NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Hi Guys and welcome to this month’s ‘DISPATCHES’. Again I apologise for the relatively ‘modest’ amount of new items being released this month however as you no doubt know of the continuing difficulties with all production in China and the fact that K&C is still unable to journey into the P.R.C. to meet directly with factories and our sculpting team then you will, I hope, appreciate what items we can introduce today.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to business and this month’s releases…
What’s New In August..?
1. "The Battle of Goose Green... The Aftermath"
The first crucial land battle of the Falklands War took place over 14 hours on May 28-29, 1982.
Located on East Falkland’s central isthmus, the settlement of Goose Green was also the site of a small airfield. Almost 1200 Argentinean forces, mostly army but some airforce, were in a series of well-defended positions, within striking distance of San Carlos Water, where the British task force had just made its successful amphibious landing and therefor posed a potential threat.
The main British assault force consisted of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) together with a troop of three 105mm guns from 29 Commando Regt., Royal Artillery and one Milan anti-tank missile platoon plus several Scout helicopters. In addition, close air support was provided by three Royal Air Force Harriers and naval gunfire from a Royal Navy frigate, HMS Arrow.
Initial intelligence suggested that Goose Green was lightly defended however as the British paras began moving forward across the bare, windswept landscape they came under increasing enemy fire while still managing to force some of their Argentinean opponents to fall back.
As the enemy retired they combined with other units and actually strengthened their defence line bringing down heavy machine gunfire on the advancing British forcing them to take cover.
With the advance held up 2 Para’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. ‘H’. Jones moved forward to see for himself the situation on the ground.
To regain the initiative and inspire his men Colonel H. led a charge towards one of the main enemy trenches and was fatally shot down by an Argentine army sniper.
In the hours following the death of their colonel the various elements of 2 Para began moving forward once more fighting a continuing series of fierce skirmishes and fire fights that again forced the enemy back.
By last light on 28 May the British Paratroopers had, after many hours of fighting, surrounded, but not captured, the enemy position at Goose Green. The paras were exhausted, cold and low on water, food and ammunition and their temporary commander, Major Chris Keeble came up with a cunning plan… He sent a message to the Argentine garrison commander offering him the opportunity to surrender his force and save lives or face an ongoing battle the next morning where he and his men would suffer the horrendous consequences… and many more casualties.
Early the following day, 29 May, the enemy commander agreed to an unconditional surrender and the Argentineans laid down their arms.
An amazing and vitally important victory was won by guts, perseverance and more than a little guile too!
No battle, no matter how successful, comes without a cost…
The British lost 18 killed (16 Paras, one Royal Marine pilot and one commando engineer) and 64 wounded.
The Argentine forces had almost 60 killed, another 86 wounded and more than 950 captured.
This latest ‘Falklands’ release shows six soldiers of both nations (3 paras and 3 Argentineans) in the immediate aftermath of the surrender as the British ‘Toms’ disarm and escort their prisoners towards a secure holding area.
TF003 "C’mon Pablo Keep Moving!"
A young British para urges an enemy captive to move a little bit faster along the way.
TF004 "Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina"
During the Falklands War this famous song from the popular musical ‘Evita’ was often played by British regimental bands with a strong flavor of sarcasm! The British troops themselves changed the original lyrics to...
“You don’t frighten me Argentina
The truth is we will defeat you
We’ll sink your carrier with our Sea Harrier
And sink you and your submarines too!”
This second paratrooper hums the famous tune as he escorts another P.O.W.
TF005 "Just Making Sure..."
Number three Para conducts a thorough search of this prisoner before allowing him to rejoin his other captured comrades.
Special Falklands Note: K&C is already hard at work on additional British Forces in action, including a special figure of Lieut. Col ‘H’ Jones, Victoria Cross and one of Britain’s finest little fighting vehicles… a Blues & Royals ‘Scorpion’ Light Tank Plus some more of the opposition defending their positions.
2. "... And Now For Something Completely Different!"
From the cold, bare windswept islands of the South Atlantic to the grey cobblestone streets and boulevards of Napoleonic Paris in the Age of Bonaparte…
That’s a fairly long leap historically as well as geographically speaking but in the wonderful world of toy soldiers and military miniatures nothing is impossible…
NA501 "The Emperor’s Own Imperial Guards’ Fifes & Drums"
Here’s a neat and colourful little set of seven Napoleonic musicians from the Emperor’s own Imperial Guard better known as ‘The Old Guard’, possibly the most prestigious formation of Napoleon’s ‘Grande Armee’.
Famously devoted to their Emperor, he even referred to them as ‘my children’, the members of the ‘Old Guard’ were specially selected based on their physical traits, most notably, above average height and previous military experience and battlefield bravery.
Similarly the musicians accepted into the regiment had to be of proven musical ability and meet the same physical requirements. The sole exceptions were the young boy musicians who were often orphans or teenage children of serving Guardsmen who were trained by their elder fellow band members.
This seven-figure set includes the decoratively dressed Drum Major wearing the be-plumed bicorne alongwith TWO adult side drummers and ONE younger drummer. Alongside them are TWO more ‘Old Guard’ fifers and a junior fifer.
The seven-figure set comes in its own special box with a decorative full colour label.
NA502 "Old Guard Drummer"
Single, additional Side Drummers are available to enlarge your fife & drum corps.
NA503 "Old Guard Fifer"
As above, individual Fifers to increase the fife & drum corps.
Special Note: The Boy Musicians and the Drum Major are only available as part of the special seven-figure set.
3. "On The Streets of Old Saigon"
Once more we journey from Paris, France to the streets of what was once one of the principal cities of French Indo China… Saigon.
VN145 "The Pink Lady Vespa Girl"
Following the success of our first three Vietnamese ‘Vespa’ girls we have had many requests from Vietnam collectors for additional variations.
Here is one more...
The traditional national dress of Vietnamese girls and women is the ‘Ao Dai’, a long, form fitting, silk tunic worn with pants and most commonly seen on special occasions such as TET, the New Year celebration or for weddings and funerals.
Before the ready availability of Western dress for Vietnamese women many schools and colleges also required their female pupils and students to wear some form of everyday ‘Ao Dais’ as part of their uniform.
This young women wears a colourful, pink-patterned version of the national costume as she navigates her gleaming white Vespa through Saigon’s bustling streets.
VN150 "The Red Vespa Girls"
As two more young Vietnamese women make their way about town, the passenger here rides ‘side saddle’ as she clutches a small bunch of flowers... Perfect for any Vietnam street scene!
4. "Bluejackets In Action"
World War II U.S. Navy uniforms have a unique lineage that dates all the way back to the War of Independence.
All the uniform details such as bell-bottom trousers, neckerchiefs and sailors collars all evolved from decorative or functional items of past naval uniforms and modes of dress.
This means that when certain uniform features become several generations old, they often become ‘traditions’.
It is these traditions that still inspire pride in every sailor who wears the uniform of the United States Navy.
One tradition that began in the mid 19th Century and lasted well into the 20th Century was the term of referring to sailors as ‘bluejackets’.
This came about from the introduction of the regulation navy-blue jumpers, bell-bottoms and caps for all enlisted seamen.
Eventually the navy blue uniform would become cold weather wear and part of the full dress parade uniform.
These latest U.S. Navy sailors / bluejackets are an alternative version of K&C’s long-retired but very popular ‘Sand Pebbles’ crew from a few year back.
Then all of our ship’s crew were dressed in ‘undress whites’ suitable for service in the tropics and the Far East.
The only exception were a pair of ‘swabbies’ on shore patrol duty. Personally speaking I’ve always liked the navy blue uniform and thought it would be fun to provide the alternative.
Although these first four sailors are in familiar poses lookout for future releases of all-new U.S. Navy sailors in their ‘bluejacket’ landing party role.
USN025 "Bluejacket Marching w/Rifle"
The M1903 Springfield Rifle was an American five-round, magazine-fed, bolt-action rifle used primarily in the first half of the 20th Century.
All of these ‘bluejackets’ are wearing web belt order complete with 10 x ammunition pouches, a water canteen and a sheathed bayonet in addition to long web gaiters.
USN026 "Bluejacket Standing Firing Rifle"
USN027 "Bluejacket Kneeling Firing Rifle"
USN028 "Bluejacket Port Arms"
5. "KOKODA: The Long Bloody Trail"
By the middle of 1942 Japan’s empire extended in depth across vast tracts of China, the Pacific and Southeast Asia. During the six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong had fallen, rapidly followed by Malaya and Singapore, then the Philippines and finally, the Dutch East Indies.
Now the Japanese stood poised to attack Australia’s territory in New Guinea, just one hundred miles north of the great southern continent.
With New Guinea as a forward base Japan’s navy and airforce could attack Australia, threaten its link to America and also act as a ‘shield’ to protect its newly-acquired Dutch East Indies.
Beginning in March 1942 the Japanese had already landed at various points on the north coast of New Guinea and started to advance towards the key objective, Port Moresby, the territory’s capital and main port.
In May 1942 however, the Battle of the Coral Sea thwarted an additional Japanese plan to launch an amphibious assault directly on the port.
The main effort now would be an overland thrust south westwards along the Kokoda Trail (or track) running across the rugged Owen Stanley Mountains via the native village of Kokoda.
At this time, the island’s Australian commander mistakenly believed the Trail was impassable for large-scale troop movements and the Japanese only encountered minimal resistance from a small force of New Guinea volunteers.
By the end of July 1942 the Japanese had captured Kokoda and brought almost 14,000 battle-hardened troops into action.
As the military situation deteriorated more experienced Australian units began arriving at Port Moresby and were immediately rushed northwards to the front-line towards the rapidly advancing Japanese.
Following the first clash of arms on August 26 the Australian reinforcements were pushed back once more to a ridge overlooking Port Moresby.
Once there fresh Australian reinforcements arrived to bolster the Aussie line and the fighting moved elsewhere.
Soon however the Japanese realized they had seriously over-extended their supply lines resulting in severe shortages of food and ammunition.
Even in retreat however the Japanese could still prove a deadly foe and many more battles were to take place before, in November 1942, the Aussies managed to retake Kokoda itself and a nearby airfield.
AUSSIE GRIT & GUTS
The struggle for the Kokoda Trail was marked by great courage and endurance in the most appalling conditions by the soldiers of both sides.
Those who took part would never forget the harsh physical and mental demands of fighting in a steep mountainous terrain with the constant damp of the tropical jungle and the ever-present dangers of disease and discomfort.
For Australians in particular the Kokoda Trail Campaign is a testament to their amazing endurance and tenacity that equals even the Legend of Gallipoli.
This new King & Country series of figures once more pays tribute to the honour, memory and sacrifice of all the Australian fighting men who fought and died on that long bloody trail in a place called ‘KOKODA’.
KT001 "The 'Kokoda Digger'"
A standing figure of the typical Aussie ‘digger’, dressed in ‘Jungle Green’, slouch hat at an angle, and holding onto his trusty Lee Enfield rifle because his life depends on it!
Note the weary but still defiant look of this Australian fighting man.
KT002 "The Kokoda Patrol"
A four-man fighting patrol led by an NCO (non commissioned officer) carrying the .45 calibre Thompson Submachine Gun.
Backing him up are a walking Bren Gunner with his weapon at waist level and a pair of riflemen with their .303 rifles covering both left and right sides of the trail.
A pair of walking wounded Australians slowly making their way to the nearest Field Hospital somewhere in the rear.
6. "BEING RETIRED..."
AE064 "The Stone Sled Team"
Although animals were also used to help drag huge blocks of stone to and around the pyramid’s building site most of the ‘heavy-hauling’ was undertaken by manual labour.
Here a team of six labourers haul a wooden sled on which a large block of stone has been tied down to.
If on level ground or sand, wooden logs could be placed under the sled to ease the passage of the load. On ramps however, built at an angle leading up to the various levels of the pyramid, brute strength was still the best, if hardest, method used. Six figures... one wooden sled... and one very large block of stone!
IDF003 "Israeli Machine Gunner"
At this time, 1967, Israeli Forces were equipped with a number of weapons including the FN FAL series of Assault Rifles and Light Machine Guns.
Using a 7.62mm round Israel order 2 x different versions... One standard rifle for the regular infantryman and the heavy-barrel version complete with bipod as a squad support machine gun.
Our advancing Para Machine Gunner carries his weapon with the bipod folded underneath.
IDF015 "Israeli Para... Pointing "
Belgian-made FN rifle held aloft this other Para is indicating in which direction ‘Prisoner & Escort’ should go.
KX002 "Sergeant Quincannon"
KX034 "Colonel Thursday"
TRW034(P) "Buffalo Calf Road Woman"
Illustrates one of the many females who took part in the battle. A Northern Cheyenne she fought alongside her husband at the Little Bighorn and is said to have knocked Custer himself off his horse during the fight. Here she fires her revolver at a dismounted “Long Knife”…..
USMC015 "Marine Grenadier"
Holding his M1 ‘Garand’ in one hand, this ‘Leatherneck’ expertly pitches his MK2 Grenade at the opposing Japs.
In appearance the Mk2 Grenade had a series of grooves and knobs cast in its casing that gave it the appearance of a ‘Pineapple’. Naturally, that soon became its nickname.
And there you have it my friends… Not a huge number of releases but some very fine figures depicting some very important wars, campaigns and battles.
I hope you find something for you. In the meantime… until we meet again.
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country