Khartoum Time

dscf0763If, like me, you’ve an interest in colonial wargaming you’ve likely visited Major General Tremorden Rederring’s Colonial-era wargaming page and come away with your jaw on the floor.  The site is packed with gems and even though it hasn’t been updated since 2006 it remains a treasure trove of all things colonial and has become one of the web’s primary influences on the colonial period gamer. Ironically there have been actual wars which have a smaller influence.

dscf0765It certainly influenced me to build a small version of a walled city like Khartoum, although so long as you don’t add period sensitive props like satellite dishes or Coca-cola signs it’s geographically good from Casablanca to the North West frontier plus it’s suitable for periods from Ancient through Modern all the way to Futuristic. In 6mm it’s also a lot simpler than you might think, and with some consideration prior to building can be used in a modular way.

dscf0766The key to the walls is to make them in sections, the towers should be seperate except on the gatehouse, as above, which will always have it’s own local towers. I’ve left enough room on to the sides of either staircase for a wall section to fit at right angles, should I want to create a smaller hill fort. The walkway on the wall is large enough to take Irregular Miniatures colonial figures which are cast with bases, and are what I use for this.

dscf0769Here’s a tower, it’s made from four pieces of foamboard, four pieces of plastic rod, plasticard for the wooden roof and textured paint. Like the reall things there’s few windows but these are cut large so when a wall section is set against it they become doors. They can also be used separately for hill stations and the like.

dscf0770The gatehouse, a wall section and a tower in a straight layout. The walls are simplicity themselves, quickly made from five pieces of foamboard finished with textured paint. Russian tank in Iraqi colours supplied by the boy slug.

dscf0771The same tower laid out with two wall sections at right angles. I made eight wall sections in total all to the same dimensions, if I wanted fancier layouts I’d make some half the length. Although foamboard is light the textured paint adds weight to them so they’d freestanding, and I’ve yet to have one fall over.

dscf0774Breaching the walls is typically one of your major aims when there’s a walled city in the game so I’ve made one breached section too.

dscf0775Onto the buildings within the walls, starting with the bought. This is a Mainly Military mosque with the world’s most expensive palm trees from EMA. It’s a sweet model but as it comes with a tiled courtyard I do wish it came in two parts to make painting a little easier. EMA is a great supplier with a massive and highly useful range, however they’re not cheap.

dscf0776 Mainly Military dwellings in resin, simple but good castings. I like the broken shutter, someone will be along in a minute to blame it on the Yanks.

dscf0777A quite posh residence from Mainly Military. This one has some pretty damage to the plastering so I painted white to enhance it. In studying North African architecture I did notice how only the buildings belonging to the richer citizens ever seem to be painted.

dscf0778Two metal dwellings from Irregular Miniatures, the wood on the roof is painted on what is effectively a flat surface. Metal buildings used to be the gold standard for gaming but I’ve gone right off them as the flash left over from casting is troublesome and time-consuming to remove.

dscf0779Onto the home made. This is the bazaar with each shop having it’s own unique wares. All the smaller buildings are plasticard, plastic rod and textured paint. The canopy was done with paper and white glue. See the one to the right? That’s my cousin’s and if you ever need a rug he’s the man to see, tell him I sent you.

dscf0780A large dwelling with the added luxury of a canopy and a collection of fine rugs (from my cousin of course). Thought this might do as a Governors Residence or perhaps a local potentate.

dscf0781Of course you don’t always have a Governor nor a potentate so I made the feature removable which makes it much more mundane to look at.

dscf0782Various smaller single storey buildings which are nothing special aside from having been built with the idea of utility so…

dscf0784…they can be arranged like this and become two storey buildings. This means I don’t need so many to have variety.

dscf0772Here’s a couple of blurred photographs just to confirm the simplicity behind the walls and towers. Here’s the sandwich which forms the walls. I didn’t texture the ends so they might fit more tightly against the towers.

dscf0786This is the inside of a tower, before texturing I slightly rounded the corners with a few scalpel cuts, you can see the plastic rods to which the plasticard roof is glued to. The extra patch of plasticard is were I’ve cut a gap for a trap door in the roof and then added the door itself. Very, very simple stuff to do.

dscf0762At the end of the day everything in this post, and the extra wall sections all fit into these two cigar boxes, especially as I based my wall section length and tower height on the dimensions of them. The total cost of the scratchbuilt elements was around £30, with materials to spare, while the bought elements cost more. Why not build one yourself?

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