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Old March 07, 2018, 09:28   #1
Impala_Guy
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Whats your preferred method for a Rhodesian paint job?

I’m talking a rifle that’s monotone already, not built from a Rhodesian kit with original paint remnants.

Do you:

A) Remove the magazine, strip the rifle and paint upper and lower separately, or just degrease the rifle best you can and have at it with the paint (including the exposed portion of the bolt carrier)

B) Basecoat the rifle with green and then apply the yellow, or just splotch both on randomly leaving patches of the rifles underlying black paint or park exposed?

C) Use a spray for the basecoat green or just slop it on with brushes?

Anyone ever seen a Rhodesian parts kits in any other field camo colors than the expected tropical green and mustard yellow? Were any of them ever sprayed or just slopped on with brushes?
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Old March 07, 2018, 09:59   #2
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I've never done one from scratch and have always just filled in around original paint to make the 'new' parts match. If I were to do one from scratch I'd want it to be authentic so I'd do it the way they did it. No spray, no base, no prep.

Imagine a dozen troops being led down to the motorpool, rifles in hand. A can of green and a can of mustard are popped open. A small amount of each gets poured into a tin and mixed together. The troops were told to bring along a spare, worn sock but most forgot so several of the bunch shed their shoes. Instructions are given to avoid the flash hider and the controls(safety selector, bho and mag release). Paint is not allowed inside the rifle and magazines are not to be painted above the exposed area. Now get to it lads!

Different sorts go about it in different ways. Some guys slop it on, others attempt an artistic expression, but it gets done. The guys who slopped in on razz those who fuss. Eventually each heads off to chow dragging his freshly painted rifle by the muzzle and stacks it in the sun somewhere to dry. Done.
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Old March 07, 2018, 11:33   #3
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Do my eyes deceive me, or was this one slopped on, then later touched up with a spray gun from the motor pool?

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Old March 07, 2018, 11:36   #4
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This guy definitely got some abuse from the squad for this one

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Old March 07, 2018, 11:55   #5
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Courtesy of a fellow on the New Rhodesia Forum, the following areas were not painted under threat of a severe thrashing from the RSM:

-Sights- rear, front, grenade (the wings of the base or the ears of a Para rear sight were okay)
-Trigger
-Bolt carrier
-Magazine release
-Bolt hold open
-Muzzle device
-Buttpad
-RA number, on the lower and on the upper (beneath the ejection port). The latter seems to have frequently been ignored.

When I paint, I give the rifle a half-assed degreasing with isopropanol and use a 2" foam brush. Remember: it's supposed to look like shit. Yellow paint goes down first, followed by the green.

Troops used a shop rag, sock (most never socks), rope, whatever to put the paint on.
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Old March 07, 2018, 12:29   #6
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Like snowflakes, no two are alike,.......but 99% are similar.
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Old March 07, 2018, 16:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lew View Post
Courtesy of a fellow on the New Rhodesia Forum, the following areas were not painted under threat of a severe thrashing from the RSM:

-Sights- rear, front, grenade (the wings of the base or the ears of a Para rear sight were okay)
-Trigger
-Bolt carrier
-Magazine release
-Bolt hold open
-Muzzle device
-Buttpad
-RA number, on the lower and on the upper (beneath the ejection port). The latter seems to have frequently been ignored.

When I paint, I give the rifle a half-assed degreasing with isopropanol and use a 2" foam brush. Remember: it's supposed to look like shit. Yellow paint goes down first, followed by the green.

Troops used a shop rag, sock (most never socks), rope, whatever to put the paint on.
I have several triggers with original paint, but i think we all now that there was no science behind the varied painting.

I use cheap 1" hair brush and don't give AF when applying. The pattern and order of colors depends on the furniture and/or receiver as I have seen green first as well as yellow first, or layers on layers...

Below, i painted mag, receiver, trigger guard and handguard retainer:

Everything else is original.


For your mag, definitely paint in the rifle, the originals i have all were painted while inserted into a rifle
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Old March 07, 2018, 18:08   #8
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A while back I saw a Portland Armslist ad for a 'Rhodesian build' where the owner gave a wonderful paint job (like a light sky blue and khaki mix) and he even painted the bolt carrier. Just in case that bolt carrier gives away your position to the terrs.

ah, here we are - found it on a Google images search:



Gunplumber has a good blog on Rhodesian paint on his ARS webpage (Rhodpat). I have one of his Rhodie builds off a Rhodie kit and DSA R1 receiver He matched up the receiver with whatever existing paint was left:

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Old March 07, 2018, 19:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eternal24k View Post
I have several triggers with original paint, but i think we all now that there was no science behind the varied painting.
I'm sure, as evidenced by yours, that there was deviation. Whether it was noticed or whether someone care about it is another matter. What I posted was the "official" list.
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Old March 07, 2018, 21:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
I've never done one from scratch and have always just filled in around original paint to make the 'new' parts match. If I were to do one from scratch I'd want it to be authentic so I'd do it the way they did it. No spray, no base, no prep.
...
Much like kev, I have just filled in the "new" parts as most of my kits/part have had a lot of original paint. I used small brushes and slopped on the paint attempting to replicate the original paint on the new upper receiver.

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Old March 08, 2018, 05:33   #11
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The two I've done have both been clones of individual rifles, so I based the patterns on replicating those as well as the photos would show. I used a 1" foam brush and two coats on each color, green first then mustard. Since I was copying individual rifles, I also followed as to what each rifle left unpainted rather than the official standard.
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Old March 08, 2018, 21:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lew View Post
I'm sure, as evidenced by yours, that there was deviation. Whether it was noticed or whether someone care about it is another matter. What I posted was the "official" list.
Just a small difference,as I have not seen any variance on the other items.
At the end of the day, it's anecdotal (only because i have never seen a written SOP or memorandum) and obviously varies to some degrees between units, much like uniformity and standards in our own military.
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Old March 09, 2018, 11:36   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eternal24k View Post
Just a small difference,as I have not seen any variance on the other items.
At the end of the day, it's anecdotal (only because i have never seen a written SOP or memorandum) and obviously varies to some degrees between units, much like uniformity and standards in our own military.
No doubt.

The sights and the muzzle device being uncovered are the only ones I've seen mention of being enforced. The first is obvious, the second so there would be no issue with rifle grenades.
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Old March 09, 2018, 12:52   #14
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I still think they were ordered to leave the combo device unpainted so they could carry the sticky things back to barracks. Remember, they'd already chopped off the purse handle.
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Old March 09, 2018, 18:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala_Guy View Post
Do my eyes deceive me, or was this one slopped on, then later touched up with a spray gun from the motor pool?

SLRs were out of frontline service long before the camo paint era, so whatever second-line troop or civilian painted it may have had access to something better than old socks and rags.
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Old March 09, 2018, 18:51   #16
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Quote:
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SLRs were out of frontline service long before the camo paint era, so whatever second-line troop or civilian painted it may have had access to something better than old socks and rags.
Disagree!

SLRs were not the new issue riFALs in later years, but were far, far from "out of frontline service long before the camo paint".
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Old March 09, 2018, 21:13   #17
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Disagree!

SLRs were not the new issue riFALs in later years, but were far, far from "out of frontline service long before the camo paint".


^^This^^ there is a lot of evidence that SLRs in Rhodesian service underwent the camo treatment. Don't make me go digging my British baby poop stock set out now.....

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Old March 11, 2018, 19:37   #18
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Disagree!

SLRs were not the new issue riFALs in later years, but were far, far from "out of frontline service long before the camo paint".
What frontline Rhodesian units (e.g. the RLI or Rhodesia Regiment) had SLRs by the mid-late 70s? The only references to SLR service by then that I've seen involved units like police and AgricAlert crews...certainly they dealt with their share of terrs, but they weren't exactly going on regular Fireforce missions.
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Old March 11, 2018, 20:29   #19
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Originally Posted by enbloc8 View Post
What frontline Rhodesian units (e.g. the RLI or Rhodesia Regiment) had SLRs by the mid-late 70s? The only references to SLR service by then that I've seen involved units like police and AgricAlert crews...certainly they dealt with their share of terrs, but they weren't exactly going on regular Fireforce missions.
I know a guy that was with the RLI for 8 months in '77. He said they used mostly R1s, but there were still L1A1s in service in the RLI at that time.
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Old March 12, 2018, 07:14   #20
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If you spend more than 5 mins on it you are doing it wrong.
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Old March 12, 2018, 09:41   #21
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Originally Posted by enbloc8 View Post
SLRs were out of frontline service long before the camo paint era, so whatever second-line troop or civilian painted it may have had access to something better than old socks and rags.
The genuine Rhodesian that Larry Vickers acquired definitely has parts of it done with a spray gun back in the day. The hand guards clearly have been spray painted. Looks like a FN made South African contract gun, not a South African R1, even though it is a mixmaster:

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Old March 12, 2018, 15:49   #22
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Originally Posted by Impala_Guy View Post
The genuine Rhodesian that Larry Vickers acquired definitely has parts of it done with a spray gun back in the day. The hand guards clearly have been spray painted. Looks like a FN made South African contract gun, not a South African R1, even though it is a mixmaster:

yeah, he also has some Muggabe zim paint on there
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Old March 13, 2018, 12:13   #23
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There is no correct way to apply the Rhody paint scheme. The sloppier the better. I just went after mine a very random but somewhat organized manner. I also left the barrel and flash suppressor in the shite at these guns were carried in the third world fashion. Over the shoulder being held by the front of the barrel.
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Old March 13, 2018, 12:28   #24
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I know a guy that was with the RLI for 8 months in '77. He said they used mostly R1s, but there were still L1A1s in service in the RLI at that time.
IIRC, in Chris Cox's book, he says that all FN style rifles were called R1s. Metric and Commonwealth.

The Selous Scouts camoflauged their R1s.
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Old March 13, 2018, 13:42   #25
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IIRC, in Chris Cox's book, he says that all FN style rifles were called R1s. Metric and Commonwealth.
That sounds plausible. This guy, though, seemed to know the difference between two, and said he & most others in his Commando used R1s, and he did recognize the presence of L1A1s in the RLI. His Troop camo-ed their rifles.

He said the Rhodesian African Rifles that he saw were issued G-3s.
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Old March 13, 2018, 19:02   #26
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That sounds plausible. This guy, though, seemed to know the difference between two, and said he & most others in his Commando used R1s, and he did recognize the presence of L1A1s in the RLI. His Troop camo-ed their rifles.

He said the Rhodesian African Rifles that he saw were issued G-3s.
Well, he wasn't totally correct. They may have been both been referred to as "R1s" in common usage, but the SLR was still officially the L1A1 in Rhodesian service.

Most G3s went to INTAF, Guard Force, BSAP Support Unit and PATU, Rhodesia Defence Regiment, and Grey's Scouts. RAR would have had very little, if any.
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Old March 13, 2018, 19:19   #27
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One thing to remember is that the parts we have now had gone through years of neglect by the mugabe regime after the war.....in service they would not have looked all beat to crap like they do now....
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Old March 13, 2018, 20:33   #28
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....but the SLR was still officially the L1A1 in Rhodesian service.
And that is what he said to me, that is how he called it.

Quote:
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Most G3s went to INTAF, Guard Force, BSAP Support Unit and PATU, Rhodesia Defence Regiment, and Grey's Scouts. RAR would have had very little, if any.
Perhaps he misremembered. After all, it's been over 40 years. But he has always been a "gun guy" and been pretty precise in firearms knowledge as long as I've known him (almost 40 years). And he was there. I was not.
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Old March 13, 2018, 21:12   #29
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Original paint on B marked British stock set. This is the beginning of an SLR Rhodie build......


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Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rhodie Inch Pnted Stock Set-2.jpg (68.4 KB, 65 views)
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Old March 14, 2018, 07:03   #30
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First I pretend I am Michael J Foxx with a paintbrush. Then I attach string to it and drag it around the yard a bit. Always ends up turning out just right.
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Old March 14, 2018, 07:47   #31
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Sock is what I used. https://imgur.com/gallery/yUTCd

Rick, I might have the right PNL to that bottom set of HGs if they are Aussie. https://imgur.com/gallery/ABuNG
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Old March 14, 2018, 11:59   #32
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Perhaps he misremembered. After all, it's been over 40 years.
And that's fine and understandable. It's no sleight against him, but the photo record shows plenty of FN's in the hands of the RAR, which would make sense, as they were in the thick of it as much as the RLI was. It would be easy to mistake INTAF, BSAP, INDEP Co's, etc... troops for the RAR, too.

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Sock is what I used. https://imgur.com/gallery/yUTCd
Well, it looks terrible, so I think you did a good job.
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Old March 14, 2018, 12:18   #33
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Original paint on B marked British stock set. This is the beginning of an SLR Rhodie build......


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This will make a very nice Rhodesian L1A1. I've only seen one built. Will be a nice addition to your Rhodie collection.
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