NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Welcome once more to ‘DISPATCHES’ and our latest batch of offerings. I’m also happy to report that life is beginning to get back to normal here in Hong Kong.
The Government mandate on wearing face masks was finally lifted after 3 years and now you can actually see people’s entire face again!
At the same time, China allowed travel between HK and the mainland to resume and at long last myself and some of the K&C Team journeyed up to one of our leading factories to see the progress on several of our major projects for 2023 and beyond.
A week later the Team and yours truly made a second trip into China to meet face-to-face with our top sculptor. What a difference that makes… we were able to see, comment and amend some of the new figures he had been working on. I truly believe that these kind of personal meetings save so much time, effort and money while helping to make a better figure, fighting vehicle or indeed any of the models K&C produce.
So, to cut a long story short… as normality resumes production will, I believe, ramp up as we move along.
In the meantime, here’s what is appearing this month…
What’s New In April…?
1. "In The Land of The Nile"
When we first introduced our ‘Ancient Egypt’ series one of the first and most successful group sets was ‘Pharaoh’s Sedan Chair’. Now long retired we had many requests to reintroduce it and so we had another look at the original and decided to make a few important changes and improvement.
AE099 "The Pharaoh’s New Sedan Chair Set"
A brand-new sculpt of a seated Pharaoh sits atop his Sedan Chair which is being carried by a team of 4 Nubian slaves.
Nubians were highly-prized by their Egyptian masters and were noted for their strength and endurance. Thousands of them were in Royal service and although still slaves were provided with extra rations and fairly good, for the period, living conditions.
AE101 "Queen Cleopatra’s Sedan Chair Set"
While working on the first set it seemed logical to offer another set complete with a different ruler in this case the original ‘Temptress of The Nile’, Cleopatra.
This is the third rendition of this Egyptian Queen by King & Country and portrays the lady in a typically regal pose perched on her Sedan Chair which is again being carried by 4 Nubian slaves.
Both sets provide colourful centerpieces for any Ancient Egyptian display.
AE100 "The Pharaoh’s Fan Bearer"
To go with the Sedan Chair sets you obviously need a Fan Bearer to keep the ruler cool and keep those pesky flies away.
Once more, the Royal Court has chosen a Nubian to perform the task.
2. "God Bless The Queen… God Save The King!"
6 May 2023 has been declared to be a Public Holiday and the Coronation Day of Britain’s newest monarch and head-of-state, King CharlesⅢ.
On that day Charles will officially become King of the United Kingdom and no less than 14 other Commonwealth countries.
As the eldest son of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ he became the longest serving heir apparent and Prince of Wales in the history of the Monarchy.
At the age of 73 he also became the oldest person to ever accede to the British throne. The tasks and duties before him are going to be many, wide ranging and increasingly complex.
In addition, he is also following in the footsteps of a beloved mother who, as Britain’s monarch and head-of-state rarely if ever put a foot wrong throughout her long and memorable reign.
To celebrate our new King and to remember the long and valued legacy of his mother K&C has designed and produced a small number of individual figures to represent King CharlesⅢ and Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ.
Here they are…
CE094 "King Charles III"
The new King enjoys, just as his mother did, a very special relationship with all of Britain’s Armed Forces. As King he holds honorary rank in all three branches however it is the Royal Navy that he is probably closest to.
In 1971 he enrolled at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth to learn to become an officer. After completing his training Charles went onto serve on the guided-missile destroyer HMS Norfolk before moving to additional sea service on the frigates HMS Minerva and Jupiter. During this time he also qualified as a helicopter pilot operating from the carrier HMS Hermes.
By 1976 he was given command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington which as he has often recounted was one of the happiest times in his life.
This new K&C figure of King CharlesⅢ shows him in the full dress uniform of an ‘Admiral of The Fleet’… the highest rank in the Royal Navy.
TR014 "“The Queen & Her Corgis” (Royal Purple)"
Most ‘Royal Observers’ have noticed that Her Late Majesty enjoyed wearing bright colours, especially in her later years, with some wondering what colours were her particular favourite.
According to Ms. Angela Kelly, the Queen’s long-serving personal attendant, among her favourites were these three selections featured here.
TR014 portrays Queen Elizabeth in a shade of Royal Purple with of course, matching coat and hat together with simple classic black bag and shoes.
Around her feet are a trio of Royal Corgis. Since she was a small child the
Queen had loved and appreciated these small Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs beginning with her first called ‘Dookie’ in 1933.
TR015 "“The Queen & Her Corgis” (Emerald Green)"
Another favourite Royal colour was ‘Emerald Green’. Once again, the Queen in a standard pose with her Corgi posse at her feet.
TR016 "“The Queen & Her Corgis” (Tangerine Orange)"
The final colour combination here shows the late monarch in a saturated, bold orange ensemble.
The Queen herself selected her favourite colours because in her own words “You have to be seen to be believed”.
She was a ‘people person’ and enjoyed meeting millions of her subjects in all kinds of gatherings large and small.
Being petite herself she also understood that it would be helpful if she wore brightly coloured clothes so that even among huge crowds the people would still spot her easily.
SP126 "“A Trio of Royal Corgis” (Set of 3)"
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was originally a cattle herding dog that hailed from Pembrokeshire in Wales.
Their fame comes from being the preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ who kept more than 30 different Royal Corgis during her long reign.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has been ranked 11th in Stanley Coren’s ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ book which states that the breed is an excellent working dog.
In a family environment they tend to follow wherever their owners go and behave well around children. Besides herding, they also function as watchdogs due to their alertness and tendency to bark at strangers.
Because of their herding instincts they also love to chase anything that moves and occasionally nip at their owners ankles as this is what they were originally bred to do with cattle.
Among some of the names of the Queen’s Royal Corgis were Sugar, Honey, Sherry, Whiskey, Cindy, Rufus, Brush and Pickles… Take your pick.
3. "ACHTUNG PANZER!"
And now for something completely different… A section of 6 young Waffen SS infantryment from the 12th SS ‘Hitlerjugend’ Division fighting in Normandy in the summer of 1944. Out of the bocage and hedgerows come these figures.
WS374 "The Panzerfaust Team"
The ‘Panzerfaust’ (translated as ‘tank fist’) was a family of single-shot, man-portable, anti-tank rockets that came into German service in 1943.
It consisted of a light, recoilless launcher tube with a pre-loaded, high-explosive, anti-tank warhead protruding from the muzzle, much like a ‘fist’ hence the name.
It was a cheap to manufacture and easy-to-use anti-tank weapon for the ordinary infantryman being issued to single soldiers in addition to their personal weapons.
Firing was done from under the arm at an upward angle as its effective range was just 30-60 metres (about 35-65 yards).
Development began in 1942 and continued until the final days of WW2.
Our K&C 3-man section is each armed with their own Panzerfaust. As one kneels down and takes aim another moves forward and the third watches to see the success or failure of the first ‘shot’.
All three are dressed in the ‘mixed rig’ combination of camouflage jackets, trousers and feldgrau uniforms of 12th SS at that time.
WS375 "Marching Soldaten"
A pair of 12th SS troopers on patrol with rifles shouldered. It must be assumed that they are behind the frontlines and not in direct action.
WS376 "Standing Soldaten"
This young SS man could be on guard duty or just observing the enemy from a secure position.
Again, wearing the uniform combination common to many of his division.
4. "THE WINTER TIGER"
Finally, at long last, after almost 18 months of development our newest ‘Tiger’ and, quite simply, our best Panzerkampfwagen Ⅵ yet!
By the time you read these DISPATCHES every single one of these 500 ‘Winter Tigers’ has already been sold.
The response to our pre publicity has been amazing from all over the world. I believe we could have produced many more but we also wanted to make this very special breed of ‘Tiger’ very special too.
With its all-metal hull, turret and main gun… its moving flexible metal tracks and rolling road wheels with full suspension… and the opening hatches plus complimentary crew figures this 1:30 scale monster is impressive on every level.
Congratulations and gratitude to all those K&C collectors and dealers around the globe who have supported and encouraged us in this first, of I hope, many, exciting all-metal projects.
WS381(SL) "PzKpfw. VI ‘Winter Tiger’ Special Edition"
The Panzerkampfwagen VI better known by its nickname ‘THE TIGER’ was one of the most powerful tanks to see action during the Second World War.
Conceived in a response to the heavily armoured Soviet tanks the Germans encountered after their invasion of Russia in June 1941, the ‘TIGER’ completely outclassed all its opponents at the time of its introduction.
Its formidably thick frontal armour was almost impossible to penetrate with all existing anti-tank weapons systems of the period.
Armed with a superb tank version of the 88mm KwK 36 Flak Gun it was capable of destroying enemy targets at well over 2 kilometres.
These were even some reports of ‘kills’ at almost 4 kilometres!
As a battlefield superiority weapon the ‘TIGER’ served extensively from 1942 onwards across the frozen Eastern Front all the way to the blistering hot sands of North Africa and onto the lush, green fields of Western Europe.
Being a mighty armoured ‘breakthrough’ vehicle it was often employed as the spearhead of many German offensives. All the more incredible as only 1500 ‘TIGERS’ were actually constructed between 1942 and 1945.
This particular ‘TIGER’ is the 20th variant released by K&C since our very first in 1991.
Each of these Special Editions ‘Tigers’ is packaged in a sturdy, custom designed, full-colour box and comes with a numbered (001-500) Certificate of Authenticity.
AVAILABILITY: DELIVERY SCHEDULE: Mid-Late April
5. "BEING RETIRED"
And that my friends is April for you… not a huge amount but some very special and unique items that will find a place in some of your collections.
But before we go… Here is our list of retirements.
DD297 "Major Dick Winters"
Ever since reading Stephen Ambrose’s fine book “Band of Brothers” and seeing and enjoying the television series I have been a great admirer of the late Dick Winters ... a truly magnificent officer and leader of men.
After visiting the statue of Major Winters in Normandy I wanted K&C to produce a figure solely dedicated to him.
RnB007 "Caradoc, Chief of the Britons"
Caradoc , called “Caractacus” by the Romans was a 1st Century AD British Chieftain of Catuvellauni tribe, who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest. For almost 10 years, he combined ‘guerrilla’ warfare with set-piece battles to fight the might of Rome.
After his final defeat he was handed over to the Romans and, like Vercingetorix before him was sentenced to death.
Although a captive in Rome he was allowed to address the Roman senate. His speech made such an impression on the Senators that the Emperor Claudius himself pardoned him and granted him the privilege of living in peace in Rome... a rare honour indeed for a once rebellious leader!
RTA114 "William E. Summers, Gonzalez Mounted Ranger Company"
In the early hours of March 1, 1836 a small, mounted force of 32 men picked their way carefully through the Mexican lines and then made a mad, wild dash for the main gate of the little beleaguered mission. All of them knew their chances of survival were slim but they remained with their fellow defenders and fought to the bitter end in the final battle.
William E. Summers came from Tennessee and had originally been a trapper and still wore his buckskin jacket.
RTA115 "William P.King, Gonzalez Mounted Ranger Company"
The youngest volunteer in the Ranger Company and also one of the youngest in the entire Alamo Garrison... just 16 years old. His father was to have been part of the Gonzalez Company but took sick... Young William replaced him and even at 16 was a skilled horseman and crack shot.
RTA116 "Thomas R. Miller"
Tom Millar was a member of the Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers. Under the command of Lieut. George C. Kimble and Capt. Albert Martin, Millar and 30 other men successfully passed through Santa Anna’s besieging army and galloped into the Alamo on February 23, 1836 never to leave.
RTA117 "George Neggan of South Carolina"
Another horseman of the Gonzales Ranging Company armed only with a pistol.
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country