SHQ Tavern Series: Signs, Kegs, and Wenches | Print |  E-mail
Written by Don MacVittie   
Sunday, 23 November 2008

The outside Inn with the minstrel.


When your fantasy adventurers hit the nearest tavern, you need a spot for them to hang out. Be it the traditional start of Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons and Dragons  campaigns or a Two Hour Wargames Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures (WH:AA) tavern encounter, you need the bar, the barmaid, and the rest of the crowd to set the scene.


The assembled inside sets.


SHQ Miniatures foresaw your need and answered it with a series of 25mm tavern related products. We brought the entire line in for review, figuring that there were an awful lot of you interested with the release of D&D 4.0 and WH:AA. While this review was being painted up, we purchased and tried out D&D 4.0, and while we were writing this review up, we purchased and tried WH:AA. These figures and accessories came in handy for WH:AA.

We tipped one back in honor of this Inn.


First, the tavern. It is solid resin, and nice enough as a wargaming terrain piece, but not really suitable as a 25mm piece for Roleplaying, where the advertized scale should match the actual scale. It’s just a tiny little building for what is purportedly packed into it. It is well crafted and an absolute blast to paint, but closer to 20mm in scale than 25mm.


We prefer our 25mm and larger buildings to be empty inside – just a personal preference. So that counts against the tavern building also in our estimation – but this is purely subjective.


The Inn as delivered.


Next up, the outside accessories pack has a great selection. An outhouse, a well, a watering trough, and a sign for the Inn. These are well done in our opinion. While painting them, the outhouse and well seemed to have a bit of rough surface that was difficult to paint, but after completing them we found that these items look great, so the impact is more one of wear and tear on your brushes than of unusable resin. Speaking of which, the outhouse (except the door), the well (just the stone base), and the trough (except the pump) are all resin. The rest of the outside accessories are metal.


The outside of the Inn painted with the accessories laid out.


The inside accessories are all resin, and are well cast. It is difficult to accurately depict something like a table with a single-piece resin casting, and yet SHQ managed it masterfully by using barrels in place of table legs. They look great, and even have little bits knocked out of the table-tops. The inside accessories include barrels, kegs, a bar, and two tables. The tables have dishes on them, the bar has wine bottles and a keg behind it, all well detailed and cast up. The one issue with had with this set was the occasional air bubble in the resin. Most of the time these were in the wood and it’s easy to paint them in, but a couple of them were in more difficult places that were harder to cover with paint. If you don’t mind filling, or feel lucky and believe your air bubbles will all be in the wood, this set is just dandy. Seriously, this isn’t such a big deal.


The tables, kegs, and bar unpainted.


The porter with kegs.


The Inn staff are a complete bunch – Barkeep, serving woman, harlot, minstrel, and barrel carrying man. The figures themselves are well done and in line with other 25mm and small 28mm figures, the poses are realistic, and overall they look great. Unfortunately, the faces aren’t the best. Each of them has little problems, but in general the mouths are too big and the eyes also tend toward the larger side. If you are willing to cover this with paint, you’ll likely be pleased, though the figures all look surprised even when over-painted. Interestingly, the hair is every bit as nice as the faces aren’t. We think they’re well worth it, just wanted to warn you about the faces.


A poor shot of the Inn Staff prior to painting.


The barmaid and minstrel. Note looks on faces.


They certainly paint up well!


The customers are much the same quality-wise as the tavern staff. The faces have similar issues, but in my opinion they’re not as bad as the tavern staff. There are several poses, my favorite being the  man holding a chicken. All of the poses are suitable to patrons inside an inn, There are four poses – two seated and drinking, two standing. They range from rough-looking farmer types to a dandy with braided clothing.


The Inn patrons set unpainted.


The figures are a bit small – here they are with Old Glory Americana figures.


All in all, this set is nice enough, but the solid Inn is a bit of a distraction for us. It means that the set will see more use in wargaming than in roleplaying, but if you’re willing to do scenes “outside, inside”, it will work fine. You might even want to lay out a wooden floor marked out in five foot squares to set the inside up on. The inside accessories and the tavern staff are the bright spots in this set, and we’re happy to have both, so utilizing them is likely, one way or another.


While SHQ does not currently have a US distributor, their service was fast and friendly, and everything arrived in order.


International Source: SHQ Miniatures


            F26 Country Tavern

            F27 Tavern Accessory Pack

            C1  Tavern Staff

            C4  Tavern Customers


            F26      £11.25

            F27      £ 5.00

            C1       £ 4.50

            C4       £ 4.50


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