Small time, but in that small most greatly lived this star of England :”, Henry V, William Shakespeare

For more than half a century various companies throughout the world have been producing injected plastic model warships. Some of the original manufacturers are still with us, such as Revell and Airfix, but many more have disappeared into the mists of time, such as Heller and Aurora. However, few companies had a shorter life span but a greater impact than Eaglewall. Started in Dorking , England under the name Vulcan in 1957, the company changed its box name to Eagle in 1958 and was run by Eaglewall Plastics. Due to various factors the company ceased production by late 1962 and was completely gone in 1963. During this short time span the company introduced a huge line of 1:1200 scale model warships, which could be assembled in waterline format or full hull format. Modelers of a certain age will have vivid memories of this line of warships under the Eagle label in the UK (right Jeff?) or under the Pyro label in the US , to which I can personally attest. Now the complete life and death history of Eaglewall and their products is covered in a 136 page, hard cover, lavishly illustrated book written by Donald D. Hood and published by Chris Daley Publishing. 

As shown on the back cover the volume thoroughly covers: 1. The history of Eagle and Eaglewall; 2. Over 100 full color illustrations; 3. Details of every Eagle kit produced; 4. Planned but never issued kits; 5. The mysterious fate of the molds; 6. Related producers and kits; 7. Listings of all known kit versions; and 8. Collecting advice and tips. At the start the author examines the history of the site of factory when in 1417 it was known as the Stockhouse. Starting a volume on the history of a plastic company that existed for only five years from the age of the Plantagenets illustrates the loving detail written into the book. However, the volume doesn’t live on text alone. It is extensively illustrated with advertisements from the company, including ads from Pyro, Lindberg and Sitap (French producer), which released versions of Eagle kits. Color photographs are abundant showing the artwork for every kit as well as advertisements, parts and assembled models. Production quality is medium with matte pages, not glossy. 

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The unnumbered chapters are entitled Where It All Began with the history of the location. Innovations, which cover fresh ideas by Eagle such as the Battle Series, which grouped kits together by a single battle, such as the Battle of the River Platte for kits of Graf Spee, Exeter, Ajax and Achilles. Another was the option to build waterline or full hull kits. Artists, which covers the box art and who painted them. Advertising Eagle, which covers one of the fatal flaws of Eaglewall through their sporadic and largely ineffective advertising campaign. The Pyro Connection covers the working agreement between Eaglewall and Pyro, as well as an extremely interesting side trip to the origins of the Pyro Yamato and Pyro Essex carrier. Apparently Pyro had lived up to its early nickname of Pirate Models. Quality Issues covers the steady degradation in the quality of the kits and the reasons. Misinformation About Eaglewall dispels inaccurate internet information about the company. The End of the Line for Eaglewall, which covers the history and reasons for the disappearance of the company. Where Are the Molds covers the quest to locate the molds. Production Schedule which details every kit produced. Other Related Producers covers other companies, other than Pyro, with an Eaglewall connection. Collecting Eagle Ship Models, which provides pointers on the many ways to establish a collection of the 36 Eagle ship kits produced. Other Models From Vulcan. Eagle, And Eaglewall covers the other kits, not 1:1200, including wonders such as Paddy Boat acquired from Pyro. 

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A full 55 pages of the volume covers details of each kit produced and tables of produced and planned kits. All eight Battle Series are covered: Series 1 Battle of the River Plate; Series 2 The Capture of the Altmark; Series 3 Battles of the Narvik Fjord; Series 4 Battle of the Atlantic; Series 5 Sinking of the Bismarck; Series 6 Hunting for the Scharnhorst; Series 7 Fighting Merchantmen of WWII; and Series 8 Battle of Cape Matapan. A separate table provides known variations by specific kit. Each individual ship kit has color photographs of the box art with most having a photograph of the assembled model. Each kit also shows the name. battle series, box size, variations, plastic color, rarity, release dates, and comments. 

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All and more that you ever wanted to know about the iconic line of Eagle model ships is provided in Eaglewall’s Table Top Navy by Donald Hood. The volume is a pure delight. Eaglewall's Table Top Navy  is available directly from Chris Daley Publishing and can be accessed from the link below. 

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