In last month’s “DISPATCHES” I told you that I was about to fly off to the States for the annual “WESTCOASTER”. Now, here I am back just a few days and already I’m writing April’s “DISPATCHES”….Where does the time go…..?
Anyway, a great time was had by all who attended the show and I’m happy to say I enjoyed the company and conversations with many dedicated K&C collectors and dealers.
Now it’s back to work and getting ready for another “bumper” month….Here’s the latest….
1. APPEARING IN APRIL 2013
A. British Army Transport to the fore….
As previewed in last month’s “DISPATCHES” we’ve got two separate versions of one of the British Army’s stalwart little 15cwt. trucks that were used throughout the 1939-45 war (and beyond) and in all wartime Theatres of Operations…. The Morris CS8 truck.
FOB091 “British Expeditionary Force Morris CS8 15cwt. Truck”
When the B.E.F went to France in late 1939 it took thousands of these little 15cwt. trucks with them….Alas after the events of May and June 1940 most ended up abandoned on the streets and beaches of Dunkirk. Only a handful returned to “Blighty”.
However thousands more were built to serve the Army, Navy and Air Force throughout the rest of the war.
Our model belongs to the 3rd. Infantry Division and is in the markings of a Royal Artillery battery attached to the division. It is in typical wartime “Mickey Mouse” camouflage and comes with a R.A. driver attached.
FOB097 “Bomb Disposal Morris CS8 15 cwt.Truck”
The fifth and final version of the CS8 belongs to a Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Unit….hence the bright red mudguards. It’s a great (and useful) addition to our earlier release of a B.D.U. “Tilly” and goes perfectly with our WW2 “Sappers” busily defusing nasty German bombs!
AVAILABLE: Early April
B. “With Lawrence In The Desert”
Two additional special mounted figures to accompany Colonel T.E. Lawrence on his desert campaign….
LoA003 “Sheikh Auda Abu Tayi”
During the Arab revolt against the Turks in 1916-1918 one of Lawrence’s staunchest Arab allies was the Bedouin Leader, Auda Abu Tayi. Portrayed in David Lean’s 1962 epic by Anthony Quinn this dramatic figure sits astride his magnificent captured Arab stallion with his revolver held aloft.
LoA004 “Arab Flagbearer”
Accompanying Auda is his personal flagbearer carrying the tradional Islamic green flag emblazoned with a verse from the Koran, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah!”
Special Note: In addition to these mounted “personality” pieces K&C is also producing at least six dismounted Arab warriors in fighting poses for release later in 2013.
AVAILABLE : Early April
C. “Red Army Revenge”
Following the huge success of our earlier Red Army releases of tanks and soldiers K&C continues to grow and develop this dramatic series of war on the Eastern Front……
RA024 “Soldier w/Burp Gun”
RA038 “Red Army Valentine MK.III”
Over 2,000 of these British built tanks were supplied to the Russians as part of Allied “Lend-Lease” agreements. Our model bears the number “39” and the slogan “Stalinets”. It comes with a half-body Soviet tank commander.
RA040 “Combat Leader”
Cautiously moving forward with his PPSh-41 “Burp” gun at the ready.
RA041 “Female Warrior”
Of all the combatant nations during WW2 only the Russians used women as “fighters” in front-line” units.
Lying prone and aiming at the hated enemy.
RA043 “Kneeling Firing”
Wearing the ubiquitous side cap and padded jacket this Red Army soldier is firing his “burp” gun. With no base this figure can fit on top of any of our K&C armoured vehicles.
On the lookout for the Germans!
RA045 “Female Shooter”
Another woman warrior to accompany RA041.
RA046 “Sitting burp gunner”
A very useful “Tankrider”.
RA047 “Sitting w/Rifle”
Both of the above are great little “Tank-riders”…..
AVAILABLE : Mid April
D. “PANZER COUNTER-ATTACK”
As you can tell we’re not about to let the Soviets dominate the entire Eastern Front battlefield just yet….We’ve found them some fierce opposition!
WS219 “Panzer IV H”
One of the all-time great German battle tanks of WW2 and one that has been absent from the K&C catalogue for a long, long time….
Our K&C “H” model Panzer IV mounts the long-barrelled 75mm main gun and comes with a “wrap-around” turret shield armour. First produced in mid 1943, Panzer IV H’s saw action on both East and West fronts. More than 3,000 of this particular variant were produced and this, our first of several versions, comes in a typical three-colour camo pattern of the later war period. Our K&C model also includes the tank commander in the top turret hatch.
WS223-1 “Tank Commanders”
Many collectors have suggested we offer a range of different commanders for our armoured vehicles. Here’s the first set….Commanders. The first wears the “classic” black Waffen SS “wrap around jacket” and SS officers field gray service cap.
Figure 2 wears the reversible winter smock and the black Panzer Wehrmacht side cap.
WS223-2 “Tank Commanders”
These two commanders are another contrast in style….One, all in black Wehrmacht Panzer uniform and side cap. The other in Waffen SS “wrap around” comouflage uniform topped off with a black ski cap.
These new half-body German tank commanders will fit the vast majority of K&C’s armoured vehicles…both German and Allied. And they’ll probably fit easily into most of our competitors armour as well !!!
AVAILABLE : Mid to Late April
E. “Forward The Light Horse”
This K&C Australian Light Horse series has been one of our great successes of recent years….Not only in Australia where you would expect it to be popular….but also around the world. So much so, that now we release at least two batches of figures throughout the year…. Here are the latest….”Bring On The Empty Horses!”
AL045 “Standing Horse #1”
AL046 “Standing Horse #2”
Both of these horses can belong to any of our “dismounted” Light Horsemen…..or casualties!
AL047 “Galloping Horse #1”
AL048 “Galloping Horse #2”
Another two “empty” horses charging alongside their mounted brethren….
AL049 “Kneeling Turkish Radioman”
This brave kneeling Turk, pistol in one hand, frantically tries to use the field telephone to tell his superiors that the Australians have already broken through the first line of defences.
AL050 “Charging Turk w/Rifle”
AL051 “The Swordsman”
Legend has it that at least one Light Horse officer carried a sabre into the battle…
AL052 “Hang On Mate!”
A dismounted wounded trooper has been rescued by one of his mates…. Here he hangs on for dear life amidst Turkish shot and shell.
AL053 “The Shooter”
Reins in one hand, Lee Enfield extended in the other this charging trooper is about to reach the Turkish front line trenches.
AVAILABLE: Mid April
Special Note: Australian collectors will have the opportunity to view the follow-up batch of Turkish and Light Horse releases when K&C’s Andy C. Neilson visits Brisbane and Sydney some time in July 2013….More details to follow.
F. ANNOUNCING “PATHFINDERS”…..
Some time ago K&C made the decision that we would design and produce certain figures that would incorporate more detail and require extra fine painting than our general releases but could still be part of our overall ranges….
ARNHEM…..Four Days Into The Battle”
By Wednesday 20 September 1944, Lieut.Colonel John Frost and the men of 2 Para had held the northern end of the Arnhem bridge for four long bloody days….
With no resupply of food, water or ammunition and no reinforcements the precarious military situation was getting steadily worse….Still however the British paratroopers fought on….
This desperate 4-day struggle is the point in the battle that King & Country has chosen to portray with our first six “Pathfinder” releases. During a brief lull in the fighting our tired but still defiant warriors take stock of their situation….A young officer observes an enemy position…..the Battalion’s second-in-command sits and studies his map while in contact with one of his units…..Another para even brews up some hot tea.
All of these latest figures show the strain and stress of battle in an authentic and realistic style that is typically King & Country.
As many of you know today’s collectors are constantly seeking more variety….better quality…and ever more detail in their figures and fighting vehicles. At K&C we want to meet those challenges and expectations by continuing to innovate and introduce fresh new concepts across all of our many ranges….and at differing price levels our collectors around the world can afford.
‘PATHFINDERS” is for those collectors who want and appreciate an even higher level of detail in their figures and are willing to pay the extra premium to obtain it.
Back in 1995 when K&C launched their very first Arnhem ’44 series of British Paras we were the original innovators…..Matt-painted, 1:30 scale, Second World War toy soldiers were the exception…not the rule. Those little paratroopers crated a mini-revolution in the toy soldier world that still continues to this day and our new “Pathfinders” opens up a whole new chapter of that story.
It’s appropriate therefore that, once more, the Paras lead the way!
MG033(P) “Lieut. Jack Grayburn V.C.”
John “Jack” Grayburn was a 26 years old platoon commander with 2 Para during the Battle of Arnhem. His citation of his posthumous Victoria Cross reads, “For supreme courage leadership and devotion to duty. Lieut. Grayburn led an assault to capture the southern end of the Arnhem bridge. Although attacking with great determination he and his men were forced to withdraw under heavy enemy fire. Jack Grayburn was wounded in the process. Throughout the next day and night him and his men occupied one of the approaches to the northern side of the bridge and repulsed several attacks on their position by enemy infantry, mortars and self-propelled guns.
On the 19th and 20th September he took command of the remainder of his company and other elements and fought off more German attacks. He even organized offensive fighting patrols to harass and ambush the surrounding in their locations.
During this period he was wounded a second time but still refused to be evacuated. Finally as a German tank approached his position he organized the safe withdrawal of his remaining men to a new defensive position.
Later that same day, 20 September, 1944, he was killed.
This is our small tribute to a great soldier…..
MG034(P) “Major Frederick Gough M.C.”
When Lieut. Colonel John Frost of 2 Para was seriously wounded at the Arnhem bridge on 20 September 1944 he handed over command of his battalion to “Freddy” Gough, the unit’s senior major. Major Gough was taken prisoner with the rost of 2 Para when their position was overrun but managed later to escape German captivity in April 1945 and join up with American forces in Bavaria.
After the war he became a successful Member of Parliament and lived to see himself portrayed in the movie epic of the Arnhem battle, “A Bridge Too Far”.
Our “Pathfinder” figure has him seated with a map and field telephone.
MG035(P) “The Airborne Cyclist”
This member of 2 Para has somehow managed to bring his “Airborne Folding Bicycle” up to the bridge…..Unfortunately that’s where it will remain!
MG036(P) “A Cup of Tea, Sir”
The British soldier, even in the worst of situations, can usually make time for a quick brew-up. This paratrooper offers up a “cuppa” to one of his officers.
At Arnhem, because of its unique location, there was a serious problem with the British radio communications. Fortunately the American made hand-held “walkie-talkies”, although limited in range, were also available.
This Lee-Enfield armed Para tries to get his message across.
MG043(P) “Lieut. Denis Boiteux-Buchanan M.C.”
Known to his brother officers as “Bucky” this officer had seen a fair bit of action before Arnhem including being captured and successfully escaping from both the Germans and the Italians!
He jumped into Arnhem with the rest of 2 Para on 17 September, 1944 as Battalion Intelligence Officer. He was often in the thick of the fighting with Lieut. Col. Frost and sadly was killed in the final hours of the battle at the bridge on 20 September. He is buried at Oosterbeek War Cemetery in Arnhem.
Here we show him kneeling studying the deteriorating situation.
Special Note: Another batch of “Pathfinder” paras, including one more Victoria Cross winner will be released in the coming months. Look out for them!!
AVAILABLE: Late April
2. AND NOW FOR MAY…
Well to go from Holland in September 1944 to the Land of the Nile before the birth of Christ is a fairly big jump….But we’ll make it all the same!
A. “On The Banks Of The Nile”
This mighty river that ran the length of Ancient Egypt was the life giving source to the people of that land. Both on it and beside it communities grew up that depended on its waters to provide their livelihood and well being….Here are our latest additions….
AE048 “The Anubis Set”
Two Nubian slaves carry a likeness of the canine god to a nearby riverside temple.
AE049 “The Papyrus Boat Set”
A standing boatman guides his craft along the river together with a female passenger.
AE050 “The Fishermen”
As one man guides the papyrus boat the other spears fish for the basket and the local market.
AE051 “Hunting the Hippo!”
Elsewhere on the river other hunters are seeking more dangerous prey….the mighty hippopotamous. As the huge beast rears its head out of the water a standing Nubian takes careful aim.
AE052 “Small Papyrus Boat”
A single unmanned craft to sit along the river’s edge.
SP059 “Baskets & Jars”
A great little addition….a collection of various sizes of stone jars and fruit baskets. Perfect for a market place ….or on board one of our Papyrus boats or simply sitting on the banks next to the river…The choice is yours.
AVAILABLE : Early May
B. “From Ancient Egypt…..to Ancient Greece”
Still in ancient times but to a more violent scene….the warrior Greeks. Three new additions.
AG013 “Fighting Hoplite”
AG014 “Standing Officer”
AG015 “Crouching Hoplite”
AVAILABLE : Mid May
C. “MEDICS HELPING MEDICS”
These two new sets of World War Two medics in action are part of the promotion for the upcoming 2013 TEXAS TOY SOLDIER SHOW which is being held at the Menger Hotel San Antonio Tx. over Memorial Day Weekend, 25 and 26 May 2013. One of the special themes of this year’s event is to honour the U.S. Army’s Medics who have served their country from the Civil War all the way up to more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston is the Headquarters and principal training base for all of the Army’s medics and is also the site of a superb Museum that tells the story of U.S. Army medicine since its earliest beginnings up until the present day.
KINGS X and KING & COUNTRY have designed and produced these very special 2-man sets to help raise funds for “Operation Comfort” and “Help For Heroes”, two excellent charities that assist wounded American and British servicemen from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
These first two sets will be released at the TEXAS SHOW and will also be available to all K&C dealers and collectors around the world a few days later.
It is our hope that K&C will continue to produce, once a year, other “MEDIC” sets covering different wars and campaigns that American and British forces have been involved in during the last two centuries….Each of these first two sets will only be available for one year until the next is released.
DD209 “The Rescue”
A lone Medic assists a badly wounded G.I. off the battlefield and towards a nearby aid station.
DD210 “Blood Transfusion”
Countless lives were saved during WW2 by the speedy availability of fresh plasma that could even be administered in the midst of a battle.
AVAILABLE : Late May
D. “VIVE L’EMPEREUR!”
From the battlefields of Europe in the 20th Century to some of the same battlefields 130 years before….In the Age of Napoleon.
By popular demand we have designed and produced SEVEN brand-new fighting Cuirassiers….
NA249 “New Cuirassier Officer”
NA250 “Charging Flagbearer”
NA251 “Charging Bugler”
NA252 “Charging Trooper”
NA253 “Charging….Sword Down”
NA254 Charging…..Sans Helmet!”
NA255 Charging….and Hacking!”
Special Note: These new mounted warriors will combine well with our previously released cuirassiers from 2007.
AVAILABLE : Mid May
E. “On The Harbour of Old Hong Kong”
From papyrus boats on the Nile to Chinese Dragon boats in Hong Kong Harbour….Who says we’re all at sea?
HK222 G/M “The Green Dragon Boat”
A third contender to join our previous two releases makes for an even more spectacular and colourful race. This team belongs to…..
AVAILABLE : Mid May
F. “ACHTUNG BLITZKRIEG!”
During the Polish Campaign of September 1939 and the Fall of France and the Low Countries in May and June 1940 the German Army deployed their armoured “blitzkrieg” to great effect. Among the most effective tanks was one that was not even designed or manufactured by themselves….The Czechoslovak 38T, originally a pre war design, it was incorporated into the Wehrmacht’s arsenal after its country of origin was annexed by Hitler in 1938.
Although production ended in 1942 it also saw plenty of action during “Operation Barbarossa”, the invasion of Russia in mid 1941.
K&C are releasing three models in this first launch…. in a Planned Production Run of… 250 models for the WS224-1… 100 each for WS224-2 and WS224-3.
This first model #201, painted in typical early-war field grey and dust comes with a 3/4 body tank commander and is perfect for any battles and campaigns during 1940-1942…..From Western Europe to the Eastern Front and all points in between! 250 Available.
A second 38T is also available for those that like to build up their armoured column….No tank commander but at a great price….and you can always add any of our other K&C Panzer crewmen as you wish. 100 Available.
If you think how good two 38 T’s look….imagine a third option….Now you’re talking! Again no commander but plenty of other options are available so #204 will look great anyway you feature it in your collection. 100 Available.
AVAILABLE : Mid to Late May
G. “THE FUHRER’S WHEELS”
It is said that Adolf Hitler only really loved two things in his life…his dog and his cars! That may be a slight exaggeration but not by much!!!
Over the years K&C has produced several of the Fuhrer’s favorite limos…but never, until now, this one – the Mercedes Benz 770K.
LAH170 “The Fuhrer’s 770K”
This new model, in high gloss black and silver finish has the Party Leader standing in the front seat passenger position giving his familiar straight-arm salute to the “Party Faithfull”. Based on several photographs taken in 1935 and 1936 he still wears the simple brown shirt uniform with his gold party badge and iron cross (First Class) on his breast.
Seated next to him is his personal driver and close friend SS-Standartenfuhrer Julius Schrek who also joined the Nazi Party in 1920, about the same time as Hitler himself. The two developed a strong bond of friendship that continued to grow throughout the Party’s ascent to power.
Schrek died after a short illness in May 1936 and was given a state funeral.
This, I believe, is the first car model by any company to feature Hitler and his personal friend and driver together.
AVAILABLE : Mid to Late May
H. “CUSTER HAD IT COMING!”
In the few months since their release our new “REAL WEST” cavalry figures depicting the “Battle of the Little Bighorn,” better known as “Custer’s Last Stand”, have proved to be a resounding success!
One constant reminder has also been said and emailed to us frequently….”Where are the Indians?”
Well, wait no more, here are the first batch of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors ready to wreak havoc on Custer and his “lost command”
This initial release of 5 x mounted Indians plus 3 x fighting on foot includes some very well-known names….
TRW034(P) “Buffalo Calf Road Woman”
Illustrates one of the many females who took part in the battle. A Northern Cheyenne she fought alongside her husband at the Little Bighorn and is said to have knocked Custer himself off his horse during the fight. Here she fires her revolver at a dismounted “Long Knife”…..
TRW035(P) “Crazy Horse”
Next to “Sitting Bull”, probably the most famous of the Sioux war chiefs was Crazy Horse. An Oglala Lakota he took up arms against the U.S. government because of their many broken treaties and constant encroachment on Indian lands. A skilled leader and a brave warrior, it is said that he led the attack that out-flanked Custer and his men at the Little Bighorn and sealed their fate. Our figure shows him carrying his Winchester repeating rifle and charging his pony towards the battle.
Chief Gall was another Lakota Sioux war chief who has been credited with being instrumental in the Indians’ victory over Custer. He anticipated a typical Custer “two-pronged” attack on the Indian village….First he helped repulse Major Reno’s assault on the southeast of the Indian encampment… Then he moved his forces north towards the center to halt Custer’s attack across the Little Bighorn river.
Finally he chased the cavalrymen back up and onto the bluffs where many made their last stand. Gall is simply dressed and armed with tomahawk.
Another of the great Lakota Sioux war chiefs and a close friend of “Sitting Bull”. In the spring of 1876 he joined sitting Bull’s band and traveled with them to the Little Bighorn River.
During the battle itself it is said he shot several troopers with his Winchester repeating rifle while riding in the saddle. It is also rumoured that he personally cut out the heart of Tom Custer the general’s brother.
In addition to his rifle Rain-In-The-Face also carries a Colt revolver.
TRW039(P) “American Horse”
Not the famous Oglala Sioux chief out a Northern Cheyenne who had his favorite pony shot from under him and fought the rest of the battle on foot.
TRW042(P) “Beaver Heart”
A kneeling Cheyenne with his carbine about to take aim.
TRW044(P) “Little Wolf”
This well armed Cheyenne warrior carries both bow and arrows….and a captured U.S. Army carbine.
TRW047(P) “Running Buffalo”
Proudly wearing a buffalo head dress (complete with horns) this running Sioux brave carries his war shield, club and….a U.S. Army revolver.
Special Note: Six additional Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, both on foot and mounted are scheduled to be released in June/July. Even more cavalry and other Indians will be available later in 2013.
AVAILABLE : Late May
3. BEING RETIRED…….
Quite a large batch this month and a very varied selection. Check them out and grab ‘em while you can….Outstanding quality and value….
And that my friends is that for another 30 days or so. Looking back this may indeed also be the longest and most detailed “DISPACHES” yet! Hope you enjoy them and, once more, thankyou for your continued support….
AF001 US Fighter Pilot
AF002 US Pilot w/ Map
AL001 Australian Lighthorse Officer w/ Pistol
AL002 Australian Lighthorse Bugler
AL003 Australian Lighthorse w/ Rifle
AL004 Australian Lighthorse Charging w/Bayonet(to the front)
BBA039 Stretcher Party
CW010 Jeb Stuart (Mtd.)
CW011 General Robert E. Lee (Mtd.)
CW051 Lee & Stuart
CW057 Jackson & Longstreet
LW001 Generalleutnant Adolf Galland
LW003 Oberleutnant Gunther Rall
LW005 Ground Crew Set
TRW009 Standing Firing Dragoon
TRW010 Dismounted Dragoon w/Pistol
TRW011 Dismounted Dragoon w/Carbine
TRW012 Mounted Dragoon Firing Pistol
TRW013 Scout Firing Rifle
USMC003 Pistol Marks Man
USMC004 Marine Sniper
USMC005 Lewis Gunner
USMC006 Marine Corporal
USMC007 Marine on Guard
USMC008 Tommy Gunner
USMC009 Sitting Machine Gunner
USMC010 Marching Rifleman
USN001 Deck Officer w/Binos
USN002 Officer w/Pistol & Loud Hailer
USN003 Shore Patrol
USN004 Chief Petty Officer
USN005 Sailor Marching w/ Rifle
USN006 Standing Firing Rifle
USN007 Kneeling Firing Rifle
USN008 Sailor Port Arms
USN009 Banner Man
USN010 Sailor w/Seabag
USN011 US Navy B.A.R. Gunner
USN012 US Steam Launch
USN013 Three Sitting Sailor
WS114 Marching Waffen-SS Officer
With best wishes!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country