Friday 31 August 2012

John Gittins Miniatures: New Terrain Piece

Hello again, I'm having a busy old night. It's not often that I post about new releases from John, although I love what he does and have quite a few of his pieces and scenic items, but I simply had to mention this having received an email about it from John a short while ago

John has created a stunning river bank diorama measuring a mahusive 30 inches in length and 24 inches in depth. Constructed to order on a rigid sub-frame, the ratio of river to bank can be adjusted to suit the customer's requirements and is suitable for all periods. It can also be ordered with a desert sand finish and made to accommodate the Nile Gun Boat manufactured by Britains

Not surprisingly, for such a hefty piece, it comes with a fairly hefty price tag. At £495, not including the tree you can see in the publicity shots, not everyone's budget will stretch to it but it sure looks mightily impressive!

The water looks almost good enough to drink, or swim in!

An idea of what can be achieved with a few carefully selected figures and additional scenic items!

Tree and backdrop both sold separately

Happy hunting!

First Legion : Update

Here is a very brief, but nonetheless beautiful, update from the miracle workers at First Legion

Greetings First Legion faithful! This is a very brief supplemental newsletter for August to announce the start of the (very short!) pre-order for our WWII US 101st Airborne Paratroopers! Figures NOR001-NOR011 are now available for pre-order and will be shipping right around September 7th 2012

We have long been asked when we would expand our WWII range to cover the campaign in NW Europe and we are pleased to announce that the time has finally come. And what better way to kick off the "Great Crusade" than with those who were among the first to land in France to begin the liberation of Europe, the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army   

The 101st Division landed in Normandy on the early hours of June 6th 1944 but were spread out due to missed drop zones. After isolated battles by various pockets of men, the division consolidated and pushed on St. Come du Mont on June 8th and pressed for the causeways to Utah Beach on June 10th.  On June 12th they attacked Carentan driving out the German Fallschirmjagers and beat off ferocious counterattacks to the southwest of the town by SS Panzergrenadiers of the 17th Division and Fallschirmjagers supported by Assault guns on June 13th in the Battle of Bloody Gulch

After this period of non-stop fighting, the division was assigned the role of defending the left flank of VII corps and shortly later taken out of the line and placed in operational reserve having taken heavy casualties in men and material. We sincerely hope you enjoy them and welcome this addition to our ever expanding World War II figure range


NOR001 US 101st Airborne Captain with Thompson SMG - $59.95
NOR002 US 101st Airborne Sergeant with M1A1 Carbine - $59.95
NOR003 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Running with M1 Garand and Ammo Box - $59.95
NOR004 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Running with M1 Garand - $59.95
NOR005 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Running with Thompson SMG - $59.95
NOR006 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Standing with M1 Garand - $59.95
NOR007 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Standing Firing M1 Garand - $59.95
NOR008 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Running with M1 Garand - $59.95
NOR009 US 101st Airborne Corporal Running with Thompson SMG - $59.95
NOR010 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Firing Thompson SMG - $59.95
NOR011 US 101st Airborne Paratrooper Bazooka Team - $124.95
Shipping Early September 2012

So that's the good news. The slightly bad news associated with this is that all of our new releases scheduled for late August will be shipping at the same time. This includes sets AWI058-AWI069 Haslet’s 1st Delaware, the 3 different versions of BMW R75 Motorcycle Combinations for our WWII: DAK range with sets DAK015-DAK017, and the start of our Vietnam range with VN001-VN004 US Infantry of the 25th Infantry division  

In addition, Archduke Charles NAP0350 will come into stock at the same time along with additional stock of our mounted Samurai figures SAM021-SAM026. We felt it was important to get our US Airborne figures to the US in time for the big Chicago show, so we made the decision to push everything back a week or so.  A small tradeoff for such fine figures!

Plus, another benefit of this new release is that it generates another newsletter which of course means it generates another “sneak peek”.  For this round we’re previewing some more of our upcoming mounted Crusades figures. We previewed one charging figure awhile back, now we’re previewing him along with four of his friends!

Until next time, happy hunting!

Thomas Gunn Miniatures: WW1

I feel like I've been away forever. The delights of a) being on holiday from work and b) having a young family to entertain have kept me away from the computer and all the supposedly 'free time' I've had to enjoy has just flown by! Well, I'm back now and kicking off with some welcome news from our friends at TGM. At last, they have released a few more figures for their new WW1 range and here they are in all their glory, together with some information courtesy of the company. Enjoy!

Dear All
After what seems an eternity TGM finally revisit WW1 with 4 great looking figures. Small things come in great packages and we hope you will find these new releases unique and at the same time 'something different' as they say. For the first time we are also offering German troops for the WW1 desert campaign with plenty more to follow later on in the year

Last month was a surprisingly busy month despite the holiday season, we have now sold out of the Puma and Hetzer at our end but I am sure some dealers will still have these items in stock

GW003 Bergmann MG15 with crew
The Bergmann machine gun was an outstanding design of German engineering, used both by the army and air force during WW1. It was not produced in as many numbers as the Maxim but it made a significant contribution to the Imperial German Army’s arsenal. The majority were used on the Eastern and Palestine fronts, often with devastating results
Our Western Front figures wear gas masks whilst laying down covering fire for their Stormtrooper colleagues who are now approaching the Allied lines

The Germans supplied thousands of troops to the Turks in their Middle East enterprise and machine gunners were highly appreciated for the amount of fire they could lay down in an attacking or defending role. LOA003 is the desert version of GW003 and features 2 gunners dressed in typical tropical gear suitable for 1918. The German army did issue a complete uniform in a khaki colour for the Middle East but these troops were sometimes mistaken for British soldiers and fired upon by their own side as well as by the Allies! Some German troops wore a mixture of European and tropical dress to counter this, whilst others switched back the European dress to avoid being shot at by their own side!

 Both sets are limited to 150 pieces and priced at $72

GW004 Stormtrooper Assault Team
Comprises 2 soldiers moving forward wearing gas masks once more. One of the troopers carries a newly issued Bergmann MP18 sub machine gun and the other is armed with a rifle and nasty looking club! An unfortunate feature of WW1 trench warfare was an array of home made weapons, many of which harked back to medieval times and could cause horrific injuries

LOA004 is the desert version of GW004 and a slight difference in arms has resulted in our running forward figure with the more traditional stick grenade as opposed to a club

Once again both versions of the set are limited to 150 pieces and are priced at $65. More sets are promised for later in the year sporting a variety of weaponry and clothing variations, too

I'm delighted to see these figures, especially the stormtrooper variants with their gas masks and multi-coloured helmets, which I fully intend to purchase to sit alongside my existing WW1 figures. I have all the K&C stormtroopers and the flamethrower figure released by TGM a while back. The company has said that they have 'toned down' the multi-coloured helmets a little so that they don't appear quite so 'bright' or 'garish'. Hopefully they will not now look too out of place with the figures I already have

Finally, a couple of pics showing the collected ensemble. Happy hunting!

Friday 17 August 2012

King and Country: Wehrmacht Update

Subsequent to the release of the regular monthly dispatches just over two weeks ago now, K&C sent word of a handful of new Wehrmacht figures to be released alongside all of the other stuff next month. What follows is a brief summary of what will be available


For many years K&C has produced many different kinds of different WW2 German soldiers wearing a variety of camouflage uniforms that the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS pioneered

Now we feel it’s time to “get back to basics” i.e. return to the classic image of the German soldier from the first half of the Second World War… the simple, unadorned steel helmet, the grey/green jacket, the field-grey trousers tucked into the long jackboots. All covered in the fine dust of France and the Low Countries and the endless steppes of Russia…

WS200 “Walking Officer”
With his Schmeisser Machine Pistol slung over his back this confident officer could be somewhere in France in 1940… or anywhere in western Russia in 1941!

WS201 “Marching MG34 Gunner”
Many photos of the early war period show German infantry on the march looking tired but successful… Is this gunner’s next stop Paris… or Moscow?

WS202 “The Ammo Carrier”
MG34’s used up prodigious amounts of belted ammo and so other soldiers in the gunner’s section were detailed to “hump” additional boxes of ammunition

WS203 “NCO w/ Binos”
It was not just officers that were issued with expensive field binoculars. Even junior NCO’s managed to beg, borrow or steal a good pair of binos for their personal use

Alongside these four new regular army foot-sloggers they will also be releasing a new version of the esteemed Rommel and a rather lovely looking armoured car, both pictured below

WS196 “Rommel in France”
K&C has produced several Rommel figures, mostly in his Afrika Korps uniform but never one as he appeared in France in 1940 during his command of the 7th Panzer Division.
        Here he pauses at the side of a country road, perhaps enjoying a sandwich and a cup of coffee

WS209 “Sd. Kfz. 222 Armoured Car”
        Another great German classic! The 222 has long been a favourite of K&C and now we’re going to release a small varied selection for different “theatres of war”. Here’s our first.
        Dust-covered and in field-grey this early/mid war version has the vehicle commander carefully protected inside the gun cupola.
        Two other versions are being released later this year…

Happy hunting!

First Legion Update

Hi folks. I've already posted information relating to First Legion's new releases this month but thought I'd share with you a small part of the extended newsletter that landed in my inbox a few days ago

Hello one and all from First Legion Ltd! We sincerely hope you are all enjoying your summer (or winter for those down under!) and getting in a bit of R&R with friends and family. It really is a wonderful time of year to relax and play with toy soldiers. That being said, after a July in which we shipped some 60+ new sets of figures, we’ve still managed to squeeze in  another 19 new sets for August as we gear up to make additional new product hopefully in time for the Chicago show

First we are very pleased to revisit our AWI range in the form of AWI058-AWI069 Haslet’s 1st Delaware.   It’s been a while since we’ve released figures for this range and it’s really a feast or famine situation as the long awaited 22nd British Foot should follow right on their heels in September

In addition, we’re also pleased to announce 3 different versions of BMW R75 Motorcycle Combinations for our WWII: DAK range with sets DAK015-DAK017. These are extremely detailed models that we’re quite proud of so we hope you like them as much as we do!   

And finally for August, we are pleased to officially announce our Vietnam War range and present the first four figures for pre-order, VN001-VN004 US Infantry of the 25th Infantry division. This is the third of our four new ranges for this year and this one is probably the one least expected but seemingly generating the greatest amount of buzz and feedback from you all   

We also have a few brief announcements to make. First, NAP0350 Archduke Charles has been enabled in our catalog for ordering again. The figure was returned to the factory for repairs and improved packaging after it was first released and that work is just about finished and it will be back in stock late August.  So consider this as basically a new pre-order for NAP0350. We know a lot of you have been waiting for this figure so we’re pleased to finally make it available again  

Second, even though this is the newsletter that announces our new Samurai as “in stock”, SAM024 is currently on back order until late August.  We have limited stock of the other mounted Samurai until late August as well when our full production run arrives at our warehouse

Third, we’ve had quite a few questions about the launch of the Seven Years War Range and we just wanted to update you that the pre-order will commence right around the end of this month or early September

Finally, for those of you who are concerned (putting it mildly!) about the Romans that are currently showing as out of stock on our website, these figures are not fully sold out and will be restocked later in the year 

In addition to all of the above announcements  First Legion have released 'sneek peak' images of two new figures for their range of medieval Crusaders, and here they are

I for one am particularly keen to see these two new figures. I've chosen to limit my 'military figure' collection to those depicting Germanic fighting men so the only FL crusaders I have at the moment are the three Teutonic knights they have released to date. So far I haven't bothered to buy any of the generic men-at-arms figures so I'm looking forward to the prospect of having these two fairly generic religious characters standing alongside them and spurring them on!

Until next time, happy hunting!

Friday 3 August 2012

First Legion: Latest Releases and Announcements

Not much to report on this time round but what little of it there is, is nevertheless quite significant

First up, a new regiment for their American Revolution range

First Legion is extremely pleased to present our rendition of Haslet's 1st Delaware Regiment of the American Revolution! This regiment was one of the elite regiments of the early Continental army of 1776

They were among the best uniformed, trained, and equipped of Washington's forces at the time of the Battles of New York and Long Island and were one of the very few units that wouldn't be classified strictly as "militia" 

The 1st Delaware distinguished themselves well at the Continental defeat at Long Island and gave the British a taste of what the American fighting man was capable of.  We have presented them here in their mitre caps which was a unique feature of the unit

Images and details of the individual figures comprising the regiment can be found by visiting the company website;

Next up, yet another new range and, as far as I know, First Legion are the only major manufacturer currently tackling this particular subject matter

First Legion is extremely proud to present our latest figure range, the Vietnam War!!!  From the Mekong Delta to the DMZ, First Legion will take you there. Technically not a war as the US Congress never officially declared war, the US conflict in Vietnam lasted some ten years from 1965-1975 and wholly defined an entire generation of Americans

Our intention of course is to leave the politics of the war aside and focus solely on the military portion of the conflict with some of the finest figures we’ve ever produced. We’ve started off with US Infantry from the 25th “Tropic Lightning” Infantry Division. The division was heavily engaged throughout the war in and around the area of Saigon and is heavily associated with battles in the Iron Triangle, the Ho Bo Woods, the Boi Loi Woods, Hoc Mon, War Zone C, and even Cambodia

We have chosen to present them as they would have appeared in 1968/1969 right around the time of the TET Offensive and the battles which followed, wearing full kit whilst out on a search and destroy operation. With the superb sculpting and painting that we are renown for, these are surely some of the finest Vietnam War figures ever created. We sincerely hope you enjoy them and appreciate our attempt to bring to life one of the most controversial and defining chapters in American history

The initial release is restricted to four of the figures shown above and further images and details of the individual figures comprising this initial release can be found by visiting the company website

 Until next time, happy hunting!

Wednesday 1 August 2012

K&C Dispatches

Here we all are at the beginning of August and Team GB are finally off and running [or rowing, or cycling.....] their way to what will hopefully be our greatest medal tally of the modern Olympic Games era. Fingers crossed

It's also time to reflect on the latest offerings from K&C and as usual it's a pretty mixed bag with releases on the horizon for a number of their ranges. Full details, together with more images, can be found here: K&C Dispatches 

I've chosen to highlight the following two imminent releases, the first for their D-Day range and the other for their Berlin '38 series


 It’s been a while (too long) since we brought in some reinforcements for our beleaguered G.I.’s    fighting up from those Normandy beaches and into the high-sided (and dangerous) “Bocage” of the Norman countryside. So, here they are… a section of 1st Infantry Division “The Big Red One” guys ready to go head-to-head with the Krauts

All in all there will be total of eight new figure sets in this release, including these three

DD180 “The Universal Jeep”

DD182 “Shouting NCO”

DD183 “Machine Gun Team”

They've also decided to release yet another figure of Hitler for their Berlin '38 series and although I've already got a few, I'll probably buy this one since, as it states in the advertising blurb, the pose is a very typical and unmistakeable one, seen in many photographs of the man from this period of time

To accompany this they are releasing a revamped version of the Berlin SS HQ building facade. This time they've given it a much bigger balcony, and what looks to be a bit more standing room for additional figures at the top of the steps

LAH156 “Brown-Shirt Hitler 1933”
        Throughout the period of the late 1920’s and into the first half of the 1930’s Hitler most often appeared in public wearing this simple version of the SA brown-shirt uniform. The pose is also typical

LAH169 “SS-Hauptampt” SS Central Command H.Q.
This 2-storey façade has been specially designed to go with our earlier façade releases but boasts a far larger upper balcony (to accommodate more of the Berlin ’38 personalities).
        Additional side pieces (to extend a display) will be released later

So, what have Andy and the team decided to retire this month? Here's the full list!

BBA040 “Truck Winter Passengers (Set one)”
DD108 “Bren Gun Team”
DD109 “Medic & Wounded”
DD110 “Attacking”
DD111 “Moving Inland”
DD112 “Command Set”
DD113 “Attack!”
DD114 “Casualty of War”
DD115 “Road Sign “CAEN””
NA184 “Mounted Officer”
NA185 “Walking Flagbearer”
NA186 “Marching Officer w/ Sword”
NA187 “Marching Sergeant”
NA188 “Marching Pioneer”
NA189 “Marching Guardsman”
NA190 “Guardsman At attention”
NA191 “Saving The Boy”
NA192 “Camp Follower”
NA193 “Advancing Guardsman”
        NA194 “Marching Flagbearer”
       Until next time, happy hunting!