Here I am writing this month’s ‘DISPATCHES’ after just returning from quite possibly the most successful and enjoyable ‘Three City Tour of Australia’ yet as part of K&C’s Annual OzFest Down Under trip to meet’n’ greet King & Country Collectors and Dealers in that great country.
As usual the visit began in Brisbane with our good friend Brett Williams of The Toy Soldier Workshop before moving on to Sydney and meeting up with Peter & Sven of Peter Nathan Toy Soldiers. The final destination was Melbourne and the linkup with Howard Woods and his Toy Soldier Experience.
Each dealer provided excellent venues and a host of great attractions in the shape of dioramas... competitions... lucky draws... and special guests (including yours truly) that drew ‘full houses’ at each event.
Simultaneously, I had the valuable opportunity to meet and talk with many individual Aussie collectors on a one-to-one basis that as usual provided a wealth of great ideas and original suggestions.
The ‘Aussie’ hospitality and good humour throughout the entire trip was well up to Australia’s legendary reputation and standard!
Even the ‘winter weather’ was generally beautiful, especially in Brisbane and Sydney... Melbourne, not so much until a sunny last day!
However, it’s the people who make the place and Australia is a fantastic place to visit... If you ever get the opportunity to make it ‘down under’ – don’t miss it!
And so, back to the ‘salt-mines’ and here’s what is appearing in August...
1. WHAT’S NEW...?
Coming in August
A. Napoleon & Josephine
Over the years K&C has produced more than a few figures of Napoleon Bonaparte however this is the first time we have designed and made a special 2-figure set that includes one of the great loves of his life... Josephine de Beauharnais (1763-1814).
Her marriage to Napoleon was her second, her first husband being guillotined during the ‘Reign of Terror’ that followed the revolution of 1789.
Already the mother of two children before she met Napoleon in 1795 she was six years older than him. Smitten by her charms and beauty they married just one year later.
Their married life afterwards was far from perfect with both indulging in extramarital affairs. Eventually, Napoleon chose to divorce Josephine because of her inability to provide an heir. Both however retained a great fondness for each other that survived their divorce in 1810 and lasted until their deaths... Josephine in 1814 and Napoleon himself in 1821.
NA414 “Napoleon & Josephine”
Here we see Napoleon himself dressed in the uniform of a Colonel of Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard. It was the Chasseurs of the Guard who usually provided the personal escort to the Emperor and he often wore the regiment’s uniform in recognition of their loyal service.
Josephine meanwhile is gracefully attired in a pale blue and delicately embroidered ‘classical-styled’ dress complete with a wine velvet ‘manteau’ edged with ermine and decorated with gold, hand-sewn motifs.
NA415 “Sapeur of the Grenadiers”
This figure is in ‘campaign dress’ complete with his traditional axe and a ‘Musket’ with fixed bayonet on his back.
His sleeve badge consists of the ‘crossed axes’. He is also armed with a short sabre.
AVAILABLE: Mid August
B. THE ENEMIES OF ROME ATTACK!
From a leader of the early 19th Century we journey back in time to Barbarian Warriors of almost two millennia before... Here, are the first five fighting warriors (there are more in the pipeline) ready to do battle with the Legions of Rome...
RnB010 “Fighting Chieftain”
Carrying a richly – decorated bronze shield this Chief is about to strike down one of his Roman opponents... No mercy asked... No mercy given!
RnB011 “Fighting Warrior”
Before coming to blows this barbarian warrior takes the time to look over his enemy.
RnB012 “Charging Warrior”
Wearing a wolfskin over his chainmail armour vest this warrior rushes forward to, he hopes, surprise his enemy.
RnB016 “Throwing Spearman”
RnB017 “Advancing Warrior”
AVAILABLE: Mid August
C. ‘SOMEWHERE IN NORMANDY 1944’
Once in a while it’s good to revisit and in this particular case resculpt an old favourite that has been much requested...
DD371 “Dead & Wounded GI’s”
Three ‘Casualties of War’ in 3 x different poses that prove, once again, that the price of freedom is never free!
AVAILABLE: Mid August
D. “THE REAL WEST”
Following the successful launch our first set of ‘mounted’ John Ford Cavalry figures here are three more to extend and expand your troop...
TRW137 “Mounted Trooper A”
This moustachioed trooper sits confidently on his chestnut mare... Once more this figure has the ‘moveable head’ which allows him to scan the horizon from left to right and still keep an eye open for those dangerous Apaches!
TRW138 “The Bugler Corporal”
An essential part of any cavalry troop, our bugler is mounted, by tradition, on a different colour of horse than his fellow soldiers... All the better for his officer to see him in a battle situation.
This particular figure’s head is ‘fixed’ as he is blowing his bugle.
TRW140 “Mounted Trooper B”
The second of our mounted Cavalry troopers, sits with his gloved hands folded over each other... Like ‘Trooper A’ he has the moveable head feature.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late August
E. ‘VIETNAM ARMOUR & AUSSIES’
The Vietnam War has featured prominently these past few months with major releases of U.S. Marines fighting their way into the old Vietnamese Imperial Capital of HUE during the 1968 TET Offensive... the pivotal point in America’s involvement in the entire Vietnam conflict.
First, we released the Marines in combat, some of the finest and most realistic fighting figures King & Country has ever produced. Now we are releasing one of their most famous fighting vehicles and... The first infantry figures of one of their most valiant and reliable allies in that war... Australia!
VN015 “The USMC M50 A1 ONTOS”
Officially known as ‘The Rifle, Multiple 106mm, Self-propelled, M50 this U.S. light armoured, tracked, anti tank vehicle became better known as ‘THE ONTOS’.
Initially designed in the 1950’s as a fast tank-killer for airborne forces it won its battlefield reputation during the Vietnam War.
Its six 106mm recoilless rifles comprised its main armament and could be fired in rapid succession against single targets to guarantee a ‘kill’.
Although originally designed for the Army’s Airborne divisions it eventually ended up with the Marines after the Army cancelled the project.
The Marines however used the ‘ONTOS’ for direct fire support against enemy infantry operating in fixed locations such as bunkers and houses.
During the battle for Hue the ONTOS was much in evidence and played a major role in helping the Marines retake the old Imperial Capital.
Our King & Country model is in USMC markings and carries the nickname ‘SIX-GUN SUZIE’ on one of its six 106mm barrels. The set also includes a vehicle commander in the top open hatch firing his .30 cal. machine gun.
VN016 “The Loader”
The perfect ‘add-on’ to VN015... This Marine man-handles one of the large 106mm rounds ready to reload one of the ONTOS barrels.
VN030 “Australian Patrol Section”
As stated earlier, Australia was one of America’s staunchest allies throughout the Vietnam War and contributed over 60,000 men to the conflict between 1962 and 1973.
Here, we present a set of 4 ‘Diggers’ from the Royal Australian Regiment as they would have appeared on patrol during the 1967/68 period.
As you can see their appearance and some of their weapons are radically different from our US Marines in Hue. The Aussies favoured ‘bush hats’ in place of steel helmets and rarely wore flak jackets... Their uniform and web equipment shows a mix of British, Australian and American influences. As does their weaponry... Our 4-man set carries the American M60 machine gun... the M79 Grenade Launcher and the M16 Automatic Rifle... The standard military rifle most Aussies carried was the L1A1 Self Loading Rifle, the same as the British Forces of that time.
This K&C set was previewed to great acclaim during my recent ‘Aussie Trip’ and, going by pre orders, is already a big hit!
An additional 4-man patrol set is already in development for release later this year.
VN031 “Aussie Patrol Commander”
During our recent ‘Aussie Trip’ this particular figure was made available to collectors and is now available worldwide...
The standing ‘Patrol Commander’ holds his military-issue binos in one hand and his SLR in the other... A great ‘stand-alone’ figure... Even better with his four mates!
VN032 “The Vietnam Walls Set”
K&C featured this 3 x Section Walls Set in all of our promotion material for the new Vietnam series... As you can see it’s very flexible and although specifically designed for a Vietnam street scene it works equally well in other settings.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late August
F. ‘BLOOD & GUTS IN THE PACIFIC’
From the streets and jungles of Vietnam we move back a quarter of a century to the beaches and jungles of the South Pacific with our latest reinforcements for our popular USMC in WW2...
USMC042 “Marine w/Tommy Gun”
A Marine Corps NCO (non commissioned officer) cautiously advances his trusty ‘Thompson’ at the ready...
USMC043 “Hold On Buddy... We’re Almost There!”
A Marine BAR Gunner hoists a wounded Marine onto his shoulder and carries him back to safety.
USMC044 “Navy Corpsman & Wounded Marine”
As a gravely-wounded Marine awaits evacuation a Navy Corpsman gives him a sip of water.
Navy Corpsman during WW2 were enlisted medical specialists of the U.S. Navy who also served with U.S. Marine Corps units.
Their bravery under fire was legendary and in WW2 alone they won no less than 7 Medals of Honor.
USMC045 “Marine Machine Gunner”
A classic pose firing a classic machine gun... The M1917 Browning Machine Gun. This belt-fed, water-cooled weapon served alongside its lighter air-cooled Browning M1919 ‘cousin’.
Although seeing limited action in WW1 the gun came into wide use in WW2 particularly in the ‘fixed defense’ role and as a battalion and regimental support weapon.
USMC046 “Kneeling Marine w/Pistol”
There must be a good reason this Marine has taken out his M1911 single action, semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol.
Designed by John Browning, the M1911 was adopted by the US Military in 1911... It went on to provide long and service well into the late 1980’s before being replaced by the Italian Beretta 92F.
Even after more than 70 years the M1911’s reputation for ‘stopping power’... reliability and sturdiness remains undiminished.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late August
2. BEING RETIRED...
As the new items appear some older ones, alas, have to disappear...
DD234 Sten Gun with Silencer
DD259 Major “Mad Jack” Churchill
DD263-1 Standing Ready w/Tommy Gun (82nd.)
DD263-2 Standing Ready w/Tommy Gun (101st.)
DD264-1 Standing Paratrooper w/M1 Carbine (82nd.)
DD264-2 Standing Paratrooper w/M1 Carbine(101st.)
DD265-1 Walking Paras set (82nd.)
DD265-2 Walking Paras set (101st.)
DD266-1 Kneeling and Sitting Paratroopers (82nd.)
DD266-2 Kneeling and Sitting Paratroopers (101st.)
DD268-1 Final Check (82nd.)
DD268-2 Final Check (101st.)
DD270-1 Standing Paratrooper w/M1 Rifle (82nd. )
DD270-2 Standing Paratrooper w/M1 Rifle (101st.)
DD273 ‘The Sarge’
DD293 U.S. Army Medic Jeep
DD299 The US Army Medical Tent
WS272 Panther Ausf. G
And that, my friends is that for another 30 days or so... Best wishes and happy collecting to one and all!
All the best and happy collecting & Great Sales!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Ltd.