Saturday 11 May 2024

Ottoman Boats

A useful addition to the Ottoman forces today with two large rowing boats from Barrage Miniatures, They are intended for Napoleonic Ottomans but I don't see any reason why they would not be suitable for earlier periods. Whilst researching the wars between the Hungarians, Habsburgs and Ottomans in the first half of the sixteenth century it has become clear that control of the rivers was key with the Sava and Danube playing an important role in the Hungarian kingdom's system of defence. Similarly the Ottomans used their fleet in the wars in the Mediterranean against the Knights of St John and Venetians.

These models remind me of contemporary depictions of the Sieges of Belgrade, 1521,and Vienna, 1529, which show rivers being patrolled by small Ottoman boats as seen below. These images are followed by some pictures of my 28mm janissaries launching an assault on an unsuspecting Venetian fortress in the Mediterranean. The boat models can each fit three of my infantry bases inside which is a great bonus. I do realise there are no actual rowers, we will have to rely on a suspension of disbelief until I can find suitable models!

Hopefully the boats will see action soon. All being well I intend to set a game during the 1521 Siege of Belgrade in the coming months.

Near contemporary image of the Siege of Belgrade in 1521 showing Ottoman rowing boats controlling the Sava and Danube rivers.

Another near contemporary image of the Siege of Belgrade depicting lots of Ottoman boats. One of these images of Belgrade is probably based on the other as they are very similar!

Detail from Niklas Meldeman's depiction of the Siege of Vienna in 1529. Again lots of small Ottoman boats are shown patrolling the Danube.

A force of janissaries prepare to storm a Venetian fortress.

28mm janissaries in large rowing boats - although I don't have any rower miniatures.

A janissary naval assault.

The Ottoman boats arrive.

Two large ottoman rowing boats.

28mm Ottoman boats.

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Dismounted Sipahis

A first for the blog today, a unit that is (nearly) entirely made up of 3D printed figures. They are the Wargames Atlantic "Ottoman Armored Infantry", and a useful addition to my ever growing Ottoman army. The figures can be fielded as dismounted sipahis, who have left their mounts in order to part take in an assault on a besieged town, or as Zirhli Nefer, heavily armoured janissaries. Of course there are a few conversions in the unit, the shields come from lots of different manufacturers and the standard bearer is an Old Glory metal figure as I found the 3D prints too brittle to be able to swap their weapons.

Whilst I like the design of the miniatures I did find the fact the prints were so brittle an issue. The hands and weapons are more accurate in size than on classic wargames figures where the weapons and hands are slightly out of scale and more caricatured. On the other hand the mail links on the 3D prints are a little big and I think the way mail is sculpted on more traditional miniatures looks more convincing. When I was painting the figures the weapons especially had a tendency to suddenly snap which just doesn't happen when painting metal or plastic figures. I hope this won't be a further issue using them in games in the future and have tried to base the figures in a way that protects the more vulnerable weapon parts. The kit like nature of the prints is a plus, especially all the different head options, but the torsos are limited as to how many poses can be made. The figures are certainly no cheaper than plastic or metal either. I am not sure the time of the 3D printed figure is quite here yet, but it is certainly on the way!

As befits some of the Ottoman's best troops I have chosen to paint them in lots of bright colours with different finishes on the armour. As these are Ottoman figures you may question why I have used some dragon motifs on a couple of the shields. I feel the mix of Islamic and more traditionally western motifs works well for the men fighting on Christendom's eastern border in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. This was a period when there were many Christian's fighting in Ottoman armies and there was much crossover in the styles of arms and armour used hence a few of these troops having Balkan style designs on their shields. The new figures work really well with the Old Glory and Essex armoured Ottomans that I painted up some years ago. In fact I think the 3D figures look better when mixed in the with the metal figures. The last four photos below show the metal and 3D printed miniatures as one unit.

A unit of dismounted sipahis. All of the figures are 3D prints from Wargames Atlantic apart from the standard bearer who is an Old Glory miniature.

A unit of twenty four dismounted sipahis.

A view from the side showing some of the detail.

28mm Ottoman armoured sipahis who have dismounted for a siege assault.

A view of the unit from the back.

Ottoman armoured infantry. These could be dismounted sipahis or Zirhli Nefer, armoured janissary assault troops.  

A unit of forty eight armoured Ottomans. The unit is a mix of Old Glory and Essex metal figures with Wargames Atlantic 3D prints.

28mm dismounted sipahis or Zirhli Nefer, heavily armoured janssaries.

28mm Ottoman armoured infantry.