Archive for May, 2015

First Legion June Releases

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Napoleonic – Retreat from Russia


First Legion’s plan is to do extensive coverage of the Retreat including the pursuing Russians as well. We will not only create a variety of figures and vignettes that capture the harsh conditions of a 19th century army retreating from the vastness Russia, but we will also create figures in battle most notably at the Battle of Berezina. The first figures are very flexible in use, but were inspired by Marshal Ney’s escape from Krasnoe. The Russians had blocked his path of retreat and the French army had given him up for lost, but the indomitable Marshal Ney made good his escape against insurmountable odds. These figures will allow for wonderful dioramas that tell both the sad and heroic stories of
Napoleon’s Retreat from Russia, arguably his worst and finest hours simultaneously



Retreat from Russia

WWII DDay – 4th Infantry Division, Normandy 1944


The 4th Infantry, nicknamed the “Ivy” Division, landed at Utah beach on D-Day and quickly hooked up inland with the US 82nd and 101st Airborne. They fought their way through the hedgerows of the Cotentin peninsula and took part in the capture of Cherbourg in near continuous combat from the day of the landing until the 28th of June. They were then shifted south and along with the 2nd Armored Division spearheaded the assault at St Lo. They were also the first Americans to enter Paris, fought in the Hurtgen Forest and battle of the Bulge, and participated in every major campaign spending 199 straight days in contact with the enemy.



4th Infantry Division, Normandy 1944

Thomas Gunn New Releases June 2015!

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

WWII Allied Forces




WWII Allied Forces

WWII German forces


  • FJ017B — Running FJ – Winter – The B version of our very popular running FJ but this time with some snow added to his base so he can now be incorporated in a Russian winter setting or a BOB dio.
  • TG-FREE020 — Hans Phillip – A Luftwaffe ace and Knights Cross recipient with over 200 victories mainly on the Eastern Front. Phillip’s plane was hit by a B17 gunner in October 1943, there is also speculation he was hit by a P47 Thunderbolt flown by Robert Johnson. As Phillip tried to nurse his plane back to his airfield he was forced to bail out at 50 metres where his parachute failed to open. He was buried with full military honours on 14th October 1943. This figure of Phillip with one of his units mascots, a tame fox.



WWII German forces

WWII Pacific




WWII Pacific

World War One




World War One

French Foreign Legion




French Foreign Legion

French Foreign Legion – Mexico




French Foreign Legion – Mexico

French & Indian Wars




French & Indian Wars

John Jenkins – New Releases June 2015!

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

WWI – British


  • GWB-040 — The Royal Garrison Artillery, BL 60-Pounder Heavy Field Gun – The Ordnance BL 60-pounder was a British 5 inch (127 mm) heavy field gun designed in 1903-05 to provide a new capability that had been partially met by the interim QF 4.7 inch Gun. It was designed for both horse draft and mechanical traction and served throughout the First World War in the main theatres. It remained in service with British and Commonwealth forces in the inter-war period and in frontline service with British and South African batteries until 1942 being superseded by the BL 4.5 inch Medium Gun.
    Total wartime production was 1,773 guns (i.e. barrels) and 1,397 carriages
  • GWB-062 — London Bus Passengers #1
  • GWB-062D — London Bus Passengers Set #1



British Forces

WWI – Australian


The Stokes mortar was a British trench mortar invented by Sir Wilfred Stokes KBE that was issued to the British, Commonwealth and U.S. armies, as well as the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (CEP), during the later half of the First World War. The 3-inch trench mortar is a smooth-bore, muzzle-loading weapon for high angles of fire

The Stokes mortar was a simple weapon, consisting of a smoothbore metal tube fixed to a base plate (to absorb recoil) with a lightweight bipod mount. When a mortar bomb was dropped into the tube, an impact sensitive primer in the base of the bomb would make contact with a firing pin at the base of the tube, and detonate, firing the bomb towards the target.

The barrel is a seamless drawn-steel tube necked down at the breech or base end. To the breech end is fitted a base cap, within which is secured a firing pin protruding into the barrel. The caps at each end of the bomb cylinder were 81 mm diameter. The bomb was fitted with a modified hand grenade fuze on the front, with a perforated tube containing a propellant charge and an impact-sensitive cap at the rear.

Range was determined by the amount of propellant charge used and the angle of the barrel. A basic propellant cartridge was used for all firing, and covered short ranges. Up to four additional “rings” of propellant were used for incrementally greater ranges. See range tables below. The four rings were supplied with the cartridge and gunners discarded the rings which were not needed.

British Empire units had 1,636 Stokes mortars in service on the Western Front at the Armistice.

In World War I, the Stokes Mortar could fire as many as 25 bombs per minute and had a maximum range of 800 yards firing the original cylindrical unstabilised projectile. By World War II, it could fire as many as 30 bombs per minute, and had a range of over 2,500 yards with some shell types



Australian Imperial Force

WWI – French Army




French Army

WWI – German Army


Although Germany was slow to develop its own tank force, there was a need to produce a range of methods aimed at neutralizing the effect of the Allied armour. This included concentrated charges, armour piercing bullets, individual field guns in a close combat role, and finally anti tank rifles.

Sharpshooters or snipers were often used to pick off tank crews or their accompanying infantry after the initial damage had been done by the other weapons.



German Army

Battle of Gallipoli 1915


John “Jack” Simpson Kirkpatrick (6 July 1892 – 19 May 1915), who served under the name John Simpson, was a stretcher bearer with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. After landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, he obtained a donkey, who he called “Murphy” and began carrying wounded British Empire soldiers from the front line to the beach, for evacuation.

He continued this work for three and a half weeks, often under fire, until he was killed, during the Third attack on Anzac Cove.

Simpson and his Donkey are a part of the “Anzac legend”.



Battle of Gallipoli 1915

Future Release


William Edward ‘Billy’ Sing, DCM (2 March 1886 – 19 May 1943) was a part Chinese/ Australian soldier who served in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I, best known as a sniper during the Gallipoli Campaign He took at least 150 confirmed kills during that campaign, and may have had over 200 kills in total. One contemporary estimate put his tally at close to 300 kills

A biography by John Hamilton, Gallipoli Sniper: The life of Billy Sing, was published in 2008.

Biographer John Hamilton described the Turkish terrain thus: “It is a country made for snipers. The Anzac and Turkish positions often overlooked each other. Each side sent out marksmen to hunt and stalk and snipe, to wait and shoot and kill, creeping with stealth through the green and brown shrubbery …” Sing was partnered with spotters Ion ‘Jack’ Idriess and, later, Tom Sheehan. The spotter’s task was to observe (spot) the surrounding terrain and alert the sniper to potential targets. Idriess described Sing as “a little chap, very dark, with a jet black moustache and goatee beard. A picturesque looking mankiller. He is the crack shot of the Anzacs.”

Knights of the Skies


The Fokker E.III was the main variant of the Eindecker (monoplane) fighter aircraft of World War I. It entered service on the Western Front in December 1915 and was also supplied to Austria-Hungary and Turkey.

The E.III was the first type to arrive in sufficient numbers to form small specialist fighter units, Kampfeinsitzer Kommandos (KEK) in early 1916. Previously, Eindeckers had been allocated singly, just as the E.I and E.II had been, to the front-line Feldflieger Abteilungen that carried out reconnaissance duties. On 10 August 1916, the first German Jagdstaffeln (single-seat fighter squadrons) were formed, initially equipped with various early fighter types, including a few E.IIIs, which were by then outmoded and being replaced by more modern fighters. Standardisation in the Jagdstaffeln (and any real success) had to wait for the availability in numbers of the Albatros D.I and Albatros D.II in early 1917.

Fokker production figures state that 249 E.IIIs were manufactured

Developed in April 1915, the Eindecker (“Monoplane”) was the first purpose-built German fighter aircraft and the first aircraft to be fitted with synchronizer gear, enabling the pilot to fire a machine gun through the arc of the propeller without striking the blades. The Eindecker granted the German Air Service a degree of air superiority from July 1915 until early 1916. This period was known as the “Fokker Scourge,” during which Allied aviators regarded their poorly armed aircraft as “Fokker Fodder”. The Eindecker was based on Fokker’s unarmed A.III scout (itself following very closely the design of the French Morane-Saulnier H shoulder-wing monoplane) which was fitted with a synchronizer mechanism controlling a single Parabellum MG14 machine gun.

Anthony Fokker personally demonstrated the system on 23 May 1915, having towed the prototype aircraft behind his touring car to a military airfield near Berlin.

Max Immelmann scored his first victory flying the “Eindecker.” Scourge of the air during the winter of 1915, the Fokker E.I was the first aircraft armed with a synchronized, forward firing machine gun. German pilots were ordered not to fly it across enemy lines for fear the Allies would capture the secrets of the synchronizing gear. Followed by the E.II, E.III and E.IV, the Eindecker was underpowered and slow but could out turn most of its opponents.

Allied aviators who faced it called themselves “Fokker Fodder” The Eindecker ruled the skies until the Nieuports and SPADs were developed.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Raid on St Francis




Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

THE SOUTH CAROLINA PROVINCIAL REGIMENT


On July 6, 1757, the South Carolina Provincial Regiment was created by an act of the Assembly. The regiment was to be made up of 7 companies of 100 men each. The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant-colonel Probart Howarth. Howarth, a veteran of Braddock’s campaign, also held a commission as lieutenant in the Independent Companies.

”They have passed a Vote here for granting a Sum for raising 700 Men subject to the Orders & Disposal of Lord Loudoun, have put them on the same Establishment with our Troops, and have given your old Acquaintance Howarth the Command of Them, as Lieut. Colo. & Commandant of the So. Carolina Provincials.” (George Washington Papers (memory.loc.gov/), Captain George Mercer to George Washington, August 17, 1757.)

Each company was led by 1 captain , 2 lieutenants and 1 ensign. Each company also had 4 sergeants, 4 corporals and 2 drummers.

The regiment was also known as the Buffs, due to the facing colour of their uniforms. Men were only recruited with great difficulty, and by mid 1758 the regiment contained only about 550 privates. Attempts were made to fill up the regiment by enlisting vagrants.

THE PENNSYLVANIAN PROVINCIAL REGIMENT


July 1755, after Braddock’s defeat in an ambush on the Monongahela, Pennsylvanians, who until then had no militia forces, started to organise a defence. The governor gave orders to build forts at Carlisle and Shippensburg and to organize 4 companies of volunteers. In October, the French and Canadiens with their Indian Allies began to launch raids on the border of Pennsylvania. On November 25, a “Militia Act” was passed in response to the border massacres perpetrated by the Susquehanah and Ohio Delawares. On November 27, the Assembly of Pennsylvania voted funds to build forts and to replace militia companies with a Provincial Regiment which was originally formed from pre-existing volunteers and militia around the Susquehanah River. Most men enlisted for less than six months.

In March 1756, the regiment was formally organised into two battalions: the one east of the river were commanded by Lieutenant-colonel Conrad Weiser, while the one to the west of the river was led by Colonel John Armstrong. Later, a third battalion was raised under Colonel William Clapham, to defend the area of Augusta, Pennsylvania. Afterwards, the Pennsylvania Provincials were reorganized into 2 regiments: the 1st (Augusta) regiment, formed of one battalion under Clapham, and the 2nd, comprising the other two battalions.

THE CONNECTICUT PROVINCIAL REGIMENT


In August 1755, the first and second regiments of Connecticut Provincials (a total of about 850 men) took part in the expedition against Fort Saint-Frédéric (present-day Crown Point) led by William Johnson of New York. A fort initially known as Fort Lyman (soon renamed Fort Edward) was built on the Hudson River at the carrying place leading to Lake Saint-Sacrement (present-day Lake George).

At the beginning of September, Johnson’s force resumed its advance and reached Lake Saint-Sacrement. On September 8, part of his force was ambushed by a French force under Dieskau. The Colonials were badly mauled and retired to Johnson’s camp. The French followed up but their attack on Johnson’s camp was repulsed, Dieskau being wounded and captured. Johnson did not organize any counteroffensive but built Fort William Henry on the shore of Lake Saint-Sacrement.

In September, Connecticut raised and sent about 1,400 militia to reinforce Johnson at Fort William Henry. On November 27, when Johnson retreated to the Hudson, he left contingents from each province to garrison Fort William Henry during the winter.

For the campaign of 1756, Connecticut raised 2,500 men.

For the campaign of 1757, Connecticut raised 1,400 men. In mid-August, after the fall of Fort William Henry, Connecticut assemble 5,000 militia who were sent to reinforce General Webb on the frontier.

On March 8 1758, a special assembly at New Haven resolved to raise 5,000 Connecticut Provincials for the incoming campaign. These were formed into 4 regiments, each consisting of 12 companies.

In July 1758, the 4 Provincial regiments from Connecticut took part in the expedition against Carillon (present-day Ticonderoga). On July 5, they embarked at the head of Lake George. On July 6 at daybreak, the British flotilla reached the narrow channel leading into Lake Champlain near Fort Carillon and disembarkation began at 9:00 a.m.. On July 8, they fought in the disastrous Battle of Carillon. At daybreak on July 9, the British army re-embarked and retreated to the head of the lake where it reoccupied the camp it had left a few days before.

On March 8 1759, a special assembly at Hartford resolved to raise 3,600 Connecticut Provincials for the campaign. They were formed into 4 regiments, each of 10 companies. On May 10, on General Amherst’s insistance, an additional 1,000 men were raised and integrated into the 4 existing regiments. The Connecticut Provincials, joined Amherst’s Army for a renewed attempt against Carillon.



Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

King & Country May 2015 Releases!

Sunday, May 10th, 2015


Alamo

  • RTA092 — The New Alamo Facade – This, I think, is the 4th or maybe 5th version K&C has made of this legendary façade.  This, I think, is the best yet…and the biggest measuring by (W)15 1/2” x (D) 1” x (H)9”. It’s a great backdrop for any “Alamo” collection and every “Alamo” collector. See for yourself!

Remember the Alamo

AWAY ALL BOATS


On the morning of April 25, 1915, British, French, Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the beaches and coves of the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Turkish Dardanelles.

Their purpose was to capture the Peninsula and force Turkey, a German ally, out of the war. Another of the Allied aims was to open up a sea passage to Russia that would allow the British and French to send arms and ammunition to the armies of the Czar.

Alas, like many “best laid plans” it later came unstuck but on that first morning all seemed to be going well…

Gallipoli

“MUD, BLOOD & GUTS!”


We return to the trenches of the First World War with several new releases that reflect the harsh everyday reality of life…and death…on the Western Front in 1916 and 1917

  • FW158 — A Soldier’s Prayer – A British Army Padre reads a simple prayer over the dead body of a fallen “Tommy”. The design of the dead soldier was
    inspired by a similar figure which can be seen on the powerful Royal Artillery Memorial near London’s Hyde Park. During the Great War, three Army chaplains won
    the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry and 179 were killed-in-action.
  • FW163 — Hold On Son, We’re Almost There! – A British Army medical orderly is assisted by a soldier to carry a badly wounded “Tom” back to the nearest Aid
    Station situated in or close behind the actual front line position.
  • FW173 — Nursing Sister – Between 1914 and 1918 over 10,000 regular and reserve members of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service were at
    work in France, the Middle East, Italy, East Africa and India. Wherever they went they were easily recognized by their grey and white uniforms and scarlet red capes. This nurse is typical.
  • FW186 — German Casualties of War – For these three fallen “Sodaten” their war and suffering is over…
  • FW200 — Rescue Under Fire – Even though the battle still rages above their heads one “Tommy” has crawled into “No Man’s Land” to try and pull a wounded mate to safety…
  • FW201 — Spoils Of War – Two abandoned “Maschinengewehr 08” or MG08’s were the German Army’s standard machine gun during World War One. Adapted from the original 1884 “Maxim” gun these weapons were widely used on all fronts the Kaiser’s Army fought on…with deadly effect. Their nominal range was 2,000 meters although they could be deadly up to 3,500 meters! Allied troops hated
    them with a vengeance because of the huge casualties they inflicted. If and when these guns were overrun attacking soldiers would often, without hesitation, kill the gun crews, even if they tried to surrender! These two guns fit perfectly with set no. FW186.



France 1917

DOWNING ST


By a strange coincidence the man who in 1915 was largely responsible for promoting the Gallipoli expedition was none other than Winston Churchill!

By May 1940, the once disgraced Churchill had now become Britain’s wartime prime minister and the man who helped save Britain in its darkest hour after the Fall of France.

  • DD271 — “BLITZ” CHURCHILL – During even the heaviest German bombing of Britain in 1940 and 1941 Churchill became a welcome and heartening visitor to many bomb-shattered cities and towns the length and breadth of the island nation. Here he is stepping out with his “tin bowler” (steel helmet) on and his gasmask haversack over one shoulder…the famous cigar in his mouth.


D’Day British

HITLER’S FINAL DAYS


Hitler’s “Thousand-Year” Reich has barely lasted just 12…British, American and Russian armies are already thrusting deep into the German heartland. In the West, hundreds of thousands of Wehrmacht soldiers are surrendering…In the East the Soviets are already battling their way into Berlin and fighting street-by-street, house-by-house.

In the “Führerbunker” in the bomb-damaged Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler prepares for the worst…

  • WS294 — Dead German Soldaten – Four fallen Wehrmacht infantrymen who will fight no more…
  • WS312 — Hitler’s Last Parade –  A special 5-figure set based on actual newsreel and photo images of a little ceremony that took place on Hitler’s 56th
    birthday on 20th April 1945 in the ruins of the Reich Chancellery garden. Here Hitler greets a small group of Hitlerjugend boys who have been decorated for bravery in the recent fighting in Berlin. Slowly and deliberately he goes down the line talking to each boy in turn. By his side is Arthur Axmann, the HJ leader.
    Completing the set are 3 of the young fighters.
  • WS313 — Hitler’s Bunker – Not the entire complex of the “Führerbunker” you understand…Most of it was deep underground…But here you see part of the upper entranceway from where Hitler emerged for the last time on his birthday to greet the Hitlerjugend boys. The triangular shaped structure has already suffered from both Allied bombing and Soviet Shelling…its pockmarked reinforced concrete
    surface is testament to that. On one side is another entrance way and an iron ladder leading to the roof.
  • WS314 — Führerbunker Ventilation Tower – This cylindrical concrete tower provided fresh air to the underground complex and like the Führerbunker itself has suffered from both bombing and shelling.
  • WS315 — SS Bunker Bodyguards – To protect Hitler and the other Nazi Leaders in the bunker a small detachment of SS was provided. Our 2-man set shows a pair of SS men armed and on guard duty with MP40 “Schmeisser” Machine Pistols.
  • WS318 — Extra Hitlerjugend – To add to the HJ group meeting the Fuhrer for the last time here are two more young fighters. The young lad wearing the greenish uniform jacket belongs to the Auxiliary Fire Service which recruited volunteers from the Hitlerjugend. In the battle for Berlin they exchanged their firehoses for rifles and panzerfaust anti-tank rockets. The other young boy is wearing the standard HJ uniform and belongs to the “Special Patrol Service” group who were already trained in small arms even before the desperate days of April and May 1945.


HITLER’S FINAL DAYS

Berlin’38 Leibstandarte

The Third Reich may have collapsed in well-deserved defeat and ruin in May 1945 but back in the Berlin of the 1930’s it was a whole different story…Back then the Nazis really did believe they were creating a “Thousand-Year Reich” that would live on long after them…How wrong they were!

For the moment the parade marches on…

  • LAH141 — The Blood Flag Bearer – The Blood Flag or “Blutfahne” was supposedly carried during Hitler’s failed attempt to overthrow the Bavarian Government in Munich in 1923. It was said to have been stained with the blood of those killed and wounded during a skirmish with the Munich police. Thereafter it was treated like a “Holy Relic” and appeared at all major Nazi functions, parades and events.For almost 20 years it was only carried by one SS man…Jakob Grimminger who rose from the ranks of the SS to eventually become an SS Standartenführer or the army equivalent of a full Colonel.
    Our figure shows Grimminger presenting the flag.
  • LAH180 — SS Obergruppenfuhrer Von Ribbentrop – Joachim von Ribbentrop was Nazi Germany’s infamous Foreign Minister from 1938-1945. Before that he was a successful businessman and appointed German Ambassador to London in 1936. Many senior Nazi Party Leaders were given an “Honorary” rank in the SS by Reichsfuhrer Himmler himself. Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop was one such individual. It is said he took great pride in wearing the black uniform alongwith the medals he had won during the First World War and those awarded to him by the Nazi Party itself.He was one of the principal defendants at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal in 1946…found guilty and subsequently hanged.
  • LAH181 — The Black Heydrich – SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich was one of the most feared men in the Nazi Empire and one of the main architects of The Holocaust. Even Adolf Hitler described him as “The man with the iron heart”. In the SS he was number two to Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and the founding head of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst) the intelligence gathering organization set up to seek out and destroy any kind of opposition to the Nazi Party…both at home and abroad. In September 1941 he was appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia,
    the former Czechoslovakia. On 27 May 1942 he was attacked and wounded by Czech parachutists sent by the Government in exile in London. He died from his wounds on 4 June 1942. A bloody retribution followed.  This figure shows Heydrich in his prewar black SS uniform.
  • LAH182 — Reichsminister Albert Speer – The last time K&C produced Hitler’s favorite architect he was on an inspection tour of the “Atlantic Wall” defenseworks complete with a Citroen Staff Car and other figures. So, we thought, let’s do a single figure of the Nazi Minister of Armaments and Chief of Organization TODT, the Civil and Military Engineering Group of the Third Reich. Speer is here
    dressed in his winter greatcoat. After the war he was sentenced at Nuremburg to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime. Released in 1966 he published two best-selling autobiographical works and died in London while on a visit in 1981.
  • LAH183 — SA Chief Ernest Rohm – Another of the infamous Nazi “Rogues Gallery” and the leader of the SA (the Surmabteilung) or “brownshirts”. Formerly a career Army Officer he served throughout WW1 and won the Iron Cross First Class for bravery. He continued to serve in the post war Reichswehr (German Army) until joining the Nazi Party…A heavy drinker and a notorious homosexual he helped co-found and lead the SA.
    Eventually Hitler began to realize that Rohm was becoming too dangerous and too powerful. In 1934. Rohm alongwith many of his top SA leaders were arrested and shot in what became known as “The Night of The Long Knives”.
  • LAH184 — SS Sentry – A typical “Algemeine SS” (General Duties) man on sentry duty in the standard black uniform with brown shirt and carrying his K98 Mauser Rifle with fixed bayonet.
  • LAH185 — SS NCO – This “standing-at-ease” SS “Scharfuhrer” is in charge of the sentries and armed with P.08 “Luger” pistol.
  • LAH186 — Marching SS Men – Introducing our new “multiple parade sets” of figures is this 3-man marching detachment that allows collectors to build up bigger parade displays and dioramas with more modestly-priced sets of 2 and 3 figures.
  • LAH187 — Marching SS Officer – A single “Algemeine SS” officer marching with sword…complements LAH186.
  • LAH188 — SS Men Present Arms – A 3-man set following the inexpensive pricing of LAH186.
  • LAH189 — SS Officer At Attention – The officer, with sword drawn, that accompanies LAH188.

Berlin’38 Leibstandarte

Streets of Old Hong Kong


As the “Victorian Era” began to change into the “Edwardian” one so too did dress and styles in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong.

For younger Chinese men “pigtails” were seen as a symbol of the old, decadent, down-trodden “Middle Kingdom”. Smart, short hair was adopted as one symbol of modernity and being part of the new 20th Century.

Women and girls also started to cut their hair and emulate their Western counterparts.

At the same time traditional Chinese costume was being simplified and becoming more comfortable and practical to wear.

This thoroughly modern young Bride & Groom exemplify the new movement.


Orient