WELCOME to this month’s ‘DISPATCHES’ written, as per usual, a few days before I fly out to Chicago for the annual Toy Soldier Show there.
October sees some of K&C’s less well-known series get some very useful additions and... some extra ‘add-ons’ for a couple of our newer and more popular ranges.
So, without further ado let’s get into them...
1. BEING RELEASED THIS OCTOBER...
A. ‘Protecting The Pontiff’
There are many ceremonial guard units and regiments around the world but one of my own personal favorites are the officers and men of ‘The Swiss Guard’ the soldiers who guard the gates of the Vatican City and protect the life of the Pope.
First recruited in 1505 from the German speaking cantons of Switzerland these Guardsmen have been described as ‘the most peaceful military unit in the world!’
The Swiss Guard has one Captain Commandant... two full Lieutenants and two Second Lieutenants... one Chaplain and fifteen Sergeants plus, of course, around 130 Guardsmen (including musicians).
After our first release in 2016 we decided to add-on SIX more figures including, very importantly...
CE022 “The Pope”
As was said to us by more than a few collectors of this ceremonial range, “How can you have the Guard without showing us WHO they are guarding?”
Well, here is the latest incumbent Pontiff who resides in Vatican City dressed in his traditional white robes.
CE023 “Swiss Guard Drummer”
Unit Drummers have their own distinctive version of the traditional renaissance-style uniform worn by the Guard. As you can see it comprises both bold blue and yellow stripes with flashes of black (and no red unlike the regular Guardsmen).
CE024 “Swiss Guard Officer”
Commissioned Officers wear breastplates that are finely engraved and more elaborate than those of the lower ranks. Under the armor is worn a ‘shirt’ of 16th Century chain mail.
CE025 “Swiss Guard Standard Bearer”
Each year a ‘Swearing-In’ ceremony is held when new recruits are inducted into the Guard.
The Ceremony utilizes the personal flag of the present Pope with his coat of arms emblazoned on it and is held by a junior officer.
CE026 “Swiss Guard Recruit”
Taking the ‘oath of allegiance’ is one of the newest Swiss recruits seen here raising three fingers in the traditional salute... This is said to represent the Holy Trinity and the three Swiss cantons where the Guard originally recruited from.
CE027 “Guardsman w/Two-Handed Sword”
Protecting the flagbearer are usually a pair of Guardsmen carrying the fiercesome two-handed sword called the ‘Flamberge Zweihander’. These powerful weapons originally were used by the ‘Landsknechts’, mercenary soldiers many of whom came from Germany and Switzerland during the 15th and 16th Centuries.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
With all those K&C U.S. Marines storming ashore on different Pacific islands we really felt our hard-pressed Japanese forces needed some urgent reinforcements...
JN051 “Kneeling Firing Rifleman”
You can never have too many shooting or firing toy soldiers... and this Japanese soldier proves that! Here he takes careful aim with his ‘Arisaka Type 99 rifle’ at the advancing U.S. Marines.
JN052 “Japanese Machine Gun and Crew”
Lying prone behind their Type 99 magazine-fed Light Machine Gun the ‘Number Two’ on the gun prepares to replace the empty gun with a full magazine. (2 figure set)
JN053 “Advancing Machine Gunner”
Marching forward and firing from the hip another gunner goes on the offensive with his LMG Type 99.
JN054 “Sitting Firing Rifle”
Every shooter has his (or hers) favorite firing position... This Japanese soldier adopts the sitting option.
JN055 “Cold Steel #1”
Japanese military doctrine firmly believed in the tactic and success of the bayonet charge... often at all costs!
JN056 “Cold Steel #2”
A second infantryman charges forward to take the fight to the enemy. Still in the age of bombs and bullets the threat of ‘cold steel’ can put fear into even the bravest heart.
JN057 “Lying Prone Rifleman”
Still one of the best firing positions and... the one that makes the smallest target of the shooter!
AVAILABLE: Mid October
C. “RUSSIAN HEAVY METAL”
Moving from lightly-armed Japanese infantry to a mighty Soviet WW2 Assault Gun in one fell swoop...
RA077 “The SU-122 Self Propelled Howitzer”
The SU-122 (Samokhodnaya Ustanovka 122mm) was a Russian-made, self-propelled howitzer or assault gun during WW2.
The number ‘122’ refers to the caliber of the main armament – a 122mm M-30S howitzer. The vehicle chassis was the same as the famous T34 tank.
Design and Production began in 1942 and continued until the summer of 1944. By then a total of 1150 vehicles were produced.
Our K&C model is in typical Soviet markings and color scheme of the mid war period complete with patriotic slogan “Kill The Fascists” and comes with a tank commander figure.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late October
D. “The Emperor’s New Uniform”
Most of K&C’s Napoleon Bonaparte figures have him dressed in the blue and white of the Old Guard however there is an alternative... much favored by the Emperor himself.
NA416 “Mounted Napoleon” (Chasseur Colonel’s Uniform)
As we know the Emperor had several iconic items of clothing... His bicorne hat, his greatcoat and ... apart from the previously mentioned ‘Old Guard’uniform – his ‘green’ Chasseur Colonel’s uniform.
He particularly liked the Chasseur uniform and often wore it in recognition of the loyal and devoted service of his Chasseur Regiments who frequently provided his mounted escort while on campaign.
Just two complete sets of this green uniform survive to this day. One is still worn by the Emperor himself and lies in honor with him in his tomb in Les Invalides in Paris.
This latest mounted version of the Emperor shows Napoleon wearing his trademark grey greatcoat under which can be seen his ‘Colonel of Chasseurs’ green uniform.
AVAILABLE: Early October
E. “Remember The Alamo!”
And so we should... It’s been quite a while since we added some new figures to this series and we have a whole raft of great figures coming up to refresh this dramatic series... Here are the first group... Attacking Mexican soldiers!
RTA098 “Charging Forward”
Many of the Mexican forces wore the simple white uniforms as shown here though this particular soldier has no white cap cover unlike his fellow infantrymen.
Rifle at the high port and bayonet fixed this ‘soldado’ prepares to breach the Alamo’s defenses.
After firing his first shot at the defenders this soldier hastily reloads a second.
RTA104 “Kneeling Ready”
Preparing to move forward and waiting for the order.
RTA105 “Standing Firing”
RTA106 “Kneeling Firing”
AVAILABLE: Early October
F. “NORTH VIETNAMESE REGULARS”
North Vietnam began to send some of its regular NVA (North Vietnamese Army) units to fight in the south as early as 1959. They also encouraged and supplied the VC (Viet Cong) to step up their opposition to the ARVN (Army of The Republic of Vietnam) and the American forces.
Compared to their opponents the NVA ‘travelled light’, carrying the bare minimum of equipment and essential rations.
Their weapons and uniforms were much more standard than their VC comrades. Most NVA wore simple, light-weight green khaki uniforms and the NVA sun helmet or cloth jungle hat.
Weapons-wise the majority of NVA carried the AK47 (either Soviet or Chinese-made)... the Czech SKS Rifle and the ubiquitous RPG (rocket propelled grenade launcher).
Tough, fast-moving and resilient NVA regulars even won the grudging respect of their Allied opponents.
VN020 “NVA Lying Firing AK47”
Adopting the prone position and firing off several rounds from the 30-round magazine.
VN022 “Kneeling Firing RPG”
The RPG-7 was a Russian-made grenade launcher that could be equally effective against armoured vehicles (tanks, APC’s and even low-flying helicopters) and bunkers.
VN023 “Running w/SKS Rifle”
VN025 “NVA Casualty”
NVA soldier being shot as he is about to throw a grenade.
VN029 “NVA Flagbearer”
Although an NVA regular this particular soldier is carrying the Viet Cong flag... VC and NVA regularly took part in joint operations against both ARVN and U.S. military units. This guy also carries an AK47 on his back.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late October
SPECIAL NOTE: Look out for more VC/NVA and Vietnamese civilians in the upcoming months.
2. BEING RETIRED...
WH083 Sturmgeschutz III
WS219 Panzer IV H
WS320 “Hitler’s Bunker” (2nd version)
NA349 The Duellists Set#1
And that’s the story so far... Best wishes and happy collecting to one and all... AND...
See you next month!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Ltd.