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In-Box Review
Mamelouk, 1798-1805

by: Costas Rodopoulos [ MAJOR_GOOSE ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma


What we have here? A pretty colorful and interesting mounted figure of a Mameluk (1798- 1805) holding a standard . The horse movement is nice and is a running one Victor Konnov is sculpting .

The kit

Well known company’s big dark blue hard carton boxing is here as usual . Inside this , with 2 thick dark grey sheets of protective foam hold all 31 pieces of white metal for the figure the horse and the base. Smaller pieces are secure in a zipper plastic bag . Three different pictures on the front side of the box painted by Danilo Cartacci give us the idea of what the figure should look like when finished .

There are also 2 paper sheet included with 4 language informational text and painting guide . You can get some more and bigger pictures of the splendid boxart on the web site of the company.


  • 3pieces for the rider (body, left hand and head )

  • 7 pieces for the horse

  • 2 pieces for the base

  • 19 more pieces as equipment and accessories of the rider and the horse (Sword, pistols, clothes, standard with hand, fringes , e.t.c.)

    Quality and Detail

    The total look of the pair (Horse and rider ) is really tempting by the look. The rich and colorful dressing of the mameluk, and the beautiful horse , make a nice challenge for getting and painting the figure .

    The metal quality is typical Pegaso , meaning close to perfect. No flaws, pretty clean and smooth surface and almost no cleaning to do at all

    Sculpting level is pretty good .

    Victor is one of the best sculptors in business, so you cannot expect less from him.

    The horse is very well done in proportions and structure. The same can be said for the mameluk rider , with the distinctive face and head cover . Folds on the riders dressing are very nice, and give the correct image for the eras dressing style . The horse “dressing’s” details are also very good looking ,and sculpted with the proper depth to help painting , but also fine enough.

    Dry fit showed that the pieces match perfectly and you will not have any kind of assembly problems. You must run though many dry fit tests on the horse before final assembling , so you can trace any needs for minor puttying.


    No mounted figure can be called an easy one .At least to my opinion. Further more when there is decoration ,and many colors it gets even harder. But the colorful result will reward you. You can find more alternatives on painting the mameluk rider , with a little research , but you will “swim” in multi color solutions ,as this was a characteristic of the mameluks dressing code on this era. So spend some time in deciding the colors and finding nice combinations with complimentary as well impressive and bright colors. The boxart figure is painted in a very nice scheme and would’nt be bad to follow , but as I said the possible valid combinations are a lot.

    Horse painting will need some experience, so study other painters work and even better check for some book , or web site , that has step by step miniature horse painting courses before you start this attempt. For a better even result

    Conclusion – Final Verdict

    Definitely one very nice and colorful mounted figure in 54mm . Will get you enough time to paint , but the result will justify this for sure. Quality and sculpting is pretty good. Go on and try ! A showpiece for sure

    Highly Recommended

    Special Thanks to Luca Marcheti from Pegaso for the review sample
    Stay tuned for more Pegaso Models figures to be reviewed soon.

    Historical Notes


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Mamluks (also Mameluks, Mamelukes, Mamlukes) (the Arabic word usually translates as "owned", singular: مملوك plural: مماليك) comprised slave soldiers who served the Muslim caliphs and the Ottoman Empire. Over time they became a powerful military caste, and on more than one occasion they seized power for themselves, for example in Egypt from 1250 to 1517.


    The first Mamluks served the Abbasid caliphs in 9th century Baghdad. The Abbasids recruited them from enslaved mainly Turkic non-Muslim families captured in areas including modern Turkey, Eastern Europe, the steppes of modern Southwestern Russia and the Caucasus. Using non-Muslims as soldiers helped partially overcome Islamic prohibitions on Muslims fighting each other.

    The rulers also desired troops with no link to the established power structure. The local warriors were often more loyal to their tribal sheiks, their families or nobles other than the sultan or caliph. If some commander conspired against the ruler, it was often not possible to deal with him without causing unrest among the nobility. The slave-troops were strangers of the lowest possible status who could not conspire against the ruler and who could easily be punished if they caused trouble.

    After being converted to Islam, they were trained as cavalry soldiers. While technically after training they were no longer slaves, they were still obliged to serve the Sultan. They were kept by the Sultan as an outsider force, under his direct command, to use in the event of local tribal frictions. Many Mamluks rose to high positions throughout the empire, including commanderships. Their status remained non-hereditary at first and children were strictly prevented from following their fathers. The intensive and rigorous training given to each new recruit helped ensure a great deal of continuity in Mamluk practices.

    The Mamluks who seized power in Egypt about 1250 were the most famous. They were mostly Turkic, along with some Georgians, Circassians, a few Russians and some Mongols from the regions ruled by the Juchi branch of the Mongol family sold into slavery for various reasons such as bankruptcy. The Turkic element then was dominant, and most of them were from the Russian steppe, in the lands alloted by Genghis Khan to his son Juchi and Juchi's heirs. The Mamluks were often sold into slavery by impoverished steppe families.

    The Egyptian Mamluks were friendly with the Juchi's sons, Berke Khan and Batu Khan, for a number of reasons. One of the main ones was that the empire of Berke and Batu was mostly Turkic. While the Mamluk meritocracy lived in luxury as a military caste of foreign-born slave soldiers whose own sons were in that era barred from membership, despite their luxurious living, they were highly trained soldiers, ruthless and brave, backed up by the resources of Egypt.

    The friendship between the Egyptian Mamluks and Berke Khan arose because they had common interests.

    Juchi, the eldest son of Genghis Khan, was born about nine months after Genghis' wife Borte was taken prisoner and raped by a man named Chilger-Boko. Genghis later caught and executed Chilger-Boko, but this always created doubts about Juchi's real paternity, and while it was very bad manners amongst the Mongols to mention this in public, this always created a rift between Jenghiz and his three other "legitimate" sons. Juchi was always suspected of really being Chilger-Boko's bastard.

    The three other sons (Mongke, Tolui, and Jagatai) got a better inheritance. Meanwhile, Juchi's sons Batu and Berke knew they came off second-best along with their father.
    Juchi passed away before his father Genghis Khan did. When Genghis Khan died, Juchi's heir Batu (Khan Berke's brother) was given very few Mongol soldiers for his western lands, and had to carve out his own Khanate by recruiting Turks on the Russian steppe who Batu had conquered.

    After Batu in turn passed away, Berke became Khan in what was later the Russian steppe. In Berke's force, Turks outnumbered the Mongol officers by more than a hundred to one. Batu had turned his inheritance of 4000 Mongol soldiers into a force of more than 500,000, most of whom were Turkic nomads. Thus the "Golden Horde" as Batu's empire was later called, became a mainly Turkic one. The Mamluks found that they had an ethnic kinship with the Golden Horde, and this, along with the Islamization of the Horde, made Mamluk Egypt and the Golden Horde natural allies. Thus, the Mamluks could count on diversion attacks by the Golden Horde to the north against Hulagu, who ruled the Khanate of Persia.
    Berke Khan was apalled by Hulagu Khan's destruction of Baghdad. Berke was more than willing to be at odds with his cousin Hulagu. The Mamluks were a meritocracy, and Jochi's heirs, who knew that they were seen by the other Mongols Khanates as having possibly illegitimate ancestry, felt themselves left out of the Mongol inheritance and were willing to ally themselves with others who had fought to get to power. The Mamluks took great pains to cultivate this diplomatic, political, and military alliance.

    In later centuries mainly Georgians, and some Caucasian tribemen were the main Mamluk recruits as Muslims on the Russian steppe were not eligible for enslavement.

    Mamluks in Egyptb

    Two Mamluk dynasties ruled Egypt: the Bahri (بحري meaning 'of the sea', referring to their center in al-Manial Island in the Nile, and consisting of Kipchak Turks) and Burji (برجي meaning 'of the tower', referring to their center in the citadel of Cairo, and consisting of Circassians and Georgians). The Bahri led the way in breaking the rule of non-hereditary positions by establishing a dynasty ruled by a few families. Through this period and until the 19th century, the Mamluk dynasties continued to increase their numbers by purchasing more slave soldiers.

    The Mamluk dynasties of Egypt were instrumental in defeating the invading Mongol army, the Mamluk forces being under Qutuz at the time. On September 3, 1260 Qutuz defeated the Mongol army under Kitbuqa at the Battle of Ain Jalut. The Mamluk dynasties were also central in eliminating the last remnants of the Crusaders from Egypt and Syria under Baibars, Qalawun, and Khalil.

    The influence of the Mamluk dynasties on Syria and Egypt is still evident today in the architecture of mosques, schools, and libraries, as well as bridges, water fountains and other public works.

    In 1517, Egypt was taken over by the Ottoman Empire. The Mamluks remained in charge of the state, which retained much autonomy from Istanbul.

    In 1768, Sultan Ali Bey Al-Kabir declared independence from the Ottomans but the Mamluks crushed the movement and retained their position after his defeat. By this time new slave recruits were introduced from Georgia in the Caucasus. Napoleon defeated Mamluk troops when he attacked Egypt in 1798 and drove them to Upper Egypt. By this time Mamluks had added only muskets to their typical cavalry charge tactics.

    After the departure of French troops in 1801, Mamluks continued their struggle for independence, this time against the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain. It is noteworthy that in 1803, Mamluk leaders Ibrahim Beg and Usman Beg wrote a letter to Russian general-consul and asked him to act as a mediator with the Sultan as they wanted a cease fire and return to their homeland, Georgia. The Russian Ambassador in Istanbul categorically refused to mediate because the Russian government was afraid of allowing Mamluks to return to Georgia, where a strong national-liberation movement was on rise and the Mamluk return would have empowered it.

    In 1805, the population of Cairo rebelled. There was an excellent opportunity for the Mamluks to seize the state authority, but the tension among them and betrayal by some Mamluks did not allow them to exploit this opportunity. In 1806, the Mamluks defeated the Turkish forces several times, and in June confronting parties concluded a peace treaty, according to which Muhammad Ali (appointed as governor of Egypt on 26 March 1806) was to be removed and the state authority in Egypt returned to the Mamluks. But again, internal tension and conflicts between the clans did not allow the Mamluks to use this opportunity. Muhammad Ali kept his authority and this would be fatal for the Mamluks.

    Muhammed Ali knew that eventually he would have to contend with the Mamluks if he ever wanted to control Egypt. They were still the feudal owners of Egypt and their land was still the source of wealth and power in Egypt. In 1809–1810, Muhammad Ali managed to split the Mamluks, one part of them went to Sudan and settled there. Finally, on 1 March 1811, Muhammad Ali invited all Mamluks to his palace to celebrate the declaration of war against the Arabs. There were nearly 600 Mamluks (in another source about 700) on parade in Cairo, when near the Al-Azab gates, in a narrow road down from Mukatamb Hill, Muhammad Ali's forces ambushed and slaughtered almost everyone. According to the tradition, only one Mamluk named Hasan survived, as he cut his way though the Turks and jumped with a horse over a precipice to freedom.

    Throughout the following week hundreds of Mamluks were killed throughout Egypt. In the citadel of Cairo more than 1000 Mamluks were murdered, while in the streets about 3,000 Mamluks and their relatives were massacred. One little group of Mamluks escaped to Sudan and settled in a little village of Dongola. Many of them died within 2 or 3 years (among them Ibrahim Beg, who died in 1816). In 1820, Muhammad Ali pardoned them and allowed them to return to Egypt, but only 80 Mamluks crossed the border.

    Mamluks in France

    Napoleon formed his own Mamluk corps in the early years of the 19th century, the last known Mamluk force. Even his Imperial Guard had Mamluk soldiers during the Belgian campaign, including one of his personal servants. After the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805), they gained their own regimental standard. Napoleon's famous bodyguard Roustan was also a Mamluk from Egypt.

    One of the pictures by Francisco de Goya shows a charge of Mamluks against the Madrilene on 2 May 1808.

    Throughout the Napoleonic era, there was a special Mamluk corps in the French army. In his history of the 13th Chasseurs, Colonel Descaves recounts the use of Mamluks by the young General Bonaparte in Egypt. In his so-called "Instructions", which Bonaparte gave to Kleber after departure, Napoleon wrote that he had already bought about 2,000 Mamluks from Syrian merchants from whom he intended to form a special detachment. On 14 September 1799, General Kleber established a mounted company of Mamluk auxiliaries and Syrian janissaries from Turks captured at the siege of Acre. On 7 July 1800, General Menou reorganized the company, forming 3 companies of 100 men each and renaming it the "Mamluks de la Republique". In 1801, General Rapp was sent to Marseille to organize a squadron of 250 Mamluks under his command. On 7 January 1802, the previous order was canceled and the squadron reduced to 150 men.

    The list of effectives on 21 April 1802 reveals 3 officers and 155 rank and file. By decree of 25 December 1803, the Mamluks were organized into a company attached to the Chasseurs-a-Cheval of the Imperial Guard.

    They performed well at Austerlitz (2 December 1805) and were granted a standard and a roster increased to accommodate a standard bearer and a trumpet. A decree of 15 April 1806 defined the strength of squadron as 13 officers and 147 privates, while in 1813 its Chasseurs-a-Cheval of the Imperial Guard. A decree of 17 March established another company attached to the Young Guard. With the First Restoration, the company of the Mamluks of the Old Guard was incorporated in the Corps Royal des Chasseurs de France. The Mamluks of Young Guard were incorporated in the 7th Chasseurs a Cheval.
    Despite the Imperial decree of 21 March 1815 which stated that no foreigner could be admitted into the Guard, Napoleon’s decree of 24 April prescribed inter alia that the Chasseurs-a-Cheval of the Imperial Guard included a squadron of two companies of Mamluks for the Belgian Campaign.

    Mamluk uniform

    During their service in Napoleon’s army, the Mamluk squadron wore the following uniform:
    Before 1804: The only "uniform" part was the green cahouk (hat), white turban, and red saroual (pants), all to be worn with a loose shirt and a vest. Boots were of yellow, red or tan soft leather. Weapons consisted of an "Oriental" scimitar, a brace of pistols in a holder decorated with a brass crescent and star, and a dagger.
    After 1804: The cahouk became red with a brass crescent and star and the shirt was closed and had a collar. The main change was the addition of a "regulation" chasseur-style saddle-cloth and roll, imperial green in color, piped red, with a red and white fringe. The saddlery and harness remained Arabic in style. The undress uniform was as for the Chasseurs-a-Cheval of the Guard but of a dark blue cloth.

    >b>Mamluks in Baghdad

    In the Ottoman Empire, Mamluks of Baghdad proclaimed their independence in the 18th century and remained autonomous until the Ottoman reconquest in 1832.

    Mamluks in India

    In 1206, the Mamluk commander of the Muslim forces in India, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, proclaimed himself sultan, becoming, in effect, the first independent Sultan-e-Hind. This Mamluk dynasty lasted until 1290. See Delhi Sultanate for more information.

    Related terms

    Mameluco is a Portuguese word used to identify people of mixed European and Native American descent in South America. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Mameluco referred to organized bands of Portuguese slave-hunters based at São Paulo, also known as bandeirantes, who roamed the vast interior of South America from the Atlantic to the slopes of the Andes, and from the Paraguay to the Orinoco Rivers, raiding the Guarani-inhabited areas for slaves, being responsible for the expansion of Brazil from its original dimensions delineated by the Tordesilhas Treaty to its current form, mostly in originally Spanish areas. The connection of bandeirantes to mamelucos is that initially only men travelled from Portugal to Brazil, and thus they mostly married native Indian women; thus the founders of the Brazilian expansion of the Portuguese empire had mostly Indian blood, sometimes speaking only Tupi instead of their forefather's Portuguese.

    Mameluk name was used in Hungary in the last decades of the 19th century as a nickname for Members of Parliament, belonging to the governing "Liberal" party. This party governed Hungary for 30 years (1875-1905) and its MPs - to preserve their seat in the Parliament and the accompanying privileges - fulfilled all wishes of the party leader and prime minister Tisza.

    A splendid Mameluk mounted figure from Pegaso . Much color and interest for the painter from Viktor Konov's amazing sculpting and Pegaso high quality casting ...
      QUALITY - DETAIL:91%
      POSE - THEME:94%
    Percentage Rating
      Scale: 54mm
      Mfg. ID: 54-524
      Suggested Retail: Euro:71.00
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2006
      NATIONALITY: France
      THIS REVIEWER: 88.76%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.80%

    Our Thanks to Pegaso Models!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Costas Rodopoulos (Major_Goose)

    I started modelling 27 years ago with some 1/72 planes and military vehicles. Soon the diorama bug got into me and with Sheperd Paynes books I dug in. I loved to build dioramas and military vehicles till the Vietnam Era. I don't like modern stuff so much. 4 years ago I had a crush on figure painti...

    Copyright ©2021 text by Costas Rodopoulos [ MAJOR_GOOSE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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