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Review 1st Skinners Horse - Lt in Mess Dress from Hawk Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi to everyone ,

    Once in a while I have a grin from cheek to cheek even when I was taking the lock off my wallet and this happened at last years Telford Show when I saw this release from Hawk Miniatures.

    What am I talking about .....of course its the Skinners Horse bust of a officer in mess dress that John Fitzsimmons announced on PF recently .
    As always lets have some information on the Regiment itself :

    Colonel James Skinner was born to Scottish father and Rajput princess in 1778. His mixed blood could not get him a commission in the Honourable East India Company’s service but his outright martial skills and generosity for his men of ‘Hindoostan’ paved the way for Captain Skinner’s Corps of Irregular Cavalry, famous for it’s yellow uniforms (unique in the world and earning them the nickname the “Yellow Boys”) to be formed on February 23, 1803.

    James Skinner first fought under General De Boigne, the powerful commander of the forces of Maharajah Scindia, until the British army under Lord Lake defeated the Marathas led by General Perron. Eight hundred men on horses offered their services on one condition - they wished to be led by James Skinner, who was made a captain in the HEIC army.

    Skinner’s Horse served with great distinction for many years and in 1826 James Skinner was to be made a Companion of the Bath until it was realised that he was not of high enough rank (at this time he was a major). This led to his promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel, although he held the rank of Brigadier locally.

    As a result of his birth and of a career spent partly with the Marathas and partly with the British, Skinner moved between two worlds. His childhood memories of an Indian mother as well as his early years of fighting in central India, tied him to the Indian world. His domestic habits were more Indian than British; and he had a large family by, it is said, 14 wives.

    He spoke the lcal dialect fluently and to the end of his life wrote Persian more easily that English. He knew the name and village of origin of all his soldiers, inviting men of all ranks to his feasts.

    After an illustrious military career James Skinner died in December 1841 at the age of 63. He was buried at Hansi with full military honours, his funeral cortege consisting of a long line of his beloved “Yellow Boys”.

    The regiment continued after Skinner’s death and in 1861 was renamed the 1st Bengal Cavalry as part of the post-Mutiny civil and military changes.

    Latterly it was re-classified as:
    • the 1st Bengal Lancers in 1896
    • 1st (The Duke of York’s Own) Regiment of Bengal Lancers in 1899
    • 1st (Duke of York’s Own) Bengal Lancers (Skinner’s Horse) in 1901
    • 1st Duke of York’s Own Lancers (Skinner’s Horse) in 1903
    • 1st Duke of York's Own Skinner's Horse in 1921.
    The regiment remained in India during World War I, although 3rd Skinner’s Horse (with whom the 1st was amalgamated in 1922) was to serve in both France and the Middle East.
    At the beginning of World War II the regiment was still mounted, but was quickly converted to act as a mechanised reconnaissance regiment and was attached to the 5th Indian Division. The regiment fought in East Africa, North Africa and Italy and was awarded battle honours for Agordat, Keren, Amba-Alagi, Abyssinia, Senio Flood Bank and Italy.

    The regiment was maintained by India upon independence and, like many British cavalry regiments became a tank regiment. Today the regiment still exists in the Indian army, fiercely proud of its long and glorious history.
    97334.jpg aaaaa.jpg
    Obviously the Regiment is very dashing and colourful to recreate , there is a reenactment group that relive the Regiment and very splendid they look as well www.skinnershorse.co.uk

    with the actual Regiment proudly wearing the yellow at ceremonial events aaa.jpg Cypher2.gif

    Books abound on both Col Skinner himself and the Regiment all emphasising the sheer beauty of the Regiment and its history and uniforms these are a couple you should have in the library . 1042765820a.jpg a.jpg b.jpg maa.jpg

    The Regiment has been depicted in many forms including Toy Soldiers and of course who can forget the Airfix releases in 54mm and 1/12th scale.......

    m4.jpg m3.jpg m 5.jpg m.jpg
    aaaaaa.jpg x.jpg
    ........now its in my favourite form depicted as a bust in a wonderfully military mess dress.
    d.jpg c.jpg

    Continued in next post:

    MCPWilk likes this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    On now to the model itself :

    What are we looking at:

    Title: Skinners Horse Mess Dress C 1910

    Scale: 1/10th

    Material: Resin

    No of Pieces : 3

    Sculptor: Rob Lane

    Box Art: Dave Maddox

    As I said I purchased this from John the owner of Hawk Miniatures at last years Telford show , it had not been released properly so I was really pleased to get one , despite no box art (this was WIP from Dave at the time ...more on this later)

    The contents were in a strong white cardboard box (no box art as said ) with a name label on the end , the contents of which there are 3 pieces consisting of the actual bust , a base and safely in a separate bag the cigar he has in his hand)
    Reveiws 104.jpg Reveiws 105.jpg Reveiws 107.jpg

    Looking at the pieces prep consisted of the following, removal of a single casting plug from the undersides and one at the elbow these were then sanded clean together with a fine casting line from the collar sides ...easily done though , then cutting away the cigar from its former (careful of that carpet monster!!!) and the a quick sanding around the edges of the base , this was then secured to the bust itself and the cigar fitted into place , the whole piece was then washed to remove any casting residue , priming will be my next move ..for me in black.
    Reveiws 108.jpg
    Looking at the main piece the torso , this is sculpted with the head and arms in place as per the illustration in the Rothero book which Rob used extensively during this WIP (I am lucky to have Rob within our model group the South West Figure Modellers - so have had the chance to share the ups and downs of the sculpting at our meetings)

    Reveiws 109.jpg Reveiws 112.jpg Reveiws 110.jpg Reveiws 111.jpg
    Starting at the head he wears the distinctive field service cap of black cloth on the lower sides with yellow above , the central fold is black with all piping being gold e.jpg , the small regimental badge consists of brass crossed lances , silver York Rose with the number 1 mounted above this .

    Details on the cap are finely done in particular the piping and badge , sititing on a typically British Officer type ...again usingthe Rothero illustration as a guideline .

    The face is a great piece of work lovely moustache featuring prominantly well kept and turned up at the ends , the features are also well represented , he has a haughty and distinguished look about him , nice cheek bones , eyes and ears are fine ...all which will paint up nicely bringing out the character of our Officer who is proud of the Regiment and the Empire he serves.
    Reveiws 113.jpg
    Hair and moustache are also well detailed ...again helping in the painting ....washes will bring out the amount of work in the sculpting in the hair etc on the face overall is crying out for paint.
    Reveiws 119.jpg Reveiws 120.jpg
    Our Officer holds his arms on each side to his chest in a pose often seen when in mess dress , he is ranked as Lt , the epaulettes are another area Rob has worked hard on and it shows , the epaulettes would have been gold wire lined black .
    Reveiws 121.jpg
    He wears the mess jacket which is in the distinctive Yellow facings with a high collar , this and the cuffs are black , with gold lacing being very much the order of the day...this is again well sculpted ..note the fineness along the edges especially , wonderful work .
    Reveiws 109.jpg
    The rear shows the trefoil and piping leading down to olives , the jacket is piped in black "a la lancer style" which comes into place wherever the gold lace meeets the yellow .
    Reveiws 117.jpg Reveiws 118.jpg
    The inside of the jacket was line with drab silk , the buttons were gilt one on each epaulette and 2 at the cuffs all with a silver Rose on them .

    The cuff details are again in keeping with the references , the shirts cuffs are peeking out with the lacework and buttons well formed again
    Reveiws 116.jpg
    The material of the jacket is also well shown with creases in the right places for the pose ....nice one Rob , the hands are clasping the jacket ...again well sculpted .

    On the jacket he has 2 medal ribbons 1895-1902 Indian General Service medal (below)

    China War medal (Boxer Rebelion)


    Based on the rank he has I would tend to go for the 1895-1902 IGSM

    The China medal colours are red edging yellow/red/yellow/red edging

    Order from the left GSM then the CHINA ribbon

    You can't beat a medal!!!!

    Rob is a master for details and boy does this show on the messwaistcoat our subject wears, the intricate lacework is I am sure Rob would agree a labour of love ...every individual one was made using fine copper wire ..amazing details has been the result .....I salute you Rob for getting this so right it looks great .
    Reveiws 115.jpg Reveiws 114.jpg
    On now to the base , a sturdy piece as with other busts from Hawk Miniatures and more than suitable for the job , pin it as well if you choose to use it ..I will probably use brass rod as normal .
    Reveiws 106.jpg
    The cigar is tiny and easily lost (especially if you are like me) ..fit into the fingers is good ...adding the final touch to the piece .

    Final thoughts:

    This is without doubt a piece sculpted with a lot of swearing and with so much dedication to get it just right for the modeller...and it shows all the way .

    Great subject as well , good casting and not a bad price as well .

    When painting it offers the challege of the Yellow and the features of the face and of course the lacework (I will do mine using NMM techniques)

    I do hope we see more of the Indian Army subjects , such a wealth of colour and wonderful possibilitys.

    Highly recommended to all

    For more information go to the website (lots to tempt you!!!)


    Thanks to Rob for sculpting this and to Hawk Miniatures for commisioning it ....

    and to you all for looking in

    Happy Modelling

    swralph likes this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Hi guys ,

    As I said the boxart was not ready when I got this but Dave has worked hard on finishing it , working with a colour so hard to get right ..nice brushwork matey .
    Also we have pictures of Robs amazing and intricuate details he put into the piece especially on the waistcoat 0.jpg

    and also pics of the casting it prior to painting

    1.jpg 2.jpg . 3.jpg

    Enjoy these

    swralph likes this.
  4. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Very colourful. Now how about a full length figure?

  5. swralph A Fixture

    another fantastic review..this brought back some memories of painting the Airfix kit(pictured):D

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