Welcome to the February Edition of Sierra Toy Soldier News, written on a sunny but chilly day here in the Bay Area. We received some decent rain in January, but we are still only at 50% our yearly average, so we have got a long way to go. Unless we get a real down pour in February and March, we will enter another year of drought.
Conditions here in the Bay are starting to get better and the restrictions on COVID are starting to ease. With that we are hoping that the trend will continue, and we will be able to open our showroom fully in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are still available for curbside pick up and Warehouse pick up.
Normally we would be preparing for the West Coaster show this time of year, but due to current events we have shifted our focus and efforts internally. We are focused on our own displays which have been depleted due to months of neglect and getting them prepared for a full reopening. The 2 major revamps we are currently looking at are the Ancients and American Civil War sections. Both areas have been added to immensely as of late from companies like John Jenkins Designs, King & Country, Thomas Gunn, and W. Britain’s, which has allowed our staff to begin crafting large, ornate displays for the delight of our future guests.
King & Country Sale
First Legion Sale
We have some great new announcements from Britain's, King & Country and John Jenkins.
For information on John Jenkins Future Releases.
John Jenkins Future Releases.
Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more pictures.
You can keep up to date with us by visiting our Facebook Page.
Sierra Toy Soldier
Hope you enjoy our newsletter.
Cyber February Sale
Looking for a deal this
2021, look no further. The sale from the King & Country and First Legion is still on going. so do not miss out!
We will have lots of items on sale between 25 - 45% off throughout the month, please look at the special pricing being offered. We will be adding daily to our list of items on sale. So please check back often and you may find a pleasant surprise.
We are open Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00pm.
Just a reminder for those of you living in Northern California, or perhaps just
visiting, that our Showroom dedicated to toy soldiers is now open 6 days a
week. 1350 Dell Avenue, Ste #5, Campbell, California 95008. (408) 395 3000
To set up a Virtual Video Call to see any of our latest releases or displays. Contact us via Email or Phone.
Virtual Video Call Email
Occasionally we get a rare opportunity to acquire individual items and complete collections for collectors that are thinning out their collection or from other dealers. These pieces are items that we do not normally stock. All are in mint condition or and in their original boxes, unless specified in the description. Please note these may have been on display.
So these are ideal pages to view if you are looking for that missing piece in your collection or just looking to find some very unique pieces that are not normally available.
This month we have added lots of
Britain's and King and Country sets all effectively brand new and unopened.
Sierra Toy Soldier Britain's Exclusive
ON THE STREETS OF ANCIENT ROME
ROM047 'At Attention' Roman Legionary
with Pilum - Standing smartly ‘at attention’ this soldier of the XX Legion carries both his traditional Roman ‘Pilum’ (long throwing spear) and his ‘Gladius’ (short sword).
- ROM048 'At Attention' Roman Legionary
with Gladius Sword - Somewhat similar to the above (ROM047) but simply armed with his ‘Gladius’ and decorated shield.
- ROM049 'Advancing' Praetorian Guard - A marching soldier of the Emperor’s ‘Praetorian Guard’ with his ‘Pilum’ held forward.
- ROM050 'Standing-At-Attention'
Praetorian Guard - Armed with shield, sword and pilum this Guardsman stands firmly on guard.
Romans - King and Country
Flags & Banners
Centuries before the colour and splendor of our ‘CEREMONIAL’ figures, knights and men-at-arms had their own displays of colour on the battlefield.
Here are two alternative versions of two of our most popular medieval warriors...
MK208 Teutonic Flagbearer - This strikingly bold German knight holds aloft a large square banner with his personal coat-of-arms echoing the designs covering his battle horse.
- MK209 Frankish Standard Bearer - A ‘Man-at-Arms’ carrying the small personal standard of a senior officer.
Crusader - Cross & Crescent
‘COMING IN ON A
WING AND A PRAYER!’
‘DON’ GENTILE (1920-1951), also known as ‘The Ace of Aces’ and the first WW2 U.S. Army Air Force pilot to surpass Eddie Rickenbacker’s WW1 record of 26 downed aircraft.
Born as the son of Italian immigrants Donald Gentile learned to fly before America entered the war in December 1941 and attempted to join the Army Air Force. Because at that time the U.S. military required two years of college for its pilots, which Don did not have, he was rejected. He then enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and shipped out to the U.K. in late 1941.
During 1942, Don Gentile flew Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB’s with 133 Squadron, one of the trio of famous ‘Eagle Squadrons’. His first kills were a Ju 88 and an Fw190 in August 1942 during the Dieppe Raid.
By the following month, all of the ‘Eagle Squadrons’ were transferred to the newly-formed American 8th Air Force and became the 4th Fighter Group.
Over the following months Don continued to add to his tally of ‘kills’ which were soon over a dozen enemy aircraft. At this time, he was flying a North American P51B ‘Mustang’ nicknamed “Shangri La”.
Not long afterwards, Capt. Don Gentile crashed “Shangri La” while lowflying over an English airfield to impress a group of visiting press reporters and photographers.
He was immediately ‘grounded’ by his squadron commander and sent back to the U.S. on a warbond tour.
By the end of the war his total number of victories was 20 aerial ‘kills’ and 3 ‘damaged’ plus 6 ‘ground kills’ and his 2 ‘Eagle Squadron’ victories.
Following hostilities, Don stayed in the Air Force and went on to become a test pilot. In January 1951, while flying a jet-powered, T-33 ‘Shooting Star’ he was killed in a crash, he was just 31.
AF043 Capt. Don Gentile's P51B Mustang
'Shangri La' - This classic razor-back ‘Mustang’ is painted in ‘Shangri La’s’ exact colour scheme and markings and boasts 21 ‘kill’ markings on a white scroll beneath the cockpit.
A standing figure of Capt. Don Gentile is also included with the aircraft and all of it comes packed in a specially-labelled black box.
THE OTHER SIDE OF VIETNAM
As collectors know the vast majority of our ‘VIETNAM’ collection has been focused on the military side of the conflict that beset that nation for 30 years.
However that’s just one important part of a very big picture. Just as important were the millions of ordinary South Vietnamese civilians caught in the middle of this war and trying to survive in the midst of the bombs and bullets... both in the countryside and in the towns and cities... and from both sides!
VN112 VN Peasant Girl with Bananas - Here, a young woman makes her way to the local market carrying a basketfull of bananas.
- VN113 VN Bar Girl - Just one of the many thousands of other young women who fled their rural villages to flock to the big towns and cities seeking money and safety... This was one way to make a living.
- VN114 Water Buffalo Boy - Meanwhile, back in the countryside it was common for relatively young children to be helping their families by looking after the family livestock. This young boy rides his buffalo towards some nearby grazing.
- VN119 Village Chief - One of the most dangerous jobs to have in any rural community was to be ‘The Village Chief’. Usually appointed by the local Government officials these older and much respected leaders were one of the principal targets of Viet Cong assassination squads. K&C’s ‘Village Chief’ is wearing traditional Vietnamese garb and leaning on a stick.
- VN122 Miss Papillon - This particular ‘Bar Girl’ was again inspired by the classic ‘Full Metal Jacket’ movie and when meeting ‘Joker’ and ‘Rafterman’ for the first time uttered the immortal words, “Me so horny... me love you long time.” In the movie the actress who played the part was called ‘Papillon Soo Soo’.
- VN124 Pair of Water Buffaloes - Two more Water Buffaloes to go perfectly with VN114 The Water Buffalo Boy and build up his herd... One animal grazes while the other just lies down and watches the world go by.
Vietnam - Tet'68
Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann
USMC Drill Instructors inspire both fear and awe in equal amounts when recruits enter boot camps in San Diego and Parris Island.
Perhaps no one did a better job of portraying that kind of character as R. Lee Ermey, the ‘Gunny’ in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’.
As K&C collectors already know I love that movie and l love the late R. Lee Ermey’s part in the flic.
Here is our small tribute to a great Marine an outstanding Drill Instructor and... all Marine Corps Drill Instructors everywhere!
USMC057 Drill Instructor - Our D.I. is wearing his Service ‘B’ (for Bravo) base uniform consisting of green trousers with gloss black parade belt, khaki long-sleeve shirt, khaki tie with clasp, black shoes and, of course, the iconic ‘Campaign Hat’ and his medal ribbons.
Vietnam - Tet 68
CE053 Life Guards Farrier = In the armies of earlier times each cavalry regiment had a ‘master farrier’ who was charged with looking after the horses and assisting the regiment’s veterinary surgeon.
In the Household Cavalry these farriers are a survival of the past and are easily distinguished from other ranks because they carry a ceremonial highly polished axe.
This tool was not issued as a weapon but was to be used to put wounded horses out of their pain and to remove the hooves of any animal killed in order that their identity number, which was branded onto the hooves, could be recorded.
On a uniform side note, this farrier is the only member of the Life Guards regiment that wears a navy blue tunic in place of the traditional scarlet one.
CE058 'Stand Easy' Black Watch Soldier - This was the more relaxed version of ‘Stand-At-Ease’ for a soldier on Guard Duty.
- CE064 Coldstream Guardsman 'Present
Arms' - The classic parade position while saluting an officer.
- CE065 Coldstream Guards Bugler - In the days before radios orders to parade were often transmitted by various ‘bugle calls’.
Each company and platoon would have a number of buglers attached, all of them came under the command of the Non Commissioned Officer in charge of the Regiment’s Fife & Drum Corps. All buglers could also be drummers.
- CE069 'Standing' Black Watch Lance
Corporal - The Lance Corporal was the lowest ranking N.C.O. and usually a soldier with at least 5 years service.
Streets of Old Hong Kong
HK297M Chinese 'Ironing Lady' (Matt)
- This little figure was suggested to by one of our ‘SOOHK’ collectors who sent
me an old photograph of a lady performing just this task...
- HK297G Chinese 'Ironing Lady' (Gloss)
‘TAKE A SEAT!’
K&C initially made these classic wooden chairs to accompany King Arthur & His Knights of the Round Table.
Since then we’ve had more than a few requests to make available some more for other historical eras, not just Medieval. Several collectors wanted them for their ‘Ancient Egypt’, ‘Ancient Rome’ and even Napoleonic series...
Diorama and Scenic Building Collection
New February Releases
MOCTEZUMA XOCOYOTZIN was the ninth TLATOANI or ruler of the Aztec Empire, reigning from 1502 0r 1503 to 1520. The first contact between thre indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica and Europeans took place during his reign, and he was killed during the initial stages of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, when conquistador Hernan Cortes and his men fought to take over the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.
During his reign the Aztec Empire reached its greatest size. Through warfare, Moctezuma expanded the territory as far south as Xoconosco in Chiapas and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and incorporated the Zapotec and Yopi people into the Empire. He changed the previous meritocratic system of social hierarchy and widened the divide between PIPILTIN (nobles) and MACEHUALTIN (commoners) by prohibiting commoners from working in the royal palaces.
Though two other Aztec rulers succeeded Moctezuma after his death, their reigns were short-lived and the empire quickly collapsed under them. Historical portrayals of Moctezuma have mostly been colored by his role as ruler of a defeated nation, and many sources have described him as weak-willed, superstitious, and indecisive
Enemies of Rome
ROMAN MARCHING CAMP
Roman Marching camps were used to protect an army while away from a permanent base during a campaign or when conducting other military operations.
These camps were constructed by the Romans at the end of a day of marching or conducting other exercises in the field.
At the conclusion of each day’s march, legionary troops on the move were assembled at a site carefully selected at the day’s start. For the next three hours or more, they were put to work digging a perimeter ditch, erecting a rampart, and assembling a palisade with prefabricated materials. Polybius wrote that the standard Republican-era design was in the shape of a square, but always had to conform to the lay of the land and the numbers of men and animals to be quartered in the camp.
Vegetius wrote that the camps should be constructed taking into account the configuration of the ground. He warned that a secure marching-camp must be placed near a source of plentiful water, wood, and forage and not be overlooked by higher ground.
The outline of the camp was usually marked by a ditch, with the resulting spoil used to make a rampart thrown up on the camp’s inner edge. This was then reinforced with earthen sod and strengthened by stakes carried by the troops.
When a camp was being constructed out of reach of an enemy, the entire force, except for a small picket, would participate in the building process. When the enemy was near at hand, the precaution was that half the infantry and all the cavalry would be drawn up in battle order to guard the workers building the camp. The first legion on the scene would take up defensive positions and the actual work on the camp would not begin until the arrival of the next legion in the line of march.
Roman Marching Camp
Punic Wars -
VIKING “BOAR SNOUT”
Age of Arthur - Vikings
Age of Arthur - Norman Knights
EL CID AND THE
FIRST BRIGADE, 4th
Army of the Shenandoah, The First Brigade, 4th Virginia Regiment
Whiskey, Scalps and Beaver Pelts
Very best regards from Mike & Myszka Hall and the Sierra Toy Soldier team -
Aidan, Alex, Cody and Michael (the Kilted Vampire).
This newsletter is the copyright of Sierra Toy Soldier Company