February, 2017
Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Today's Headlines

Missed the January 2017 Newsletter, view it here!

Welcome to the February Edition of Sierra Toy Soldier News written on a very wet and windy evening here in the Bay Area. There is a huge storm coming in tomorrow, bringing tons of rain and more snow. Our drought in Northern California is officially finished. That is until like always we use too much water and have a really hot summer, then it all starts over again. We have had a record amount of snow for January. If you like skiing and toy soldiers, this is the perfect time to visit Northern California.

We redid our major windows to reflect the Chinese New Year and the boys did an excellent job on them. Plus we built a very impressive display of the War of the Roses, looks terrific. Catch pictures on Face book.

We have some fabulous releases for you again this month, with the very impressive Polish Winged Hussars already a favorite. We have the new Britain's Winter Catalogue plus announcements including King and Country, First Legion and Thomas Gunn, to name a few.

Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more pictures.

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You can keep up to date with us by visiting our Facebook Page.

Sierra Toy Soldier Facebook Page

Sierra Toy Soldier Blog.

Hope to see you soon!

Events

Learn To Paint A Toy Soldier - Saturday February 11, 2017 - Los Gatos, CA - 10.00 – 4.00pm

Come and have some fun learning how to paint a Toy Soldier. Designed for Little and Big Kids, Mums most welcome.

Sponsored by Britain's.

Sierra Blog
Events
Sierra Toy Exclusive
Britain's
King & Country
King & Country Retirements
John Jenkins
First Legion
Thomas Gunn
Hudson Allen

Retail Store

We are open Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00pm. Sundays 12.00 - 5.00pm

Just a reminder for those of you living in Northern California, or perhaps just visiting, that our retail store dedicated to toy soldiers is now open 7 days a week. The store is located at 29 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos, California 95030. (408) 395 3000 www.sierratoysoldier.com

 

Sierra Toy Soldier Facebook Page

Check out our latest arrivals, new dioramas and events at our store!

Sierra Toy Soldier Facebook Page

Sierra Toy Soldier Blog

Check out all the latest announcements. This is updated as soon as there is a new announcement.

Sierra Toy Soldier Blog

Britain's

Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive with King & Country.
Wojtek the Bear - Available Now!

Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive with King & Country. First Edition of 300!

Monte Cassino

Britain's

Britain's New Winter Catalogue - Expected Spring 2017!

Vikings

When the hero dies in the Old English epic poem Beowulf, we hear; “...Now flames, the blazing fire, must devour the lord of warriors who often endured the iron-tipped arrow shower, when the dark cloud loosed by bow strings broke above the shield wall, quivering; when the eager shaft, with its feather garb, discharged its duty to the barb.”

We know that the Vikings made use of the bow quite extensively both on land and at sea. As to how much the Saxons used archery we cannot be so sure. Certainly they knew of, and used, bows both as weapons of war and for hunting as the longbow was in continuous use in northern Europe ever since the late stone age.

The oldest longbow yet found in England is a yew bow from Somerset and is dated 2,665 BC, and ones even older have been found on the continent. Although fir and elm were known to have been used for bows, the best were made from Scandinavian yew.

Some of these bows were self nocked, others had nocks of horn or iron, some of them sharp enough to use as weapons at close quarters. Typically they were from 66" to 78" in length. Many of these bows were bound every few inches with linen or sinew tread; it is not certain whether this was purely decorative or was to help stop the wood from splitting.

A fair number of arrow shafts and hundreds of heads have survived. The shafts are made of hazel, pine or ash. Of the many arrowheads found the majority have been broadheads, with or without bards and were generally tanged, with sockets becoming more common through the ninth to eleventh centuries.

Traces of goose feather fletchings have been found and swan and eagle are also known to be good feathers for fletching. On how the archer was used is really unknown, But it is possible that archers in the period did what later English archers are known to have done; shoot in volleys at long range where the scale of the attack can make up for the lack of accuracy and then pick individual targets at closer range where the accuracy is better.

Wrath of the Norseman

Musuem Collection

Museum Collection

Napoleonic

Brunswickers

Sudan War

The Egyptian army, led by Ahmed Urabi, rebelled in 1882, discontented with Egypt and its close ties to British and French financiers.

The United Kingdom reacted to protect its financial interests in the country, in particular the Suez Canal, and sent a force of 24,000 British and 7,000 Indian troops to quell the revolt.

The main Egyptian force dug in at Tel-el-Kebir, north of Cairo. The defenses were hastily prepared, but included trenches and redoubts and studded with 60 pieces of artillery.

Rather than making an out flanking movement around Urabi’s entrenchments, the British staged a night attack, relying on the element of surprise to secure the field.

W.Britain captures the savage, close-quarter fighting of this desperate engagement with an offering of 18 dramatic, new figures.

Battle of Tamai March 13, 1884

WWI - British

While not the most effective, gas was certainly the cruelest weapon of World War One. A machine gun could saw you in half, an artillery shell, vaporize you in an instant, but gas…

Depending on which agent was deployed, gas would leave a soldier weeping and wheezing; blind and helpless; make his skin to blister and burn; cause a build-up of fluid in his lungs, ultimately drowning him.

Gas was heavier than air and would fill the trenches, dugouts and shell holes where it had been known to lurk for two or three days. It would permeate to a soldier’s clothing and cling to his equipment. Many of those who suffered exposure were unable to return to the front. Those who did recover were at higher risk of developing cancers later in life.

While gas accounted for less than 1% of the total deaths in WWI, by the end of the conflict, one in four of the artillery shells fired on the Western Front contained gas.

Battle of the Somme

Zulu War

Rorke's Drift - Matte Version

King & Country

King & Country February 2017 Releases!

Beginner Gift Sets

Two new beginner gift sets.

Beginner Gift Sets

Romans

This will be a major series for King & Country. King & Country have selected to portray the XX Legion (the 20th Legion) “VALERIA VICTRIX” (Victorious Valeria) of the Imperial Roman Army in the First Century AD.

Originally founded by the Emperor Augustus in 31 BC it fought in Hispania (Spain) from 25-19 BC.

In approx AD9 it marched into Germania to help keep the peace and remained on garrison duty there before joining three other Legions in invading Britain in AD43 under the command of the Emperor Claudius.

It fought and campaigned all over Britain and into the wilds of Caledonia (Scotland) and even helped build the forts and defences known as “Hadrian’s Wall” to help keep the barbaric Picts and Celts out of Romanized Britannia.

Its symbol was the wild running boar which was featured on shields, banners and other items belonging to the Legion.

  • - A “Legatus” (anglicized as Legate) was a General of the Roman Army equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of Senatorial rank, his immediate superior was a Proconsul (provincial governor). The Legate outranked all Military Tribunes and was usually appointed by the Emperor himself.
    The rank carried great prestige and was much sought after by Rome’s noblest families.
    In provinces with only one Legion the Legate might also be the provincial governor.
    In the field the Legate could be distinguished by his elaborate helmet and body armour.
    Our K&C Legate is mounted on a black arab stallion and carries his own purple crested helmet.
  • - The “Primus Pilus” or Primipilus was the most senior centurion of a Roman Legion.

    In the Legion, the “Cohort” (of which there were between 6 and 10) became the basic tactical unit of each Legion.
    The “Cohort” was then composed of 5 to 8 “Centuries”, each commanded by a Centurion assisted by an “Optio,” a soldier who could read and write.
    The senior Centurion of the Legion and commander of the first Cohort, the Primus Pilus (First Spear) was always, a long-serving soldier and highly experienced advisor to the Legate himself and led the largest century of any particular legion – around 800 soldiers. His command would include cooks, clerks and other non combatants as well as the fighting troops. In modern terms he would be the equivalent of a Major in charge of a large battalion – sized unit.
    Our K & C “Primus Pilus” is a tough well-decorated veteran of many successful campaigns. His white feathered crest atop his helmet and chest full of victory medallions testify to his senior position and status within the Legion.
  • - The “Vexillum” was a small flag-like object used as a military standard for each Legion in the Roman Army.
    Each vexillum would normally carry the Legion’s number ( in Roman numerals) and the painted or embroidered symbol of that same Legion.
    Unlike the normal Legionaries the Bearer would wear a chain-mail vest or even scale armour rather than the usual overlapping plate armour (the Lorica Segmentata). In addition, the “Vexillum Bearer” would wear an animal skin and head on top of his helmet and equipment.
    Our K&C soldier wears a grey wolf skin pelt and head.
  • - A classic and extremely useful pose this K&C Legionary carries both a large decorated shield and his throwing “Pilus” (Spear). In addition, his side arms included a “Gladius”, the long fighting sword and the shorter “Pugio” (dagger) for use in close combat situations where the sword was impractical to use.
    As can be seen this regular Roman soldier is wearing the typical Lorica Segmentata armour of the 1st Century AD.

Romans

Robin Hood

  • - One of the most hated men in the Shire .. Nottinghamshire that is! This is the man who would come to your village or hovel and demand a substantial share of your income to help fill up the coffers of “The Sheriff” and his liege lord, the dastardly Prince John.
    Here he sits at his table making a note of everyone’s contribution in either gold, silver or produce.
    On these unwelcome visits he was usually accompanied by several of the Sheriff’s own Men-At-Arms ... After all there are plenty of ruffians and cut-throats hiding out in the forest and you can’t be too careful!
  • - Alas, where you have “oppressors” you also must have the “oppressed” ... Here are two of them ... Poor Saxon peasants paying the price of living under cruel and greedy Norman usurpers. In this case evil Prince John and his cruel lackey, “The Sheriff of Nottingham.”
    In this set the husband hands over a few coins of the realm together with a chicken. His wife supplies a basket of goose eggs and ... the pair of geese that laid them!

Robin Hood

Pike & Musket

During the troubled times of the English Civil War (as if there was not enough trouble and strife around) there suddenly and unexpectedly appeared a spate of witchcraft trials and executions. .. mostly in England’s East Anglia.

  • - Mathew Hopkins was a self-appointed witch-hunter whose career flourished during the major upheavals caused by the English Civil War.
    Although never officially sanctioned by Parliament, he prowled far and wide across East Anglia conducting investigations, trials and executions from 1644-1647.
    More than 300 unfortunate people, mostly women, fell victim to his deadly inquisitions with more being hanged and burned than in all of the previous 100 years!
    Our figure shows him in Parliamentary garb and wearing a black cloak and hat and carrying both a volume of Parish records ... and a sword.
    He was memorably played by legendary horror film villain, Vincent Price in “Witchfinder General”, a 1968 British horror movie.
  • - A bold cavalier takes the hand of a pretty young maiden during one of the short interludes between battles and skirmishes.

Pike & Musket Collection

French Hussars

French 7th Hussars

Real West

Although these two grizzled veterans of Texas law enforcement saw more than their fair share of “Indian Fighting” neither, fortunately for them, was at the Little Bighorn on that fateful day in 1976.

Instead, they decided to gather a herd of cattle and, with a few good men, drive them north out of Texas and up to Montana to start a cattle ranch.

Larry McMurtry, the great Texan writer wrote a similar tale and called it “Lonesome Dove” which became a Pulitzer-prize winning novel and a great television series starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall as the two retired Texas Rangers.

This is our small tribute to the Texas Rangers and ... San Antonio where some of the action takes place.

The Real West

Battle of Little Big Horn

The bloody battle continues between the officers and men of Custer’s 7th Cavalry and the combined forces of Sitting Bull’s Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors on the slopes above the Little Bighorn river

  • - Riding his favorite war pony this Arapaho warrior brandishes his stone club about to bring it down on the head of some unfortunate 7th Cavalry trooper.
  • - Galloping past a group of the hated “Long knives” this Northern Cheyenne dog soldier turns in the saddle to fire his Winchester at one of the enemy.
  • - A white-faced Lakota Sioux charges past some more of the beleaguered “Bluecoats” fighting for their lives against the thousands of attacking Indians.
  • - Another version of a trooper making every bullet count.
  • - Crouching down and seeking out another “damn injun”!

Battle of Little Big Horn June 25/26, 1876.

Australian Light Horse

A desert-camouflaged version of Henry Ford’s classis Model ‘T’ complete with two “Diggers” and a front-mounted Vickers Machine Gun.
In the flat bed back of the vehicle is a spare. 303 Lee Enfield rifle and a folded-up tripod for the Vickers.

Australian Light Horse

Operation Market Garden

Lance Sergeant John Baskeyield was part of the 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, an air landing unit of the British 1st. Airborne Division, that flew into Arnhem on 17 September, 1944 as part of “Operation Market Garden”.

Expecting only light German opposition the British were surprised to find 2 x Waffen SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions in and around the Dutch town which soon put the attackers on the defensive!

L/Sgt. Baskeyfield as an NCO was in charge of 2 x 6pdr. Anti tank guns helping to protect the Division’s main position in Oosterbeek, a small suburb on the outskirts of Arnhem. On 20 September, just after dawn John Baskeyfield and his two guns were in position defending a ‘T’ junction when a major German assault began. Two German tanks and an assault gun, supported by enemy infantry, moved toward the British location.

L/Sgt. Baskeyfield allowed them to get within 100 yards before opening fire and ‘knocking-out’ all three tracked vehicles. British paratroopers in houses alongside the anti tank guns decimated the German infantry with rifle and machine gun fire.

In the course of this action most of the young NCO’s gunners were killed or wounded and he himself badly injured. He refused however to be evacuated to a nearby Aid Station.

Sometime later another German assault began and the L/Sgt. again worked his gun alone – loading, laying and firing it on his own. He fired round after round at the enemy until his own gun was put out of action. Then he crawled over to the other gun whose crew had suffered the same fate as his own. From here, he once more single-handedly opened fire on another German self-propelled gun disabling it. Sadly, when loading the next round into the breech of his gun he was killed by a shell from yet one more German tank.

VICTORIA CROSS

For his actions, bravery and supreme sacrifice he was awarded Britain’s highest military honor, “The Victoria Cross”.

Part of his citation reads, “The superb gallantry of this NCO is beyond praise ... He spurned danger, ignored pain and by his supreme fighting spirit and dogged devotion to duty was a constant inspiration to all ranks who witnessed his actions.”

THE K&C SET

Our new set portrays the wounded young Lance Sergeant loading his gun with a 6 pdr. Shell. The set also includes the 6pdr. Gun, an ammunition box and 2 x additional shells.

Operation Market Garden

Fields of Battle

  • - 3 x well-tailored individual Gentlemen “Civvies” to help populate any city or town street in the 1930’s or 1940’s.
  • - 2 x young ladies, dressed in typical 1940’s garb walk arm in arm down any wartime street anywhere in occupied Europe or Britain.

Fields of Battle

Streets of Old Hong Kong

No, not the Chris de Burgh song but a Chinese beauty wearing the traditional “Cheongsam” (Long Dress) beloved by generations of very pretty Oriental ladies ...

Orient

King & Country Retired

BEING RETIRED THIS MONTH

Just a few new retirements for this month!

  • AK090 AK Rifleman
  • DD261 “Oddball’s Sherman”
  • FoB118 Morris CS9 Armoured Car
  • LoJ007 Standing Elders
  • LoJ013 Standing Roman Auxiliary
  • LoJ015 Walking Auxiliary
  • LoJ017 The Centurion

Retirements

John Jenkins

John Jenkins - New February Releases! - Expected to Arrive Next Week!

JJDesigns 10th Anniversary

The 10th ANNIVERSARY celebrations will be coming to an end in MAY!

To start the second decade of jjDesigns, I am pleased to announce there will be several exciting new series to come throughout 2017. One of which ”The Armies And Enemies Of Ancient Rome”, will be a collaboration between jjD and K&C.

Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

JJDesigns 10th Anniversary
Battle of the Plains of Abraham

These sets will only be offered for sale until the end of FEBRUARY, or until stock runs out.

Battle of the Plains of Abraham

Raid on Saint Francis

The Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs of the Eastern woodland Indian tribes were based on Animism. Animism was a commonly shared doctrine, or belief, of the indigenous people of North America and Canada including the Woodland Indian tribes. Animism is based on the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects have souls or spirits. In this religion it is believed that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in animals, plants, trees, rocks etc. This belief is also extended to natural phenomena such as thunder storms and rain and geographic features such as mountains, caves or rivers also possess souls or spirits.

There were various ceremonies and festivals relating to the corn crops including the Green Corn festival. These ceremonies and festivals included feasting and music using rattles and drums.

The STOMP Dance is an example of a dance performed by various Eastern Woodland tribes and Native American communities. The term "Stomp Dance" is an English term, which refers to the "shuffle and stomp" movements of the dance.

There were several other ceremonies which were important to the Woodland Indians. Notably the Cry Ceremony. When someone in a Woodland tribe died, the tribe would hold a cry ceremony. To prepare for the ceremony five knots were tied in a piece of milkweed. Milkweed was abundant in the longleaf pine forests and were plants with milky sap and light wind-blown seeds. The chief of the tribe performed dances and sang around a fire. The ceremony lasted five days and on each day one of the knots would be untied.

Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

French Militia

French Militia 1759

Jacobite Rebellion

Jacobite Rebellion 1745

Peninsular War

Caçadores was Portuguese for "huntsmen", these were the elite light infantry of the Portuguese Army during the Peninsular War. They were referred by Lord Wellington, as the "fighting cocks" of his Anglo-Portuguese Army.

One of the most distinctive features of the Caçadores was their famous brown uniform . The brown uniform was chosen as a form of camouflage, considered more appropriate to the dry lands of the Iberian Peninsula than the traditional green uniforms used by the light infantry of most other countries in Europe.

During the Peninsular War, Caçadores became especially notable in the performance of marksmanship at long distances.

1st and 3rd Cazadores had the highest level of training. They were indoctrinated with British battalions and formed part of the famous "Light Division" of Major General Robert “Black Bob” Craufurd.

Both battalions are unquestionably the most famous Portuguese battalions. They were trained by British officers and were the equivalent of the 95th rifles.

**PLEASE NOTE, AS THE NEWER SETS WILL BE PAINTED WITH BROWN AND WHITE TROUSERS, THESE 3 SETS ARE RE_PAINTS OF THE OLDER SETS**

Peninsular War 1807-1814

Sudan War

First Sudan War 1884 - 1885

Knights Of The Skies

Hans-Joachim Buddecke (22 August 1890 – 10 March 1918) was a German flying ace in World War I, credited with thirteen victories. He was the third ace, after Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke, to earn the Blue Max (Pour le Mérite). He saw combat in three theaters during the First World War: Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Western Front

**More pilots and groundcrew sets will be on their way over the next few months.**

Knights Of The Skies - WWI

WWI - French

The French St. Étienne Mle 1907 (French: Mitrailleuse Mle 1907 T) was a gas operated air-cooled machine gun in 8mm Lebel which was widely used in the early years of the First World War. The "St.Etienne Mle 1907" was not derived from the Hotchkiss machine gun. Instead it was an entirely different gas operated blow-forward design borrowed from the semi-automatic Bang rifle of 1903. This Bang system was first transposed in 1905 to the French Puteaux APX Machine Gun which soon proved to be unsatisfactory. Then, two years later, the Mle 1907 "St-Etienne" machine gun followed as an improved redesign of the "Puteaux" machine gun. However the Mle 1907 "Saint Etienne" was only a partial redesign : the original blow-forward gas piston, rack-and-pinion system, and bolt mechanism of the Mle 1905 " Puteaux" machine gun had all been kept only slightly modified inside the newer weapon. Eventually a total of over 39,700 "St-Etienne" Mle 1907 machine guns were manufactured between 1908 and late 1917. They were widely used by French infantry during the early part of World War I until their replacement by the distinctly more reliable Hotchkiss M1914 machine-gun.

French Army

First Legion

New February Releases! - In Stock Now!

Polish Winged Hussars

The Polish Winged Hussars were a prominent cavalry force in the Polish-Lithuanian Army from the 16th to 18th Centuries. At the very earliest stages, they served as light cavalry but by the middle of the 1500's they were transformed into heavy shock cavalry as we have presented them here. As the primary tactic of the Polish Army of the period was the heavy cavalry charge, the Winged Hussars played an extremely important role on the battlefield. Made famous the by the "wings" made from wood with feathers from various large birds, they appeared to be much larger and more imposing when issuing their charge. One thing is certain, they were certainly among the beautiful of the horsemen of the period with ornate and colorful uniforms and large battle standards. We have presented them here as they would have appeared from about 1587-1632 under the banners of Sigismund III, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania and they bear his standards of that period.

Please note that while we have coded these figures as TYW simply because they required a code, they are appropriate for not only the Thirty Years War, but also the Renaissance as well, and as such we have placed them in both product categories as many of their enemies are figures that will eventually be placed in the Renaissance figure range.

Polish Winged Hussars

Spanish Tercio

The Thirty Years War was from 1618 to 1648 and was one of the bloodiest, most destructive conflicts in human history. Our initial releases were on the lighter side featuring the Three Musketeers, but now we are evolving the range to cover the military aspects of it and we are starting with the Battle of Rocroi in 1643. The battle was late in the TYW and featured the French decisively defeating the Spanish and marking the beginning of the end of the myth of invincibility of the Spanish Tercio. The Spanish Tercio it should be noted fought gallantly at this battle withstanding repeated infantry and cavalry attacks despite the dissolution of the army around them and were never driven from the field. Rather the French commander, the Duc d'Enghien, offered them surrender terms similar to that of a besieged fortress allowing them to leave the field with their flags and weapons. Fittingly enough, we have started our coverage of Rocroi with the famed Spanish Tercio. Our release is very loosely inspired by the wonderful painting of the battle by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau and features simply wonderful sculpting and hand painting carrying on with the quality level that we set with our earlier Thirty Years War releases. Overall, the Tercio release will feature full command, standards, and wide variety of pikemen and musketeers allowing for a fantastic battle diorama to come to life.

Spanish Tercio

Battle of the Bulge

We are pleased to follow up the release of our Battle of Bulge range with another variant our Sherman tank with set BB002 US 75mm Winter M4 Sherman Tank, this time from the 10th Armored Division. Sherman Tanks from the 10th Armored, specifically Combat Command B and the 21st Tank Battalion, were among the first to arrive at Bastogne and played a key role in the defense of the city earning a Presidential Unit Citation for their actions there. Throughout the encirclement they suffered the same conditions and hardships that are normally attributed only to the 101st Airborne. Though the 4th Armored eventually broke the encirclement just after Christmas, elements of the 10th Armored continued to fight in the area until January 18th. We have changed up the "winter camo" pattern on this tank from a pure whitewash to more of a quick and dirty striped painting pattern that we've seen photos of which represents a bit more of a rush in applying the pattern given the circumstances. Like BB001, it also features the advanced superlative weathering of mud and frost on the lower hull and track setup.

Battle of the Bulge

Retreat From Russia

Retreat From Russia

Thomas Gunn

New Releases for February!
Spartans

Spartans

Glory of Rome

Glory of Rome

Hudson Allen Studios

Hudson Allen

New Releases Expected February 2017!

Very best regards from Mike & Myszka Hall and the Sierra Toy Soldier team - Aidan, Ann, Barbara, Evan, Gary, Fay, Michael (the Kilted Vampire) and Suzi.

This newsletter is the copyright of Sierra Toy Soldier Company