Monday, December 31, 2007

Motor transport

Just finished these 2 Landrovers. I was inspired to get them after viewing a DVD on the SAS that had 2 landrovers driving over a course and suddenly opening up on a target with front and back GMP's. Shades of David Stirling! Unfortunately I have never read an account of that happening in reality. Although landrovers were used to transport SAS on an external op into Zambia.
These 2 are painted in standard Rhodesian colors. The GMPs are Lib figures weapons. The tire on the hood is left over from the Panhard 90. Both are Liberation miniatures. I am hoping the longer wheel base landrover comes back in stock as well as the bedford trucks. I need to order some crew to go with these vehicles still. They will be useful for a convoy scenario or external raids.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

August game

The game was a generic fire force action. I had thought I lost these pictures. I can't remember when the game was except the end of august. the usual suspects where involved. Myself and the long suffering Chris. Rules were Chris's play test modern rules.
G cars unload the RLI off board and the 3 stop groups advance toward the middle. The green chits represent suspected guerrilla locations. Once a site is spotted a dice role on a table lets both sides know what is there. Although it could also be caches of weapons or booby traps. The guerrilla player picks the locations of the chits and not the locations of the individual forces. this helps to keep both sides on their toes and helps to lessen the omnipotence of the guerrillas.
This group(2nd picture) ended up being in a fire fight with 1 of the stops and being force to retreat after most of the squad was wiped out. they retreated to the large clump of elephant grass which had a chit. rolling on the table the single survivor ran into a Lion definitely not his day. after a hand to hand combat the lion was the winner and this group was hors de combat.

high water mark

The K car continues to circle known enemy positions . The 20mm cannon proves to be deadly wiping out concentrations of enemy forces. This is proving to be a model game for a successful fire force attack ...but things are about to change.

bravery medal

The alouette is shot down. The Door gunner survives the crash and a rescue team advances toward the helicopter behind the hill on the left side of the picture. An alert sentry hears movement, throws a grenade taking out 2 of the fire team. goes berserk, charges and takes out the other 2! continuing his berserk status he advances and wipes out the door gunner all under a hail of fire form the other Rhodesian positions!

Provost Strikes are called in resulting in most of the remaining guerrillas being destroyed. We are still developing the air rules but 1 pass with ordnance and 1 for machine guns is what we are going with for now. At a later date I will list it by individual ordnance load to provide more flexibility for a strike.

end game

The End. After having the 2nd fire team wiped out the Rhodesians are unable to continue the advance. and while the guerrilla force is almost totally destroyed the point lost of a helicopter and a fire team prove too great resulting in a ZAPU victory.

Great job Chris on waiting for the right moment to strike. And the single guerrilla that wrecked all the havoc escaped off the board!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Review 3

So far the Rhodesians are coming along nicely but a fair amount remains to be done. I have 4 sticks of RLI and 1 of SAS plus 1 command fig. for a total of 21 figures.

short term: finish the 15+ figures and 3 vehicles I still have sitting around. which will finish a paratrooper section

medium: more heavy weapons and Rhodesian African Rifles

long range: unimogs unimogs unimogs! so I can do a proper external ground raid also some early period figures in the Commonwealth type uniforms.

and that's it. I think I am looking at a 2 year project instead of the year I initial planned. but its still definitely do able.

review 2

Guerrilla forces to this point have turned out really well. I like the motley look of them. I have painted 3o infantry 1 hvy AA gun 2 t-34 and 2 BTR 152

Short term goals: more heavy weapons, Mg's and recoilless rifles maybe some mortars and AA guns.

medium: I need to double the infantry component. add figs with SKS and FN FAL's

long: finish the 2 t-54's I bought and all those little wheels that go with them!


Since I haven't done any thing for the last month on my 2007 project I decided to review my progress to this point. Sometimes it is good to look back on your work and plan your next step. So I will take a look at various parts of the project and plan short and long term goals.

So far in 9 months of working on this period my air assets have turned out fairly good. I am pleased with my basic model working skills although they will win no awards. short term I need to get a Canberra and a c-47/dc-3 for airborne ops. Long term is to finish my 2 alouettes and get 1 more so I can replicate 3 G cars to go with my K car.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

book review

It has been a while since I have had a chance to post anything new. I have been experiencing computer issues and ended up losing all of my pictures.
On a positive note I just received my copy of The Saints By Alexandre Binda. All I can say is Wow! This book is 515 pages long and is in a large coffee table format. It literally has hundreds of pictures, color and black and white. and some very nice maps. The text looks solid but I have not had a chance to really study it. It also comes with a DVD which I have not had a chance to view yet. It is at the steep end for a book. $90.00 US dollars but I have to say It looks to be well worth it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tough as a tank

The Rhodesians get the first shot in. The armoured car gets two solid hits in damaging the tank. Both shots should have taken out the tank but we where calling the gun a medium gun instead of what it really was vs a WW2 tank a heavy gun. next up using a innovated idea of the game to use initiative chits the SAS call in a loitering Hunter, still no effect. After that are a couple of RPG-7 hits and still no kills. meanwhile the tank passes all morale tests like they are guards.
with the riposte spent the T34 easily goes through the armour of the AC. at least we got something right!

The tank clash

In the actual battle FRELIMO tanks (unclear if T-34/85's or T-54's) advanced on the Rhodesian Armoured car position only to retreat after being hit with 25lb artillery fire.

Reinforcements have now arrived for the Zanla, in the form of FRELIMO tanks and infantry.

The rules have worked well to this point, however I had forgot to tell Chris to bring the tank rules so we kinda made it up on the fly as far as ranges / damage effects and so on. In retrospect we made the 90mm gun on the armoured car to light and the t-34 armour too heavy. we will be replaying this one at a later date with the correct rules.

Friday, July 27, 2007

After intense rocket attacks some ZANLA brake and flee on the hilltop. The Rhodesian forces advancing in rushes under cover of smoke are able to clear the 1st hill.
The rules have worked well to this point giving a good account of infantry combat and movement. interestingly, the Rhodesians have hardly utilized their weapons. in fact, the most important weapon has been the Radio for calling in 25lb artillery and air strikes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vampires on target

The first stick of SAS move on the board followed by the Eland. The eland takes up a position to Secure the left flank. Coming under fire form the hilltop fortification the SAS takes a casualty. them pops smoke to conceal their advance. The rules prove to be less than forgiving of dumb mistakes.
The SAS then calls in air strikes, first up, (because I haven't used them yet) is the Vampire. We are still putting the finishing touches on modern air section. The strike proves to be effective and the advance continues.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Game on 7/24

I am going to try something new for this game commentary. instead of putting it all on the blog I am going to put it on over the next several days.
This game was played between myself and Chris H and was a play test of his rules, soon to be published. the scenario was based on a reduced scale or "bathtub" version of the Monte casino battle in Mozambique in 1979. 2 groups of Zanla set up with supporting weapons in trenches on both hill tops. A force of SAS and RLI with armoured and air support need to clear and occupy both hills.
Opening moves consist of the AML-90 and the 1st couple of sticks moving onto the board.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Book Review 5

The primary reason this period is difficult to learn about is the expense of the books involved. you can easily spend hundreds of dollars trying to learn about the period. with that in mind here are a couple of books not to spend money on. This is a combined book review. The 2 books are Rhodesia by Robin Moore and Dead Leaves by Dan Wylie.
Robin Moore of French connection fame apparently lived in Rhodesia for part of 2 years and Wrote about the conflict trying to draw western interest in the war. The first half of the book is a list of atrocities by the guerrilla forces and makes for pretty heavy reading. the 2nd half is small over view of the Rhodesian defense forces and interviews with Americans fighting in Rhodesia.
I can't say this book has much that recommends itself to someone wargaming the period. 1st half is brutal reading the 2nd is very superficial and doesn't go into enough detail. I have seen this book on ebay for as little as $20.00, don't do it. 1 star out of 5.

The 2nd book had potential. it was written by some one doing his national service time and I hoped would give some insight into service with the Rhodesia Regt. On the good side the book is well written but not a lot happens. The Author follows the template of going from boot camp experience to the battlefield and ending with completion of service. Problem is he didn't have the type of service that makes for compelling literature. There is 1 firefight but the book is 190+ pages and it made me think If I were to write a book about my time as a Marine. It might be interesting to me but no one else. new in paperback at $26.00 2 out of 5 stars

Thursday, June 28, 2007

game on 6/27

This is the latest game played between myself (now 0-3 at Rhodesian games) and my stalwart opponent Chris H. This scenario is based on an incident occurring in Zambia in 1979 between an SAS recon patrol and a ZIPRA base camp.
To this point we have been using David Manley's excellent set of free rules fire force. But because we are going to be doing a lot of vehicle heavy games in the future I wanted to try a new set of rules that added that in. For this scenario we used the arc of fire rules set I found in a local game store. A of F is still a 1 figure =1 man skirmish system.

The Advance

The SAS move carefully forward, as they attempt to spot the guerrillas. they try to utilise mutual support and bases of fire to advance on the suspected enemy positions This part of the game utilized a fair amount of wasted time drawing cards and shuffling decks.

The firefight

Contact! as the stick stumbles through out of the thick foliage they come across a line of trenches full manned and waiting for them. A heavy fire fight ensures resulting in 3 KIA for the Rhodesians in exchange for 1 wounded ZIPRA. Now that they have been spotted, the Guerrillas engage at long range with 2 other sticks resulting in 4 more SAS knocked out in exchange for 2 wounded terrs.

The airstrike

The fire team leader of the destroyed stick calls for close air support by Hawker Hunters loitering above the battle. The projected line of the bombs is anticipated as being right over the target.

The fiasco

Here is the actual pattern of the ordnance. 1 set of bombs lands between the 1st and 2nd trench lines wounding a number of Zipra. The 2nd bomb goes horriblely short catching the FO in the open and resulting in a friendly fire KIA.

AA fire

As the Hunter streaks past, the 14.5 mm AA gun opens fire. The maneuvering jet is able to avoid the rounds and flies for home.

post mortem

This is the end game. The 14.5mm gun opens fire on the fire team across the valley inflicting a single casualty and resulting in the SAS pulling back out of range of the withering fire of the ZIPRA forces. The end result is a decisive ZIPRA win vs the Best of the Rhodesian army. 9 SAS casualties (1 self inflicted ) vs 1 Zipra.

In summation both of us disliked this rules set on a couple of points. 1st, if we understood the rules correctly, both sides shoot the same without regard for troop quality. It is like saying the BEF in 1914 shoots the same as Conscripted Russians in world war one. 2nd the card system was cumbersome at best with the side on defense having to keep turning cards until something interesting happens. The air rules were all so underdeveloped and we just had to wing( pun intended) most of that. With some tweaking they could be useful but I think I will keep looking for a set of rules.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Selous Scouts part 1

The Selous Scouts were a Regiment size unit that had a two fold mission. 1st it was a counter terr unit that operated with captured terrorist as part of the unit. 2ND mission was in an external role. In the external role Selous scouts often used vehicles painted to look like Mozambique army to infiltrate many kilometers deep into Mozambique. Bristling with weapons including 50 cal and rocket launchers . The operations were generally wildly successful in destroying guerrilla camps and disrupting Zanla operations. The scouts would dress in typical zanla/frelimo uniforms and carry communist weapons. Being a multiracial unit white members would were a dark camo face paint to hide their skin color.

These unimogs and men are both liberation miniatures. The standing figure is from their multipurpose range and is excellent for portraying white troops in soviet style equipment with out appearing too uniform. The 50 cal is one I had lying around from a previous buy. These are a work in progress since I am going to be adding more weapons to each truck. Syr hobbs does not carry the liberation range vehicles but Duane is happy to order them on a special order basis.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


My idea in starting this blog was two fold. To motivate me to keep painting and to provide resources for someone wanting to simulate this period. With the latter point in mind here is a run down on where I have got my supply of figures.

Figures : All are 20mm and all are Liberation miniatures. I really like their figures proportions and they have a very large selection of figures, weapons and vehicles. I hope that they continue to expand their range as it still needs to cover certain important types of figures and vehicles. The company is in the UK at The US distributor is Duane is very helpful on special orders and ships quickly. He does not carry the full line of miniatures so make sure to look on rhmodels if you don't see what your looking for.

Models: all aircraft and most vehicles have come from ebay. Patience and looking for a good deal have manage to keep my costs down and provided me with out of production types of models. Now to find a cheap airfix Canberra!

Books: Books are a problem. Besides Osprey most titles are out of print and are fairly expensive. I have found the titles I have reviewed on ebay and amazon. Look on used books sites and in used book stores. patience will once again work to your advantage and make the good deal all the better.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Eland 90

The Rhodesian armoured car Regt Consisted of a variety of home and foreign built armoured vehicles. The heavy firepower was provided by the Elands. This is the south African provided AML-90 AC's. Equipped with a 90 mm gun it was capable of dealing with any armoured forces that were current in southern Africa.

This model is by ACE. it was kind of a pain to put together. molded in white plastic with a fair amount of flash it was sometimes difficult to determine were the flash started and pieces seem to not fit that great. however it did go together quickly and once painted most of the faults seem to be lost. I chose to paint this model in a single color. I have seen pictures that indicate both with aand without a camo pattern were used.


The Soviet Union provided massive aid to each of the Front line states bordering Rhodesia as well as ZAPU. The Chinese providing aid to ZANU. While Conventional warfare was limited mostly to External operations ZAPU did build mechanised forces planning for a conventional invasion sometimes in 1980-81.
Mozambique was provided with T-34/85 and T-54's. So while their were no direct tank battles in the conflict the potential existed for them. Including an encounter between Mozambique tanks and eland armoured cars that ended when Rhodesian Artillery drove the tanks away prior to contact.
This T-34/85 is from armourfast 1/72 range. The box includes 2 easy to put together models.
As the T34's provided to Mozambique were over 20 years old by the time they arrived I tried make them dirty and rusty to show hard use and little maintenance. The models went together easy and as there are about 7 parts per tank very fast.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

BTR 152

Mozambique following independence received massive Soviet aid. Included in the transition from guerrilla force to conventional army were a mechanized and tank force. Mozambique BTR 152's engaged with Rhodesian forces on at least 1 occasion.

These models are by ICM. they went together well but included massive amounts of detail I chose to leave off. A lot of it was interior details that really can't be seen anyway. Painting wise, I have no idea what color Mozambique chose to paint their vehicles. There is some evidence that they utilized a tan scheme. Standard soviet green is always applicable as that was the original color of the vehicles. I choose to do both colors as Mozambique in the 1970's does not strike me as the most organized of countries. The figure is an extra liberation figure I had lying around.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


The Percival Provost was used by most Commonwealth nations as a basic trainer throughout the 1950-1960's. In Rhodesian service it was used by 4 squadron which was the COIN squadron as well as 6 squadron as basic training aircraft. The Provost's in 4 squadron were modified with hard points on the wings for caring ordnance as well as 30 cal MGs.

This model was the matchbox 1/72 provost. it went together very well. It does come in red and white plastic so a priming coat might be a good idea. I did not and hope the red doesn't show through after a few games. I went ahead and added a liberation miniatures helo pilot to the cockpit. The supplied pilot was perfectly useful but I have to admit this really adds something to the model. One of my favorite aircraft both in terms of building and looks.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Game on 5/30

The Latest game played. This is a semi historic account of a 1979 sweep by F company of the 4th battalion of the Rhodesia Regiment in the Chungwe valley. It is only semi historical due to the addition of the armoured car. Typically AC's were cross posted to companies of the RR to act in a combined arms function. We used the rules set Fireforce.

Forces involved were 1 Lynx aircraft, 1 Ferret armoured car and 3 sticks of 5 men each for the Rhodesians. Each stick had 4 riflemen and 1 MAG gunner. The 5 man sweep is atypical as far as I know, however during this battle per my source the 4th RR Bn used at least 1 stick of 5 men. I have chosen to use this as a battalion level phenomenon.

Zanla forces consisted of 2 sections of 8 men each, armed with 6 AK 47 's 1 RPK machine gun and 1 RPG per group. I commanded the Zanla forces and Chris H. victor of the last game had The Rhodesians.

The Advance

The Sweep line advances forward. Expecting to encounter the enemy the Armoured car takes up a flanking position prior to the sticks plunging into the elephant grass.

The firefight

A failed tactic, The Zanla commander(me) placed the section in heavy cover hoping to ambush the Rhodesians at close range. Losing initiative the Rhodesians spot them first delivering heavy fire and 2 grenades at point blank range . Due to the brittle morale of the guerrilla's the group is routed after a couple of rounds of ineffective return fire.

the retreat of group 1

The Rhodesian Section Commander calls in a Lynx. The plane arrives in time to strafe the fleeing section as they break into the open. The survivor flee off the board.

The destruction of group 2

The Rhodesians advance upon the remaining group. The 2nd ZANLA section opens fire as the Rhodesians emerge from the brush. The firing line is involved in a heavy fire fight with the Rhodesians resulting in the only enemy Casualty. Shooting is not as effective as hoped as several RPG rounds go wildly astray. The lynx now makes a strafing run on the ZANLA position, heavily hitting the guerillas. The final sections morale is shaken forcing them to the ground and resulting in ineffective return fire on the Rhodesian Sticks.