A new book from Helion & Company begins to detail the Portuguese air assets that tackled Guinea’s nationalist rebels.
Africa has never been free of conflict. Many instances of fighting there have involved colonialism, and a good example was that of Portuguese Guinea. Nationalist thinking grew steadily in the West African nation in the 1950s, and was further pursued by Amil Cabral’s African Independence Party, from around 1960. This alarmed Portugal to the extent that it deployed its armed forces throughout Guinea, to quell guerrilla activity. A major part of that involved Portuguese Air Force types being employed on counter-insurgency work, among other roles.
If you enjoy replicating aircraft from ‘dust-ups’ around the globe, Helion & Company has launched a brand-new book series exploring the Portuguese Guinea situation… Sanctuary Lost: Portugal’s Air War For Guinea 1961-1974. The first instalment is Volume 1: Outbreak and Escalation (1961-1966). Replete with period imagery, this 92-page softback begins with an historical overview of Guinea’s control by Portugal, but then quickly describes the rise of nationalist fervour and how this was countered by Portugal’s air assets (working in conjunction with ground troops).
If you like colour and variety, modelling the aircraft from this conflict offers both in spades. The bonus is also that most types are available in kit form, as are suitable decals… whether they come with the kit, or via the aftermarket. Jet fans can sink their teeth into replicating the F-84G Thunderjet, F-86 Sabre and FIAT G.91 in scale form, but there are other machines if you fancy entering the propeller-driven world, or indeed that of rotorcraft. Alouette II and III helicopters, as well as the famous T-6 Texan and later Dornier Do 27, are all possible build projects.
Read our review of Special Hobby's freshly reworked Academy T-6G.
Helion and Co’s book provides many decent photos of all these types, both colour and black and white. The image quality is such that you can emulate the entire look of most of these machines very accurately. Weathered Dayglo panels on a Do 27, worn and chipped codes on an F-86, weapons loads… all this and more can be exploited due to the material on the pages. Of course, the history and background is explained throughout, providing vital context and points of detail. However, the imagery is simply splendid and highly useful. So are the five pages of excellent colour profiles, showing types as diverse as the F-86, C-47, Do 27, Max-Holste Broussard, FIAT G.91 and Lockheed P2V Neptune. A multitude of tables and maps also help in understanding the subject.
The types in question are mostly easy to find in scale form, whether in 1/72 or 1/48. For starters, Special Hobby has an appropriately marked 1/72 Do 27 in its range, Academy has the T-6 in 1/72 scale, while Occidental, Italeri, Heller and Revell have all provided 1/48 kits of said aircraft. Meng’s 1/72 G.91 is splendid, and the F-84G has been kitted in the same scale by Tamiya and Academy. Colorado Decals has many sheets of Portuguese national insignia and unit markings in 1/72 and 1/48, and there are more options from other decal manufacturers. Ultimately, much of the fun in building on a theme such as this is identifying and obtaining the relevant kits and decals.
Helion’s book offers heaps of reference in its first volume, and will arguably only provide much more with subsequent instalments on this interesting conflict. The book costs £19.95 direct from Helion & Company.
PORTUGAL’S AIR WAR FOR GUINEA 1961-1974
VOLUME 1: OUTBREAK AND ESCALATION (1961-1966)
By: Matthew M Hurley and Jose Augusto Matos