“KING & COUNTRY DISPATCHES”
First of all, very big thanks to all those K&C Dealers who have enthusiastically welcomed the new U.S. Marines and the ‘Searching for Pvt. Ryan’ releases which we announced in September and successfully launched at the recent ‘CHICAGO SHOW’
The rapid response on the internet has also been very gratifying...
And, so without further ado let’s get into October’s new releases…
1. BEING RELEASED IN OCTOBER...
A. A Century of Beersheba, 1917-2017
This coming 31st October 2017 marks the centenary of the epic charge of the Australian Light Horse to capture the town and water wells of BEERSHEBA in what was then Palestine but is now part of modern-day Israel.
The Australian horsemen, against fierce Turkish opposition, charged the enemy’s lines and frontline trenches scattering their opponents and then galloping on into the town itself to capture the all-important water wells. It proved to be one of the major turning points of the War in the Desert during WW1.
For many years now, and in particular support of our K&C dealers in Australia (Peter & Sven, Brett and Howard) King & Country have produced a wealth of dynamic Australian Light Horse figures, both in action and at rest that have proved extremely popular all over the world ... not just in Australia itself!
Here are the latest releases and ...a few revised ‘old friends’...
AL090 “The Morning Snack”
Light Horseman were tremendously attached to their horses called Australian Walers, a breed of horse developed in Australia from horses that were brought over from Britain and Ireland in the 19th Century.
A ‘special’ bond developed between horse and rider that was unique.
At the end of the war, however when the Australian horsemen were to be returned to Australia the decision was made to leave their horses behind and for them to be either euthanized or sold off to the local Arabs. Many horsemen themselves preferred to shoot their own mount before leaving it to a far worse fate.
But in this happier scene a young trooper is feeding his animal an apple as he awaits orders to ‘mount-up’.
AL091 “The Fond Farewell”
A dismounted NCO (non commissioned officer) takes a young nurse into his arms... He is leaving for parts unknown and this maybe their last chance to meet for some time.
Are they lovers... or perhaps an older brother and younger sister...? Whichever it is... it makes for a poignant scene.
AL092 “Skippy the Mascot & His Handler”
From time immemorial soldiers and armies have had animal mascots... In Egypt and Palestine, during the First World War, the Australian Light Horse had a kangaroo called “Skippy” as one of their divisional mascots.
Here, we see him with his personal “handler” having a polite conversation...
AL093 “Light Horse Bugler”
Back a hundred years ago bugle calls ‘ruled’ a soldier’s life from ‘reveille’ first thing in the morning till “lights-out” last thing at night!
Almost every duty or task a soldier might be ordered to do would and could be announced by the sound of a bugle call.
Here is the camp bugler doing what buglers do!
ANNOUNCING K&C’S AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE
In December 2009, King & Country launched our very first Australian Light Horse figures to an unsuspecting collecting audience around the world.
We were modestly confident that we would ‘find’ a market for these mounted figures in Australia itself BUT were not so sure about the rest of the collecting world...
Now, eight years later, I am happy to report that the ALH series (Australian Light Horse) has its devoted admirers and collectors all over the globe... and not just in the ‘Land Down Under’!
Some of our biggest and most enthusiastic collectors of ALH are in countries as diverse and far apart as Russia... Indonesia... Japan... and the Czech Republic to name but a few.
Not only that but a steady stream of new ALH collectors keep arriving in part, of course, thanks to the hard work and efforts of our three dedicated Aussie Dealers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
As ‘newbies’ arrive they often seek out some of the original, older pieces now long since retired as well as the more current production.
MARKING THE CENTENARY...
To help celebrate the hundred years since the Light Horse’s remarkable charge at Beersheba K&C are issuing a ‘Second Edition’ of 7 the earliest and most popular first releases of ALH with one noticeable change... the horse colours of the individual mounts. This is to ensure that collectors owning the original pieces will know and recognize a ‘First Edition’ piece or ... this newer ‘Second Edition’ horse and rider at a glance.
It also allows newer collectors of the series to obtain those extremely useful earlier pieces without having to pay higher costs on the ‘secondary’ market.
Here are the four amended mounted ‘Second Editions’:
AL094 “Australian Light Horse Officer w/Pistol”
Charging to the front, service revolver held firmly in the air.
AL095 “Australian Light Horse Bugler”
Lee Enfield .303 slung across his back this bugler sounds the ‘charge’!
AL096 “Australian Light Horse Trooper w/Rifle”
Holding his .303 in his left hand this trooper charges forward.
AL097 “Australian Light Horse Trooper Charging w/Bayonet”
The ‘classic’ iconic image of the Light horseman at Beersheba... sword bayonet held forward to the front as horse and rider gallop towards glory!
AL098 “Turkish Officer w/Flag”
A very, very popular figure when released BUT had a bad tendency to fall over due to the heavy all-metal Turkish flag!!! Now, the flag is sturdy, light-weight polyresin and the ‘problem’ is a thing of the past.
Also, we have repainted the officer with a brand-new Turkish officer’s uniform... Very smart and, I think, better than the original!
AL099 “Standing Horse #1”
AL100 “Standing Horse #2”
Both of these ‘retired’ empty horses have been much requested by both dealers and collectors because of the number of ALH dismounted figures currently available to make up camp scenes... Obviously if you have dismounted troopers sitting and standing around you must have their unmounted horses nearby.
Again, colours have been altered for this “Second Edition”.
AVAILABLE: Early-Mid October
B “ANCIENT ROMAN ARCHERS TAKE AIM...”
SIX exciting new Roman Archers to help ‘defend’ the ramparts of our ‘Mile’ Fort or... put onto any Ancient battlefield of your choosing...
ROM019 “Roman Archer” (Prepare to Fire)
ROM020 “Roman Archer” (Letting Fly)
ROM021 “Roman Archer” (Reaching for an Arrow)
ROM022 “Roman Archer” (Kneeling to Fire)
ROM025 “Roman Archer” (Taking Aim)
ROM026 “Archer Officer” (Shouting Orders)
AVAILABLE: Mid October
C. “DESTINATION: SINGAPORE”
Although the Japanese troops that invaded Malaya in December 1941 were outnumbered 2-1 by their British and Empire opponents they were fast-moving and surprisingly innovative... Among the many ways they constantly outflanked and out-paced their opposition was by the use of captured and abandoned functioning military vehicles left behind by the retreating British and Empire troops... and many thousands of bicycles commandeered from the native population and/or hundreds of others strategically left by Japanese merchants along the main roads and routes in the days, weeks and months prior to the outbreak of war.
Here are just a few examples...
JN043 “Japanese Soldier Carrying His Bicycle”
Hard and brutal campaigning was no stranger to the average Japanese soldier in Malaya. Most of them were veterans of the China War and were tough, battle-hardened and resourceful.
JN044 “Japanese Riding Their Bicycles”
TWO of those Army cyclists peddling along as fast as they can go to get closer and closer to their ultimate goal... ‘SINGAPORE’!
JN046 “Imperial Japanese Navy A6M ‘Zero’ ”
K&C’s first THREE Naval A6M ‘Zeroes’ are long sold out but still we have collectors who ‘want’ that pale grey, black nose ‘classic’ naval aircraft.
This fourth IJN ‘Zero’ belongs to the IJN Carrier Zuikaku, flown by Petty Officer 1st Class Tetsuzo Iwamoto, as part of the Combat Air Patrol over the Task Force during the Pearl Harbor operation. Petty Officer 1st Class Iwamoto already had fourteen ‘kills’ claimed over China by 7 December 1941 and was ultimately credited with eighty victories by the end of World War Two and flew on ‘Combat Air Patrol’ above the Japanese Fleet as it released all of its attack aircraft on an unsuspecting Pearl Harbor on that fateful morning of 7 December, 1941.
JN-S01 “Pre Flight Walkaround”
Before every flight each pilot performs a 360 degree inspection of his aircraft.
JN-S02 “Armorers & Mechanics”
Each aircraft had its own designated team of armorers under the supervision of a petty officer mechanic.
Note: Only 150 of this “Imperial Japanese Navy A6M ‘Zero’” are being released.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
D. “MARINE REINFORCEMENTS”
Our first small detachment of US Marines in action have been very well received by K&C dealers and collectors alike... Here are 3 more very useful additions...
USMC018 “Marine Reloading”
A lying ‘Leatherneck’ holds a fresh clip of 8 rounds in his hand as he prepares to reload his M1.
USMC020 “Crouching Marine Firing Rifle”
Staying low to make a smaller target (hopefully) this Marine fires off a few rounds from his M1 ‘Garand’ rifle.
USMC022 “Kneeling Marine Tommy Gunner”
The Thompson Sub Machine Gun was the favored weapon of senior NCO’S (non commissioned officers) and some junior officers... Strong, sturdy, unlikely to jam it had real ‘stopping-power’.
AVAILABLE: Early October
E. “SEARCHING FOR PVT. RYAN”
“SAVING PRIVATE RYAN” is quite simply one of the finest war films ever made. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon it tells the story of a squad of U.S. Army Rangers tasked with finding and bringing back safely the last surviving brother (of four) who is somewhere in Normandy during the days after the D.Day Invasion of June 1944.
Next year marks the 20th Anniversary of the release of this fine motion picture. As a tribute to the men who made ‘SAVING PRIVATE RYAN’ and the real heroes who inspired it K&C are producing no less than TWO sets of the 8-man squad that went searching for PFC James F. Ryan of the 101st Airborne behind the German lines... The first set, is currently available and now we have...
DD306 “Searching for Pvt. Ryan” Set #2
A Ranger Sergeant together with a sniper / marksman, a Medic and another Ranger rifleman make up this final set of the ‘Squad’.
SPECIAL NOTE: A special ‘stand-alone’ figure of PFC James F. Ryan is already in development.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
F. “STREETS OF OLD HONG KONG”
HK272 “The Fortune Teller Set”
An old fortune teller assisted by a young boy awaits their first client of the day.
AVAILABLE: Early October
G. “STREETS OF OLD BERLIN!”
These typical ‘Berlin Poster Drum Columns’ were a familiar sight in the Reich’s capital city... Our first version covered the 1930’s and the Rise of the Third Reich... This new Drum Column reflects a much grimmer, less optimistic outlook typical of the latter days of the war.
LAH235 “Tall Poster Drum Column” (Late War)
AVAILABLE: Early October
H. “CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR...”
And it’s a little early this year... In October!
XM017-01 “Christmas Tree w/Christmas Presents”
A gaily festooned tree together with heaps of colourfully packaged gifts sitting underneath its bows and branches.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
I. “SOMEWHERE ON THE GOLAN HEIGHTS”
For many years Syria had fortified and built up their defenses on these heights over-looking the northern flank of Israel. During this time the Syrians had almost constantly shelled Israeli kibbutzes and communities from this elevated position.
When war broke out Israel was determined to capture it and safeguard its northern border from these Syrian attacks.
On the morning of June 9, 1967, three days after the war had begun, Israel attacked. First with sustained air strikes and then with infantry, artillery and armour including their elite paratroopers. The fighting was hard and bloody... but ultimately successful.
Here are 3 more important additions to our new ‘SIX-DAY WAR’ series...
IDF011 “Prisoner & Escort” (2-man set)
An Israeli Para pushes his Syrian prisoner towards the P.O.W. ‘Cage’. On the Para’s back is the Syrian’s AK47 Assault Rifle. The Israeli himself is armed with the ubiquitous ‘UZI’.
IDF015 “Israeli Para ... pointing”
Belgian-made FN rifle held aloft this other Para is indicating in which direction ‘Prisoner & Escort’ should go.
IDF017 “Israeli M38 Jeep w/106mm Recoilless Rifle”
This U.S. made, 1950’s vintage M38 Jeep was very much in evidence in the IDF’s military inventory during and after the ’67 War.
Our set includes the driver and vehicle commander together with an extra ‘UZI’ for protection. The main vehicle protection however is the jeep-mounted GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) sighted in front of the vehicle passenger position. All in ... a great-looking set and a worthy and useful addition to this ‘young’ collection...
AVAILABLE: Late October
2. BEING RETIRED ...
BBG101 Winter Alpini w/ Skis
BBG102 Winter Alpini Skiing (A)
BBG103 Winter Alpini w/ Rifle
BBG104 Winter Alpini Skiing (B)
MK110 The Defender
NA249 New Cuirassier Officer
NA250 Charging Flagbearer
NA251 Charging Bugler
NA252 Charging Trooper
NA253 Charging… Sword Down
Charging… Sans Helmet!
NA255 Charging… and Hacking!
NA256 Duke of Wellington
TRW041(P) Black Arrow
TRW043(P) “Brown Bull”
Best wishes to one and all and ...
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country