by: Engin Kayral [ ]
Originally published on:
about the figure
Peyk means postman or courier in Persian language but in Ottoman military terminology, the term is used for the pedestrian messengers who carries the orders and letters of Ottoman Sultan to long distances by walking and running. They were always preferable to equestrian messengers because they had advantages to horses. Unlike the horses, they could travel during night and could eat or drink when walking or running. An experienced peyk could walk approximately 16 - 18 hours non-stop with a stabile speed of 7-8 km. per hour.
Peyk candidates were chosen at the age of 5-6 and trained in a strict discipline. Besides the special diets and heavy exercises to increase their strenght and endurance to travel long distances, they were also trained to survive and fight with sword and axe. At the age of 17-18, all candidates were tested in various hard conditions and the successful ones were accepted to Ottoman Palace as Peyk with high salaries.
Having a Peyk in his service was a privilege in Ottomans. Only the Sultan and his governors commanding the outer states of the Empire could have Peyk. Those messengers had original headgear, clothing and weapons. The cloths were richly decorated but comfortable.
The most characteristic part of the Peyks clothing was the small rings , rattles or metal buttons in the front skirt of his jacket. When Peyk was walking or running, the rattles were ringing as a sign of his arrival. The people who hear this voice were opening him the road, giving him priority on his trip or supporting him by giving water or food. The rattles had another important function; their periodical ringing were helping him to concentrate and catch a rythm when running or walking. The typical weapon and also a symbol of Peyk was Teber, a double-sided spear-axe with half moon or crescent shaped blades. It was useful both as a weapon and a walking stick in his long trips.
The figure comes in a metal box with 130 x 90 x 50 mm. dimensions. The four sides of the metal box includes the company logo and the bottom of the box gives company information and some warnings about white metal models. The front cover shows one big and two small photos of the figure and detailed base painted by Italian master painter Danilo Cartacci which can basically serve as a painting guide.
Inside the box, there is an A4 paper sheet including historical information and painting instructions about Peyks prepared by Engin Kayral and represented in 2 languages; Italian and English.
Parts are packed carefully between two slabs of thick white polyfoam and the figure base is placed under the polyfoam not to damage the figure parts.
The figure is sculpted by Italian master sculptor Maurizio Bruno and made up of 11 white metal parts and 2 parts(one metal, one resin) for the figure base. All parts are cast clean and crisp in very good details. The figure has no need for a serious clean up, just brushing and sanding will make it figure for priming.
The main part of the figure is Body with two legs. He wears a long collarless coat like a tailcoat with a diagonal cut-away on the front side with an ankle-length long skirt on the rear. The front part shows high embroidered ties with small metal buttons. The front skirt of the garment are full of small rings mentioned before. Embroidery on the edges, leather sword belt crossed on the right shoulder, hilt of the dagger on the right side are well defined. Inside the outer garment, he wears a high collar long inner shirt or tunic with tassels on skirts which is called as Gomlek. He has loose trousers named Shalvar and leather boots with pointed noses. I can say the details on this part are the best Ive ever seen.
Rear skirt of the coat : It shows nice cloth folds and embriodery on the edges are well represented. Endings of the cloth belt decorated with tassels and richly decorated scabbard of the dagger named Hancher carried on the right side are cast on this part. The back skirt of the long inner garment is also sculpted inside this part.
Head : Fac ial details are well defined. He wears a richly decorated conical brass headgear named Uskuf . A red cloth cap is worn under the uskuf to provide comfort when wearing the metal helmet. Decorations are very well represented. Head makes a good fit on the neck with high collars. 3 holes on the front of the helmet makes the plume holder assembly easier and correct fit.
Plume holder : Headgear has a long vertical plume holder with decorations in front and a black-white colored big feather carried in it.
Right arm : Posed to put his hand on his dagger. Cloth folds and wide sleeve of the garment are well defined.
Left arm : Posed to hold the long axe. The hole on the sleeve makes the hand holding the axe assembly easier. Cloth folds and wide sleeve of the outer garment are well defined.
Sword : He carries a curved Ottoman long sword named Kilichon the left side, hanged on a long leather strap crossed on the right shoulder, in its leather scabbard reinforced with metal parts. It shows nice decorations.
Head of the long axe : He carries a spear head axe with two crescent shaped blades which is named as Teber. Left hand is cast on the axe and it makes a good fit to the hole on the left arm.
Pole of the long axe : This part is given as a 69 mm long hollow copper rod. The pin under the head of axe makes a nice fit to the rod.
Head of the short axe : He carries a short axe with crescent shaped blade named Nacak inserted on his wide cloth belt. Decorations on the blade are well defined.
Handle of the short axe : Twisted shaped handle and the hand grip are well defined.
Figure base : It consists of 2 parts; the ground with stones is supplied as a metal part and wall/gate section is supplied as a resin part. The texture on the ground and details on the wall and gate are very nice.
The following books can be useful when painting this figure;
Osprey Publishing - Men-at-arms 140 - Armies of the OttomanTurks 1300-1774 by David Nicolle & Angus McBride
Osprey Publishing - Men-at-arms 140 - Armies of the OttomanEmpire 1775-1820 by David Nicolle & Angus McBride
I believe this will be a must to buy and a pleasure to paint for many historical figure painters with its perfect sculpt ,cast and colorful apperance.
Very highly recommended