Ottomans – The Levant

Been a while since my last post but a week of having a cluster headache, followed by a viral illness sweeping through the household not much time to settle to do an awful lot. I thought I ought to pick up on where I left off… The Levant! Some of this I have already touched on in my opening blog entry.

The next foray that the Boondock Saints decided upon was the battle of Petwerdian 1716. On the Ottoman side the cavalry and Janissaries could be recycled from the Vienna game. The priority was for a few units of Levant and/or Tufeki. I decided to go with the Levant initially and when these were complete a ‘simple’ headgear change would create figures suitable for the Tufeki.

After the valuable learning experience with the Janissaries I started considering poses and equipment. My intention from the outset was to go for even more variation especially where musket armed troops were concerned. One of the main drives behind the variety I was aiming for was to facilitate the ability to have increasingly dioramic bases. These troops could be represented in a host of ways from loose irregular infantry to more formed and drilled units. So the initial plan was for a commander, standard, musician, 2 pole weapons/halberds, 4 swords and shield, and 6 musket armed. These were well underway when I was directed to Assault Group miniatures where they have some lovely pictures of there extensive 28mm Ottoman range (http://www.theassaultgroup.co.uk/store/home.php?cat=11).

I was very taken by the look of Ottoman Levant with muskets at porte #106. I had not come across this peculiar weapon arrangement in my superficial reading and research for this project but it looked intriguing. I  decided that it was worth attempting to push myself and see if I could sculpt similar in 6mm. I also added a further couple of musket poses.

Managed to complete the sculpts, make my proof moulds, and do some limited casts in time for Derby/Donnington. Of course I had to be he first to paint a unit of these – ‘Santa’s little helpers’. I also wanted to provide another one of the bases for the Petwerdian demo game to go alongside the Janissary base I contributed. For this I wanted to showcase the dioramic flexibility from having a wide variety of models available. For my mini diorama I decided to use the spear come musket rest model in a formed line across around a half of the base, behind them a marching column of mixed troops. The close combat troops of the column are breaking off and reforming on the other side of the base along with the command team. The Musket armed troops of the column filtering through the gap and forming a skirmish line. Pretty happy with the end result.

This was sent to Ian for basing consistent with the rest of the Ottoman army.

And here is a couple of close-ups..

..and focusing on the spear/musket rest line.

As mentioned previously Peter hopes to use the majority of the models sculpted. When we looked at how they may fit his production methods I need another musket sculpt (I have 9 done but 1 is a standing/march pose, and one the spear armed thing). We hope to do a skirmish musket pack with 8 variations in. On the workbench currently are three ongoing attempts at a kneeling pose. I guess my learning experience from doing these so far is to consider a little more what to sculpt to fit in with the Baccus manufacturing process. Having 7 active variations of muskets is in no-man’s land as production strips are in 4’s! On the plus side I think these are more consistently sculpted than the Janissaries, and certainly developing a caricature style which suits 6mm.

With the side tracks and illnesses of the past few weeks all I have managed to do is some back fill painting (more on that in the next blog). Unfortunately there has been too much disturbance to sculpt in recent weeks.

Ottomans – The Janissaries

Having finished adding the flag to the Levant base I did for Derby/Donnington I thought I would review things to date a little.

Its been three years since following another year querying as to when Baccus would be doing the Ottomans I suggested over a cup of coffee with the Boondock Saints that I might have a go at sculpting. Now bear in mind my only training is collecting and painting models over the preceeding 28 years (although I had done some Epic 40K conversions), essentially this was going to be uncharted territory for me. Having no idea how to approach starting from scratch the first sculpts were conversions based on the Baccus ACW Zouaves. I was a little suprised at my first efforts, which encouraged me and I followed these up with a series of 6 sculpts. I attempted to do two of these as kneeling poses which were cut and shut jobs with some kneeling Colonial British artillery crew. Looking back on them (as I am currently trying to do a kneeling pose to finish off the Levant), I realise that despite kneeling they were almost as tall as the standing pose! I am told that getting a kneeling pose right is one of the more challenging sculpts (as I am finding out).

Anyway from these basic six poses I did my first base of Janissaries, replacing one swordsman with a standard, and giving one a more fancy set of headress feathers. These have been based 120mm x 40mm bases as this is what we decided upon would work for future demonstration games. Essentially this is a double bases (taking 60 x 30 as the de-fascto 6mm standard) with a little extra depth to allow a little more scenic effect to be added and facilitate a more irregular look. The Ottomans were excellent marksmen and focussed on the individuals fighting prowess. When they assaulted they often formed a fighting wedge and rushed the enemy. I have tried to reflect this on the base with a small group of formed infantry, a heavy skirmishing firing line and a wedge of close combat troops.

I eventually completed the Janissary range with an additional number of poses which went one step further with me working from a cut back torso and did my first sculpted from scratch weaponary. My thanks to Peter for his help and direction, his years of invaluable experience helped alot at this stage.

My proof moulds took a hammering getting figures ready for the Boondock Saints 2011 demo game, and everyone went into Janissary painting overdrive to provide the core Ottoman forces for Vienna 1683. Desperate to be the first to paint a base of them this is what I put together. A center containing various pole, sword and axe weaponary with the flanks occupied by musket and bow armed troops, with a screen of skirmishers to the fore. The central close combat troops were a little more dense tending to form into a wedge like before.

When the Janissaries went into production at Baccu I also got to paint up the Stand models….

OTT1 – Janissaries, musket – formed

OTT2 – Janissaries, musket – firing and loading

OTT3 – Janissaries, Polearms

OTT4 – Janissaries, Swords

Next up the Levant that took part in Petwerdian 1716….