The Afriborian Campaign is situated in an imaginary world that resembles our own planet and its history (roughly 1874-1914), but events and developments that took place in our world might be set at different dates or in different places in the Afriborian world, thus making any resemblance between Afriboria and real history, -people, -events and -places purely a matter of imagination.

BACKGROUND: In the pre-steam era, the Major Powers had few problems maintaining a naval presence in the colonies: life and ship maintenance were simple enough and frigates or smaller craft were kept on duty. Things changed dramatically with the introduction of the iron steamdriven warship. None of the Major Powers could afford to build yet another battlefleet, just to patrol the shores of the Dark Continent, let alone to construct the naval facilities required in such remote countries. Prussia found a solution and took the lead with the launching of the FRIEDRICH DER GROSSE, their first "Koloniales Panzerschiff" (colonial armoured warship). This vessel carried the powerful guns of a battleship on a hull the size of a gunboat and with a draft suitable to cruise both the Afriborian shores and its rivers. The race was on...

The vessels shown below are as much the result of being constantly on the lookout for suitable toys, models or bits and pieces to turn into Afriborian men-of-war as of building or converting the actual models themselves. The basic idea is to make the ships look like Victorian to WWI vessels, but "schrunken" according to the principles of the Major General. Some of my ships are based on commercial models (no pictures here yet), but all the others have costed next to nothing (being made of stuff that otherwise woud end up in the wastebin), apart from little extra's like the wheel or air intakes (cheap model shop bits). For reference: the overall length of the battleships is about 11 inch (ca. 27,5 cm). You will also find some inspiration at

The very first "colonial battleship", designed and constructed by Prussia, seen here at anchor in the harbour of Pretoria. The main armement was concentrated in the "A" turret. The secundary battery was located in an armoured citadel below the bridge area. Later, another gun (not in a turret, but with shield) was added aft (behind the mizzen mast). The smaller vessel in the picture is a typical example of a small gunboat, mainly used to patrol the Afriborian rivers.
The French answer to the Prussian challenge. This vessel is in fact a scaled-down version of the ocean going French battleships and is known as a "cuirassé colonial", with its main guns in a "A" and a "Z" turret.

(both bigger vessels are scratchbuild, the base for the small gunboat (or similar) can be bought in any seaside giftshop)

"LA CRISE" (the Crisis) - pirate steamsloop.
Willie "B", captain of "LA CRISE", is a third generation (Belgian) privateer. His grandfather rose from the ranks and finally made captain of a sailing sloop with his son as first mate. After the death of his father, the son took over and re-named his sloop the " John "B" " in honour of his old man. He became one of the most feared pirates in Afriboria but his vessel was blown out of the water by an English steam frigate during a calm. Some of his crew and officers managed to escape and went back to Europe, looking for his son Willie "B". Using some of the hidden treasure of his father, Willie "B" (an educated gentleman) designed himself a fast sloop, combining sailing power with a steam engine, so that he would never risk his father's faith. "LA CRISE" is armed with a single powerful modern gun and also carries some machineguns. The objective of Willie "B" is to become the greatest of all privateers, so DO NOT mention the words "trader" or "Crisis" in his presence...

(vessel (or similar) can be bought at any seaside giftshop: - gun: scratchbuild - commercially purchased wheel and scratchbuild poopdeck added)

"L'ADRIENNE" Belgian gunboat.
The kingdom of Belgium did not have a navy at the time of the colonisation of Afriboria, leaving the Belgian trading vessels unprotected, untill the Prussian armoured cruiser " Kaisertal " was shipwrecked near Brazzaville. The Belgian steamer "L'Adrienne" was nearby and her crew was able to salvage the guns of the warship before it broke in two and disappeared beneath the waves. Naturally, Prussia wanted these powerful weapons returned, but the Belgians claimed two of the guns as a reward for their effort and - reluctantly - the Governor General of Heligoland agreed. The Belgians mounted both guns on the strengthened decks of " L'Adrienne ". The first vessel of the (unofficial) Belgian Afriborian navy was born...

(Main gun: plastic toy,other gun and complete superstructure are scratchbuild, the hull is a rowing boat, bought in a seaside giftshop)
Although it doesn't show clearly in the pictures, the vessel has actually two slim smokestacks, mounted next to each other.

"KATHERINE" Belgian spar torpedoboat.
Since the Belgians had no proper navy, they acquired what auxiliary vessels they could lay their hands on, thus collecting a ragtag fleet of small steamers. Some acted as gunboats, but four of them (Katherine, Humphrey, Rosie and Charlie) were equipped with twin booms to handle the two spar torpedos they carried. Although (in the civilised world) spar torpedos were obsolete weapons, in Afriboria these boats could easily hide amongst the mangroves, strike unexpectedly, and - with some luck - sink a much more formidable adversary (as can be seen in the picture on the right, portraying a daring night-attack).
( scratchbuild vessel)
"EMPRESS"- class British colonial battleships.
The launching of "Friedrich der Grosse" alarmed the British and they were quick to respond: within the record time of 10 months the "Empress" class was operational in Afriborian waters.
(2 ships in class: "Empress of Dammallia" and "Empress of Indistan").
( scratchbuild vessel)

"STINGRAY"- class British colonial torpedocruisers.
"Friedrich der Grosse" came as a shock to all Major Powers, but none were so hard hit as the Brits. Several shipyards in England were at that time in the process of building no less than 24 medium high freeboard gunboats for Afriborian service. It was quickly calculated that at least four to six of these gunboats would have to be grouped together in order to even stand a slim chance of inflicting heavy damage to "Friedrich der Grosse", with a certain loss of 3 or more units... The Admiralty therefor decided to complete only one-third of the gunboats as planned. The other sixteen were transformed in 8 colonial armoured cruisers and 8 torpedocruisers (having more of a sporting chance when encountering a colonial battleship...). Since most of the superstructure had to give way to the torpedotubes, quarters were cramped and the crews nicknamed these vessels "black coffins".
(hull from a giftshop fishing boat - available worldwide, see also Ebay -, guns and superstructure are scratchbuild)