Sunday, December 14, 2008

No. 3 Squadron

Well, it has been awhile since I have posted to this site. Lots of other periods for my limited painting time but I am still working on Rhodesian projects as well.

I started this several months ago and have finally finished it. It is an MPC C-47 that I acquired on Ebay. It is 1/72 and is quite large! I am interested in doing a scenario with a fire force with para drop and using all of the G-cars as well as the K-car. At first I thought this was kind of a frivolous waste of time as the C-47 is only going to make a single pass over the table and then fly off. However the whole thing is a frivolous waste so why stop there, and all of the planes generally only make one pass and then fly off so why not use the transport plane as well? Armed with this searing logic I knew I must acquire one. The kit went together well and I painted it in standard Rhodesian colors. happily without the roundels which are missing for mall air force aircraft post late 1960's. apparently the c-47's however started to be repainted around 1977 in a gray low reflective paint as a defensive measure against SA-7.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's been awhile since the last post! I have taken pics of 2 different types of units this time.

Black Rhodesian Forces made up the majority of the Rhodesian Armed forces. This is 2 examples of units.

The First is the Security force Auxiliaries These were Guerrillas that turned themselves in after the first settlement. Primarily used with mixed results in tribal trust lands. weapons include AK 47's and G-3 rifles. They operated under their own officers. Figures are Liberation mini's generic African Government troops with bush hats.

The second unit is an internal affairs section. They where used to defend protected villages. deployed in up to platoon strength with white officers They would be deployed in keeps adjacent to the PV. Used also for sweeps around the PV the khaki uniforms and red hat bands are distinctive to the units. Officers also wore cherry red berets. Figures and the rest of the Lib fig African government troops and a left over SADF trooper.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Game on 3/5

This game consisted of a tracker unit of 4RR following a spoor with 2 sticks of RLI troops backing them up. Also on board was a Forward air controller in a Percival Provost.

On the Guerrilla side where 3 squads of fighters for a total of 30 men.

Guerrilla's where setup on graph paper and we used tracking rules to vector the Rhodesians to the right area.

The tracker unit finally made contact with the guerrillas after they where hit in an ambush resulting in 3 WIA for the Rhodesians

sweep line

The 2 sticks of RLI where called in and swept through taking out the first guerrilla position.

new changes to the rules for this game consisted of rolling for wounds vs kills. if the Rhodesians are wounded they have to call for casevac and evac their wounded. doing so gets 1/2 their victory points cost back per casualty figure.

Also any captured guerrillas are worth double their victory point cost. so it becomes worthwhile to exam former enemy positions.

2nd ambush!

Having run into the second group of guerrilla in the same manner as the first. the second stick takes 2 casualties. At which point the Provost is called in.

Provost strike

The Provost delivers 2 rocket attacks and a strafing run. combined with the fire of the remaining stick results in the 2nd squad being
wiped out.

We brought out a rule that was play tested originally called bombshell. which is once contact has been made the guerrilla group can disband and randomly roll for direction for each member of the group. any surviving guerrilla to make an edge of the board count for victory points

The game was called at this point due to time restraints and was an outstanding success! over all casualty's where 1 guerrilla captured, 1 escaped and 18 KIA. the Rhodesians where 3 WIA and`1 KIA. Overall It had the feel of the right amount of damage for both sides Historically. It was also just a narrow Rhodesian victory due to the high victory point cost of the Rhodesian Troopers. Chris and I where both pleased with this latest play test of the rules.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Book Review

Just Received the latest book on the Rhodesian African Rifles called Masodja by Alexander Binda. This one is another great book by 30 degrees south publishing. It comes in the same coffee table type format as the Book on the RLI and includes a DVD.

The book is 400 pages and covers the RAR from WW1 to 1981. The second 200 pages are concerning the Rhodesian bush war. There doesn't apear to be as many pictures as the previous volume and no color pictures at all. However don't let that deter you, there is still a massive amount of pictures and some very good color plates showing the uniforms worn by the regt. From a war gaming perspective the book really shines with the awesome and I do mean awesome maps included. It looks like dozens of small scale maps showing individual skirmishes.

This is another home run by Mr. Binda. At $90.00 it is on the expensive side but for the maps alone I can recommend it. I understand that a history of the Rhodesia Regt is in the works and I for one can't wait.
5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Game on 2/20

We attempted a refight of the Monte Cassino Battle concentrating on the Frelimo armoured counterattack. I have taken some liberties with the compostion of forces. What should be 6 T-54 are represented by 2 T-34 and 2 BTR-152. We actually were just play testing the armoured rules.

Early turns saw the advance of Frelimo forces along 2 fronts. AA fire damaged the Lynx forcing it to return to base.

Vampires on target

This game had lots of aircraft, lots of airstrikes and a fair amount of damage. here a Vampire takes out a T-34 of the right hook.

The Hunters turn

Since we were going for an external op Lots of Airpower was allocated for the defenders. Here a Hawker Hunter strike attempts to damage a T-34. No luck this time.

K car

With a AA gun present and stationary for most of the game. I was wondering if we would be experiencing more aircraft losses. Such was not the case. a couple of close calls and the damage to the Lynx was the extent of it.

The Armor battle

The true action of the game was the fire fight between the Eland and The T-34/85. on one hand a poor crew with stalwart hearts in the T-34 on the other hand a veteran armored car that couldn't hit the broadside of a barn! in 2 games the eland has run up the impressive total of 17 shots without a kill. And it isn't a problem with the rules. just terrible dice rolling mixed with fantastic morale rolls on the part of the T-34. But the law of averages finally caught up to the T-34 and failing 1 to many morale checks it beats a hasty retreat. Emboldened by its new found skills the Eland goes on to make a quick kill of the BTR -152.

Overall a good play test of the rules.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


The day has finally arrived. The day I have been waiting for for 8 months. What could be so momentous?

I finally won a canberra on ebay! For some reason I have had the worst luck with this. Generaly ebay has been great for picking up any model you could want for the period. The kit is an out of production one from airfix, so there is always a bidding war when one shows up. The Rhodesians did not use the later models so to be accurate you need a B(1).6 not the later mk 8's. the canopy is all wrong on the later models. I bet I had bid on half a dozen over the last 8 months trying to get one. usually the price is between 20-30 US dollars.

A review of the new canberra will be up shortly.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More Armoured cars

I understand that the armoured cars would operate in groups of 2 Elands with 2 ferrets. on sweeps in conjuction with the Rhodesia Regt or other unit. I have painted the Eland with camoflaged markings and have added the head from a unused infantry figure. The RHACR were known as the black devils and I wanted to have at least 1 figure with the black beret. This is the same eland that I had painted earlier but was not completely statisfied with. It is always pleasing to fix an earlier project and make it what you wanted it to be in the first place.
After seeing pictures in the new book on the RLI I have started to add brigade insignia to my vehicles. in this case I believe it is the 2nd Bgde, which is a rhino. The Ferrets are from the excellent liberation miniatures range. Both ferrets are the same colors but I added more white to the highlight in the first vehicle on the left. I wanted to make one look more sun beaten. Overall I am fairly pleased with the effect.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rhodesia Regt Trackers

I have been wondering how best to use these figures. They are part of the Liberation mini's Rhodesian Range Beret and bareheaded pack.

As I understand it the Rhodesian Army followed conventional grooming standards for most units. Therefore men with full beards are out.

The one prominent exception to this rule is the Selous Scouts. However, most of the pictures I have seen with scouts in this uniform are in training excersises.

Reading the new history of the RLI I saw a reference to a unit from the 4th bn of the Rhodesia Regt tracker unit and noted that they all had beards! I found my unit. The trackers were the elite of the RR battalions.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Rhodesians

It has been a while since I have painted new figures. Here is a selection of new Rhodesians.
The last figure is a conversion. I generally don't bother with conversions but I wanted some Rhodesians with long pants and the more common hat. All the figures are Liberation miniatures South Africans. This is a great company and I have been looking at some of their other lines for figures that will work for the period.
Generally, The South Africans, British with similar head gear and some from the multipurpose range will all pass. I am also wondering if the Israeli paratroopers with British para helmets and FN's might not pass as well. I think 1 or 2 of them might look good mixed in. Any more would probably be over kill.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Book review

James and the Duck by Faan Martin\

This is my latest purchase, culled off amazon at the amazingly low price of $ 14.95. Unheard of for a book about Rhodesia. The 257 pages cover the authors time as a National serviceman with 1 indep Company and his time with 4 territorial BN. This book is a series of short vignettes about the author and stories he heard during the war. There is very little of the gritty combat writing aka Fireforce. That said the Author is a witty and compelling writer. I enjoyed the book so much I polished it in an afternoon. Buy it for both the background and the writing and to see a soldiers perspective from a line unit.

2.5 stars for direct relavance to wargaming the period
4 out of 5 stars for background and writing

Sunday, January 13, 2008

odds and ends

Just found a new blog covering this period Jason has some excellent conversions and can't wait to see what else he does. Thanks for the link Jason.

I have a lot of new projects on the burner right now so a lot should be coming out in the next month or so. Just started a C-47 in 1/72 scale. what a monster it is to just make a single pass over the game board! also started some conversions of figures.

If anyone has a blog or gaming link let me know and I would be happy to link to it.