about the kit
During the Empire of Ottoman Dynasty in the 16th and 17th century, the location of Istanbul between Europe and Asia made it an important centre of trade. Ships from Europe, the Black Sea and the Indian Ocean brought goods like drugs, grain, mirrors, and furs and caravans carried them to the Middle East. Similarly, caravans from Asia carried silk, tea, spices and porcelain to Istanbul and ships transferred them to Europe. The market was big and many people came to the city as traders, merchants to sell or buy and some people like magicians, musicians and dancers came to show their skills. They first built small stands on the streets, then expanded into larger open markets called bazaars. A bazaar was an important part of the social life of Istanbul and was full of interesting characters. The sculptor, inspired by the orientalist oil paintings of the famous French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme, portrayed two colourful personalities of Istanbul bazaar in this vignette; a Kavas and a dancer.
was the municipal police officer of the Ottoman Empire who controlled the streets, shops and bazaars. He maintained the order, checked the trade, caught any thieves in the bazaars and took them to the courthouse. Kavas were honest, trustable people and had good relations with the traders. They had typical clothing with a strong dominance of red and carried weapons.
mostly coming from the Middle east, were fascinating ladies performing their dances by using body language (belly dance). They danced for ordinary people who could not pay much but always dreamed of dancing for the Sultan in his palace, paid with jewellery, maybe even become part of his harem.
The kit comes in 125 x 85 x 30 mm.standard Romeo Models light blue cardboard box. The front cover shows photos of the painted figures and building which can serve as a basic painting guide.
Inside the box, there is a small certificate in English and Italian with the product code that the modeler can ask for the missing or damaged parts from the company.
Resin building parts are inserted in a bubble-bag. Small parts of the building and the figures are given in seperate plastic bags to avoid the risk of damage.
Figures in the kit are sculpted by Maurizio Bruno
and comes in white metal parts. A fast cleanwork for the vertical seamlines on the sides will be needed.
The figure comes in 5 parts; body,head,right arm, left arm and weapons with cloth belt. The typical official clothings of Kavas has a significant dominancy of red cloth highly decorated in gold thread embroidery. He wears a front-open, high collar shirt with wide sleeves - Gomlek
, loosy trousers on knee length-Shalvar
, thick cloth sash wrapped on the waist that can be used as a weapons belt - Kushak
, under-knee cloth leggings - Tozluk
and close sandals with upper pointed nose - Charik
. The shirt is trimmed with gold embroidery especially on the edges, collars and sleeves as the leggings has the same in front and lower ends. Facial details and clothing are well defined on the figure. As for the headgear, he has a long cloth sash wrapped around a red fez – a conical felt cap with a flat top. He carries a slightly reverse curved long sword with a big pommel - Yataghan
, a flintlock style percussion pistole and a leather bullet and powder case under his cloth belt. It makes a very good fit to the figure that allows the modeler to paint it before assembly.
Inspired from the oil painting
of Jean Leon Gerome, the figure comes in 3 pieces ; body, right and left arms. Defined in nice facial details and hair, she has a small cap with a low crown decorated in metal coins. Over a veil, long sleeved shirt; she wears typical belly dancer clothing - Bedlah
(means suit in Arabic) – a fitted top or bra, baggy harem pants, close sandals with pointed nose and a thick hip belt. On the figure, a wide metal belt with a big buckle is worn over the cloth belt and tied with a strap on the back. She has necklace and bracelets decorated in metal coins in gold color.
In my opinion, cloths of belly dancer should be painted different than the red color on the boxart because painting it in the same color as the Kavas will make the scene monotonous light tones of orange, purple, blue or green can be prefered.
Sculpted by Stefano D’Antonio, it comes in 8 resin and 14 white metal parts.White metal parts need no cleanwork but the resin parts needs some work for the removing of the casting blocks and correct fit of the parts. As in many Romeo Models kits, holes and pins on the parts make the assembly easier, but some of the holes should be cleaned or enlarged. The assembly of the resin and some metal parts is described (in my limits) on the photos.
A - Base
B - Sidewall of the base floor
C - Front wall with door of the base floor
D - Floor of the colonage with wooden supports
E - Front wall of the colonage
F - Right sidewall of the colonage
G - Ceiling of the colonage with wooden supports
H - Left sidewall of the colonage
I - Door - A wooden door reinforced with metal studs. It shows nice wood texture and will be assembled inside the C part.
J - Window shutters - 2 pieces. Wooden texture, frames and designs are well defined. It will be assembled to the windows on the E part. The boxart shows one closed and one open, but this can be built in any case the modeler wants.
K - Small tent on the side window. It shows nice cloth texture and tassels.
L – Wooden supports of colonage. I think the hardest part of this kit. A carefully work maybe some surgery will be needed to assembly them between the holes on the front wall and gaps on the wooden supports of the floor of colonage. They should be really carefully assembled as the big tent will be added to the holes on them.
Big tent. It shows nice folds on the cloth texture. Pins will make it easy to assembly. The pin on the left will be inserted to the hole on the side wall as the left pin will be free to be supported by the brass tube.
Parts of tent support ; They will be added to the brass tube.
Brass tube as tent support pole
Amphoras and soil pot ; They will displayed in front of the house as modelers’ desire.
The assembly of the house looks complex when you see the parts or look at the photos but it is really easy and funny when you have the parts at hand.
A very nice scene with the best detailed figure base I’ve ever seen. The figures have the classic high quality of MAB sculpt and Romeo Models casting.
Very Highly Recommended