by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ]
αυτό το λόγο θα σας πω
δεν έχω άλλο κανένα
Μεθύστε με τí αθάνατο
κρασί του Εικοσιένα!
Only this I will tell,
get intoxicated with the immortal
wine of 1821.
The Ottoman Empire had ruled all of Greece since its conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 14th and 15th centuries. But in the 18th and 19th century, as revolutionary nationalism grew across Europe and so did Greek nationalism.
In 1814, Greek nationalists formed a secret organization called the Friendly Society (Filiki Eteria) in Odessa. With the support of wealthy Greek exile communities in Britain and the United States, the aid of sympathizers in western Europe and covert assistance from Russia, they planned a rebellion.
The start of the uprising can be set on March 6 when Alexander Ypsilanti accompanied by several other Greek officers crossed the river Prut in Romania, or on March 23 when rebels took control of Kalamata in Peloponnese. Simultaneous risings were planned across Greece, including in Macedonia, Crete and Cyprus. The Greeks succeeded in taking control of the Peloponnese and some other areas.
Inconclusive fighting between Greeks and Ottomans continued until 1825, when the Sultan asked for help from his most powerful vassal, Egypt. The Egyptian force, under the command of Ali's son Ibrahim, was successful and quickly gained dominance of the seas and Aegean islands through the navy.
In Europe the Greek revolt aroused widespread sympathy and even poet Lord Byron spent time in Greece, organising funds, supplies and troops, but died from fever at Messolonghi in 1824. Byron's death did even more to augment European sympathy for the Greek cause. This eventually led the western powers to intervene directly.
In October 1827 the British and French fleets attacked and destroyed the Ottoman fleet at Navarino. This was the decisive moment in the war of independence. In October 1828 the French landed troops (General Maison with 10,000 soldiers) in the Peloponnese to stop the Ottomans. Under their protection, the Greeks were able to regroup and form a new government. They then advanced to seize as much territory as possible, including Athens and Thebes, before the western powers impose a ceasefire.
By the Convention of May 11, 1832 Greece was finally recognised as a sovereign state.
One of the Greek freedom fighters and commanders was Georgios Drakos. He was born in 1788 in Suli. In 1821 he took part in fights around Suli and in many other battles later during the Revolution.
YS Masterpieces offers beautiful 200mm scale resin bust representing this Greek national hero.
Bust of Georgios Drakos is beautifully sculpted by Carl Reid basing on Drakosí portrait.
Drakos is facing right. He has long hair and moustache. On his head he has fesi: red, flat-top cap with a black tassel. He wears gileko or ghileki: white cotton shirt with wide collar and sleeves. Over the gileko he wears koumbori - sleeveless red waistcoat embellished with golden embroidery.
His ornamented belt selachi holds two flintlock pistols (pistoles) with decorated stocks.
His right arm rests upon his hip while left is supported on hilt of sabre.
Decorative rope runs across Drakosí chest next to leather belt that supports front-loading flintlock musket called jazail (although only the end of barrel and stock are visible over the shoulder).
Kit comes in nice, black high quality cardboard box. Inside the box one can find parts in plastic zip-bag protected by black polifoam, Certificate of Authentic Copy (kit seems to be coming in limited edition of 350 only) with kitís number signed by Mr. Sagiadinos Ė YS Masterpieces owner and informing about people involved in the project: sculptor Carl Reid, painter Danilo Cartacci and researcher and coordinator of the project Costas Rodopoulos.
Painting instruction shows four color pictures of bust as painted by Danilo Cartacci.
All elements are perfectly protected in the box and they came intact in spite of long journey.
Kit contains 9 pieces:
- torso with head
- left arm
- left hand holding the sword
- right arm
- two pistols
- selachi belt (or actualy part of it with grooves for better fitting of pistols)
- musketís barrel (short part which is visible over Drakosí right arm)
ASSEMBLY AND PAINTING
No assembly instruction is attached, but it is obvious and cover-art picture is more than enough.
Belt and musketís part has pins that help in positioning them on the bust. Pistols fit in carvings between belt and main bustís body. Also armsí joints fit in bodyís sockets so (apart form left hand) there is no surface-surface joints.
Cover-art and additional pictures of figure painted by Danilo Cartacci make perfect painting reference. Since pictures are made from few different angles all details are clearly visible and there is no place for guessing how to paint which element.
DETAILING AND QUALITY
Bust is casted in light grey high quality resin. It is definitely one of the best casted resin kits Iíve ever seen. Few seam lines, are present that definitely will need cleaning, most of them are quite thin and delicate so cleaning will not be a problem. One bigger seam line with some additional flesh is present on right arm. Very delicate, almost transparent flesh is present in several other areas (flint locks of pistols, rings on the saberís scabbard, right hand (on the wrist and thumb). Small fault is present on inner side of left sleeve and may need filling. Surfaces are clean and only few places may require delicate sanding. Details are crisp and well defined. Drakosí moustache and long hair are perfectly detailed.
Face is a real masterpiece Ė all wrinkles, eyebrows and other features of the face are sculpted with great care and they present almost perfect resemblance to the painted portrait of Drakos. Eyes are even and no iris are defined (no casted cross-eye problem on the one hand but possibility of painted cross-eye problem on the other hand).
Embroidery and buttons of waistcoat are perfectly sculpted with care for every detail and it will be a pleasure to paint them. Same concerns selachi belt.
Pistolsí details (especially flint-locks) are also very nicely detailed.
Fitting is good but flesh on some joint areas must be cleaned prior to assembly Ė otherwise it will block parts and disable proper fit. After cleaning parts fit perfectly. (Pictures are made on parts without cleaning).
YS Masterpieces proves that ďmasterpiecesĒ in their name is not just an empty word. Bust - perfectly sculpted in all details - will definitely be a jewel in any collection.
Details and surfaces are sculpted in a way that allows precise painting of every crispy detail.
Face of the bust is in my opinion one of the nicest available on the market Ė facial features are very realistic.
Cleaning of parts will be necessary, but (maybe excluding sleeve on the right hand) quite easy. Flesh is very delicate and seam lines are not thick as well.
After cleaning this bust will be a real pleasure to assemble and paint.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Pictures of painted bust come from YS Masterpieces website.
My thanks go to Engin Kayral and Costas Rodopoulos for useful information that helped me in writing of this review.
Thanks to Engin Kayral for additional photos.