about the figure
When the Ottomans under the command of Sultan Mahommed II. conquered Greece in the 15th century, many of the Greeks fled into the mountainous districts of Macedonia and northern Greece, and maintained a harassing warfare with Ottomans. These men were called Klephts
(thieves). They were fugitives from injustice or from justice, or in some cases simply chose a more exciting life than that of a farm labourer. They operated in the mountains, and robbed indiscriminately. They stole from the rich, Turkish or Greek, because they had more money, and from the poor because they were less able to resist. The klephts, though living on the margins of society, came to be seen as heroes. They were regarded as symbols of resistance to authority, and their exploits were praised, and their deaths mourned.
During the 16th century; the Ottoman pashas came to terms with some of the klephts. They hired them, gave them a military training and formed local militia to control klephts. Those men who discharged certain military and police functions under the control of Turkish government are called Armatoli
(armed men) and the districts in which they lived are named as armatoliki
. They were allowed to retain their local customs, and were confirmed in the possession of certain districts, while in return they undertook some duties, such as the custody of the highroads. . Strengthened by a considerable number of Christian Albanians, they rendered good service in defending regions to klephts and to some extent repressed the ravages of the Klephts; but their increasing power and independence were disliked by the Ottomans. After the peace of Belgrade in 1739 between Austria and Ottoman Empire, the government sought to weaken the position of the armatoles. Their privileges were restricted, Albanians were introduced into the armatoliks, and towards the end of the 18th century their numbers were seriously reduced.
Irritated by this policy; the armatoles rendered considerable service to Ali Pasha of Iannina in his struggle with the Turks in 1820 to 1822 and afforded valuable assistance to their countrymen during the Greek War of independence.
Having a military training, Armatoli had a basic ranking system. Every district (armatoliki) was commanded by a Kapetanios
, usually a former klepht captain who have gained a level of notoriety as a klepht in order to force the Ottomans to give him the amnesty and privilege that came with an armatolik. He was assisted by a lieutenant called a Protopallikaro
, who was usually a kinsman.
AM-10 Greek Warrior 1821
is a 65 mm. white metal figure in very good details,. It represents a Greek Freedom Fighter against the Ottomans in 1821. The figure is very well represented with all typical and traditional details of Greek Culture and shows an excellent harmony to historical references.
The figure comes in a 67 X 67 X 135 mm. white cardboard box which is inserted in a good quality paper cover. On the 3 sides of the box; there are photos from different angles showing the figure painted by Charalambos (Babis) Stathis
. The 4th side shows a close up photo of the figures face and also includes the names of sculptor, painter and Athens Miniatures company contact information.
A document showing 3 photos of the painted figure and historical reference in English prepared by Costas Rodopoulos
is also supplied with the box.
All parts are well secured in small plastic bags and sandwiched between 2 slabs of thick white polyfoam.
The figure is sculpted by Historicus Forma
member Charalambos (Babis) Stathis
and made up of 11 white metal parts. Casting of all parts is crisp and well detailed. A short clean-up is needed to remove the slightly visible vertical seamlines and brushing will make the figure ready for priming.
The main part is the full body without arms
. He has a fesi
, cylindrical shaped flat-top cap with a silk tassel attached over the top. Long hair, moustache and facial details are well represented. He wears 3 coats of typical clothing of Greek mountain fighters ; outer one is called fermeli
, a richly embroidered woolen jacket which sleeves usually thrown over shoulders (worn in this figure). Inner one is a white cotton shirt with wide collars named ghileki
. Between these two ; he wears a sleeveless crossed waistcoat named koumbori
. Triangular and diagonal oraments on the back of jacket, braided gold thread embroidery on the edges, buttons and buttonholes are well defined. A wide sash is wrapped on his waist and a leather belt is tied on it to carry the weapons and pouches. Two grooves are carved on the belt to fit the weapons easier.
He wears the traditional foustanella
kilt, the pleated white skirt made by triangular shaped pieces of cloth called langolia
which are sewn together diagonally. The skirt is approximately made of 30 meters of white cloth with 400 pleats representing the 400 years of the Ottoman occupation in Greece. The folds of the skirt are well defined.He has under-knee leggings with rich decorations and leather shoes. The embroidery on the lower end of leggings are well represented.
Other parts are ;
Fur coat : He wears a long furcoat with no sleeves on his left shoulder. It is casted in 2 pieces and both parts fit well to the shoulder, texture of the coat is well defined.
Right arm : Posed to carry the rifle on the right shoulder. The sleeves of the jacket are out-folded and shows nice embroidery on the edges. The wrist is hollow formed to assembly the right hand easier.
Left arm : Posed to hold the sword on the ground. It is casted together with the left hand and hilt of the sword. The embroidery on the out- folded sleeves are well defined too. It makes a good fit to the shoulder.
Rifle : He carries a front-loading flintlock called jazail. This rifle was also commonly used by Ottoman Janissery troops and also Bedouins in Africa. It has a long barrel and a short deeply curved stock which was used to hook the firearm under the armpit and allowed the gun to be fired while the other hand is on the reins to control the animal. The stock has inlaid silver wire decorations. Left hand is casted with the rifle. Greek mountain fighters also used Albanian 18th century muskets with miquelets style lock. These rifles had solid stocks entirely covered with brass and steel decorative sheets.
Pistol : He carries a pistol known as Ottoman Kubur pistol with flintlock firing mechanism and having a chiseled steel barrel and richly decoarted hand-carved stock . Rat- tailed pistols are also commonly used in this period.
Sword : 2 swords is supplied with the kit. He holds a deeply curved, wide bladed sabre at hand. He carries a Yataghan on his belt. Yataghan is a slightly curved, reverse angled ,short bladed Ottoman sword with a bone hilt. Please see this link to see a photo of Yataghan.
Pouches : Two pouches is supplied with the kit. The bigger pouch for personal gear is attached in front of the belt as the small one for rifle bullets and gun powder is hanged on the right side.
Figure base : A nice figure base with ground details like small rocks in different sizes and a tree stump is supplied in the kit.
Costas Rodopoulos made a minor convertion and painted this figure. The photos can be seen here.
Despite the unusual 65 mm. scale; a very nice posing figure casted in high quality and very good details. I can say Athens Miniatures strikes back with this Greek Warrior.