Rhodesian African Rifles askari


IMG_4588 IMG_4589 IMG_4592 IMG_4594 IMG_4595 IMG_4596 IMG_4597 IMG_4598 IMG_4599 IMG_4600Recently bought some Eureka 28mm miniatures, Rhodesian Bush War, RLI figures which I then changed to RAR by adding kidney pouches, sleeping bags, shirt sleeves and trousers to bring them up to RAR standards.


23 thoughts on “Rhodesian African Rifles askari

  1. John, Nice conversions on the RLI to RAR, I have asked the folks at Eureka about when the actual RAR figures will be produced but its all up to the sculptor when he decides to do it. You’ve now inspired me to do the same though I had already purchased some of the Portuguese figures to do the same thing. By the way, I love your art work……especially the Rhodesian themed pieces. Respectfully Yours, Vince

    • Hi Vince. Thanks for your kind comments. Yes I have been on to Kosta about doing RAR figures but as yet he has no plans. I am thinking of commissioning a batch. In fact I have commissioned a batch of 20mm RAR with Under Fire Miniatures so those will be coming out in the future. All the best, John

      • John, Thanks for your reply and your efforts to get Kosta to do the RAR in 28mm…..I had emailed him earlier this year with the same response. I was originally introduced to gaming the Rhodesian Bush Wars by way of Eureka’s 28mm figures and probably will stick with 28mm vs the 20mm figures though Under Fires’ minis are rather nice. On a related note, I became familiar with your artwork from some of the reference material I’ve collected, such as the book Masodja. As a retired US Army pilot and a fellow combat veteran myself, I want to salute you for your own service to your country, Rhodesia. I hope to hear from you soon and take care. Respectfully Yours, Vince

  2. Hi Vince. I take my hat off to any Army Helicopter Pilot. –Much respect to you guys and to your service to America. We had a lot of very good Americans with us in 1RAR and in the Rhode Army for that matter. I gave up on my Rhode war games when I couldn’t get good figures but like you once I saw the Eureka and Under Fire Miniatures I have started again. Gave my 20mm 1/72 Fire Force to the Rhodesian Collection so I have to build another. Will keep you posted Vince Shamwari (friend)

    • Hi Sam. Very impressed with what you have done. Love the early war Rhodesian figures made from British Aden troops. Excellent. RAR were dressed the same at the very beginning of the war. Kosta is at present producing 8 new RAR figures in 28mm. Cant wait to see them. I have just commissioned 20 new RAR, 20mm figures from Under Fire Miniatures. As I get time from my military paintings I will put more on the site. Looking forward to seeing what you do next. All the best John Hop

    • Hi Ash. Thanks for that but I am not in your league, mate! You will be pleased to know the 12 new 28mm Eureka RAR figures will be ready soon. Might be a few weeks before Kosta goes public. They look brilliant!

  3. Vincent Stella

    John, Thanks for convincing Kosta to do the 28mm RAR. I am extremely pleased to hear that they will be out soon and just in time, too. I just bought a bunch of figures I planned to convert to RAR but now I’ll use them as additional RLI but mostly as regular Rhodesia Regiment troops. I also plan to convert my Portuguese figures to dismounted Grey’s Scouts. Also, I recently found some 1/54 scale diecast period correct Renaults, Citroens and Peugeots that were in use in Rhodesia. I verified them on one of the Rhodesian sites to ensure they would be historically accurate on the game table!!!! One of them will ‘converted’ to a BSAP police car. I really look forward to the release of the RAR. Thanks for the update. And most importantly, thanks for the compliment of calling me Shamwari in your last post to me. I really appreciate it. Vince

  4. Hi Vince, good to hear from you. I don’t think Kosta needed much convincing. He has let me have a preview as I helped him with the detail photos and ideas, Kosta does not want to show them just yet. All I can say is that the figures are RAR! I even got him to give every figure in four, a toggle rope or machete. The detailing is superb. 12 figures in all I think. There may be a thirteenth which will be a European officer. Have not seen that yet. You can use the RLI and RAR figures for dismounted Greys Scouts as well! Will look in to the vehicles, thanks. Under Fire Miniatures are just about to launch 19 new RAR figures in 20mm. Very nice! All the best Shamwari. John

    • Vincent Stella

      John, I am so you glad you were able to help Kosta with some of the historical detail on the RAR. After you told me I immediately figured I’d want at least two complete sets of the RAR as soon as they come out. As for the 1/54 scale vehicles, go on eBay to the Lobsterdiecast eBay store and do a search for “1/54” or “1/54 Norev”. They ship from the UK but shipping is free and it takes about three weeks to arrive. They only have five different vehicles to choose from but they are all correct as having been driven in Rhodesia during the war and when I put one of Eureka’s RLI figures next to the Peugeot 404 it looked great. For some reason, when I went to the Lobsterdiecast main website (not on eBay), I couldn’t pull up the 1/54 scale stuff. Anyway, Shamwari, I hope this helps. Vince

  5. Vincent Stella

    John, I have few technical questions you are uniquely qualified to answer, if you don’t mind? I have noticed in at least one Rhodesian video, one or two pictures and I believe one written reference that shows Rhodesian Forces using a bazooka/shoulder fired rocket type weapon. What type or types were used? How often would a patrol deploy with them or were they retained only by certain units? Did the Rhodesian Forces ever adopt or use the Portuguese shoulder fired rocket system as modelled in Eureka’s Portuguese line? I love military history as much as gaming so I prefer to be accurate with the figures as much as possible. Your help is appreciated. Vince

  6. Hi Vince, Yes a very pertinent question. We were actually trained on the old 3.5 rocket launcher (88mm) a British version of the American Rocket Launcher but I know of no instances where we used them during COIN ops. If it had come to Conventional operations they would have been deployed. As you can imagine it was found that the RPG7 was a superior weapon, so in RAR we had RPG7 Tank hunting teams in 1981 during the Entumbane Battles. T34 threat. There are instances where RhSAS teams used RPG7s during external operations. Selous Scouts may have also used them during externals. We captured so many RPG7s that this weapon took over. As you will see I have had an RAR RPG7 gunner made by Under Fire Miniatures, so he will do for RAR, Selous Scouts, RhSAS, RLI, RR, Greys Scouts etc etc. Hope that helps but I will make further enquiries. John

  7. Hi Vince. I have had some feedback and it seems that they were deployed with the RLI in early externals in the anti tank role but were found to be cumbersome and useless. Do not believe they were used in anger. RPG-7 took over. I have had it from RhSAS that the RPG-7 was used on numerous occasions in ambushing gook supply convoys during external ops. No examples as yet of use during Fireforce ops. Will keep digging.

    • Vincent Stella

      Hi John, Wow! You really came through with just the info I needed concerning the use of the rocket launchers but with even more enlightening info on the use of the RPG-7 by Rhodesian Forces. This info goes a long way towards developing accurate game scenarios and more importantly, the understanding of what weapons were employed in the Rhodesian bush. Thank you very much for your personal insight and experience. On two side notes, first, I just received in the mail another 1/54 scale car, a Renault 4, and placing a 28mm RLI troopie next to it…….well, it looks spot on!!! I really recommend you consider getting a few of these vehicles while you still can. I am happy I bought some of these vehicles. Second, I found that Eureka’s 28mm Vietnam Australian Prone figures have a few figures that have FN FALs (though a couple of them are casualty figures). All have bush hats and a couple have M-16s and M-60s. I recently bought a set and plan a few quick conversions so they can all be used for the Bush War. You might want to get a set yourself. Again, thank you very much for your help and research. Any other info you want to pass along will be appreciated. Your friend, Vince

    • Hi David
      Thanks for the comments and I hope the blog is helping to get started in Rhodesian War games. Eureka have new RAR figures which I helped Kosta to produce. They are excellent but not on the website yet. Enjoy.

    • David I know what you mean, but I have now decided to concentrate on the Rhodesian Bus War. I recently added a S&S Models Gazelle Bleriot vehicle for my Selous Scouts column. Will post that soon. All the best John Hop

      • david geale

        Can you give me figure wise what I need for each army , being larger than smaller

        Sent from my iPhone


  8. Hi David
    1965 Early COIN ops in the Zambezi Valley Rhodesian Forces RLI RAR, RRR were operating at platoon strength as part of company deployments. But sections would also deploy on patrols or follow ups. Any thing from 5-9 men. Probably only 2 helicopters were only deployed with a company, thus in penny packets with the odd machine with a single machine gun. Helicopters at this stage could carry 5-6 men. I have just bought a large batch of British in Aden figures from Eureka as they represent these units at this early stage in the war. 30+ figures will give you a platoon for a follow up. Terrs 10-20 figures with early weapons. Much of the early war was reactive operations where it was after a terr attack or ambush. follow up after finding tracks/spoor or good intelligence. See my early war articles. By 1969 all units were changing completely to the new cammo uniform and webbing.
    1974 on wards saw Fire Force ops. Current Eureka RLI, RAR figures and helicopters. 1st Wave in 4 G-cars with K-car support. 4 sticks of 4 men (1 MAG per stick). 2nd wave/land tail 4+ sticks of 4 men (1MAG per stick).
    When Paras were added to the Fire Force later in the war 4 sticks of 4 man (1 MAG per stick) some times an extra stick. also two wankers who jumped in carrying spare radios, help injured paras, collect chutes. Figure numbers RLI or RAR. thus 40+ figures. Gook/Terr figures 10-20 or even up to 100.
    Hope this helps.

  9. Jason

    Wonderful blog….I have just ordered a few sticks of RLI, a section or so of RAF and a ton of Terrs i will use as Zipra….its blogs like yours that keep me interested……I have always been fascinated by Rhodesia because all of the photos from the war remind me of the kind of terrain we have here in in Australia out in western new South Wales where i spent a few years as a teenager – fired my first .303 in that time!
    Keep up the good work and thanks again!


    • Hi Jason Glad the blog has helped mate! Yes Western Australia is very similar to Africa, due to the fact they were joined at some point! Lol! I must contact Kosta to see if there are any new Rhodesian BushWar figures on the plans! 303 was a good weapon remember using one hunting in Western Rhodesia on the Limpopo. That reminds me of a funny story! All the best mate! John Hop

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