NEW RELEASES FROM KING & COUNTRY!
Welcome to this month’s ‘DISPATCHES’ and an interesting little mix of figures and subject matter across a number of our most popular ranges.
And so, without further ado let’s get down to business … Let’s begin with ‘VIETNAM’…
BEING RELEASED THIS MONTH…
1. "Special Forces in Vietnam"
The war in Vietnam was to become the U.S. Special Forces most complex and controversial mission, beginning as early as 1957 and finally ending in 1973.
During those years the U.S. Special Forces, mostly ‘Green Berets’, fulfilled a wide variety of operations and missions covering all of South Vietnam and also, clandestinely, into neighbouring countries.
Among their many duties were setting up and leading camp strike forces… mobile strike forces… special reconnaissance tasks… training indigenous units and headquarters support.
The Special Forces soldiers who carried out these missions and operations were a special breed of soldier… All of them were Regular Army volunteers with years of experience and knowledge behind them. They were well-trained in a variety of different military skills and able to work alone or in small specialist teams to lead and advise regular and irregular South Vietnamese forces as well as local civilians and natives in some of the most distant and inhospitable areas of South Vietnam.
The typical Special Forces trooper and officer was of higher than average intelligence, physically fitter than many of his military contemporaries and well able to think on his feet and be more adaptable to changing situations and variable conditions.
The ‘Green Berets’ that most of them proudly wore was earned by plenty of blood, sweat and tears in training and in the jungles, mountains and paddy fields of South Vietnam.
VN127 "Green Beret Colonel"
This senior officer is wearing the classic ‘green beret’ which began to be worn by some U.S. Special Forces as early as 1954 but was not officially authorized until 1961.
This first version of our S.F. colonel is wearing standard issue ‘jungle fatigues’, the tropical combat uniform worn by all US forces in Vietnam.
The colonel’s name and ‘U.S. Army’ tapes were sewn atop the breast pockets of this jacket. On his left shoulder are the ‘airborne’ patch over the Special Forces’ sleeve shield insignia.
In his left hand he also carries the standard M16 rifle.
VN139 "Green Beret Colonel in Tiger-Stripes"
A second version of our officer, this time wearing the ‘Tiger-Stripe’ camouflage uniform. The origins of this design are unknown but it is believed to have been developed in an Asian country and was first worn in Vietnam by the South Vietnamese Marines.
It gained increasing popularity after it was featured in the John Wayne movie ‘The Green Berets’ (1968).
Although some examples of this camo pattern combat uniform were manufactured in South Vietnam most Special Forces uniforms were purchased in Thailand, Taiwan, Okinawa and South Korea.
Consequently colours, patterns and fabrics varied greatly.
2. "In The Land of the Nile"
From the hot and humid jungles of South Vietnam to the hot and arid sands of Ancient Egypt and the lands bordering the great river Nile…
AE079 "The Egyptian Harpist"
A delightful young maiden together with her hand-carved harp. A worthy addition to our other Ancient Egyptian singers, dancers and musicians.
3. "VISTULA LEGION REINFORCEMENTS"
One more Lancer of this famous Polish Cavalry Regiment that serves the Emperor together with one of the regiment’s Trumpeters.
NA471 "Vistula Lancer Trumpeter"
Mounted on a white charger and wearing the ‘reverse colours’ of a Regimental Trumpeter.
NA473 "Galloping Vistula Lancer"
Spurring his horse into a gallop the Lancer levels his weapon towards the enemy.
4. "Support On The Ground"
Approximately 3,000 British, Empire and Foreign pilots flew with the Royal Air Force’s ‘Fighter Command’ during the Battle of Britain.
Supporting them on the ground were many more thousands of RAF ‘Ground Crews’ who the pilots depended on to get them into the air and engage the enemy before returning to earth to be refueled, rearmed and often repaired for the next ‘scramble’.
These ground crew airmen took on a multitude of tasks and performed all kinds of mechanical and technical ‘miracles’ to enable the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes to stay in the air fighting the enemy and winning the aerial battle. Here are the latest sets…
RAF090 "RAF NCO Inspectors"
A standing Flight Sergeant together with an ‘eagle-eyed’ Corporal inspect an aircraft to ensure all repairs have been successfully completed and nothing has been left-to-chance or unfinished.
RAF092 "RAF Armourers Set"
As the Corporal Armourer arrives with his tool box the other Armourer holds a .303 Machine Gun ready to install it in either a Spitfire or a Hurricane.
5. "Resistance & Revenge"
As French towns and village all across Normandy were liberated by the Allies local Resistance Groups (Les Maquisards) together with many local residents began to take their revenge on anyone thought to have helped or associated with the recent German occupiers.
After four years of occupation together with hunger, fear and perhaps a little shame it was time to seek revenge and retribution on those who had profited from the hated ‘Boche’ or had cooperated with the enemy in a more ‘horizontal’ fashion.
Collaborators of all shapes and sizes and to all degrees were sought out and often subjected to fierce interrogation and swift, violent punishment.
Women in particular, who were denounced or simply suspected of enemy collaboration were among the most prominent victims.
DD349 "Maquisard w/Sten Gun"
This resistance member is cocking his British-supplied ‘Sten’ sub machine gun Thousands of these simple but sturdy weapons were parachuted into France and saw extensive service with the ‘Maquis’.
DD350 "Victims of the Purge’ Mother & Child"
Among the most unfortunate victims of the whole scale retribution after Liberation were women who had formed relationships with the German occupiers and, in some cases, had illegitimate children with them.
These women would be dragged from their homes, paraded through the streets and then taken to a town centre or village square where the heads would be shorn of hair in front of all the local people, many of them neighbours, they would be then expelled from their town and village and forced to find shelter and safety elsewhere.
DD351 "The Barber & His Victim"
A forlorn young women sits alone and fearful as a male member of the resistance outs off her hair in front of a jeering crowd of onlookers.
Because she has no child she may suffer further cruelty and humiliation... Some women collaborators were also ‘tarred and feathered’ before being expelled from their towns and villages.
For many male collaborators punishment was even worse... they would be physically beaten, then shot or hanged!
DD352 "Maquisard w/Bren Gun"
In addition to the Sten Guns supplied to French Resistance groups, heavier weapons, such as the Bren Gun’, were also provided.
Here our resistance member uses the shoulder strap to support this classic British Light Machine Gun.
6. "On Parade With The Life Guards"
It is often said that no country produces military spectacles as good or as colourful as Great Britain.
Among the finest and most spectacular of all the centuries – old regiments that take part in ceremonial duties in the nation’s capital are the men and horses of the Queen’s own ‘Household Cavalry’.
The Household Cavalry is actually made up of two mounted regiments… ‘The Blues & Royals’ and ‘The Life Guards’.
As part of King & Country’s Life Guards collection we are proud to present the first of two magnificent drum horses…
CE072 "The Life Guards Drum Horse HECTOR"
Although the vast majority of the Life Guards mounts are midnight black in colour the exceptions are the horses of regimental trumpeters and drum horses.
While Trumpeters are normally mounted on a white horse, the Drum Horse is the most powerful horse in the regiment. Each animal carries 300 pounds of equipment in the form of two steel kettle drums and, of course, the drummer himself.
The Drum Horses traditionally have been ‘Clydesdale’ crosses and are specially bred for their ceremonial parades.
Carefully selected by the Household Cavalry’s own ‘Riding Master’, each chosen Drum Horse must have a good temperament and stand at least 16.3 hands high, be strong and obviously fit.
It takes some 18 months to fully train a Drum Horse and there is always another Drum Horse in training as a potential replacement.
This first Life Guards Drum Horse has been ‘christened’ “HECTOR”.
7. "One For All & All For One"
Alexander Dumas’ classic swash-buckling, historical novel ‘The Three Musketeers’ has been a firm favourite of movie fans ever since it was first filmed by Douglas Fairbanks in 1921.
Since then many more movies have told the story of the young swordsman d’Artagnan and his three friends, Athos, Porthos and Aramis and their adventures during the reign of French King LouisⅩⅢ and his principal minister, the cunning and powerful Cardinal Richelieu.
King & Country have also told the story of the ‘Three Musketeers’ in miniature… Back in 2015 we produced our very first set of three Musketeers together with their young aspirant, d’Artagnan… alongside their arch enemy, Cardinal Richlieu.
Those particular figures have long been sold-out and no longer in production however collectors and some dealers have requested replacements… So, here they are…
PnM078 "The Three Musketeers & d’Artagnan"
These four new figures were directly inspired by the art of one of my favourite comic book illustrators, Arturo del Castillo.
Arturo was just one of a group of superb Spanish and Italian illustrators who found their fortunes drawing for all kinds of British comic books and illustrated children’s magazines throughout the 1950’s into the ‘60s and even the 1970s.
I well remember their work and collected examples of their excellent artwork even as a young art student in Glasgow in the 1960s.
This new quartet of figures shows the three musketeers and their young friend from Gascony leveling their swords as they swear loyalty to each other... “One for All... & All for one!”
PnM079 "Cardinal Richelieu"
To accompany this brand-new set of 4... a new version of their old adversary, the eminent Cardinal.
8. "BEING RETIRED"
As expected, as the ‘new’ prepares to arrive some of our older, existing items are ready to move out.
Take a closer look… there are more than a few fine figures among them… make your selection.
And on that cheerful note l’ll bid you all a fond farewell for another month.
FOB095 "Table & Chairs"
An additional set of two chairs and the table.
FOB098 "The Refugee Horse & Cart"
A wooden, 2-wheel cart is loaded up with the bare essentials as well as a few, treasured family heirlooms... The family horse is between the shafts to hopefully pull the cart and its owner out of harm’s way.
FOB101 "One Old Man & His Dog"
It wasn’t only people that lose their homes in wartime...
Here, this old civilian has only the clothes he stands up in and...his little dog which he is carrying in a cardboard box...At least the dog has some shelter. Another poignant little addition to our series of civilian refugees of war.
FOB103 "Section Leader"
Shouting instructions this fireman oversees his mates. Note the red band of a “Section Leader” on his helmet.
FOB135 "The Nun & The Toddler"
A very traditional French or Belgian Nun carries a young child in her arms... “Where are the child’s parents...?” Perhaps, only God knows... but for the moment the child is in the safe hands of the Sister.
FOB136 "Three City Gents"
3 x well-tailored individual Gentlemen “Civvies” to help populate any city or town street in the 1930’s or 1940’s.
FOB137 "Good Friends"
2 x young ladies, dressed in typical 1940’s garb walk arm in arm down any wartime street anywhere in occupied Europe or Britain.
FOB139 "The Little Apple Seller"
A young girl, gaily dressed in traditional peasant costume stands by the roadside with a basket of apples from the local orchard.
FOB140 "A Serf with a Scythe"
An older peasant stands with his scythe watching a column of Germans pass by.
FOB141 "Three Russian Children"
Three young girls watch the tanks and troops go by ...
FOB143 "A Russian Orthodox Priest"
Offering a ‘blessing’, this elderly priest hopes these invaders from the West might get rid of the hated Communists once and for all!
FOB156 "Little Brother and Big Sister"
These two small ‘Orphans of War’ can hardly comprehend what is going on all around them ... Hopefully they will find a safe refuge.
LAH097 "The Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Regimental Band"
The full 22-piece Regimental Band of the premier SS regimental Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler is available once more.
This magnificent large set of 22 marching musicians led by their drum major is sure to be the centerpiece of any ‘BERLIN ‘38’ Collection.
To obtain yours simply contact your favourite Authorised K&C Dealer or King & Country Direct.
LAH153 "SA Honour Guard w/ Rifle"
LAH171 "Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler 1934"
The 34 year old Himmler wears the standard black “Algemeine SS” uniform (designed by Hugo Boss) and peak cap. Of minor interest is that he still wears the brown SA shirt under the jacket – a symbol (but not for long) of the SS originally being an offshoot of the SA (Sturmabteilung).
LAH175 "Goose-stepping SS Man"
One of the most chilling scenes in “Triumph Of The Will” is the moment when the legion of black-clad SS appear to goose-step past the saluting position of Hitler standing in his Mercedes staff car.
LAH176 "SS Officer Saluting"
A senior SS Regimental Commander goose-steps past, his right arm in the familiar “Hitler Salute”.
LAH180 "SS Obergruppenfuhrer Von Ribbentrop"
Joachim von Ribbentrop was Nazi Germany’s infamous Foreign Minister from 1938-1945. Before that he was a successful businessman and appointed German Ambassador to London in 1936.
Many senior Nazi Party Leaders were given an “Honorary” rank in the SS by Reichsfuhrer Himmler himself.
Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop was one such individual. It is said he took great pride in wearing the black uniform alongwith the medals he had won during the First World War and those awarded to him by the Nazi Party itself.
He was one of the principal defendants at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal in 1946...found guilty and subsequently hanged.
LAH181 "The Black Heydrich"
SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich was one of the most feared men in the Nazi Empire and one of the main architects of The Holocaust.
Even Adolf Hitler described him as “The man with the iron heart”. In the SS he was number two to Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and the founding head of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst) the intelligence gathering organization set up to seek out and destroy any kind of opposition to the Nazi Party...both at home and abroad.
In September 1941 he was appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, the former Czechoslovakia.
On 27 May 1942 he was attacked and wounded by Czech parachutists sent by the Government in exile in London. He died from his wounds on 4 June 1942. A bloody retribution followed.
This figure shows Heydrich in his prewar black SS uniform.
LAH182 "Reichsminister Albert Speer"
The last time K&C produced Hitler’s favorite architect he was on an inspection tour of the “Atlantic Wall” defenseworks complete with a Citroen Staff Car and other figures.
So, we thought, let’s do a single figure of the Nazi Minister of Armaments and Chief of Organization TODT, the Civil and Military Engineering Group of the Third Reich.
Speer is here dressed in his winter greatcoat.
After the war he was sentenced at Nuremburg to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime. Released in 1966 he published two best-selling autobiographical works and died in London while on a visit in 1981.
LAH185 "SS NCO"
This “standing-at-ease” SS “Scharfuhrer” is in charge of the sentries and armed with a P.08 “Luger” pistol.
LAH208 "Adolf in Lederhosen"
As most of us know the Fuhrer was fond of the great outdoors and, from time to time would take himself away up to the mountains and enjoy the wonders of nature ... Here he is, nattily attired, in traditional Bavarian “Lederhosen” for a little jaunt in the woods.
LAH213 "Oktoberfest Fraulein"
Munich’s bierkellers saw the birth of the National Socialist movement and all that came with it... One of the bierkeller serving wenches.
LAH214 "Oktoberfest Prost!"
Another of Munich’s frauleins with a handful of full beersteins.
LAH217 "Brownshirt SA Standard Bearer"
Even in conservative, right wring Bavaria the Nazis had their violent opponents... hence the wooden baton held in the left hand of this Standard Bearer.
LAH222 "SS Fahnentrager"
In 1936 the SS purchased a small porcelain factory to, in the words of Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler, “enhance the culture of the SS state!” It was called “Allach Porcelain”.
Between 1936 and 1945 the factory produced numerous decorative items including animals, home décor of all descriptions and, of course, figurines.
Military figures were among the most sought after and one of the best was the Allach figure of the “SS Fahnentrager” (SS Flag Bearer) introduced in 1936.
This special piece was not available to the general public but only available as a special ‘Presentation Gift’ by the Reichsfuhrer himself.
Our new model is a scale copy of this very special figure.
LAH223 "SA MANN Brand"
"SA MANN Brand" was a German film made around the time Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. It was released in June 1933. This brownshirt is on the street promoting it.
Best wishes and... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country