NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
WELCOME to this month’s “DISPATCHES” and the first of “The Year of the Rooster” in the Chinese calendar.
Because of the New Year and the factories all over China closing for 2-3 weeks this month’s releases are a little less numerous than usual but still, I hope, interesting. So here goes …
1. "AUSSIE RULES OK!"
During my visit to Australia last year I was fortunate to meet a couple of collectors who not only collect King & Country but also BIG 1:1 scale military vehicles. One of which was a WW1 vintage FORD Model ‘T’ truck complete with machine gun!
The guys provided some excellent photos and so, duly inspired, we produced the following …
AL071 "Light Horse Model ‘T’"
A desert-camouflaged version of Henry Ford’s classis Model ‘T’ complete with two “Diggers” and a front-mounted Vickers Machine Gun.
In the flat bed back of the vehicle is a spare. 303 Lee Enfield rifle and a folded-up tripod for the Vickers.
2. "THE LADY IN RED"
No, not the Chris de Burgh song but a Chinese beauty wearing the traditional “Cheongsam” (Long Dress) beloved by generations of very pretty Oriental ladies …
HK257G "Shanghai Lady In Red (Gloss)"
HK257M "Shanghai Lady In Red (Matt) "
HK271G "Shanghai Lady In Blue (Gloss) "
HK271M "Shanghai Lady In Blue (Matt) "
Two versions of the same figure in a choice of red or blue “Cheongsam”.
3. "ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY!"
By the time many of you guys read this you will already know about our return to “Ancient Rome” and in particular the Legions of Rome and their soldiers.
This will be a major series for King & Country and one that, I believe, will continue and develop over many years and into some very exciting areas. Here is just the first little taste …
ROM001 "The Legate"
A “Legatus” (anglicized as Legate) was a General of the Roman Army equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of Senatorial rank, his immediate superior was a Proconsul (provincial governor). The Legate outranked all Military Tribunes and was usually appointed by the Emperor himself.
The rank carried great prestige and was much sought after by Rome’s noblest families.
In provinces with only one Legion the Legate might also be the provincial governor.
In the field the Legate could be distinguished by his elaborate helmet and body armour.
Our K&C Legate is mounted on a black arab stallion and carries his own purple crested helmet.
ROM003 "The Primus Pilus"
The “Primus Pilus” or Primipilus was the most senior centurion of a Roman Legion.
In the Legion, the “Cohort” (of which there were between 6 and 10) became the basic tactical unit of each Legion.
The “Cohort” was then composed of 5 to 8 “Centuries”, each commanded by a Centurion assisted by an “Optio,” a soldier who could read and write.
The senior Centurion of the Legion and commander of the first Cohort, the Primus Pilus (First Spear) was always, a long-serving soldier and highly experienced advisor to the Legate himself and led the largest century of any particular legion – around 800 soldiers. His command would include cooks, clerks and other non combatants as well as the fighting troops. In modern terms he would be the equivalent of a Major in charge of a large battalion – sized unit.
Our K & C “Primus Pilus” is a tough well-decorated veteran of many successful campaigns. His white feathered crest atop his helmet and chest full of victory medallions testify to his senior position and status within the Legion.
ROM008 "The Vexillum Bearer"
The “Vexillum” was a small flag-like object used as a military standard for each Legion in the Roman Army.
Each vexillum would normally carry the Legion’s number ( in Roman numerals) and the painted or embroidered symbol of that same Legion.
Unlike the normal Legionaries the Bearer would wear a chain-mail vest or even scale armour rather than the usual overlapping plate armour (the Lorica Segmentata). In addition, the “Vexillum Bearer” would wear an animal skin and head on top of his helmet and equipment.
Our K&C soldier wears a grey wolf skin pelt and head.
ROM012 "Marching Legionary"
A classic and extremely useful pose this K&C Legionary carries both a large decorated shield and his throwing “Pilus” (Spear). In addition, his side arms included a “Gladius”, the long fighting sword and the shorter “Pugio” (dagger) for use in close combat situations where the sword was impractical to use.
As can be seen this regular Roman soldier is wearing the typical Lorica Segmentata armour of the 1st Century AD.
King & Country have selected to portray the XX Legion (the 20th Legion) “VALERIA VICTRIX” (Victorious Valeria) of the Imperial Roman Army in the First Century AD.
Originally founded by the Emperor Augustus in 31 BC it fought in Hispania (Spain) from 25-19 BC.
In approx AD9 it marched into Germania to help keep the peace and remained on garrison duty there before joining three other Legions in invading Britain in AD43 under the command of the Emperor Claudius.
It fought and campaigned all over Britain and into the wilds of Caledonia (Scotland) and even helped build the forts and defences known as “Hadrian’s Wall” to help keep the barbaric Picts and Celts out of Romanized Britannia.
Its symbol was the wild running boar which was featured on shields, banners and other items belonging to the Legion.
These are just the first 4x pieces… there are plenty more to came over the coming months.
In any WW2 display or diorama it’s useful, on occasions, to have some civilians around to break up that sea of “Khaki” or “field grey”.
Here’s what we mean …
FOB136 "Three City Gents"
3 x well-tailored individual Gentlemen “Civvies” to help populate any city or town street in the 1930’s or 1940’s.
FOB137 "Good Friends"
2 x young ladies, dressed in typical 1940’s garb walk arm in arm down any wartime street anywhere in occupied Europe or Britain.
5. "PIKE & MUSKET & WITCHCRAFT !?!"
During the troubled times of the English Civil War (as if there was not enough trouble and strife around) there suddenly and unexpectedly appeared a spate of witchcraft trials and executions. .. mostly in England’s East Anglia.
PnM072 "The Witchfinder General"
Mathew Hopkins was a self-appointed witch-hunter whose career flourished during the major upheavals caused by the English Civil War.
Although never officially sanctioned by Parliament, he prowled far and wide across East Anglia conducting investigations, trials and executions from 1644-1647.
More than 300 unfortunate people, mostly women, fell victim to his deadly inquisitions with more being hanged and burned than in all of the previous 100 years!
Our figure shows him in Parliamentary garb and wearing a black cloak and hat and carrying both a volume of Parish records ... and a sword.
He was memorably played by legendary horror film villain, Vincent Price in “Witchfinder General”, a 1968 British horror movie.
PnM073 "The Cavalier & The Lady"
And now for something completely different ... A touch of chivalry even in the midst of a Civil War ...
A bold cavalier takes the hand of a pretty young maiden during one of the short interludes between battles and skirmishes.
6. "CUSTER’S LAST STAND ... CONT’D."
From the lush green fields of England in the mid 17th Century to the burnt prairie grass of eastern Montana one day in June 1876.
The bloody battle continues between the officers and men of Custer’s 7th Cavalry and the combined forces of Sitting Bull’s Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors on the slopes above the Little Bighorn river …
TRW099 "Buffalo Hump"
Riding his favorite war pony this Arapaho warrior brandishes his stone club about to bring it down on the head of some unfortunate 7th Cavalry trooper.
TRW100 "Eagle's Wing"
Galloping past a group of the hated “Long knives” this Northern Cheyenne dog soldier turns in the saddle to fire his Winchester at one of the enemy.
TRW101 "Two Moons"
A white-faced Lakota Sioux charges past some more of the beleaguered “Bluecoats” fighting for their lives against the thousands of attacking Indians.
TRW102 "Two Old Texas Ranger Captains"
Although these two grizzled veterans of Texas law enforcement saw more than their fair share of “Indian Fighting” neither, fortunately for them, was at the Little Bighorn on that fateful day in 1976.
Instead, they decided to gather a herd of cattle and, with a few good men, drive them north out of Texas and up to Montana to start a cattle ranch.
Larry Mc Murtry, the great Texan writer wrote a similar tale and called it “Lonesome Dove” which became a Pulitzer-prize winning novel and a great television series starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall as the two retired Texas Rangers.
This is our small tribute to the Texas Rangers and ... San Antonio where some of the action takes place.
TRW106 "Kneeling Firing"
Another version of a trooper making every bullet count.
TRW107 "Kneeling Ready"
Crouching down and seeking out another “damn injun”!
7. "BRAVERY IN BATTLE"
There were many courageous men at Arnhem who fought bravely against mighty odds… this young man was one of the bravest.
MG074(P) "L/Sgt. John Baskeyfield V.C. and his 6 pdr. Anti Tank Gun"
Lance Sergeant John Baskeyield was part of the 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, an air landing unit of the British 1st. Airborne Division, that flew into Arnhem on 17 September, 1944 as part of “Operation Market Garden”.
Expecting only light German opposition the British were surprised to find 2 x Waffen SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions in and around the Dutch town which soon put the attackers on the defensive!
L/Sgt. Baskeyfield as an NCO was in charge of 2 x 6pdr. Anti tank guns helping to protect the Division’s main position in Oosterbeek, a small suburb on the outskirts of Arnhem. On 20 September, just after dawn John Baskeyfield and his two guns were in position defending a ‘T’ junction when a major German assault began. Two German tanks and an assault gun, supported by enemy infantry, moved toward the British location.
L/Sgt. Baskeyfield allowed them to get within 100 yards before opening fire and ‘knocking-out’ all three tracked vehicles. British paratroopers in houses alongside the anti tank guns decimated the German infantry with rifle and machine gun fire.
In the course of this action most of the young NCO’s gunners were killed or wounded and he himself badly injured. He refused however to be evacuated to a nearby Aid Station.
Sometime later another German assault began and the L/Sgt. again worked his gun alone – loading, laying and firing it on his own. He fired round after round at the enemy until his own gun was put out of action. Then he crawled over to the other gun whose crew had suffered the same fate as his own. From here, he once more single-handedly opened fire on another German self-propelled gun disabling it. Sadly, when loading the next round into the breech of his gun he was killed by a shell from yet one more German tank.
For his actions, bravery and supreme sacrifice he was awarded Britain’s highest military honor, “The Victoria Cross”.
Part of his citation reads, “The superb gallantry of this NCO is beyond praise ... He spurned danger, ignored pain and by his supreme fighting spirit and dogged devotion to duty was a constant inspiration to all ranks who witnessed his actions.”
THE K&C SET
Our new set portrays the wounded young Lance Sergeant loading his gun with a 6 pdr. Shell. The set also includes the 6pdr. Gun, an ammunition box and 2 x additional shells.
MG075(P) "Dead & Wounded Paras"
Two dead and wounded 1st Airborne soldiers are joined by a third wounded soldier crawling towards them.
AVAILABILITY: Mid-Late February
8. "PAYING THE SHERIFF"
From Arnhem to Medieval England in the time of Robin Hood …
RH022 "The Sheriff's Tax Collector"
One of the most hated men in the Shire .. Nottinghamshire that is! This is the man who would come to your village or hovel and demand a substantial share of your income to help fill up the coffers of “The Sheriff” and his liege lord, the dastardly Prince John.
Here he sits at his table making a note of everyone’s contribution in either gold, silver or produce.
On these unwelcome visits he was usually accompanied by several of the Sheriff’s own Men-At-Arms ... After all there are plenty of ruffians and cut-throats hiding out in the forest and you can’t be too careful!
RH023 "Poor Down -Trodden Peasants Set"
Alas, where you have “oppressors” you also must have the “oppressed” ... Here are two of them ... Poor Saxon peasants paying the price of living under cruel and greedy Norman usurpers. In this case evil Prince John and his cruel lackey, “The Sheriff of Nottingham.”
In this set the husband hands over a few coins of the realm together with a chicken. His wife supplies a basket of goose eggs and ... the pair of geese that laid them!
AVAILABILITY: Mid- Late February
9. "HUZZAH FOR THE HUSSARS!"
And now we’re off to France in the Age of Napoleon with a few, very nifty Hussars. In this particular instance, The 3rd Regiment of Hussars in their French Blue uniforms.
NA354X "Hussar w/ Hat in Hand "
A K&C Xclusive of an officer of the 3rd Regiment.
NA355X "Hussar w/Sword"
As before, another K&C Xclusive, this time a trooper of the 3rd with sabre unsheathed.
NA356 "Hussar Guidon Bearer "
A colourful mounted Guidon Bearer of the 3rd ... And NOT a K & C Xclusive!
NA357 "Mounted Hussar"
Sitting astride his chestnut-coloured mount and about to go on picket duty or patrol.
AVAILABILITY: Mid- Late February
10. "BEING RETIRED ...?"
A list of K&C items about to disappear … Don’t miss out!
AK090 "AK Rifleman"
DD261 "Oddball Sherman"
As many K&C collectors’ already know we love movies...especially WAR MOVIES! So when we came to do our “GANG OF HEROES” mini-series we knew we had to do this particular Sherman.
Well, here it is...Loudspeaker and all with our crazy but cool tank commander in the turret and a couple of his guys popping their heads out of the armoured hull...where are they going...who knows..? But there better be a whole big bundle of gold bullion at the end of it!
This particular M4 “Sherman” was one of the more unusual Shermans K&C has ever produced. Thanks to K&C collector Tom Dubell we were able to replicate a beautiful scale model of this “hero tank” from one of our favorite WW2 movies “KELLY’S HEROES” … Well, now it’s come to the end of its run and it’s time to depart for the great tank park in the sky.
So, if you’ve not got this unique piece complete with “Oddball” in the turret and a couple of his weird and wonderful crew popping out of the hull hatches … grab it while you can!
FOB118 "Morris CS9 Armoured Car"
A “classic” early war British armoured car utilizing the chassis of the Morris Commercial C9 truck. On this chassis was mounted a riveted hull and an open-topped turret. Armament consisted on a “Boys” anti-tank rifle and a Bren Gun.
Our model is in the markings of the 12th Royal Lancers during the Battle of France in 1940 and comes with a vehicle commander figure.
LOJ007 "Standing Elders"
Two elderly Jewish Scholars from our "Life of Jesus" series discussing religion.
LOJ013 "Standing Roman Auxiliary"
Auxiliaries, although armed like their Legionnary comrades, were quite different in appearance. Many units wore blue as their uniform colour. Their shields were also blue with particular designs on the front peculiar to the Auxiliaries themselves.
LOJ015 "Walking Auxiliary"
Spear in one hand… shield in the other…
LOJ017 "The Centurion"
Many, if not most, of the Auxiliary officers were regular Roman soldiers seconded to an Auxiliary Unit for a specific length of service. Here he is issuing orders of the day" from a wax tablet. "
And that, as I always say, is that. Hope you find something to your liking and satisfaction and that also tickles your proverbial fancy.
In the meantime, all the best to one and all…
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country