March 2021


WELCOME to the ‘Merry Month of March’ and the latest edition of ‘DISPATCHES’.

As you will discover it’s an eclectic collection of releases covering a varied selection of historical periods in some of King & Country’s most popular ranges.

BEING RELEASED THIS MONTH…

1. "Yom Kippur & The Valley of Tears"

On the afternoon of 6 October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israeli positions across the Suez Canal in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights above northern Israel.

Both areas had been successfully captured and occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Perhaps lulled and maybe even over-confident by their previous victories over much larger Arab armies the Israeli Defence Forces were at first almost overcome by the wave after wave of Arab aircraft bombing their defences.

This was followed by massive artillery bombardments which then gave way to combined infantry and armoured assaults, first across the Suez Canal itself and then, further north, into the Golan Heights.

What made the Arab attack a ‘double surprise’ was that it took place on ‘Yom Kippur’, the holiest day of the Jewish religious calendar.

AGAINST ALL ODDS

Although initially caught unaware and, in some places, unprepared the Israeli Defence Forces rapidly called up their reserves and rushed reinforcements directly onto the battle fronts in the Sinai and up across the Golan Heights.

Even though vastly outnumbered by their enemies the Israelis fought desperately to regain the military initiative, by first delaying and then halting the Arab advance.

The Israelis then, launched a series of bold counter attacks that sent Egyptian and Syrian forces reeling back in disarray and confusion.

Once, more Israel had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with superior tactics, better training and weapons wielded by men and women fighting for the very survival of their country and themselves.

IDF035_group

IDF028, 29, 30, 35

General Ariel ‘Arik’ Sharon

IDF028 "General Ariel ‘Arik’ Sharon"

One of Israel’s greatest heroes and finest military commanders of the ‘Yom Kippur War’ was Ariel ‘Arik’ Sharon (1928-2014).

A native-born Israeli, Sharon first served in the army during the War of Independence in 1948. A natural leader he proceeded rapidly up through the ranks in all of Israel’s wars and confrontations and by the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 he was assigned command of a reserve armoured division.

Almost immediately he led his division in an unauthorized counter attack across the Suez Canal before moving north intending to cut supplies to Egypt’s Second Army.

Along with another Israeli armoured division he went on to encircle and partially destroy the Egyptian Third Army before threatening its capital, Cairo.

A UN-brokered cease fire was declared on 25 October 1973. The war had lasted just 19 days and cost Israel over 2,500 killed and three times that number wounded. This was more than all of Israel’s casualties in the previous wars combined.

Arab losses however are estimated to have been much greater... in excess of 50,000 killed and wounded.

Ariel ‘Arik’ Sharon was an often controversial figure but a superb and intuitive military commander who was described by former Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin as ‘Israel’s greatest field commander’

After retiring from the army, ‘Arik’ Sharon entered politics and eventually became the country’s 11th Prime Minister from 2001-2006. He died in 2014.

Our K&C tribute to this formidable Israeli General shows him as he appeared during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, moving among his troops.

Israeli Tank Commander

IDF029 "Israeli Tank Commander"

This standing figure is dressed in the typical Israeli tank crew ‘overalls’ complete with binos around his neck and carrying his ‘bone-dome’ helmet under his left arm. On his right side he carries a 9mm Browning Hi-Power semi- automatic pistol in a holster on his web belt.

Israeli tank commanders were ‘infamous’ for exposing themselves in the open top turret hatch... All the better to see what was happening all around their tank.

Their Arab opponents however preferred to stay ‘locked-down’, inside their turrets therefore limiting their visual awareness of what was happening all around their tanks.

Dismounted Israeli Tank Crewman

IDF030 "Dismounted Israeli Tank Crewman"

This walking Israeli ‘tanker’ is again dressed in the standard, olive drab ‘overalls’ but wearing his ‘bone-dome’. In addition, for personal protection, he carries the excellent 9mm ‘UZI’ submachine gun.

The Israeli Army ‘CENTURION SHO’T Main Battle Tank

IDF035 "The Israeli Army ‘CENTURION SHO’T Main Battle Tank"

This is the ‘STAR’ of these ‘Yom Kippur War’ releases... The CENTURION

SHO’T was the Israeli adopted and adapted designation of the British-designed 105mm L7 gun-armed Centurion tank.

These entered IDF service in the late 1960’s and fought throughout the 1970’s with some even serving until the early 1980’s.

SHO’T in Hebrew means ‘whip’ and that’s exactly what this Israeli-modified and improved main battle tank did to its Arab opponents during the SIX-DAY War of 1967 and Yom Kippur War of 1973.

On the Golan Heights in October 1973 a single brigade of 180 Centurion / SHO’T tanks held off 2 reinforced Syrian armoured divisions with almost 1300 Soviet tanks (mostly T54’s and T55’s) destroying more than half for the loss of 70 of their own.

This K&C model has mounds of crew stowage on top of and around the turret in typical Israeli military fashion.

Also included is the tank commander figure behind a turret-mounted, shoulder-fired FN General Purpose Machine Gun. Peering out of the other open turret hatch is a second member of the crew.

This very special tank model comes in its own very special box.

AVAILABILITY: NOW!

SPECIAL NOTE: ‘Valley of Tearsis an Israeli television series that depicts the dramatic battle to hold on to the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

One part of the story focuses on the exploits of a troop of Centurion SHO’T tanks attempting to hold back hordes of Syrian T54’s and T55’s.

Another part of the story is the desperate struggle of a small group of Israeli infantry trying to defend and then escape from one of the ‘Listening Posts’ on top of a hill in the Golan.

Well worth looking out for.

I watched the series on HBO here in Hong Kong and thoroughly enjoyed it… Seek it out!

IDF

2. "THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN"

Now we move from the turbulent Middle East in 1973 to the pale blue skies above southern Britain in the summer of 1940.

In the days and weeks following the evacuation of most of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in late May and early Jun 1940 only the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force stood between Britain and the might of Nazi Germany.

The Nazi leadership knew that if they were going to successfully invade Britain they must first have control of the air before they could launch a seaborne assault.

And to achieve that they had to destroy just 50 RAF squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires… Less than 650 aircraft in total…

After conquering most of Western Europe in just 6 weeks that particular task should not be all that difficult… At least that’s what Luftwaffe chief, Hermann Goering thought!

RAF085

RAF078, 79, 85, 87

Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding

RAF078 "Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding"

Sir Hugh Dowding (1882-1970) was the Air Officer Commanding RAF Fighter Command before and during The Battle of Britain. He is credited with playing the crucial role in Britain’s air defence, and hence, the ultimate defeat of Hitler’s plan to invade Britain in the autumn of 1940.

Thanks to his prudent management of scarce Spitfires and Hurricanes the Royal Air Force managed to inflict heavy casualties on the German Luftwaffe’s more numerous bombers and fighters attacking Britain from nearby France and Belgium and distant Norway.

This K&C figure, our second of Sir Hugh, shows him in service dress about to meet some of his young fighter pilots.

Standing Flight Sergeant

RAF079 "Standing Flight Sergeant"

Arms folded and relaxed this senior NCO (non commissioned officer) enjoys a few rare moments of relaxation in between ‘scrambles’.

Saluting RAF Policeman

RAF087 "Saluting RAF Policeman"

The Royal Air Force Police provided personnel to protect all RAF buildings and airfields around Britain as well as security for senior RAF officers.

Easily identified by their white cap covers, accoutrements and very smart appearance.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I/II

RAF085 "Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I/II"

For many this is simply the best and most beautiful fighter aircraft of WW2. The Spitfire flew from the very first days of WW2 and right up to the very last!

More Spitfires were built than any other British combat aircraft before, during or since WW2... 20,341 in total.

Designed by Reginald Mitchell of Supermarine Ltd., it entered service with the RAF in the summer of 1938.

This King & Country Spitfire Mk.Ⅰ/Ⅱ is representative of those machines that flew during the Battle of Britain. It’s also K&C’s most popular ‘warbird’ ever and joins a select group of other Spitfires Mk.Ⅰ/Ⅱ’s that have been produced by K&C over the years.

This particular ‘Spit’ is in the markings of No. 610 Squadron ‘City of Chester’ Royal Auxiliary Air Force and comes complete with a sitting pilot figure in the cockpit.

AVAILABILITY: NOW!

3. "ROME AT WAR"

Once more we do a little bit of time travel when we journey back over 19 centuries to the 1st Century AD and the army of Imperial Ancient Rome.

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“The Roman Testudo” (16pcs)

ROM051 "“The Roman Testudo” (16pcs)"

In Ancient Roman times the ‘Testudo’ formation or ‘Tortoise Formation’ was a kind of shield wall formation commonly used to protect a large group of soldiers moving towards the enemy.

In the ‘Testudo’ the soldiers would align their shields to the front and on top of their formation... Some groups would also carry their shields on both flanks of the formation for additional protection.

This mode of defence offered some a degree of protection against rocks, arrows and other projectiles while the unit still advanced towards the enemy slowly but surely.

This K&C ‘Testudo’ comprises the following:

9 x Legionnaires advancing carrying their shields above their heads.

3 x Legionnaires advancing with their shields to the front and their ‘pilums’ held horizontally forwards.

2 x Legionnaires advancing with their shields on the right and holding their swords in their left hands.

2 x Legionnaires advancing with their shields on the left and their swords in their right hands.

This large 16 x figure set comes in its own specially designed box.

The Roman War Dog Set

ROM052 "The Roman War Dog Set"

In Roman times the ‘Cane Corso’ dogs were used in all kinds of vicious and cruel ‘blood sports’ such as bull-baiting, tiger and lion fighting as well as gladiatorial battles and dog-fighting.

By necessity the animals were bred to be big and very dangerous to everyone with the obvious exception of their trainers and handlers.

The Roman Army also made use of these large fighting dogs to attack their enemies and help guard their prisoners... Some Roman units even produced special armour to protect their animals.

This set includes the dog and his handler with sword drawn moving towards the enemy.

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“Roman Testudo Reinforcements” (5 figures)

ROM055 "“Roman Testudo Reinforcements” (5 figures)"

For those fortunate collectors who wish to enlarge their ‘Testudo’... Here is the handy solution...

3 x Legionnaires advancing with shields above their heads.

1x Legionary advancing with shields on the right and ‘gladius’ sword in the left.

1x Legionary advancing with shields on the left and ‘gladius’ sword in the right.

Advancing Legionary w/Pilum

ROM056 "Advancing Legionary w/Pilum"

Advancing Legionary w/Sword in Right Hand

ROM057 "Advancing Legionary w/Sword in Right Hand"

Advancing Legionary w/Sword in Left Hand

ROM058 "Advancing Legionary w/Sword in Left Hand"

Special Note: All THREE of these solo figures are also available as part of ROM051 The Roman Testudo” and ROM055Roman Testudo Reinforcements

AVAILABILITY: NOW!

4. "DISPLAYS & DIORAMAS"

One of the many things I enjoy about King & Country is being able to design all kinds of accessories to go with our figures, vehicles and aircraft.

Here are just a few very useful architectural additions that can help collectors build up a scene or provide a backdrop for their figures…

SP114, 115_group

SP114 Group (4)

SP114 Group (3)

SP114 Group X (6)

European Walls & Gates

SP114 "European Walls & Gates"

It’s amazing what a difference a modest little section of wall and a simple metal gate can make to a display.

Here is an updated and upgraded version of an old favourite.

This style of ‘country architecture’ can be found all over Europe and even further afield in the Americas and elsewhere.

This set can be used on its own or combined with other K&C Display items, walls and buildings

European Wall Additions

SP119 "European Wall Additions"

Two more stretches of traditional stone walls to add on to SP114 and make your display or scene even bigger and better!

SP115_group_2

SP115_group_1

The VIETNAM Guard Post

SP115 "The VIETNAM Guard Post"

This kind of sand-bagged guard post could be seen all over South Vietnam during the war... Sometimes helping to protect a bridge or stretch of highway or even at the main gate of a military outpost, camp or airfield.

Very useful and very versatile. The roof is also detachable allowing figures to be placed inside.

AVAILABILITY: NOW!

5. "AT THE COURT OF THE ROMANOVS"

Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918) Empress of Russia and the wife of the Emperor NicholasⅡwas destined to be the last Tsarina of the Romanov Dynasty.

A favourite grand daughter of Queen Victoria, Alexandra was a German

 

Princess who was to marry a Russian monarch and bear him four daughters and one son.

Her reputation for encouraging her husband’s resistance to change and the surrender of his autocratic authority severely damaged her popularity in general and the Romanov dynasty in particular especially in its latter years.

In addition her faith in and reliance in the Russian mystic, Rasputin further angered and encouraged her detractors and enemies.

Tragically her, her husband and their children were all to be murdered by the Bolsheviks more than a year after the Tsar’s abdication in 1917.

TR005_group

TR003,005

The Tsarina Alexandra

TR005 "The Tsarina Alexandra"

Here we see Alexandra in happier times dressed in a classic white ball gown and wearing a few of her many awards and valuable jewels.

AVAILABILITY: NOW!

6. "VC & NVA REINFORCEMENTS"

Three more recruits make their way to the battlefield that was South Vietnam in the late 1960’s.

VN103-105 Group (1)

Female Viet Cong w/M16

VN103 "Female Viet Cong w/M16"

Not all ‘Victor Charlies’ wore black pajamas! A Vietnamese woman moves carefully forward carrying her captured M16.

NVA Regular w/AK47

VN104 "NVA Regular w/AK47"

Moving towards an enemy position or perhaps making his way down the ‘Ho Chi Minh Trail’... you decide.

Pretty But Dangerous

VN105 "Pretty But Dangerous"

Although most women who served with the Viet Cong were in support and nursing roles a fair number volunteered for combat duty and became expert marksmen and fought on the frontlines alongside the men.

This volunteer carries her AK47 and is looking for trouble!

AVAILABILITY: NOW!

7. "BEING RETIRED THIS MONTH..."

As new items come in… some older items move out…

Vickers Machine Gunner

FW144 "Vickers Machine Gunner"

Initially just 4 machine guns were issued to each infantry battalion going to France in 1914.

A Soldier’s Prayer

FW158 "A Soldier’s Prayer"

A British Army Padre reads a simple prayer over the dead body of a fallen “Tommy”.

The design of the dead soldier was inspired by a similar figure which can be seen on the powerful Royal Artillery Memorial near London’s Hyde Park.

During the Great War, three Army chaplains won the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry and 179 were killed-in-action.

Royal Naval Officer

GA012 "Royal Naval Officer"

A standing Lieutenant, issuing orders to his boat crew.

Imperial Navy Pilot w/ Parachute

JN005 "Imperial Navy Pilot w/ Parachute"

Imperial Navy Pilot w/ Headband

JN006 "Imperial Navy Pilot w/ Headband"

Banzai!

JN007 "Banzai!"

Japanese sailor shouting “Banzai”...Long Live The Emperor!

Imperial Navy Officer-of-the-Watch

JN011 "Imperial Navy Officer-of-the-Watch"

Dressed in tropical whites and clutching his binoculars this officer is on duty watching his men service the Mitsubishi “Zeroes” as they prepare to fly off their carriers.

Deck Crew Petty Officer Mechanic

JN012 "Deck Crew Petty Officer Mechanic"

Holding an aircraft manual in one hand and his tool kit in the other this Petty Officer goes about his duties on the flight deck.

Petty Officer Toshio Ota, Imperial Japanese Navy

JN024 "Petty Officer Toshio Ota, Imperial Japanese Navy"

Ota flew alongside two other Imperial Japanese Navy air aces Saburo Sakai and Hiroyoshi Nishizawa with the Tainan Air Group. His first confirmed “kill” was a P40 “Warhawk” over New Guinea in April 1942. Over the next 6 months Ota downed an additional 33 American aircraft before being killed in a dogfight over Guadalcanal with U.S. Marine Corps “Wildcats” on October 21, 1942.

“Type 95 ‘Ha-Go Light Tank” (2nd Version)

JN041 "“Type 95 ‘Ha-Go Light Tank” (2nd Version)"

Our first version had the tank commander perched in the open hatch of the vehicle leading the charge... This time around we’ve closed up the hatch and allowed the commander to take cover inside the turret as the tank moves into action.

This second-version ‘Ha-Go’ is numbered #22 allowing our Japanese opponents to put another armoured vehicle into battle alongside the earlier and now-retired #21.


Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!

Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country