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"Should I do an Ottoman army in 1/72 plastic?" Topic

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2,402 hits since 7 Jan 2013
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TelesticWarrior Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 5:14 a.m. PST

Hi everyone,

I have collected and painted 1/72 scale armies for all the major European powers of the French Revolution/Napoleonic period. Just when I thought I was finished with my labour of love, I read an account of Napoleon's Egyptian campaign & now the collecting bug has bitten me once more! I am undecided whether or not to finish off my collection with an Ottoman Empire army.
Obviously this would involve a large investment of time and maybe cash (although 1/72 plastics are mercifully cheap). In order to do it properly I would have to collect & paint up Mamalukes, Turks, Egyptians, Nubians etc, plus I would probably end up doing French with Camels & Oriental dress and also have to do scenery appropriate for the Egypt/Syria campaigns.

To help me decide whether to do it all or not I was hoping you guys had any of the following;

- General advice/encouragement/warnings!
- Ideas for Wargame rules for the Ottoman army.
- Battle reports for Ottoman armies Vs European armies.
- Photos of your Ottoman armies in 1/72 plastic (doesn't have to be Napoleonic period).

Thanks in advance.

Green Tiger07 Jan 2013 5:44 a.m. PST

Hate to be the voice of temptation – but do it !
They can fight Russians,Austrians,French, British and there's even the Skirmish at Tripoli against the US expedition.
The units are reasonably interchangeable.
There are a couple of sets of marmalukes and Turkish cav, you could use Zouaves for Nizam regulars and there are Janisaries that you could use.
Oh and Irregular do a range in lead 20mm which are a little small but if you base them seperately are quite useful.
Downside – there isn't a great deal of information on the make up and appearance of the various Ottoman armies.

TelesticWarrior Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 6:18 a.m. PST

Thanks Tiger

"Downside – there isn't a great deal of information on the make up and appearance of the various Ottoman armies."
That's not a downside, it means I can paint them however I want!
The flexibility is a real bonus in my opinion. I could use the Ottoman army to do wargames against Suvarov's Russians (or was it Kutuzov's Russians?) or even use the plainer infantry/cavalry to portray Indians Vs Wellington at Assaye.

I'm still not sure though….

Keraunos Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 6:23 a.m. PST

sounds fun,

and it has the advantage that you are already offered a variety of uniforms, so you won't get the dread of the same colour jacket and hat – again – that big N projects can bring.

and after all, once that idea is in your head, its going to be come a death-bed regret if you don't do it. or at least try

corporalpat Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 7:10 a.m. PST

Do it! Do it! Do it! Seriously, if it does not take food out of you mouth or cause you to lose the house why not go ahead? Besides, 1/72 is relatively cheap.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 7:19 a.m. PST

For years I've been thinking about painting Ottoman's to fight Russians, so I say go for it. Nafziger has a book that covers the subject.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 8:30 a.m. PST

If you are thinking about it and have a plan, do it. You know you want to.

A big advantage to doing armies like this is that you can always blame your rules' ratings and your own die rolling. It is never YOUR fault, and in the meantime, your pals are looking at you in admiration for picking and painting up such a colorful, if woeful army.
Think of the smack talk you can lay on them if you WIN!
Rules? No problem. All of the comprehensive rules cover this army.

I have always liked "inferior" armies, for all of the above reasons.

Green Tiger07 Jan 2013 8:32 a.m. PST

Mark Bevis wrote a large pamphlet about it that may be available again soon (Irregular again) and somone else – Vexila(?) do a pamphlet and a PDF on the subject. There is an Osprey (not great) and Military Illustrated did an article years ago you might be able to get.
I have been planning to do it for years – Liked the idea of almost colonials in the Napoleonic era – maybe next year !

CommanderCarnage Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 9:14 a.m. PST

Do it!

M C MonkeyDew07 Jan 2013 9:18 a.m. PST

1. Of course you should.
2. -General de Brigade has or had an Ottoman scnenario book.
-La Salle has Ottomans (might be a free download if not in the book itself).
-Sure I have read more about than just those two but cannot recall.
3. My Ottomans are Otterman and so will not be spoken of further.
4. No.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 9:22 a.m. PST

You should do this – it will look amazing ! All your friends will be jealous.

agplumer Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 9:53 a.m. PST

You should get a copy of:
By William Johnson

Available from the Nafziger Collection

This is the single best volume loaded with information about organization, uniforms tactics and a very detailed timeline of all the various struggles of the Ottoman Empire during the Napoleonic period. There is a rather lengthy section on the 1806-1812 Russo-Turkish War.
For $20.00 USD it is well worth it.

Texas Jack07 Jan 2013 10:23 a.m. PST

I think this sounds like a great project and should definitely be done. Like John says, you know you want to!

But the only problem I can see is what figures you will use. A quick look over at plastic soldier review doesn´t give you many options. Do you plan on making some conversions?

Murvihill07 Jan 2013 10:24 a.m. PST

Not to dampen your spirits, but the Ottoman Army isn't monolithic. The troops that fought Napoleon in Egypt had unique units such as Mamelukes and Fellahin, while the ones that fought in Europe had a few European-trained regiments (Nizam-el-Jidad) as well as a higher proportion of Janissaries.

I went ahead and painted both for my army, but if you're a stickler for detail you might want to pick a locale for your army.

Timmo uk07 Jan 2013 10:33 a.m. PST

It will look amazing all that colour. Huge fancy guns stacks of mounted lights. Do it, you know you want to. Just show us when your done.

sillypoint07 Jan 2013 12:33 p.m. PST

Do it!

TMPWargamerabbit07 Jan 2013 12:53 p.m. PST

Played several games with my Ottomans… Always a "fun test drive" army.

Example: Gaza 1799 of recent months


Edwulf07 Jan 2013 2:12 p.m. PST

They wouldn't be my choice, but if your already toying with the idea then why not.
Are there many figures in 1/72 plastic for ottomans?

ochoin ceithir Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 2:15 p.m. PST

Of course build an army.

What I'm interested in will be your army list & the 1/72 figures that cover it.
Please post your decisions.

11th ACR07 Jan 2013 2:45 p.m. PST

Try these sites:

11th ACR07 Jan 2013 5:28 p.m. PST

I started out in 1973 with my first Napoleons. The Lippe BN.
Then I built a French 1809 Army and a fell air to a 1806 Prussian Army.
These were all in 25mm.
Then I joined the army in 1980 and with little space I sold off my 25mm's and started over again with 6mm Heroics and Ross in 1989.
Then with regrets now I sold them off (around 10,000 figures) and started over with Napoleons Campaign in Egypt and the Holy Land, in 25mm.
Now I have completed my four Army's, French (Early & Late) Great Briton, Mamaluke and Ottaman.
I love the way they came out.
On this site you can find my Rules, OB's and numerous Reference materiel's.

And the combination of Napoleonic and Colonial Wargaming is great.

Marcus Maximus Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 8:17 a.m. PST

Having started an Ottoman army with my friend in 28mm I would say go for it. One of the best and most fun armies you could have for Napoleonics besides the other army I'm sloooowly building which is the Persian/Afghan army for the Napoleonic wars. I think you stand a better chance in 1/72nd plastic in getting all the figures you need for the Ottomans even in metal, than my friend and I would, in 28mm.

Go for it, share with us on TMP your progress and if you need any info. about the Ottomans there a number of us on TMP who can help. One guy Druzhina can provide loads of links for uniforms online etc. The books indicated by agplumer are a must as is the General de Brigade Scenario book (ithink it's number 4) on scenario's for the Ottomans. Good luck and nice project!

TelesticWarrior Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 4:52 a.m. PST

Thank you for all your advice & encouragement.

I am definitely going to do this project! It might take a while to start (probably late 2013), but once I get going I can usually finish this sort of thing in a few months. I'll let you know how I am getting on with it.

My initial collection plan (using PSR) is as follows;
(I will create a generic army with as many troop types as I can muster, with the aim of having the correct(ish) forces for fighting the French in Egypt/Syria, and also for fighting against Suvarovs & Kutuzovs Russians)

Individual models from cavalry & Camel sets, plus some conversions.

'Italeri' & 'Strelets' for the Mamulukes.
'Zvezda Turkish Cavalry' for the Sipahis.
'Orion Cossack cavalry' & 'Strelets Bashi-bazouks' for rare units.
'Hat Taaishi Camelry' set for Bedouin & a plentiful supply of camels.
The Yoruks (lancers) could be a problem so I might have to do some conversions or just use the lancers from the excellent Zvezda Turkish Cavalry set.

'Orion' & 'Zvezda' for Janissaries & other Guard infantry.
'Strelets Turkish Infantry' possibly for Nizam regulars.
'Italeri Muslim Warriors' for the massed ranks of Fellahin.
'Zvezda Zaporozhian Cossacks' for Albanian/Serb infantry.
Not sure what to use for the Nubians.

Artillery looks like it could be a problem as there is not much choice & I'm not even sure what the cannons were supposed to look like. So far I am thinking,
'Strelets Russian Mountain artillery' possibly for Regulars.
'Zvezda Ukrainian Foot Cossacks & Artillery' for other crews.

Suggestions more than welcome!

11th ACR09 Jan 2013 7:29 a.m. PST

Try this for Artillery: link

There not the best looking but they worked for me.

And these as well would work: link

11th ACR09 Jan 2013 7:34 a.m. PST

Good uniform info here:


11th ACR09 Jan 2013 7:49 a.m. PST

Here are the list References I used for my Napoleons Campaign in Egyptian and Holy Land.
There are many good Ottoman References in it.


References for Napoleons Campaign in Egyptian and Holy Land:
Every source listed with * in the Reference is in my personal library.

Books on Napoleon's Campaign in Egyptian and Holy Land:
* Napoleons Egyptian Campaigns 1798-1801, MAA 79, Michael Barthorp, Osprey Pub. Ltd. 1978, ISBN 0-85045-126-4

* French Soldiers in Egypt 1798-1801, Warrior 77, Terry Crowdy, Osprey Pub. Ltd. 2003, Terry Crowdy, ISBN 1-84176-628-3

* Bonapart in Egypt, J. Christopher Herald, 1962

* Uniforms of the French Revolutionary Wars 1789-1802, Phillip J. Haythornthwaite, Blanford Press 1981 ISBN 0-4137-0936-7

* Napoleonic Uniforms Vol. 1, John R. Elting, Macmillan Pub. Co.1993, ISBN 0-02-897115-9

* The Ottoman Empire and the Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815, William E. Johnson, Nelson Enterprises 1988.

* The Crescent Among the Eagles, Johnson, William E., Nafziger Press, 1994. ISBN: 1585450065

* Armies of the Ottoman Empire 1775-1820, MAA 314, David Nicolle, Osprey Pub. Ltd. 1998, ISBN1-85532-697-3

* The Campaigns of Napoleon, David Chandler, MacMillian Pub. Co. 1966, ISBN 0-02-523660-1

* Memoirs of Napoleons Egyptian Expedition 1798-1801, Captain Joseph-Marie Moiret, Greenhill Press, ISBN 1-85367-449-4
* Napoleon In The Holy Land, by Nathan Schur, Greenhill Books March 17, 2006, ISBN-10: 1853673455, ISBN-13:1853673450
* Napoleon's Regiments: Battle Histories of the Regiments of the French Army, 1792-1815, Digby George Smith, Greenhill Books, (October 2000), ISBN-10:1853674133, ISBN-13:978-1853674136

* The Blue Nile, Alan Moorhead, Perennial 2000, ISBN 0-06-095640-2

* Guns in the Desert, General Jean-Pierre Doguereau"s, Praeger 2002, ISBN 0-313-32-32512-X

* The French Expedition to Egypt, M.J. Miot, Worly Pub. 1997, ISBN 1-869804-47-3

* Armies of the Napoleonic Era, Otto Von Pivka, Taplinger Pub. Co. INC, 1979, ISBN 0-8008-5471-3

* Napoleon's Mercenaries, Guy C. Dempsey, Greenhill Press 2002, ISBN 1-85367-488-5

* Le Armee Francaise, ETV Services 1998, On Military Matters

* Journal of the Late Campaign in Egypt by Thomas Walsh, 1803 (Republished by Gregg International Pub. Ltd Westmead 1972 ISBN 0576 171115

* The French Expedition into Syria 1799 by General Berthier, Worley Pub. 1990 by ISBN 1-869804-18-X

* Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt, Nina Burleigh, July 2006, Pub.: Morrow/Avon, William Morrow & Company, ISBN: 0-06-059767-4

* Napoleon in Egypt, Abd al-Rahman al- Jabarti, Markus Wiener Pub., ISBN 1-55876-338-4 (hard cover) ISBN 1-55876-337-6 (paperback)

* Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East, Juan Cole, Palgrave Macmillan, (August 7, 2007), ISBN-10: 1403964319, ISBN-13: 978-1403964311
* NAPOLEON'S CAMPAIGN IN EGYPT (Vol 1) French Armies, Grant, C. S. Partizan Press, 2006, ISBN: 978-1-8581818-524-8
* NAPOLEON'S CAMPAIGN IN EGYPT (Vol 2) BRITISH & ALLIES, Grant, C. S., Partizan Press, 2007, ISBN: 978-1-8581818-552-1
*The Battle of The Nile, Oliver Warner, Macmillan co.1960, ASIN: B0000CKTIR\
* Abercrombie and Moore in Egypt, First Empire Publishing 2004, ISBN: 0952630435
* Narrative of the British Expedition to Egypt: Carefully Abridged from the … by Sir Robert Thomas Wilson. 1803: link
* State of Egypt, After the Battle of Heliopolis, Reynier, G and J Robinson 1802, link
* Ottoman Wars: An Empire Besieged, Virginia Aksan, Longman Publishing June 2007, ISBN-10: 0582308070, ISBN-13: 978-0582308077
* A Short History of the Naval and Military Operations in Egypt, 1780 to 1802", Lt.Col. Sir John M. Burgoyne L'Expédition d 'Égypte 1798-1801, par Clément de la Jonquière 1899, ISBN-10: 1421245043, ISBN-13: 978-1421245041 link

* Memoir of a campaign with the Ottoman army in Egypt, from February to July 1800, John Philip Morier, Published by Printed for J. Debrett, 1801, Original from Oxford University, Digitized Nov 9, 2007 link
* The Discovery of Egypt: Vivant Denon's Travels with Napoleon's Army, Terence M. Russell, March 2006, Publisher: Sutton Pub., Limited, ISBN: 0-7509-4145-6
* The Importance of Malta Considered, in the Years 1796 and 1798, Mark Wood, Published by J. Stockdale, 1803, Oxford University, Digitized Oct 1, 2007, link

* Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt, Nina Burleigh, Harper (November 27, 2007), ISBN-10: 0060597674, ISBN-13: 978-0060597672,

* History French occupation, 1798-1801 Sources, Skakowski, A. M. (Adam Mieczysaw), 1877-1951; Zajaczek, Józef, 1752-1826, Cracovie : G. Gebethner,

* Guerre d'Orient: Campagnes de Égypte et de Syrie, 1798-1799. Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Napoléon, dictés par lui-mème à Sainte-Hélène, et publiés par le général Bertrand, Volume 1, Bertrand, Henri-Gratien, comte, 1773-1844, Comon 1847, link

* Guerre d'Orient: Campagnes de Égypte et de Syrie, 1798-1799. Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Napoléon, dictés par lui-mème à Sainte-Hélène, et publiés par le général Bertrand. Volume 2, Bertrand, Henri-Gratien, comte, 1773-1844, Comon 1847, link

* Final French struggles in India and on the Indian seas : including an account of the capture of the Isles of France and … ; with an appendix containing an account of the expedition from India to Egypt in 1801, Malleson, G. B. (George Bruce), 1825-1898, London : W.H. Allen.

* Histoire de l'expédition d'Egypte et de Syri, By Jean-Joseph A. Dupont et Cie, 1826 link

* Napoleon in Egypt, Paul Strathem, Bantam October 21, 2008, ISBN-10: 0553806785, ISBN-13: 978-0553806786, ISBN 0-86372-299-7, ISBN-10: 0863722997, ISBN-13: 978-0863722998

Relation des campagnes du Général Bonaparte en Egypte et en Syrie, Berthier, Louis-Alexandre, 1753-1815, Milan Impr. Rue Neuve, link
Poesie der Kreigskunst: Oder, Feldzug der Franzosen in Egypten in den Jahren …. 1824: link
Guerre d'Orient. Campagnes d'égypte et de Syrie, 1798-1799: Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Napoléon, dictés par lui-même à Sainte-Hélène, et publiés par le général Bertrand. Tome 1 by Napoléon Bonaparte ISBN-10: 1421239108, ISBN-13: 978-1421239101, ISBN-13: 978-0543948502
Mémoires sur L'expédition d'Egypte, par Jean-Gabriel de Niello Sargy, Officier de Correspondance, attaché a l'état-major general, P. Belfond (1984), ISBN-10: 2714416837, ISBN-13: 978-2714416834

Le Directoire et l'expédition d'Égypte: étude sur les tentatives du Directoire pour communiquer avec Bonaparte, le secourir et le ramener – Alfred Boulay de la Meurthe 1885, link

Biographie maritime: ou, Notices historiques sur la vie et les campagnes des marins célèbres français et étrangers, By Joseph François Gabriel Hennequin, Published by Regnault, 1837,

Web sites with info:
The Napoleon Series:

Histofig: link

French Occupation Period:

Museum des ancient costumes Turks of Istanbul.: link

Description de l'Égypte,

Funcken, Les armes et uniformes de la période révolutionnaire jusqu'au Consulat (1788 – 1804)

The Sultan's Big Guns, by William Johnson. link

Ottoman Gun Sizes. link


Medicine in Egypt at the time of Napoleon Bonaparte. link

Flags and Standards:
Warflags: France, Great Briton.

Napflags: France, Great Briton. link

Histofig: Ottoman. link

French Flags: Free Flags.

Military Flags of the World 1618-1900, Terence Wise Blandford Press 1977, ISBN 0-7137-0824-7

Drapeaux of the French Army Line & Light Infantry, 1794-1804
Magazine Articles:
* Napoleon in Egypt, By Melanie Sue Byrd, Napoleon Magazine # 13.

* Napoleon in Syria, By John Dunn, Napoleon Magazine # 15.

* Napoleon & the French in Egypt, By Coley E. Cowan, Command Magazine Issue 52

* Battle of the Pyramids, by John Dellinger, Military History Magazine, April 1998.
* Napoleon Saves the Day at Mount Tabor, By James W. Shosenberg, Military History Magazine, April 1999.

* Final French Triumph in Egypt, By Eric Niderost, Military History Magazine, August 1999.

* Striking at Britain Indirectly through an Expedition to Egypt, Introductory Guide the Age of Napoleon.

* Ottoman Empire, by John Dunn, Introductory Guide the Age of Napoleon.

* The French Campaign in Egypt, 1798-1801, Part I, Stephen Ede-Borrett, Wargames Illustrated #34, July 1990.

* The French Campaign in Egypt, 1798-1801, Part II, Stephen Ede-Borrett, Wargames Illustrated #35 August 1990.

* The French Campaign in Egypt, 1798-1801, Part III, Stephen Ede-Borrett, Wargames Illustrated #36, September 1990.

*The British Army in Egypt, Stephen Ede-Borrett, Wargames Illustrated #42, March 1991.

* An Egyptian Episode, Arthur Harman, Miniature Wargames #68, January 1989.

* The Campaign on the Nile 1798-1799, Richard Gilby, Miniature Wargames #75, August, 1989.

* Death on the Nile, Part I, Gary Hughes, Wargames Illustrated #113, February 1997.

* Death on the Nile, Part II, Gary Hughes, Wargames Illustrated #115, April 1997.

* Death on the Nile, Part I, Gary Hughes, Wargames Illustrated #118, July 1997.

* Napoleon In Egypt, Dave Watson, Wargames Illustrated #249, July 2008.

* The Battle of Aboukir 1799, Mark Bevis, Miniature Wargames #144, March 1995.

* Middle East Disaster, The Battle of El Hamad, Egypt, April 21st 1807, Miniature Wargames #173, October 1997.

TelesticWarrior Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 8:20 a.m. PST

Whoah that's a huge list!

Thanks very much 11th ACR, i'm sure its going to come in very handy over the next few years.

BlackWidowPilot Fezian Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 1:32 p.m. PST

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that in addition to all of their historical foes, the Ottoman Turks make for a kick-ass *fantasy* human army. evil grin

Those scum-sucking orcs haven't got a clue about what's thundering down the pipe at them for the greater glory of the Sultan…evil grin

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

Druzhina09 Jan 2013 10:03 p.m. PST
cooey2ph Inactive Member24 Feb 2013 9:44 p.m. PST

very interesting project. Thanks for sharing and hope to see your ongoing progress.

Botch B04 Mar 2013 9:03 a.m. PST

Some great sources of inspiration here! I am doing a similar project, but in 54mm (1/32nd)! Nobody does the figures in this scale but so what – I'll just have to convert them all. ;-)

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