Gun deal for hobby shop

IT’S not often that the Australian Army is ready, willing and able to place an order for 1000 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and self-propelled guns.

But when it was in that position in July, Mundaring businessman David Cooper was prepared to meet the sizeable order.

Mr Cooper, proprietor of WA hobby shop Mundaring Hobby Centre, quickly won the order and is dispatching the units to the Army’s Armoured Training School in Pukapunyal.

He expects to have the $20,000 order completed by the end of this month.

The Army found Mr Cooper from his website (

“They telephoned me out of the blue one day and said that they had accessed a substantial number of model suppliers on the Internet,” Mr Cooper said.

To Mr Cooper the order was certainly big but he was confident he could meet the Army’s needs. But before committing himself he said he had to firstly contact several international military model suppliers in Russia, the US, Italy, Japan, and Austria.

“Orders of $20,000 do not land on my table every day of the week,” he said.

“But we quickly confirmed that this order was certainly manageable and told the Army so.”

For modelling buffs, Puckapunyal Armoured Training School wanted 800 pieces in 1/87th scale and 200 in 1/35th scale.

Mr Cooper’s son, Sean, also a long-time modelling hobbyist and a Rover scout, has had members of his scouting troop and local modelling buffs carrying out this work.

“We’ve charged the Army $5 to assemble each of these units and the $1000 for that additional work will go to the Eastern Hills Scout Group,” Mr Cooper said.

He said the Army was upgrading and updating its stock of instruction models and would use the models to instruct students at the training dchool. That was why Soviet T-72s, Leopard tanks and an array of other field pieces were required.

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