The Ottoman Army in the 17th century was still mainly a cavalry force, though infantry played a key role on many of the larger occasions, particularly sieges like those of Candia and Vienna of course. Though the Janissaries are by far the most famous of Ottoman infantry, many more foot soldiers served in the ordinary Provincial Army, as eyalet askerleri, where they generally fulfilled much less glamorous but still vital tasks such as border defence and bandit control. Such forces were generally under the control of the local governor, though when such troops were summoned for a major campaign they naturally came under centralised command.
Like much of the Ottoman Empire, such men were ignored until very recently, but this set comes only a few weeks after the first to depict such men, that from RedBox listed below. In that set we observed that there was quite a wide variety of costume and weaponry, suggesting a broad geographical spread, and we would say much the same of this set too. Most wear the usual turban, wound round a cap or, in one case, what might be a metal helmet, while a couple have just a tall cap. Loose, baggy clothing in the form of tunics and caftans are much in evidence, and several have the ends of the skirts tucked into their sash (kushak), which was common practice. Armour however was very rare, but one figure here seems to have some sort of mail shirt. However nothing here is impossible.
Several men carry muskets, and others have swords or axes. The first figure in the top row seems to hold a polearm, but with a blade that is not fully formed (varies between sprues). One man still handles a bow, which is correct even for the middle of the 17th century, though we were not taken by the shape here. Again none of the weapons are wrong.
A glance at our photos tells you what you need to know about the sculpting. Generally things are fairly crude and detail is often missing or very hard to identify. Such items as the muskets have precious little definition on them, but that really applies almost everywhere on these figures. Sometimes it seems the sculptor gave up trying - the arrows on the waist belt of the archer have been carved to suggest a multitude, but only on one side - the other is completely smooth. Also the various round shields, which are appropriate in themselves, are mostly gripped by no visible means, and some are a horrible shape anyway. In places there is quite a lot of flash, though our photos show the cleanest examples we could find, and several figures on some sprues have enormous sink holes in shields or backs, so once more the quality of the set you may get can vary greatly depending on whether you are lucky or not. The last man in the last row is a case in point. On the photographed example he has a decent length to his sword, but an obvious and ugly sink hole on his shield. Other examples of this figure in the same box had a puny sword barely half this length, but a fully formed shield with prominent boss!
Although the idea behind each pose is reasonable enough, the realisation leaves much to be desired. In most cases the figures are far from flat, which is good to report, though as so often every man with weapon raised is showing the flat part of the blade to the supposed enemy. The standing firing figure is aiming down a bit, while the kneeling man is aiming high, though neither man is actually looking in the direction the weapon is pointing so perhaps the word 'aiming' is misplaced here. The third figure in the second row is clearly running yet not looking where he is going, reminiscent of some of the silly Atlantic poses, though they were at least better sculpted than these.
While we cannot fault the accuracy of these figures, and the intended poses are fine too, the way the figures were actually sculpted and manufactured makes this an ugly set with random flash, sink holes and half-formed extremities, and that will put off a lot of people, including us.