The Frontline Story - Early Years

Author: Colin Scott   Date Posted:13 August 2018 

The Frontline Story - Early Years main image The Frontline Story - Early Years image
A blog post about why you will love our company.

The Start Up and Early Years…

July 1978 the founder and one-man band Colin Scott opened a fledgling hobby shop in the back room of a music business, in a back street in Newcastle, NSW. It was called Mainly Military Hobbies and all it sold were 25mm high white metal figurines for table-top wargames. Brands represented were Hinchcliffe and Minifigs.

The photograph is from the first week of trade in the back room in 1978 with yours truly in the denim jacket behind the counter. Early customers were Ian Matheson and Robert Jeffrey, both of which are still my very good friends.

Why you may ask? …….I was a dedicated table-top gamer of ancient wargames and my own passion was the Classical Age of Greek and Roman military history. Back in the seventies it was next to impossible to buy these figurines in Australia and consequently sourced them from the UK to satisfy my own hobby.

I became a member of a local group of guys who had similar interests and realised they also all bought from overseas. The latent businessman inside of me had a lightbulb moment and I committed $150 to purchase figurines from the UK in bulk. The back room “Shop” was opened without fanfare or advertising of any kind and I displayed my goods between the hours of 6pm-9pm Thursday nights and 9am-1pm Saturdays in the back room of Highway Musical Instruments, 164 King St, Newcastle. The room is still there, now occupied by a travel business, Travel Partners.

Why such restricted hours?....... I had a proper job as a computer programmer at Newbold’s Refractory  in Mayfield West which was part of the BHP complex. So became a retailer Thursday nights and Saturday mornings in a “Shop” separated from the music shop by a curtain drawn across the entry when closed.

Why in a back room? …….Cheap rent. I recall about $7.50 per week, electricity included. Again, a canny business move!

My only customers were my club mates because no one else on the planet knew my “Shop” existed. I still remember my first week’s sales which were $12.95. Not bad for an average figurine cost of 35 cents, and so the adventure begins.

Photograph is first set of home made shelves set against a stark raw brick wall. These days this would be considered trendy!


Comments (1)

Great blog post, love your work!

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