WELCOME to this months DISPATCHES and the release of some long-awaited figures and a terrific fighting vehicle never produced by any other toy soldier maker... except for King & Country that is! So, without further ado, lets jump in...
1. BEING RELEASED IN FEBRUARY
A. VIETNAM FIRE SUPPORT!
When American troops first deployed in force to South Vietnam in 1965 they were supported by a number of brand-new airfield and ground installations that required a low altitude defense system.
The anti aircraft system then in operation with U.S. Forces worldwide was provided by HAWK missile batteries... These however proved inadequate in Vietnam and an alternative had to be found and so the U.S. Army began recalling the older M42 Duster anti aircraft guns back into service and organizing them into Air Defense Artillery battalions (ADA).
Beginning in the Fall of 1966 three battalions of Dusters were operational in Vietnam each consisting of a headquarters battery and four Duster batteries, each augmented by one Quad .50 battery and an artillery searchlight battery.
Despite a few early air kills, a major air threat from North Vietnam never materialized and ADA crews found themselves increasingly involved in ground support missions. Most often those involved point security... convoy escort and / or perimeter defense.
Probably the Dusters finest hour came at the time of the TET Offensive in 1968 when M42s and their twin 40mm guns made short work of massed VC and NVA infantry attacks and helped knock out enemy bunker and defence positions.
U.S. Army and Marine units came to place a high value on the mobile close artillery support the M42 Duster provided time and time again.
Perhaps the Grunts own graffiti scrawled on one M42 said it all... Have Guns Will Travel!
VN033 The M42 DUSTER
During the Korean War (1950-53) the U.S. Army decided it needed a mobile anti aircraft gun that could utilize the existing chassis of the M41 Tank.
Since 40mm guns were seen as the most effective twin gun mounting, similar to those on most U.S. Navy ships of that era, they were married to a M41 chassis and designated the M42.
The first M42s entered service in late 1953 with production halted in 1960 after some 3,700 vehicles had been produced.
These in turn began to be replaced by the HAWK Surface to Air Missile units in the early 1960s. By 1963 most Dusters had been transferred to National Guard units... Until Vietnam!
Our King & Country model, made up of over 95 separate parts, is typical of the U.S. Army Dusters of the late 1960s period during the Vietnam War.
Two seated Gunners man the twin 40mm Bofors guns and the vehicle also comes with double radio antennas and a side-mounted M60 machine gun. Painted in standard U.S. Army Olive Drab this particular M42 is nicknamed Double Trouble and stands ready for action... anytime, anywhere.
VN042 Duster Add-On Crew
Two essential add-ons to complete your M42 in action... A kneeling NCO rifleman observes the battle as his buddy prepares to load a clip of 40mm shells into one of the guns.
VN046 Crouching Marine Firing M72 LAW
The M72 LAW (Light Anti Tank Weapon) was a portable, one-shot, 66mm unguided anti tank weapon first adopted by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in 1963.
Although originally intended for anti armoured vehicle use U.S. ground forces frequently used it against enemy bunker and fixed defence positions especially in urban areas.
Our Marine crouches as he aims the weapon at his target... One shot, one hit!
VN049 Dead or Alive...?
M16 pointing directly at the enemy this Marine is taking no chances as he approaches a North Vietnamese Army (NVA) casualty.
AVAILABLE: Early February
B. SAME MARINES... DIFFERENT WAR
Two small, individual releases of a pair of USMC reinforcements for the Pacific Theatre of WW2...
USMC051 Softly, Softly
Like his Vietnam counterpart VN049, this WW2 Leatherneck cautiously edges forward towards some Japanese dead or perhaps he is moving carefully through a possible minefield... you make the decision.
USMC052 Pacific War Dog
During WW2 the Marine Corps trained a small number of War Dogs for service in the Pacific. They were first used on Bougainville and Peleliu but saw most active duty on Guam where 60 war dogs and their handlers went ashore and twenty were killed or believed missing-in-action.
Some other war dogs served as messenger dogs while more were used as sentries or on the point of patrols where their superior animal senses often negated any surprise attack or ambush by the Japanese.
Not surprisingly Marine war dogs were expert at flushing-out hidden enemies and, alas, suffered heavy losses especially on Iwo Jima.
War Dogs were mostly recruited from civilian owners and screened to eliminate high-strung or vicious animals. Mongrels often proved the best adapted to their military duties followed by German Shepherds... Dobermans however turned out to be too nervous.
Our kneeling Marine handler, complete with Winchester Shotgun and holstered M1911 Colt Automatic gets ready for the next operation together with his brown & black cross breed called Sailor.
AVAILABLE: Early February
C. ROME AT WAR
ROM031 Pilum Thrower
As this Roman soldier runs forward he protects his body with his shield as he launches his Pilum at the enemy...
AVAILABLE: Mid February
D. THE REAL WEST
Not so long ago several of our Real West collectors suggested to us that we should produce different colour variations of a few of Custers Last Stand figures.
And so, after carefully considering their suggestions we selected a few figures on either side that might be perfect candidates for an alternative version...
TRW148 Single-handed First Aid
Gripping the cloth in his teeth this wounded trooper attempts to bandage his bleeding wrist while still holding his Army Colt in one hand.
TRW149 Dismounted & Trapped!
With his horse shot from under him and collapsed on top of his left leg this trooper is already doomed. Defiantly, he raises himself to aim his pistol at attacking Indians.
TRW151 Dazed & Bleeding
Another forlorn trooper has been struck in the head by an Indian warriors club or tomahawk... Partially blinded by his wound he attempts to crawl to safety...
TRW154 Medicine Crow
Although most of the hostile Indians Custer faced at the Little Big Horn were Sioux and Cheyenne a number of other tribes were also present... Among them a young warrior chief called Medicine Crow seen here letting loose an arrow at the beleaguered Long Knives.
TRW158 Dog Wolf
A kneeling dismounted Cheyenne warrior, Dog Wolf takes careful aim with his captured U.S. Cavalry carbine.
AVAILABLE: Mid February
E. TOMMY ATKINS ESQ. IN ACTION
Tommy Atkins (often just Tommy) has been slang for a common soldier in the British Army for over two centuries. The origins of the name go as far back as the Napoleonic Wars. One common belief is that the name was chosen by the Duke of Wellington himself after having been inspired by the bravery of one of his private soldiers during the Peninsula War. After one particular battle the Duke came upon a certain severely wounded soldier and asked after his condition. The terribly injured soldier simply replied, Im all right sir... All in a days work and died shortly afterwards.
Sometime later the Duke was asked what generic British name should be used on all army forms... He remembered the brave but gravely wounded soldier from his Peninsula days and also his name... Tommy Atkins.
Here are some welcome British Army infantry of the Napoleonic era that would be proud to bear the name Tommy Atkins.
NA417 Colonel of the Regiment
This mounted senior officer bellows out his orders in the heat of battle.
NA418 Infantry Captain
As bullet, shot and shell erupt about him this officer remains cool, calm and collected... sword in hand.
The epitome of the British stiff upper lip.
NA419 Infantryman with Pike Staff
This private soldier has momentarily put aside his Brown Bess Musket to pick up a long pike staff from a dead sergeant... All the better to reach out and stab any attacking French cavalryman.
NA420 Drummer Boy
Every Line Company in British infantry regiments had its own Drummer Boy, some as young as 11 or 12 but usually about 15 years of age. Many of these young lads were orphans of the regiment and had grown up within it when their parents were still alive.
NA421 Reaching For A Cartridge
This standing infantryman stands ready to repel the enemy as he reaches back into his ammunition pouch for a fresh cartridge.
NA422 Kneeling Cocking His Musket
Weapon fully loaded this kneeling Red Coat pulls back the hammer of his musket.
NA423 Kneeling Ready
Weapon loaded, bayonet fixed and awaiting further orders.
NA424 Lying Prone Firing
Lying on the ground in front of the ranks of his kneeling and standing comrades this Tommy Atkins takes careful aim.
NA425 Hors de Combat
Out of action due to injury or damage this crawling soldier tries to seek cover in the midst of the action.
NA-S07 Blood, Bullets & Cold Steel
A combined Extra Value Added Set that brings all of these great figures together and offers them to dealers and collectors at a GREAT PRICE!
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late February
2. ON THE RETIREMENT LIST
As per usual a few interesting Bits n Bobs that are being retired to make room for all the newbies... Check them out and grabem while you can...
AE048 The Anubis Set
AE049 The Papyrus Boat Set
AE050 The Fishermen
MK109 Fighting Saladin
MK115 Saracen Flagbearer
MK126 The Kneeling Spearman
MK127 Standing Firing Crossbow
MK128 Bending and Loading Crossbow
MK130 Loading Crossbow
WS330 Do you know this man?
And thats the story so far... All the best and Happy Collecting to every one everywhere and... by the way...
KUNG HEI FAT CHOY!
Happy Chinese New Year in this The Year of the Pig.
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Ltd.