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St.Craniums Reformation – pt 1: Gravestones

Inspiration struck when I saw some of the atmospheric images in the Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Skirmish book. I decided that it was time to flesh out my miniature graveyard “St. Craniums Cemetery”. Filled with enthusiasm, I decided to upgrade my graveyard terrain, starting with some more headstones.

The atmosphere in the Skirmish photos is necessarily more personal than in the various mass battle images throughout the other Age of Sigmar publications that I have seen.  That makes it easier to relate to I reckon (taking it as a given that giant and deluded man-bats, haemo-erotic barbarians and lightning-angel-knights can be identified with in the first place).  Check these AoSS images out:

In favour of vaping: exhibit A.

“Something Hoppin’ in Kislev” had the sort of reputation that most clubs only dream of.

I really like those AoSS images.  They are possibly the most interesting Age of Sigmar miniature photos that I have seen to date.

The background in Age of Sigmar Skirmish (AoSS) is set in the Realm of Death, with a lot of the usual Scooby-Doo imagery.
Associated releases include a repackaging of two of the really lovely “Garden of Morr” kits as a “Sigmarite Mausoleum”.  As I am already the caretaker of St Craniums, itself currently consisting of about 80% Garden of Morr kit, I decided that now was a good time to expand the project.

Refurbished 2012 gravestones.

I still had a number of unused Renedra gravestones from when I initially put the graveyard together, so I based and quickly painted them as the first step in refurbishment.

When I initially worked on St Craniums, I wasn’t particularly interested in extending my terrain collection to cover a grassy, temperate climate, so the pieces were based to fit in with my wasteland/desert mat. I pictured a dusty, dry place a little like the graveyards seen in some westerns, like The Quick and the Dead.

Since then I have expanded hobby wise into more fantasy games, primarily using pseudo-historical samurai, with associated greenish, sub-tropical terrain and gaming mats, so I decided to base the new graveyard pieces to suit that. I tried to do it in such a way that I could similarly tint the existing St. Craniums bases to match them pretty well. The earlier elements can be dated pretty easily on inspection, but overall I think that they fit together decently and don’t stick out too much.

St. Craniums Gravestones: 2017 additions.

The 6×4’ mat shown is the Dirty Roads from urbanmatz, which I had my eye on for a year before I finally bought it. It is nicely suited to show elements of a large old graveyard, having fallen in to disrepair.

Lastly, although ideally I prefer to avoid real world religious imagery in my toy soldiers, I didn’t want to simply ditch the cross shaped gravestones on the Renedra sprues when I had already paid for them, so I didn’t. I decided that cross shaped (and square shaped, star shaped, circle shaped, triangular… you name it) iconography is used in the various imaginary environments where my toy soldiers fight to survive; it just doesn’t have anything to do with [INSERT DEITY OF YOUR CHOICE].

More St Craniums in a couple of days, when I get an opportunity to take some more photos, which hopefully will be a bit better than these.

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26 Responses

  1. These are great – I’ve been toying with working out how to do a sci-fi graveyard recently, got some ideas to knick here! Urbanmatz worth checking out then? I’ve been looking for a filed/forest mat recently…

    Liked by 1 person

    • In fact, I originally planned for the graveyard to be used in post apocalyptic settings, but decided to make it more fantasy focused only recently.

      Im very interested in seeing what you do to make a sci-fi graveyard. Its a tricky proposition.

      I have numerous gaming mats and this particular Urbanmatz one – “Dirty Roads” – is particularly nice. I am very happy to recommend that one.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

      • Cheers – it looks good in the pics.

        I say Sci-Fi, I guess I mean closer to wasteland – my Sci Fi is mostly desert planet, a bit gorkamorka, a bit Star Wars so probably closer to your post apocalyptic thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As much as AoSS leaves me cold, St Cranium has this non sensical appeal like “Tales from the crypt” did. I love it.
    Oh and this :

    Liked by 2 people

    • Would you prefer St Craniums if it was in a suburb of Mordheim? Because it could be.

      I’m a little surprised that AoSS doesnt appeal to a Mordheim enthusiast like you Asslessman. Conceptually they are not terribly far removed. Is it to do with the less gothic, more fantastical AoS setting in general? Or is it something else?

      As for how St Craniums looks, my projects like this tend to end up looking quite a bit like big, vulgar plastic playset toys from the 80s. I think that contributes a bit to the sense of unreality on St Craniums.

      Im not terribly inclined to paint my terrain to look particularly realistic (even if I had those skills, which I do not). Im quite content with the comic book or Masters of the Universe vibe that I end with though.

      Im glad that it appeals to you on some level 🙂

      Like

  3. Nicely done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Man, that’s a full necropolis! I wonder if there’s a name on each gravestone 😛
    Nice job on them, I like the idea of the foliage and the overall aspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just one name, on one gravestone: “Gary Gygax”.

      It is fun having more than just a few gravestones to suggest a cemetery. Being able to have a properly dense area covered gives a good atmosphere.

      And I might be able to run Buffy games at some stage 🙂

      Like

  5. Lovely work here! A really effective overgrown cemetery, and the masses of graves look really effective. I’ve been putting together my own post of the next step of my own graveyard recently, heavily inspired by St.Craniums’ for the past couple of months. It just keeps getting delayed by other things (such as getting my Dirty Roads mat review up first) but I’ll have to finally post it up this week. Or next week…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quantity has a quality all of its own in this case, the volume of the stones makes a difference.

      Your output is so thick and fast at the moment that I am behind, but I am keeping an eye out for some more cemetery progress from you. Your work on various Scotia Grendel (and similar) resin pieces is always of good quality.

      I have a few more similar pieces due to go up here over the next while. As we are working on somewhat similar projects right now, hopefully they will be of interest Azazel.

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

      Like

  6. Fantastic! I want… Need more cemetery terrain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks brilliant. I have the same mat and it works wonders for Mordheim as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its a particularly nice mat. Its limited a bit in terms of layout, with the cobblestone paths defining things a little more than is ideal.

      Of course the payoff is that its looks better in photos.

      Im particularly keen on it. It has nice visual depth.

      Thanks for the feedback Riot.

      Like

  8. That’s one hell of a terrain set, St Craniums is approaching Père Lachaise levels. Multi-basing the wee gravestones is a nice idea for bulking out the graveyard too. Lovely work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I mentioned to Suber above, the only famous name that I included was Gygax.

      It might be a fun thing to customise a few more though. Famous bards perhaps.

      I have two more graveyard specific pieces coming, plus some other bits that will segue in well. It should be a pretty nifty table. It should be ready to go by the time that you guys visit next too 🙂

      Like

  9. Very nice mate, and I agree that the AoSS pics are stonkingly good – more Garden of Morr in my future I suspect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very cool set of graves, works well with the urbanmatz!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is very inspirational stuff. I’ve been wanting to make myself some graveyard scenery for ages but never thought of having separate gravestone sections. Consider your idea well and truly stolen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good. That’s a large part of sharing things like this online. I hope that you do get something out of it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  12. Graveyards are a great place to have shootouts, meet with dark masters, fight the undead, interrupt a makeout session, and probably 100 other things. Yours is lovely, and getting to proper necropolis size too.

    I have wanted to do one ever since reading The Book of the New Sun, with its imagery of lonely overgrown tombs, and the Garden of Morr was/is stunning… I can still resist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lasgunpacker!

      I forgot about illicit boozing and makeout sessions.

      Do you reckon that people make out in the Mortal Realms? I have never heard of it happening.

      Like

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