At the start of the Great War the Ottoman Empire had already suffered years of war which had drained her resources and caused the loss of territories in Europe, but she was not yet finished. She maintained armies on several fronts, but was usually very short of equipment, including both artillery and machine guns. Nonetheless such items were a necessary part of war and for replenishment the Ottomans relied mostly on Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Perhaps the centrepiece of this set is the gun, a 10.5cm field howitzer as supplied by Germany. Made up of just five parts, this is a simplified model but pretty accurate, and the parts fit together well, helped by the plastic which is soft but takes polystyrene cement very securely.
To man the gun there are a number of crew, all of whom are in reasonable poses. They wear normal Turkish uniform and the officer (last figure, third row) wears a kalpak hat, which was very common. The figure next to him pointing at a map is a German adviser, of which there were many in the Turkish armed forces.
The machine gun crews are also utilising a German weapon, the MG 08. Like the howitzer this was a very common weapon in the German arsenal and has been well done here, although again simplified a little. The assembly is interesting as the man and barrel come as one piece, with the fore legs and rear supports being the other two pieces that need gluing to the barrel. This works pretty well, though it does mean the man cannot be easily divorced from the weapon.
The inclusion of a sniper is really an extension of the infantry set, as is the last figure on the second row, a bomb boy (boys were sometimes found in the front line), and as such are welcome.
The sculpting on this set is OK but not great. There are too many flat areas which give an unnatural feel to the figures, and some areas such as faces are not well defined. The sculptor has misunderstood the cloth wrapped round the kabalak helmet and has given all the men loose ends dangling down the neck. However the mould is well engineered as there is no flash anywhere.
The style of this set matches Hat's German Artillery set perfectly, and the FK16 and limber in that set could also be used with the Ottomans in this one, as indeed the howitzer could be manned by the Germans. As always HaT have been innovative in expanding this hobby to include subjects that a few years ago no one could have imagined would ever be made, and even if this is not the greatest set ever made, it will certainly suffice.