The Akinci were the irregular light horsemen of the Ottoman state, and their history and role are discussed in our review of Set 1. That set concentrated on the heavier aspects of these men, those with long spears or even firearms, while this second set gives us the more common troops, armed with bows and scimitars.
Coming from a nomadic tradition, the Akinci were originally all bowmen, and by the 16th century that weapon was still in common use. Three of these figures carry a bow, although it is a little disappointing that only one is actually using it, though that one is a very good pose. Another man (the second in row two) seems to be reaching for his bow, but the other men are all handling edged weapons. For most this is the typical curved scimitar, though one man holds an axe instead. In the case of those holding the weapon in the air we thought the poses quite flat, and in all cases it is the flat of the weapon that is being shown to the enemy rather than the edge. This makes mould production easier, but is hardly natural, and the first figure in the top row is holding his weapon particularly low, actually behind his helmet, which again is not great.
The poses of the horses are in many cases appalling, with some highly unnatural stances. These are the same animals as those in Set 1, also used in other RedBox sets, but while a few are OK many are really poor and not well sculpted either. Some of the men have legs much too close together, meaning they hover well above the saddle rather than sitting on it, so another reason to find alternative horses from elsewhere, though we cannot be sure of the authenticity of the horse furniture here.
The men are very nicely detailed and well proportioned, making them attractive figure by themselves. We found no flash on any of them, though the horses suffer from a fair amount of this. A couple of the poses wear a helmet and some element of mail, but most have a turban, caftan and baggy trousers, as we would expect. The weapons all look accurate too, although the last figure in the second row requires special mention. With that enormous plume he is presumably some sort of leader of these men, and looks terrific in his animal pelt and ornate headgear. What you cannot see from our picture is that the sculptor has heavily bent the sword blade in order to ensure it touches the plume, which is unnoticeable from head on, but is ridiculous from above or any other angle.
Armour was perhaps less common than this set would suggest, though it is not wrong here, and indeed we have no complaints about the accuracy of anything. The sculpting is good but with some ugly compromises and the poor fit of man onto animal, and the horses have a fair amount of flash, including the bizarre large tab on the front leg of the standing animal. Given the choice we might have included more men using the bow, but this is still a pretty good set, and when viewed in conjunction with the first set it offers some interesting and useful poses for a very important element of Ottoman forces in the late medieval and early modern period.