Sunday, March 10, 2019


I don't think there's any feature more iconic to a Sudan battle than a zareba. Also spelled zariba, they're typically used by Sudanese natives for corralling animals and protecting them against predators. Basically it's an improvised stockade made of mimosa trees which are cut down and lined up to form an enclosed area, then stacked up high and dense to make an almost impenetrable barrier.  They served a military purpose during the campaigns of 1883-85 as protection to the Imperial forces whilst on the march, although the mimosa was supplemented by entrenchments and sandbags. The most famous example is the zareba successfully defended by Imperial forces during the Battle of Tofrek in the Eastern Sudan on 22nd March 1885.

Although time wouldn't allow me to play out the next battle of my mini campaign this past week I did put together a zareba. It's big enough to hold a couple of battalions, and I made it modular so it can be expanded to enclose more units if needed.

The Grenadier Guards, Berkshire Regt. and a company of Gordons make themselves cosy.
The bases are craft (lolly) sticks glued to cereal box card then covered by spackle. Sharp sand was pressed into the spackle while wet then the lot painted a solid brown and dry brushed lighter shades. The mimosa trees are made from quarter to half-inch lengths of a weathered piece of garden twine. One end of the twine is dipped in PVA, pinched together and allowed to dry. The tops are splayed out then dipped into watered-down PVA then dipped again into dried tea leaves. Once all was dry, I glued them into place in lines as shown. I may make sandbagged pieces another time.

With luck and a following wind I should play the next game this coming week and weekend.  


Paul O'G said...

They look great AJ!

A J said...

Thanks! They're better than a previous version I made some years ago.


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