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Hey everyone, I wanted to share some stuff I've been working on. After extensive research, I've attempted to accurately represent portions of the Ottoman army in the 18th and early 19th century. So that this isn't just boring pictures of minifigures, I thought I'd add some blurbs to provide context. Command The man in the dark red robes and turban is an agha. Aghas were the commanders of each individual branch, so there would be a janissary agha, sipahi agha, etc. There were no real uniforms at this level, so this could be the agha of any branch. He wields a mace, a symbol of command throughout Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire. The other two figures are the imam, who served as chaplain, and flagbearer. Yeniçeri Ocağı (Janissary Corps) Trained in the art of war from childhood, janissaries were the elite, professional shock troops of the Ottoman empire. Janissaries considered themselves warriors rather than soldiers, relying on courage and skill-at-arms to overwhelm enemies. They refused to use bayonets (a symbol, in their mind, of the automaton-like western soldier) and preferred Turkish sabers like yatağans or kılıçs to complement their firepower. Although this corps of ‘new soldiers’ had become corrupt and largely outmoded by the 18th century, the janissaries' valor on the battlefield (and political maneuvering) kept them firmly at the core of the Ottoman army and state. Janissaries all wore the same basic uniform, though trim and the color of the tunic changed according to orta (regiment). Blue was most common, followed by red and green. The çorbacı (literally soup server, equivalent to colonel) wielded a ladle as a symbol of his station . A bölükbaşı (head of a company, equivalent to captain) would have the same uniform but carried a sword or mace instead of a ladle. I must give credit to Artizan for the idea of using the plastic red capes for the characteristic börk hat. Although less common among Janissaries than white hats, red gives the figures more flexibility . Tüfekçi (musketeers/riflemen) In Turkish, tüfek referred to either a musket or rifle. The tüfek was usually a matchlock weapon, ‘true’ flintlocks being less reliable in dusty conditions, until the gradual introduction of the miquelet variety of flintlock starting in the 17th century. Tüfeks carried by elite units and sharpshooters were rifled, but even smoothbore tüfeks had greater range and accuracy than European muskets, due to their greater length and larger bore. These advantages came at the expense of firing speed. Tüfekçis were disciplined fighters, a step above the reaya and fellahin peasant militias of Anatolia and Egypt . The figures on the right represent Balkan troops in fustanellas such as Greek armatoloi or Albanian arnauts. The figures on the left represent Maghrebi Berbers. The Albanians in particular were considered excellent skirmishers on the European front, while the skills of the Berber Zwawa clansmen would later inspire numerous ‘zouave’-style light infantry units throughout Europe and the U.S. . Topçu Ocağı (Artillery Corps) Like the janissaries and sipahi cavalry, the artillery were kapıkulu troops (literally subjects of the gate, meaning salaried). Known for their massive guns and skill in mining and sapping, the Ottoman artillery corps of the 17th and 18th century were experts of defensive and siege warfare but noticeably outdated on the open battlefield. Unlike the other kapıkulu corps, the Ottoman artillery didn’t resist attempts at reform and modernization, rapidly improving in the late 18th century under French instruction. One type of cannon unique to the Ottoman army was the abus gun, a type of anti-infantry howitzer. Lightweight, maneuverable, and requiring few personnel, the abus gun was a staple of Ottoman warfare. Here I've depicted three topçular (gunners) and a yüzbaşı (chief of artillery) of the Piyade Topçu (foot artillery) manning two abus guns and a şahi  field piece, a smaller type of traditional Ottoman cannon. I’ve also included a Turkish tüfekçi in red; tüfekçis were later attached to each bölük (company) to protect the crew and help man the guns.  Future I may add to this army over time, but I’m not sure. If I did, I’d likely focus on the elite Humbaraçı Ocağı, the Mehter band (supposedly the first military band in Europe), and a couple cavalry units, such as the Sipahis and Mamluks. Footnotes: 1. Most of the Janissary Corps’s ranks and symbology revolve around food and cooking; scholars have drawn comparisons with crusader orders to describe the janissaries’ spiritual understanding of their role in defending and providing for the empire. 2. The uniform here is also very close to the elite Bostancı Corps (household guards who fought alongside the janissaries on the battlefield), Silahtar cavalry (the sultan's bodyguards), and the Nizam-ı Cedid (highly effective ‘European-style’ line infantry organized in the late 18th century) 3. Sources disagree over whether tüfekçis were regulars, mounted infantry from Kurdistan or Egypt, or an umbrella term for different types of regional, disciplined irregulars. I will be using the 3rd definition (the 1st doesn’t make much sense given the janissaries’ reputation as THE ottoman regular infantry, the Nizam infantry being such a threat to their position that the Janissaries had them disbanded by force. I also suspect that the 2nd is actually just a function of the 3rd) 4. The Balkan torso paired with pants and a fez or turban would also effectively model Bosnian panduks, crack skirmishers who rose to military prominence even before the Albanians, or levends, a type of marine that would also act as irregular infantry in later periods. 5. The translation is not clear here. Some sources have it written as sahi and others as şahi. The former means field while the latter means imperial. 6. Members of the Humbaraçı (mortar) and Süvari Topçu (horse artillery) corps had different uniforms, though it’s not clear if this is true of the Sürat Topçuları (rapid fire field artillery) corps.
My entry for the Colossal Castle Contest 14, in siege warfare category: For the siege of Constantinople, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II(later remembered as the Conqueror) commissioned a Hungarian siege engineer to cast him a giant bombard, along with smaller other cannons. These cannons were instrumental in bringing down the Byzantine walls. Great Turkish Bombard by the Artizan, on Flickr Great Turkish Bombard by the Artizan, on Flickr Great Turkish Bombard by the Artizan, on Flickr Great Turkish Bombard by the Artizan, on Flickr Great Turkish Bombard by the Artizan, on Flickr
Lego Architecture Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) by the Artizan, on Flickr Lego Architecture Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) by the Artizan, on Flickr Lego Architecture Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) by the Artizan, on Flickr Lego Architecture Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) by the Artizan, on Flickr Lego Architecture Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) and Hagia Sophia(Aya Sofya) by the Artizan, on Flickr