A slightly abbreviated “DISPATCHES” this month that is being penned a few days before I fly out to San Antonio and the 11th Annual TEXAS TOY SOLDIER SHOW.
However, as you will discover, there is no shortage of ‘variety’ in the figures being released and the subjects covered in this particular summer month.
So, without further ado... Let’s get started...
1. BEING RELEASED IN JUNE...
A. WELCOME RETURN TO MEDIEVAL TIMES
Our ”Crusaders & Saracens” series has enjoyed wide popularity with K&C collectors around the world for several years now...
Here are two very useful additions that can also work well with our newer “Robin Hood” range...
MK163 “The Swordsmith”
Producing top quality ‘weapons of war’ for the Knights and Nobility was always the work of a skilled metal-work craftsman.
This new figure is hard-at-work at his anvil crafting a strong and sturdy blade while two other examples of his work ‘cool off’ in a nearby pail of water.
This figure works well in a Crusader Camp... Nottingham Castle... or even deep in Sherwood Forest!
MK165 “Richard the Lionheart”
“Richard I”... “Good King Richard”... “Richard Coeur de Lion”, call him what you will, was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. He was also Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine and Gascony and a host of other titles in France.
Apart from his childhood in England most of his adult life was spent overseas in Aquitaine. When he became King he led the Third Crusade to the Holy Land after the departure of Philip II of France. Although winning many notable victories over his Muslim opponent ‘Saladin’ he never managed to recapture Jerusalem.
Fondly remembered by his English subjects he in turn thought of them primarily as a useful source of taxes and revenue to pay for his foreign adventures.
In legend, popular books and movies “Richard the Lionheart” is usually portrayed as a kind, wise and benevolent ruler as opposed to his evil brother Prince John who acted as Regent throughout the King’s long and frequent absences.
Our standing figure has him dressed in his Royal Red Livery with the symbols ‘Gules, three Lions passant guardant’ on both his chest and shield.
First adopted by England’s Plantagenet Kings in 1154, they have ever since come to symbolize the nation of England.
Special Note: Another, brand-new mounted ‘Richard Coeur de Lion’ will be released in a few month’s time.
AVAILABLE: Mid June
B. “NAPOLEONIC ACTION!”
No, not the amorous adventures of Bonaparte and Josephine but some excellent additions to our earlier releases of the 95th Rifles and the ‘Old Guard at Waterloo.’
NA382 “95TH Standing Firing”
One more extremely useful green-clad 95th Rifleman.
NA383 “95TH Chosen Man”
‘Chosen Men’ were the Napoleonic eras equivalent of today’s Lance Corporals. Whilst one step below an NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) they were selected to command a squad (6-10 men) for their intelligence, bravery and military abilities.
The rank was unofficial and used at the discretion of commanding officers. Men selected to be ‘Chosen’ wore a single white armband on their upper right arm. ‘Chosen Men’ often went on to be promoted to NCO rank later.
Our ‘Chosen Man’ is kneeling, cocking his Baker Rifle.
NA384 “95TH Rifles Sergeant”
Advancing forward, this senior NCO wears his 3 white stripes on his right arm and a crimson red and black sash around his waist. He gestures to the riflemen following him
NA385 “95TH Rifleman Kneeling Loading”
Using his powder horn to prime the firing pan of his Baker Rifle.
NA386 “95TH Rifles Officer w/Sabre”
Carrying his curved sabre this young officer is exercising his command authority...
NA-S04 “Rifle Reinforcement Set”
Combine all of the above releases together and you have another great little “Value Added Bonus Set”. 5 figures
NA388 “Fighting General Cambronne”
Pierre Jacques Etienne Cambronne was one of the French heroes of Waterloo.
He became a Lieutenant General in Napoleon’s Imperial Guard and led his men into action at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.
Towards the end of the battle he was wounded as he stood in the midst of one of his battalion’s squares. As the surrounding British called on him to surrender, Cambronne replied tersely, “Merde!”
Other more polite sources say he responded with “The Guard dies it does not surrender!” In French of course.
This new K&C figure portrays the defiant Cambronne, sword in hand and with fierce anger in his eyes... Personally, I think he shouted, “Merde!”
AVAILABLE: Mid June
C. “PIKE & MUSKET”
Journey back almost 200 years to other battles and wars elsewhere in Europe with another famous battlefield commander.
PnM074 “King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden”
Gustav II Adolf (1594-1632) more widely known as Gustavus Adolphus was King of Sweden from 1611-1632 and is credited in making Sweden a great ‘European Power’. He led the country to military supremacy during the Thirty Years War helping to determine the political as well as religious balance of power on the continent at that time.
He was also regarded as a great military innovator especially in the use of ‘combined arms’... the fighting mix of cavalry, infantry and artillery and their practical deployment on the battlefield.
Not only a great tactician he was a brave and fearless soldier often leading his troops ‘from the front’ in many a battle and skirmish.
He was killed at the Battle of Lützen in 1632 leading a cavalry charge.
Today, Gustavus Adolphus is memorialized in statues in several major Swedish cities... Our K&C standing figure is closely modelled on an actual statue in Gothenberg, Sweden.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late June
D. STILL IN EUROPE ... And Off To Rome!
Four additional Roman soldiers to supplement our other Legion figures.
ROM004 “Roman Centurion”
At the launch of this current series we presented our “Primum Pilus”, literally “First Spear”... the top Centurion of a Roman Legion, the equivalent (in British Army terms) to a Regimental Sergeant Major.
Here now, is the regular Centurion. Most of these men commanded a ‘Century’ of men, usually anywhere between 80-90 Legionaries.
Centurions were expected to ‘lead from the front’ in battle and it naturally followed that the casualty rate was correspondingly high leading to constant ‘vacancies’!
Centurions were also easily recognized by the horse hair crest on their helmets usually worn ‘transverse’. Our Centurion wears a chain mail vest as protection rather than the ‘Lorica Segmentata’ armour of his men.
ROM007 “Roman Signifer”
A ‘Signifer’ was the standard bearer of a Roman Legion. He carried the ‘Signum’ (standard) for a cohort or century. As each century had its own Signifer that meant there were approximately 59 in a whole Legion.
The ‘Signum’ had a number of disks or medallions along with other elements mounted on a long pole. The pole itself would often be ‘topped’ with a hand-shaped ‘manus’ denoting the oath of loyalty taken by soldiers when they first enlisted. A wreath of honour world usually surround the ‘manus’ (hand)
‘Signifers’ would also carry a small decorated round shield (a buckler) and wore a wolf or bearskin on top of their helmets and body armour.
ROM009 “Roman Cornicen”
The ‘Cornu’ or ancient Roman brass instrument was used to communicate orders and signals both in camp and on the battlefield during the glory that was Rome.
In camp these musical commands might be sounded by just on Cornicen however in battle several or more Cornicens would join together, the better to be heard above the din and destruction of war.
Our K&C ‘Cornicen’ once again carries the small round decorated shield and wears a grey wolf skin atop his helmet and armour.
ROM013 “The Marching Legionary w/Marius Mule”
A ‘companion piece’ to our standing ‘Legionary w / Marius Mule’. This Roman soldier is probably going out on a long patrol or march and once again is carrying part of his personal kit and belongings on his shoulder.
AVAILABLE: Mid June
E. “APACHES & BUFFALO SOLDIERS”
Not long after K&C introduced our “Apache Indians” series we decided that they required an enemy to fight... Of course, they could easily go up against the KINGS X Exclusive “John Ford’s Cavalry” however not every K&C collector or dealer had access to those so we had to find an alternative that was available for all... But first here are 2 x more Apaches.
Cochise was a leader of Chiricahua Apaches. Born in 1804 he was a key war chief during the Apache Wars which began in 1861. Along with his father-in-law, ‘Mangas Coloradas’, he waged a long and often brutal guerrilla campaign against much larger U.S. Army forces all over the Southwest United States.
Several movies have been made of his exploits including “Broken Arrow” and “The Battle at Apache Pass”.
Our mounted K&C figure has Cochise on one of his war ponies taking careful aim with his Winchester repeating rifle.
TRW109 “Taza, Son of Cochise”
Taza (1843-1876) succeeded his father as warchief of the Chiricahuas when the latter died in 1874. A brave and resourceful warrior in his own right... He was also a skilled ‘guerrilla leader’ and took part in many successful raids during the Apache Wars.
The K&C standing figure has him holding a cavalry carbine above his head and a cavalry pistol in his right hand.
As mentioned earlier K&C has decided to produce an additional series of Indian – fighting Cavalry that can be available to all K&C collectors and dealers around the world ... The 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment.
These African American soldiers were formed into a regiment in 1866 and saw almost continuous active service from then until the final subjugation of the Apache and Comanche tribes in the 1880’s Led by white officers the 10th fought primarily in the Southwest states and territories of the Union at that time.
Known to the Indians as “Buffalo Soldiers” because of their strong, tightly-curled black hair (similar in Indian eyes to the fur of the buffalo) these soldiers were tough and loyal and earned a hard-won reputation for bravery, winning a large number of Medals of Honor.
K& C are releasing 12x figures in 3x releases in the first schedule... Here are 6 of them, plus a “Special Value Added Bonus set”!
TRW116 “Buffalo Soldier Sergeant w/Guidon”
A veteran 10th NCO carries his pistol in one hand and a troop guidon in the other.
TRW119 “Kneeling Corporal”
A junior NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) wearing his cavalry ‘kepi’ takes careful aim.
TRW120 “Trooper Kneeling Ready”
Taking a momentary rest but keeping an eye on any approaching Apaches...
TRW123 “Crouching Trooper”
TRW124 “Standing Firing”
TRW125 “Lying Prone Firing”
TRW-S01 “Rally Round the Flag Boys!”
Combine ALL 6 of these great figures and we’ll make it even more affordable and great value for collector and dealer alike!
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late June
F. “FLEET ADMIRAL”
USN024 “Commander-In-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet”
One of American’s greatest commanders of WW2, or indeed any of the wars and conflicts the U.S. has fought in during its history. Chester William Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg Texas in 1885 and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1905.
When America entered WW2 in December 1941 he was promoted to Commander In Chief, Pacific Fleet with the rank of admiral.
Nimitz controlled the ‘Pacific Ocean Areas’ while General Douglas MacArthur took over the land campaign.
Admiral Nimitz was also present at the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.
Our figure shows Admiral Nimitz dressed in ‘Khakis’, the everyday wear of U.S. Navy officers in the Pacific Theatre of Operations during WW2.
AVAILABLE: Early June
G. ‘World of Dickens/ Streets of Olde London’
Street carts and traders abounded on the streets of London among them a fore runner of “Starbucks”!
WoD047 “The Coffee Cart”
In Victorian London coffee was almost, but not quite, as popular as Tea!
Here, a Street Coffee Merchant brews up some fresh coffee for his customers. Look out for lots of great detail in this charming little set... Figure of the coffee Merchant is included.
WoD048 “The Coffee Couple”
A gentleman and his lady enjoy their morning cup.
WoD049 “The Extra Cup”
Customers were usually allowed a ‘second’ cup free of charge at these streetside coffee carts.
WoD-S01 “The Complete Coffee Collection”
All of the above at an even tastier price!!!
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late June
H. SOVIET T34’s IN GERMAN HANDS
Captured T34/76’s were designated as Panzerkampfwagen T-34(r) by the Germans. Large numbers of Soviet T34’s were captured intact and
pressed back into service... against their former owners between 1941 and 1943.
Here is one such example...
WS332 “Soviet Panzer”
Many hundreds of these captured tanks were returned to service with German Crews after they had undergone some major and minor adjustments. A huge range of colour schemes were utilized and adapted from existing Wehrmacht approved camouflage markings.
Virtually all models had large German crosses painted on the turrets and hulls to help avoid ‘blue on blue’ incidents and to aid battlefield recognition. Some turret hatches were even painted with swastikas on them to help aircraft recognition... Our model is one of them.
This Soviet Panzer also has had German-style ‘side skirts’ added.
AVAILABLE: Early June
2. BEING RETIRED:
FoB099 Refugee Mother & Son
MK123 The Blue Tournament Knight
MK124 The Yellow Tournament Knight
NA213 Wounded Highlander
TRW058 Taking a Fall!
WH021 Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf.N
WS311 Karl Otto’s Tiger 1
WS322 Tiger 113
WS323 Tiger 114
And that completes June... And now onto July.
Best wishes and happy collecting!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Hong Kong