Rhodesian Mine Protected Land Rover

 

Operation Agila was the name given to the Commonwealth Monitoring Force, which supervised the transition of power from Rhodesia to the renamed independent country of Zimbabwe. This took place between December 1979 and March 1980. As the name suggests the Monitoring Force was made up of personnel from various countries within the Commonwealth. All the vehicles that were involved were marked with a white cross and one of the more interesting were the Rhodesian Mine Protected Land Rovers. These were basic Series III Landies fitted with hooped rollbars and additional armour plate under the chassis (photos 1 and 2).

 

It looked an easy enough conversion, so armed with several photos I set to it. The basis was the Revell Series III (109”/LWB) kit (photo 3). The chassis and rear end are built straight from the box. When building the front part before you add the wings you need to cut off the sill (photo 4). Behind the seats you need to add some angled armour plate (photo 5). Under both front seats were fuel tanks. These were surrounded by armour plate to give them some sort of protection should the Landy hit a land mine (photo 6).

 

Now the part that gives the Landy its unique feature, the roll bars. Looking at the photos I figured the hoops would be 55mm in diameter at 1/35 scale. I tired various ways to make these from plastic rod and thin wire but nothing worked. In the end I got a pair of hooped earings from that well known accessory shop in the high street. They were shaped as shown and glued to the bodywork (photo 7). Along the edge of where the sills would be some plastic card deflection plates were added, plus another one along the top edge of the dashboard. A vertical piece of armour plate was added behind the seats. In the rear two seats were made from plastic strip/card and foam (photos 8 and 9). That was basically it as they say. I painted the model in Humbrol 102 Army Green as they photos show the colour to be light than the normal British Army Bronze Green. I added the crosses from white decal strip and then painted over them as they were quite translucent. Number plates were homemade decals printed off my computer. Photos show these vehicles with very little or no stowage, apart from a radio in the back. I’m still looking for a suitable radio pack for the back. Weathering was done using pastel chalks. The SLRs are from an Australian Company called Mouse House (photos 10-13).

 

This model picked up a third place at the Scottish Model Show, Edinburgh 2016 and another third at the Glasgow Modelfest, 2016.

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