Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Resurrected Armies Project Third and Last: Turkish Redelight

Sunday last was the Sunday of Pentecost and the end of the Easter season for this year, so it brings to an end my resurrected armies project. I was able to get three armies out of mothballs and made some plans for repairs and additions in the time remaining before everything goes into boxes for our move sometime in July. The third and last army I am showcasing for this project is my 28mm Seven Years War Ottoman/Turkish army. Here it is together for a recently finished battle with their Russian nemesis, an excuse to test drive Sam Mustafa's Maurice rules.

As I mentioned when introducing my SYW Russians, I got into SYW gaming with my club in the mid 1990s, and after deciding that I needed a second army for solitaire gaming, I opted for the Turks on the theory that, A) no one else wanted to do them, and B) they were more colourful and more interesting than any other of the European armies of the period. The interesting fact about this army is that almost none of these figures have been painted or based by me. Some were gifts from kind gaming friends I've made over the years, and some were bought used from friends who bought them used. An example of the latter are these fellows, who I showed here a few months back when they appeared in a colonial game using Ross MacFarlane's MacDuff rules. Yes, it's those lovable rogues with the big axes, the Turkish Love Slaves, though as I recall we decided that they were actually some flavour of Cossacks, though we never figured out whose sculpts they are. Most of these have been repainted by me, and they work as irregular massed infantry with melee weapons. If they survive the hails of grape and musketry usually directed at them, they are fearsome enemies.

I have three units of scruffy archers who look like they would be more at home in a Crusades game fighting Richard the Lionheart. They were part of a job lot of figures purchased by a friend at some kind of boot sale, and he kindly sold me the lot. Lord knows who made them. They function as the equivalents to Russian pandours, since mobs of irregular skirmishing infantry are always helpful.

The pride of the army, are of course my elite armoured cavalry, the Sipahis. I gather that sipahi can be a generic word meaning cavalry of any kind, and that the heavies were called Sipahis of the Porte. I have twelve of these latter chaps from The Assault Group waiting for a turn on my painting bench and they are lovely figures. THese fellows here came in that job lot I mentioned and were extensively repainted and rebased by my younger self. Again, they look rather medieval to my eye. With another twelve figures done once I get to the TAG sipahis, I'll have an impressive shock arm for those key moments in the battle. My limited reading of Maurice doesn't seem to give any distinctions to light or heavy cavalry, but I am only reading the free "Lite" rules, so there may be something in the full rules if I decide to buy them.

The heart of my Turkish army is a small brigade of three small regiments of Janissaries. These figures in blue are Esex (I think) and were never really finished. That blue banner needs doing and they are rather expressionless. I am also not sure if the red fez chaps should be mixed in with the more elaborate headdress. This unit needs some revisiting to be sure.

I also have two units of these handsome chaps in red - Minifigs, I think. I didn't paint them, they were the gift of a friend who started collecting Ottomans and then gave up. A very handsome and decidedly old school bunch, and the only units I have who have any chance of standing and slugging it out with the Russian line infantry.

My Turks don't have the same weight of artillery that their Russian foes possess, but they aren't helpless. Besides this based gun, they have this monster, never got more than half painted and still needs basing. The crew are Minifigs.

Finally, we have more fellows who look like they have ridden out of a Crusades or El Cid game, these magnificent horse archers in their colourful robes, all drawing the bow at the same time. Such choreography! Some of these fellows I've repainted.

And another unit of light horse, none of whom have received a lick of paint during their time with me. From my limited knowledge of Turkish tactics, they would pack their wings with light horse and try to win the battle on the flanks. My Russian hussars will be busy fending off the Turks while the line infantry and artillery tries to decide the battle.

I neglected to take a photo of the big cheese, the army's CinC, but he's busy in a refight with the Russians using the Maurice rules, so I will include him in my AAR of that battle, or I'm told some burly eunuchs will drag me off and apply the thumbscrews in a dark dungeon. Hmmm, I hope he wins that battle, for my sake.

A couple of to-dos here to be sure. 1) Finish painting the blue jannisaries; 2) Base that big cannon, assemble a third gun, a piece from Minifig's ECW range, and finish four artillerists somewhere on my painting table; 3) get cracking on those TAG sipahis of the porte. The first two I think I can manage before the move. The final task should take me into the fall.


  1. Its good to see and old army get a second life. I sold my first army (WH fantasy undead) twenty years ago and i have regretted it ever since.

  2. I have enjoy this resurrection project enormously over the Easter period. I look forward to what you achieve over the remainder of the year

  3. I used to have a 6mm Ottoman army. I was looking to replace it with a 15mm version. To date I have 5 figures that were all samples from a company that now no longer exists. Your army looks great. Would love to see the battle report of these guys facing off against your Russians.

  4. What a lovely army Padre - great that it's seeing the light of day again :)

  5. Interesting how the Turkish army hadn't changed for such a long period of time. Very nice units and that is one formidable cannon.

  6. Hi Padre,

    As a long time Ottoman army fan this was a real treat to see! If I ever painted a 28mm army it would be an 18th century Turkish one for sure! A great mix of figures - as befits the original methinks.

    All the best,


  7. Ah, Turkish delight! and a nice army too. The terms are often confusing - Provincial Sipihis, Sipihis of the Porte, Yoruks, Bashi-bazouks, Yamaks - it makes my head spin. (So I'm a Dervish now?)

  8. Great looking Turks, inspired me to finish my Ottoman Army for the French in Egypt project.

  9. Very coll, highly original


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