by Paul Jacobs

EAGLEWALL'S TABLE TOP NAVY, by Donald D. Hood. I was never a fan of the Eaglewall 1:1200 ship models, although during the early 1960's I did acquire and build several of the American made Pyro versions. But these are long gone from my collection. So when I picked up EAGLEWALL'S TABLE TOP NAVY to read I was skeptical that it would be of much interest to me. I was wrong. Immediately I was drawn into the story by Donald Hood's introduction, in which he explained how when he was a young boy in 1961, he discovered the Eaglewall models in a shop and wanted to buy them all. It bought back memories of my own experience just a few years earlier when I had discovered a trove of Comet Authenticast models in a store in Chicago, which launched my life-long passion for these small constant scale models.

Mr. Hood's book is a very thorough history of the Eagle line, and is filled with many excellent photos of models, box covers, advertisements and other related items. The book details how the line of models got started, how they were produced and marketed all the variations that were made and finally the demise of the company. Reading it, I discovered many things that I didn't know, especially the innovative nature of the models. Among these innovations, Eaglewall were the first constant scale plastic ship models, the first plastic kits in 1200 scale, the first to provide ships in "Battle Groups", and the first to provide the option of full hull or waterline models. As such the models played a critical role in bringing youngsters into the hobby at a time before the German made metal models had made a comeback.

While the first part of the book covers the history of Eaglewall and Pyro,the second half covers each model produced by the company detailing the series, box size, rarity , issue date and other statistics. This is accompanied by a photo of the model and the box art for that particular one. In addition, the book also covers other models made by Eagle, such as it's plastic airplane kits.

A more complete study of this line of models can never be published. In the end, whether one is or is not a collector of these models, this book provides an interesting, informative and valuable addition to one's knowledge of the hobby.

Published by Chris Daley Publishing 2011. Hardcover 136 pages. New!

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, by Peter Schoenfeldt, published by Koehlers,Hamburg, 1998, 151 pages. This is a beautiful book, filled with lots of glossy color photographs, including pictures of models and old Wiking advertisements and catalogs. The text is in German, but for non-German readers this is worth getting just for the pictures. 

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BASSETT-LOWKE Waterline Ship Models, by Derek Head, published by Golden Age Editions, 1996, 160 pages. Another beautiful book, filled with pictures of models, advertisements and catalog pages. There is complete coverage of all the 1:1200 scale models made by the company, as well as larger scale models in 1:600 scale, and some of their custom built larger models. The text, in English is easily readable and interesting. The definitive study, beautifully presented. This is a must-have book for any collector of 1:1200/1250 scale models. 

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SHIP MODELS IN MINIATURE, by Donald McNarry, published by Praeger, 1975, 176 pages. The author provides photos and articles about over 70 models he built covering ships from early times into the Twentieth Century. McNarry is an expert craftsman. Most of his models are built in larger scales, but there are a few in 1:1200 scale shown. No matter, the models pictured are magnificent and the book is a joy to from beginning to end. Long out of print, it can be found secondhand. 

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SCALE MODEL WARSHIPS, edited by John Bowen, published by Mayflower Books, 1978, 191 pages. This book contains nine chapters, each by a different author, discussing model making techniques and modeling in various scales. In addition to a discussion of techniques, there are photos of the models and the actual ships, plans, and drawings demonstrating various model making techniques. One chapter discusses techniques for making hulls and decks, another superstructures, and yet another guns and mountings. A useful book with good photos and detail drawings. Out of print, but available secondhand.  

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WATERLINE SHIP MODELS, by John Bowen, published by Conway Maritime Press, 1972, 114 pages. This book covers 1:1200 models built by the author, mainly merchant ships, but with a few warships. The author discusses modeling techniques sufficient to build the ships featured in the book, and includes plans for building 15 different models. An interesting book with useful information for the model builder. Out of print, but can be found secondhand.  

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MINIATURE MERCHANT SHIPS, by John Bowen, published by Conway Maritime Press, 1997, 218 pages. Similar in format to his 1972 book, this one includes plans for 30 different models, as well as five chapters on building techniques. There are not many photos of models, but the material on building techniques is excellent and the plans adequate to build models of the ships profiled there.  

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WARSHIPS IN MINIATURE, by Michael Ainsworth, published by the Naval Institute Press, 2001, 224 pages. This book is similar in nature to the John Bowen books discussed above. The first part primarily deals with modeling techniques used by the author to build 1:1200 scale models, many of which are featured in the book. Then the books has a number of chapters, each of which cover several warships of different major World War I and II navies. There are photos accompanying each chapter of both the models and the actual ships, as well as basic plans, the latter sufficient to make the models in small scale. Each chapter tells a history of the ship, and gives modeling tips relevant to the construction of that model.  

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DIE WELT DER SCHIFFAHRT EN MINIATURE, by Horst Kronke, published by Koehlers, Herford, 1992, 128 pages. German text. This is the first of two books by the author, on 1:1250 scale ship models, mainly commercially cast models by companies like Neptun, Hansa, Mercator, etc. A lot of good photos, but suffers from two flaws; first, the book talks very little about the models themselves, but rather focuses upon the history of ships and naval battles, and second the models featured lack identification as to who manufactured them. Kronke’s second book, published a couple of years later, is an improvement, focusing instead upon the models and manufacturers, rather than general naval history.  

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BUILDING WARSHIP MODELS, by P.C. Coker, published by the author, 1974, 314 pages. This large size book has long been a standard text for collectors. Although few of the models featured are smaller than 1:500 scale, the book is a massive compilation of photos of some of the most magnificent ship models ever built. The book includes photos of builders models, museum models, and models by master builders such as Paolo Cavalletti, Donald McNarry and the late Norman Ough. There is also a section of the book that features some of the models built for the movie TORA, TORA, TORA and models of never built ships, such as some of the famous planned 1920's battleships and battle cruisers. Long out of print, the book can nevertheless be found secondhand.  

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SHIPBULDING IN MINIATURE, by Donald McNarry. First published in 1955, McNarry describes his methods of creating 1:600 scale masterpieces. The descriptions are mostly text with some accompanying diagrams and photographs, and the methods are applicable to scratch-built models in larger as well as smaller scales. The usual tools, research and methods format is followed. 14 models are described, with the majority of attention given to a Napoleonic era 40 gun frigate (all of 5.22" long in 1:600 scale) and the Cunard passenger vessel Caronia (14.3" long). (Review & Photos from Don Simon)

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