Fighting for Angola: FAPLA figures in 20mm.

I have just finished some of Under Fire Miniatures recently released Angolan Government troops [clicky]

fapla 5

They represent soldiers from the FAPLA (Peoples Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola) who were the armed wing of MPLA (Peoples Movement for the Liberation of Angola) who had fought against the Portuguese up until 1974 when Portugal granted independence to its African colonies. After this MPLA formed a government and started moving Angola to a single party Marxist state. (The Soviet Union/ Warsaw Pact and Cuba send military aid as advisors). This led to a civil war in Angola between the MPLA/FAPLA and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) as well as the FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola). This ended up as a something of a Cold War proxy battleground between East and West. Furthermore South African forces frequently crossed into Angola due to MPLA’s support of SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation: a guerrilla force fighting in what is now Namibia against the South Africans). It makes for a rather long and complicated war that didn’t really end untill the 2000s.

With military aid coming from the Warsaw Pact and Cuba I’ve painted the figures to reflect this.

fapla 4

This group of figures has been painted in a Cuban Lizard pattern camo. They are armed with the usual mix of Soviet weaponary.


This second smaller group are in the East German Rain pattern (fiddly to do on 20mm figures and the zoom of a digital camera isn’t kind to my so so painting), three of them wear the DDR’s NVA helmet.

fapla 3

For support they have a Recoilless Rifle.

fapla 2

As well as a Plamya AGS17 Automatic Grenade Launcher.


Great figures that will make for nice opponents to the South Afrtican Defence Force figures I painted some time back.





15 comments on “Fighting for Angola: FAPLA figures in 20mm.

  1. Mike says:

    Pete, have you ever done any SADF vehicles? Like the Ratel? That’s one of my all-time favorites

  2. Faust says:

    Really nice work on those camo patterns!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Faust. I try to capture the look of the camo by making the pattern bigger than it is in reality. If you took scale distance and colour into consideration most camo schemes in 1/72 scale would just end up as green or brown indistinct blotches. Realistic but aesthtically unappealing.



      • Faust says:

        Smart man! I wonder if that translates for other freehand bits on minis too. Hadn’t really thought about that.

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        Can’t see why not- when I paint Shemags/ Keffiyeh scarves wityh the check pattern on I usually scale that up and it works too.



  3. Nice work. I don’t know much about Africas history but it did make me think of this song and I owed you one for sharing the safety dance one the other day. I listen to it every morning hehe. Here you go –

  4. Looks good man, doing camo in 1/72 is difficult as hell but you pulled it out nicely!

  5. Marvin says:

    Great work and interesting history too. I’ve avoided painting camo so far – much like I’ve avoided tartan! These look great, I like the Cuban Lizard pattern.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks- it is easier than you think really. I should do a guide to it really. I keep all my paint combinations in a book so it would be easy to replicate them.



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