Muhammad Ibn Dawud Çağrı, know as ‘Alp Arslan’ (strong as a lion), led the Seljuk Turks to victory over the East Romans at Manzikert in 1071. Intending to refight Manzikert in August I have just finished painting Alp Arslan and his Askar.
The great man himself is said to have dressed all in white at the battle. At the critical moment he put his bow away, took up hand to hand weapons and led his men in a decisive charge. This is what I have tried to replicate here. The man is a metal Gripping Beast Seljuk commander with a plastic Gripping Beast shield from their Arab Heavy Cavalry box. His caparisoned horse is from Footsore’s Ghulam command group.
The Sultan’s Askar is a mix of 28mm figures from Gripping Beast, Footsore and Perry. As warriors of great renown I have given them an individualistic look, much as I would with West European knights. I think that the active, aggressive, poses give the unit the look of men who really mean business.
To give the unit some visual coherence, and to make Alp Arslan stand out, I have kept to a limited colour palette of green, yellow and red in various shades and combinations. To accommodate the active poses I mounted them on 60mm square bases rather than my usual 60 x 40.
The flag is entirely speculative based on a Ghaznavid design — a rival Turkish dynasty to the Seljuks that had a fondness for lion symbols. I thought it fitting that the man called 'strong as a lion’ should have a lion’s head on his standard.