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4.7 out of 5 stars35
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Chaps of a certain age will remember April 14, 1950 when the first edition of the Eagle blasted off with the galactic adventures of Dan Dare. Now everytime I see the first issue cover reproduced somewhere I glance down to the bottom left corner to the see the Kingfisher zooming away from the headquarters of the Interplanet Space Fleet and I'm back in 1950 (with a few coupons for something or other still left in my ration book).

The book is stuffed full of cutaways (I suppose it was a bit unrealistic to expect them all to be colour) of spacecraft from Dan's adventures over past decades. The illustrator Graham Bleathman has done a brilliant job creating these vehicles and a really nice touch is that they not super slick digital images as you would expect from, say, Daniel Simon but sort of up-to-date contemporary versions of those great Eagle centre-spread cutaways. All of them have numbers and captions explaining what everything does, there must be several hundred of these throughout the book.

Apart from the cutaways there are plenty of pages covering what's going on in space: Treen craft; alien identification; hand weapons, Space Fleet equipment; space stations; commercial craft (including one with pin-up nose art) and near the front of the book a couple of spreads with mug shots of the twenty-five leading characters, including Digby's aunt Anastasia.

Overall a lovely bit of nostalgia for those of a certain age.

***LOOK AT SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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on 16 June 2013
This book, a "must-have" for fans of British science fiction, is a thing of beauty. Faithfully compiled and expanded on by Rod Barzilay from the comic strip chronicles of the Eagle's own "pilot of the future", the Spacefleet Operations Manual gives the reader an invaluable breakdown of the personalities, history and - most importantly - the hardware of Dare's world. Lavishly illustrated, the book combines full colour art from the original comics with masterful technical cutaways, executed with consummate skill and attention to detail by Graham Bleathman. This book is a terrific companion to the strips, and a great introduction to Dan Dare for new readers.

Spaceships Away!
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on 8 July 2013
A bigger format (I remember the size of the original comic) would have suited the illustrations better.
But for the sale price it's great stuff.
It shows just how good the original Eagle comic was, each relaunch of the comic or the Dan Dare stories getting progressively lower, in quality of the artwork and poorer in story line.
A real tour down nostalgia lane.
My only complaint is not about the book, but that it took a second attempt to get the order to me, still not heard what happened to the first one just disappeared once it was in the hands of the delivery (well none delivery) service.
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on 23 June 2013
Being a true Eagle fan from inception, I was delighted to learn that Haynes had produced this manual. Amazon gave the very best deal and it arrived the next day. Everything I expected by the same wonderful, gifted illustrator - word for word and drawing for drawing as it was in the past. If you have any liking for science fiction, then this Spacefleet Operations Manual is pretty close to science fact! Definitely worth buying multiple copies for grandchildren and sci-fi advocates of all ages!
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on 16 October 2013
I feel privileged to have lived in the era of The Eagle; it was a quality publication as it's price of fourpence ha'penny reflects. (Dandy and Beano were then tuppence)
It was a pleasant surprise to re-live the days of Dan Dare, Digby, Sondar the Treen, and of course the evil Mekon. It was even more surprising to see how futuristic the author's ideas were 60 years ago. Well done Haynes!

Gil Hughes
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on 20 July 2013
Colour cutaways, character sketches of the human and alien protagonists (including the M*kon himself/itself/herself). Though firmly fixed in the 1950's, close reading may reveal technologies and themes which were carried forward into Startrek and Starwars and thus became immortal - not bad for a fairly obscure (it was expensive at the time) children's comic.
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on 14 August 2013
This is an excellent book, describing several of the spacecraft featured in the Dan Dare stories, and is a must for any Dan Dare fan. It marks a new departure for the Haynes manuals, which previously gave full instructions for maintaining motor vehicles. There is another in this new series describing the Apollo 11 space vehicles.
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on 3 September 2013
My husband loves this book!!! He says he feels a boy again and is instantly taken back to the 1950's.
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on 6 July 2013
I really bought this for my brother but I had a good nostalgic read before I passed it on. I still have several Eagle annuals and my brother has keep many of the Cut-away diagrams that were in the magazine each week. Those were the days - 4d a copy.
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on 25 June 2013
This volume lists all of the space ships and much of the equipment that features in Dan Dare stories. Good to have some 'technical back up' for some of the incredible capabilities described in the text and pictures of Dan Dare!
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