Advertisements

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.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Woods

I recently picked up a set of the plastic Citadel woods to add to my graveyard.

The trees in this set are like something from Sleepy Hollow, with their Brothers Grimm, Tim Burton aesthetic.  Very suitable for inclusion in my graveyard terrain in other words.

My graveyard is painted to match my wasteland terrain set and so I painted the trees to match the dead bits of wood that feature on my Scourged Forest gaming mat.

I had originally planned to leave the trees devoid of the foliage pieces supplied but when I assembled the kit I decided that I liked the unusual looking leaf pieces too much to simply leave them in the box.

In a moment of madness I decided to add magnets to a number of the tree branches with corresponding magnets inset into the underneath of the leaf pieces.  Now the trees can reasonably represent both autumn and winter or living and dead.

Sort of fun to do?  Yep.  Easier to store as a result?  Probably.  Worth the trouble?  Nope.

Like the trees themselves I painted the large plastic base supplied to match my gaming mat.  I dont think that I will end up using the base very often as I plan to use the trees as freestanding single pieces.  Nonetheless I figured that I might as well paint the base alongside the trees anyway: who knows when I might decide to use the woods in that fashion?

Lastly the tree above (which I showed along with Santiago a while back) got painted at the same time as the GW set.  Its a plastic tree supplied with the Horrorclix starter set from a few years ago.

I based the tree so that it would have the regulation footprint for representing a “hanging tree” in Malifaux games.

I am currently working on a another couple of sets of Renedra gravestones to bulk out the graveyard set, then I will be fully finished with it.  Once I am done with those I will try to get some half decent photos of the whole thing set up for a game.

More Graveyard


I recently got another couple of items finished for my graveyard, the open grave and the crypt in the foreground of the picture above.  The photos are a bit poorer than usual Im afraid, as I dont have a set up decent enough to take photos of anything much bigger than a 28mm figure for the time being.

The one on the right is a plastic piece that came from one of the GW Lord of the Rings boxes, kindly donated by PB a few years back.  I sprayed it with GW Roughcoat back then which was a mistake as it obscured some of the details on the lid of the sarcophagus.  I enjoyed painting the books strewn around the base.  I like painting miniature books for some reason that I havent quite worked out yet.

I traded some bits and pieces with COM in exchange for the resin grave piece above.  I dont know where it originally came from, but I think that its a Grendel piece.  In my haste to get it finished the painting came out a little more lurid than I had intended.  I am tempted to go back and tone it down a bit but I probably wont.

The piece originally had a tombstone, but that was mislaid at some point before I got my hands on it.  I made up the stone shown with an old piece of Foamex board that I had lying around since 1995.  I used Instant Mold to copy the pattern on the sarcophagus lid and stuck the copy to the Foamex as a quick way to make the headstone look a little more authentic.

St. Craniums Cemetery

Following on from Mondays WiP post here are some close up shots of some of the finished graveyard elements.

A few meandering points:

  1. I wanted to avoid green plants.  Therefore I went with rusty red on the undergrowth to get the terrain to fit in with the rest of my wastelands stuff which in turn matches the bits of lichen that I attached here and there.
  2. I am particularly pleased with how the mausoleum roofs worked out.  I am also happy with the three crows that feature throughout the piece.   By using a different technique to the last time that I tried to paint black birds they came out much better.  Its a very minor thing, but satisfying for me.  Sometimes it really is the little things.
  3. The large skull-faced gates (one of two shown) are both magnetised so they can be removed as and when required for game purposes.  I considered leaving the gates permanently open, but adding the magnets was more fun.
  4. I went for a walk around a local overgrown graveyard and took some photos in preparation for painting this stuff.  As It happened I simply went for the easy, more theatrical approach to painting the pieces rather than trying to duplicate complicated patterns of wear and plant growth on the pieces.  The end result is more Scooby Doo than some might like.  Visiting the old graveyard turned out to be interesting in itself anyway, even if it had little influence on how the models finally turned out.




Since I finished these I have dug up a few more bits that will be getting painted up to go with this set, but for now I have plenty to game with.  In fact I played a game with COM on the brand new graveyard terrain within hours of finishing it, which was satisfying.

Graveyard WiP

I have wanted a graveyard terrain set to game with for many years, but I never got around to picking up the many expensive crypt, mausoleum, gravestone and perimeter pieces required.

Then Games Workshop released the Garden of Morr graveyard kit last year.  It looked like a convenient and reasonably cost effective way to cover my toy soldier graveyard needs so I picked up a couple of sets last Autumn.

After some consideration I decided that I would prep the graveyard to fit with my wasteland terrain.  The classic movie graveyard tends to be a bit greener than that and for a while I was tempted to go for that more Transylvanian look.  I have a bit of an aversion to playing games on green, golf course like tables however and as I had already painted up some Renedra gravestones that I picked up at Salute last year to match the wasteland terrain, I went with that again here.

The Renedra gravestone kit is straightforward and very nice.  The Garden of Morr is fantastic.  It goes together very easily without need for clamps or rubber bands or anything fiddly.  It also looks really nice when assembled, even before painting.

The painting process took me a few hours each day for about four days or so. I tend to be slow at things like this so its possible that some time could be shaved off that I reckon.  Below are the steps that I used to prep the lot, which should give anyone interested an insight into how I approach projects like this, for better or for worse:

Parts were clipped from the frames, mould lines and the like were cleaned off and the loose gravestones were attached to cork tile bases.

Everything was sprayed with matt black acrylic car paint.

Next all of the pieces were lightly sprayed with grey primer spray from above.  I recently read somewhere that the kids call that “zenith highlighting”.  Who knew?  Cat provides cheerleading section.

All of the parts were then given a pretty heavy drybrush of white acrylic.  Note the Deadwood DVDs that were running on the laptop while I worked, helping to keep me in a cowboy frame of mind.

Some areas were tinted with washes of ink and/or thinned paint.  Detailing started in some areas.  Another cat provides aesthetic critique.  Note the DVD rental of Cowboys and Aliens which I had hoped would keep me in a Western frame of mind.   It didnt.  Dont watch it, its depressingly awful.  If I believed in souls then “soulless” would be an apt description.

More detailing. The most significant progress here was on the mausoleum roofs, although various other elements were also layered up.  This was usually done with a single tinted translucent colour so that the black through grey through white beneath showed through.  Painting GW Tin Bitz on the railings was the most tedious part of the whole job.

I am not really a GW basher: I have had plenty of fun with their products over the years even if I dont tend to have a whole lot of interest these days.  But there was a somewhat amusing element to this kit that I thought that I would mention.

GW products get a lot of stick about their propensity to stick skulls and skull motifs on any vaguely flat surface.   A graveyard seems to me to be one of the few places where its possible to get away with that sort of thing, but the GW designers decided to go berserk with skulls on the Morr kit.

Out of (morbid) curiosity I counted the skulls and skull motifs on the set.

A Garden of Morr features:

  • 244 “human” skulls
  • 115 skull motifs
  • Total 359 skulls per kit

I assembled two kits meaning that I quickly painted a staggering 718 skulls.  Hilarious.

A few skulls here and there is fine with me as I am not going for a realistic looking, architectural style piece.  The sort of graveyard that featured in Buffy or Scooby Doo is what I was looking for.  Even so, that really a lot of skulls.

If the vast amounts of head bone on the kit dont bother you then I thoroughly recommend it, its very practical in game terms and it assembles very quickly and easily.  I would not recommend buying the kit with the intention of removing most of the skulls and skull motifs as it would be a huge pain in the arse.  I am sure that some people would do it, but it would feel like a waste of time to me.

Photos of the finished elements of St Craniums Cemetery will be posted up on Wednesday.

%d bloggers like this: