Sunday 24 March 2013

New Ventures: Air Weapons

Most people who get into air guns no doubt do so when they are relatively young. I never did, and never have, until now

Somewhere in Birmingham city centre, in a small shopping arcade located in a subway underneath a busy stretch of the inner ring road, is a small yet beautifully proportioned shop called The Birmingham Armoury. They are an offshoot of a larger concern by the name of Tenbury Guns and sell all manner of fun stuff including airsoft weapons, air pistols and rifles, archery equipment, deactivated guns, shotguns and firearms of various calibres. The image below is a screen capture of their website followed by a YouTube video of one of their airsoft experience days


I was first put onto the store by an airsoft buddy of mine and decided to pop along to take a look at the place a few weeks ago to check out what airsoft and .22 stuff they'd got. Whilst there, I started looking at some of the airguns they had in stock and since then I've been spending many of my waking hours researching pistols, pellets, rifles, scopes, targets and all manner of sundry items associated with various aspects of the numerous air gun shooting sports and past times

A couple of weeks ago I bit the bullet [feeble pun fully intended] and bought myself the following items; a pellet firing replica of the H&K P30, a knock down resettable target to shoot at, a heap of CO2 canisters and 5 tins of pellets

Simply shoot down the four little duckies, hit the circle in the centre and the target re-sets ready for another go

RWS Superdome pellets, a gas canister, 8 round magazine and a pellet loading tool used to make sure the pellets are properly seated in side the mag

The pellet on the left is a Milbro Caledonian .177 and the one on the right is a superior quality RWS Superdome

This is the baby that fires them. The gas canister goes in the handle where the real steel magazine would normally fit and the round mag slots into an aperture in the slide which opens forwards when you press the lever located underneath

Last week I took the gun down to the local gun club and fired off a few magazines at some of their targets. I also had the chance to try out one of the other member's air rifles, the one I already had my eyes on having seen one at TBA and read fantastic reviews of them in some of the airgun press. It didn't disappoint, and now I want one all the more. Only time will tell but I might just have a few more toys to play with in the not too distant future

Until next time, happy hunting!

Saturday 23 March 2013

First Legion: New and Coming Soon

The First Legion post this month has a distinctly 'ancient' theme with a focus on a newly announced range and a sneak preview of some figures soon to be added to an already existing range that is proving very popular with collectors

First Legion is very pleased to announce our latest figure range, the World of the Greeks!!!  Following in the footsteps of the runaway success of our Glory of Rome range we are turning our talents to another range from the Ancient World, specifically Ancient Greece. Our initial launch covers Greek Hoplites, but the range will expand to Macedonian Phalanxes, Companion Cavalry, and enemies of Greece such as Darius and the mighty Persian Empire to name but a few. First Legion will bring to life one of the most fascinating periods of human and military history and with the sculpting and painting quality you've come to expect from us, this range will surely be unmatched in both quality and depth. So prepare the fields at Marathon and Guagamela because the Greeks are here!!! We sincerely hope you enjoy them!


The initial release includes all of the following figures, most of which are illustrated in the above picture. I have included one or two close ups under the list, just for good measure!

AG001 Greek Hoplite Commander with Brass Armor and Sparta Shield - $59.95
AG002 Greek Musician - $49.95
AG003 Greek Hoplite with Illyrian Helmet and Linen Armor - $59.95
AG004 Greek Hoplite with Snake Shield and Linen Armor - $59.95
AG005 Greek Hoplite with Brass Armor and Pegasus Shield - $59.95
AG006 Greek Hoplite with Thracian Helmet and Brass Armor - $59.95
AG007 Greek Hoplite with Bronze Reinforced Linen Armor and Corinthian Helmet - $59.95
AG008 Greek Hoplite with Bronze Scale Armor and Chalcis Helmet - $59.95
AG009 Greek Hoplite with Bronze Reinforced Linen Armor and Chalcis Helmet - $59.95
AG010 Greek Hoplite with Bronze Reinforced Linen Armor and Medusa Shield - $59.95
AG011 Greek Hoplite with Bronze Armor and Thracian Helmet - $59.95
AG012 Greek Hoplite with Archaic Corinthian Helmet and Owl Shield - $59.95
AG013 Greek Hoplite with Bronze Reinfored Linen Armor and Illyrian Helmet - $59.95
AG014 Greek Hoplite with Brass Armor and Chalcis Helmet - $59.95
AG015 Greek Hoplite Protecting Fallen Comrade Vignette - $119.95
Shipping End March 2013

Following hot on the heels of the Greeks are these soon to be released non-combatant figures for the Glory of Rome range. I have included a picture of each of the figures
ROM050 Roman Senator #1 - $54.95
ROM051 Roman Senator #2 - $54.95
ROM052 Roman Senator #3 - $54.95
ROM053 Roman Senator #4 - $54.95
Senator number 1

Senator number 3

Senator number 2

Senator number 4
Until next time, happy hunting!

JJD: March Releases

Back again with news of forthcoming releases and, indeed, re-releases from JJD

Rickenbacker’s SPAD XIII

The highly anticipated first of the SPADs, in the form of Rickenbacker’s SPAD XIII was revealed, to much aplomb, at the London Toy Soldier Show 9th March 2013. Visit JJD UK TV now to see a full preview of this stunning new aircraft

March Releases

With Chinese New Year over the new releases resume their regular schedule

Limited Edition Polikarpok I-16

Over the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War soars the Polikarpov I-16 as flown by Frank Glasgow Tinker. This model will be made as a limited edition of just 100 models. Additionally, on the back of two of the limited edition certificates you may be informed that you have won one of two prizes. John Jenkins will be giving away the following two books:

“Some Still Live” by Frank Glasgow Tinker

This rare book was decorated with original photos shot in Spain by the famous photographer-reporter Robert Capa. It also contains a map of Spain where the locations of the landing grounds of Campo Soto and Campo X, used by the Andres Garcia La Calle squadron Tinker flew with, appeared for the first time to the public. It remains unique on the description of a number of other figures of the Lacalle squadron team for whom no other recorded evidence was left. The book has today an historical value and was used as a main reference for studies on the adventure of the Americans who flew with the Spanish Republican Air Force during the civil war

“Five Down No Glory, Frank G Tinker, Mercenary Ace in the Spanish Civil War” by R. Cargill Hall

This first in-depth biography of Tinker covers his experience in combat, culminating with his commanding a Soviet squadron and terminating his contract with the government of Spain. Tinker would become the top American ace during the Spanish Civil War after downing eight enemy airplanes in combat. On returning to the United States, he wrote a memoir about fighting for Republican Spain (“Some Still Live”) and in June 1939 died under mysterious circumstances in Little Rock, Arkansas. The authors, well-known aviation historians, also offer a rare discussion of the aerial tactics introduced in the Spanish Civil War that became standard procedures in World War 2


For the Peninsular War we have the first of three French Line marching figures – most likely marching straight into an ambush set by Spanish Guerrillas. Each pose is available in white or brown trousers and they are also available in a four figure set to help get your marching column underway

The Knights of the Skies range sees a number of exciting new releases. The British Hanger has finally arrived. As with the German Hanger the highly detailed model comes with three separate number plates to display on the model, a fitting backdrop to any Allied WWI airfield scene

Outside the British Hangar, a British ground crew painter keeps the British liveries bold and brigh

A Rolls Royce Armoured car crewman pops his head out of the hatch to keep lookout

Meanwhile, not far away across enemy lines, a German pilot and telescope keeps a close eye out for the RAF

1812 collectors get a treat with the introduction of U.S. Marines Marching sets a welcome return to the War of 1812

In the Sudan, a British Naval Brigade soldier fends off an assault in the night, clutching sword and lantern


Back in Production

It doesn’t happen very often, but we are always grateful when it does. Back due to popular demand, the following four sets are once again available to pre-order:

GGC-02 – Knights Of The Skies - Ehrhardt E-V/ German Armoured Car – available from March 2013

ACE-12 – Knights of the Skies - Nieuport 17 N 1895 (Nungesser) – shipping May 2013

SRNGUN-01 The Sudan - British Naval Brigade, Gatling Gun – shipping May 2013

ACE-10P Knights Of The Skies - Capt. Roy Brown – shipping May 2013

And the following set is also going back into production:

TT-01 Ticonderoga - French Defences 1 – shipping June 2013

Club Set Releases

JJCLUBSET-12 Lieutenant Francis James Buchanan and Light Coehorn Mortar and JJCLUBSET-14 Mortar Wagon are in production and delivery of these limited edition sets is expected in April 2013

JJCLUBSET-15 Roger’s Servant and JJCLUBSET-16 English Travelling Blacksmith’s Forge are in production and delivery of these limited edition sets is expected in May 2013

Intel and Reconnaissance

John revealed an exciting selection of future releases shortly before the London Toy Soldier Show including French line and more Woodland Indians

You can see full details of these forthcoming sets on the JJD UK Intel and Reconnaissance section.

For up to the minute exclusives, news, views and reviews, join us on facebook

Happy collecting

James and Adam


That's all folks. Until next time, happy hunting!

Saturday 9 March 2013

King and Country: Dispatches

Further details regarding the figure sets previewed here can be found on the main K&C website, or by visiting K&C UK

As ever, all of the figures featured in last month's post are now available for sale, or will be shortly, so here are the figures you can look forward to for later in April, together with a list of those being retired from sale

First up, some additions to one of K&C's flagship ranges, 'Remember The Alamo'

RTA066 “General Cos”
RTA067 “Captain John Baugh”
RTA068 “Antonio Fuentes”
RTA069 “Dr. Polland Amos”  
RTA070 “Charles Henry Clark”

Next in line, a number of 'empty' horses, dismounted riders and enemy infantry for their 'Australian Light Horse' series

AL045    “Standing Horse #1”
AL046    “Standing Horse #2”

AL047    “Galloping Horse #1”
AL048    “Galloping Horse #2”

AL049    “Kneeling Turkish Radioman”
AL050    “Charging Turk w/Rifle”
AL051    “The Swordsman”

AL052    “Hang On Mate!” 
AL053    “The Shooter”

From WW1 we travel forward in time to WW2 where we welcome these splendid looking additions to the ranks of the Red Army as they courageously fight the German aggressors back to the gates of Berlin

RA024   “Solider Holding burp gun”
RA038   “Red Army Valentine MK.III”

Over 2,000 of these British built tanks were supplied to the Russians as part of Allied “Lend-Lease” agreements.  Our model bears the number “39” and the slogan “Stalinets”.  It comes with a half-body Soviet tank commander

RA040   “Combat Leader”      
RA041   “Female Warrior”

Of all the combatant nations during WW2 only the Russians used women as “fighters” in front-line” units

RA042   “Sniper”
RA043   “Kneeling Firing”  
RA044   “Advancing”      
RA045   “Female Shooter”      
RA046   “Sitting burp gunner”
RA047   “Sitting w/Rifle”
RA048   “Kneeling w/Rifle”

If, like me, you love collecting German forces and are feeling a little forgotten about, never fear, K&C have something for you too this month, in the shape of these alternative and swappable tank commander figures and a brand new Panzer IV

WS219      “Panzer IV H”        
WS223-1  “Tank Commanders #1”
WS223-2  “Tank Commanders #2”

     Our K&C “H” model Panzer IV is mounting the long-barreled 75mm main gun and comes with the wrap-around turret shield armour. First produced in mid 1943, Panzer IV H’s saw action on both East and West fronts and in Italy. More than 3,000 were produced of this particular variant and this, our first version, comes in typical three-colour camouflage of the later war period. The K&C model includes the tank commander in the top turret hatch

Finally, those figures heading for the happy hunting grounds in the sky, aka being retired from production

The Age of Napoleon

NA114     Charging Sword Forward
NA116     Advancing Forward      
NA117     Charging Sword Downward
NA118     Advance to the Front
NA119     Slashinig w/ Sabre
NA121    Cuirassier Firing Pistol
NA124    Cantiniere

First World War

FW060    General Papa Joffre
FW062    French Mounted Officer
FW063    Marching Officer
FW064    Marching Poilus
FW065    Marching French Soldier
FW066    The Scout
FW067    Poilu attending to a General’s Horse
FW068    Drum Major
FW069    Drummer
FW070    Bugler Marching

The Crusades

MK071   “The Crusader Tent”

“Operation Market Garden”

MG010   Walking Radioman
MG011   Lieutenant w/ Sten Gun
MG012   Standing Firing Sten Gun
MG013   Lying Firing Bren Gun
MG016   Maj. Gen. Roy Urquhart
MG020   Kneeling Firing Sten Gun
MG022   Lying Firing Rifleman
MG023   Major General Sosabowski
MG031   Mortar Team

Until next time, happy hunting!

Thomas Gunn Miniatures: March Releases

A summary of the newsletter I received a few days ago from the team at TGM

Welcome to March releases for Thomas Gunn, once again a small release but great things come in small packages so they say!

The long awaited French Foreign Legion finally arrive this month. Thank you for all your emails regarding these figures and yes there will be more figures coming later in the year including Arabs for our legionnaires to go up against! We decided to opt for the classic Beau Geste period for this new range which encompasses the late 1800's to 1916 when the legion switched over to a khaki uniform. Depending on the success of this series we plan to launch into other eras and cover plenty of classic battles in which the legion took part. All in all a series with huge potential and one which we are all very excited about at Thomas Gunn. Kicking off the series are six new figures as follows:

French Foreign Legion Series

FFL001: A two man set comprising a Sgt. Major firing his pistol and a Bugler issuing orders on the battlefield

FFL002: Kneeling legionnaire and prone firing rifleman

FFL003: Standing firing legionnaire with a kneeling rifleman

All the above sets are $69 each, limited to 100 sets and are available now!

Scramble for Africa

Following on from our French boys in blue we also launch a new series of British redcoats suitable for the 1st Boer or the Zulu Wars whichever you prefer. We will be releasing Boer figures to add to these sets at a later date. These figures are 54mm in size and designed to compliment Britain's or the Conte range of figures and as such are designed to fill the gaps in these two ranges. Four figures will launch this range and are as follows:

SFA001 Kneeling officer with pistol and 24th Regiment of Foot soldier with officer's sword defending the colours. Priced at $75, limited to 100 sets worldwide and available now

SFA002 Comprises two running figures; one in standard issue jacket without hat and the other dressed in grey shirt holding onto his hat as they run forward to assist their comrades. Limited to 100 sets worldwide, priced at $69 and ready for immediate dispatch

Gunn Club Update

With over 1200 registered Gunn Club members on our database, Thomas Gunn wants to reward those Gunn Club members who buy direct through our website. We will therefore be launching a new series of Gunn Club figures. These beautiful looking figures will be released on a regular basis and will be free to the first 100 Club members, who spend $150 or more through the TGM website, in the month that the figure is released

We kick off with SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Max Wunsche who commanded the 12th SS HitlerJugend during its defence of Normandy. April should see the release of Generaloberst Dietl with Allied and Napoleonic figures making an appearance later in the year. Further information can be found on our website under the Gunn Club section

Happy hunting, until next time!

Sunday 3 March 2013

Latest Additions: In Situ

Welcome to March

Just one or two more images of some recently acquired pieces, this time 'on location' so to speak, incorporated into a couple of dioramas

Apologies for the slightly dodgy picture quality in one or two of these shots

The new figures in question here are the two sets of casualty figures and the vehicle shown in the background

The newly acquired figures here and in the following shots are the three HY boys and the two BDM girls standing alongside them, looking on adoringly as the parade marches past