WELCOME to the very FIRST “DISPATCHES” of 2017 and ... a belated Happy New Year to each and every K&C collector and dealer wherever they are around the world.
As most of us are just getting over the “Festive Holidays” some of us are already preparing for “CHINESE NEW YEAR” the number of releases is relatively small compared to most normal months.
So, without further ado let’s get into them ....
1. BEING RELEASED IN JANUARY 2017
a) “Rommel in Afrika Korps” (Part Two)
Regular readers of K&C’s “COLLECTOR” magazine will already have seen these new AK releases in the Yuletide issue however for those collectors who have not, here are the January additions ...
AK111 “Soldier Lifting Jerricans”
An AK soldier together with a pair of fresh water jerricans.
AK112 “Wounded German Soldiers”
Two lightly-wounded AK soldiers awaiting transport.
AK113 “Panzer II Ausf.B”
One of the mainstays of Rommel’s armoured force the Panzer II could be seen all over the North African battlefields. Lightly armed (as well as armoured) the little Panzer II still had a vital role to play especially in reconnaissance and for outflanking enemy positions.
Our new K&C version (we produced another one many years ago) is in the markings of the 21st Panzer Division and comes with the vehicle commander.
AK114 “Afrika Korps Motorcycle”
This single seat BMW motorcycle comes complete with the AK Dispatch Rider.
AVAILABLE : Early January
b) “Heilan’ Laddie”
As K&C collectors well know I am exceedingly proud of my Scottish heritage and enjoy designing and producing Highland Bagpipers whenever possible. Here’s the latest ...
BBB009 “The Piper”
To accompany our recently released British / Scots “winter” infantry we decided to add on a kilted bagpiper of the Royal Scots Fusiliers as he would have appeared in late 1944 / early 1945. Although chilled to the bone by the terrible winter weather this ‘hardy soul’ is still brave enough (and sturdy enough too) to wear his regimental kilt!
c) “KUNG HEI FAT CHOY!”
“Happy Chinese New Year!”
In this the ‘Year of the Rooster’ we’re presenting new colourful versions of some old favorites.
HK250(G&M) “The Tangerine Buyer”
Most traditional Chinese homes and houses are decorated for the coming new year with all kinds of floral displays. Among the most popular are the miniature orange trees and bushes which attract good fortune and prospects for the coming Lunar New Year.
This house servant carries one of the special “Orange Trees” while another sits at his feet.
HK254(G&M) “Celebrating The New Year”
For Chinese families the New Year is a time to come together and meet up and enjoy good food and celebrations.
It’s also a time to return to the family home and be with parents and bring them special gifts as well as receiving other gifts in return from the family elders themselves.
This beautiful 5-figure set (Mother, Father, Son and Grandparents) comes together with the small table and the beautifully decorated blue and white vase.
AVAILABLE : Mid January
d) “APACHE WARRIORS”
When we released our first batch of Apaches in 2016 we had many requests from collectors to provide alternative versions of certain useful figures to add extra numbers to their action diorama scenes.
TRW103 “He’s Dead!”
Two figure set
TRW104 “Taking Aim”
TRW105 “Kneeling Firing”
AVAILABLE : Mid January
e) “DEUTSCHLAND 1933”
In the years before the Nazis came to power there were occasions when they were actually banned from wearing their uniforms in public.
Of course there were ways and means they could circumvent these bans and here are just 2 small examples ...
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.
LAH209 “Lederhosen Heini”
Next to the Fuhrer the most likely candidate to accompany Adolf into the woods was his trusted Reichsfuhrer SS, Heinrich Himmler.
Of all the leading Nazis, Herr Himmler was the one who most enjoyed the long mountain walks in the fresh Alpine air listening to the future plans of the future Fuhrer.
AVAILABLE : Mid January
f) “THE GREAT ESCAPE”
During the 1950’s and 1960’s rarely did a year go by without a “Prisoner of War” movie being released by major British and American film companies.
“Stalag 17” ... “The Colditz Story” ... “The Wooden Horse” ... “ Von Ryan’s Express” ... and, of course, “The Great Escape”.
All of these great movies told daring tales of plucky and persistent Allied POW’s who, despite all kinds of privations and problems, used their combined wits, talents and cunning to foil their German captors best efforts to keep them all locked-up and safely contained within the multiple barbwire fences of their prison camps.
This is King & Country’s tribute in miniature to the real men behind the wire and the many fine movies (and some TV series) that told their stories ...
TGE001 “The Great Escapers”
Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, immortalized as “Big X” in “The Great Escape” movie ... Next to him stands a US Army Air Force officer famed for his insubordinate nature and a persistent escaper ... The third member of the trio is also an American, an original member of one of the Royal Air Force’s “Eagle” squadrons, made up of American volunteers who chose to fly for the RAF before America entered the war.
Like many other POW’s these men decided not to just sit-out the war behind the barbed wire ... They were going to do their best (and their worst) to escape and give the Germans a real ‘run for their money!’
AVAILABLE : Mid January
g) “Talking of Movies... “
Another favorite movie of mine is (was) “SAHARA”, the wartime 1943 film starring Humphrey Bogart and a large General Lee tank called “Lulubelle”. In the dim and distant past K&C produced a Lee tank together with a standing figure of “Lulubelle’s” commander.
One of the great joys of this hobby is being able to revisit past projects from time to time and ‘redo’ them with, hopefully, more skill and knowledge than we may originally have had years before.
DD300 “Master Sergeant Joe Gunn”
An M3 Lee tank, attached to the British Army in North Africa, has become separated from its unit ... Now, its commander, Master Sergeant Joe Gunn has become separated from his tank !!!
A nice single reminder of one of K&C’s oldest tank sets.
AVAILABLE : Mid January
h) “From the sands of North Africa to the streets of Olde London” ...
A very familiar sight on certain streets of London even today are the mounted soldiers of the Household Cavalry. These men and horses belong to the two most senior cavalry regiments in the British Army, the “Blues and Royals” and the “Life Guards”. While on ceremonial duties in London they are garrisoned at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge in the heart of the capital.
Here, for the first time, K&C are producing 3 individual mounted figures of the “Life Guards”, resplendent in their red tunics and gleaming silver breastplates surmounted by magnificent gold and silver helmets with white plumes.
All men of the “Life Guards”, with the exception of their trumpeters, are mounted on jet black steeds. Trumpeters ride a white horse.
Their ceremonial uniforms today have not changed since the last quarter of the 19th Century so Sherlock Holmes himself would not have been surprised to see them ride down Baker Street in all their military splendor ... either yesterday or today !
WoD052 “Life Guards Officer”
WoD053 “Life Guards Non Commissioned Officer”
The backbone of any great military unit, and the “Life Guards” is no exception, are the Non Commissioned Officers. Cavalry regiments have some unique ranks for NCO’s such as ... “Squadron Corporal Major” (Warrant Officer Class 2) and “Corporal of Horse” (Sergeant). These date back to the earliest days of the British Cavalry during the English Civil War.
WoD054 “Life Guards Trooper”
“Trooper” in the cavalry is the equivalent of a “Private” in the infantry and the lowest entry rank to the regiment.
All mounted troopers have already completed 14 weeks of basic training before moving onto a further 12 weeks of specific military skill training.
For those joining the ceremonial squadrons (cavalry regiments have squadrons, the infantry equivalent is the rifle company) a 12 week “Khaki Ride” which includes stable management, horsemanship and basic riding skills will be taught at Windsor, near London. Then the graduate moves to Hyde Park Barracks in the capital where they will learn to ride wearing the colourful ceremonial uniforms that generations of Household Cavalrymen have worn.
Fully trained troopers can expect to spend 18-24 months taking part in traditional daily duties on Horse Guards Parade and Whitehall as well as numerous State Ceremonial occasions throughout the year.
AVAILABLE : Mid-Late January
i) “From Pomp & Circumstance to Mud, Blood and Winter Snow ... “
The colour and spectacle of London’s streets are a far cry from the daunting prospect of fighting a brutal war in the depths of winter on both the Eastern and Western Fronts in 1944 and 1945 ...
BBG110 “SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny”
One of Hitler’s favourite soldiers... This Waffen SS officer made his reputation rescuing deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from his hidden mountain imprisonment on Gran Sasso. Since then Skorzeny was promoted and given a number of undercover missions to perform before being put in charge of a small unit of English-speaking German soldiers who, dressed in US Army uniforms, and using captured U.S. Vehicles were to infiltrate Allied lines and create panic and confusion in advance of the German attack during the Battle of the Bulge.
Skorzeny himself never donned US Army uniform but was a well known and easily recognized figure in the Third Reich thanks to Propaganda Chief Goebbel’s publicity machine and won the Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross for his efforts, late in the war, trying to defend Frankfurt.
After the war he still led a colourful and exciting life ... escaping Allied internment ... advising foreign governments ... and even working with MOSSAD, the Israeli intelligence service !!!
He died in Spain in 1975 aged 67.
Our latest Skorzeny figure portrays him during the “Battle of the Bulge” wearing the reversible SS Winter / Autumn camouflage smock / jacket and grey trousers complete with SS “Feldschmutze” (field cap).
BBG111 “SKODA Radschlepper Ost”
On the Eastern Front one of the most urgent German necessities was for a heavy, multi-purpose tractor that could haul supplies and artillery over the very rough Russian road network.
In late 1941, famed German designer, Ferdinand Porsche proposed a large, four-wheeled drive tractor mounted on huge metal wheels that he believed could fill the requirement.
He proposed that his design could be built at the Skoda Automobile Plant in German controlled Bohemia and Moravia utilizing its Czech workforce. Work began immediately and by mid 1942 the first samples of Porsche’s design were ready to be tested.
The results were at best ... mixed. However an order was placed for 200 of the now-called “Radschlepper Ost”.
Although originally meant for service on the Eastern Front, only a handful ever went in that direction. The vast majority served in the West particularly Normandy, the Netherlands and even some during the Ardennes campaign.
K&C has chosen the snow-camouflaged “winter” version of the vehicle as its first release. Each piece includes a driver, moving wheels and a detachable rear canvas covering.
Rifle over one shoulder, this soldier wears the Army pattern – “Splinter Camouflage” hooded smock and carries a valuable jerrican of rare gasoline.
A Waffen SS “Chained Dog” (military policeman) indicates the way to some of his advancing comrades. Like Skorzeny, he wears the reversible SS Autumn / Winter Camo Jacket and carries the StG44, the revolutionary German Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle.
By this late stage in the war the sheer variety of uniforms worn by Germany’s soldiers was simply staggering ... A few however were still more traditionally dressed and this front-line soldier still wears the long army greatcoat. However he is carrying the “Gewehr 43” the semi automatic rifle developed during the war following riflemen’s actual combat experiences on the battlefield with the existing bolt-action K98.
Utilizing a 10 round box magazine the rifle, strangely enough, did not have a bayonet mount!
BBG115 “Hauptmann Stossel”
This Wehrmacht captain is wearing a non regulation fur cap together with his “Splinter Camo” jacket ... his steel helmet by his side.
Our last infantryman of this release has found himself a white “Snow Smock” and carries his K98 with bayonet fixed! He’s also obtained a nice pair of captured binoculars!
AVAILABLE : Mid-Late January
2. And finally, a few retirements ...
AF023 Capt. Lee ‘Buddy’ Archer
BBG050 Winter Traffic
DD105 Churchill with his Tommy Gun
DD182 Shouting SGT.
FoB068 Old Man & Wheel Barrow
FW103 Oswald Boelcke
As usual I hope there’s something special for you... If not, fear not ... there is always next month!
Best wishes to one and all and ... happy collecting,
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Hong Kong