Wednesday 31 January 2024

Great War Spearhead II - Gallipoli 1915 in 20mm (part 1): The Turkish army


More than 20 years ago, still not knowing that Hat industries was on the way,  I made up a Turkish WW1 small army from the Esci British colonials, Atlantic and Airfix Japanese infantry and copies of the WW2 hard plastic Soviets from Esci. Later on, Hat released its two boxes of WW1 Turkish figures (infantry and artillery+MGs) and I found my old conversions to be better hidden in some boxes. Recently I visited Gallipoli (Turkish Gelibolu) and the interest for Turkía in WW1 was reignited. 

With these old figures two full regiments and (right) the divisional rifle battalion were made for Shawn Taylor´s GWSH II. The pair of Hat Turkish boxes are on the way from Italy and it will allow me to make the 3rd and last infantry regiment for the division and add a few more artillery and HMGs. 

The Esci British colonial officers were also converted to divisional and regimental standard bearers. All british colonial helmets got a few small cuts at the front so they can look more to the Turkish M1909 Kabalak, in fact a piece of cloth wrapped in a specific way around a wooden structure. The other officers are the Russian Esci copies, some with the Kabalak, others with the Kalpak. The Kalpak was made using heads of the Esci Hussars. All flags are hand painted. 

Also some flags were added to a few battalion stands with Airfix Japanese used for cornets and flag bearers. The Japanese field cap is easily cut to look like the red Fez, still in use in WW1 even if in dwindling numbers. To the right an Atlantic Japanese officer was also converted.  

The Esci colonial infantry became WW1 Turks. Some got a Fez from converted heads with Napoleonic shakoes, others saw the Kalabak made from the already mentioned cuts at the front (small) peak of the Esci colonial helmet. The big difference from the true Turkish uniform are the puttees but somehow they get slightly disguised with the en masse looks... at least I like to think that way. 

The Hotchkiss HMGs came from the Atlantic Japanese set and the crew from the Esci British colonials. The HMG firer is the figure pulling an ammo box converted here as to be firing the gun (sort of). The guns look a bit like cannons and will be replaced by the Hat ones (German 08s, which were much more common). 

The German 77mm guns are IT Figures with Irregular Miniatures crew. 

The 15cm Krupp 1880 and crew are all Irregular  Miniatures with Arab crews. 

Next: Depends on the mail but eventually the first video on the Iraqis 1990. 


  1. Some excellent conversions to create the Turkish forces.

  2. Thanks. Next batch will be Turkish figures from HAT, much easier.

  3. Great stuff, many thanks for the conversion ideas!