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Set 72104

Turkish Infantry (Tufekei)

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2017
Contents 48 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23.5 mm (= 1.7 m)


The various elements of the Ottoman Army in the 17th century were many and complicated, and not all are well documented today, but the Tüfekçis (variously spelt in English) were one of the more important. Recognising the spread of firearms, particularly amongst their enemies in the West, in the late 16th century the Ottomans organised units named Tüfekçis, which were specialists in firearms, generally recruited from hunters and others with an existing familiarity with the weapons. Such men were often skilled marksmen, and during the 17th century were recognised as one of the most effective units in the Army. Generally organised into small units, they were used for skirmishing, sniping and other activities which made best use of their skills, although strangely the sources say these men were not regulars, but were raised each year as required.

Although not regulars they do seem to have been given a uniform, or at least clothed to mark them out from the ordinary infantry. The uniform that has been recorded was a short red jacket with tall red cap, and that is the uniform of the four figures in our top row, down to the feather on the right side of the hat. Each of these men has a pouch for ball and equipment along with a powder horn, so none of the baggage they might carry when on the march, but clearly here they are in action. The first two men in the second row wear a different uniform, and the second pair another, both of which could well be authentic as there is little evidence for such men and variations in clothing based on ethnicity and geography are to be expected in such a large and diverse empire. The first two in the bottom row return to the uniform of the first row, but with a hat with multiple tails which is widely illustrated so seems perfectly feasible. Finally we find what may be a low-ranking officer wearing much the same uniform as the first group, followed by a senior officer in ordinary civilian dress. All things considered everything here is reasonable for the time and seems plausible for such men, while the costume of the senior officer is very typical of his class, so despite a lack of solid evidence we were very happy with the accuracy of all these figures.

On the whole the poses are what you might expect of a collection of musketeers. Men are firing or loading their weapon, or simply on the march or waiting. Two have drawn their swords, presumably for personal defence, which may have been fairly rare given the role of such men, but still valid poses. The senior officer holds his sword directly over his head, which is a very common pose yet one that makes little sense in the real world, so not ideal but not terrible either. There is little action in these figures, but as musketeers they would not normally be running about anyway, so that is easy to understand.

The sculpting is consistent Mars quality unfortunately, which is very basic and very unattractive. Detail is quite chunky and not always convincing, while faces and hands are often hideous and barely resemble a human being at all. The poses as sculpted are also extremely flat for the most part, and for those waving swords about that looks bad. Key detail such as on the firearms is very poor, making any firm identification of the weapons virtually impossible, and even basic elements of clothing are hard to make out. Flash varies a good deal, with some areas being free of it while others have a fair amount, but this is generally cleaner than many Mars sets we have seen over the years.

One notable error is on the first figure pictured, who waves a sword in the air (very awkwardly) but has no scabbard, so must have just picked it up from the ground. In fact these figures are fairly clean and depict an interesting and unusual subject quite well, but the very poor sculpting will always be the main problem here, leading to unappealing figures in awkward poses that no amount of expert trimming and painting will be able to rescue.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 4
Mould 7

Further Reading
"Armies of the Ottoman Turks 1300-1774" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.140) - David Nicolle - 9780850455113
"Der Lange Türkenkrieg (1593-1606) Vol.1" - Soldiershop (Soldiers & Weapons Series No.24) - Bruno Mugnai - 9788896519691
"Guerre Polacco-Ottomane - 2" - Soldiershop (Soldiers & Weapons Series No.17) - Vincenzo Mistrini - 9788896519615

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