Welcome to the November Edition of Sierra Toy Soldier’s News, written on a very brisk and chilly day here in the Bay Area. Right on schedule here in California, winter started. At the beginning of November, the cold winds from Alaska come down, the first rain drops of winter came down, and the snow started in the Sierra’s. We don’t mind the rain and snow, but these cold temperatures, I can do without.
Thanksgiving, and Christmas are suddenly around the corner. This week we start our major building event on the Christmas Windows. As usual, we have a Train around a Victorian Village, filled with a mixture or King & Country, and Department 56. We include some “Hidden Treasures”, a “Waldo”, or two, some dinosaur, a mammoth hiding behind the buildings, and plenty of Santa’s, polar bears and penguins. Little faces are glued to the window, although some of the nose prints are at least 6 feet up.
As usual we will have “Toys for Tots” Bin which we hope to fill again, multiple times, as we have done in previous years.
Toys for Tots
This year we once again proud to be a sponsor of US Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” program. Last year was a great success thanks to all of you, we hope this year we can grow it again.
The objectives of “Toys for Tots” are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas, one toy at a time. If you are local we have a container to put in new, unwrapped toys.
Toys For Tots Carton
If you are not local but would like to participate, please visit our Toy’s For Tots page for information on how you can join in.
Toys for Tots Page
We have a great set of announcements including King and Country, John Jenkins, Collectors Showcase, Thomas Gunn, Corgi and Hobby Master.
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
Sierra Toy Soldier Blog.
Hope to see you soon!
Learn To Paint A Toy Soldier - Saturday
November 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.
This month we are
having a very limited sale on a few overstock items from Thomas Gunn, Frontline and a few others. We have reduced the price on these items but only until the end of April, so do not miss out.
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
Check out all the latest announcements. This is updated as soon as there is a new announcement.
Sierra Toy Soldier Blog
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.
Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive
The new KC 2018 Calendar. Available for free with King and Country purchases
of $200.00 or more.
King & Country Calendar
Beginners Gift Sets
Three new gift sets, available for a limited time.
Beginner Gift Sets
NOTTINGHAM’S EVIL-DOERS IN ACTION
Although Robin Hood & His Merrie Men may rule the green-leafed glades of Sherwood Forest the dastardly Sherrif of Nottingham and his not-so-merry-men hold considerable sway elsewhere in the Country and Castle that dominates the town of Nottingham itself.
Two more fighting swordsmen and three additional Men-At-Arm’s prepare to join the Sherrif in searching and seeking out the elusive Robin as well as gathering in the taxes for the wicked and equally cruel Prince John…
NA405 Mounted Aide De Camp - The Emperor employed dozens of these dashing young officers to convey his instructions and orders all over the battlefield and beyond. They would also, on occasion, act as his personal ‘eyes and ears’ reporting on how well officers and
regiments carried out the instructions and orders carried to them by these
- NA410 The Hussar Hussie #1 Monique
- From ancient times armies have always acquired female ‘camp followers’; women
who accompanied their men into battle and fed them, tended their wounds,
sometimes even carried their packs and equipment... as well as providing other
‘creature comforts.’ All for the sake of a little protection and safety in a
distinctly violent and unsettled world. In Napoleonic times the practice
continued and even increased as Napoleon and his Armies traversed the continent
and beyond. Different regiments attracted different kinds of female companions.
The Cavalry being among the smartest turned-out also tended to welcome some of
the prettiest ladies...
- NA411 Hussar Hussie #2 Sophie
- Yet another fetching young lass, ‘Sophie’ is much enamoured with the officers
of the 3rd Hussars... As they no doubt are with her!
- NA399 The Old Guard At Rest
- A standing Grenadier converses with his sitting, pipe-smoking comrade...
- NA400 Guardsmen at-ease -
It’s fair to say that looking at these 2 x casually-posed Grenadiers on ‘Guard
Duty’ the enemy must be far-away and certainly nowhere in the close vicinity.
THE U.S. ARMY AT WAR 1944/45
Now, they’re taking the war into the very heart of the Third Reich with this latest batch of “Fighting GI’s”…
Decked-out in the Olive Green M1943 field jacket these newest ‘Dogfaces’ come in a range of useful battlefield poses reflecting the reality of street fighting in Nazi Germany in the closing months of WW2.
Here is the first group of 5 X GI’s to be released…
DD307 Charging Rifleman - As his buddies provide ‘covering fire’ this GI runs forward from one firing position to the next.
- DD308 Snap Shooter - This next GI is warily moving forward holding his M1 Garand in the ‘ready’ position in case a sudden ‘target of opportunity’ presents itself. Very much a ‘hunting’ pose.
- DD311 Machine Gun Team - The .30 cal. machine gun was usually not part of the regular rifle platoon weapons list... They were attached to battalions and companies who would then supply them to platoons whenever or wherever it was deemed necessary.
Our 2-man team would provide a volume of suppressing fire that would allow the riflemen to position themselves best for an attack on the enemy.
- DD313 Turnning Bar Gunner - The standard U.S. Army Squad Light Machine Gun was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (the B.A.R.). It used a twenty-round box magazine and performed in a similar squad support role as the British Bren. Our BAR Gunner appears to be looking around a corner to get a better view of the enemy.
"THE RATS OF TOBRUK"
This nickname was given in particular by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel to the ‘Diggers’ of the 9th Australian Division (plus one brigade of the 7th) as well as other British, Polish and Indian units defending the besieged Libyan port city of Tobruk.
The siege began in April 1941 and lasted until almost December of that same year.
‘ORIGINS OF THE NAME’
The mainly Australian garrison was extremely adept at utilizing captured enemy equipment and would go out of their way, after every enemy assault, to go forward into the battlefield at night to recover as much as they could that might be reusable.
At the same time the Tobruk defenders dug an extensive network of tunnels and shelters to supplement their trenches… and used them frequently when under heavy bombardment.
‘Lord Haw-Haw’, the British traitor and German propagandist took up Rommel’s description dismissing the garrison as ‘the miserable desert rats of Tobruk’…
The defenders thereafter adopted the title with pride!!!
EA124 Trench & Riflemen - Two Australian ’Diggers’ watch over their sand-bagged trench .303 Lee Enfield rifles at the ready.
- EA125 Trench & Bren Gun Team - As one Aussie scans the horizon for any sign of enemy activity his mate ‘mans’ the trusty Bren Light Machine Gun.
- EA126 Trench & BOYS Anti-Tank Rifle - One more Australian infantryman together with his ‘BOYS Anti Tank Rifle’ takes aim at an approaching enemy vehicle.
Although adequate against light tanks and armoured cars in the early part of the war the ‘BOYS’ was ineffective against heavier armour. It was phased out by mid war... but still in use at the time of Tobruk.
- EA127 Defense Under Fire - Three lying-prone Aussies taking cover from enemy artillery and mortar fire.
- EA128 Kneeling Rifleman - One more very useful Australian infantryman with his .303 Lee Enfield.
Montgomery's 8th Army
There’s not a lot to say about the PzKpfw VI, better known as “The Tiger”, that has not been said before… It is, quite simply, the most famous German tank of World War Two… Perhaps, the most famous tank ever and certainly the most popular and the most collected!!!
Given its ‘TIGER’ nickname by its designer Ferdinand Porsche it has been called ‘The most outstanding tank design of its time.’ That it most definitely was BUT it also had some mighty faults… It was over-engineered… it required considerably greater resources of materials and manpower to manufacture it and… its fuel consumption was staggering (at a time when German fuel production was actually dramatically decreasing).
Its heavy armour and mighty ’88 gun were indeed impressive… and did terrify its enemies both on the Eastern and Western Fronts… But its manufacturing cost and its requirement for specially-trained crews meant that it never had the full impact on the Allies that it might have had. Just 1,347 Tigers were actually built between August 1942 and August 1944. After that time production of the Tiger I was phased out in favour of the Tiger II, better known as the ‘King Tiger’.
That all being said its fighting reputation among its opponents spread far and wide and led, in some cases, to almost panic whenever it appeared on the battlefield.
By far the most famous commander and promoter of the ‘Tiger’ legend was a young Waffen SS officer called… Michael Wittmann.
By the winter of 1943, Michael Wittmann had already acquired plenty of battlefield experience with the relatively new Pz. Kpfw. VI “TIGER”.
During the Battle of KURSK in early July, 1943 the young platoon leader had destroyed dozens of Soviet tanks, self-propelled guns and even artillery pieces… He also survived a collision with a burning Red Army tank!
By the Fall and Winter of 1943 he continued to add numerous ‘Kills’ to his tally and was recognized for his achievements by the ‘Top Brass’ with awards and presentations.
One particular ‘presentation’ was special that was when Wittmann and his crew were to meet Jochen Peiper, another noted and popular Waffen SS officer.
For Josef Goebel’s Propaganda Ministry this was a major event to be recorded for posterity… Two Nazi Heroes for the price of one!
These new releases capture the moment…
WS344 Wittmann's Winter Tiger - Although the Tiger’s ‘Winter Whitewash’ is beginning to wear-off the tank stands in all its glory...
As a ‘Command Tank’, the model sports 3 x Radio Antennas, and 2 x top turret hatches that open and close allowing collectors, if they wish, to place figures in the ‘open’ position or have everything ‘bolted down’ for battle.
The main gun also elevates and depresses as required. Interestingly, although the tank itself has a battle-worn appearance the ‘kill’ markings on the 88mm gun are brand-new. This was because, for propaganda purposes, it made for a better picture to ‘show the folks back home’ just how successful Michael Wittmann and his crew had been.
In reality, tank commanders would not have wished to draw even more enemy attention to themselves, their crew and vehicle with such an ostentatious and obvious display.
- WS345 When Wittman met Peiper - This SIX-FIGURE set portrays the moment when Jochen Peiper, also in black tank uniform, greets the junior officer Michael Wittmann and his crew.
As you see Peiper gives the almost-casual half ‘Heil Hitler’ salute while the younger Wittmann gives the full, extended right arm salute in reply. Wittmann’s Crew stand-at-attention waiting to be introduced.
- WS-S01 Wittmann Special Presentation
Gift Set - This combined SET brings together the “WINTER TIGER” and the FULL Six-Figure parade set at a very attractive and affordable combined package price.
Russian Front Winter 1941
Streets of Old Hong Kong
Two hard-working ‘Coolies’ (labourers) enjoy a well-earned rest from their labours and tuck into some simple but nourishing soup and vegetables.
CHRISTMAS COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR
Someone, somewhere is dreaming of a White Christmas and this GI has decided to brighten up the drab wartime Yule Tide with a visit to a local orphanage!
Using typical ‘GI ingenuity’ this soldier has found an old Santa / St. Nick costume, ‘borrowed’ a military motorcycle and side car and loaded it up with whatever toys and gifts he and his fellow GI’S could find. They’ve even donated a whole case of a popular, well-known American drink that these kids have never tasted before.
This will be one wartime Christmas they will never forget!
Christmas - Limited Edition
Enemies of Rome
Aztec Empire - Conquest of America
The Aztec Empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 and, at its greatest extent, covered most of northern Mesoamerica. Aztec warriors were able to dominate their neighbouring states and permit rulers such as Motecuhzoma II to impose Aztec ideals and religion across Mexico. Highly accomplished in agriculture and trade, the last of the great Mesoamerican civilizations was also noted for its art and architecture which ranks amongst the finest ever produced on the continent.
The empire continued to expand from 1430 and the Aztec military - bolstered by conscription of all adult males, men supplied from allied and conquered states, and such elite groups as the Eagle and Jaguar warriors - swept aside their rivals. Aztec warriors wore padded cotton armour, carried a wooden or reed shield covered in hide, and wielded weapons such as a super sharp obsidian sword-club (macuahuitl), a spear or dart thrower (atlatl), and bow and arrows. Elite warriors also wore spectacular feathered and animal skin costumes and headdresses to signify their rank. Battles were concentrated in or around major cities and when these fell the victors claimed the whole surrounding territory. Regular tributes were extracted and captives were taken back to Tenochtitlan for ritual sacrifice. In this way the Aztec empire came to cover most of northern Mexico, an area of some 135,000 square kilometres.
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.
Aztec Empire - Conquest of America
War of the Roses
Wars of the Roses 1455-1487
Wheels Across The Desert
Battle of Gallipoli 1915
A despatch rider (or dispatch) is a military messenger, mounted on horse or motorcycle (and occasionally in Egypt during World War I, on camels
Despatch riders were used by armed forces to deliver urgent orders and messages between headquarters and military units. They had a vital role at a time when telecommunications were limited and insecure. They were also used to deliver carrier pigeons.
In the British Army, motorcycle despatch riders were first used in the World War I by the Royal Engineers Signal Service. When the War Department called for motorcyclists to volunteer with their machines for despatch work at the start of August 1914, the response was huge.
The London office had 2000 more applicants than places, and a similar response was reported in regional centres around the country. If a rider and machine were approved then £10 was paid immediately, £5 to be paid on discharge (unless due to misconduct), and pay was 35s per week. The motor cycle would be taken over at valuation price, or would be replaced with a new one at the close of operations. Enlistment was for one year or as long as the war might last. The preference was for 500cc single cylinder machines and the horizontally-opposed twin cylinder. All machines had to have a "change speed gear". A list of spare parts was also required to be carried.
There are now available 2 new flight stands.
Flight Stands For John Jenkins WWI Aircraft
JJ WWII Collection
The Jagdpanther ( "hunting panther") was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service in 1944 during the later stages of the war on the Eastern and Western Fronts. The Jagdpanther combined the 8.8 cm KwK 43 cannon of the Tiger II and the characteristically excellent armor and suspension of the Panther chassis
Mounting the deadly 8.8 cm PaK 43/3 L/71 cannon and protected by well-sloped 80 mm frontal armor, the Jagdpanther proved its worth as the most fearsome German tank destroyer of the war. Although too few were produced to affect the outcome of the war, the Jagdpanther represented an ideal blend of lethality, armor protection, and mobility that could destroy any allied tank with ease.
The GA-01(121) Jagdpanther is painted in a factory tri-camo pattern and features the choice of cannon barrel painted in factory heat resistant grey lacquer, or tri-camo.
During WW2, German tank cannon barrels were delivered to the tank factories and to combat units finished in both grey and Dunkelgelb (dark yellow) heat resistant lacquer.
While the Jagdpanther's markings are historically accurate for numerous Jagdpanther units, this model is meant to represent a Jagdpanther from schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 560 (Heavy Tank Destroyer Battalion 560). This German Heer (Army) unit was originally armed with Nashorn tank destroyers but converted to a mixed unit composed of one company of Jagdpanthers and two companies of Jagdpanzer IV L/70 tank destroyers in preparation for the Battle of the Bulge. It was attached to the 12. SS-Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend" and fought with this famous division in the final German offensives against the allies on both the West and East Fronts. First, against the Americans during the Battle of the Bulge and later in 1945 against the Russians during Operation Spring Awakening, the offensive near Lake Balaton in Hungary meant to relieve the siege of Budapest.
This model represents a late production Jagdpanther Ausf. G1 as produced by Mühlenbau und Industrie A.G (MIAG) in October 1944, and includes interior detail, removable schürzen side armor panels, and opening crew hatches, engine compartment, and a choice of Grey or Camouflaged gun Barrell.
JJ WWII Collection
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.
A Landing Signal Officer (LSO) is a naval aviator with additional specialized training to better facilitate recovery operations on the ship. LSOs provide guidance for aircraft making approaches to the carrier. They monitor the approach and remain in contact with the pilot during the approach by hand signals.
Carrier approaches or 'passes at the boat', while analogous in technique to an approach to land at a terrestrial airport, require much more precision and have far less margin for error due to the landing area's small size (75 x 600ft). And the requirement that the plane must impact the deck on speed and on angle of attack within a small area to snag an arrester wire and trap successfully makes this even more difficult.
The Navy has adopted this policy of the landing signal officer as well trained LSOs can quickly dissect problems with the approach and alert the pilot to correct prior to the pilot even becoming aware that there is a problem developing.
In the U.S. Navy, aircraft carrier operations began with USS Langley (CV-1) in 1922. Langleys initial flight operations were on an experimental basis to learn what worked and what didn't. The first pilots had no signaling system for assistance from shipboard personnel. Langleys first executive officer, Kenneth Whiting, had a hand-cranked movie camera film every landing to aid in evaluation of landing technique. When not flying, Commander Whiting observed all landings from the aft port corner of the flight deck. Commander Whiting's position remained visible to landing pilots in critical touchdown attitudes when the nose of the aircraft might obscure the pilot's view straight ahead. Pilots found Commander Whiting's body language helpful and suggested an experienced pilot be assigned to occupy that position, using agreed signals which evolved with experience. These Landing Signal Officers or Landing Safety Officers (LSOs) faced the incoming plane and held coloured flags for improved visibility. Because LSOs used coloured paddles, flags, or wands well into the jet age, the officers became unofficially known as "paddles" (US), or "batsmen" (UK). They are still referred thus to this day, and the LSO trade is referred to as "waving".
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
A series of new diorama bases will now be available for pre-order over the next few months.
The first piece will now be available for pre-order. Please place your order by the end of NOVEMBER, and the diorama piece will be available to ship with the JANUARY 2018 releases.
John Jenkins Diorama Bases
Hobby Master - New Arrivals
HA1324 A-10C Warthog Tigress 79-0090,
47th FS, 917th FG, Barksdale AFB, 2011
- HA2913 Douglas A-1H Skyraider BuNo
142059 "Puff The Magic Dragon" VA-165 "Boomers" USS Intrepid, summer 1966
- HA5215 Grumman F-14A Tomcat USN VF-74
Be-Devilers, AA101, USS Saratoga, 1987
- HA5220 Grumman F-14A Tomcat NK102, USS
Enterprise, 30th July, 1976
Hobby Master - New Arrivals
New October Releases!
Wings of War
The Fokker Dr.1 was built by Fokker- Flugzeuwerke and entered service in the spring of 1918. It was inspired by Anthony Fokker viewing a captured Sopwith Triplane in April 1917. Upon his return to the Schwerin factory Fokker instructed Reinhold Platz to design a German version of the Triplane. Platz responded with an initial design called the V.4 which was deemed initially unsuitable but from this design the V.5 was developed. The first 2 of 3 initial prototypes were sent to Belgium to be combat evaluated, with Richoften scoring 2 victories in one of these before Kurt Wolff took over the evaluation process. Wolff was killed whilst flying his on 15th September with Werner Voss also killed a few days later flying his Triplane prototype. However Richoften declared the Fokker Triplane superior to the British variant and it was put into immediate production. The Dr.1 was popular with its pilots but it was prone to tipping over whilst landing, had a cramped cockpit and was slower than some Allied aircraft. The top wing also had a tendency to shed itself at high speeds, this was later found out to be due to poor materials and workmanship, it was also found that the upper wing carried a higher lift coefficient than the lower wing, at high speeds, this could be as much as 2.5 times the lower wing. Because of these failures only 320 Triplane were built before being replaced by the Fokker D. V11, arguably one of the best fighters of WW1. We have made a limited run of 15 of these 1/30 scale models. The pilot climbing the ladder is also included free with this model.
Scale 1:30 / 60mm.
Wings of War
The Dornier Do 335 was a heavy fighter built by the Dornier company and was called Pfeil or Arrow. There was a two seater trainer version developed called the Anteater, one of which we have made this time. The Arrows performance was much better than other twin engine designs due to its unique push pull layout and the lower aerodynamic drag of the in-line alignment of the two engines. Initially 120 preproduction aircraft were ordered to be manufactured by Dornier at Friedrichshafen with the completion date of March 1946. This number included a number of bomber destroyers, night fighters and two seat trainers. At the same time the Dornier works at Munchen were ordered to build a further 2000 models also with the same completion date. On 23rd May 1944 Hitler ordered that fighter production priority was to be given the Dornier 335, the main production line was intended to be at Manzell but a bombing raid destroyed the tolling which forced Dornier to set up production at Oberpfaffenhofen. At the same time production of the Heinkel He 219 Night Fighter was cancelled as this used the DB 603 engine, the same engine as the Dornier. However Ernst Heinkel managed to delay and eventually ignore this order and even continued to produce the Heinkel to the detriment of Dornier’s fighter. At least 16 Do 335’s prototypes were known to have flown before the end of the war including approximately 11 training versions. The Dornier Do 335 was Germanys fasters piston engined aircraft of WW2, it’s potential was clear to the Luftwaffe who desperately tried to get into operational service, but fortunately for the Allies it was never meant to be. The Dornier was designated a heavy fighter with an overall wingspan of 45ft and a height of 15ft which meant it dwarfed late war fighters like the Messerschmitt Me 262. In 1/30 scale it makes an impressive model, we have made 15 models, which also includes a free figure of Aero 001 Luftwaffe pilot.
Wings of War
Very best regards from Mike & Myszka Hall and the Sierra Toy Soldier team -
Aidan, Ann, Barbara, Cody, Gary, Howard, and Michael (the Kilted Vampire).
This newsletter is the copyright of Sierra Toy Soldier Company