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Toy Soldier Collector New Releases - Part 1
New Releases - Part 1

Reviews of new metal figures to arrive in the hobby by George Phillips
John Jenkins Designs
WWI & F&I Wars

Reviews of new metal figures to arrive in the hobby by George Phillips

John Jenkins Designs (2 PAGES)
WWI & F&I Wars

It's always a treat to review new sets from John Jenkins Designs (JJD) and a recent crop of releases builds upon the company's highly successful World War One and Seven Years War collections.
First up is the Mark I British Gun Carrier from the Great War. Packing a 6-inch howitzer designed to lob high explosive shells onto German positions, the vehicle was the first piece of self-propelled artillery produced in the world.

According to the JJD UK website, it became clear to British army leaders in 1916 that in the case of frontline break-throughs by their new Mark I tanks, the heavy artillery units would have difficulty following and supporting advancing troops. This created the risk of successful offensives stalling almost immediately.

To solve this problem, Major Gregg, an engineer working for Britain's main tank producing company, pushed for the production of mechanised artillery, using parts from the revolutionary Mark I tank. The first prototype participated in trials at Oldbury in March 1917. An order of 50 vehicles was given to Kitson & Co. in Leeds and deliveries to the Western Front started in June and ended in July.

At 13 inches long, the JJD model of the Gun Carrier is a large, eye-catching chunk of armour that was attracting a lot of attention at the London Toy Soldier Show in March. The howitzer gun sits at the front of the vehicle and around the edges of the central area of the hull, designed to house the gun crew, are easily accessible piles of brightly-coloured 6-inch shells. The vehicle's throaty Daimler 105 hp power plant, coupled with a Mark I tank transmission, was housed in the large, square-shaped engine compartment at the rear of the vehicle.

For collectors of 1/30 scale fighting vehicles from the Great War period, this is an unusual and highly engaging new piece that retails at £248 in the UK. In the pictures of the vehicle that accompany this report, our photographer also threw a couple of excellent new two-figure Allied infantry sets into the mix. The first presents two British Territorial Army figures from the London Regiment. Seated on wooden ammunition cases, the figures have an earthy charm and will make a great addition to any non-combative Great War diorama. The other set features two French riflemen from the 123rd Regiment of Infantry. In muddied, Horizon Blue uniforms and trench coats, the figures have the appearance of two war-weary Gallic warriors in deep conversation about the state of the current campaign. Another great piece for diorama-building. Both sets will cost you £55.

Woodland warriors

The final two releases are from the popular Raid on St Francis range from the JJD French and Indian Wars collection. The first is two beautifully painted Mohican tribesmen unleashing the deadly power of their muskets. These will display well individually, or within a woodland battle scene diorama. I'm sure that the rich colours and varied textures of clothing created in the painting of these figures is a large part of their appeal. These two figures would be £59 well spent.

We also photographed the new mounted Woodland Indian, this time directing the fire of his musket from a sturdy-looking horse. For me, this set captures the final seconds of aiming before the blast of the flintlock weapon causes the horse to jolt in surprise. Again, this figure has an eye-catching paint job and would be a terrific addition to your Woodland Indians collection. The set is priced at £67.

Review by George Phillips


John Jenkins Designs
Unit 6H, TOWER 1
King Ley Industrial Building
33-35 Yip Kan Street
Wong Chuck Hang
Hong Kong

Tel/fax: +1 852 2553 9313

In the UK:

John Jenkins Designs UK
Arena Buildings
Vulcan Road North

Tel: 07522 659 442


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