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"war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

Article about: Railway eagle for discussion - Militaria Forums <they have many threads on RR eagles over there> Has some discussion about the studs, and whether they should be ta

  1. #1

    Default "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Hey all, would like feedback on my rail eagle. I think it's bad, but is interesting for a few reasons, and as yet I have not spotted another original/suspect fake with the same rear. Also, compared to some of the fakes the quality is pretty good, but no expert.

    I obtained this about 12 years ago on ebay for 199 bucks. It was already in a nice sealed-up display case so no chance for rear pics. That should have been the first warning bell I suppose. I was not aware these were being reproduced (at the time), and di not even ask anyway....

    The description indicated it came from a "vet who removed it from a damaged building", and it was listed as a *wall eagle*. I emphasize this as it may influence your opinions. This thread has some indication that building eagles used a cone rather than the threaded bolt used on rail cars:

    Railroad Eagle question - Page 3 - Militaria Forums

    The item is supposed to be damaged/partly melted, and the right wing had been cracked, and then epoxied back on. Its hard to tell what is soot, and what may be black paint. The fire damage is real, but not clear if this was all an attempt to add character and help hide the fake to raise the price. I found an example that claims to be an original black rail eagle, which seems rare in itself:

    German "Deutsche Reichsbahn" Railroad Eagle in Black

    Given it was only 199 bones (albeit 1999 bones), and it came with a display case I can use for my daggers I could have done worse I suppose. Believe it or not, I never opened the case until today. It has hung in my office for 12 years, in all its mystery.....While I did not care for what I found, it was fun and almost worth the money for the excitement value alone on this rainy day in LA..

    For now, this is what i started with... Pics after opening in next post.

    Thanks for looking.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    To keep the mystery alive, I post the front first. The object's better side to be sure. Note the right wing, which is not blackened, is the one that is broken. I always told myself the building fell breaking the eagle and sparing one part from the fire...

    Cognitive dissonance at its best....The details on the front are a bit weak..
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  4. #3

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Edit for measurements:

    24 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches

    And now, the rear...

    I don't like the mounting studs, and believe this gives away the real nature. Note that a board has been epoxied over the wings, ostensibly to support the fracture. I can only see the materials mark shown; does not appear there are other marks below the board, but too risky to remove.

    In all examples I've seen, fake or real, this is the only one with the three lugs on the bottom. Most have a single in the middle. I suppose these could be the casting sprues, but do not think three are needed for that area. Note there is one lug per wing, near the edge, above the board. None are tapped or threaded, making mounting impossible IMO.

    Then again, perhaps this is one of those "unfinished ones" that was damaged when the factory was blown up... Or wait, maybe this came off Hitler's private bunker, where it was triple-attached to ensure it would stay on as the Russians approached.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Who said it was fake??

  6. #5

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Quote by K.Lindblom View Post
    Who said it was fake??

    I guess me, after I finally looked at the back. I cannot see how these lugs could be used to fasten, and most "known good" items have a threaded post to which a nut would attach. Also heard of a hold for a cotter pin. Mine has neither.....just the round posts.

    Afraid to try and remove the board, as their is a ton of epoxy slathered around and fear it will cause damage. Looks like they then tried to paint the wood black, perhaps so it would not show, and ended up over spraying on the back. I used a little acetone and find the over spray cleans up while the black from being burnt does not. The crack in the wing definitely matches the body, meaning its the original and not a replacement, but clear it was spared the fire somehow.

    I would love to her someone state they think its original. What a story it might hold.

    Till then I think it's bad. I can't imagine why someone would do this, even to a fake, unless the intent was to deceive. As I did not pay that much, it seems like a loss for the faker as well, given their time and effort breaking, burning, repairing, and mounting.

    Thanks for stopping bye.


  7. #6

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please


    Well, I am having trouble getting past the fire damage but the cast looks pretty good but not sure why there would be 3 supports on the rear roundel. But having said that, if its real the maker would be unknown at least to me and I have never seen it before. So stud placement in many cases or even style of the stud whether turned down or a cone is generally in line with the maker mark and size. So if this is an unknown maker then who knows what the configuration should be?.

    The fire damage prevents any real assessment of the cast but it looks like a pretty good job to me. I cannot call it from photos but would not dismiss it off hand and have not seen a fake like it.

    Hard to say really.



  8. #7

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Well Kris knows much more about these eagles than I and he has covered all the relevant points.

    I have not seen one like it before (re the stud arrangement) and I think this stands a real chance of being good. My take on it is one that was unfinished and removed as damaged from a (bombed out?) factory.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #8

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Wow, thanks... Better news than I was expecting for sure. Must admit most of the fakes are of the 28 inch variety from what I have found. In addition, seems most fakes have a "stud issue" and so they are sawed off, removing the evidence and adding to the story of expedite removal in line of fire.

    Any comments on whether any of these were ever finished in black from the factory as per the link I posted? Looking again, it almost seems the "black" wing is paint while the silver/native was the one that was heated, burning off the paint... As noted the over spay on back comes off with acetone, but on the front the color is holding fast.

    To me the "unfinished removed from factory" bit is a bit of a stretch, but as far as I can tell those studs were never press fit into anything, and sure were not finished for use as a mount.

    Aside from the stud finishing/unknown maker/odd stud configuration, I'm bothered by the rough areas on the lighter colored wing. Seems like poor casting, but as noted perhaps this is heat induced after the fact. I note that the porosity is mostly near the joins in the feathers rather than the broad flat areas.

    Not clear in the pics, but the broken/lighter wing is also bent, near the post. I could not make such a bend by hand. Would take a hammer or similar, and may explain wing fracture. Point is, if I faked this, I might have snapped the wing via leverage, but would not have smacked with a hammer as that would damage. If that makes any sense. There are a few small dents in the reverse edge of that wing, about 1.5 inches in near the stud, but others wise no impact areas I can see.

    It is awful convenient that while damaged, the lower emblem remains largely intact. If the swaz was heavily damaged value would be far reduced.

    I love a good mystery. Thanks for your comments and glad hope is still alive, although somewhat sketchy.


    PS> On the site there is mention of a member "JR" that may have written a book on rail eagles. I was not able to start a thread or pm this user. If anyone knows how to contact I would love to get his opinion if he would be so gracious.


  10. #9

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    I will contact JR on your behalf and ask him.

    Cheers, Ade.

  11. #10

    Default Re: "war damaged" 24 inch rail eagle Opinions please

    Thanks much Ade,
    Would love for this to be legit, of course.

    Another couple of things to note.

    1. There is a line that runs down the chest. At first this put me off, but seems that several 24"s have the same. Here is one, which I note has drilled rather than threaded studs. Different maker and stud config; again, its the line in the chest that matches:

    RR eagle 24 inch - Militaria Forums

    2. The materials stamp on mine does not list si (silica). Most are GAL MG SI. Not sure if any significance.

    3. Most good examples have the material/maker inscribed/carved rather than raised. As such a casting would be the negative and have raised marks. Mine also has negative/carved marks, if that has any significance.

    27" Railroad Eagle Maker HE - Militaria Forums

    24'' raiload eagle check it out - Militaria Forums

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