Friday 4 November 2011

Of a Zouave Appearance....

Perry Plastic Zouves

The typical Zouve style military uniform of baggy trousers, waist sash, short jacket and fez formed the uniform of the main bulk of the Turkish army from around 1860 to 1890 as far as I am able to determine. The Turks themselves had a pair of designated Zouave units serving in the Imperial guard and sporting a green fez and although the army was dressed in a similar fashion was not similarly designated. The fez was often  worn with a cloth around it - the 'turbanned' fez - so having both types in a model army would be accurate  Obviously such considerations for an 'imagi-nation' are not really applicable but for me it would serve to help distinguish units.  I was quite surprised by the amount of armies that made use of this uniform/troop type aside from the well known ACW and French versions. A quick browse through Wikipedia revealed Spanish, Polish and even Papal Zouaves.

Perry plastic Zouves use both he turbaned and plain fez whilst the Spencer Smith version is the turbaned variety only.

For my purposes I shall be using this uniform type for the main bulk of Fezian army and in truth it will be based primarily on the Turkish equivalent of 1877 although the lure of red trousers (the Turkish version was dark blue) may be difficult to resist! The uniform does have a certain degree of 'swagger' about it and readily appeals to my mental image of the exotic nature of the old Ottoman empire.


Tim Gow said...

Good choice - you really can't go wrong with a Zouave look.

Ross Mac said...

2 other options to consider is that the Egyptian divison of the Turkish army at the time of the Greek rebellion wore a zoauve style uniform with red jacket and white pants. Very striking, might make a good guard uniform, I think a later Morrocan, Tunisian or Algerian guard unit may have been similar. Later the egyptians changed to an all light blue zoauve uniform, similar to the French Tirailleurs, also very attractive, possibly to distinguish light infantry?

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Absolutely! Sartorial elegance gone mad but that has never stopped a good uniform.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Ross,

Much food for thought there methinks - good idea about the 'light' infantry as well. At the moment the Fezian types will look very similar to Turks of 1877 but some artistic interpretation will be called for!

Many thanks once again.

All the best,