EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Focus Rossi Pasha, Focus

Spring time finally arrived a month late, nicely coinciding with the annual "spend the tax return on household repairs and renovations" time. This conjunction has severely limited productive hobby time but idle pondering while painting, wondering while weeding etc as well as reading and googling on extended lunch and coffee breaks  have kept me working towards a Turkish army and rules to go with it.

The problem came when I left the computer for a very thin section of the bookshelves,  the Ottoman Turks. The more i think about it, the odder that is but there just doesn't seem to be that many useful books on the Ottoman army, especially during the 16th C when it was expanding so powerfully. Luckily several of the booklets I've had on the 18th/19th Century Ottomans included a fair amount on the early Turks, no doubt because they also had trouble finding things. A few years ago I eagerly bought a good solid book on the Jannisaries but it turned out to barely touch on military aspects and pretty much avoided anything about their campaigns. Anyway, eventually I remembered that I hadn't read Oman's chapters on the Ottomans for years and had usually rushed through them to get to "the good stuff".

This is where I started to get into trouble. I read and reread the bits on the siege and on the Ottomans generally and then found myself rereading the Italian Wars stuff.  OK, its related, and I have a bunch of suitable figures already. It was when I found myself plotting  out figure requirements for Spanish Colunnas, I stopped. Not saying I won't do big chunks of the Italian Wars in 40mm skirmish, siege and the big battles, but not this year. Back to figuring  numbers and organization for a Turkish army, not to/mention rules. I have various problems with each of the pike and shot rules I've read or played over the years, especially for 40mm figures for games ranging from a  skirmish to a sortie to a pitched battle and committed to my current basing. More on that another day.

In the meantime I have been reworking the prototype Azab. The original one had a bottom half that was too thick and puffy as well as a heavily bearded face that was too big, broad and flat. Its still not a great figure but its looking better. The beard will be replaced by a mustache since it seems to have been more common and its easier to add a beard from putty than to remove a cast on beard. After that two things are left to do, raise his arm and shoulder so that he is shooting upwards or deflecting hits from above while storming a fortress wall, and add a scimitar and better bow.


  1. Ross, I've nothing against the Turks, indeed it is a neat army. It is colorful and they have turbans . . . but do you have room for it on your shelves?

    You've often written about how you need to trim your forces because of a lack of room. So what needs to become 'surplus to requirements' if you build your Turkish forces?

    I'm not trying to discourage you . . . I'm just being a bit of a reminder about what you've previously mentioned. By all means do the Turks if you want (I'd love to see them) but be aware of the consequences as well.

    -- Jeff

    1. Thanks Jeff, the short answer is Yes. The Turks have had shelf space allocated since 2005. They've just been late arriving to fill the space, in part because of unplanned additions such as the 40mm AWI . So this is just getting back on plan.

  2. Ross - you gave me all your reference books on the Ottomans - do you need them back?

    1. All? Nonsense, that was just a few pamphlets on the 18th and early 19th C turks left over from my 15mm Suvarof and Egyptian campaign days, not going back there. I kept what I had on the 16thC and later 19thC but thanks for the offer.