NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
How time flies when you’re enjoying yourself! That comment may seem a little strange in the light of the present world situation vis-a-vis this virus pandemic. However, with being unable to travel overseas and specifically up to China to visit our sculptors and the factories, here in HK l’ve been concentrating on designing a batch of new, full colour brochures and building some more dioramas.
Anyway suffice to say that design in all its forms is something I enjoy and this enforced staying in HK has allowed me to do more of it.
And when you enjoy something the hours, days and weeks just fly by!
So, here we are… In June already and half way through 2020… Let’s begin at the beginning…
BEING RELEASED THIS MONTH
1. "Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!"
Because of the success of our USMC battling their way across the Pacific we’ve decided to release some more Japanese reinforcements to provide a little extra opposition along the way.
JN061 "Kenpeitai Officer"
The Kenpeitai was the military police arm of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1881-1945. It was both a conventional military police force and a ‘secret police’ in Japanese occupied territories.
Their reputation for brutality was infamous in occupied countries and both ordinary civilians as well as military prisoners-of-war often became their victims.
The Kenpeitai were also active in Japan itself, especially during WW2. It’s a little – known fact that General Hideki Tojo, before the war, commanded all of these military policemen, both inside and outside Japan.
In the field and behind the lines they could be easily recognized by the special white headband worn around their helmets and a white, cloth armband bearing the two Japanese characters of their unit name.
JN062 "‘BANZAI!’ Set#1"
Led by a pistol carrying and sword-wielding officer two additional IJA riflemen with fixed bayonets charge forward.
JN063 "‘The Mortar Set’"
A crouching infantryman prepares to fire the Type 89 ‘Knee Mortar’.
A second, lying prone NCO (non commissioned officer) observes the ‘fall of shot’ through his binos.
JN-S03 "Captor & Captured!"
A lone British soldier comes face-to-face with one of the dreaded Kenpeitai...
JN064 "The Kamikaze Anti Tank Bomber"
From their earliest days in the Army Japanese soldiers were taught that their greatest honour was to ‘die for the Emperor’.
As Allied forces grew even closer to Japan in the latter stages of the war the Japanese Army got ever more desperate to imbue their soldiers with the true spirit of the samurai.
Here a lone Japanese infantryman crawls forward clutching a box of explosives which he will detonate after he has crept under a tank or into an enemy position.
2. "HITLER’S WHEELS"
There are some ‘classic’ K&C sets that we often get asked to revisit and reproduce. This is one of the most requested!
LAH259 "Der Fuhrer’s Mercedes Benz W31 Staff Car"
Of all the many Hitler vehicles we have produced and retired this is, by far, the most requested and sought after.
Just 57 MB W31’s were actually built in the early 1930’s for Hitler and the top Nazis... only 3 remain today.
Our revised 1:30 scale version features the Fuhrer himself, in typical ‘Brown Shirt’ uniform standing and saluting in the front seat of this silver grey 6-wheeler with the black trim.
Seated next to him is one of his SS drivers, behind them is SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Josef ‘Sepp’ Dietrich sitting alongside is SS-Brigadefuhrer Karl Wolff wearing the steel helmet. Riding in the rear are two SS bodyguards, ever watchful, ever ready.
3. "CRUSADERS BEWARE!"
MK202 "The Fighting Saracens Set #2"
Another great 4-man action set with an all-new colour variation.
4. "THE GLORY THAT WAS ROME: EMPERORS & GENERALS"
Continuing the expansion of the Roman Empire 6 great new additions to this colourful series…
RnB041 "The Roman Map Board"
The perfect background accessory for the Emperor and his Generals to gather around and plan their next move.
ROM035 "The Praetorian Centurion"
Last month we released the first of our Praetorian Guardsmen... Now, we have one of the Centurions in command of them.
ROM040 "Pompey the Great"
One of Rome’s greatest generals and leading statesmen he was significant in the transformation of the city from a republic to an empire.
He was also, for a time, an ally of Julius Caesar before becoming his sworn enemy.
He was assassinated in Egypt while fleeing from Caesar.
ROM041 "Germanicus "
Another of Rome’s finest Generals who was known for his successful campaigns in Germania and as the elder brother of the future emperor, Claudius.
During the reign of Augustus, he commanded no less than 8 Legions, about one third of the entire Roman Army.
He avenged the terrible Roman defeat in the Teutoburg Forest and recovered two of the three Legionary Eagles lost there.
As a famous general he was widely popular and regarded as both a noble and virtuous leader.
He was also the father of the infamous Caligula who, it was said, poisoned Germanicus upon the instructions of his grandmother. Such was life and death in Ancient Rome.
ROM045 "Emperor Vespasian"
Vespasian ruled from 69 to 79 AD partly thanks to his successful military career during the invasion of Britain in 43 AD and the subjugation of the Jewish Rebellion in Judea in 66 AD.
Perhaps his greatest building achievement, still known today, was the ‘Flavian Amphitheatre’ built in the heart of Rome. Today it is better known as...
ROM046 "The Emperor Hadrian"
Hadrian was emperor from 117-138 AD. Born into a Romano / Italo / Hispanic family he energetically pursued his own imperial ideals and personal interests by visiting almost every province in the Empire including Britannia which had recently suffered a major rebellion.
There, he initialed the design and construction of a huge wall, ‘to separate Romans from their northern barbarian neighbours.’
Shrewdly he reckoned it was cheaper to build and garrison the wall and its many forts along his northern border than keep a huge standing army there.
Even today remains of the wall can still be seen in northern England and southern Scotland.
Hadrian was also one of the few leading Emperors to wear a beard... nearly all the others were clean-shaven.
5. "The Victorian Wedding of the Century!"
Long before the weddings of Charles & Diana, William & Kate or even Harry & Meghan there was the very first ‘Celebrity’ Royal Wedding in the form of … Victoria & Albert.
TR001 "Victoria & Albert "
The sumptuous wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg & Gotha took place on 10 February 1840 at St. James Palace in the heart of London.
Victoria came to the throne in 1837, just a month after her 18th birthday and as the monarch she was the one to select a husband for herself and to make the marriage proposal!
Up until this time Royal Weddings had been small, private ceremonies held late at night.
The young Victoria was going to change all that... and much more. She was determined that her people would be able to see the bridal procession drive to St. James Palace.
Her wedding dress was also a break with the past... Victoria chose white that both enhanced her purity and innocence while making her more visible to the thousands of her people who came to watch the ceremony.
Prince Albert meanwhile was dressed as a British Field Marshal, a rank Victoria herself had given to the young Prince as her personal wedding gift.
Fortunately for K&C there is a wealth of visual information available on what Victoria & Albert actually wore on their wedding day and we used the very best of it to create these two great ‘Victorian’ figures.
6. "GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!"
What would ‘DISPATCHES’ be without a little taste of Vietnam… So let’s find out what the ‘Grunts’ and ‘Gooks’ have been up to…
SP112 "Vietnam Firebase Sand Bag Emplacement"
A half-moon sand bag emplacement perfect for setting up one of our 105mm Howitzers either manned by Aussie Gunners or Marine Corps Artillerymen. This useful little display piece made in hard-wearing polystone can also be used to place stores, vehicles or soldiers.
You decide what you need it for.
VN078 "NVA/VC Assault Team Set #1"
As this NVA regular prepares to throw one of his Chinese-made ‘potato-masher’ grenades the black-clad Viet Cong provides covering fire.
VN079 "NVA/VC RPG Team"
As the VC Rocket Propelled Grenadier moves forward his NVA comrade follows closely behind with his AK47.
VN080 "The NVA Machine Gun Team"
As the lying prone NVA soldier prepares to open fire the kneeling MG Team Leader observes the enemy through his binos.
The gun itself is the WW2 era Degtyaryov Light Machine Gun in service from 1928 all the way up to the late 1960’s and even into the early 1970’s. It fired the standard Soviet 7.62mm round and could be fitted with either a 47 round ‘pan’ magazine or a 63 round version.
7. "BEING RETIRED"
BBG091 "Lying Pointing"
A lying prone rifleman indicates a target to his front.
DD184 "Standing Firing Rifle"
A classic pose for a classic infantryman.
DD185 "Advancing w/ Rifle & Bayonet"
Carefully making his way forward this G.I. is taking no changes... bayonet fixed!
DD226 "Sitting Machine Gunner"
In support of the reconnaissance vehicle the infantry have provided the heavier .30 caliber machine gun.
DD228 "US Army Tank Riders Set #1"
Two kneeling GI’s, one with an "M1 Garand", the other with the "M1 Carbine"... can work equally well on the back of a fighting vehicle or on the ground.
DD229 " US Army Tank Riders Set #2"
Two more GI’s, one kneeling, one sitting, armed with another "M1 Garand" and a "Browning Automatic Rifle". As flexible as the previous DD228.
DD239 ""Gang of Heroes""
In every army, in every war there are always some individuals who are on the lookout for ways to enrich themselves by one way...or another. The U.S. Army was no exception!
Some soldiers helped themselves to wine, women and song...Others looted valuable jewelry, paintings, ornaments, silverware – virtually anything they could lay their mitts on.
A few had even bigger ambitions...they went after gold bullion!
Four GI’s have an appointment with a bank manager somewhere behind German lines and intend to make a rather large withdrawal...
DD285-1 "US Paratroopers Covering Fire (82nd Airborne)"
A great little 2-paratrooper set showing a radioman firing his M1 Carbine while his buddy, armed with a ‘Tommy Gun’ leans forward in support.
DD286-1 "US Paratrooper Crouching Tommy Gunner (82nd)"
Kneeling down on his “hunkers” this Airborne trooper is ready for action.
DD287-1 "US Paratroopers Blast Injury (82nd)"
One more 2-man set ... A mortar shell has exploded nearby and as this badly-wounded paratrooper struggles to get to his feet another trooper rushes over to help.
DD288-1 "US Paratroopers Moving Forward ... Cautiously! (82nd)"
Two Riflemen stealthily make their way forward ... one also carries a grenade. The enemy must be close by ...
DD305 ""Searching For Pvt. Ryan" Set #1"
“SAVING PRIVATE RYAN” is a very special war drama film for many of us history movie buffs and especially so for myself and K&C.
Back in 1997, through a Hollywood friend and fellow collector, I heard about a big new D.Day movie that was already being filmed in Britain and Ireland by none other than Steven Spielberg. At the time all we knew was that it featured American paratroopers and U.S. Rangers and was centered around Normandy and Omaha Beach.
And so, K&C produced some of its very first American D.Day soldiers which began our entire D.Day range which continues to this day.
Journey forward quite a few years to when we met Capt. Dale Dye U.S.M.C. ret’d., the military advisor on ‘Ryan’ and countless other great war movies and discussions about doing a special ‘tribute’ to a fantastic movie and the real ‘heroes of D.DAY’.
This 4-figure set (the first of 2) features the perilous journey through the fields and bocage of German-occupied Normandy to try and find PFC James Ryan, 101st Airborne.
Capt. John Millar, 2nd Rangers takes the lead carrying his Thompson sub machine gun.
Backing him up is PFC Reiben with the BAR ( Browning Automatic Rifle). Next to him is Cpl. Upham, not a Ranger but an interpreter borrowed from another unit. The final member of this first 4-man squad is Pvt. Jackson, a left-handed sniper holding his bolt action M1903 Springfield with telescopic sight.
All four men will be joined next month (October) by our second ‘Searching for Pvt. Ryan’ set which includes Sgt. Mike Horvath, Pvt. Mellish, Medic Irwin Wade and PFC Caparzo...
Don’t miss out on a terrific movie and ... 2 x outstanding sets of D.Day soldiers!
DD306 ""Searching For Pvt. Ryan" Set #2"
A Ranger Sergeant together with a sniper / marksman, a Medic and another Ranger rifleman make up this final set of the ‘Squad’.
DD307 "Charging Rifleman "
As his buddies provide ‘covering fire’ this GI runs forward from one firing position to the next.
DD308 "Snap Shooter"
This next GI is warily moving forward holding his M1 Garand in the ‘ready’ position in case a sudden ‘target of opportunity’ presents itself. Very much a ‘hunting’ pose.
DD309 "Kneeling Rifleman "
DD310 "Standing Rifleman"
DD311 "Machine Gun Team"
The .30 cal. machine gun was usually not part of the regular rifle platoon weapons list... They were attached to battalions and companies who would then supply them to platoons whenever or wherever it was deemed necessary.
Our 2-man team would provide a volume of suppressing fire that would allow the riflemen to position themselves best for an attack on the enemy.
DD312 "Kneeling Bazooka Guy"
DD313 "Turning BAR Gunner"
The standard U.S. Army Squad Light Machine Gun was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (the B.A.R.). It used a twenty-round box magazine and performed in a similar squad support role as the British Bren.
Our BAR Gunner appears to be looking around a corner to get a better view of the enemy.
DD314 "Shouting Tommy-Gunner"
DD316 "Pvt. James Francis Ryan"
Private First Class James Francis Ryan is an American paratrooper who served in Baker Company, 1st Battalion 506th P.I.R. of the 101st Airborne Division during the Normandy Invasion.
He was the youngest brother of 4 in the Ryan family. Already his three older brothers have been reported killed in combat when it is decided, back in Washington, to somehow find Ryan and pull him out of action.
In the movie “Saving Pvt. Ryan”, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) leads a squad of US Army Rangers deep behind the German lines to try to find Ryan.
After several false starts they eventually meet him in a field outside the fictional town of Ramelle in Normandy just after he has destroyed a German halftrack with a bazooka.
This is how we have portrayed him... helmet in one hand, bazooka in the other.
TRW139 "Captain Sam Collingwood"
Another of the featured characters from John Ford’s ‘FORT APACHE’ (1948), a brother officer of Capt. Kirby York (John Wayne). Here Captain Collingwood scans the horizon for any sign of hostile Indians.
He also has the ‘moveable’ head.
WH017 "Wehrmacht Mortar Team"
Two kneeling “Soldaten” man their 81mm mortar and prepare to launch a bomb.
WH019 "Take A Breather"
His stalhelm held in one hand, this “soldaten” rests on his rifle...He’s marched over 20 miles this day and he’ll march another 20 tomorrow. It’s often forgotten that the majority of German infantry in the first half of the war journeyed into battle...on foot!
WS312 "Hitler’s Last Parade"
A special 5-figure set based on actual newsreel and photo images of a little ceremony that took place on Hitler’s 56th birthday on 20th April 1945 in the ruins of the Reich Chancellery garden. Here Hitler greets a small group of Hitlerjugend boys who have been decorated for bravery in the recent fighting in Berlin.
Slowly and deliberately he goes down the line talking to each boy in turn. By his side is Arthur Axmann, the HJ leader. Completing the set are 3 of the young fighters.
WS314 "Führerbunker Ventilation Tower"
This cylindrical concrete tower provided fresh air to the underground complex and like the Führerbunker itself has suffered from both bombing and shelling.
WS315 "SS Bunker Bodyguards"
To protect Hitler and the other Nazi Leaders in the bunker a small detachment of SS was provided. Our 2-man set shows a pair of SS men armed and on guard duty with MP40 “Schmeisser” Machine Pistols.
Well, that is one of the longest lists of retirals of recent months… And there’s some really unique sets that are well worth getting your mitts on.
Thanks once more to all K&C collectors around the world and dealers too.
Stay well… stay strong…
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country