As I write these notes at the tail end of October it’s hard to believe that I only just got back to Hong Kong on the 9th of October after Chicago and three additional “meet “n’ greets” in Los Gatos (Sierra Toy Soldiers) and two “first-time” events with Bill Sager in Miami and Tim Tyler (Troops of Time) in Jacksonville… Many, many thanks to all of those great K&C dealers and the guys (and some wives) who came along to all three locations.
On the 22nd of November I’m off again on my annual “Euro Pilgrimage” to Italy, France and UK. There’re two gatherings in Italy – Carpi and Florence followed by Paris and the big London Show.
Talking of London it’s going to be very interesting to see how the new show location does!?! In the meantime, without further ado… Here’s what happening in our “neck of the woods”… this month and next.
1. BEING RELEASED IN OCTOBER
As we mentioned in last month’s “DISPATCHES” … November is “Battle of the Bulge” time. And as you already know the German side has been very well taken care of so… It’s time to bring on the “good guys”…
BBA054 “The M4A3E8 Easy-Eight SHERMAN”
This is actually the first “real” Easy Eight K&C has ever produced… Many moons ago… around 1999 we manufactured a “Hybrid” that utilized a proper “Easy Eight” turret complete with 76mm gun but we “married” it to the body of an Israeli “Isherman”.
Now, this time it’s the “real-deal”… It’s big, bold and brassy and it’s one helluva tank… And it’s “snow-camouflaged” as well.
To go alongside this “beauty”…
BBA061 “Kneeling Loading Rifle”
BBA062 “Standing Firing Rifle”
BBA063 “Advancing BAR Gunner”
BBA064 “Advancing Radio Man”
This popular and colourful series just gets bigger and better… Here are the latest…
NE018 “Standing Guides Officer”
With arms folded this soldier looks every inch… an officer and gentlemen.
“LES DROMADAIRES” (The Camels)
Faced with a desperate shortage of cavalry in Egypt, Napoleon ordered the formation of a regiment mounted on camels!
Instead of using regular cavalry he chose infantrymen from his many
demi-brigades to make up the strength of his new unit.
These soldiers enjoyed the same privileges and pay as Dragoons and were
uniformed in, as Napoleon described it, “The Oriental Style” with huge offwhite cloaks and baggy, loose fitting pantaloons.
Here are our first selection…
NE028 “Camel Cavalier w/Musket”
Musket held aloft and scanning the horizon.
NE029 “Camel Cavalier with Baggy red pantaloons”
NE030 “Camel Cavalier w/Rifle Across”
Another of the patrol still wearing his old French uniform.
NE031 “The Leader”
This “Camel Cavalier” looks through his telescope to see, if any, sight of the enemy.
NE032 “The Bugler”
Relatively few regular cavalry served with Napoleon in Egypt. Here, however is one of the exceptions. This bugler has adapted to the local weather conditions. He also carries a “Mameluke-style” sabre.
AVAILABLE: Mid November
Dressed in dust-covered field-grey these Wehrmacht “soldaten” are a useful “add-on” to our first four field-grey “classics” issued in October.
WS211 “Unteroffizier w/ Schmeisser”
This standing NCO pulls back the cocking handle on his machine pistol.
WS212 “Kneeling Ready”
The battle is about to begin and this soldier is ready…
WS213 “Kneeling w/ Ammo Box”
Another soldier carrying an extra box of machine gun ammunition.
As this soldier moves forward he orders his comrades to stay under cover.
WS215 “Just Looking”
One soldier bends down to peer round a corner while his comrade leans forward to get a better view.
WS220 “The Winter Tiger1”
The second of our new, early-production models of this iconic German tank. This second version has been given a thin coat of whitewash to help camouflage it… Already however the original “feldgrau” is showing through.
The vehicle comes with a new Tank Commander figure.
AVAILABLE: Mid November
2. “JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!”
In 1941 and ’42 a bunch of 90 American fighter pilots were formed into the “1st
American Volunteer Group under the command of a former U.S. Army Air Corps officer called Claire Lee Chennault. Putting his men into 3 x pursuit squadrons and using the Curtiss P40 Chennault created a legend…”The Flying Tigers”.
In a relatively short time they had racked-up over 300 enemy aircraft shot down with the loss of a very small number of their own.
K&C is proud to pay tribute to these brave flyers and their extraordinary aircraft….
AF018 “Curtiss P40”Flying Tiger”
Originally intended to be part of very large order going to Britain’s Royal Air Force, 100 of the planes were separated out for the Flying Tigers in China.
Still sporting British camouflage they were then adorned with the famous “Shark’s Teeth” insignia and a cartoon flying tiger courtesy of the Walt Disney Studio!
Our aircraft is in the personal #88 markings of former USMC pilot Kenneth A.Jernstedt who shot down 10.5 Japanese aircraft while flying and fighting with the “Tigers”.
Planned Production Run: 250 aircraft
AF024 “Flying Tiger Pilot, David “Tex “Hill”
One of the most famous of Tiger pilots “Tex” Hill had a long and distinguished flying career. Beginning in the U.S. Navy he flew dive bombers before being recruited by Claire Cheunault to fly in China. He shot down 12 Japanese aircraft with the Flying Tigers before transferring over to the U.S. Army Air Corps. Eventually “Tex” Hill retired as a Brigadier General in the U.S.A.F. many years later.
Our figure shows him consulting his map and wearing the leather flight jacket with the famous “blood-chit” on the back.
AF025 “ Flying Tiger Pilot, Kenneth A. Jernstedt”
Ken Jernstedt was another “double-ace” while flying in China with the American Volunteer Group. Like “Tex” Hill he also transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 after America entered the war.
The K&C “Ken Jernstedt” is also wearing the leather flight jacket with the “blood chit” and a flying helmet.
AVAILABLE: Early December
B. “ON THE FRONTIER”
Throughout China’s long history there has been a succession of wars where neighbouring countries have tried to “smash and grab” whole states and provinces away from the central power in Beijing.
To help protect the integrity of the frontier areas of the country different emperors used different methods. Several rulers built chains of “Frontier Forts” all along the perimeter of the country.
Our new individual multi section defense work allows collectors to build a fort as big (or as small) as they need or have the room for…
IC051 “Chinese Fort Main Gate”
A complete section with open/close gates plus a wooden ladder to reach the upper platform.
IC052 “Left Tower”
Flanking the gate on both sides would have been these stucco and wood structures providing shelter and some accommodation for the garrison of the fort.
IC053 “Right Tower”
See above, this is the opposite section.
IC054 “Wooden Fences”
A straight section and a corner section to extend on to the Fort’s main structures.
AVAILABLE: Early December
C. “Letter From Hong Kong
Three colourful additions to K&C’s most colourful series…
HK205 “The Letter Writer Set”
Up until just a few years ago in Hong Kong you could still see an old man sitting on a little stool writing a letter for another old person who alas was illiterate and wanted to let the relatives back in China know what was going on.
This charming little vignette is a very real piece of Hong Kong history.
HK206 “Mother & Child”
Again, what was once a fairly common street sight in H.K… a mother carrying her child on her back has disappeared into history… except in “Streets of Old Hong Kong”.
HK213 “The God of Fortune”
All of us need a little good fortune… Perhaps this mythical Chinese figure can help…?
AVAILABLE: Early December
No, it’s not another set of the “Three Wise Men” for the LOJ series… It’s three mounted Australian figures of the Imperial Camel Corps on patrol.
Among the mounted units that contributed men to this British and Empire force was the Australian Light Horse. This December release provides three individual camel-mounted soldiers… one officer and two troopers.
AL036 “Australian Officer”. Turning in the saddle this officer looks back towards his men.
AL037 “Aye Ready”
Lee Enfield rifle resting on his thigh this trooper scans the distant desert horizon.
AL038 “Shirt-Sleeve Order”
“Any fool can be uncomfortable in the field”… This trooper has put away his heavy wool service jacket and looks much more comfortable with open necked shirt and rolled-up sleeves. His Lee Enfield remains “at the ready” resting across his lap.
AVAILABLE: Early December !
E… “AND NOW TO A VERY DIFFERENT FRONTIER”
In “DISPATCHES” we go from the troubled frontiers of China to the equally troubled frontier of the Old West with the announcement of a big, bold, battling new series…”Custer’s Last Stand”.
This project has actually been “in-the-works” for several years but only now has come to fruition…
The Indian Wars following the end of the Civil War were an important time for the United States… A growing population was forever requiring more land to settle and build on as well as to explore and exploit for its abundant natural resources.
Among the land most coveted were the treaty-held territories granted to the Native American tribes. Most Indians reluctantly had to accept and agree to whatever the whitemen in Washington said. Some however did not… Especially the Lakota (Sioux) and the Cheyenne.
Eventually this would lead to war that would involve the U.S. Cavalry and the Indians. The most famous engagement of those times was The Battle of the Little Bighorn which took place on June 25/26, 1876.
This new series intends to paint a portrait in miniature of the bloody climax of those fateful days.
Our first initial release of just seven U.S. cavalry items will be followed up in February by seven more.
TRW020 “Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer”
The commander of the famous 7th Cavalry and already a hero from the Civil War. Custer together with 210 of his men would perish on and around “Last Stand Hill” just above the Little Bighorn river.
Here we show him wearing buckskin trousers with a decorative blue shirt and colourful red neckerchief. In his hands a pair of matching Royal Irish Constabularly revolvers.
TRW022 “Captain Myles Keogh”
An Irish soldier-of-fortune who somehow ended up in the 7th Cavalry. Tough, experienced and reliable Keogh is seen wearing a Civil War kepi and the black embroidered “Patrol” jacket. With one hand he keeps Custer’s personal guidon upright… with the other he takes careful aim.
Already wounded this seated Bugler attempts to contact the other units of the 7th.
TRW024 “Swinging the Carbine”
With no ammunition left this corporal has no choice but to use his carbine as a club.
TRW025 “Kneeling Firing Carbine”
Due to the stifling mid summer heat this trooper has discarded his heavy wool jacket and is fighting in “shirt-sleeve order”
TRW030 “Dead Horse”
Although many horses were killed by Indian bullets and arrows others were shot by their riders to provide some cover on the sparsely covered hillside.
TRW031 “On His Knees”
Clutching a serious head wound and his carbine by his side this wounded trooper will not last long.
AVAILABLE: Mid December
SPECIAL NOTE: Remember, a second exciting batch of 7th Cavalry “personalities”, troopers and casualties will appear in February followed in April/May by no less than seven mounted Indians plus another seven fighting on foot.
F. “FROM CUSTER TO NAPOLEON”
It’s not too big a leap as we’re actually going from an elite U.S. Cavalry
regiment in the 1870’s to an elite cavalry regiment in the Age of Bonaparte…
K&C are pleased and proud to announce an entirely new French Napoleonic Cavalry Regiment… The Horse Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard… Or to give them their proper “nom”… Les Grenadiers de la Garde Imperiale”… This heavy cavalry unit was reputed to be the finest horse mounted regiment not just in the Emperor’s own army but in all of Europe!
Our bearskin clad chevaliers include.
NA217 “Officer Turning in Saddle”
A classic pose for an officer… looking back at his men.
NA218 “Officer with Regimental Guidon”
NA220 “Grenadier w/Sword (looking front)”
NA221 “Grenadier w/Sword (looking left)”
NA222 “Scout Grenadier w/Musket”
And a couple of senior French officers….
NA239 “Mounted Bessieres”
A one-time commander of the Horse Grenadiers… this richly decorated officer was one of Napoleon’s most trusted and respected generals.
NA240 “Mounted Cuirassier General”
Another fine addition to the Emperor’s staff.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late December
3. Being Retired:
BBA031 105 Field Gun
BBA035 Winter Motorcycle MP
BBG014 Snow Patrol
BBG049 Stug III Ausf. G
CW053 Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer
DD117 Piper in Action
DD118 Dismounted Military Policeman
DD119 Monty in Normandy
LAH126 BDM Girls
LAH127 German Red Cross Lady
LAH128 German Nurse
LAH129 Old Veteran
LAH130 Hitler Jugend (Small)
LAH131 Hitler Jugend (Medium)
LAH132 Hitler Jugend (Tall)
LAH148 SA Bugler
And that is that, dear friends…. at least for another 30 odd days.
With best wishes for good health!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country
In addition to the first three Australian figures of the Imperial Camel Corps we are adding three variations…
AL036(B) Australian Officer
AL037(B) Aye Ready
AL038(B) Shirt-Sleeve Order
These above versions will have the “regulation” army-issued camel blankets to replace the more exotic “privately-obtained” ones.
Both sets will be available from the same release date… early December.
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country