Steven’s Portuguese for the Portuguese Colonial War on Individual Bases

This is my Portuguese ‘army’ for the Portuguese Colonial War. I’m also painting a generic Insurgent force.

I painted them all. I use the Black Undercoat Method of painting and used my painting guide for the Portuguese Colonial War. The basing style involves Sand, Flat Earth paint, and Dry Brushing. Except where noted all figures are the 15mm range from Peter Pig, and predominately from Range 17 AK47 Republic. They are organised using the Portuguese Order of Battle.

So far all of the figures are based on 1 p coins. I’m still debating what rules to use but I am likely to start with something from Two Hour Wargames which use individual based figures. I have uniquely identified each figure with a label showing the Unit ID.

Light Infantry (Caçadores)

The Caçadores were the mainstay of the Portuguese forces. Both infantry and artillery were organised into temporary Caçadore battalions for service in Africa. Must have been a shock for the specialists who suddenly became riflemen.

With one exception the figures are from the “Regulars with Cap” from the Peter Pig: Range 17 AK47 Republic. They are perfect as this style of cap and the G3 rifle were distinctive features of the Portuguese. It is a shame there are relatively few poses.

From Aug 1961 all regular troops fought in camouflage uniform without a helmet. I’ve painted my guys in the ‘French’ pattern of green and brown patches on a light green base. These were the first figures I’ve ever painted in camo and it wasn’t too difficult.

The section has the code C for Caçadore in Camo Cap.

Portuguese-139 Cacadores patrol enters village
Portuguese-139 Caçadores patrol enters village

So far I’ve a Caçadore section. Section Leader, MG42 Gunner and nine men with G3. Actually it should have eight with G3 but I rounded up to allow some flexibility in scenarios.

The section leader is from pack PP17-24 R officers (cap) and the riflemen from PP17-11. R /P G3/SLRs Cap. Unfortunately, given the limited number of poses, I had to use 3 of each rifleman pose.

Portuguese-144 Cacadore section leader
Portuguese-144 Caçadore section leader – ID=CL
Portuguese-181 Cacadore with G3
Portuguese-181 Caçadore with G3 – ID=C1 – Caçadore Pose 1 – Section has 3 of these
Portuguese-182 Cacadore with G3
Portuguese-182 Caçadore with G3 – ID=C2 – Caçadore Pose 2 – Section has 3 of these
Portuguese-183 Cacadore with G3
Portuguese-183 Caçadore with G3 – ID=C3 – Caçadore Pose 3 – Section has 3 of these

The other members of the section were stock figures but the MG42 gunner is a bit different. He is a converted WW2 German MG42 gunner from from pack PP8-450 LW German LMG Advancing. The Portuguese travelled light so I had to cut away a lot of gear from the figure’s back – gas mask, camouflage shelter, etc. This was a fairly brutal hack for both the figure and my fingers. The guy got a head from pack PP6-16: African modern cap. The WW2 range is bigger than the AK47 range so this guy has a Terminator look compared to his section mates.

Portuguese-142 Cacadore with MG42
Portuguese-142 Caçadore with MG42 – ID=CM – Caçadore MG42 Gunner – Converted from German WW2 figure – Front
Portuguese-143 Caçadore with MG42 – ID=CM – Caçadore MG42 Gunner – Converted from German WW2 figure – Back

Here’s another shot of the entire section. The section leader is in the middle and the MG42 gunner on his right in the foreground.

Portuguese-140 Cacadores patrol enters village
Portuguese-140 Caçadores patrol enters village

Commandos (Comandos)

Like the other intervention units (unidades de intervenção) the commandos were mobile elite units tasked with taking the war to the enemy.

Originally the Commando uniform had basically no distinguishing features with the camo and chestnut beret of all the infantry. Some unofficial differentiators crept in fairly quickly, the most obvious being the crimson neckerchief. I don’t know what caps the commandoes wore in the field but as at least one of the other elite units, the the Marines (Fuzileiros), wore their berets in combat, so I have elected to give my commando’s berets to distinguish them from the Caçadores in their camo caps.

The Commando Order of Battle, based on teams of five men, facilitated insertion by helicopter. I’ve painted only one such team: four men with G3 and one with MG42.

Portuguese-188 Commandos advance through village
Portuguese-188 Commandos advance through village

The men with G3 are from pack PP17-37: R G3/SLR Beret. There are only three poses in the pack so I had to repeat one of the poses.

Note: I forgot to flock the commandoes before taking these photos.

Portuguese-193 Commando with G3
Portuguese-193 Commando with G3 – ID=B1
Portuguese-192 Commando with G3
Portuguese-192 Commando with G3 – ID=B2
Portuguese-194 Commando with G3
Portuguese-194 Commando with G3 – ID=B3

Like all my Portuguese MG42 gunners the commando guy is a conversion. The base figure is a WW2 German MG42 gunner from pack PP8-450 LW German LMG Advancing. He got a head from pack PP6-18: Beret Heads. I had to cut away the gas mask, camouflage shelter, etc from the figure’s back. During that process I also, unfortunately, cut off the muzzle from the MG42. Ooops. I did a quick fix by inserting a piece of pin. Not a perfect fix but it will do.

Portuguese-189 Commando with MG42
Portuguese-189 Commando with MG42 – ID=BM – Front
Portuguese-191 Commando with MG42
Portuguese-191 Commando with MG42 – ID=BM – Back

Special Groups (Grupos Especiais or GE)
and Paratrooper Special Groups
(Grupos Especiais Pára-quedistas or GEP)

To come

Trucks and Buildings

I’ve picked up some supporting huts and unimog trucks, painted, off ebay. Both are from Peter Pig. I’m debating whether to get some “African trees” or just use what is in my tree box.

The last photo is a Portuguese convoy arriving at a village. The Section Leader of the Caçadores escort organises perimeter defence.

Portuguese-197-Cacadores convoy arrives at village
Portuguese-197-Cacadores convoy arrives at village

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