NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Welcome to this month’s ‘DISPATCHES’, a much more modest selection than usual, but an interesting collection nevertheless and with a couple of surprises.
In this edition we will also preview three of our August releases.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
BEING RELEASED IN JULY…
1. "WINTER GIs"
It’s been quite a few years since K&C’s last dedicated ‘Battle of The Bulge’ releases… especially on the American side of the battle. Well, now that’s all changed with the July availability of no less than 12 brand-new sculpts of GIs in action… All wearing the long, U.S. Army issue greatcoat and warm, woolen gloves.
These GIs are armed with a broad selection of weapons and ready to repulse the surprise German attack, which erupted on the morning of 16 December 1944 in the area of Belgium known as… ‘The Ardennes’.
Take a closer look of our featured releases of ‘Winter GIs’ on Youtube.
BBA091 ".30 Cal. Machine Gun Team"
Another of John M. Browning’s masterpieces, the ‘Model 1919’ was originally developed as a general purpose machine gun for the U.S. Cavalry, for use in its tanks and armoured cars or, in the ‘ground role’ mounted on a tripod.
The U.S. Infantry liked the weapon so much that during WWⅡ they introduced both a rifle-style butt in addition to the more familiar pistol grip.
The heavy barrel was air-cooled using a perforated jacket. The gun’s tripod mount could be adjusted allowing the gunner to utilise both the ‘sitting’ and ‘lying prone’ positions.
Our 2-man team are in the prone position with the gun’s ‘Number 2’ feeding the ammunition belt into the M1919 with his M1 Garand lying next to him.
BBA092 "B.A.R. Gunner"
Although, strictly speaking, the B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle) was not a machine gun it was employed mostly in the light machine gun role within American WW2 Infantry Squads.
Each American infantry squad (usually 8-10 men) would always contain at least one soldier carrying the B.A.R.
Both the M1 ‘Garand’ Rifle and B.A.R. used the same .30 cal. ammunition.
K&C’s new B.A.R. Gunner is taking cover as he observes the enemy.
BBA093 "Lying Prone Rifleman"
This winter-clad GI is taking aim from the prone firing position.
BBA094 "Kneeling Rifleman"
This kneeling infantryman is using one of the most outstanding weapons of WW2... The .30 cal. M1 Rifle was designed by John C. Garand who originally worked for the Springfield Arsenal.
Its design resulted from the U.S. Army’s experience in WW1 when it was recognized that a self-loading rifle brought greater advantage on the battlefield and a major increase in the infantry squad’s firepower.
Although quite heavy (9.5 lbs.) or 4.4kg its 8-round magazine and sturdy reliability made it popular with all the troops who carried it.
After WW2 the rifle also served in the Korean War until its replacement by the M14 in the late 1950s.
BBA095 "Standing Rifleman"
Classic firing pose with the classic rifle.
BBA096 "Throwing Grenade"
A kneeling rifleman holds his M1 ‘Garand’ in his left hand as he prepares to hurl a grenade at the approaching enemy.
Most infantrymen carried at least 2 x grenades with them... either the small, smooth-finish grenade or the standard MKⅡ ‘Pineapple’ version.
The danger area was a nominal 10/11 yards (9metres) circle around the explosion and throwers were well-advised to be behind cover when the device went off!
BBA097 "Command Set"
This 2-man set includes the Squad’s radio man carrying the ‘SCR-538’ backpack radio with a telephone handset.
Because of the extra weight of the radio and its batteries most radio operators carried the lighter M1 Carbine as a personal weapon.
Most ‘Squad Leaders’ were corporals however some sergeants would also take up this role.
Chances are, our Squad Leader is a ‘Sergeant’ as he’s carrying the Thompson submachine gun which was a rare weapon for junior NCOs to carry.
BBA098 "The Bazooka Team"
When the US Army entered WW2 its antitank defense was the 37mm towed gun and the .50 cal M2 Browning heavy machine gun.
US experts adopted and adapted an original Swiss design and created a man-portable antitank weapon that could also be used to knockout pillboxes and other fixed defences.
Nicknamed “The Bazooka”, these new weapons began to go into service in 1943 and proved easy to use and relatively easy to transport across the battlefield.
As the ‘gunner’ aims the bazooka on the target his ‘Number 2’ loads the projectile into the rear of the weapon.
The ‘number two’ also carries his own as well as his buddy’s M1 ‘Garand’.
This final ‘Winter GI’ is definitely either a ‘sergeant’ or possibly a junior officer. In addition to his ‘Tommy-Gun’ he also has the holstered Colt M1911A1 as his sidearm.
Both pistol and submachine gun utilize a common .45 calibre round which is both sensible and very useful.
BBA-S01 "“Battle of The Bulge” Winter Bonus Set"
Purchase ALL 12 of these brand new ‘Battle of The Bulge’ figures and King & Country will provide you with a special, custom-painted KnC ‘Winter Sherman Tank’ with our compliments and a very special combined price.
As only a limited number of these ‘Winter Shermans’ are available place your order soon.
2. "ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS!"
In between wars, battles and campaigns it’s important to keep your troops morale up and, when you can, provide a little entertainment and diversion that reminds them of home and perhaps, what they are fighting for and what they may want to return to…
During the Vietnam War all kinds of entertainers flew out to that war-torn country to put on a show for the hundreds of thousands of GIs stationed throughout South East Asia… Here is just a small but colourful example…
VN147 "'The Apocalypse Playmates Set"
In Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic ‘Apocalypse Now’ there is one particular scene where a trio of ‘Playboy Playmates’ descend by helicopter on a stage in front of thousands of sex-starved GIs and proceed to put on a very provocative show for the benefit of the troops.
If the girls’ intentions were to inflame the passions of the crowd they certainly succeed as the assembled military audience attempt to storm the stage and grab the girls.
As the Military Police are overwhelmed it is only the intervention of some Special Forces guys together with a waiting ‘Huey’ that prevents disaster...
Well, here they are... ‘Cavalry Girl’... ‘Pocahontas’... and ‘The Sheriff‘.
All three together in a special 3 figure box.
If, however, you would prefer just one of the girls these are also available...
VN151 "Playmate Pocahontas"
In a very fetching, not-so-traditional Native American costume.
VN152 "Playmate Cavalry Girl"
I’m not sure General Custer would approve of her uniform... but Colonel Kilgore certainly would!
VN153 "Playmate Sheriff"
This young lady could lay down the law anytime and which red-blooded male wouldn’t be happy to spend a night in jail with her!!!
3. "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES"
From a fictitious movie about the Vietnam War to a real entertainer who actually did so much for the troops over there with his annual ‘Bob Hope Christmas Show’.
From 1964 to 1972, one of the few constants of the conflict and one of the most eagerly anticipated was the yearly visit by one of America’s most popular comedians… Mr. Bob Hope.
Beginning in WW2 this great entertainer logged millions of miles flying around the globe with his hand-picked tame of singers, dancers and musicians to put on shows for the US Military on airfields, aircraft carriers, army camps, hospitals and dozens of other locations wherever GIs were stationed.
A TRIBUTE IN MINIATURE
As the numbers of US Military in South Vietnam grew each year so too did the length of each ‘Christmas Show’ and the venues expand.
K&C are releasing 2 versions of this great American comedian as he might have appeared during his 1967/’68 tours.
VN148 "USMC Bob"
Here, the comedian is wearing a USMC Field Shirt decorated with no less than 3 x divisional patches of the three US Marine Corps divisions that served in Vietnam.
Bob’s headgear is a red ballcap with USMC proudly on the front.
VN155 "US Army Bob"
This figure wears the standard US Army Field Shirt adorned with oversized full colour patches of the Air Cavalry and the MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam). On his head ‘Bob’ wears a navy blue ballcap with a Green Berets cap badge.
On the back of both field shirts are a list of just some of the typical venues around South Vietnam where the shows were staged.
AVAILABILITY: Late July
4. "SPECIAL AUGUST PREVIEW"
These past few months, April, May and June, Britain has remembered a very special time in our military history… The 40th Anniversary of The Falklands War.
This conflict, just 10 weeks long, was remarkable for many reasons among them the sheer professionalism and superior training of all the British Forces involved and the almost overwhelming support of the British people to evict an illegal occupying army from British territory and liberate its people, the Falkland islanders.
K&C’s first two releases of Falklands War Royal Marines ‘yomping’ across East Falkland have proved to be exceptionally popular and now we are releasing 3 more 2-figure sets to mark the first land victory in the campaign, The Battle of Goose Green.
Over two days, in a fourteen hour struggle, the Second Battalion of The Parachute Regiment (2 Para) fought an enemy force almost three times larger than itself!
Lacking adequate artillery and air support the battalion fought a long, grueling battle across nearly featureless, windswept and uneven open ground to capture the small settlement and free just over a 100 local civilians.
These 3 upcoming sets portray the immediate aftermath of the battle as the ‘Paras’ collect, disarm and search some of the enemy combatants.
Already in development are several additional ‘Falklands Sets’ featuring British paratroopers and marines in action during the campaign… and some of the Argentinean ‘defenders’ of Las Malvinas’.
TF003 “C’mon Pablo Keep Moving!”
One of our Paras, gently but firmly, urges one of the Prisoners to move along.
TF004 “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”
This Para hums the famous song as he escorts a dejected Argentinean conscript towards the other Prisoners-of-War.
TF005 “Just Making Sure…”
The third Para makes a thorough search of the prisoner to ensure that he’s not carrying any kind of weapon or loose ammunition about his person.
AVAILABILITY: August 2022
5. "BEING RETIRED..."
CE017 "Swiss Guardsman at Attention"
Dressed in his best number-one ceremonial uniform this Guardsman holds the long halberd, a 2-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use in the 14th and 15th Centuries.
He also wears the metal, front and back breastplate armour as well as the Spanish-style “Morion” helmet with the red crested ostrich feathers. By his side, like all other guardsmen, a sword.
CE018 "Swiss Guardsman Standing-at-Ease"
Similarly dressed and armed as the first figure he adopts a slightly more relaxed pose.
CE019 "Swiss Guard Corporal Saluting"
Again somewhat similar to the two previous Guardsmen but no breastplate only the sword and helmet for protection.
CE020 "Swiss Guard Musician / Trumpeter"
In addition to their guard duties the Swiss Guard also have their own band of musicians who perform together or, in this particular case, solo.
The small banner on the trumpet bears the coat-of-arms of the Pope.
CE022 "The Pope"
As was said to us by more than a few collectors of this ceremonial range, “How can you have the Guard without showing us WHO they are guarding?”
Well, here is the latest incumbent Pontiff who resides in Vatican City dressed in his traditional white robes.
CE023 "Swiss Guard Drummer"
Unit Drummers have their own distinctive version of the traditional renaissance-style uniform worn by the Guard. As you can see it comprises both bold blue and yellow stripes with flashes of black (and no red unlike the regular Guardsmen).
CE024 "Swiss Guard Officer"
Commissioned Officers wear breastplates that are finely engraved and more elaborate than those of the lower ranks. Under the armour is worn a ‘shirt’ of 16th Century chain mail.
CE025 "Swiss Guard Standard Bearer"
Each year a ‘Swearing-In’ ceremony is held when new recruits are inducted into the Guard.
The Ceremony utilizes the personal flag of the present Pope with his coat of arms emblazoned on it and is held by a junior officer.
CE026 "Swiss Guard Recruit"
Taking the ‘oath of allegiance’ is one of the newest Swiss recruits seen here raising three fingers in the traditional salute... This is said to represent the Holy Trinity and the three Swiss cantons where the Guard originally recruited from.
CE027 "Guardsman w/Two-Handed Sword"
Protecting the flagbearer are usually a pair of Guardsmen carrying the fiercesome two-handed sword called the ‘Flamberge Zweihander’. These powerful weapons originally were used by the ‘Landsknechts’, mercenary soldiers many of whom came from Germany and Switzerland during the 15th and 16th Centuries.
DD195 "Radio Operator"
Carrying the large British back-pack field radio most operators also carried a side arm…In this case a Browing 9mm Automatic.
TRW088 "Major Marcus Reno"
At the same time Custer and his men attacked the great Indian village, Reno and his troops were supposed to mount their own diversionary attack on a different part of the village.
Forced to retreat to up above the village the attackers soon found themselves under attack from all sides. As stated earlier Benteen now joined them to reinforce their position.
Reno’s career and military career suffered a similar fate to Benteen.
TRW115 "The White Officer"
Pistol in one hand, sabre in the other... and ready for battle.
TRW125 "Lying Prone Firing "
TRW142 "Captor & Captured"
As his Apache captor patiently looks on this poor, unfortunate Cavalryman is in for a slow, lingering and painful death as he is ‘staked-out’ under a blazing sun.
As an additional torture the Apaches liked to smear a captive’s face and mouth with sugar or molasses to attract all kinds of insects onto the scene...
And that my friends, as I like to say, is that!
Apologies, there is not as much as we, or perhaps you, would like but in these strange and challenging times it’s a minor miracle we managed to get these ones out!
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country