Sunday 30 September 2012

Rhodesian Bush War

I'm currently working on a commision for Mutineer Miniatures with their 20mm African Militia range so in the same vein I thought I'd post some pictures of my Rhodesian forces that I've had for some time. Mutineer's African's work well as ZANLA or ZIPRA and below are some pictures of their nemises in the shape of RLI, Selous Scouts and Greys Scouts. There's a few diferences in my style now compared to these older figures, they will be getting tarted up and brought up to standard. Dougie

A 4 man RLI Stick, Liberation Miniatures, the metal on the weapons are painted in my old style which I'm now not happy with so they'll be getting updated.

Greys Scouts, Liberation figures converted with WW2 Cossacks! The figure on the right is nearly all sculpted by my goodself using a Liberation head on a wire armature. These figures are sporting the old gunmetal as well as my old basing, you can also see the old matt varnish I used which wasn't very matt, if you compare with the figures above you can see the difference.

There's a lot been written about the Selous Scouts and there's a lot of misconseptions about their role, to a certain extent this is courtesy of the Rhodesian Military who fronted the Scouts as a tracker unit with their PR people and the vast majority of photos you see have them in uniform examining spoor. Their main role was pseudo-guerilla work and the unit was mixed race with black african soldiers essential. On Ops white soldiers always wore "black is beautiful" face paint to blend in with their black colleagues. Towards the end of the war the Scouts did take part in a more conventional role in the large cross border ops.
Op. Virile in 1977 was a cross border raid into Mozambique to destroy bridges at Dombe and Espungabera, the Scouts had a converted civillian bus with a 12.7mm DShK mounted in the roof rack hidden by drop down screens and two .50 cals at the rear. The "passengers" were 10 African Scouts and 3 white Scouts.
The 3 white scouts wearing pseudo terr gear and "black is beautiful". The bear chested figure was a large conversion around a Liberation figure, again these will need "tarting up".

 The Bus

"The" book about the Scouts, "Selous Scouts Top Secret War" by Lt.Col. Ron Reid Daly


  1. very nice figures. modern cavalry! now that is something you dont hear about every day! I want to convert some cavalry myself of coarse for my project I may use knights so the horses can have some nice, composite, bullet proof armour... or I may just use normal horses

  2. Excellent post and pictures Dougie. We do share common interests as I am dabbling with the Rhodesian Bush Wars and also Aden to follow my current Falklands project. I became keen on finding out about the Bush Wars as I was in the Fusiliers with Andrew Selous (now an MP) the grandson of Frederick Courtney Selous (also a Fusilier with the 25th Royal Fusiliers "the Frontiersmen" in Africa in WW1)the African game hunter and tracker after whom the Selous Scouts were named. Aye, Rusty

  3. Good to hear Rusty, always good to bounce ideas round. I was in Recce Platoon in the early 80's with a guy who'd been in the RLI from 77-80 and caught all the big ops, always felt as a nation we let the Rhodesians down badly. Spk soon, Dougie