NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Well goodbye and good riddance to 2020 and welcome to 2021… Surely this New Year has to be better than this past one!
On the plus side of things this last twelve months has seen a major growth in online sales from many of our K&C Authorized Dealers and from private collectors all over the world.
So, although I’ve not been overseas since last February and precious few visitors have come into Hong Kong we’re still alive and kicking and, at the end of the day, it sure as hell beats the alternative…
Anyway, let’s get down to business… Here’s what’s coming this month.
APPEARING IN JANUARY
1. "Rebels On Horseback"
Fighting a battle is difficult enough but to fight it from a ‘moving platform’ in the shape of a horse is double the difficulty.
When the American Civil War began the Confederacy was fortunate in being a collection of largely rural and agricultural states.
Many of the men who flocked to join the new cavalry regiments being raised were natural horsemen who often brought their own mounts with them.
In addition, the vast majority enjoyed ‘hunting and shooting’ as pastimes and were expert shots.
The 29th Texas Cavalry were typical of the kind of regiment these men joined. Here we see five of them, including an officer, in ‘skirmishing order’…
CW108 "The Confederate Cavalry Officer’"
Wearing a ‘Canary Yellow’ kepi and brandishing his ‘Navy Colt’ revolver this officer is wearing a privately-purchased uniform set of ‘Confederate Grey’ shell jacket and yellow-striped riding breeches and long, over-the-knee black leather boots.
Many of the officers of the South’s cavalry regiments came from the local farming gentry and plantation owning community.
CW109 "Confederate Cavalry Sergeant Firing Carbine"
The Confederacy employed a wide range of Cavalry Carbines. Among the most readily available were the Burnside M1855 carbine... the Sharps carbine and... the P56 Enfield carbine.
Our sergeant is firing his Sharps model.
CW110 "Confederate Cavalry Corporal Holding Carbine"
Mounted on a coal-black mare this Corporal moves himself and his horse into a better firing position.
CW111 "Confederate Cavalry Trooper Loading Carbine"
After firing a round this trooper reaches back into his pouch for additional ammunition.
CW112 "Confederate Cavalry Trooper Aiming Carbine"
This particular trooper is resting his carbine on his left arm to ‘steady his aim’.
2. "AT THE AIRFIELD"
As two young fighter pilots enjoy for a few rare moments of relaxation during the Battle of Britain another RAF figure prepares to go on duty protecting the airfield itself.
RAF084 "Playing Drafts / Checkers"
Two RAF fighter pilots, during the ‘Battle of Britain’, sit down to enjoy the classic board game as their aircraft are rearmed and refueled before going back into the air to help defeat the might of Goering’s Luftwaffe.
RAF086 "RAF Police Dog Handler Set"
It was during WW2 that Dogs and their Handlers were first introduced into the security details guarding all Royal Air Force airfields and other secure installations.
Ever since RAF Police Dog Handlers and their animals have provided high levels of security in the UK and across the world for all RAF airfields.
3. "TIME FOR TEA"
Tea and China seem to go well together and this colourful little set proves it…
HK295M "The Chinese Ladies ‘Tea Set (Matt)"
Three well-dressed, upper-crust Hong Kong ladies enjoy a cup of ‘Yam Cha’ (tea) as they pass the time of day gossiping about their friends, husbands and... the local stock market!
HK295G "The Chinese Ladies ‘Tea Set (Gloss)"
Three well-dressed, upper-crust Hong Kong ladies enjoy a cup of ‘Yam Cha’ (tea) as they pass the time of day gossiping about their friends, husbands and... the local stock market!
4. "THE RETURN OF THE EMPIRE"
During the time when ‘the sun never set’ on the British Empire few of the world’s armies could have equalled the sight and splendor of Queen Victoria’s ‘Indian Army’.
And in that army the Cavalry were the most splendid and colourful of all… especially in their dress uniforms.
Possible the most colourful and certainly one of the most famous mounted regiments was ‘Skinner’s Horse’ (The 1st Duke of York’s Own Cavalry).
The regiment was founded by James Skinner, the son of a Scotsman and the daughter of a Rajput landowner who after many adventures formed a new regiment called ‘Capt. Skinner’s Corps of Irregular Horse’ which eventually was abbreviated to simply ‘Skinner’s Horse’.
Today ‘Skinner’s Horse’ is the premier cavalry regiment in the modern Indian Army and follows the proud traditions of the same regiment that served the British before independence.
Even its modern full dress uniforms are an accurate representation of the original ‘parade’ uniform worn during the time of British rule.
The ‘yellow’ colour of the long ‘kurta’ – style jacket was and is worn with the striped turban and dark blue cummerbund by all ranks.
When K&C first introduced our ‘Sons of the Empire’ series in 2009 it was always our intention to add some more dismounted figure to the ‘Skinner’s Horse’ collection and here they finally are…
SOE032 "Skinner’s Horse Havildar"
In the British Indian Army a ‘Havildar’ was and still is the equivalent of a senior non commissioned officer, usually a sergeant of many years experience.
SOE033 "Skinner’s Horse Sowar(Lancer)"
This rank came into use with the British Indian Army during the early 19th Century and refers to a ‘horse-soldier’ belonging to the cavalry in this particular case a ‘Lancer’.
SOE034 "Skinner’s Horse British Officer"
British officers serving in ‘Skinner’s Horse’ had a choice of TWO dress uniforms. They could wear the Indian-style, complete with turban and other Indian dress accoutrements or they could opt for the more traditional European-style ‘Lancer’ dress uniform in the regimental colours.
This officer has decided on the ‘European’ option. Some wealthy officers however had both.
5. "THE BEST 4 BY 4 BY FAR!"
At long last, here is the first of our two Australian Army, Series II, Land Rovers in service in South Vietnam during the war… The Military Police version.
Alongside and accompanying this great looking military vehicle model are a selection of really useful Australian, American and South Vietnamese soldiers that work well with the Land Rover and any roadside scenario…
VN092 "Australian Military Police"
Today’s Royal Australian Corps of Military Police is a corps within the regular Australian Army.
Originally known as the Australian Army Provost Corps it began in WW1 and was then (and today) responsible for traffic control, security duties, prisoner handling, investigation of service offences, maintenance of discipline and running military prisons.
It was granted the ‘Royal’ prefix in 1948 and adopted its current name in 1974.
During the Vietnam War it was an integral part of the Australian deployment with the first Aussie MP’s arriving in Saigon in mid 1965.
Eventually they operated in and around three separate areas, Vung Tau... Nui Dat... and Saigon of course.
Among their many duties were:
Armed Convoy Escort
Collection and Guarding Enemy Prisoners
Mobile Patrols and Road Surveillance
TAOR (Tactical Area of Responsibility) patrols checking base perimeter defences and strong points
Manning and Operating Road Check Points
Our two ‘Digger MP’s’ are doing just that... As the senior NCO stops traffic, his #2 covers him and the approaches to the check point with his M16.
The little ‘Check Point’ sign is also included.
VN097 "The Australian Military Police Land Rover"
This outstanding short wheel base, series II Land Rover is typical of the many Land Rovers that saw service in Vietnam.
Designed in the aftermath of World War Two the British-designed, four-wheel drive, 1/4 ton Land Rover incorporates many of the Australian-made improvements to their vehicles including an additional fuel tank and the reinforced front metal guard.
This K&C model also comes with a seated Military Police driver and a fully-fitted, canvas cover.
VN098 "The ARVN Military Policeman"
The ‘Quan Canh’ (military police) guarded army headquarters, government buildings and prisoner-of-war camps, escorted convoys and performed other typical military police duties... similar to their Autralian and U.S. counterparts.
He is shown with his steel helmet painted gloss black with red and white stripes and ‘QC’ on the front.
A black armband with the same letters and a white braided whistle-cord round his right shoulder can also be seen.
His pistol belt supports a black holster containing the ‘M1911’ .45 cal. pistol and a pair of handcuffs.
He wears standard US Army, but locally-made OD fatigues and black-shined boots.
QC’s would often accompany U.S. and Australian Military Police to act as interpreters with the local people.
VN100 "US Marine ‘Road-Sweeper’ Set"
During the Vietnam War not all transport between different bases was provided by helicopters, it was essential to use roads and tracks between locations and keep them securely open for all kinds of vehicles (military and civilian) and people.
That meant keeping hundreds of teams of soldiers out on the roads checking them regularly for mines and booby-traps set by both the local Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese comrades.
Here two U.S. Marines are carefully checking a suspicious patch of ground which the U.S. Army P-158 Mine Detector has alerted them to.
As the kneeling ‘Grunt’ gently prods the ground with his M16 bayonet his buddy carrying both of their M16’s looks on.
VN101 "Aussie Mine Clearing Set"
It wasn’t only the Americans who were on the lookout for mines, unexploded ordnance or I.E.D’s (Improvised Explosive Devices)... The Australians were also conducting Mine-Sweeping operations.
As one Australian operates his U.S. made P-158 Mine Detector his ‘body-guard’ follows on carrying an M16.
6. "MARCHING INTO TROUBLE"
The Sturmabteilung (SA for short) was the Nazi Party’s original ‘stormtroopers’ and played a significant part in Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920’s and early 1930’s.
Among their many purposes were providing protection for Nazi leaders and their party rallies and assemblies.
In addition they also disrupted the meetings of their political opponents and this often led to violent confrontations on the street and other public places.
Another of their main functions was to intimidate and influence the German public at large by holding mass marches and parades in virtually every city, town and village throughout Germany. Wherever you lived or visited during those tumultuous years of the Nazis dramatic growth and development it was impossible to ignore alongwith the constant SA presence and threat.
In the forefront of any parade or demonstration were the Sturmabteilung’s own corps of musicians… Sometimes a full military-style band, more often a smaller self-contained group of drummers, trumpeters and usually led by a drum major who would announce the presence of the SA detachment.
LAH-S04 "The SA Drum & Trumpet Section"
This compact 7 x figure set contains three side drummers and three trumpeters led by a bellowing SA Drum Major. All together in their specially – designed box.
7. "RETURN OF THE MOUNTED MAJOR"
NA475 "Gordon Highlanders Mounted Major"
This is an alternative version of our first mounted Gordon Highlanders Officer. Although the officer’s uniform is the same we’ve provided him with a different coloured horse.
Finally, we had hoped to have more releases this month but alas with the problems of covid and being unable to personally go into China everything takes longer to develop and check… except by internet… which is useful but still cannot replace the speed and advantages gained by personal visits and inspections.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and let’s hope for better times in 2021.
In the meantime here are this month’s ‘Retirals’ and ‘End of the Run Remainders’. Among them are some exceptional figures and vehicles… at some exceptionally good price points. Grab ‘em while you can.
8. "BEING RETIRED"
AK077 "Morris CS8 British 15 Cwt. Truck"
As virtually everyone knows the German Army made much use of “captured” enemy vehicles throughout the war… Rommel’s Afrika Korps were no exception! Here, complete with driver, is one of the “liberated” vehicles, the classic British Morris 15cwt. Truck still in its 8th Army colour scheme but with prominently displayed German crosses on the sides and on top of the engine.
AK103 "Desert Rommel"
Although seldom seen in shorts the Field Marshal did make use of some captured British clothing stores on occasion.
AK108 "Rommel on Inspection"
Erwin Rommel was one general who always liked to see for himself what was going on. His frequent inspection tours of front line troops both boosted morale and gave him direct access to what was actually happening on the battlefield.
Here for the first time, we see the “Desert Fox “ wearing shorts alongwith his normal uniform jacket.
AK109 "Rommel's Aide de Camp"
Usually when Rommel went out on his inspection tours he would always take at least one ADC with him ... to carry maps, take notes and to handle any one of dozens of tasks that he would need as he moved from position to position.
AK118 "General Ramcke"
Hermann – Bernhard Ramcke (1889-1968) was an outstanding senior officer of German paratroop forces during WW2. He was the rare recipient of the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds... one of just 27 soldiers granted this high honour during WW2.
Under the command of Paratroop General Kurt Student he helped plan the successful but costly airborne invasion of Crete in 1941.
By 1942 he led his brigade of Fallschirmjagers to North Africa to join Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps. There, he and his men saw plenty of action and fought with great valour and distinction at the pivotal battle of El Alamein in late 1942.
Despite their best efforts Ramcke and his command found themselves vastly outnumbered and surrounded. Rather that surrender Ramcke and his paratroopers fought their way out of their encirclement losing almost a quarter of the Brigade.
They soon captured a British supply column which provided them with food, fuel, ammunition and transport vehicles that allowed them to ‘battle’ their way west to rejoin the remnants of the Afrika Korps.
Eventually just 600 Fallschirmjagers made it to the safety of the German Lines.
After North Africa Ramcke took command of the 2nd Parachute Division in Italy before being transferred with his division to Normandy in 1944 just in time to fight the invading Allies there. He remained in France leading the defence of the great port of Brest until it surrendered in September 1944.
Our figure shows him in a typical pose in North Africa in 1942.
AK119 "“Attack!” (3x figure Set)"
Three more of Ramcke’s Brigade in action... perfect additions to our earlier release and suitable for battles in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and even Sicily and Italy!
AK120 "The Fire Support Team (2-man set)"
As one lying prone MG34 gunner, keeps the enemy’s heads down his ‘spotter’ (with the binos and pistol) observes the ‘fall of shot’.
AK121 "Signals Officer"
This white-capped FJ officer receives the latest orders from H.Q. via his field telephone.
AK122 "Kneeling Firing"
In any ‘action’ collection a rifleman in this position is a ‘must have’!
AK123 "Standing Firing "
Almost as important and invaluable as the figure above is the standing rifleman... Both men are armed with the standard Mauser K98 carbine / rifle.
AK126 "Standing Ready"
This MP-40 ‘Schmeisser’ – armed Paratrooper is already a veteran of airborne campaigns in Holland, Belgium and Crete... He’s tough, battle-hardened and experienced... Hence he gets the Schmeisser.
AK127 "Desert Trench Fighters"
Five AK infantry ‘half-body’ soldiers taking cover behind their long, sand-bagged trench. Included in this set is the full curved trench itself sand-bagged on all sides.
Inside are a section commander observing the approaching enemy through his field glasses... the section ‘Gefreiter’ with his MP40 Schmeisser machine pistol and a firing MG34 machine gunner. Backing them up are two different riflemen aiming their KAR98 rifles towards their 8th Army opponents.
AK128 "Battlefield Communications"
A kneeling AK Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) on the field telephone telling his command centre that the enemy is approaching and, perhaps, requesting artillery support or more reinforcements.
AK129 "MG42 Gun Support"
This 2-man team provides additional machine gun fire to help hold off any British, Australian or American advance.
AK130 "Attacking AK Combat Team"
They say ‘attack is the best form of defence’ and these 4 Afrika Korps soldiers are going on the offensive!
As the AK officer cautiously moves forward he aims his pistol at one of the enemy. Joining him are 2 different riflemen, one of whom has just been shot, plus one AK trooper with that famous or infamous, MP40 Schmeisser machine pistol.
EA081 "Lying Prone Bren Gunner"
An invaluable asset to any squad of British and Empire infantry was the handy Bren Gunner with his Light Machine Gun.
EA104 "Tommy Gun Sergeant"
Sikh NCO leads his men forward to engage the enemy.
EA106 "M3 Stuart "Honey" Desert Tank"
In support of our 4th Indian Division Sikh infantry is this iconic tracked desert warrior...the American-built, British M3 Stuart (also known as the “Honey”). Our model is in the markings of the 7th Armoured Division, the famous “Desert Rats” and comes with a sitting, full-body vehicle commander in the open top turret hatch.
EA109 "General Bernard L.Montgomery"
The casually-dressed “Monty” enjoys a “cuppa” while he ponders his next move.
JN013 "Aircraft Armourers"
A pair of armourers, kneeling and standing carrying belts of machine gun ammunition for their aircraft positioned on the carrier’s flight deck.
JN043 "Japanese Soldier Carrying His Bicycle "
Hard and brutal campaigning was no stranger to the average Japanese soldier in Malaya. Most of them were veterans of the China War and were tough, battle-hardened and resourceful.
JN044 "Japanese Riding Their Bicycles"
TWO of those Army cyclists peddling along as fast as they can go to get closer and closer to their ultimate goal... ‘SINGAPORE’!
LAH166 "SA Drum Major"
Mace in hand this veteran Musik-leiter" leads his men on parade."
LAH167 "S.A. Trumpeter"
LAH168 "SA Drummer"
PnM048 "Bread and Beer Seller"
Where the army went so did some of the “camp followers”. Here, a comely wench has some freshly baked bread to sell...and a few flagons of beer or it may be cider to sell to the thirsty and hungry troopers.
All the best and many thanks… here’s wishing us all a happy, healthier 2021.
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country