Archive for January, 2018

New Thomas Gunn February Releases!

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Spartan




Spartans

Rome




Glory of Rome

Dacian


The Dacians, a fearsome tribe from Eastern Europe who certainly knew how to give the Romans a lot of trouble! The Dacians were led by Decebalus who was the last king of Dacia. He is famous for fighting three wars, with varying success, against the Roman Empire under two emperors. After raiding south across the Danube, he defeated a Roman invasion in the reign of Domitian, securing a period of independence during which Decebalus consolidated his rule. When Trajan, came to power, his armies invaded Dacia to weaken its threat to the Roman border territories of Moesia. Decebalus was defeated in 102 AD. He remained in power as a client king, but continued to assert his independence, leading to a final and overwhelming Roman invasion North of the Danube in 105 AD. Trajan reduced the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa in 106 AD to ruins, absorbing some of Dacia into the Empire. Decebalus is reported to have committed suicide to avoid capture by slitting his own throat, just as Roman cavalry were about to overpower and capture him. The final scenes of his death are depicted on Trajan’s column, Decebalus is a national hero in his native Romania where a 40 metre statue of him is carved into the rock near Orosva a town overlooking the Danube river. Our first Dacians feature the last stand in 106 AD as they battle the Romans surrounded by cavalry and legionnaires.



Enemies of Rome

Ancient Britian – Chariot


Features a British chariot with 2 crew in a somewhat terrifying combination – if you were a Roman legionnaire facing them!

Julius Caesar made 2 expeditions to England but did not stay long enough to establish a colony or long term settlement. The main invasion of Britain was carried out some 90 years later in 43 AD. The Romans were unfamiliar with chariots employed as a fighting tool, which must mean they had died out within other parts of the Roman empire as a fighting platform by then? However the Britons in their chariots certainly had an impact on Caesar who wrote the following:

“Their mode of fighting with their chariots is this: firstly they drive about in all directions and throw their weapons and generally break the ranks of the enemy with the very dread of their horses and the noise of their wheels; and when they have worked themselves in between, the troops of horse leap from their chariots and engage on foot. The charioteers in the mean time withdraw some little distance from the battle, and so place themselves with the chariots that, if their masters are overpowered by the number of the enemy, they may have a ready retreat to their own troops. Thus they display in battle the speed of horse, the firmness of infantry; and by daily practice and exercise attain to such expertness that they are accustomed, even on a declining and steep place, to check their horses at full speed, and manage and turn them in an instant and run along the pole, and stand on the yoke, and thence betake themselves with the greatest celerity to their chariots again.”



Enemies of Rome

New John Jenkins February Releases!

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Gauls




Enemies of Rome

Aztec


The War suit, called an OCELOTOTEC, was woven to resemble an animal skin.

In the case of noblemen, this was made from feathers.

Men of non-noble birth attaining the rank of Jaguar warrior, usually had to make do with suits made from actual skins. These usually had the clawed paws around the wrists and ankles.

Otherwise Jaguar War Suits came in a variety of colours, mainly blue , but also yellow , red and white.

In most armies uniforms are used to differentiate units. In the Aztec army uniforms served to differentiate men with different levels of military experience within the same unit.

Rank descriptions in uniforms between warriors depended on how many captives each individual hed taken. A soldier who succeded in capturing four of the enemy was awarded a Jaguar suit and helmet.

It was believed that to capture an enemy, honored their gods in a way far greater than killing enemy soldiers in the battlefield. For a warrior to kill an enemy was considered clumsy.

The captured prisoners were offered as a sacrifice to the Aztec gods.

The jaguar motif was used due to the belief that the jaguar represented Tezcatlipoca, god of the night sky. Aztecs also wore these dresses at war because they believed the animal’s strengths would be given to them during battles

Following the warrior’s path was one of the few ways to change one’s social status in Aztec culture. Eagle and Jaguar warriors were full-time warriors who worked for the city-state to protect merchants and the city itself. They were expected to be leaders and commanders both on and off the battlefield, and acted as sort of a police force for the city. Men who reached this rank were considered as nobles and elites of society, and were granted many of the same privileges as a noble.

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.

Among the Aztecs a priest who had captured six of the enemy wore a Cayote suit. The TLECOYOTL or “fire cayote” had prominent red/orange macaw feather “flames” over the whole suit.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

French Militia


**PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BASES FOR THESE FIGURES ARE SEPARATE, ALLOWING THEM TO BE USED AS CANOE CREWS, OR WITH OTHER MILITIA FIGURES.**



French Militia 1759

Knights Of The Skies


The importance of motorbikes during the Great War is all too often overlooked. Motorbikes were used for mounted infantry, scouts, dispatch and courier duties, ammunition carriers, medical supply carriers and casualty evacuation. The versatility of these machines clearly helped them play a hugely significant role in the logistics of the war, far more than the automobile.

The use that they were most commonly used for was that of the messenger. Because of the unreliability of communications technology during the war years, the motorbike’s virtue of speed meant that orders, reports and maps could be transferred between units quickly.

It was not only the men who got to ride around on motorbikes. The Women’s Royal Flying Corps made extensive use of motorbikes. The initial aim of the WRAF was to provide female mechanics so that men could be free to serve in the armed forces. Thanks to the high number of women volunteers, many also filled driver positions as well.

Douglas was a British motorcycle manufacturer from 1907–1957 based in Kingswood, Bristol, owned by the Douglas family, and especially known for its horizontally opposed twin cylinder engined bikes and as manufacturers of speedway machines. The company also built a range of cars between 1913 and 1922. During WW1 some 70,000 of these 349cc twin horizontal cylinder machines were produced for the British military.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Battle of Gallipoli


Billy Sing was an elite sniper from Australia and his “duel” with his opposite number from Turkey called Abdul the Terrible, became the basis of Ion Idriess book

“Lurking Death; The Stories of Snipers in Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine”.

“Abdul the Sniper was the pride of the Turkish Army. They named his rifle ‘The Mother of Death’. Because, so declared the Ottoman Guard, ‘her breech gives birth to bullets which destroy the lives of men’,” Idriess wrote.

One of the Turkish snipers victims was Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, “the man with the donkey”. A party of “counter-snipers” led by Lieutenant Thomas Grace, Wellington Battalion NZEF, were briefed to take on the Turkish marksmen.

Each sharpshooter had an observer or spotter with a telescope.

An equally terrible Australian sniper emerged who day by day killed man after man. The Australian sniper was trooper Billy Sing from Queensland of the 5th Light Horse. Abdul the Terrible was ordered to locate and kill him.

Idriess says he was one day acting as a spotter for Sing. He writes: “How many enemy this particular sniper shot will never be known but in three months his tally was one hundred and fifty.”

Adbul the Terrible would apparently examine any man who was shot through the head to try to establish the trajectory of the bullet and the likely location of the sniper from whom it was fired. His calculations led him to believe the shots were coming from one spot nearly on top of a trench across on Chatham’s Post.At night Abdul began to dig his cunning fox hole into which he would climb before dawn to lay there all day, staring across at Chatham’s Post.

As Idriess tells it, Abdul ignored other tempting targets but for a long time could not locate Sing, until one evening he reported to the officer in charge. “I have found him. I will kill him tomorrow.”

The next day, according to the account, another Anzac climbed into Sing’s hideout or “possy” but instinct apparently told Abdul this wasn’t the real man he was after and he, accordingly, withheld his fire.

Then Sing got into the possy and his observer suddenly alerted him not to open the loophole. Sing looked through the telescope.

“Thus the Australian sniper stared into Abdul the Terrible’s eyes,” according to the text.

What happened next can only be left to Idriess

“The sniper, with his finger, slid back the loophole cover hardly an inch, then cautiously poked his rifle muzzle through…

“Careful,” murmured the observer. “He’s got the eyes of an eagle and – he’s staring straight here.”

“It’s me or him,” grunted Sing.

“But had Abdul fired, even had his bullet come through that tiny slit, it wouldn’t have hit the sniper, for the born sniper knows the crouch that means the fractional difference between life and death. Only when the sniper actually had his eye aligned with his rifle sights then –

“That was what Abdul was waiting for. His big eyes staring, his rifle-muzzle slowly rising up… But Abdul did not know that the Australian sniper had seen him.

“Gently the peephole widened, then stopped close around the rifle. Abdul waited with finger on trigger, just awaiting that loophole to open the least fraction more. And – a bullet took him between the eyes.”

The Australian War Memorial states that the Turkish army immediately retaliated, aiming its heavy artillery at Billy’s hiding position and completely destroying it. Fortunately for the Australian sniper and his spotter, they had already evacuated to their unit trenches.



Battle of Gallipoli 1915

INTER-WAR AVIATION




Inter-War Aviation Collection

GERMAN ARMOUR


The first tank crew figures for the Panzer I’s are now available

The Panzer I was a light tank produced in Germany in the 1930s. The name is short for the German Panzerkampfwagen I (“armored fighting vehicle mark I”), abbreviated PzKpfw I. The tank’s official German ordnance inventory designation was SdKfz 101 (“special purpose vehicle 101”).

Design of the Panzer I began in 1932 and mass production began in 1934. Intended only as a training tank to introduce the concept of armored warfare to the German Army, the Panzer I saw combat in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and North Africa during the Second World War, and in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Experiences with the Panzer I during the Spanish Civil War helped shape the German Panzerwaffes’ invasion of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. By 1941, the Panzer I chassis design was used as the basis of tank destroyers and assault guns. There were attempts to upgrade the Panzer I throughout its service history, including by foreign nations, to extend the design’s lifespan. It continued to serve in the Spanish Armed Forces until 1954.

The Panzer I’s performance in combat was limited by its thin armour and light armament of two machine guns. As a design intended for training, the Panzer I was not as capable as other light tanks of the era, such as the Soviet T-26. Although weak in combat, it formed a large part of Germany’s tank forces and was used in all major campaigns between September 1939 and December 1941. The small, vulnerable light tank would be surpassed in importance by other German tanks, such as the Panzer IV, Panther, and Tiger; nevertheless, the Panzer I’s contribution to the early victories of Nazi Germany during World War II was significant.

Lesson learned from the Panzerkampfwagen I provided the German designers and manufacturers with valuable experience in designing and producing the next generation of new panzers that were soon to come. Although, Panzerkampfwagen I was not a truly valuable combat tank, it proved to be an excellent training tank and most of the panzer crews were trained on Panzerkampfwagen I until the end of the war or operated it in combat as their first armoured vehicle


JJ WWII
Collection

WWII Collection


Air operations aboard carriers included a wide variety of jobs. In addition to the plane crews, a large number of support personnel were required to keep the planes flying.

These included mechanics, ordnancemen, plane handlers, firefighters, catapult crews and medical teams.

Without them and their dedication to getting the job done, the carriers and their air groups would not have succeeded.

Men whose duties required them to work on the carrier’s flight deck wore brightly coloured shirts for two reasons.

The flight deck was a potentially dangerous place, especially when planes were being launched or recovered. Anyone not wearing a colour coded shirt didn’t belong on the flight deck during operationsThe colour coded shirts also indicated the specific job speciality of the men who wore them.

A U.S. Navy Aircraftcarrier’s deck crew exists to do one thing: to consistently put aircraft into the air and safely recover them after they launch. In order to make this happen, there exists a small army of flight deck facilitators, and each individual has their own role primarily designated by the color of the shirt they wear.

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 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 were also responsible for placing and removing wheel chocks, and lashing and securing parked planes. They also can operate the carrier’s massive aircraft elevators, drive tractors and work as messengers and verbal liaisons.


JJ WWII Collection

Knights of the Skies




Knights Of The Skies – WWI

Future Release – Corsair


The crew and upcoming Corsair can fit on a single BH-100 Carrier Base, and be displayed on a standard bookshelf.

**PLEASE NOTE THE FIRST OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR PLANES, WHICH CAN BE USED WITH THE CARRIER DECKS WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY AFTER THE CHINESE NEW YEARS HOLIDAY**


King & Country New January Releases

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

Medieval Knights


‘Ivanhoe’ was a novel written by Sir Walter Scott and told the story of one of the few remaining Saxon noble families at a time when medieval England was dominated by Norman nobility, descendants of William the Conqueror.

It follows the adventures of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who has been disowned by his father for his allegiance to the Norman King Richard the Lionheart.

After the failure of the Third Crusade many of the Knights (including Ivanhoe) who had followed Richard to the Holy Land returned home. There they found a land under the cruel hand of the King’s brother, Prince John.

The novel tells the story of Ivanhoe’s return and his struggle to regain his father’s trust, help a Jewish merchant and his daughter and win the hand of his true love, the Lady Rowena.

Along the way there are battles, jousts and duels that Ivanhoe undertakes and wins before he reunites with his father, defeats his enemies and gains the lovely Rowena.

The tale has inspired movies, television series and more books and even helped shape the modern notion of Robin Hood and his merry band of outlaws…

  • MK174 Ivanhoe – Our Ivanhoe stands four-square holding his helmet in one hand and his jousting lance in the other.
  • MK175 The Templar (Sir Brian de Bois Guilbert) – A friend of Prince John and a leader of the Knights Templar. In both Scott’s novel and the movies based on it de Bois Guilbert is Ivanhoe’s sworn enemy. He is also in love with Rebecca the daughter of the Jewish merchant, Isaac of York.
  • MK176 The Proclaimer – In medieval times when most of the population were illiterate it fell upon one man, ‘The Proclaimer’ to make all kinds of public statements, news and laws available to the general public. Here the duty has fallen to a “Knight Hospitaller”, easily recognized by the white Maltese cross on a red background on both his surcoat and shield.



Crusader – Cross & Crescent

The Ramcke Brigade


In 1942 among the reinforcements being sent from Germany to Erwin Rommel’s ‘Afrika Korps’ in their assault towards the Suez Canal was a full brigade of Luftwaffe paratroopers (Fallschirmjagers) under the command of General Hermann-Bernhard RAMCKE.

These crack troops (almost 3,000 strong) were attached to the Italian 25th Infantry Division ‘Bologna’ and fought at the Battle of El Alamein. Although incurring heavy losses and surrounded on all sides they managed to break out and capture a huge British supply column. In addition to looting all the much-needed supplies they also utilized the captured vehicles to transport the Brigade’s survivors back to the safety of the Axis lines.

Throughout their service in North Afrika Ramcke’s men were famous for their audacious and bold fighting abilities… often against heavy odds. Their famous and well-deserved reputation and recognition was as much recognized and admired by their British enemy as well as their fellow Afrika Korps comrades.

This is the first of two releases of General Ramcke’s men… in action!

  • AK120 The Fire Support Team – As one lying prone MG34 gunner, keeps the enemy’s heads down his ‘spotter’ (with the binos and pistol) observes the ‘fall of shot’.
  • AK121 Signals Officer – This white-capped FJ officer receives the latest orders from H.Q. via his field telephone.
  • AK122 Kneeling Firing – In any ‘action’ collection a rifleman in this position is a ‘must have’!
  • AK123 Standing Firing – Almost as important and invaluable as the figure above is the standing rifleman… Both men are armed with the standard Mauser K98 carbine / rifle.
  • AK126 Standing Ready – This MP-40 ‘Schmeisser’ – armed Paratrooper is already a veteran of airborne campaigns in Holland, Belgium and Crete… He’s tough, battle-hardened and experienced… Hence he gets the Schmeisser.
  • AK-S01 Ramcke’s Boys (Items AK120-123 and AK126) The Value-Added Set – Buy all of these singles together and you make a fair saving costwise!



Afrika Korps

German Wehrmacht


By the time the 1934 Party Rally in Nuremberg had taken place and been filmed the Nazis had just been in power for less than 20 months…

Just over 10 years later the picture had dramatically changed… The British and Americans were steadily advancing from the West and the Soviet steam roller was smashing all before it from the East.

Germany was throwing all its reserves into the front lines to try to stave off defeat or at least postpone the inevitable in the vain hope that Hitler’s “Wonder Weapons” would soon arrive…

Among the soldiers defending the crumbling borders of the Third Reich were these Panzer Grenadiers…

  • WH076 Standing Ready w/Panzerfaust – A young Panzer Grenadier cautiously looks around a corner for a likely target… In his hands, the small but deadly ‘Panzerfaust’ anti tank rocket launcher.
  • WH077 Machine Gun Team – This 2-man set has the excellent MG42 machine gun lined up and ready to decimate any approaching enemy. This belt-fed machine gun was so well-designed and manufactured that a direct derivation of it is still in use with the German Bundeswehr (Army) today!
  • WH078 Standing Ready Panzer Grenadier – A very useful ‘back-up’ figure to support and cover WH076.
  • WH081 Kneeling Panzer Grenadier – This figure is doing what Grenadiers do… about to throw a grenade!
  • WH083 Sturmgeschutz III – The ‘Stug III’ assault gun was Germany’s most-produced (over 10,000 vehicles) armoured fighting vehicle of WW2. It was built on the chassis of the already-proven Panzer III tank, replacing the turret with an armoured, fixed superstructure mounting a more powerful gun.
    Although originally intended as a mobile assault gun to support infantry it was continually modified and improved to become a tank destroyer. Our latest Ausf. G model is in typical late-war camouflage and mounts a 7.5cm main gun as well as a 7.92 mm MG34 machine gun complete with armoured shield.
    Two crew figures are provided as well an extra machine gun and shield should the collector wish to display the vehicle in a non-fighting mode. 2 x radio antennas are also attached.
  • WH089 Dismounted Assault Gun Crew #1 – Two Assault Gun Crew reflecting on some recent action … As you see one has been wounded while the other enjoys some coffee.
  • WH090 Dismounted Assault Gun Crew #2 – Three very useful crew members preparing to ‘mount-up’ their vehicle and make ready for battle… All three have no bases and can be placed beside or on top of the vehicle.



German Wehrmacht

Berlin’38 Leibstandarte


Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003) was, to say the least, ambitious and talented. In her long and varied career she was a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, actress, dancer and photographer. She excelled in all of them.

Her world fame however came from just 2 major documentary films…
“Triumph of the Will” (1935) and “Olympia” (1936)… Both important NAZI propaganda films depicting the 1934 Party Rally in Nuremberg and the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin.

Her technical and innovative mastery of film techniques was second-to-none and both motion pictures received much praise not just inside the Third Reich but also far and wide outside it!

Because of her close involvement with the Nazis before and during the war her reputation never fully recovered after 1945 although she continued to work almost up to the time of her death in 2003 at the ripe old age of 101.

  • LAH226 Leni Riefenstahl film-maker Set – A casually-dressed Riefenstahl leans over her cameramen during the filming of one of her epic documentaries. In addition to her civilian crew she could and did make full use of additional film crew from Nazi groups such as the SA (Sturmabteilung), Hitler’s brown shirts.
  • LAH227 Clapper-Board Boy – Another eager young volunteer from the Hitlerjugend this time assists the Riefenstahl film crew.
  • LAH228X Sturmabteilung Minder (Liaison Officer) – Although, for the most part, Riefenstahl was left to her own devices because of her extensive use of SA camera crew SA Leader Ernst Rohm insisted that a ‘Liaison Officer’ was always present… at least for the most important ‘shots’ of the Party Rally at Nuremberg that year.
  • LAH229 Standing Cameraman & Tripod – Another of Riefenstahl’s many cameramen… This time behind the viewfinder of a tripod-mounted Arriflex… at the time one of the most advanced cine cameras in the world.
  • LAH-S01 The Complete Riefenstahl Set (Items LAH226, 227 and 229) – Leni Riefenstahl and her complete crew… LAH 226, 227 and 229 all at a very attractive combined value price!



Berlin’38 Leibstandarte

Battle of TARAWA


  • USMC027 Crouching Marine – Keeping his head down this ‘Leatherneck’ makes his way forward under heavy and sustained enemy fire!
  • USMC030 Running with BAR Marine – Clutching his heavy but reliable B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle) another Marine moves rapidly forward.
  • USMC032 Wounded Marine – Not every Marine makes it safely into cover successfully…! This guy has taken a shot in the leg but he still holds onto his M1 Garand…



Battle of TARAWA

Streets of Hong Kong – Matt


This year Chinese New Year straddles late January and into early February. To help celebrate we are reissuing some past favourites, but in fresh new colours…

  • HK273M Children Firing Fircracker (Matt) – The sound of firecrackers is a familiar sound around Chinese New Year… Here a young girl lights the fuse while her elder brother holds the stick and string of fireworks.
  • HK275M Man with Birdcage (Matt) – Even today in Hong Kong you can still see people taking their pet birds for some fresh air early in the morning. Often a group of owners, usually men, can be seen sitting in local parks discussing their pets, listening to their birdsong and comparing each other’s winged companions.
  • HK276M The Bird Shop Owner (Matt) – Here he is comparing the quality of different cages.
  • HK280 Bird Shop Façade – So, if you’ve already got the previous 3 releases you really need to have the ‘Bird Shop’ to complete the scene and here it is…



Streets of Hong Kong – Matt Finish

Streets of Hong Kong – Gloss




Streets of Hong Kong _ Gloss Finish

First Legion – January Releases!

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

Romans




Glory of Rome – Legio VI Victrix

German Infantry




Battle of Normandy

Unpainted Metal Kit




Unpainted Metal Kits – Scale 60mm and 75mm