Saturday, July 25, 2009

Arab Dhow: A Navy for the Mahdi

Not even sure if the Mahdi had a navy, but in the wonderful world of semi-historical colonials...he's getting one! ;)

I finished the arab dhow conversion and took it out for a gaming spin. My "period sketch" begun a couple of posts ago, continues to evolve and has now become a running game that is getting new reinforcements as I finish them. In this case I added a strip of the Nile to the end of my table and surprise here comes a dhow full of jehadia riflemen to give the Brits a few headaches.

The conversion was done as per the one found on the "Major General's" page. Here are some comparisons of the original toy ship and the finished conversion.

The only real departure from the method described by the Major General, is that I found that after the surgery to remove the tabs and such from the original deck, the surface was pretty carved up so I decided to just plank the deck with a new surface made of wooden coffee stir sticks "liberated" from my local Starbucks. (the petty larceny was minimal since it only takes a few sticks to cover the deck)

Though it looks time consuming, the deck only takes about an hour to complete because the coffee sticks are thin enough to cut quickly with a wire nipper. I started on the centerline of the ship and worked out to the beams cutting to fit as I went and after a section was all cut I just glued the planks down. The nice thing about the wood deck is that it just takes a light ink wash followed by a drybrush to get a good looking finish and the irregularities in the planking make any fitting mistakes almost invisible. The rest of the colors were determined by looking at a few dhow images online. The blue colored panels and white trim look pretty common in pictures of the real thing.

The dhow was just in time to add needed support to the mahdists defending their stronghold against a determined British/Egyptian column.

The tower is also a part of the Pressman Weapons and Warriors set and is simply painted. The tower holds about 4 or 5 riflemen depending on your base sizes

the Emir orders his camelmen forward!

The emir figure is a Connoisseur casting and is converted (with a good bit of surgery and green stuff) to sit on a camel instead of a horse.

What started as a rough table "sketch" is starting to develop into full blown colonial mayhem!

Egyptian infantry in some peril...

while their second company comrades make an attempt on the tower gate

Bengal lancers melee with the emir's camelmen.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Delightful eye-candy, sir. Jolly well done, I say. Jolly well done.

-- Jeff

Fitz-Badger said...

I agree. Very nice stuff! The dhow conversion is very effective. (but I'm still resisting the temptation to head off into Colonial affairs...for now lol)

Donogh said...

Great conversion - virtuallly unrecognisable. (Nice fort too!)

tidders said...

Super looking dhow and luverly colonials

-- Allan

legatus hedlius said...

Splendid. The Mahdists certainly had Dhows and even a captured steamer or two.

ColCampbell50 said...

I made a dhow out of a Pressman pirate ship per the MajGen's instructions but didn't think of planking in the deck. Thanks for the idea, I;ll have to go back and do that!