NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
A warm welcome to a brand-new year and a broad selection of brand-new figures as well as one or two colourful and dramatic revisions…
So, let’s get down to basics with a few introductions.
BEING RELEASED IN JANUARY
1. "Forward The 83rd!"
One of the Union Army’s most senior Generals, George B. McClellan himself described the 83rd Pennsylvania as “a first-class regiment with a fine proficiency on the drill field… and an even finer fighting reputation on the battlefield!”
Another senior officer remarked that the 83rd “encountered more fighting and suffered more casualties in action than any of its other Pennsylvania formations.”
He went on to state that the Regiment’s losses were not caused by military blunders or disastrous routs but its fallen lay with their faces towards the enemy!
The 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment was made up solely of volunteers who participated in almost every major battle in the Eastern United States, including the ‘Seven Days Battle’… Antietam… Fredericksburg… Gettysburg… Petersburg and, eventually, all the way to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865.
Another notable feature of the Regiment were its unique uniforms worn in the first two years of the war. These were in the style, cut and colours of typical French ‘Foot Chasseurs’ and had, in fact, been purchased in bulk from a military uniform contractor in Europe and then transported across the Atlantic.
These in turn were adapted and in some cases, copied to suit operational requirements on active service.
One of the 83rd’s most famous engagements was as one of the four regiments alongside the 20th Maine… 44th New York and 16th Michigan defending the hillock known as Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.
During this fierce struggle the Regiment’s own Commanding Officer, Colonel Strong Vincent was mortally wounded.
As a side note, several years before in 2008, King & Country released its first batch of 83rd Pennsylvania soldiers in a broad range of defensive poses.
This time, we are going on the counter offensive as, over a few months, we are releasing almost TWO DOZEN brand-new fighting Union ‘Pennsylvanians’ taking the battle to the enemy.
Here is the first installment…
CW119 "Colonel John W. McLane"
This mounted figure of one of the regiment’s best known commanding officers, Col.John W. McLane encourages his men forward as they attack an enemy position.
CW121 "Sergeant w/Regimental Flag"
Bravely following his commanding officer this bearded sergeant charges forward with the Regiment’s own banner proudly held aloft.
CW126 "Infantryman Advancing (Hand on Rifle)"
As the mass of infantry surge forward this soldier ensures he has a firm, double-handed grip on his musket.
CW127 "Infantryman Advancing (Rifle on shoulder)"
One more advancing, infantryman with his musket ‘shouldered’.
CW129 "Infantryman Charging"
The ‘classic’ attacking pose... running towards the enemy... and danger!
CW131 "Corporal Shouting"
As he moves forward, this non commissioned officer shouts back to the soldiers following him.
CW137 "Infantryman Advancing (Rifle at Trail)"
One more running soldier, face towards the enemy... rifle and bayonet by his side.
As you can see from these code numbers there are many more dynamic, fighting figures that will be appearing over the next few months including one of the heroes of ‘Little Round Top’ Colonel Strong Vincent… Look out for him!
2. "Turning The Tables"
From the end of June 1940 until June 1944 France had to suffer the double ignominy of defeat and occupation by the armed might of Hitler’s Germany.
For four long brutal years the people of France had to contend with forced collaboration with the Germans and their ‘Vichy’ regime enforcers.
During this same period Vichy also sought to actively ‘scapegoat’ specific parts of the French population to blame for the nation’s defeat and disgrace… Jews, Communists, left-of-centre politicians, school teachers and even Freemasons fell victim to a long series of witch-hunts and persecution.
Resistance, both armed and passive to the Germans and the new reality began slowly but grew more rapidly as the enemy began to suffer military setbacks and retreats.
Following the D.Day Invasion of June 6, 1944 as the first towns and villages of France were liberated some of the once mighty and much-feared conquerors began to fall into French and Allied hands.
Now, the ‘tables had not only been turned… but turned over!’
DD370 "Turning The Tables"
A pistol-carrying member of ‘The Resistance’ (‘Les Maquisards’) escorts a disarmed German prisoner-of-war.
WH101 "Fallschirmjager... Hande Hoch!"
A captured Luftwaffe paratrooper, still wearing his camouflage jacket, keeps his arms up in the air as he walks into captivity.
WH102 "For You Fritz, The War Is Over"
Another member of the Wehrmacht marches to the same destination.
WS361 "Dazed, Bruised & Battered"
The few Waffen SS soldiers taken by the Resistance were very lucky if they only were beaten up... Most would have been shot immediately!
3. "On The Little Bighorn"
68 years before the events in France in the summer and autumn of 1944 a very different kind of battle was being fought on the hills and valleys around the Little Bighorn River in Eastern Montana.
There, the last remnants of a proud U.S. Cavalry Regiment and its charismatic but quiotic commanding officer were down to their last remaining revolver bullets and a few final carbine cartridges…
TRW180 "Running Deer"
A dismounted Cheyenne warrior carefully approaches a 7th Cavalry casualty. In his hands he carries a war shield and a captured carbine.
TRW181 "Dead Sergeant, Dead Horse"
Lying dead with two arrows in his chest this sergeant is next to his dead mount.
TRW182 "The Plains Warrior "
Using his war pony for cover this bold Sioux warrior fires his weapon from under the pony’s neck.
4. "COURAGE UNDER FIRE"
EIGHT all-new ‘Vietnam war’ additions combined into FOUR exciting ‘vignette’ scenes and sets.
The inspiration for this dramatic little set was an actual photograph taken by the great photojournalist Don McCullin during the Battle of Hue following the TET Offensive of 1968.
McCullin spent weeks embedded with the U.S. Marines battling to retake the ancient Imperial city of HUE. His reportage and photos of that battle are among the very finest of any taken of any war at any time.
Now in his 80s the photographer has left all his wars behind him and now prefers the quiet, more peaceful pastoral landscapes of his native Britain and the occasional commissioned portrait. This is our ‘homage’ to a great and very brave photographer.
VN129 "Prisoner & Escort"
As the battle rages all around them a young Australian infantryman grabs hold of a Viet Cong suspect and rushes him back to a safe area for interrogation.
VN136 "Covering Fire Set"
As one Marine ‘GRUNT’ prepares to move to a new location his buddy gets ready to ‘open-up’ with his M16 and provide ‘covering fire’.
VN138 "Moving Forward"
Two more Marines, with fixed bayonets on their M16s rush forward onto an enemy position.
5. "BEING RETIRED"
As per normal… as we welcome new items into the inventory we have to bid a fond farewell to some others.
Here’s this month’s list:
FOB154 "Taking The Fight To The Enemy"
CSM John Osborn V.C. leads 3 of his Winnipeg Grenadiers into battle. In one hand he holds his ‘Tommy-Gun’, in the other a grenade.
All 3 infantrymen carry the standard British .303 Lee Enfield Rifle.
FOB155 "Bren Gun Team"
As the Bren Gunner moves forward his ‘Number 2’ provides covering fire.
IDF020 "The Israeli Army M3 Halftrack"
These sturdy and reliable vehicles were the ‘workhorses’ of the mobile Israeli infantry during the SIX-DAY WAR and for years afterwards.
In 1967 the majority of Israel’s M3’s came from French Army surplus stocks which in turn had been supplied from US Army surplus stocks after WW2.
The Israelis then dismantled them, re-engined them, added additional armour and ‘up-gunned’ them.
This new K&C model is one such example... and armed to the teeth! On both sides of the vehicle are mounted Belgian-made FN General Purpose Machine Guns firing a 7.62mm round, the same as the combat rifles used by the Israelis at that time. Upfront of the vehicle is the pole-mounted Browning .50 cal. Heavy Machine Gun together with a .30 cal. Light Machine Gun sighted next to the driver in the passenger position.
Other Israeli M3’s mounted 81mm mortars and even 20mm cannon...
Around our vehicle are all kinds of stowage items allowing more space for soldiers riding in the back of the M3. In this model we include a seated driver and three sitting Paratroopers (including a radio operator).
The model itself also sports the broad, black edged, white air recognition stripe found on all Israeli fighting vehicles of this era.
This is a welcome addition to K&C’s previously released M4 ‘Isherman’ tank (IDF002) and the more recent M38 Jeep with the recoilless rifle (IDF017).
SA001 "Horst Wessel"
A Berlin ‘tough-guy’ and petty criminal... his star rose rapidly in the SA (Sturmabteilung) and he became well-known to the Police, fellow comrades of the SA and, of course, to his enemies, the Communists.
In February 1930 his enemies caught up with him and he was shot by two left wing assassins. After his death he was promoted by Josef Goebbels, Berlin’s Gauleiter, as a ‘martyr’ to the Nazi cause and celebrated in words and music by a specially composed song “The Horst Wessel Lied” which during the Nazi years became almost a second National Anthem to “Deutschland Uber Allies” (Germany Above All).
Here, Wessel strides confidently forward, right hand adopting the ‘half-Hitler’ salute favoured by some Nazi Leaders and their acolytes.
SA002 "Marching Flagbearer"
SA003 "Marching SA Man"
SA004 "Marching w/Side Glance"
USN024 "Commander-In-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet"
One of American’s greatest commanders of WW2, or indeed any of the wars and conflicts the U.S. has fought in during its history. Chester William Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg Texas in 1885 and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1905.
When America entered WW2 in December 1941 he was promoted to Commander In Chief, Pacific Fleet with the rank of admiral.
Nimitz controlled the ‘Pacific Ocean Areas’ while General Douglas MacArthur took over the land campaign.
Admiral Nimitz was also present at the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.
Our figure shows Admiral Nimitz dressed in ‘Khakis’, the everyday wear of U.S. Navy officers in the Pacific Theatre of Operations during WW2.
VN034 "Saigon Embassy Trio"
This trio of figures portrays one of the most famous incidents of the entire TET Offensive... In the early hours of January 30, 1968 a Viet Cong guerrilla group attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. Blasting holes in the perimeter wall V.C. sappers broke into the embassy compound and took over several outlying buildings but did not actually get into the central multistorey complex.
Although the V.C. caused severe damage and killed and wounded a number of embassy military policeman and personnel they themselves were, after several hours, all killed, wounded or captured.
One of the most famous photos of the battle in and around the Embassy shows a young walking wounded V.C. guerrilla being marched outside the compound wall by two American MP’s... I’ve often wondered what happened to him. (3 figure set).
VN051 "Aussies on Patrol"
This latest 4-man set comprises four terrific add-on figures to the first five. Leading the way is a kneeling Aboriginal soldier of ‘The Royal Australian Regiment’ holding his M16 in one hand and signalling silently to his mates that the ‘enemy is in sight’.
Another kneeling soldier nearby lifts his L1A1 SLR to his shoulder and prepares to engage the enemy.
Meanwhile the remaining two soldiers move stealthily forward to take up fire positions as they await the remainder of the 9-man patrol to follow up.
And that’s January for you.
All the very best to you and… Let’s all wish for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2022…
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country