Welcome to this month’s ‘DISPATCHES’ and an interesting little mix of figures and subject matter across a number of our most popular ranges.
And so, without further ado let’s get down to business ... Let’s begin with ‘VIETNAM’...
1. BEING RELEASED THIS MONTH...
A. ‘Special Forces in Vietnam’
The war in Vietnam was to become the U.S. Special Forces most complex and controversial mission, beginning as early as 1957 and finally ending in 1973.
During those years the U.S. Special Forces, mostly ‘Green Berets’, fulfilled a wide variety of operations and missions covering all of South Vietnam and also, clandestinely, into neighbouring countries.
Among their many duties were setting up and leading camp strike forces... mobile strike forces... special reconnaissance tasks... training indigenous units and headquarters support.
The Special Forces soldiers who carried out these missions and operations were a special breed of soldier... All of them were Regular Army volunteers with years of experience and knowledge behind them. They were well-trained in a variety of different military skills and able to work alone or in small specialist teams to lead and advise regular and irregular South Vietnamese forces as well as local civilians and natives in some of the most distant and inhospitable areas of South Vietnam.
The typical Special Forces trooper and officer was of higher than average intelligence, physically fitter than many of his military contemporaries and well able to think on his feet and be more adaptable to changing situations and variable conditions.
The ‘Green Berets’ that most of them proudly wore was earned by plenty of blood, sweat and tears in training and in the jungles, mountains and paddy fields of South Vietnam.
VN127 ‘Green Beret Colonel’
This senior officer is wearing the classic ‘green beret’ which began to be worn by some U.S. Special Forces as early as 1954 but was not officially authorized until 1961.
This first version of our S.F. colonel is wearing standard issue ‘jungle fatigues’, the tropical combat uniform worn by all US forces in Vietnam.
The colonel’s name and ‘U.S. Army’ tapes were sewn atop the breast pockets of this jacket. On his left shoulder are the ‘airborne’ patch over the Special Forces’ sleeve shield insignia.
In his left hand he also carries the standard M16 rifle.
VN139 ‘Green Beret Colonel in Tiger-Stripes’
A second version of our officer, this time wearing the ‘Tiger-Stripe’ camouflage uniform. The origins of this design are unknown but it is believed to have been developed in an Asian country and was first worn in Vietnam by the South Vietnamese Marines.
It gained increasing popularity after it was featured in the John Wayne movie ‘The Green Berets’ (1968).
Although some examples of this camo pattern combat uniform were manufactured in South Vietnam most Special Forces uniforms were purchased in Thailand, Taiwan, Okinawa and South Korea.
Consequently colours, patterns and fabrics varied greatly.
AVAILABLE: Early October
B. “In The Land of the Nile”
From the hot and humid jungles of South Vietnam to the hot and arid sands of Ancient Egypt and the lands bordering the great river Nile...
AE079 ‘The Egyptian Harpist’
A delightful young maiden together with her hand-carved harp. A worthy addition to our other Ancient Egyptian singers, dancers and musicians.
AVAILABLE: Early October
C. ‘VISTULA LEGION REINFORCEMENTS’
One more Lancer of this famous Polish Cavalry Regiment that serves the Emperor together with one of the regiment’s Trumpeters.
NA471 ‘Vistula Lancer Trumpeter’
Mounted on a white charger and wearing the ‘reverse colours’ of a Regimental Trumpeter.
NA473 ‘Galloping Vistula Lancer’
Spurring his horse into a gallop the Lancer levels his weapon towards the enemy.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
D. ‘SUPPORT ON THE GROUND’
Approximately 3,000 British, Empire and Foreign pilots flew with the Royal Air Force’s ‘Fighter Command’ during the Battle of Britain.
Supporting them on the ground were many more thousands of RAF ‘Ground Crews’ who the pilots depended on to get them into the air and engage the enemy before returning to earth to be refueled, rearmed and often repaired for the next ‘scramble’.
These ground crew airmen took on a multitude of tasks and performed all kinds of mechanical and technical ‘miracles’ to enable the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes to stay in the air fighting the enemy and winning the aerial battle. Here are the latest sets...
RAF090 ‘RAF NCO Inspectors’
A standing Flight Sergeant together with an ‘eagle-eyed’ Corporal inspect an aircraft to ensure all repairs have been successfully completed and nothing has been left-to-chance or unfinished.
RAF092 ‘RAF Armourers Set’
As the Corporal Armourer arrives with his tool box the other Armourer holds a .303 Machine Gun ready to install it in either a Spitfire or a Hurricane.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
E. ‘RESISTANCE & REVENGE’
As French towns and village all across Normandy were liberated by the Allies local Resistance Groups (Les Maquisards) together with many local residents began to take their revenge on anyone thought to have helped or associated with the recent German occupiers.
After four years of occupation together with hunger, fear and perhaps a little shame it was time to seek revenge and retribution on those who had profited from the hated ‘Boche’ or had cooperated with the enemy in a more ‘horizontal’ fashion.
Collaborators of all shapes and sizes and to all degrees were sought out and often subjected to fierce interrogation and swift, violent punishment.
Women in particular, who were denounced or simply suspected of enemy collaboration were among the most prominent victims.
DD349 ‘Maquisard w/Sten Gun’
This resistance member is cocking his British-supplied ‘Sten’ sub machine gun Thousands of these simple but sturdy weapons were parachuted into France and saw extensive service with the ‘Maquis’.
DD350 ‘Victims of the Purge’ Mother & Child’
Among the most unfortunate victims of the whole scale retribution after Liberation were women who had formed relationships with the German occupiers and, in some cases, had illegitimate children with them.
These women would be dragged from their homes, paraded through the streets and then taken to a town centre or village square where the heads would be shorn of hair in front of all the local people, many of them neighbours, they would be then expelled from their town and village and forced to find shelter and safety elsewhere.
DD351 ‘The Barber & His Victim’
A forlorn young women sits alone and fearful as a male member of the resistance outs off her hair in front of a jeering crowd of onlookers.
Because she has no child she may suffer further cruelty and humiliation... Some women collaborators were also ‘tarred and feathered’ before being expelled from their towns and villages.
For many male collaborators punishment was even worse... they would be physically beaten, then shot or hanged!
DD352 ‘Maquisard w/Bren Gun’
In addition to the Sten Guns supplied to French Resistance groups, heavier weapons, such as the Bren Gun’, were also provided.
Here our resistance member uses the shoulder strap to support this classic British Light Machine Gun.
AVAILABLE: Mid October
F. ON PARADE WITH THE LIFE GUARDS
It is often said that no country produces military spectacles as good or as colourful as Great Britain.
Among the finest and most spectacular of all the centuries – old regiments that take part in ceremonial duties in the nation’s capital are the men and horses of the Queen’s own ‘Household Cavalry’.
The Household Cavalry is actually made up of two mounted regiments... ‘The Blues & Royals’ and ‘The Life Guards’.
As part of King & Country’s Life Guards collection we are proud to present the first of two magnificent drum horses...
CE072 ‘The Life Guards Drum Horse HECTOR’
Although the vast majority of the Life Guards mounts are midnight black in colour the exceptions are the horses of regimental trumpeters and drum horses.
While Trumpeters are normally mounted on a white horse, the Drum Horse is the most powerful horse in the regiment. Each animal carries 300 pounds of equipment in the form of two steel kettle drums and, of course, the drummer himself.
The Drum Horses traditionally have been ‘Clydesdale’ crosses and are specially bred for their ceremonial parades.
Carefully selected by the Household Cavalry’s own ‘Riding Master’, each chosen Drum Horse must have a good temperament and stand at least 16.3 hands high, be strong and obviously fit.
It takes some 18 months to fully train a Drum Horse and there is always another Drum Horse in training as a potential replacement.
This first Life Guards Drum Horse has been ‘christened’ “HECTOR”.
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late October
G. ‘ONE FOR ALL & ALL FOR ONE’
Alexander Dumas’ classic swash-buckling, historical novel ‘The Three Musketeers’ has been a firm favourite of movie fans ever since it was first filmed by Douglas Fairbanks in 1921.
Since then many more movies have told the story of the young swordsman d’Artagnan and his three friends, Athos, Porthos and Aramis and their adventures during the reign of French King LouisⅩⅢ and his principal minister, the cunning and powerful Cardinal Richelieu.
King & Country have also told the story of the ‘Three Musketeers’ in miniature... Back in 2015 we produced our very first set of three Musketeers together with their young aspirant, d’Artagnan... alongside their arch enemy, Cardinal Richlieu.
Those particular figures have long been sold-out and no longer in production however collectors and some dealers have requested replacements... So, here they are...
PnM078 ‘The Three Musketeers & d’Artagnan’
These four new figures were directly inspired by the art of one of my favourite comic book illustrators, Arturo del Castillo.
Arturo was just one of a group of superb Spanish and Italian illustrators who found their fortunes drawing for all kinds of British comic books and illustrated children’s magazines throughout the 1950’s into the ‘60s and even the 1970s.
I well remember their work and collected examples of their excellent artwork even as a young art student in Glasgow in the 1960s.
This new quartet of figures shows the three musketeers and their young friend from Gascony leveling their swords as they swear loyalty to each other... “One for All... & All for one!”
PnM079 “Cardinal Richelieu”
To accompany this brand-new set of 4... a new version of their old adversary, the eminent Cardinal.
AVAILABLE: Mid to Late October
2. BEING RETIRED
As expected, as the ‘new’ prepares to arrive some of our older, existing items are ready to move out.
Take a closer look... there are more than a few fine figures among them... make your selection.
And on that cheerful note l’ll bid you all a fond farewell for another month.
FoB095 Table & Chairs
FoB098 The Refugee Horse & Cart
FoB101 One Old Man & His Dog
FoB103 Section Leader
FoB135 The Nun & The Toddler
FoB136 Three City Gents
FoB137 Good Friends
FoB139 The Little Apple Seller
FoB140 A Serf with a Scythe
FoB141 Three Russian Children
FoB143 A Russian Orthodox Priest
FoB156 Little Brother and Big Sister
LAH097 The Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Regimental Band
LAH153 SA Honour Guard w/ Rifle
LAH171 Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler 1934
LAH175 Goose-stepping SS Man
LAH176 SS Officer Saluting
LAH180 SS Obergruppenfuhrer Von Ribbentrop
LAH181 The Black Heydrich
LAH182 Reichsminister Albert Speer
LAH185 SS NCO
LAH208 Adolf in Lederhosen
LAH213 Oktoberfest Fraulein
LAH214 Oktoberfest Prost!
LAH217 Brownshirt SA Standard Bearer
LAH222 SS Fahnentrager
LAH223 SA MANN Brand
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Ltd.