By the time you read this I will be in Paris after visiting our friends and colleagues in Rome and Milan...After Paris it’s onto London and the “December Show”...Another of the toy soldier highlights of the year.
And then, before we all know it, it’s Christmas; my favorite time of the year.
Just in time for the festivities, I hope, and a few bits ‘n’ pieces from King & Country to put “under the tree” in time for Christmas morning!
1. “What’s coming this December!”
A. DECEMBER IN THE ARDENNES”
Around December, for the last few years, K&C always remembers “The Battle of the Bulge”...On 16 December, 1944 Hitler launched a ferocious and unexpected thrust at the American lines facing the Ardennes Forest which runs through Belgium and Luxembourg.
Caught unawares the U.S. Army was at first pushed back almost to breaking point before rallying and putting up a fierce fight and bringing the Germans to a halt.
At the same time the Germans themselves began to run out of fuel (and reserves) and found themselves over extended and exposed to Allied counter attacks as the overcast winter skies began to clear and the dreaded U.S. and British fighter bombers once more took to the air...
Here are the latest additions to our “Battle of the Bulge” GI’s...
BBA056 “Keepin “Warm”
Two GI’s huddle for warmth next to a large converted gas drum that has been turned into a portable fire...
BBA081 “Winter Action”
As one GI peers through his binos ...another takes careful aim...the third member of the section kneels ready beside them.
BBA083 “M1A1 57mm Anti-Tank Gun”
Two GI’s man this British-designed, US manufactured anti-tank piece. As one GI crouches ready with another armour-piercing round, his buddy sights the gun on an approaching German vehicle.
The set also includes 2 x additional ammo boxes.
BBA085 “Standing Military Policeman”
“Tommy-Gun” at the ready this MP is on the lookout for any Germans posing as GI’s.
B. “The Lighter Side of War”
DD277 “UP FRONT”
During WWII, “Stars ‘n’ Stripes”, the newspaper of the U.S. Army was fortunate to have one of America’s finest cartoonists of the war in its ranks...Sgt. Bill Mauldin.
Bill Mauldin, was most famous for his cartoons depicting ordinary GI’s during WWII...His two most famous creations were “Willie and Joe” two battle-weary and bedraggled infantrymen who stoically endure all the many trials and tribulations (and dangers) of front line soldiering.
Here we depict Bill in a typical relaxed pose, perched on a supply box, and sketching a pair of dog-tired, “dog faces”, who could almost be the models for “Willie and Joe”!
Bill’s cartoons were wildly popular with the troops themselves but not so popular with some of the “top brass”...Especially spit ‘n’ polish, blood and guts General George S. Patton.
Despite Patton’s dislike none other than General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces liked and appreciated Sgt. Mauldin’s work and defended it against all comers.
This little 3-figure set is our K&C tribute to a great cartoonist and all WWII American infantrymen.
AVAILABLE: Early December
C. “BACK UP ON LONE PINE”
To back up our first release of “Lone Pine” Aussies...Here’s the latest additions...
GA006 “SIMMO & His Donkey”
Private John “SIMMO” Simpson was an English-born stretcher bearer who served with the 1st. Australian Division during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
After landing at ANZAC COVE on 25 April 1915, Simpson began to evacuate wounded from the front line down to the first aid posts near the beach using donkeys to help transport them.
For almost a month, often under shell, mortar and rifle fire “Simmo & His Donkey” performed this dangerous feat time and time again.
Alas, on 19 May, his luck ran out and Simpson was struck by machine gun fire and died.
Thereafter “Simmo & His Donkey” became part of the “ANZAC LEGEND”.
Our K&C model shows “Simmo” together with one of his donkeys “Murphy” assisting a wounded corporal down to safety.
GA019 “Turkish Casualties”
Three unfortunate “Johnny Turks” who will not fight again.
GA020 “Advancing Rifleman”
Wearing an off-white shirt this ANZAC aims towards the enemy.
GA020(B) “Advancing Rifleman”
As above but with the blue/gray army shirt.
GA021 “Covering Fire”
A kneeling firing rifleman together with a bomb-throwing mate both wearing the off-white army shirt.
GA021(B) “Covering Fire”
As above but with the blue/grey shirt.
GA024 “The Deadly Shovel”
A fighting 2-man set showing an ANZAC soldier utilizing his entrenching tool for another purpose...
AVAILABLE: Early December
D. “AT THE COURT OF KING ARTHUR”
Six more figures to add to the most famous “Round Table” in legend and folklore...
MK150 “Sir Peleas”
MK151 “Sir Caradoc”
MK152 “Sir Lucan”
MK153 “Queen Guinevere”
Arthur’s beautiful but unfaithful queen.
Arthur’s Wizard and his closest adviser...Some tales tell that it was Merlin who raised the young Arthur as the only boy in the land who could draw the famous sword from the stone thus proclaiming his right to be King.
MK155 “Sir Lamorak”
AVAILABLE: Early December
E. “GUNS & GUNNERS”
Recently we produced some French Napoleonic artillery...Here’s some of the British opposition...
NA338 “Royal Artillery Cannon”
A single field piece to accompany the gunners.
NA339 “Royal Artillery Mounted Officer”
Wearing a cocked hat and issuing orders.
NA340 “Gunners Set A”
A gunner using the “pointing lever” to position the gun alongside another gunner with the lantern rod.
NA341 “Gunners Set B”
While one gunner carries a barrel of gunpowder the other holds the “sponge rod”.
NA343 “Royal Artillery Corporal w/Fuse Rod”
NA345 “Battery Sergeant Major”
The senior Non Commissioned Officer in charge of all other NCO’s and other ranks.
F. “PIKE & MUSKET”
Six attractive and very useful additions to the ranks of this colourful series depicting the time of the English Civil War and the Thirty Years War.
PnM040 “Walking Musketeer”
Wearing the green knitted wool cap and shouldering his match lock this Parliamentary musketeer makes his way forward.
PnM041 “Walking Musketeer”
One more marching Parliamentary musketeer.
PnM043 “Pointing Roundhead Trooper”
PnM047 “Roundhead Scout”
Signaling back to his comrades-in-arms.
PnM048 “Bread & Beer Seller”
Where the army went so did some of the “camp followers”. Here, a comely wench has some freshly baked bread to sell...and a few flagons of beer or it may be cider to sell to the thirsty and hungry troopers.
PnM049 “Dismounted Roundhead Officer”
G. “BANK OF HEROES”
For “Gang of Heroes” collectors here is the perfect backdrop for your figures and those two tanks...The Bank they came to rob!
SP068 “Bank of Heroes”
Measuring an impressive L14.5” x W0.8” x H12” (37cm x 2cm x 30cm) this façade-style structure has all the detail of the movie original...just not quite so big.
Now, where is all that gold bullion?
2. What’s Being Retired...
Colonel Benjamin O.Davis
Tiger 1 (Early Production)
As usual a fairly eclectic batch of releases and I hope there’s more than a few things for you and your collectors.
In the meantime...from all of us at K&C to all of you...A very Merry Christmas and...a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country