15mm Wargaming Figures for the Portuguese Colonial War

A few manufacturers offer suitable figures for the Portuguese Colonial War but Peter Pig dominates the field. I’ll go through the Peter Pig options blow-by-blow and then mention some other players.

Peter Pig: Range 6 Heads

PP6-16. African modern cap — suitable for Portuguese
PP6-25. Modern bush hat — suitable for insurgents
PP6-43. US WW2 helmet heads — suitable for Portuguese Paratroopers
PP6-18. Beret Heads — suitable for Portuguese or insurgents

Peter Pig: Range 17 AK47 Republic

Note: M = Militia; HM = Hardened Militia; R = Regular; P = Professional

Weapon Packs

PP17-14. Medium Mortars+Ammo boxes
PP17-19 HMGs (Russian type, on carriage) 3 of — I think this is the DShK 1938/46 (aka DShKM) or SG-43 Goryunov
PP17-20 Recoilless Rifles (105mm)
PP17-45. .30 cal MGs on mounts (long stick) to put on vehicles etc. (8 in a pack)
PP17-51. ZPU 4, 4 barrelled AA gun on wheeled platform/chassis
PP17-53. ZPU1 single barrelled AA
PP17-68. 75mm Recoilless rifles (6 of)
PP17-69. Mortars (Russian/Chinese type)
PP17-74. .50 Cal MGs on tripods(6 of)
PP17-73. Man portable AA

Regulars in Cap

Perfect for Portuguese. This style of cap and the G3 rifle were distinctive features of the Portuguese. Can also be used for insurgents – they borrowed Portuguese kit after all. Heitman (1991) calls the Portuguese cap a ‘deer-stalker’ cap.

Cazadore patrol enters a village
Aside from the guy with MG42 all of these figures are from the Peter Pig
Regulars in Cap

PP17-24 R officers (cap) –

Perfect for Portuguese, whether officers or otherwise. Two guys standing and one kneeling with binoculars; all with G3.


PP17-24 R officers (cap)
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-11. R /P G3/SLRs Cap

Perfect for Portuguese. Deer stalker cap and G3 rifle.


PP17-11. R /P G3/SLRs Cap
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-5. R AK47 Cap

The AK47 means they are not suitable for Portuguese but good for insurgents


PP17-5. R AK47 Cap
Photo from Peter Pig site

Insurgent from PP17-5. R AK47 Cap

PP17-8. R RPG

Pack has a mix of Cap, Helmet and Beret. Actually the mix is a bit annoying. All figures are good for insurgents. The guys with cap and beret can do duty as Portuguese.


PP17-8. R RPG
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-9. R LMG

This is the disappointing bit. The figures have a GPMG. The Portuguese used a variety of light machine guns but not that.

See my separate page on 15mm Portuguese Machines Guns.


PP17-9. R LMG
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-2. R/P Weapon Crew in cap (weapons come from separate pack)

Like a lot of Peter Pig weapons crew packs the poses are a little, well, odd; not much firing and a lot of pointing. Kneeling pointing guy with Beret; Kneeling guy with Cap; Standing pointing officer with Cap. The hats are more suitable for insurgents than Portuguese.


PP17-2. R/P Weapon Crew in cap
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-12. R /P Weapon Crew Cap

These guys are good for Portuguese or insurgents. Two kneeling guys suitable for MMG crew; Standing pointing officer

See my separate page on 15mm Portuguese Machines Guns.


PP17-12. R /P Weapon Crew Cap
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-26. Regular Seated

Good for Portuguese on a truck


PP17-26. Regular Seated
Photo from Peter Pig site

PP17-3. R/P Dead figures

Well, dead is dead. The figures are generic so can be used for Portuguese or insurgent.


PP17-3. R/P Dead figures
Photo from Peter Pig site

Regulars in Beret

Perfect for insurgents and Portuguese Special Groups, Marines, Paratroopers, and Commandos.

PP17-30. Regular officers (beret)
PP17-37. R G3/SLR Beret
PP17-38. R LMG (Russian) Beret
PP17-40. Beret Seated
PP17-47. Beret Crew – Commander with AK47; Kneeling guy; Guy in surfing pose
PP17-52. Beret AK47 R/P

Insurgents from PP17-52. Beret AK47 R/P


Suitable for insurgents.

PP17-22 Militia Command
PP17-10. M. Bolt action Rifles
PP17-4. M firing AK47

Insurgent from PP17-4. M firing AK47
(I think; otherwise he’s a boy soldier)

PP17-142. Militia advancing AK 47
PP17-143. Militia Kneeling AK 47
PP17-72. Naked Militia with AK47
PP17-57 Militia LMGs
PP17-25. Militia RPG
PP17-71. Militia RPG
PP17-41. R/M boy soldiers – one pose with each of beret, cap, and bare headed
PP17-18 M Crew
PP17-28. M ammo carriers
PP17-59. Militia Dead

Hardened Militia in Cap

Suitable for better equipped insurgents. I used them as the basis for my Section K: Kick Arse Komrads in Kaps and Khaki.

PP17-117.HM AK47 advancing

Insurgents from PP17-117.HM AK47 advancing

PP17-118.HM AK47 firing

Insurgents from PP17-118.HM AK47 firing

PP17-119.HM LMG

Insurgent from PP17-119.HM LMG

PP17-120.HM RPG

Insurgent from PP17-120.HM RPG

PP17-121.HM Mortars + crew
PP17-122.HM Command

Insurgent from PP17-122.HM Command

PP17-123.HM Dead
PP17-124.HM Ammo carriers
PP17-125.HM HMGs + crew
PP17-126.HM Female militia

Insurgent from PP17-126.HM Female militia

PP17-127. HM Crew

Regulars in Helmet

Suitable for insurgent “regulars” in the 1970s

PP17-65. Helmet Command
PP17-62. Russian Helmeted AK47
PP17-70. Regular RPG in Helmet
PP17-63. Helmet LMG
PP17-64. Helmet Crew
PP17-99. Helmet Seated
PP17-100. Helmet Dead

Regulars in Kepi

Not really suitable

PP17-1. R/P Kepi SLR

Other Regulars

PP17-6. R/P tank crew
PP17-55. AA crew

Professionals in Brimmed Hat

Not really suitable. The brimmed hat was used by some Portuguese and by a lot of insurgents, but the weapons aren’t too useful (FN, GPMG, Law, M16).

PP17-16. P Officers
PP17-13. P FN/SLR Hat
PP17-17. P LMGs (GPMG)
PP17-56. P Laws(A/T weapons)
PP17-21 P crew
PP17-58. Professional Cavalry (brimmed hat)
PP17-66. Professional troops seated
PP17-48. Professional Bareheaded with M16,can be used for SAS or similar

Other stuff

These have a mixed utility:

PP17-27. Crocodiles
PP17-29. Civilians
PP17-31. TV/Media Crew
PP17-60. Looters with tyre, chainsaw, TV
PP17-46. Seated drivers
PP17-67. Vehicle MGs(30/50 cals) with Gunners (6 of)
PP17-42. Colonel Blanc (mercenary commander a la Mike Hoare)
PP17-43. Dictator
PP17-44. Religious leader
PP17-54. Popular front leader


Specifically used by the Portuguese:

PP17-15. Unimog Truck: 2 versions: Canopy version; Open, with seats version
PP17-39. Landrover
PP17-35. Panhard MG/Mortar turret (This is the AML-60)

Other vehicles in the range:

PP17-23 Toyota Pickup
PP17- 49. Mercedes Benz saloon car
PP17-32. 90mm Panhard A/C
PP17-36. Destroyed Mercedes (resin)
PP17-50. GAZ 469 Jeep
PP17-7. T55 MBT
PP17-88. Destroyed T55
PP17-61. Bulldog Anti Mine Vehicle
PP17-95. BTR 152.
PP17-96. URAL 4.5 ton truck
PP17-97. Centurion 105mm no side skirts MK5
PP17-98. Centurion 105mm with side skirts MK5
PP17-112. Toyota high suspension

Peter Pig: Range 1 “The Men of Company B” Vietnam

The Vietnam range is useful for figures with AK47, FN/FAL and M16 assault rifles.

  • Some AK47 figures would mostly need a head swap to become African insurgents however those VC with floppy bush hats need no conversion.
  • The FN/FAL – notably the Australians – with a head swap (beret or cap) – could become Portuguese, any arm of service. Combine with “Professionals with FN/FAL” from Range 17.
  • The Portuguese didn’t use the M16 but some did use the Dutch AR-10, a predecessor of the M16 and similar in appearance. Mostly the AR-10 was used by paratroopers, who, coincidentally also wore US helmets on jumps (but not in normal combat). So US or ARVN troops with M16 make a reasonable impression of Portuguese paratroopers with AR-10 – no conversion required. The ARVN might be better as they are more lightly equipped than the yanks; but they are shorter.
  • US with shotgun could also be mixed into paratrooper units.

Other US troops, with a head swap, could provide mortar and bazooka crews.


22. PBR + Crew

1.US troops M16 Advancing

17.US troops M16 Firing


35. ARVN M16

38.ARVN Command – two poses with US helmet and one with beret


4.VC troops AK47

Perfect for African insurgents in bush hat

53. VC with bolt action rifles

Can mix into less well equipped African insurgent units. Some figures will need a head swap but not many.

21 VC LMG/Officer/RPG

More guys with plausible African bush hats

47. Porters (bike/cart/big pack 6 figs)

Nice for African insurgents with head swaps.


15. Australians with FN Rifle

With a head swap (cap or beret) they are good for Portuguese of any service.

Other stuff

31. 105mm Shells and boxes

Peter Pig Range 10: Pirates – Pieces of Eight

29.Mob with machetes

Great for ill armed insurgents.

Cannon Fodder Miniatures: 15mm Insurgents

Cannon Fodder – 15mm African Clan Militia – 11 Figures
Cannon Fodder – 15mm African Clan Militia – Mortar – 1 X Mortar 2 X Crew

Quick Reaction Force (QRF)

QRF do post war vehicles some of which don’t appear in other ranges. The Portuguese used all of these.

QRF-PBS08 Landrover 90 (short wheelbase)

QRF-PFC01 French EBR75 Armoured Car

Cool eight wheeled job.

QRF-PAC02 US Commando 90 Armoured Car
QRF-PAC03 US Commando APC
QRF-PAC01 US V100 Commando Armoured Car with MG turret

The Portuguese might have used the Commando but they definitely had the Portuguese built derivative called the Chaimite (built by Bravia). The most common variant of the Chaimite was the APC with a top mounted machine gun (like QRF-PAC03). There were also many with a MG turret (like QRF-PAC01). And there was a version with a 90mm gun (like QRF-PAC02) although I’m not sure this was used in the Portuguese Colonial War.

QRF-PAS01 M151 Ford Mutt Jeep

QRF-PBC01 Ferret Mk 1
QRF-PBC02 Ferret Mk 1/2
QRF-PBC03 Ferret Mk 2/3

The Portuguese used the Mk 2 and perhaps the mk 1 Ferret.

QRF also have some related kit but I don’t think the Portuguese used it:

QRF-PBC06 FV711 Ferret Mk 4

Peter Abbot tells me the Portuguese used the Mk 2 and perhaps Mk 1.

QRF-PFC02 French EBR90 Armoured Car

I ordered some post war German infantry with G3 assault rifle and MG3 (aka MG42-59) to see if they could do service, with a head swap, as Portuguese.

QRF-PGI01 Postwar Germans with G3 advancing
QRF-PGI02 Postwar Germans with G3 firing
QRF-PGI04 Postwar Germans with MG3
QRF-PGI05 Postwar Germans Command with G3

They are compatible in size with the Peter Pig figures but their equipment is completely wrong for Africa. In particular the German webbing has the Y braces of the WW2 predecessors.

Command Decision

Old Glory UK have some figures for this period … and judging by the photos they look quite good.

Old Glory UK: Command Decision Vietnam .


They look good figures to use for Portuguese Paratroopers in Beret. Of course they have the M16 but with some imagination this could be the earlier Dutch AR-10 issued to the Portuguese paras.

Also available at Available at Skytrex: Command Decision as pack PWVS3 U.S. SPECIAL FORCES SQUAD

Old Glory UK: 15mm Modern Infantry


Old Glory UK: 15mm Modern Vehicles

  • W820 Commado Armoured car.

Old Glory UK: 15mm WWII British Vehicles


Old Glory UK also have a 1/100th scale helicopter for the period:

Rebel Minis

RMMR01 15mm Modern Rioters
RMMC1 15mm Modern Civilians

Irregular Miniatures

Irregular have a range of wild animals in their 15mm Fantasy section. They are brilliant. I’ll use them for hidden movement markers of some kind.

FAN15 Lion
FAN16 Tiger
FAN17 Giraffe
FAN18 Rhinoceros
FAN19 Crocodile
FAN20 Two African cattle
FAN21 Hippo
FAN22 Ostrich
FAN23 Antelope
FAN24 Warthog
FAN25 Hyena
FAN26 Large primate on tree trunk

Old Glory 15s – Quality Castings

The Quality Castings range from Old Glory have the only American 57mm Recoilless Rifles I could find. They have the bigger varieties as well if you don’t want the Peter Pig models.

Essex Miniatures

GER19 2 MG42s on tripod with 2 gunners, 2 loader and 1 NCO

You just need the MG42s for the Portuguese MMG. You don’t need the crews. Luckily Essex will do special packs so I just got a pack of eight MG42s on tripod.

WW2 Ranges

Check out 15mm Figures to use for WW2 and many of the vehicles at least are applicable to Africa post-war.

Finney and Smith

Finney and Smith: Autosculpt P-W have a great range of 15mm (1/100th) scale civilian vehicles. The one I’m interested in for the Portuguese Colonial War is:

VW-17 VW Beetle (Circa 1964)

Portuguese Vehicles

A bit of a summary on Portuguese vehicles. These manufacturers that make the vehicles specifically used by the Portuguese:

Peter Pig

  • PP17-15. Unimog Truck: 2 versions: Canopy version; Open, with seats version
  • PP17-35. Panhard MG/Mortar turret (This is the Panhard AML-60)

Quick Reaction Force

  • QRF-PFC01 French EBR75 Armoured Car
  • QRF-PAC03 US Commando APC (use for Chaimite APC)
  • QRF-PAC01 US V100 Commando Armoured Car with MG turret (use for Chaimite APC with turret)
  • QRF-BAC03 Daimler Dingo
  • QRF-PBC03 Ferret Mk 2/3

Flames of War

  • FOW-BR323 Humber III/IV (the main armament of the III was a 15mm machine gun and the IV had a 37mm cannon so, for a Canadian Fox, with a .50 cal machinegun, the III might be better.)
  • FOW-BR310 Daimler Dingo (x3)
  • FOW-US201 M3 half-track
  • FOW-US411 Jeep (x3)

How to get Portuguese Machine Guns (MG42, MG13, Madsen)

See my separate page on 15mm Portuguese Machines Guns.


Heitman, H. (1991). Modern African Wars 3: South-West Africa [MAA 242]. Osprey.

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