Welcome to this month’s “DISPATCHES” and ... the hottest time of the year in Hong Kong! It was a welcome break to head down to Australia last month and meet several hundred enthusiastic K&C collectors in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and enjoy the cool but sunny Aussie winter.
However, here we are again back in “The Pearl of the Orient” and down to work once more. Here are the latest releases and updates for August 2016 ....
1. BEING RELEASED IN AUGUST
a) The Return of the LONG RANGE DESERT GROUP
Back in 2007, K&C released a small selection of LRDG vehicles and men that helped tell the story of one of the most unusual irregular units the British Army ever spawned ...
Originally called “The Long Range Patrol” ... it was a reconnaissance and raiding group that was to operate independently far behind the Axis frontlines in North Africa.
The men for this unique unit came from New Zealand, Rhodesia and, of course, British Army battalions and regiments and all were volunteers.
At any one time the LRDG never numbered more than 350 men and contained many colourful characters with equally colourful and often dramatic backgrounds. Among them was ...
EA113 “Lieut Col. John “Jack” Easonsmith D.S.O., M.C.
John R. Easonsmith, known to his friends as “Jack”, was born in Bristol, England in 1909. He joined his local Territorial Army unit in 1939 as a Private and by 1940 had been promoted to Sergeant and recommended for a commission. In December 1940 he was posted to the Middle East and volunteered for the Long Range Desert Group.
As a Lieutenant he first commanded the New Zealand ‘R1’ Patrol before being promoted to Captain in August 1941.
He led the highly successful BARCE RAID which disrupted German and Italian communications as well as putting out of action an Axis airfield there and destroying over 30 enemy aircraft parked around the airstrip.
In October 1942 “Jack” Easonsmith was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in addition to a Military Cross given to him earlier ... and promoted to Major.
One year later, by now a Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the entire LRDG during an ill-fated campaign in the Dodacanese Islands off Greece. Here, he was killed in action on November, 1943 during the Battle of Leros.
Our figure portrays him during his earlier “Desert Days.”
EA114 “Double Trouble”
The men of the LRDG were definitely not “Parade Ground” soldiers. They included in their number many individualists who operated best in small unit operations.
Here, an LRDG officer consults his map while his “dismounted” driver examines a captured MP40 “Schmeisser” machine pistol ... Their casual and comfortable style of mixed uniforms would give any Regimental Sergeant Major a heart attack!
EA115 “ LRDG ATTACK JEEP”
This is the first of 2 “Attack Jeeps” K&C are producing. This one mounts a heavy .50 calibre machine gun opposite the front passenger seat and a pair of Vickers .303 machine guns on the back.
Plentiful supplies of water and petrol are also carried as well extra ammunition. A 2-man crew completes the set.
AVAILABLE: Early August
b) “PROTECTING THE DESERT VILLAGE”
As regular readers of the Treefrog Forum know this once-retired piece of the “Desert Village” series has been very much requested by collectors old and new for quite some time. That being the case ... Here it is once more ...
SP036 “The Desert Village Wall”
The perfect add-on piece to help protect any village setting in the Middle East for virtually any historical period ..... From Biblical times right up to the present day.
AVAILABLE: Early August
c) STATUES & PLINTHS
The final batch of bronze-coloured statues and stone plinths to help decorate any village square or town centre ... perfect for displays and dioramas.
SP084 “The Mounted Kaiser”
An equestrian figure of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
SP084-GR “Kaiser Wilhelm II on Large Statue Plinth (Greystone)”
SP084-SA “Kaiser Wilhelm II on Large Statue Plinth (Sandstone)”
SP087 “The Medieval Trumpeter”
A familiar statue figure on any European village or town square.
SP087-GR “The Medieval Trumpeter on Square Statue Plinth (Greystone)”
SP087-SA “The Medieval Trumpeter on Square Statue Plinth (Sandstone)”
SP088 “The Mounted Russian Officer”
A Napoleonic Russian Officer that makes a fine statue ....
SP088-GR “The Mounted Russian Officer on Large Equestrian Statue Plinth (Greystone)
SP088-SA “The Mounted Russian Officer on Large Equestrian Statue Plinth (Sandstone)
AVAILABLE: Early August
d) “FIGHTING GREEKS”
Going back many hundreds of years before we return to the time of Ancient Greek Warriors ... And their battles against Persians and Trojans.
A standing figure of one of Greece’s most legendary warriors and the man who thought up the idea of the “Wooden Horse of Troy” and brought an end to the ten-year long Trojan War.
Here, he stands ready to lead his men into battle ... For more information on Odysseus and how he brought an end to the Trojan War read the special feature in the latest edition of K&C’s own “COLLECTOR” magazine ... get a copy from your local dealer or see it on K&C’s own website.
AG034 “Hoplite Charging w/Spear”
AG035 “Hoplite Advancing w/Sword & Shield”
AG036 “Hoplite Throwing Spear”
AG037 “Hoplite Crouching w/Spear”
AVAILABLE: Mid August
e) “The FALL OF MALAYA, SINGAPORE & HONG KONG”
In the early hours of December 8, 1941, the Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan simultaneously invaded the British colonies of Malaya and Hong Kong.
Just over nine weeks later they had conquered Malaya, captured Hong Kong and saw the rising sun flag fly over the city of Singapore ... In the long history of the British Empire this was the single biggest defeat ever suffered by military force of arms ... and signaled the beginning of the end of Britain in the Far East.
By the time the Japanese entered Singapore they had suffered just 10,000 casualties ... British and Empire forces losses totaled over 130,000 .... killed, wounded and captured.
Although, on the British side, there were a myriad of military disasters and blunders there were also many individual acts of bravery and heroism ....
We hope to tell both sides of this fascinating story ...
JN026 “Attacking Japanese Officer”
‘Nambu’ pistol in one hand, samurai sword in the other this officer leads his men from the front.
JN028 “Advancing Japanese Soldier”
Moving forward clutching his “Arisaka 99” rifle this Japanese infantryman is already tough and battle-hardened after years of fighting in China ...
JN029 “Advancing Firing Rifle”
Another Japanese soldier takes careful aim.
JN030 “Charging Flagbearer”
This infantry NCO has attached a small, personal “good luck” banner to his rifle as he advances on the enemy.
JN031 “Kneeling Firing”
This kneeling soldier also carries a small satchel of his field rations over one shoulder. The Japanese infantry were expected to “live off the Land” for most of their food carrying only the minimum of army-issued rations.
JN032 “Type 89 Grenade Discharger”
The Type 89 was colloquially known as a “Knee Mortar” and was a short-range weapon used for close-in infantry combat in urban as well as jungle warfare. Our crawling Japanese Infantryman moves closer to the enemy in order to get maximum results.
JN037 “Crouching Soldier”
With rifle and bayonet this infantryman moves cautiously forward.
JN038 “Fight To The Death!”
A vicious hand-to-hand combat between a Japanese soldier and his British / Australian / Canadian opponent.
JN040 “Type 95 ‘Ha-Go’ Light Tank”
The Imperial Japanese Army first used this Light Tank during the Sino Japanese War of the mid 1930’s. It was intended to be an infantry support tank and never designed to fight other tanks.
Mounting a 37mm main gun and 2x7.7mm machine guns it carried a crew of 3 and saw extensive action during the Malayan campaign.
This first-released version comes in typical Japanese camouflage ... with an open-hatch turret and a Tank commander figure. Just 2,300 were built in 9 different variants.
AVAILABLE: Mid August
f) “AT EASE ...”
WS326 “Smoke Break”
For a brief moment the fighting has stopped and this Waffen SS soldier takes the time for a quick cigarette.
AVAILABLE: Mid August
g) “RETURN TO ARNHEM”
Every August and September each year K&C returns to the battle which took place in and around this Dutch town between 17-26 September 1944.
As one of our best known series we have told, in miniature, many different aspects of the battle as it enfolded during those desperate days in the Autumn of 1944.
Here, we show some of the British 1st Airborne soldiers that have been captured by the Germans ...
MG067 “Arnhem Road Sign”
Based on an actual photo this little sign makes a very useful diorama / display piece.
MG068 “Under New Ownership”
A captured Airborne Jeep driven by a German soldier ferries 2 x slightly wounded Paras back to a P.O.W. cage.
In the front passenger seat seats a watchful guard.*
MG070 “Walking Wounded”
A bloodied Glider Pilot sergeant makes his way into German captivity.
MG071 “Surrender & Search”
Every captured soldier has to empty his pockets and hand it all to his captors for inspection ... Another Glider Pilot goes “into the bag”.
MG072 “Marching Into Captivity”
Out of ammunition ... food ... water ... and luck! This Para, hands on head, is marched to the rear accompanied by his Waffen SS captor.
MG073 “Comparing Notes”
A Wehrmacht officer shows his map to an NCO to find out where exactly the enemy is ...
ABAILABLE: ALL MG sets Mid to Late August
*”Under New Ownership” Jeep Late August / Early September
h) “ROBIN & HIS MERRIE MEN”
From Arnhem in Holland to Sherwood Forest by way of Nottingham Castle in one swift jump!
RH012 “Will Stutely”
Another of Robin’s Merrie Men ... this time stringing his long bow.
RH013 “Arthur a Bland”
Arthur was caught red-handed by the Sheriff’s men poaching one of the King’s deer (a hanging offence in those days).
Fortunately he managed to escape and found refuge and safety in Sherwood Forest.
RH014 “Robin in Disguise”
One of the most-told tales of the legendary Robin was when, in disguise as a poor tinker, he took part in (and won) an archery contest sponsored by the Sheriff of Nottingham .... Here, Robin, with not a bit of “Lincoln Green” about him, prepares to take a shot at the target.
RH019 “Archery Targets”
A pair of straw-filled targets supported by simple wooden stands await the contestants’ arrows.
ABAILABLE: Mid-Late August
i) New Versions of Old Favorites
A fresh new look to some still popular figures and sets ...
HK252 “The Wonton Seller”
Wonton soup and noodles is still a firm favorite with Hong Kong people ... a Century before Wonton sellers had portable street stands to offer their delicious, hot bowlfuls to passing customers.
HK253 “Mother & Child”
Even just 30 years ago you could still see some Hong Kong mothers carry their infant offspring on their backs as they went about their daily business.
HK263 “The New Sedan-Chair Set”
Up until the 1930’s sedan chairs and their passengers were a familiar sight on the streets of Hong Kong ... Now long gone alas.
WS324 “Spoils of War”
A young piglet is carried off by a Wehrmacht soldier ... Alas for the pig it is not destined to become a pet!
WS327 “The Apple Thief”
This Wehrmacht soldier has come across a box full of apples ... Perhaps they fell off the back of a truck ...?
AVAILABLE: Early August
2. BEING RETIRED ...
As the new comes in some of the older items have to go out ...
BBG051 The Sniper
DD106 The Big Three
DD186 Kneeling w/Rifle & Bayonet
DD187 Kneeling Pointing
DD219 Walking 101st Airborne Paratrooper
DD224 M3A3 Stuart
FW156 The Rescue
MK129 Kneeling Firing Crossbow
NA289 Drummer Boy w/Sword
RA016 Shouting Red Army Officer
RA017 Red Army Soldier Charging
RA018 Red Army Soldier Firing from Waist
RAF044 Air Marshal Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris
TRW065 The Last Bullet
WH002 “Medic & Wounded”
And that my friends is that for one more month ... I hope there’s at least a few things for you in there.
All the Best and ... Happy Collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country