Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sudan Terrain Is Set Up

Steadfast Toy Soldiers Defend Their Zaria
Last night I cleared off my wargame table of SYW figures and battles and set up the Sudan desert terrain for our toy soldier game on July 23, 2016. I wanted to make sure that there would be enough room for all of the toy soldiers, 300+ Dervish and 100 to 150 British figures. I am happy to say that I think that we have enough space to maneuver and not be overcrowded with figures.

The Dervish attack the square (New Britains and John Jenkins Design Dervish)
The ground cover is a backing material called Osnabruck that is typically used to line clothes or curtains. In the store it looked greyer and has a lot of colored flecks in it. However, once spread out on the table, it looked too bright and white, so I had to dull it down with Woodlands Scenics railroad ballast, some brown lichen and a scattering of rocks that I picked up during walks with the dog.

A sight that no European would want to see: a hoard of Dervish on the attack!

The Bad Guy: the Khalifa with his black banner and bodyguard.
The oasis at El-Teb

Closer view of the oasis. The desert well is from King & Country.

A long range view of the center 15x6ft table. I had not applied all of the scenics on the ground cover yet.
Same view, only the railroad ballast has been scattered across the table to make it look sandier.
The above two pictures illustrate the Before and After look of the table after the Buff colored railroad ballast has been shaken over the table. I  think that this does a good job of toning down the light ground cloth and giving it a more desert appearance.

The British zariba. I used moss for the thorn brush that I bought at Michaels Stores.

I found some dried moss at Michael's Stores ( a craft supplies store chain in the USA) and found this to be perfect for making a zariba of brush. The British would stop and hack down brush for a zariba every time they stopped to make a camp. It was a good defensive measure against the sneaky Dervish.

Beja Riflemen pester the square with long range fire.

Here are some Beja or Fuzzy Wuzzy riflemen sniping at the British square from behind some rocks and brush. The figures are from Imperial Productions toy soldiers in New Zealand.

The Ansar charge the square.
New Britains (Nile River Campaign) and John Jenkins Designs figures, above, charge the British square.

Updated photo after ballast has been scattered across the table.

It is looking pretty good so far, don't you think? Comments are most welcome.


  1. What a brilliant set-up and collection, Jim. I'm sure you will have great fun with these. Cheers, Rohan.

    1. Thank you Rohan, it's been a blast getting all of the toy soldiers out of storage and organizing this game.

  2. Yes! Looking vicariously forward to the coming game.

    Best Regards,


  3. Amazing looking table. The ballast worked very well.

  4. Terrific looking set up.
    By the way what rules will you use?

    1. We plan on using Bill Protz's BAR variant for the British 19th Century Colonial Wars.

  5. A terrific nostalgic feel and look to the game. Just need a Britains toy gun to fire matchsticks at the figures.

  6. I'm not normally a toy soldier fan but you have created a wonderful looking spectacle, and the terrain, while simple, certainly does justice to the figures. Look forward to seeing the game in progress.