October, 2018
Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Today's Headlines

Missed the September 2018 Newsletter, view it here!

Welcome to the October Edition of Sierra Toy Soldier News, post Chicago Edition, written on a cloudy day here in the Bay Area. We had our first official day of rain, here it lasted only minutes, every drop counts.

We survived the Chicago show, and had a great time meeting old friends, making new ones and as always meeting all of you. The customer appreciation Dinner now in its 14th year, was a huge success and totally sold out. Thanks to Andy Neilson of King and Country who was our guest speaker and did a terrific job.

If you have never attended a show, try to make a point of joining us next year. We had previews of the latest KC figures, Collectors Showcase Figures and the surprise of the event the John Jenkins Treasure Hunt, see below for details.

The boys have been amazing, running the store in our absence and in creating some magnificent dioramas. The latest include Battle of Little Big Horn, Siege of Quebec, Retreat from Moscow, plus many more. Come visit us and enjoy. Can’t get to us in October, visit us on social media.

Facebook: Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Instagram: sierratoysoldier

Twitter: @sierratoystore

We have a great set of announcements including King and Country, John Jenkins, First Legion, Corgi and Hobby Master.

Hope you enjoy!

Events

Learn To Paint A Toy Soldier - Saturday October 13, 2018 - 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.

Super Roman Sale

October Super Roman Sale

This month we are having a very limited sale on a few Roman figures Thomas Gunn. We have reduced the price on these items but only until the end of October, so do not miss out.

Super Sale

Sierra Blog
Events
Sierra Toy Exclusive
King & Country
John Jenkins
First :Legion
Hobby Master
Corgi

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

Collectors Corner

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.

Collectors Corner

Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive

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

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

Monte Cassino

Britain's

New Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive Set - Expected 2018!


Zulu Storehouse Attack

The fifth release in the Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive Range. With this set we wanted to continue to add to our mini series Zulu Storehouse Attack.

Zulu Storehouse Attack

King & Country

King & Country October 2018 Releases!

Ceremonial - Pope and Swiss Guards

There are many ceremonial guard units and regiments around the world but one of my own personal favourites are the officers and men of ‘The Swiss Guard’ the soldiers who guard the gates of the Vatican City and protect the life of the Pope.

First recruited in 1505 from the German speaking cantons of Switzerland these Guardsmen have been described as ‘the most peaceful military unit in the world!’

The Swiss Guard has one Captain Commandant... two full Lieutenants and two Second Lieutenants... one Chaplain and fifteen Sergeants plus, of course, around 130 Guardsmen (including musicians).

After our first release in 2016 we decided to add-on SIX more figures including, very importantly...

  • - As was said to us by more than a few collectors of this ceremonial range, “How can you have the Guard without showing us WHO they are guarding?” Well, here is the latest incumbent Pontiff who resides in Vatican City dressed in his traditional white robes.
  • - Unit Drummers have their own distinctive version of the traditional renaissance-style uniform worn by the Guard. As you can see it comprises both bold blue and yellow stripes with flashes of black (and no red unlike the regular Guardsmen).
  • - Commissioned Officers wear breastplates that are finely engraved and more elaborate than those of the lower ranks. Under the armour is worn a ‘shirt’ of 16th Century chain mail.
  • - Each year a ‘Swearing-In’ ceremony is held when new recruits are inducted into the Guard. The Ceremony utilizes the personal flag of the present Pope with his coat of arms emblazoned on it and is held by a junior officer.
  • - Taking the ‘oath of allegiance’ is one of the newest Swiss recruits seen here raising three fingers in the traditional salute... This is said to represent the Holy Trinity and the three Swiss cantons where the Guard originally recruited from.
  • - Protecting the flagbearer are usually a pair of Guardsmen carrying the fiercesome two-handed sword called the ‘Flamberge Zweihander’. These powerful weapons originally were used by the ‘Landsknechts’, mercenary soldiers many of whom came from Germany and Switzerland during the 15th and 16th Centuries.

Ceremonial

Napoleon

Most of K&C’s Napoleon Bonaparte figures have him dressed in the blue and white of the Old Guard however there is an alternative... much favoured by the Emperor himself.

  • - As we know the Emperor had several iconic items of clothing... His bicorne hat, his greatcoat and ... apart from the previously mentioned ‘Old Guard’uniform – his ‘green’ Chasseur Colonel’s uniform. He particularly liked the Chasseur uniform and often wore it in recognition of the loyal and devoted service of his Chasseur Regiments who frequently provided his mounted escort while on campaign. Just two complete sets of this green uniform survive to this day. One is still worn by the Emperor himself and lies in honour with him in his tomb in Les Invalides in Paris. This latest mounted version of the Emperor shows Napoleon wearing his trademark grey greatcoat underwhich can be seen his ‘Colonel of Chasseurs’ green uniform.

French Napoleonic

Remember the Alamo

  • - Many of the Mexican forces wore the simple white uniforms as shown here though this particular soldier has no white cap cover unlike his fellow infantrymen.
  • - Rifle at the high port and bayonet fixed this ‘soldado’ prepares to breach the Alamo’s defenses.
  • - Rifle at the high port and bayonet fixed this ‘soldado’ prepares to breach the Alamo’s defenses.
  • - After firing his first shot at the defenders this soldier hastily reloads a second.
  • - Preparing to move forward and waiting for the order.

Mexican Army

Russian Front

The SU-122 (Samokhodnaya Ustanovka 122mm) was a Russian-made, self-propelled howitzer or assault gun during WW2.

The number ‘122’ refers to the caliber of the main armament – a 122mm M-30S howitzer. The vehicle chassis was the same as the famous T34 tank.

Design and Production began in 1942 and continued until the summer of 1944. By then a total of 1150 vehicles were produced.

Our K&C model is in typical Soviet markings and colour scheme of the mid war period complete with patriotic slogan “Kill The Fascists” and comes with a tank commander figure.

Russian Front and Berlin 1945

WWII - Japanese

  • - You can never have too many shooting or firing toy soldiers... and this Japanese soldier proves that! Here he takes careful aim with his ‘Arisaka Type 99 rifle’ at the advancing U.S. Marines.
  • - Lying prone behind their Type 99 magazine-fed Light Machine Gun the ‘Number Two’ on the gun prepares to replace the empty gun with a full magazine. (2 figure set)
  • - Marching forward and firing from the hip another gunner goes on the offensive with his LMG Type 99.
  • - Every shooter has his (or hers) favourite firing position... This Japanese soldier adopts the sitting option.
  • - Japanese military doctrine firmly believed in the tactic and success of the bayonet charge... often at all costs!
  • - A second infantryman charges forward to take the fight to the enemy. Still in the age of bombs and bullets the threat of ‘cold steel’ can put fear into even the bravest heart.
  • - Still one of the best firing positions and... the one that makes the smallest target of the shooter!

Battle of TARAWA

Vietnam

North Vietnam began to send some of its regular NVA (North Vietnamese Army) units to fight in the south as early as 1959. They also encouraged and supplied the VC (Viet Cong) to step up their opposition to the ARVN (Army of The Republic of Vietnam) and the American forces.

Compared to their opponents the NVA ‘travelled light’, carrying the bare minimum of equipment and essential rations.

Their weapons and uniforms were much more standard than their VC comrades. Most NVA wore simple, light-weight green khaki uniforms and the NVA sun helmet or cloth jungle hat.

Weapons-wise the majority of NVA carried the AK47 (either Soviet or Chinese-made)... the Czech SKS Rifle and the ubiquitous RPG (rocket propelled grenade launcher).

Tough, fast-moving and resilient NVA regulars even won the grudging respect of their Allied opponents.

Vietnam - Tet'68

John Jenkins

Chicago Treasure Hunt and Future Releases

During the Chicago Toy Soldier Show, John arranges a Treasure Hunt, which keeps a large number of Big Kids fully occupied.  This year was no exception.  Here are the details of the treasure hunt and a peek into releases coming in 2019 plus a couple of new series.  The link is to a PDF file, which requires Adobe Acrobat to open on your computer.  If you have trouble opening it, let me know and I will send you a separate file.  Hope you like them as much as I did.

Chicago Treasure Hunt

New John Jenkins October Releases!
Roman Army of the Late Republic

The Scutum was a type of shield used among Italic peoples in antiquity, and then by the army of ancient Rome starting about the fourth century BC. The Romans adopted it when they switched from the military formation of the hoplite phalanx of the Greeks to the formation with maniples. In the former, the soldiers carried a round shield, which the Romans called clipeus. In the latter, they used the scutum, which was a larger shield. Originally it was an oblong and convex shield. By the first century BC it had developed into the rectangular, semi-cylindrical shield that is popularly associated with the scutum in modern times. This was not the only shield the Romans used; Roman shields were of varying types depending on the role of the soldier who carried it. Oval, circular and rectangular shields were used throughout Roman history.

Roman Army of the Late Republic

Conquistadors

From the moment that the first Horse was put ashore in November 1493, horses were the key to Spanish success in the Americas. They gave the Spanish not just distinct tactical and logistical advantages, but a moral advantage as well, because the native Americans had never seen such creatures before, and were initially scared to death of them.

At first the Aztecs thought that each cavalryman and his horse were one supernatural creature, with 4 legs, 2 arms and 2 heads! They were so relieved when they discovered that the horse was just an animal like any other that when the first one was killed , it was cut up and portions circulated throughout their lands, to demonstrate that such creatures were mortal.

It is therefore no wonder that horses captured by the Aztecs were sacrificed as if they were human, and their heads ended up alongside those of Spanish soldiers on the temple racks!

Aztec Empire - Conquest of America

War of the Roses - Artillery

By the start of the WARS OF THE ROSES in the late 1450s, artillery had been in use in northern Europe for over a century, and most armies included at least a small artillery force.

Because one pound of powder was required to throw nine pounds of shot, and because the barrel had to be washed with a mixture of water and vinegar after every firing, ten shots per hour was considered a good rate of fire. During the Wars of the Roses, this slow rate meant that cannon were used mainly on the eve or at the start of a battle, firing one volley at the enemy before the hand-to-hand combat commenced.

Experts in medieval gunnery suspect that the artillery played a role at the beginning of the battle – but may have become less useful tactically as the battle progressed. It was notoriously difficult to turn the artillery pieces round to face new directions – so adapting to the progress of the battle would have been difficult for these early gunners. Their artillery pieces and carriages would probably have weighed between 400 and 1000 kilos each.

Cannon appears to have been used extensively by both sides at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The present position of the battlefield is based on the discovery in a field by Fenn Lane Farm of a large quantity of battle relics including many cannon balls.

One account mentions 140 cannon, while the archaeological searches of the battlefield have found more than 30 cannonshot – more than any other discovered on a European medieval battlefield.

Since about 1415, the English Crown had appointed a master of ordnance to supervise the king's artillery. In 1456, John Judde, a LONDON merchant, won appointment to the post by offering to supply HENRY VI with guns and powder at his own expense. Judde's ambitious program of collecting and manufacturing guns for the Lancastrians so alarmed the Yorkists that they ambushed and killed him in June 1460 as he was supervising delivery of a new shipment of weapons. Edward IV also appreciated the importance of artillery, and his Masters of Ordnance (like John Wode, who held office from 1463 to 1477) were trusted members of the royal household. Edward was said to frequently inspect his ordnance, and his campaigns usually included a sizable artillery train.

Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

Brunswick Grenadiers

Brunswick Grenadiers

Morgan's Riflemen

Morgan's Riflemen

Knights of the Skies

No squadron could have gotten into the air if it were not for the very large number of support crews, which ranged from riggers, mechanics, fitters, and carpenters.

These men were not only assigned to the combat squadrons, but there were also specific, “Aircraft Park” units, which were composed of nothing but such support staff.

Some units consisted of entirely nothing else besides lumberjacks who went into the woods to find and cut the spruce used to make and repair the aircraft.

The propellers were not carved out of one piece of wood, but made of thin planks glued together. This made the result very strong and easy to make with the wood working skills available then.

In Michael Fox’s “Knights of the Skies” book, he mentions that a BE.2C used during the Somme in 1916 by 15 Sqn. “ in three months it was fitted with no fewer than eighty new wings and many other components.” Wooden parts which were damaged such as struts, ribs and propellers could be replaced, usually overnight. Larger jobs which would take longer meant the plane would probably be taken to the Airfield park, where after repair it often found its way to a different squadron.

Small tears and bullet holes in the fabric were one of the most common repair jobs. With fabric covered machines this could easily be patched. The dope would first be removed from the fabric around the tear, or bullet hole, and a suitable sized patch with serrated or frayed edges would be prepared. The area would then be re-doped and the thoroughly doped new patch added and smoothed down. A second coat of dope and a final coat of pigmented dope would finally be applied. Larger tears would be stitched together, or if there was too much damage then the old fabric would be removed and replaced.

Sometimes patches were not used on bullet holes. A small cross or roundel was painted over the hole, which stabilized the threads, and strengthened the fabric.

Knights Of The Skies - WWI

Royal Airforce

To keep the many men and machines in fighting shape during the World War II invasion of France, logistics technicians had their work cut out for them. Bombs, bullets, planes and tanks were top priorities, so there was little room for luxury items that would keep the troops in good spirits while fighting . In the early days after the Normandy invasion of June 1944, the retreating German army were suspected of poisoning the water sources. British and American troops also noticed an acute shortage of alcoholic beverages — namely beer. Many British soldiers complained that a watery cider was the only drink available in recently liberated French towns. When a British brewery donated gallons of beer for troops on the front, there was no way to get it to the men by conventional means.

Luckily for them, the Royal Air Force was able to solve the problem.

With no room for cargo on their small fighter planes, RAF pilots arrived at a novel solution - using drop tanks to transport beer instead of fuel. The drop tanks of a Spitfire each carried 45 gallons of gas, meaning a plane could transport 90 gallons of extra liquid. imparted a metallic flavor to the beer.

To counter this problem, ground crews developed Modification XXX, a change made to the wing pylons of Spitfire Mk. IXs that allowed them to carry actual kegs of beer.

These kegs, often called 'beer bombs,' were standard wooden beer kegs attached under the wing of the Spitfire. Though they carried less beer, it arrived tasting like it just came out of the tap at the pub, chilled by the altitude of the flight over the channel. To ensure their compatriots remained satisfied, pilots would often return to England for rudimentary maintenance issues or other administrative needs in order to grab another round. As the need for beer increased, all replacement Spitfires and Typhoons being shipped to airfields in France carried 'beer bombs' in their bomb racks to the joy of the thirsty crews manning the airfields.

When the Americans learned of what the British were doing they joined in, even bringing over ice cream for the GIs as well.

As the practice gained popularity, Britain's Custom and Excise Ministry objected and attempted to shut it down. Thankfully by that time, there were more organized official shipments of beer making it to the troops.

Air Vice Marshal James Edgar Johnson, CB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, DFC & Bar (9 March 1915 – 30 January 2001), nicknamed "Johnnie", was a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot and flying ace.

Johnson was credited with 34 individual victories over enemy aircraft, as well as seven shared victories, three shared probable, 10 damaged, three shared damaged and one destroyed on the ground.

Johnson flew 700 operational sorties and engaged enemy aircraft on 57 occasions.

Included in his list of individual victories were 14 Messerschmitt Bf 109s and 20 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s destroyed making him the most successful RAF ace against the Fw 190. This score made him the highest scoring Western Allied fighter ace against the German Luftwaffe.

MK329 was used by Johnnie Johnson, which according to his memoirs he flew twice. Rumor has it that he brought beer to his men in Normandy flying MK329. Johnson mentions that Spitfire MK329 was assembled from wrecked airframes and was a mix-and-match airframe, cobbled together out of spare parts.

Johnson scored the bulk of his victories flying two Spitfires Mk. IX. The first one was EN398 JE-J, in which he shot down 12 aircraft and shared five, plus six damaged while commanding the Kenley Wing. His second plane , MK392, was an LF Mk.IX, in which his tally increased by another 12 aircraft, plus one shared destroyed on the ground. For the purposes of ferrying beer, ground crews set about steam cleaning the tanks for their special deliveries. These flights became known as "flying pubs" by the troops they served. A few British breweries, such as Heneger and Constable, donated free beer for the RAF to take to the front. The drop tanks had a serious disadvantage. While they could carry large amounts of beer, the initial runs still tasted of fuel. Even after the tanks had been used several times and lost their fuel taste, they still .

He was to end the war flying another Spitfire Mk XIVe MV268.

JJD Aircraft Collection

Bunker Hill

Flight clothing was largely left up to the individual’s personal preference. Most pilots wore a khaki shirt and trousers, instead of the one piece flying suit, as the one piece flying suits were deemed too hot or uncomfortable.

The QAC (Quick, Attach, Chest) or QAS, parachute harness was worn by pilots. When not in the plane the leg straps are normally snapped to the sides of the harness to keep them out of the way. The parachute pack, pararaft kit and seat cushion are not attached to the harness, as these were most often left in the plane. As the pilot climbed into the seat, it was then easier for them to be attached to the QAS harness.

JJD Aircraft Collection

First Legion

New First Legion October Announcement
Russia - Vladimirksy Musketeers

The Russian Infantry of the period were renowned for their steadfastness and stoicism under fire. They were well acclimated to the hardships of military campaigns from the terrible cold weather to the scantiest of rations. However, in defending their homeland during the 1812 French invasion of Russia, these characteristics reached new heights and the Russians soldiers were able to outlast their French adversaries even though they had to deal with the same extremes and hardships of a winter campaign in Russia. As part of the Retreat Series, these figures are painted to a very high level and make an excellent addition allowing for a broader range of dioramas such as the Battle of Berezina to begin to take shape.

Retreat from Russia - Vladimirksy Musketeers

King Tiger

First Legion is extremely pleased to present the first set in our Late War German sub range of our WWII figure series.Panzer Abt. 509 was an was an independent tank battalion operating on the Eastern front. It was equipped with King Tiger tanks in December of 1944 and took part in the failed relief attampt of Budapest in January 1945 as part of Operation Konrad III. During this action, the battalion lost some 40 of it's tanks. The King Tiger was the successor to the Tiger I as Germany's Heavy Tank and combined the thick armor of the Tiger I with the sloping armor of the Panther along with the firepower of the 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 anti-tank cannon. Ours is depicted with the Henschel turret and a superbly detailed "winter whitewash". This tank is a real beast for sure at 70 tons and our rendition of it is modeled and painted to the very highest standards including additional weathering.

Battle of the Bulge

Painted 75mm Connoisseur

Painted 75mm Connoisseur Figures

Unpainted Metal Kits

Unpainted Metal Kits - Scale 60mm and 75mm

Hobby Master

New Hobby Master October Arrivals
Air Power Collection (Propeller Powered) - 1:48 Scale.

Air Power Collection (Propeller Powered) - 1:48 Scale.

Modern Air Power

Modern Air Power Collection

Hobby Master

Corgi

New Corgi September Arrivals
German Fighter Aircraft

German Bomber and Fighter Aircraft

American Bombers

British and American Bombers plus other large Aircraft

Modern Aircraft

Modern Aircraft and Fighting Vehicles

Very best regards from Mike & Myszka Hall and the Sierra Toy Soldier team - Aidan, Barbara, Christian, Cody, Gary, Howard, and Michael (the Kilted Vampire).

This newsletter is the copyright of Sierra Toy Soldier Company