The 4th Gurkha Rifles, as part of the Indian Army, were the only Gurkha regiment sent to China in the wake of the violence against foreigners in 1900. They arrived too late to participate in the battles for Tientsin or the Taku Forts, and by the time they arrived Peking had also been relieved. We can find no evidence that they saw any real action, and were just part of the Allied forces conducting 'punishment' actions under General von Waldersee.
The Gurkha uniform at the time was a shirt and trousers and puttees, and the Kilmarnock cap on the head. This was completely useless as protection from either sun or rain, and so was sometimes worn with a cover that had a narrow brim at the front and a curtain at the back. Whether the Gurkhas in China wore this item is unrecorded, but these figures show their standard summer uniform and they have almost got it right. There are just two flies in the ointment. The first is the Kilmarnock, which is worn square on the head here. In all the many photographs of Gurkhas this is always tilted to the right, so this seems a small but important detail, although whether such niceties were maintained in the field is less certain. The other problem is that the Gurkhas, as with all British infantry, wore the Slade-Wallace webbing, which means the brace straps over the shoulders should cross and meet the belt at the back, rather than join to form a 'Y' shaped arrangement as sculpted here.
The sculpting of these figures is pretty basic, with some poor proportions (particularly for the fairly small and wiry Nepalese). Detail is often vague or very shallow, and as usual finer elements like fingers on hands are simply missing entirely. The underside of many of the bases are badly misaligned between the halves of the mould, so require sanding down in order to stand at all. The poses are the fairly standard battle collection, although in execution they leave something to be desired. Simply try and reproduce the neck-high bayonetting pose in the second row and you will see how difficult it is and how silly it feels. Add to that a fair amount of flash and you get some pretty unsatisfactory figures.
Although through no fault of their own they contributed nothing significant to the events in China, the Gurkhas are yet another of the exotic and interesting soldiers that were present by the end of the crisis. From a historical point of view they may have little use, but they offer plenty for 'what-if' campaigns, as well as some potential for use in small campaigns in Northern India in the last years of the 19th century. There is however no getting away from the generally quite poor quality of the figures themselves.