NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Welcome Guys, to a very exciting edition of “DISPATCHES”. As many of you will already know we are launching a major new series that will focus on the Vietnam War. The beginning of the range sees King & Country ‘zeroing-in ‘ on one particular event that became a turning point for the war itself and American’s involvement in it… THE BATTLE OF HUE during the TET Offensive of 1968.
Elsewhere in this month’s releases you will find a great set of Allied Leaders and Planners who made D.Day happen…
Add to that a brand-new figure of these Allied Leaders opposite number and you have a very different looking Adolf Hitler with his pet German Shepherd dog ‘Blondi’ and no less than SIX female members of the BDM (Bund Deutscher Madel), the girls wing of the Hitlerjugend PLUS one more little surprise!
From Europe in WWII we move over to the Pacific and bring you THREE more U.S.M.C. reinforcements to ‘beef-up’ your landing forces there.
Next, we go back to Ancient Rome with TWO fighting Roman Legionaries and then it’s on to the American Southwest of the 1880’s and THREE mean-looking Apache warriors.
And for “Streets of Old Hong Kong” there’s even a little extra ‘street characters’ set that will prove very useful for those collectors of that colourful range.
Finally, a timely reminder that K&C and yours truly will be taking part in The Texas Toy Soldier Show 2018 in San Antonio at The Menger Hotel on the 26th & 27th May (Memorial Day Weekend).
Dealers and collectors from all over Texas, the U.S. and elsewhere will come together to bring (and sell) some of the finest toy soldiers and military miniatures in the world today.
The Saturday evening of this 2-Day Show will see the return of THE SATURDAY NIGHT SYMPOSIUM which is being held in the Menger Hotel and features TWO great guest speakers, Capt. Raymond Lau U.S.M.C., C.I.A. ret’d and Mr. Daniel Martinez, Chief Historian of The National Museum of the Pacific War. The theme of this year’s SYMPOSIUM is THE BATTLE OF HUE and the TET OFFENSIVE. Ray Lau was a young Marine officer, in Hue when the battle erupted and was caught behind enemy lines and had to fight his way back, over eight days, to friendly forces and comparative safety. His story is both amazing and unique.
Dan Martinez, the host of several TV military history shows, will also present an overview of the general situation in Vietnam leading up to TET and the events of 1968.
There will also be a Question & Answer session after both talks.
In addition, each ‘SYMPOSIUM’ Guest will receive ONE of K&C’s very latest VIETNAM WAR U.S. Marines as well as other items.
Add in our favourite Menger Mexican Buffet Dinner and you have a great ‘night to remember’ at this year’s SATURDAY NIGHT SYMPOSIUM.
TWO Great Speakers… ONE Special Figure… A GREAT Buffet Dinner AND ALL FOR JUST $69! Book your ticket now.
So, without further ado… Let’s get down to the ‘nitty-gritty’…
BEING RELEASED THIS MAY…
By November 1967 half a million American soldiers were fighting in South Vietnam and General William Westmoreland, the commander of U.S. Forces there felt confident in saying, “the end begins to come into view…”
In North Vietnam however a major military offensive was being planned that would change everything and would ultimately have a decisive impact on American commitment to fight the war and on U.S. involvement in South Vietnam.
On January 30, 1968 on the eve of TET, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year North Vietnamese Army regulars and local Viet Cong militia launched a massive attack on ALL major towns, cities and military bases throughout South Vietnam.
Nowhere suffered more devastation and saw more bloody fighting than the old imperial capital city of HUE. After seizing control of most of the city the NVA and VC were counterattacked by both ARVN (Army of the Republic of South Vietnam) and U.S. Forces including United States Marines.
Now began a long and bitter struggle to retake the city.
King & Country’s first new ‘VIETNAM’ release in over 20 years begins to refight this epic battle.
A series of U.S.M.C. ‘Grunts’ battling their way street-by-street, house-by-house replicates the battle in miniature with some of the most realistic fighting poses that K&C has ever produced.
Here is just the first small ‘advance party’ of Marines… Many more will follow in the coming months as well as their NVA and VC opposition and some unique fighting vehicles!
VN001 "The Radio Operator"
Kneeling on the ground this ‘Grunt’ holds his PRC25 radio handset in his right hand and his M16 in the other... This figure is based on a great combat photograph taken during the battle.
VN006 "Looking Back"
A lying prone Marine looks behind him to see if there’s more ammunition coming up!
VN007 "Machine Gunner"
A black Marine or in Corps parlance, a ‘Dark Green Marine’, shoulders his M60 Machine Gun and looses-off a burst of bullets at the enemy.
VN008 "Decoy Marine"
Using one of the ‘oldest tricks in the book’ this Marine balances his helmet on top of his rifle to attract an enemy sniper to reveal his position.
The M79 Grenade Launcher first entered service with the U.S. Forces in 1961. Vietnam was its baptism of fire. It could launch grenades farther and more accurately than its predecessors and was much used at squad and platoon level.
Our Marine sits on his butt as he aims and fires. The M79 got its “Blooper” nickname from the sound it made as it fired.
VN011 "Kneeling Firing "
In 1966 the M16 was introduced into General Service with the U.S. Military and proved a controversial choice because of its early ‘teething problems’... Many Marines in particular preferred their old M14’s which were rugged, accurate and reliable. However by 1968 virtually every ‘Grunt’ carried an M16. It was light, just 2.5kg, and could fire single shot and fully automatic and would become one of the most manufactured and widespread combat weapons of the 20th Century and beyond.
K&C’s Marine kneels as he fires.
VN013 "Covering Firing "
Not wishing to expose himself to the enemy this Marine raises his M16 over his head and opens fire on ‘fully automatic’.
Although frowned upon as a waste of ammo... in a tight situation you did what you had to do to make the enemy keep their heads down and perhaps allow your buddies to advance or even fall back to safety.
VN-S01 "TET’ 68 BEGINNERS BONUS Set"
BUY All 7 of these K&C Vietnam Marines, which retail for US$43 per figure, when you buy them individually. OR BUY THEM ALL as a BEGINNERS BONUS Set and the price becomes just US$279... less than US$40 per figure!!!
GREAT FIGURES and OUTSTANDING VALUE!
2. "D.DAY... LEADING ALL THE WAY"
D.DAY, June 6, 1944 has gone down in history as one of the most pivotal moments of WW2… The Allied Invasion of Western Europe.
What can sometimes be overlooked is the many weeks and months that went into planning and developing the strategies that would make this invasion so successful and hasten the end of the war.
Also sometimes passed over are the other military leaders who ably supported the Supreme Allied Military Commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in many of his plans and decisions for that fateful day…
DD315 "D.DAY COMMANDERS PLANNING GROUP"
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded a team of many of the best Allied military leaders of WW2 among them were...
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (1890-1967), Ike’s Deputy Supreme Commander of the AEF (Allied Expeditionary Force). Tedder, a senior Royal Air Force officer was a loyal and trusted subordinate ensuring Gen. Eisenhower’s instructions were fully understood and carried out.
General Omar Bradley (1893-1981), the ‘soldiers general’, had a distinguished career even before D.Day having successfully commanded U.S. troops in North Africa and Sicily. He was chosen to command the First United States Army during the Invasion of Normandy and was responsible for both of the American landings at OMAHA and UTAH beaches. Later he took over the Twelfth United States Army Group which ultimately comprised 43 Divisions and over 1.3million men.
After WW2 he was promoted to become the 1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976) was Commander of Allied Ground Forces for the invasion and made major contributions to the original planning of ‘Overlord’. Although popular with soldiers and civilians, he could frequently be tactless and arrogant causing unnecessary conflict with his American allies and others.
After D.Day he was a key figure during the campaign in north west Europe and received the surrender of all German Forces in North Germany, Holland and Denmark in May 1945.
Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay (1883-1945), Commander in Chief of All Allied Naval Forces for ‘NEPTUNE’, the naval part of D.Day. Previously he had overseen and been responsible for the successful evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk in 1940.
Ramsay’s long experience and naval skills greatly contributed to the Invasion’s success.
Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash on his way to meet Field Marshal Montgomery on 2 January 1945.
D.DAY MAP BOARD
Here is the large Map Board showing one of the many planning maps for D.Day complete with seaborne routes for the invasion fleet and the individual landing beaches for the American, British and Canadian forces.
DD315-1 "DD315 Special Set# 1"
Special Promotional Set DD315-1 includes a figure of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DD284) for just US$20 extra while stocks last.
DD315-2 "DD315 Special Set# 2"
Special Promotional Set DD315-2 includes a figure of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DD291) for just US$20 extra while stocks last.
DD315-3 "DD315 Special Set# 3"
Special Promotional Set DD315-3 includes a figure of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DD294) for just US$20 extra while stocks last.
3. "... AND NOW FOR SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT!"
HK266G "Doing Business (Gloss)"
As many of you know, Hong Kong is a great port and trading city and merchants come from far and wide to do business here. This is just one example... A Chinese businessman discusses a ‘deal’ with a visiting Malay trader. In days of yesteryear foreign traders would often journey with their cargoes to the destination to finalise the price and details with their opposite number.
You could easily imagine this encounter taking place on the dockside of Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor as the hustle and bustle surrounds the transaction.
HK266M "Doing Business (Matt)"
As above, but in Matt finish
4. "RETURN TO THE THIRD REICH"
What would ‘DISPATCHES’ be without a look back at ‘BERLIN ‘38’…
LAH224 "Hitler & Blondi"
Again, as many ‘BERLIN’38’ collectors know we have done many ‘Fuhrer Figures’ over the years but only one showing Hitler with his favourite German Shepherd dog ‘Blondi’. As that set has long since been retired we decided, due to collector demand, to design and produce a brand-new one... and something a little different, but first some additional back-ground.
‘Blondi’ (1941-1945) was given to Hitler as a pup by the head of the Reich Chancellery, Martin Bormann. As evidenced in many photographs Hitler was very fond of the animal and it accompanied him even to the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin in early 1945. During that time she had a litter of five puppies.
As the end of his Third Reich grew ever closer Hitler determined not to be taken alive and was given a cyanide pill. To ensure that it would work another such pill was ‘tested’ on the unfortunate ‘Blondi’ with fatal results. In the end of course Hitler shot himself!
Here, however we see him in a more pleasant time during the summer of 1942 wearing a white ‘Summer’ version of his regular uniform. By the Fuhrer’s side stands a seemingly happy ‘Blondi’.
LAH225 "Eva Braun & Her Dogs"
Eva Anna Paula Braun (1912-1945) was Adolf Hitler’s mistress from 1932 until one day before he and she committed suicide in the Fuhrerbunker in May 1945.
For several years Eva also enjoyed the company of her two small Scottish Terriers, ‘Negus’ & ‘Stasi’ and would take them everywhere with her.
When she stayed at Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Obersalzberg Eva would often be seen in the ‘Dirndl’, the traditional female dress worn in Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria.
That is how K&C have depicted her... together with her two little ‘Scotty dogs’.
Returning back a few years before the outbreak of WW2 we have a small release of BDM Girls, which will fit into any Berlin ’38 collection…
LAH236 "Standing at ease"
A young teenage recruit to the Bund Deutscher Madel, the girls’ wing of the Hitler Youth. She is wearing the standard BDM uniform of white blouse, black neckerchief and below-the-knee dark skirt. Most girls wore white ankle socks and their own black or brown shoes.
LAH237 ""Winter-help" BDM Girl"
Every year after the Nazis came to power they organized a ‘WINTERHILFSWERK’ a winter relief programme that was financed by charitable public donations. Its aim was to provide food, clothing and coal to other less fortunate Germans during the inclement months.
BDM Girls and Hitler Youth boys led the way in gathering money from the general public all over the Reich. K&C’s smart young BDM girl is doing just that with her collecting tin held out before her.
LAH238 "BDM Standard Bearer"
This older BDM girl is carrying the large red and white, swastika emblazoned emblem of the entire Hitlerjugend movement.
Of interest she is also wearing the short, mid brown jacket that was worn in cooler weather by the BDM. A black beret completes here uniform.
LAH239 "BDM Pennant Carrier"
The BDM like the rest of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) was organized at both a local and national level into troops and districts... Similar to pre-Nazi Boy and Girl Scout groups.
Each local ‘troop’ might be anywhere from 30-100 members and had their own individual BDM pennant, a medium-sized triangular flag design in black complete with the HJ diamond and the group/troop number in white.
Our marching BDM girl carries the pennant over her right shoulder.
LAH240 "Marching BDM Girl w/Backpack (Brunette)"
Much emphasis was placed in the BDM with outdoor sports and activities... Hiking was particularly popular and during the summer and autumn months troops of young BDM girls would hike out of their towns and cities into the countryside to help local farmers gather their harvests or just for the pure fresh air and exercise.
This ‘240’ girl is a brunette.
LAH241 "Marching BDM Girl w/Backpack (Blonde)"
As above... but a blonde this time!
5. "THE FIGHTING LEGIONS"
ROM029 "Defending A comrade"
A standing ready Roman soldier preparing to fight off the enemy and... defend a fallen Legionary.
ROM030 "The Fallen Soldier"
His sword broken... his shield and helmet lost this fallen legionary is lucky to have a friend around to help...
6. "APACHES... ON DIFFERENT SIDES"
It’s a little known fact that during the “Apache-Wars” of the 1880’s in America’s southwest one of the major factors in helping the U.S. Army finally defeat the Apache tribes was the use of Apache Scouts. It was General George Crook who first pioneered the use of ‘rival’ Apaches to pursue and help capture other Apaches on the opposing side. As Crook said at the time, “It takes an Apache to think like an Apache and catch one too!”
TRW134 "The Apache Scout"
This kneeling pointing Chiricahua warrior points in the direction where the enemy is hiding... Now, is he pointing at some of the hated ‘Long Knives’ or some fellow Apaches...? You get to decide.
TRW141 "Apache Prisoner... & Apache Guard"
As one warrior stands bound his captor, wearing the Cavalry corporal’s coat, stands guarding him.
7. "FROM THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA... TO PACIFIC’S BLOODY SHORES!"
These days it is essential that K&C ‘DISPATCHES’ includes at least a few lean and mean WW2 ‘Leathernecks’. Make way in your collection for three more fightin’ Marines…
USMC024 "Marine Kneeling firing Carbine"
From mid 1941 onwards virtually every USMC officer and senior NCO was issued with the M1 Carbine, Officially it was to replace the pistols and submachine guns previously used by them.
For many however it was still useful, practical and plain old common sense to carry at least one additional weapon and that was usually the Colt 1911 A1 automatic pistol.
Our Marine carries both... Sensible guy!
USMC031 "Marine Crawling Into Position"
When the bullets are flying you should get as close to the ‘deck’ as possible. This Marine, M1 at the ready, edges his way forward.
I based this Marine’s pose on a photo I have of big John Wayne in the classic ‘Corps’ movie, “The Sands of Iwo Jima”. What better name to give him than ‘Stryker’!
8. "BEING RETIRED..."
Take a look at these and see what you might be missing…
AE052 "Small Papyrus Boat"
A single unmanned craft to sit along the river’s edge.
BBA052 "Vehicle Scout"
This GI has dismounted from the Jeep with his binos and a field radio to get a better look at the enemy position and report back to headquarters.
BBA065 "The General"
Some U.S. senior officers were well-known for their attention to detail… especially in their uniforms! This one is no exception — smartly turned out in a sheepskin - lined leather flying jacket and well-polished boots he casts a watchful and discerning eye over his troops.
DD275 "Capt. Dale Dye… Weapons Training"
As many of you war movie buffs know Capt. Dale Dye USMC ret’d has carved out a unique place for himself in the film world. He has worked both behind and in front of the cameras on such outstanding movies and TV series as “Platoon”...”Born on the Fourth of July”...”Band of Brothers”...”The Pacific” and, of course, “Saving Pvt. Ryan” to name but a handful.
He’s also a good friend of myself and K&C and was one of our very special “Guests of Honour” at the last Texas Toy Soldier Show "SATURDAY NIGHT SYMPOSIUM in 2015.
Capt. Dye’s military contribution to making many of these fine films and series more accurate and realistic is considerable and widely praised.
Here at K&C we wanted to say “thank you” for Dale’s work in our own small way and here it is...
We based our figure on several photos taken during the production of “Saving Pvt. Ryan” where Capt. Dye was instructing the main actors and some of the principal extras on the correct use and safe handling of real weapons...Including in this case the M1 carbine.
Capt. Dye totally immerses himself in all of the productions he gets involved with. In this case, he is dressed as a “Ranger” captain and is wearing the same uniform as the men of Capt. Miller’s squad in the movie.
DD300 "Master Sergeant Joe Gunn"
An M3 Lee tank, attached to the British Army in North Africa, has become separated from its unit ... Now, its commander, Master Sergeant Joe Gunn has become separated from his tank !!!
A nice single reminder of one of K&C’s oldest tank sets.
SP040 "Sandbags Gun Position"
Two curved, adjoining sections of double sand-bagged wall that can accommodate an artillery gun, a command post or a parked fighting vehicle or tank.
SP059 "Baskets & Jars"
A great little addition... a collection of various sizes of stone jars and fruit baskets. Perfect for a market place... or on board one of our Papyrus boats or simply sitting on the banks next to the river... The choice is yours.
WH049 "Sd.Kfz250/11 Panzerbuchse 41"
This lightly armoured halftrack mounting a 2.8cm gun was intended to be a close-support, anti-tank weapon for motorized infantry.
The first examples reached German units on the Eastern Front early in 1942. Although an interesting development it never achieved major success because of the low effective range of its 2.8cm gun. It remained in production for just one year.
However, as a representative German model of the war’s mid years… it’s a great little addition to any WW2 German collection.
WoD017 "Christmas Lamp post"
Every street needs a little light and this particular gas lantern is decorated with a gaily-coloured “Christmas Wreath”...Perfect for your Yuletide display.
WS232 "Pointing German MP"
“Schmeisser” machine pistol in one hand this “chained-dog” points the direction with the other.
WS264 ""Now This Might Hurt A Little…""
A sitting wounded soldier has his wound rebandaged by a standing Red Cross nurse.
WS344 "WITTMANN’S WINTER TIGER"
Although the Tiger’s ‘Winter Whitewash’ is beginning to wear-off the tank stands in all its glory...
As a ‘Command Tank’, the model sports 3 x Radio Antennas, and 2 x top turret hatches that open and close allowing collectors, if they wish, to place figures in the ‘open’ position or have everything ‘bolted down’ for battle.
The main gun also elevates and depresses as required. Interestingly, although the tank itself has a battle-worn appearance the ‘kill’ markings on the 88mm gun are brand-new. This was because, for propaganda purposes, it made for a better picture to ‘show the folks back home’ just how successful Michael Wittmann and his crew had been.
In reality, tank commanders would not have wished to draw even more enemy attention to themselves, their crew and vehicle with such an ostentatious and obvious display.
WS345 "WHEN WITTMANN MET PEIPER"
This SIX-FIGURE set portrays the moment when Jochen Peiper, also in black tank uniform, greets the junior officer Michael Wittmann and his crew.
As you see Peiper gives the almost-casual half ‘Heil Hitler’ salute while the younger Wittmann gives the full, extended right arm salute in reply. Wittmann’s Crew stand-at-attention waiting to be introduced.
WS-S01 "WITTMANN SPECIAL PRESENTATION GIFT SET"
This combined SET brings together the “WINTER TIGER” and the FULL Six-Figure parade set at a very attractive and affordable combined package price.
And that’s the story so far guys… Looking forward to meeting up with some of you guys in San Antonio and for everyone else…
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country