Tuesday, August 30, 2022

It's Sudan Terrain Week


My City of Khartoum diorama.

This week will see me setting my paint brushes and figures aside so that I can focus on making terrain pieces for my Sudan Project. I want to start getting an idea of how the whole Historicon '23 game will look on the table top and new terrain bits and pieces are needed.

This week actually began with a major reorganization of my basement game room. I have a main game table measuring 6ft by 14ft and a secondary table measuring 6ft by 7ft. The secondary table holds the complete City of Khartoum set up (walls, gate towers, houses and other buildings) and I had left it there as a diorama that I could look at or show off to visitors at our house. However, I needed the area around the second table so that I could set up another 6ft by 14ft table running parallel to the main game table.

The dockside area of Khartoum complete with Nile River gunboats.

This entailed putting all of the Khartoum buildings away so that I could clear off the table and start moving tables around. I looked underneath the table and realized that I had more junk stored there than I had imagined. If I was going to start rearranging tables, the junk underneath had to go somewhere. The other half of my basement is a finished TV room and so I decided to move everything into that room. That job took me a couple of hours. Yikes!

The secondary table has been cleared of Khartoum on the top and all of the flotsam and jetsam underneath.
I like the look of a clean and tidy game table.

All of the Khartoum buildings had to go somewhere, so I set up a 
temporary pair of tables where I could place all of the terrain.

Now that the space was cleared, I could rearrange the tables and create a table parallel to the main game table.

I found that I didn't have enough width to set up the second table as a 6ft wide table, so I placed four 2.5ft by 6ft tables in the long direction to create a narrower 5ft by 12ft table. As you can see in the picture below, I now have a vast open desert to game with my 54mm Sudan figures.

Now I have two 6ft by 12ft tables running parallel.
The gap between the tables does not exist in terms of the movement of figures. I've subsequently decided to move the terrain storage boxes from the corner of the game room to another area to be determined. This will add an extra two feet of movement area behind the table for gamers at my house.

This afternoon I decided to put Khartoum back on the table to give me an idea of how it might look when I run my Khartoum! game at Historicon 2023. I placed the city in one of the corners because the rear areas of the city were the Blue Nile and the White Nile coming together to form the Nile River. Contrary to what the Khartoum movie shows, the Dervish did not attack Khartoum from the rear using river boats. This area was not attacked at all so I don't feel the need to add much of the riverside terrain behind the city. 

New Khartoum on my game table.

This version of Khartoum is a little bit smaller than the original version, I had to leave out 3-4 buildings to squeeze the city into the corner of my game table. When I set the city up for the Historicon 2023 game, I plan to put Khartoum in the middle of one of the 6ft by 15ft tables. This will create a wider frontage of the city and allow for more players to scale the walls with ladders.

Now the heading of this post indicates that this is Terrain Week at Chez Fritz so I will be spending lots of time building Acacia trees, a donga or wadi or two, maybe some railroad track beds and some rocky hills. I made 8 stands of Acacia trees yesterday, using bits from plastic artificial plants that I bought at Michael's Stores. The flower part pulls right off of the stem without using scissors. I used a 3-inch round circle base and drilled a hole through the center of the base. A rat tail file made the hole wide enough to fit the flower stem. The stem was inserted into the hole and affixed with some hot glue. Waiting about 15 minutes to make sure that the glue had dried, I then troweled some wall board paste (Red Devil Premixed Light Weight Spackle) over the base and sprinkled it with some Woodland Scenics fine railroad ballast.

New Khartoum from the front elevation.

I have also been experimenting with making railroad track beds. I made one sample section of track, gluing the track to an eighth inch thick piece of basswood and then troweling the wall board past between the sleeper ties. The problem is that this caused the wood to warp, so I will have to find another material for the base of the track bed. Hopefully one that won't warp.


  1. I always enjoy seeing your version of Khartoum Jim, though I have a slight feeling of suppressed megalomania whenever I see 54mm games on the grand scale. Best of luck with Terrain Week!

  2. Wow! That is so impressive!!
    Regards, James

  3. Its wonderful to see your 54mm figures Jim, its quite a setup.Being a big country you American chaps seem to have more space for gaming. I hope you are re-watching The Four Feathers and Gordon of Khartoum again to get inspiration. The game will be impressive, no doubt.