An excellent model shop.
As the other reviewers note, this store is hot, it could really use a good air conditioner!
I would have given it 5 stars were it not for the chaotic storage of items which means that many boxes get beaten up by being constantly knocked down in the aisles or shifted by people looking for what's in the display cases hidden behind the stacks of boxes!
Having said which, it's an Aladdins cave for model builders with all kinds of rare goodies like some very interesting model aircraft, a huge array of HO brass many of them unusual foreign models, he doesn't carry much O gauge but what he has is worth looking through as there are quite a few unusual post war models, mostly used but in pretty good shape.
Pricing is on the high side, don't go there to buy something from the current Lionel range you can get much better deals elsewhere and chances are he won't have it in stock. Example of current Lionel stock a CW80 listed at around $120! There are bargains to be had if you know your market prices and availability.
Some good NOS stuff there at approximately the original pricing which makes it 'cheap' by current market prices. It pays to spend some time there taking careful stock because a LOT of good stuff is buried behind or beneath the boxes.
The proprietor is a nice guy and though out of towners may find him somewhat brusque it's only normal for New York!
best scale modelling source that I know of in NYC.
This store is located in a a basement on 45th street. I'm 33 and since I was a kid of 1 or so, I've made the pilgrimage to this store (or at least it's ancestors located in the same space) and have always been able to find the best selection of scale models and supplies outside of a mail order catalog. I recently visited the store after having not been there in many, many years. While they didn't have the specific model I wanted, the place is still an obvious haven for the serious scale modelling hobbyist and train hobbyist (not my bag, but I can see by the looks of the place...) Be forewarned though, it can get quite stuffy down there in the summer months.
Odds and Ends.
If you are looking for a hobby-related gadget, widget, thingamabob, or doohickey, it's at the Red Caboose. Your only problem will be finding it. You will soon feel at ease searching the haphazardly arranged inventory in the dingy, cramped store; that's half the fun. You can always ask one of the quirky but endearing staff, but the real fun is just browsing. There's something for every hobbyist. A kitty prowls the store; pet it at your own risk.