Rhodesian Air Force Para Dac

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Well this Christmas I have had a chance to build a 1/72 Rhodesian Para Dac as used in Fire Force for Paratrooping and deploying my RAR Paratroopers.

Using the Italieri kit illustrated provides you with the pair of long antenna needed for the top of the Dac.

I have added Zoot tubes under the wings by adding plastic rod.

Colours:-

Original colours were Dark Earth, Dark Green but as can be seen, by the end of the war a much lighter colour scheme was added to cut down heat and a signature for SAM 7 missiles (Strella).

No two Dacs were the same from the photographic evidence I have managed to find. I have thus put together a general scheme from what I could find and as close to the colours as I could.

Second to the Rhodesian Light Infantry the Rhodesian African Rifles hold the record for most Military Parachute Operations in military history. It was not uncommon for RLI and RAR paratroopers to jump three times in a day during operations. All jumps were done at 500 – 400 feet to avoid enemy fire.

Operations:-

A Dac would nomally carry 4 sticks of RAR paratroopers (16 men in all), with two ‘wankers’ who dropped carrying spare radio, batteries and kit and collected the chutes. There were also two dispatchers with the pilot and copilot.

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Rhodesian Air Force G-Car.

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Rhodesian Air Force G-Car. Allouette III.

Eureka 28mm resin model.

I have finally had a chance to make up my first G-Car and started by only using the MAG Gunner and three troopers with FN in lap from other crew packs. Will have to buy more. Troops when emplaning stood in the 1 o clock position and waited for the pilots thumbs up for boarding. When emplaning troops reversed weapons, 2nd trooper handed weapons in and weapons were kept in the lap pointing out of the helicopter. Combat caps and floppy hats were removed as no head gear was worn in the helicopters while emplaning and deplaning. These were stuffed in shirts or combat jackets for later use. Towards the end of the ware day glow was sewn into the inside of caps.

Seating arrangement varied throughout the war but I have opted for the final one where the MAG Gunner sat on the rear bench on the outside with the stick leader inside. Stick leader would put on head phones so he could listen to the talk on to the target. Two other members of the stick faced backwards on the front bench.

Painting:-

Crew and troops.

Shirt camouflage under colour humbrol 83 plus a little ensign sky. Brown – humbrol 29 and green – humbrol soviet green 117.

Camouflage jump suites for pilot and tech the same.

Boots – black.

Shorts – black.

Veldscoons suede desert shoes – light sand.

Helicopter – Exterior – Dark Earth Dark Green. Interior – black dark grey.

In the G-car there was a red smoke grenade near the door gunner but in the K –car there may be a rack of 4 red smoke grenades for indicating targets. Light green colour with red band.

Seating by the end of the war were light weight benches. The front seats initially were reversed but were later removed and replaced with a light weight bench facing back. This was an early configuration for transporting troops thus 6 troopers could be carried initially, then 5 when a Tech and single MAG added, but as twin browning weapons mount were added and a pilots armoured seat, and troops carried more kit, this came down to a stick of 4 troopers.

I have opted for the late configuration.

I have not added the armoured bucket seat which protected the pilot and collective.

Spare Figures:-

The spare figures from all the packs after taking out the figures with FN in lap can be used in vehicles, also the pilot and tech, which with new heads and weapons will make vehicles riders.

Below is an earlier seating arrangement of a stick and deplaning drill diagrams.

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3h. Before entering G-car stick leader  would write his call sign in palm of left hand. On tapping pilot on shoulder and giving thumbs up for when all are seated, he will open his palm to show his c/s.

 

deplaning drills detail

This was an earlier deplaning drill and in the last years of Fire Force the stick leader would be where the no 3 rifleman is, thus placing himself in the 1 o clock position from the pilot and next to his MAG Gunner so he can direct his fire, and be in the center of the stick.

 

Hunting Percival Provost

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Hunting Percival Provost.

Found an interesting article on Rhodesian Percival Provost aircraft which were used in close support of the ground forces for much of the war.

Scale Aircraft Magazine Feb 1988.

Depicts a number of colour schemes for Rhodesian Provosts. During the Federation the roundels had three spears on them. At the break up of Federation the roundels had one spear in the middle. After the Republic formed the roundel changed to Green and white with the Lion and Tusk in the centre. Towards the end of the Provost operational life there were no markings at all.

I would like to thank John Trigg for the colour photo.