Archive for December, 2015

New Britain’s Winter Catalogue – Available Spring 2016!

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Wrath of the Norseman


Wrath of the Norseman

American Civil War


American Civil War

Regiments Classic Collection


Regiments Classic Collection

Napoleonic Collection


Napoleonic Collection

New Thomas Gunn December Releases!

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

WWII German forces


WWII German forces

French Foreign Legion


French Foreign Legion

New First Legion December Releases!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

New Mid – Late December Releases!
Glory of Rome – Legio VI Victrix


The backbone of the Roman Empire was certainly her Legions. For our initial release of Imperial Romans, we presented Legio I Minerva and Legio VI Victrix. Due to the success and rapid sellout of these figures, we are now following them up with Legio I Adiutrix. The new legion features unbleached tunics and skirts and the classic “wreathe” shield design. Legio I Adiutrix was formed in 68 AD and took part in a variety of battles and campaigns including Germanic/Marcomannic Wars under Marcus Aurelius, the final battle of which was featured in the opening of the film “Gladiator.” So they are a wonderful complement to Minerva and Victrix and allow for dioramas to now feature multiple legions each with a unique look deployed side by side.


Glory of Rome – Legio VI Victrix

Retreat from Russia


Retreat from Russia


New John Jenkins December Releases!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Speedbirds


The Macchi M.C. 72 was an experimental seaplane designed and built by the Italian aircraft company Macchi Aeronautica.
The M.C. 72 held the world speed record for all aircraft for five years. In 1933 and 1934, it set a world speed record•for internal combustion-powered seaplanes which still stands.

The M.C. 72 was built in 1931 with the idea of competing for what turned out to be the final Schneider Trophy race, but due to engine problems, the M.C. 72 was unable to compete. Instead of halting development, Macchi continued work on the M.C. 72. Benito Mussolini personally took an interest in seeing development of the M.C. 72 continue and directed state funds to the company.

For two years, the M.C. 72 suffered from many mechanical defects, as well as the loss of two test pilots who died trying to coax world class speed out of the M.C. 72 (first Monti and then Bellini). The final design of M.C. 72 used contra-rotating propellers powered by a modified FIAT AS.6 supercharged V24 engine generating some 1,900-2,300 kW (2,500-3,100 hp). After 35 flights, the engines were overhauled in preparation for a record attempt. The aircraft finally lived up to expectations when it set a new world speed record (over water) on 10 April 1933, with a speed of 682 km/h (424 mph). It was piloted by Warrant Officer Francesco Agello (the last qualified test pilot). Not satisfied, development continued as the aircraft’s designers thought they could break 700 km/h (430 mph) with the M.C. 72. This feat was in fact achieved on 23 October 1934, when Agello piloted the M.C. 72 for an average speed of 709 km/h (440 mph) over three passes. This record remains (as of 2012) the fastest speed ever attained by a piston-engine seaplane. After this success, the M.C.72 was never flown again.

The M.C. 72 held the world speed record for all aircraft for five years. For comparison, the record holder for a land-based aircraft was held (for a time) by the Hughes H-1 Racer with a top speed of only 566 km/h (352 mph). Then in 1939, two German racing aircraft passed the M.C. 72. The first was a Heinkel He 100 which reached the speed of 746 km/h (463 mph). The second was a Messerschmitt Me 209 which set a new world speed record of 756 km/h (469 mph) in August – just days before the start of World War II. The current world speed record for a piston-engine aircraft is 528.33 mph (850.26 km/h) set by a heavily modified Grumman F8F Bearcat named Rare Bear over three km in 1989. However, the M.C. 72 record still stands today as the world’s fastest propeller-driven seaplane.

The M.C. 72, aircraft that took the world record, survives. It is on display at the Italian Air Force Museum, near Rome.

Speedbirds

Knights Of The Skies


Max Immelmann (21 September 1890 – 18 June 1916) was the first German World War I flying ace. He was a pioneer in fighter aviation and is often mistakenly credited with the first aerial victory using a synchronized gun. He was the first aviator to win the Pour le Mérite, and was awarded it at the same time as Oswald Boelcke. His name has become attached to a common flying tactic, the Immelmann turn, and remains a byword in aviation. He is credited with 15 aerial victories.

Immelmann became one of the first German fighter pilots, quickly building an impressive score of air victories. During September, three more victories followed, and then in October he became solely responsible for the air defense of the city of Lille. Immelmann became known as The Eagle of Lille (Der Adler von Lille). He gained two further victories during September, to become the first German ace.

Immelmann flirted with the position of Germany’s leading ace, trading that spot off with another pioneer ace, Oswald Boelcke. Having come second to Boelcke for his sixth victory, he was second to be awarded the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern for this feat. On 15 December, Immelmann shot down his seventh British plane and moved into an unchallenged lead in the competition to be Germany’s leading ace.

Immelmann was the first pilot to be awarded the Pour le Mérite, Germany’s highest military honour, receiving it on the day of his eighth win, 12 January 1916. The medal became unofficially known as the “Blue Max” in the German Air Service in honor of Immelmann. His medal was presented by Kaiser Wilhelm II on 12 January 1916. Oswald Boelcke received his medal at the same time

Many Germans believed Immelmann was invincible, and his death was a huge shock. It is believed that his aircraft’s gun synchronisation (designed to enable his machine gun to fire between the whirling propeller blades without damaging them) had malfunctioned with catastrophic results.

Damage to the propeller resulting in the loss of one blade could have been the primary cause of the structural failure evident in accounts of the crash of his aircraft. The resultant vibration of an engine at full throttle spinning half a propeller could have shaken the fragile craft to pieces

As with most pilots, Max was devoted to his pet dog, Tyras, who often slept within or on his bed. He didn’t smoke or drink and wrote daily to his mother.

Knights Of The Skies – WWI

French Army


Please note this will be the last of the French Wounded for a while.

French Army

New John Jenkins December Releases!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

American Expeditionary Forces


The Second World War saw Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton, Jr. accomplish their greatest deeds as soldiers and achieve lasting fame for the role they played in bringing about the defeat of Nazi Germany. Less well known is their service in the First World War, when both men were involved in the birth of a new form of warfare destined to revolutionize the battlefield and change the way wars were fought. As officers in the United States Army’s fledging Tank Corps, they helped develop the technology of tracked armored fighting vehicles as well as the doctrine that would later govern their use; and, in so doing, they also helped lay the groundwork for future victories in a conflict where the tank would come into its own as a weapon of decisions.

The AEF Tank Corps was first committed to action in the offensive aimed at eliminating the Saint-Mihiel salient in September 1918. The operation was conducted by the US First Army, organized into the I, IV, and V Corps;. Patton, working with I Corps, attacked with two battalions of the 304th Tank Brigade, which was equipped with 144 Renaults obtained from the French. In support of the Americans were two groupments of Schneider and St. Chamond heavy tanks weighing 14.9 and 25.3 tons, respectively. These were manned by French crews. In all, the First Army deployed 419 tanks, a figure that includes three French-crewed battalion-sized formations of Renaults and two additional company-sized elements of heavy tanks used in support of IV Corps.

In the St. Mihiel Offensive Patton learned that he couldn’t count on army motorization to keep his armored units supplied with fuel. In the Meuse-Argonne campaign, therefore, he ordered his tank crews to strap fuel drums to the back of their machines. This entailed the obvious risk that a drum might be hit by shells or shrapnel, causing a fiery explosion which would incinerate the crewmen inside. Patton was well aware of the potential for disaster and, quite characteristically, ignored it. He felt that the loss of a few tanks and their crews to shellfire was preferable to the loss of many to a lack of fuel. Even so, he ordered that the drums be loosely tied to the tanks with ropes, the idea being that a fire would burn through the ropes and cause the drums to fall to the ground before exploding.

Inter-tank communication also posed difficulties. As the tanks were not equipped with radios, unit commanders with orders to give and messages to deliver could do so only by leaving the safety of their own vehicles and making their way on foot to the other tanks. The Tank Corps tried to get around this problem by providing the crews with carrier pigeons, which were kept in bamboo cages on the floor of each tank behind the driver. The tank commander would stand on the cage, with predictable results: at some point during his machine’s jolting passage over the broken ground of the typical First World War battlefield, he might inadvertently stomp down on the cage and crush its occupants. Finally, it was decided that junior officers would be delegated to walk alongside the tanks for the purpose of communicating orders and other information. Keeping up with the tanks was really no challenge, as the vehicles could manage a top speed of only four-and-a-half miles per hour under even the most optimal conditions. When the officers had instructions to impart they would simply rap on the hulls of the tanks until they got the attention of the men inside. The greatest problem leaders faced was, of course, exposure to enemy fire. Running messages back and forth between tanks, across open ground, in the thick of battle while the bullets were flying, required courage and devotion to duty — virtues which resulted in the award of Distinguished Service Crosses to several of those engaged in this hazardous enterprise.

PLEASE NOTE US TANK CREW AND JUNIOR OFFICERS WILL BE AVAILABLE NEXT YEAR.

American Expeditionary Forces

Battle of Gallipoli 1915



Battle of Gallipoli 1915

Provincial Regiments 1759


Provincial Regiments 1759

Wars of the Roses 1455-1487


Wars of the Roses 1455-1487


King and Country December Releases!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table


Six more figures to add to the most famous “Round Table” in legend and folklore…

King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table

British Napoleonic Infantry & Artillery


British Napoleonic Infantry & Artillery

English Civil War – Pike & Musket


Six attractive and very useful additions to the ranks of this colourful series depicting the time of the English Civil War and the Thirty Years War.

English Civil War – Pike & Musket

King and Country December Releases!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Gallipoli


To back up our first release of “Lone Pine” Aussies…Here’s the latest additions…

  • GA006 — SIMMO & His Donkey – Private John “SIMMO” Simpson was an English-born stretcher bearer who served with the 1st. Australian Division during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
    After landing at ANZAC COVE on 25 April 1915, Simpson began to evacuate wounded from the front line down to the first aid posts near the beach using donkeys to help transport them.
    For almost a month, often under shell, mortar and rifle fire “Simmo & His Donkey” performed this dangerous feat time and time again.
    Alas, on 19 May, his luck ran out and Simpson was struck by machine gun fire and died.
    Thereafter “Simmo & His Donkey” became part of the “ANZAC LEGEND”.
    Our K&C model shows “Simmo” together with one of his donkeys “Murphy” assisting a wounded corporal down to safety.
  • GA019 — Turkish Casualties – Three unfortunate “Johnny Turks” who will not fight again.
  • GA020 — Advancing Rifleman – Wearing an off-white shirt this ANZAC aims towards the enemy.
  • GA020(B) — Advancing Rifleman – As above but with the blue/gray army shirt.
  • GA021 — Covering Fire – A kneeling firing rifleman together with a bomb-throwing mate both wearing the off-white army shirt.
  • GA021(B) — Covering Fire – As above but with the blue/gray army shirt.
  • GA024 — The Deadly Shovel – A fighting 2-man set showing an ANZAC soldier utilizing his entrenching tool for another purpose…

Gallipoli

Battle of the Bulge


Around December, for the last few years, K&C always remembers “The Battle of the Bulge”…On 16 December, 1944 Hitler launched a ferocious and unexpected thrust at the American lines facing the Ardennes Forest which runs through Belgium and Luxembourg.

Caught unawares the U.S. Army was at first pushed back almost to breaking point before rallying and putting up a fierce fight and bringing the Germans to a halt.

At the same time the Germans themselves began to run out of fuel (and reserves) and found themselves over extended and exposed to Allied counter attacks as the overcast winter skies began to clear and the dreaded U.S. and British fighter bombers once more took to the air…

Here are the latest additions to our “Battle of the Bulge” GI’s…

  • BBA056 — Keepin “Warm” – Two GI’s huddle for warmth next to a large converted gas drum that has been turned into a portable fire…
  • BBA081 — Winter Action – As
    one GI peers through his binos …another takes careful aim…the third member of the section kneels ready beside them.
  • BBA083 — M1A1 57mm Anti-tank Gun – Two GI’s man this British-designed, US manufactured anti-tank piece. As one GI crouches ready with another armour-piercing round, his buddy sights the gun on an approaching German vehicle. The set also includes 2 x additional ammo boxes.
  • BBA085 — Standing Military Policeman – “Tommy-Gun” at the ready this MP is on the lookout for any Germans posing as GI’s.

Battle of the Bulge

D-Day ’44


During WWII, “Stars ‘n’ Stripes”, the newspaper of the U.S. Army was fortunate to have one of America’s finest cartoonists of the war in its ranks…Sgt. Bill Mauldin.

Bill Mauldin, was most famous for his cartoons depicting ordinary GI’s during WWII…His two most famous creations were “Willie and Joe” two battle-weary and bedraggled infantrymen who stoically endure all the many trials and tribulations (and dangers) of front line soldiering.

Here we depict Bill in a typical relaxed pose, perched on a supply box, and sketching a pair of dog-tired, “dog faces”, who could almost be the models for “Willie and Joe”!

Bill’s cartoons were wildly popular with the troops themselves but not so popular with some of the “top brass”…Especially spit ‘n’ polish, blood and guts General George S. Patton.

Despite Patton’s dislike none other than General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces liked and appreciated Sgt. Mauldin’s work and defended it against all comers.

This little 3-figure set is our K&C tribute to a great cartoonist and all WWII American infantrymen.

D-Day ’44

Gang of Heroes

For “Gang of Heroes” collectors here is the perfect backdrop for your figures and those two tanks…The Bank they came to rob!

  • SP068 — Bank of Heroes – Measuring an impressive L14.5” x W0.8” x H12” (37cm x 2cm x 30cm) this façade-style structure has all the detail of the movie original…just not quite
    so big. Now, where is all that gold bullion?

Gang of Heroes