Monday, December 15, 2008

On the workbench (Bashi Bazouks)

The following are pictures of the Old Glory 15mm Bashi Bazouks I have been painting, this entry is to illustrate how to make the same pose look like several different warriors and posing a series of questions I have about Ottoman irregular troops, in this case Bashi Bazouks.

The first picture is of the first post with turban and vest probably my favorite figure style wise in the pack. These were the first I painted up since then I have learned that the Ottomans wore ruby and mustard slippers, need to verify this. Did all troops wear the red and mustard slippers or just Se khans and/or Janissary? I like the third and fourth from the left best as the color scheme looks the most like the romantic portraits I have seen, however resources have said that the bashis wore just about anything so the greens and blue lend a bit of rag-tag to the miniature. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Up next Bashis in bandannas. I like this figure, reminds me of pirates the most, especially with the stripe pants on the farthest from the right. I tried some darker skin tones on a couple of this figure. Would the Ottoman army have had darker skinned members? I do not like the green head gear on the first bashi.

Probably the best sculpted of the bunch. These have red and mustard shoes. I painted under-shirts on the two figs on the right. A couple of questions. Would they have had undershirts? They have what looks like a buckle on the front of the headgear would this be metal and what is it? Are these models actually bashis or similar to another type of infantry? The detail in this model is nice.

Picture of the back would cow-skin quivers be appropriate or what color might they be? Did they have designs on them. The large knife in the sash on the right hip, would it be in a scabbard or unsheathed? The sword on the left hip would it have a brass or silver hilt?

Command stand types and a horrible swordsman pictured above. The standard bearer is not too bad, and the commander and drummer are o.k. but they look like marionette wizards not really proportional. Would the commanders be wearing more metallic colors or be dressed like the rest? What were the drums made out of. The bashi second from the right is the other multiple fig in the set, he is waving a giant sword with one hand and an axe in the other.

Here is a shot of the bashi with the sword from above. The sword wraps around his head, I do not know what this says about the quality of steel in the Ottoman empire but I think a little more attention should have been given to this model. All of the swordsmen have limp swords.

Above is a group shot of the bashis in all their colors, they seem to blend pretty well and look menacing enough. I believe I need more red, white and beige and a little less other colors.

Bashis from the front similar as to how they will appear when based. I just noticed the lighting in all of the pictures is not very good, I will have to get some more light. I would appreciate any criticism and comments on these figs as I do not have a reference tomb at this point and have relied on the kindness of those on the miniatures page and Ottoman wars yahoo group, you guys have been great. Either respond to this post or drop me an email with your comments. Commenting on the post would be preferred as this might help someone else out in the future to read.
The pack from Old Glory come with 50 Bashis. I will update this later with number of poses per pack. I would give this pack a 6 out of 10 as it has some really nice figs but the command and the guy with the big sword do not look proportional and could use some work. Anyway that is my two cents.

Just for fun I threw in this shot of my 10mm Iron Brigade pic with Gettysburg flags. Do not know why just took the picture.


Capt Bill said...

Wonderful looking chaps, too bad they are all destine to die an ignominious death at the hands of Christians defemding all of Europe!

Bluebear Jeff said...

While I really don't know anything about these troops, I think that the group photos give a very nice irregular look.

Nice work, sir.

-- Jeff

Herzog Ignaz said...

The great thing about bashis is that there is no wrong way to paint them. Since they were irregulars there were no standards or even attempts to impose standards of dress or equipment. Imagine the U.S. Army allying itself with motorcycle gangs and you have an idea of the relationship between the Ottoman army proper and the bashis.

And when you recall that these are the Dey's bashis, you can see that any relationship between them and Ottoman army standards is going to be a distant and nodding one at best.

Herzog Ignaz said...

Both the Barbary Corsairs and the Ottoman army included sub-Saharans amongst their troops (tending to be of different tribes, but any evidence of that wouldn't probably be visible at 10mm), so the skin tones can be as varied as you like as well.

Prinz Geoffrey said...

So what rank is a Dey and what size army would he have? Does the Dey's forces include Sekhans, Janissary, Sipahi or all irregular?

Herzog Ignaz said...

Dey, like most Ottoman titles, is a general honorific expressing age and seniority, (it is derived from the Turkish dai, meaning maternal uncle, not a precise rank. It was routinely awarded to the Dey of Algiers, on whom the Dey of Bizercca is mostly based, to denote the quasi-independent status of Algiers after the Barbarossa brothers seized control of most of the Mahgrebi ports.

The Dey had as many as 25,000 more-or-less regular Ottoman troops at his disposal during the heyday of the Barbary Corsairs in the 1600s, but the decline of Mediterranean trade (as witnessed by the simultaneous collapse of Venice and the Knights of Malta) badly eroded the tribute and plunder which was the lifeblood of the Deylicate. When the Spanish launched their reprisal invasion in the 1780s, there were less than a quarter of that left. In addition to the Turkish troops, which were mostly Janissary, but also included a significant number of Spahis for the exaction of taxes/tribute from the Berber interior, there was also a local militia which along with the bashi-bazouks, could approach 40,000.

Fitz-Badger said...

The bashis look great, very menacing! Nice little 10mm ACW guys, too!

Snickering Corpses said...

I have nothing to offer on the Bashis except that you've done a very nice job on them. They're one of several things I know nothing about.

The 10mm ACW brigade is very nice. Am I right that you hand-painted the flags?

Prinz Geoffrey said...

yes hand painted.