KAR by Lone*Star

1. Officer

Lone*Star was the name used by British company Die Cast Metal Tools Ltd. for its toy products.  These started with die-cast metal toys in 1939 and extended after the Second World War to factory-painted plastic figures, which the company made from 1955 to 1976.

2. Radio Operator

The set of ten plastic KAR figures show an officer and nine askari in the Australian-style slouch hat which was adopted for undress and field headwear early in the Second World War.  In fact, the same toy soldiers were sold with white-painted faces as Australian infantry.

3. Marching

The first soldier in the set is a pistol-wielding officer; unfortunately, the officer’s black-painted face does not fit with his Second World War uniform, as it wasn’t until the last few years before independence in the 1960s that black officers were commissioned in the KAR.  Ugandan Dictator Idi Amin was one of the first black Africans to be made a commissioned officer, in preparation for the army of an independent Uganda in 1962.

4. Rifle at the Ready

The second toy soldier is an askari speaking into the microphone of a large radio that he carries on his back.

5. Standing with sten gun

The third soldier is marching with his Lee Enfield 0.303 SMLE rifle slung over his shoulder.  This is my favourite toy soldier depiction of a KAR askari.

The fourth soldier thrusts his rifle and bayonet forward in a ready position.

6. Kneeling with sten gun

The fifth and sixth soldiers carry sub-machine guns – almost certainly intended to be British 9mm sten guns – one askari stands and the other kneels on one knee.

7. Kneeling and Firing

The seventh soldier is also kneeling as he fires his 0.303 rifle.

The eighth soldiers is poised in the act of throwing a Mills hand grenade…

8. Throwing Grenade

…and the ninth has his hat slung on his back to keep it clear of the Bazooka he is firing.

9. Bazooka

The tenth and final soldier in the set is another very nice figure, crouching low over his Bren light machine gun to provide fire support for the rest of the platoon.

10. Bren Gunner