Archive for December, 2017

New Thomas Gunn December Announcements

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Spartans



Spartans

Glory of Rome


Our first Republican Roman for all you fans of the Ceasarian era. The Roman Republic was the age of ancient Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome’s control expanded from the city’s immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. During the first two centuries of its existence, the Roman Republic expanded through a combination of conquest and alliance, from central Italy to the entire Italian peninsular. By the following century, it included North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula and what is now southern France. Two centuries after that, towards the end of the 1st century BC, it included the rest of modern France, Greece and much of the eastern Mediterranean, internal tensions led to a series of civil wars, culminating with the assassination of Julius Ceaser, which then led to the transition from republic to empire. Our stunning looking Legionnaire stands ready to be called forward to do battle or perhaps on sentry duty – possibly manning the John Jenkins fort wall soon to be launched?



Glory of Rome

WWII Pacific


The Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt, or just 6 pounder, was a British 57 mm gun, serving as a primary anti tank gun of the British Army during WW2, as well as the main armament for a number of armoured fighting vehicles. Although planned before the start of WW2 It did not reach service until the North African campaign in April 1942. This was in part due to the urgent need for re-equipping the British army after Dunkirk with anti-tank weapons, it was estimated that 600 x 2 pounders could be manufactured for 100 x 6 pounders, this and delays with the carriage design meant production with the 2 pounder carried on as an interim measure.

However once introduced it quickly replaced the obsolete 2 pounder in the anti-tank role, allowing the 25 pounder gun to revert to its intended indirect artillery role. The United States Army also adopted the 6 pounder as their primary anti-tank gun under the designation 57 mm Gun M1. The idea of manufacturing the 6 pounder in the US was expressed by the US Army Ordnance in February 1941. At that time, the US Army still favoured the 37mm gun the M3 and production was planned solely for lend lease. The US version, classified as substitute standard under the designation 57 mm Gun M1, was based on the 6 pounder Mark II, two units of which were received from the UK. Production started early in 1942 and continued until 1945. The M1A1 variant used US “Combat” tyres and wheels. The M1A2 introduced the British practice of free traverse, meaning that the gun could be traversed by the crew pushing and pulling on the breech, instead of solely geared traverse, from September 1942. The M1 was made standard issue in the Spring of 1943.



WWII Pacific

New Wings of War December Releases!

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Wings of War


For details on each Aircraft, please click on the individual links. Exclusive hand carved 1/30 scale Mahogany Warbird.

    • WOW155 – AVRO ‘RNAS’ – The Avro 504 was a two seater First World War biplane aircraft made by the Avro aircraft company and under licence by others. Production during the war totalled 8,970 and continued for almost 20 years, making it the most-produced aircraft of any kind that served in WW1, in any military capacity, during that conflict. More than 10,000 were built from 1913 until production ended in 1932.
    • WOW157 – ME262 ‘Trainer’ – The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed Schwalbe (German: “Swallow”) in fighter versions, or Sturmvogel (German: “Storm Bird”) in fighter-bomber versions, was the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began, but problems with the engines, metallurgy and top-level interference kept this aircraft from operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. The Me 262 was faster and more heavily armed than any Allied fighter, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor. One of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II, the Me 262’s roles included light bomber, reconnaissance and experimental night fighter versions.
    • WOW159 – Nieuport ‘Monkey’ – The Nieuport 11, nicknamed the Bébé, was a French World War I single seat sesquiplane fighter aircraft, designed by Gustave Delage.It was the primary aircraft that ended the Fokker Scourge in 1916 The type saw service with several of France’s allies, and gave rise to the series of “vee-strut” Nieuport fighters that remained in service (latterly as trainers) into the 1920s.
      During the course of the Battle of Verdun in February 1916, the combination of the Nieuport 11s technical advantages and the concentration of the fighters within the first dedicated fighter units allowed the French to establish air superiority, forcing radical changes in German tactics.
      Some Nieuport 11s and 16s were even fitted to fire Le Prieur rockets from the struts for attacks on observation balloons and airships.
    • WOW170 – ARADO ‘Rumanian’– The Arado Ar 196 was a shipboard reconnaissance low-wing monoplane aircraft built by the German firm of Arado originally in 1936, ostensibly for a requirement by the Kriegsmarine for a new aircraft design for its Capital ships. In 1937 it was selected as the winner of this design contest and thereafter became the standard aircraft for the Kriegsmarine throughout World War II.
      The plane was loved by its pilots, who found that it handled well both in the air and on the water. With the loss of the German surface fleet towards the end of the war, the Arado’s were added to coastal squadrons and continued to fly reconnaissance missions and submarine hunts into late 1944.



    Wings of War

New King and Country December Releases!

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

THE U.S. ARMY AT WAR 1944/45


Our 2nd batch of ‘Fighting GI’s’ from the latter days of WW2 add some extra firepower in the shape of TWO MORE Riflemen… a ‘Bazooka Guy’ and a kneeling, shouting ‘Tommy- Gunner’… All dressed for battle in the ETO (European Theatre of Operations) during 1944/45.



D-Day ’44

STREET FIGHTING PANZER GRENADIERS


As the war lengthened and Germany weakened important changes were made to the ‘look’ of the German soldier himself. Due to clothing and material shortages the
German Army began to copy some of the ideas from their enemies… these Panzer Grenadiers are ample proof of that. Gone are the high, traditional jackboots, replaced by short ankle boots and web-style gaiters (copied from the British).
The uniform jacket also became shorter and waistlength (again an influence borrowed from British battledress). These first five Panzer Grenadiers are perfect for any late war street-fighting scenes… A second group of Panzer
Grenadiers will be available shortly…

  • WH075 Kneeling Panzerschrek Grenadier
    – The Germans were pioneers of these rocket-propelled, anti tank grenades and many an Allied vehicle fell victim to their accuracy and lethality.
  • WH079 Kneeling Panzer Grenadier with Schmeisser – Another German favourite… the soldier with the MP40 machine pistol.
  • WH080 Standing Firing Panzer Grenadier
    – This Panzer Grenadier is armed with the standard German rifle of WW2… The Mauser K98, a bolt-action rifle firing the 7.92mm cartridge. First issued in 1935 it saw continuous action until the end of the war in 1945.
  • WH082 The Sniper Team (2 figures) – Our sniper here is firing the “Gewehr 43” a semi automatic rifle that owes some of its development to the earlier Soviet ‘Tokarev SVT-40’. It fired the
    same 7.92mm round as the K98 and had a 10-round box magazine. Kneeling alongside our sniper is his ‘Spotter’ observing the enemy and selecting targets.



German Wehrmacht

ON THE STREETS OF BERLIN

During the 1920’s and into the 1930’s the SA, Hitler’s Brownshirts, were always on show… in demonstrations, parades and rallies the brown-clad, street-brawling,
bully-boys were much in evidence among the most infamous was…

  • SA001 Horst Wessel – A Berlin ‘tough-guy’ and petty criminal… his star rose rapidly in the SA (Sturmabteilung) and he became well-known to the Police, fellow comrades of the
    SA and, of course, to his enemies, the Communists. In February 1930 his enemies caught up with him and he was shot by two left wing assassins. After his death he was promoted by Josef Goebbels, Berlin’s Gauleiter, as a ‘martyr’ to the Nazi
    cause and celebrated in words and music by a specially composed song “The Horst Wessel Lied” which during the Nazi years became almost a second National Anthem to “Deutschland Uber Allies” (Germany Above All). Here, Wessel strides
    confidently forward, right hand adopting the ‘half-Hitler’ salute favoured by some Nazi Leaders and their acolytes.
  • SA002 Marching Flagbearer
  • SA003 Marching SA Man
  • SA004 Marching with Side Glance



Streets of Berlin!

MARINE REINFORCEMENTS


When we launched this ‘TARAWA’ range of U.S. Marines at the recent Chicago Show (September 2017) little did we realize just how popular they would become!!!
They have been a huge success worldwide. So, we decided let’s keep the range fresh and exciting by adding new figures as often as we can. Here are FOUR of our latest… ‘reinforcements’

  • USMC023 LVT(A)-1 “Alligator” – This is the THIRD Amtrack K&C has produced over the years and the FIRST to carry the turret-mounted 37mm gun from the M3 Light Tank. In addition to the
    main gun this amphibious vehicle has TWO Marine-manned .30 caliber machine guns as part of its defensive/ offensive armament.
  • USMC026 Marine Sniper – A sitting (on ammunition crates) Marine taking careful aim with his M1 ‘Garand’ Rifle.
  • USMC028 Kneeling B.A.R. Gunner – With both knees ‘on the deck’ this Leatherneck opens fire with his Browning Automatic Rifle.
  • USMC029 Running Marine – A running Marine sprints for cover as the bullets fly around him.



Battle of TARAWA

THE BATTLE OF HONG KONG 1941


During the Second World War, the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong was destined to be the first place the Canadian Army fought a land battle against the Axis powers.

On December 8, 1941, 2 x battalions of Canadians, The Winnipeg Grenadiers and The Royal Rifles of Canada were an important part of the British garrison defending Hong Kong against a Japanese attack.

Just hours after simultaneous Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, Malaya, Singapore and the Philippines the enemy struck. Within 5 days they had occupied all of the New Territories (bordering mainland China) and the Kowloon Peninsula. Now they were poised to invade Hong Kong Island itself!


VALOUR & SACRIFICE

There are many tales of bravery and gallantry among the beleaguered and besieged defenders of the small British Colony but one in particular is remembered in this initial release…

On 19 December, the second day of fighting after the Japanese had landed on Hong Kong Island, soldiers of “A” Company, Winnipeg Grenadiers were holding defensive positions in the centre of the Island.

Japanese troops had surrounded the ‘Winnipeggers’ and were lobbing grenades into the Canadian position. On numerous occasions, Company Sergeant Major John Osborn, a WW1 veteran, picked them up and threw them back at the enemy.

When one fell where Osborn could not reach it in time, he shouted a warning to his men and threw himself onto the grenade smothering the explosion. He was killed instantly but his sacrifice saved the lives of many of his men.

CSM Osborn was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military award for bravery in the field.


K&C’s CANADIANS

King & Country is proud to produce a squad of 6 x fighting Canadian infantrymen in two small sets as they appeared in the dark days of December 1941.

Further Reading: A great book on the Battle of Hong Kong is Oliver Lindsay’s “The Lasting Honour”… Highly recommended!

  • FOB154 Taking The Fight To The Enemy – CSM John Osborn V.C. leads 3 of his Winnipeg Grenadiers into battle. In one hand he holds his ‘Tommy-Gun’, in the other a grenade.
    All 3 infantrymen carry the standard British .303 Lee Enfield Rifle.
  • FOB155 Bren Gun Team – As the Bren Gunner moves forward his ‘Number 2’ provides covering fire.



Battle of Hong Kong 1941

Streets of Old Hong Kong



Orient

DOWN AMONG THE PEASANTS


As regular collectors know K&C has produced a great number of Soviet armoured vehicles and Red Army figures. We’ve also, of late, produced several individual
Russian Peasants to help populate any Eastern Front display or diorama. It seemed logical for the next step to be a Russian dwelling of some kind…

  • SP097 The Russian Farm House – This typical wooden structure features TWO different sides to the building allowing collectors to reverse sides to crate alternative displays as well as,
    if you buy 2, to create a small two-building settlement somewhere out on the Russian Steppes.



Diorama and Scenic Building Collection

New John Jenkins December Releases!

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Enemies of Rome




Enemies of Rome

Aztec Empire – Conquest of America


The mighty Aztec warrior priests were not only important figures in society but also fearsome warriors who were more than capable of wielding a macuahuitl with deadly intent on the battlefield.

In normal life Aztec priests would be responsible for many tasks, and often occupied high positions in society. They would be the life and blood of the Aztec religion, but also worked in government, created calenders, and were the primary record keepers. In addition they would teach in the schools and warrior training structures like the Calmecac and the Telpochocalli.

As a warrior priest however their role was different, they would fight alongside the Aztec warriors blow for blow. The warrior priests were armed with weaponry capable of inflicting severe injury, and they were protected with armour and shields and were more than capable or holding their ground.

A Warrior Priest who had taken four captives wore a “Tlahuiztli” known as the Cicitlallo Cuextecatl, which roughlty translates as “Starry Night”. This unique war suit really made the warrior priest stand out.

  • AZ-004 Aztec Warrior Priest
  • AZ-005 Aztec Eagle Warrior – Eagle warriors or eagle knights were a special class of infantry soldier in the Aztec army, one of the two leading military special forces orders in Aztec society.
    The eagles were soldiers of the Sun, as the eagle was the symbol of the Sun. Eagle warriors dressed like eagles, adorning themselves with eagle feathers, and wearing headgear with an eagle head on it



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Wars of the Roses




Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

Raid on Saint Francis


Captive-taking by Native Americans was surprisingly common in Colonial times.

It was also common for captives to choose their Native communities over their Colonial families. This puzzled the European Americans. They came to America believing that conversion would be easy once Natives saw the superiority of the Europeans’ religion, clothing, agriculture, dwellings, and every comfort known so far to man.
Yet there were very few Indians who converted to English culture, while large numbers of English chose to become Indian. Even Benjamin Franklin pondered,

“When an Indian child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and makes one Indian ramble with them, there is no persuading him ever to return. [But] when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good opportunity of escaping again into the woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.”

Amongst the many who were captured was Mary Jemison. Mary Jemison was born on the ship that brought her Irish parents, brothers and sisters to America in 1743. A few years later her family moved from Philadelphia to a homestead on the Pennsylvania frontier. The family toiled on the edge of civilization transforming the wilderness to cultivated soil. Each new day brought with it the fear of attack by wild beast or hostile indian.

Those fears became a reality on the morning of a spring day in 1758. The British colonies were engulfed in a war against the French. On that spring morning in 1758 a small raiding party made up of French and Indians swooped down on the frontier settlement capturing a number of British colonists including Mary Jemison and most of her family. From that day until her death 78 years later, she was never to leave the Indian culture. Her story of her capture and life amongst the Seneca was first published in 1824.



Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

WWI British Forces




British Forces

Battle of Gallipoli




Battle of Gallipoli 1915

Knights Of The Skies


Another colourful Albatross from Jasta 46.

The Albatros D.III was a biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. It was the pre-eminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as “Bloody April” 1917.

Early D.IIIs featured a radiator in the center of the upper wing, where it tended to scald the pilot if punctured. From the 290th D.III onward, the radiator was offset to the right, on production machines while others were soon moved to the right as a field modification. Aircraft deployed in Palestine used two wing radiators, to cope with the warmer climate.

Von Richthofen and most other German aces won the majority of their victories on the D.III, and it even turned out to be more successful than its alleged successor, and continued in production for several months after the introduction of the D.V.

Peak service was in November 1917, with 446 aircraft on the Western Front. 1,866 Albatros D.III planes were produced.
The D.III did not disappear with the end of production, however. It remained in frontline service well into 1918.

As late as March 1918, there were still nearly 200 D.IIIs in service on the Western Front, eight months even after the introduction of its successor.

Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 46 was a “hunting group” (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I. As one of the original German fighter squadrons, the unit would score 20 confirmed aerial victories over enemy observation balloons, plus thirty more over enemy aircraft. The Jasta paid a price of ten killed in action, one lost in a flying accident, six wounded in action, and three injured in accidents.

This plane was possibly flown by Leutnant Helmut Steinbrecher was the first pilot in history to successfully parachute from a stricken airplane, on 27 June 1918. He was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories. Although Steinbrecher was flying a different aircraft at the time, an Albatross DV or a Pfalz D.III which was hit by British flying ace Captain Edward Barfoot Drake, 209 Squadron Royal Air Force in his Sopwith Camel over Warfusée. Captain Drake was just 20 years old, from Goodwick in Pembrokeshire, and himself was reported missing in action, presumed killed, just two months later on 29 September 1918.

The WW1 German lozenge patterns are some of the most interesting and distinctive camouflage schemes ever devised.
During the early stages of the Great War, the Germans were looking for a way to effectively camouflage the aircraft of the Luftstreitkräfte to inhibit enemy observation of the aircraft while it was in the air as well as when at rest on the ground. Large, irregular blotches with two or three colors were used on the upper surfaces of the wing which led to the development of the Buntfarbenanstrich, the lozenge camouflage made up of repeating patterns of irregularly shaped four-, five- or six-sided polygons. Because painting such a pattern was very time consuming, and the paint added considerably to the weight of the aircraft, the patterns were printed on fabric, and the fabric was then used to cover the aircraft. This printed fabric was used in various forms and colors from late 1916 until the end of the war.

Lozenge camouflage was a German military camouflage scheme in the form of patterned cloth or painted designs, used by some aircraft in the last two years of World War I. It takes its name from the repeated polygon shapes incorporated in the designs, many of which resembled lozenges. In Germany it was called Buntfarbenaufdruck (multi-colored print) but this designation includes other camouflage designs such as Splittermuster and Leibermuster, and does not include hand-painted camouflage. Some modern German sources refer to lozenge camouflage as Lozenge-Tarnung, as tarnung means concealment, cloaking or camouflage.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Inter-War Aviation


Life on the flight deck is dangerous and taxing. Spinning propellers, grease everywhere, and a stiff sea wind that never stops are just a few of the things that must be endured for many hours at a time. The night and bad weather throw a whole other set of problems into the mix.

Yellow shirts are also worn by aircraft handlers and aircraft directors that shuttle aircraft around the carrier’s tight and chaotic deck.

Plane Handlers, who work under the direction of the yellow shirt wearing aircraft handlers, assist in moving aircraft around the deck. They also can operate the carrier’s massive aircraft elevators, drive tractors and work as messengers and verbal liaisons.



Inter-War Aviation Collection

WWII



JJ WWII
Collection

Knights Of The Skies


In 2013 a collection of 130 rare photographs, some showing German pilots from the First World War enjoying Champagne-fuelled parties was discovered. It is thought they were the possessions of a British soldier who acquired them at the end of the First world war, and were found by a man in Essex when searching through personal effects bequeathed to him by a relative.

Many of the photographs show the men in various states of inebriation, several of them at Christmas time, drinking wine, Champagne, beer and schnapps

Only 11 years after the Wright brothers pioneered flight, a young airman was as likely to be killed or kill himself in his flimsy aeroplane as be killed in action by the enemy.

RFC pilots lived by the motto “live for today, tomorrow we die,” and their German counterparts were little different.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI