Monday, September 14, 2020

De Nile Is A River

A river gunboat at dock in front of the Governor's Palace in Khartoum.

This past weekend in the Virtual Wargames Club "Tidders" (Kingdom of Wittenberg blog) taught us how to make water effects on a sheet of blue felt: you take a plastic shower curtain liner and cut off a piece and lay it over the felt. Simple solution and it looks great. Thank you Tidders for the tip.

I went to my local Target store and bought the recommended shower curtain and I will soon cut it up for river sections on my Nile River. Yes, I added the Nile to my Khartoum set up. The VWC talk about water, rivers and streams got me to thinking that a little bit of de Nile would enhance the look of the tabletop. So I layed down a six foot long strip of blue felt on the end of the table. Now before doing this, I had to shift the town and the walls 18 inches further down the table in order to create enough room for the river and wharf. While I was doing this, I shifted the position of some of the buildings inside the walls. For example, the queyside walkway in Khartoum rolled past the Governor's Palace and said palace was on the wrong side of my table layout. Thus it shifted along with every other building on the table.

The gunboat and a small trade boat.
The riverfront in front of the Governor’s Palace in Khartoum 

Then I layed down a temporary dock/pier along the edge of the Nile and scattered some sand along the shoreline to hide the edge of the felt. A little bit of lichen, some palm trees, and Bob's your uncle! I have not yet placed the shower curtain overlay on the felt. I will do so soon and post a picture or two on this blog.

The dock master awaits the disembarkment of the crew.

British sergeant and some Sudanese guards are wary
of what might be  inside the cargo hold.

The river gunboat was made by a toy soldier company called Trophy of Wales, which has long been out of business. The trade boat is actually a small Norse boat that Herb Gundt modified for me a long long time ago. It is good to finally put it to use. It doesn't have a lateen sail, but it is good enough for me.

I have taken a short break from building construction these past several days, shifting work to painting more 54mm Armies In Plastic Dervish figures. I have to build out several of my Ansar and Beja units to 60 figures.  

I will work on making a proper boat dock this week and maybe even get a start on the mosque. The new town layout has room for a couple more buildings and I am thinking that a warehouse would look nice along the river.


  1. Table continues to look fantastic, and I eagerly anticipate the effect of the shower curtain.

  2. The river and wharf are a great addition to the setup.

  3. great stuff - can i also recommend blue vinyl for rivers - it has a shine which looks more waterlike

  4. It is all looking wonderful Jim. Love the comparison with the old photo, however I definitely think it will be improved if you can tone down the deep blue of the Nile, maybe the shower curtain will do that.
    cheers Chris

    1. The blue felt is all that I had on hand, but it is my intention to find a darker color for the water. You have a good eye for color, what would you suggest?