As much as I like miniature figures and painting, I think it's important to remember that my hobby owes a lot to other hobbies. This is why I try to support more than just the narrow aspects of Battletech miniatures the hobby I am interested in.
Hiawatha Hobbies, the model train store closest to my home, is now open in it's new location at 2026 Silvernail Road, Waukesha, WI 53072. I visited today; the new store is nicely organized and much more visible than the old location, which ought to help them out. Train shops like this are a great resource for tools, paints, flocking, scenery, and tips on how to get tricky jobs done.
If you like working with miniatures as much as I do, then you can probably find something the train hobbyists use that will interest you too. Take time to find a visit a store like this. You might learn something new.