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HaT

Set 8070

WWI Turkish Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2003
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

The Ottoman Empire played a large part in the Great War, but this role is often overlooked today. Yet some of the best known actions of that war involved the Empire, most notably the Gallipoli campaign and the exploits of Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Like all Imperial armies, theirs was a multi-national affair, but the Turkish contingent was its backbone and it is these troops that are modelled in this set, a long overdue acknowledgement of these courageous soldiers.

By the outbreak of war in November 1914, the Imperial Ottoman Army has in the process of many reforms, and was battle-hardened in the Balkan wars of the previous few years. Therefore unlike some nations their troops had a practical modern uniform right from the start, and this changed little throughout the war. Though various styles were sometimes worn, particularly as supply became critical, these men wear the standard uniform that in theory all Turkish soldiers wore when the war started. The helmet is the peakless kabalak, which was a cloth wound round a wicker base. This winding was done in many ways, but these men have a typical arrangement. Like the uniform, the equipment is all correctly sculpted, with only the marching figure having a pack. The rifles look like the Turkish version of the German Mauser, which is correct.

HaT have as usual provided eight poses which cover the basic needs - marching, advancing and firing. However for those looking for something more there is little on offer here. None of the poses are bad, but we would have liked to have seen a machine gun crew, and some of the similar advancing poses could have been sacrificed in the name of variety, perhaps some standing figures reflecting the trench life experienced at Gallipoli.

Our only quibble as regards accuracy is that the officer wears a gorget round his neck. This is a feature for which we can find no evidence, and even if in the regulations it is unlikely to have been worn in the field as it was simply a shiny invitation to special attention from enemy snipers. Strangely even the advancing figures have their bayonets in their holders rather than on their rifles. Still, the figures are quite slender and look good, have no flash at all, and the detail is well done and very clear.

With one of the biggest and most influential wars in history getting little attention until recently, it is good to see HaT producing sets like this to fill in some of the gaps. This is a quality product which only really wants for one thing, excitement.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Gallipoli 1915" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.8) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9781855321113
"L'Uniforme et les Armes des Soldats de la Guerre 1914-1918 (1)" - Casterman - Liliane and Fred Funcken
"Mustafa Kemal Ataturk" - Osprey (Command Series No.30) - Edward Erickson - 9781780965901
"Ottoman Infantryman 1914-18" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.145) - David Nicolle - 9781846035067
"The Ottoman Army 1914-18" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.269) - David Nicolle - 9781855324121
"The Ottoman Imperial Army in the First World War" - Partizan (Partizan Historical Series No.16) - Chris Flaherty - 9781858186825
"Uniforms and Equipment of the Central Powers in World War I: Germany & Ottoman Turkey" - Schiffer - Spencer Anthony Coil - 9780764327827

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