Wednesday, 11 April 2012

With AK-47 To Africa

Many years ago, when I were a lad, a schoolfriend and I decided to get into the modern imagi-nation period of post-Colonial Africa. We were devout followers of Peter Pig, who remains one of the finest 15mm manufacturers in the world, and so it was quite soon thereafter that I bought the first edition of that wonderful rule-set 'AK-47 Republic', and put my school number and name on it, to ensure that the cads and bounders of St George's School, Windsor Castle didn't steal it during prep. This was quickly followed by several purchases of little metal figures to build the armies of my fictional African statelet, Gshandemala. This country actually had some 'history', for a few months before getting the 15mm bug, the Darkest Africa craze was in full swing, and the aforementioned friend and I had bought a handful of Wargames Foundry Africans to try and do some 19th Century African skirmishing.

Neither project ever came to fruition back then. However, while the Darkest Africa figures were abandoned in a box and are yet to see the light of day, my AK47 force slowly grew over the years, and I have now three reasonable forces for a Dictatorship (Gshandemala), a Superpower Backed Client Force, and a White Settler/Colonial Power. There are plenty of stands left to paint, and I will crack on with them over the next few weeks with the aim being to get them finished so that I can start adding to them again.

Here are some pictures of some of them. Featured here are forces from the People's Republic of Mbantuland (Soviet-backed) and the Gshandemalan Armed Forces (dictatorship).

Above: Mbantuland Army. On the left are five infantry platoons, a weapons platoon, and a HQ platoon making up the 'uWele' Company of the 7th Regiment. On the right rear are a BMP and BRDM from the 19th Armoured, right middle are a T-55 and a T-34/85 from the 1st Armoured, and at right front two UNIMOGS with their AAA guns from the 329th Artillery Regiment. At the extreme right can be glimpsed a Gshandemalan BRDM.

Above: Some of my Gshandemalans. In front is a reinforced platoon of Civil Defence Force militia with their Land Rover 'technical', and behind them are a platoon of the feared Internal Guard security troops with their trademark black berets. The BRDM is an Internal Guard vehicle.

Above: Finally back to Mbantuland, and the shameful unpainted. These are an understrength company of Mbantuland People's Militia - a part-time territorial force that is of better quality than many militias, but still less reliable than a regular unit. They are, however, well equipped, with each platoon having a DSHK 12.7mm HMG and a stand of RPGs... not to mention the recoilless rifle with the HQ!

Tomorrow I will post the rest of my Gshandemalans, and show off my white colonial force (which is, of course, mostly black Africans) together with some of the (in)famous 5 Commando!