Wednesday, February 19, 2020

AHPC X Bengal Lancers for Millsy's Millpond

Next stop on my tour of Challenge Island is Millsy's Millpond.

This challenge location (paint a mini dating to the 20th century) was both easy and difficult for me.  Easy because I had lots of figures dating back to the 80s and hard because I had to choose only 1!  In the end I opted for two figures that I acquired at the very end of the 1990s foregoing extra points for figures that I actually wanted to paint.

I have two 25mm cavalrymen from Minifigs Colonial range representing members of the 10th Bengal Lancers (Hodgson's Horse) on the North-West Frontier.  Like most current regiments in the Indian Army, the regiment was raised during the Indian Mutiny (or First War of Independence) and is still in existence as one of the armoured regiments in the modern Indian Army. I base my painting on the figure on the cover of the classic Osprey (I obtained my copy used in 1991 in Ottawa).

The figures have all the classic minifig's attributes - stiff toy solder pose, limited detail but a lot of simple elegance.  And like all minifigs they take a coat of paint nicely if treated with proper respect.  I used figures with swords as the lance armed figures in the lead pile suffered from droopy-lance and I wasn't in a converting mood.  I kept the paint job fairly toy soldier simple but tried to make basing that looked suitable for the Khyber and similar locales.

Like many a tail from the the North West Frontier the details are a little hazy on the back story on the figures, but here goes.  I think that I acquired these circa 1999 and most certainly was gifted them by my old gaming pal Ross MacFarland owner of the Battle Game of the Month blog.  I relocated from my native Halifax, Nova Scotia to Regina, Saskatchewan in February 1998 (long story suffice to say that I've always believed that if your going to C*ck up your life, do a thorough job of it).  I know that I started my Wascanastan project immediately on arrival, inspired by Ross' With MacDuff to the Frontier Rules and project.  If you were poking around the inter web circa 1999 you may remember my AARs posted under the guise of the Peshawar Gazette on Ross' older blog.  By that time Ross was making the transition upwards to 54mm scales and gifted me a variety of wonders from his lead pile, I think this took place about 1999 during a trip home.  I don't know when Ross got these figures but certainly no later than the mid 90s and possibly much earlier.  You never can tell with Minifigs, indeed the same figures are still available today from Caliver Books.

There are also two family connections to the NW Frontier and the Bengal Lancers.  The first is that my Great Grandfather was an officer in the Northamptonshire Regiment and served in the Tirah Campaign of 1897.  My dad has great grand dad's medal from the campaign and my grandmother was born in India while great granddad was posted there.  The second is that my mother was a member of the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers, a Nova Scotian youth horse group.  In 1949 she was part of the group that performed a Musical Ride at the Canadian National Exhibition in getting very good reviews in the Toronto press.  I have seen photos of 16 year old mum mounted and lance armed in Tunic and Topi but could not find a copy.   She did cut quite a figure.
Points wise that 2 25mm cavalry men at 10 points each plus the 30 points for the Challenge Location.  I will leave it to the minion du jour to judge the points worthiness of the "this is how I got the figures" and "mum was a Bengal Lancer" stories.

That makes my fifth Challenge Location and my fifth merit badge, so I'll be booking a balloon ride to the Snowlord's Summitt shortly.



  1. Excellent backstory and your “my mum was a Bengal Lancer” ought to win top marks! In the ‘90s, Ross’ With MacDuff to the Frontier was a frequent guest on our gaming tables too.

  2. Nice Minifigs Indians Peter...Minifigs were always my favourite back in the 80's when I first bought metal figures. They are very basic by most of today's standards but they still have a certain appeal😊