reasonable selection of balsa is about the only positive thing I can say about the rudest shopkeeper I've ever met.

4 star rating!
Jason Prior, Oxford/banbury
Tuesday 27th March 2012

love the shop

the owner is great

he knows how to help

shop is always open

he will get anything

5 star rating!
Dave Kelly, Oxford now Truro
Thursday 23rd June 2011

I thought previous comment was a bit unfair so thought I'd add my own!! This has got to be one of the best shops around, what Brian doesn't know about the business isn't worth knowing!! Be prepared for a long visit though, you can be in there for hours just chatting and soaking up the atmosphere!! There's very little he hasn't got in there hidden away!! I've moved away now but 3 years ago when I went in often, he opened at around 9.30 to 10 in the morning and closing was generally around 5.30 to 6ish except on Thursday evening when he was often there till 9.30ish or when the last man left! Wish we had model shops like that down in Cornwall. What will Oxford do when he retires?

2 star rating!
Jones, Banbury
Thursday 16th June 2011

He might have the best stock for miles around, but the shop is NEVER open ! No telephone contact- I'll get back to you "

what's the use of going to get something which no one else has, when the place is shut !! Even local people say he's unreliable !!!

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