RHODESIAN ARMY HELMETS

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I have just made up a small batch of RAR 28mm Eureka figures as helmeted figures.

RAR wore helmets on a number of occasions during the bush war also when covering infiltration routes of SAS units on vehicle mounted externals.

The three main types of helmet were the NATO/OTAN helmet of French design probably provided by SA. M1 helmet made in Taiwan (American design) and the British Para helmet.

The Selous Scouts wore the British Para helmet during op Vodka to release detainees in a ZIPRA prison camp at Mboroma.. My figures have still not had the bergen pack attached but they all wore British para helmets and were armed with AK 47. RPDs and RPG7.

I have made a number of these figures but intend making more as there were about 47 Selouts Scouts on the op.

I have removed FNs and replaced with AK47s , RPDs and RPG7s.

Operation Miracle saw all troops wearing helmets in different configurations. With nets and skrim, some with just camouflage covers and others clean with painted camouflage.

I used Humbrol 30 dark green on the helmets with blotches of Humbrol mid stone 225.

IMG_3818 IMG_3819 IMG_3821 IMG_3822 IMG_3823 IMG_3824 IMG_3825 IMG_3826 IMG_2603 IMG_2604 IMG_2605 216372_1816898816188_7208810_n[1] Lt Chomps Fleetwood, Lurlers Ridge, Entumbane. WP_20141125_001 WP_20141125_005 scouts op miracle scouts op vodka

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AFRICA’S COMMANDOS

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Some time back I bought a copy of this book at the launch at the Special Forces Club in London.

An exceptional read and gives many details on the RLI and its operations, from the Troopies.

An interesting article by Charlie Norris describes RLI dress during the war and that by 1977 full combat kit was being worn by all Troopies.

I have just ordered a batch of 28mm Eureka RLI so will be painting these up with this in mind.I will add trousers to later war RLI.

RLI BATTLE PREP detail AFRICAS COMMANDOS RLI BATTLE PREP detail 1 Eureka_28mm_RLI 10308104_10203077719016871_5389172531254898075_n[1] 622164_10151045934473680_2059141275_o[1] deplaning

5.5 Gun Tractor

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Looking for other photographs today I found this gem which is a side view of the 5.5 Gun Tractor of the RhA (Rhodesian Artillery).

Part of the medium Battery and I believe there were 8 tractors contrary to popular belief of 2. but saying that I note that one vehicles registration plate shows 09 which means there were at least 9 vehicles of this type so possibly 10. You had to have 8 to tow the 8 5.5 Guns.

I also found a spider of Rhodesian Army Mine-Proof Vehicles done by my good friend Don Blevin. Don actually put together a very good manuscript on Rhodesian Mine Proofed Vehicles. Unfortunately it was never published.

I have also put in some odd shots of 5.5 Medium Artillery pieces and some of them in South African Artillery service. It should give you some idea of the colour of the shells etc. I have no photos of 5.5 in Rhodesian service but the guns must have been painted in Rhodesian colours.

I note that there are two gun ports in the opened side hatch to the crew compartment so there are probably two more ports on the glassis which the hatch door is covering. Thus the 8 crew probably had a port each to fire from.  4 ports on each side. All ammunition was stored in the rear area.

army vehicles 1 army vehicles 2 gun tractor for 5.5 detail

LockeCooke[1] Stiff[1]

300px-Ordnance_bl55_140mm_gun_hameenlinna_1 5813412576_756013012d_b BL_5.5_inch_Gun Puckapunyal-BL-5.5-inch-2 1779315_10207142057299997_7577554115751117909_n 1891052_10207141987338248_5420214431355044476_n 10155553_10207141953777409_2703529922088808141_n 10341408_10207141937016990_1427056412523436296_n 11113001_10207141992858386_7341824160598075270_n 11137140_10207142059940063_2609510650127188831_n 11535875_10207142069540303_7404105869737142184_n

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RLI and RAR MIXED STICKS

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I found the classic photo showing the mixed sticks of RLI and RAR troops at a Fire Force FAF.

I think this might be Grand Reef FAF.FAF 8 grand r 77 mixed stick 2 mixed stick mixed sticks 3

This photo is from the Contact  book which was produced during the war. These Contact books have very good information in them, if you can get your hands on one now.

You will note that the RAR are wearing full combat kit with only one RAR Masodja in shorts. The RLI Troopies all wear shorts. At one time black rugby shorts were favored in the RLI but green PT shorts and cammo shorts were also worn.

The RAR tended to frown on shorts as in close country you could get cut to ribbons and if you were a white (ES) Officer  it was difficult to camo cream legs and arms. 30 minutes of hot operations and your sweat would wash off camo cream. Also when in ambushes at night it could get cold out there, even in Africa.

RAR troops would all carry sleeping bags (fart sacks) which were a dark green colour but in later years individuals would stitch Rhodesian camouflage material over them.

You will also notice many have removed their combat caps and stuffed them in their shirts, ready to board the G-cars.

contact 2 contact

Contact bu John Lovett and Contact II by Paul L. Moorcraft.

Both very good books but that photo was a center spread so very difficult to copy.

Eureka 28mm RLI troopies (Rhodesian Light Infantry)

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Well I have just ordered another batch of RLI ‘Troopies’ which I will paint up in shorts as early to mid war RLI. At the later stages of the Rhodesian Bush War the RLI started to wear full combat kit which included combat trousers and in later years camouflaged full jump suits, overalls etc.

The Rhodesian Light Infantry were an all white unit but there were numbers of occasions where the RLI and RAR (Rhodesian African Rifles) would combine on operations so you would have white and black mixed sticks.

Even though the RLI did not see them selves as a dedicated airborne unit they hold the record for military parachuting operations in the world. The RAR come a close second and thus can say they figure in that accolade.

In the later years of the war specialized webbing came in to being as troops needed dedicated webbing equipment which included chest rig, various types of jacket ebbing and canvas webbing or Fire Force vests. There were a variety of such items produced by private companies bought by the individual and later ordered by the army.

I will also add trousers to these models to give me later war RLI and I do believe I will be able to create SAS (Macombe Days) with the addition of large packs. AKs, RPDs etc.

I have also ordered British Para heads from West Wind, Berlin or Bust WWII range which will give me figures with helmets. The helmeted heads have netting and skrim, but file these off and you have a clean British Para helmet as used by the Rhodesians.

Fireforce, One mans war in the Rhodesian Light Infantry, by Chris Cocks is a must. There are a number of other publications which are very good.

51+H1qtcGWL Eureka_28mm_RLI IMG_3818 IMG_3819 384421_110407233804_IMG_6334[1] 384421_110407234118_IMG_6337[1] 413132-1588218571-l[1] radiosignal-300x225[1] Rhodesian_Camo_Fireforce_vest_front 454717_100308123301_IMG_0001[1] 454717_130304174713_IMG_0005[1] 1065490_100318165239_DSCF1236[1] unif110[1] 622164_10151045934473680_2059141275_o[1] 10308104_10203077719016871_5389172531254898075_n[1] 616424_10151045934563680_311470207_o[1] brian orford g car (1) deplaning

rhodesian_fire_force_1966-80_pafrica_warp $_58 download counter strike war diaries dtail masodja cover

GREY’S SCOUTS PHOTOGRAPHS

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I have just had a new batch of photos from Mike Watson who is writing the book on the Grey’s Scouts. Will be ordering mine.

Interesting set of photos as they  show a 60mm commando mortar team, HCV 7.5 with horses, Grey’s Scouts dismounted, Heavey barrel FN gunner mounted, and a photo of the cover of the book Faces of War which depicts a pack horse carrying an 81mm mortar, I believe. More info to follow.

Many thanks to Mike Watson for his help and looking forward to more info to follow,

427089_333804576664111_1404508246_n 10250137_999190590125503_1446457832558858755_n MIKE WATSON 60MM COMMANDO MORTAR MIKE WATSON HEAVY BARREL FN TR14 MW ARMY UNITS MW GSCOUTS FOOT PATROL MW HCV 7.5