The Rusty Dragon Inn set of pre-painted fantasy RPG miniatures finally brings us the townsfolk and furniture to start our adventures where all good adventures start – the tavern! This is the most recent set of miniatures in the Pathfinder Battles range from Paizo and WizKids, and as you probably already know we’ve been addicted to collecting both these and the similar Dungeons and Dragons minis for a while, check out our other pre-painted miniatures reviews if you’ve not seen them.
The Rusty Dragon Inn set (named after the inn from Rise of the Runelords) is one we’ve really been looking forward to as even though we’ve picked up minis from many of the previous sets, townsfolk and dungeon dressings were something we were lacking enough of. In addition to the minis found in the randomly packed booster boxes we’re going to be opening in this review, each set includes a premium figure, normally some kind of gargantuan dragon or demon which are available separately. We’ve picked up quite a few of these gargantuan creatures already, so we love what Paizo/WizKids decided to do this time, rather than a creature the premium figure is a modular Tavern Bar set complete with stools, shelves of bottles, a table, barrel and more.
Each booster box is printed to make it look like you are looking in through a window at a tavern brawl going on inside – a nice touch! We’re going to be opening up 8 booster boxes of miniatures, each of which contain a randomized set of 1 large size and 3 medium and/or small sized miniatures from the Rusty Dragon Inn range. These boosters are already becoming hard to find, and were out of stock on the Paizo site when we checked at time of writing, but you can still find them in some online and local stores. Those of you in Europe might want to check out the following site to help find places that might sell these: Find your Game Store. Boosters boxes are normally priced around $15.99 each.
The sides of the box show off some of the minis we may be lucky enough to find in these randomly packed booster packs. The goblin pirate Ranzak looks like a great little mini with loads of character while the Bugbear Tyrant looks absolutely brutal with this huge blood-covered blade. The rear of the packaging lets us know that this is a 45 figure set, and that the premium figure (the Tavern Bar) is available separately.
Opening up the first of our 8 booster boxes, we find our 4 randomly packed minis, the large one is protected by a plastic shell, while the medium and small creatures come individually bubble wrapped.
Here are our first set of Rusty Dragon Inn minis, the large Bugbear Flesh Glutton at the rear and then from left to right at the front we have the Bartender, Dwarf Wizard, and Bunyip. Really glad to have pulled the Bartender mini so early as this is one we had hoped to get. As normal with Pathfinder Battles minis, each one has some info on the base including the mini name and set number.
The Bartender mini is an example of how Paizo and Wizkids are really raising the bar (..get it?) with every set they release, the paint jobs, sculpts and poses seem to be getting better and better. This Bartender mini will come in especially useful since the premium model for this set is a Tavern Bar, she’s got a neat paintjob, the face is excellent for a pre-painted mini, and she’s ready for business with a mug of ale in one hand and a cloth in the other.
This mean looking critter is a Bunyip, think of them as a combination of a shark and a seal resulting a fierce hunter with brown fur and razor sharp teeth. These creatures show up in several Pathfinder adventures, so its great to have a mini (we actually got two of these in total), and a nice touch are the scars and bite marks on its body, just like you might see on real life aquatic creatures.
A Dwarf Wizard! This mini comes with lots of detail and would make a great player character mini, a nice touch is his hand looks like he has cast a Stone Fist type spell.
Our large mini, the Bugbear Flesh Glutton is a massively muscled cannibalistic monster carrying a sword as long as most people are tall. He’d also make a good ogre mini in a pinch.
Excited opening our remaining 7 booster boxes, here’s the selection of minis we ended up with, excluding the duplicates (of which there were only 4).
Here you can see our Bartender mini along with a couple of other characters we might find in our bar, the Serving Girl on the left and the Dancing Girl on the right. Both of these are welcome additions to our collection, its always handy to have more townsfolk, and these are good ones with detailed sculpts and neat paint jobs. Especially love the details of the food and mugs sculpted on the Serving Girl, and we’re thinking you could also use the Dancing girl as some kind of spell caster.
A couple of other people you might find around the town are the Guard (left) and the Merchant (right). We’ve already got a few guard-like minis in our collection but not many with pole weapons which will make this useful. The Merchant is something we were very happy to find, he’s got another well painted face and is holding up an unidentified bottle to try and tempt passing adventurers.
Here we have the Graceful Slayer on the left an the City Watch Commander on the right. Carrying a curved blade and a bow strapped to his back the Graceful Slayer is an Elven barbarian with lots of great details across his armour. The City Watch Commander feels like a particularly well done mini and will be a great leader for the watch miniatures from previous sets or as a player character. She appears to be based on Kasadei, a character from the Pathfinder Comics: City of Secrets.
Here you can see our Half-Elf Enchanter on the left and Pious Guard on the right. Our Enchanter arrived with a broken wand, but it was easily reattached to her hand with a drop of super glue. She’s a great female wizard model although her bright paint job will mean she wont appeal to everyone. The Pious Guard is a heavily armoured mini that could find use as a fighter/paladin/cleric and more.
Here’s our Bartender with the Farmer mini, another handy NPC mini to have maybe as a quest giver or even as part of an angry mob! He matches the artwork from the core rulebook, and has received a thin paint wash to bring out the details and make him look dusty from the fields.
On to two medium sized monster minis, here is the Vampire Spawn (left) and the Ghoul Monarch (right). The pose is great on the Vampire Spawn, and combined with his unsettling colouring he looks ready to pounce on a victim. The Ghoul Monarch is one of several ghouls available in this set, there’s also a Cultist, Huntsman, and Champion. We really like the idea of having these subthemes within the Pathfinder Battles sets so you can pick up groups of minis that work well together for encounters.
Another subtheme is the bugbears, here you can see the Bugbear Lurker (left) and the Bugbear Mystic (right). Along with the Bugbear Flesh Glutton we pulled earlier we have a fearsome group coming together. The Bugbear lurker looks suitably intimidating with his thick armour, growling face, and knife/axe combo. The Bugbear Mystic doesn’t look quite as threatening, but that might be a mistake on our part – you never can tell with spellcasters!
Here we have the Dwarf Bard alongside our Dwarf Wizard and Bartender from our first box. We’ve been collecting pre-painted minis for years but have never had a Dwarf Bard, so this is very cool and could either be used as a player character or an NPC playing in the local tavern. He’s in action beating a drum, but is also carrying a lyre on his back.
The last of the medium and small sized minis we picked up are the Kobold Devilspeaker (left) and the Riding Dog (right). Both of these are welcome additions to out collection. We own many kobold minis but this one stands out as a great leader or spellcaster, with nice paint and details considering this is so small. The two colour cape is a nice touch. The Riding Dog has an excellent sculpt including detailed armour, it will be great for small sized characters to use as a mount.
Onto larger creatures, we’ve got a Riding Horse on the left and a Draft Horse on the right. We’re happy to get both of these as although horses are available in older pre-painted mini sets, they’re often expensive or hard to get. The Riding Horse will make a great mount for a character, while the Draft Horse is perfect for pulling waggons with its sculpted harness.
Wow, that scary thing on the left is a Kirrix, its a large rat-like creature often used by ratfolk to guard their territory. A great mini that looks very intimidating! On the right we have a Gorgon, a large metallic bull-like creature with a pretty terrifying breath weapon in-game.
These two fellows with their staffs are the Frost Giant Ice Mage on the left, and Zilvazaraat on the right. The Ice Mage is a nice addition to the collection of Frost Giants we seem to be amassing, and although he’s not as beefy as some of the others this fits well with being a mage and he has some great details like his tattoos, fur pelts, and transparent frosted staff. Zilvazaraat is a Mercane character, a race known as mysterious magical merchants. We also think he’d make a great genie, especially a Marid with his blue skin.
Next up we have Beaky, the largest owlbear mini we’ve ever seen. Beaky is a very intimidating monster with his immense bulk and huge claws and beak, we like this one a lot.
Also included in the Rusty Dragon Inn set are a collection of dungeons dressings, and we were lucky enough to find both the Barrel and Bed in our booster packs. Both of these fit in with the tavern theme, and are general enough that they will find use in lots of other places too. Other furniture you might find crates and tables, plus a cart and wagon – we’d love to get our hands on more of these.
Longtime collectors of pre-painted miniatures will be interested to see how The Rusty Dragon Inn minis compare to those we saw in earlier sets. Here’s beaky with the Furious Owlbear found in the old D&D miniatures set Against the Giants. …We think Beaky looks a lot more furious!
Here’s our Rusty Dragon bugbears along with similar minis from both Pathfinder and D&D sets. They all work well together and the Rusty Dragon Inn minis bring some nice variation to the group.
Here’s our Dwarf Wizard mini along side another from and older D&D set (Dwarf Wizard – Angelfire). These are similar in style but have enough differences to make each one stand out, we like both of these.
As soon as we knew the premium figure for this set would be a Tavern Bar, we had to dig out our War of the Dragon Queen Tavern Brawler mini (middle). He’s currently spilling his ale, but luckily we’ve got the Bartender and Serving Girl to bring more.
Something about the Graceful Slayer mini really reminds us of the Carrion Tribe Barbarian from the old D&D Aberrations set.
We’ve now got two different styles of farmer mini, on the right here you can see the Farmer from the old D&D Desert of Desolation set. These will work well together although we’ve just noticed how out of proportion the old Farmer is, especially his head.
Here we’ve got our new Rusty inn horses at the front along with some others from older D&D sets in the back. These all scale well together which is great.
It turns our we’re massing quite a collection of rat-like monsters, and the Kirrix really dwarfs this Rat Swarm and various Dire Rats.
Here’s the Rusty Dragon Inn Riding Dog alongside the Dungeon Crawler Mastiff from their Omens set – check out our Dungeon Crawler miniatures review.
As is probably the case with many of you reading this, we have a lot of kobolds, but we’re still very happy to have the Kobold Devilspeaker from this set as he stands out above your basic kobold. Here you can see him with the Kobold Sorcerer from the D&D Abberations set (left) and the Kobold Guard from the D&D Rage of Demons set (right).
Here’s some of our Frost Giants for comparison with the Frost Giant Ice Mage, there’s plenty of warriors here so its nice to have a spellcaster type mini.
**Update** Since opening our boosters, we couldn’t help but go an pick up a couple of extra minis from this set on eBay, both the Cart and the Wagon. These work perfectly with the horses from the same set, and the Wagon is big enough to hold a couple of medium sized minis.
What a set! The Rusty Dragon Inn set feels like a lot of thought has gone into what will be useful for DMs and players, there’s so many minis here that will see frequent use in our tabletop RPG games. While we normally prefer sets with more monsters than character minis, this set really hits the mark by making everything useful. We love the sub-themes like ghouls and bugbears, and it continues to improve over previous sets with better paintjobs.
From our 8 booster boxes (known as a brick) we’ve ended up with a really nice range of minis and very few duplicates (4 in total), if you’d like to see the remaining minis from the Rusty Dragon inn set, check out the excellent site over at www.miniscollector.com for a full set list.