Making a Cemetary – Part 1: Renedra and Grendel Graves.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

Today we have the first proper post on a little scenery project I’ve been planning and slowly working on for some time – a trope-laden fantasy cemetery. Or graveyard for those who prefer that term.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

“Viking” Themed Graves.

Over a year ago, I wrote up a small scenery post around some Uruk-hai ladders and an old metal grave that I’d finally done something with and actually finished. Sometime following that, I also found a literal bundle of additional Uruk-Hai ladders, Anyhow, in the comments, I mused about making some more, since it felt like creating more would be incredibly easy, and so inspired by Alex, IRO and especially D&B, I put together a pair of additional “grave bases”, using some Renedra Gravestones as the base.

That original metal-cast grave that inspired the creation and form of these graves, flanked by Neferata and Bastet.

Of course, the wider graveyard project that these will be part of only exists because of the inspiration provided by Cheetor’s St Cranium’s Cemetary. If not for that post and it’s followup batreps, I’d simply have had the various Grendel resin bits that I’d picked up in the 1990’s and they’d provide some scatter terrain, or be clustered together and that would be that.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

A slightly more fancy grave.

This little experiment worked well. I used PVA initially to glue down the sand, and then a sample of a liquid adhesive created by Kibo called “Area 52” in order to firmly set the sand. I’ve been using it on a lot of my scenic bases lately, and I find it works really nicely when you want to build up impressions using sand while still giving a lot of control. The initial plan was just to create two, but since it was simple and easy enough I decided to put together an additional ten, with a mix of single and double graves, as well as one double-wide.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

“Crusader” Themed Graves.

I’ve kept on with the “dark brown earth” theme that I’ve been using for most of my models since the late 80’s. I originally started with the dark brown because I wanted to figure out a type of base that worked both for normal games of 40k as well as Space Hulk, as the green-based terminators I used back then looked too conspicuous on the SH tiles. I figured that dark brown was kind of non-specific and generic enough to work for scorched earth or muddy ground while being unobtrusive and dark enough to work for Space Hulk.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

“Generic” Graves.

I made a conscious effort with the painted colours on the first two bases to allow them to work reasonably well as generic scenery and also fit in specifically with the Undead Army. I also chose to decorate these bases with both rich green grass and red flowers for the same reasons as well as a wry wink to the soil being rich for growth. The flowers were placed again to be able to be read as placed or wild growth.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

“Fantasy” themed Graves.

I tried to come up with (sort-of) broad themes for them as well. Several of the headstones that feature Christian crosses were decorated with shields painted with Templar symbols (except for the Maltese cross – that bit’s a transfer!) Others are Viking themed, Norman themes and a couple are more explicitly fantasy themed. I figure while I’m sure they’re very much wrong in terms of actual historically accurate viking or templar graves, they would hopefully still look reasonable enough to use in games of Saga/Crescent and Cross/etc if need be. And of course, in fantasy games – anything goes!

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

Norman, is that you?

Gravestones by Grendel. Painted many moons ago.

These small graves have also been shown previously. I’ve since glued some sand down over the dodgily-sculpted “dirt” they originally had, and also added some flowers and grass

Reaper Bones Bat Swarms (with their gravestones).

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

The Cemetery, as laid out for a not-so-recent game.

Renedra Gravestones, Graveyard Scenery, Cemetary

I’ve still got plenty more tombstones to work with, and have a Hirst Arts set or two on “the list” of things to buy. The two Garden of Morr sets I’ve got might finally get built this summer, depending on what else I still need to finish and get out of the way, along with the two Bones III Graveyard Expansion sets I got from Reaper. The graveyard is a fun little project, but definitely a slow burn.

Dark Angels: 1 Section, 4th Squad (Tactical), 2nd Octavius Crusade Company.

Dark Angels Space Marine Tactical Squad

After a bit of a delay (lots of Diablo III recently!) I’ve finally completed the Dark Angels Veteran Sergeant figure, thus completing 1 Section, and therefore 4th Squad. As you can see, I’ve opted for dark green robes with a deep red inner. I never liked it when GW changed that element of their DA scheme from dark green robes to bone coloured ones – so I’m simply ignoring it and painting them my way, but in more of a black-green with a desaturated highlight to help distinguish them visually from the armour.

Dark Angels Space Marine Tactical Squad

He is one hell of a fiddly figure. While the robes are simple enough, he’s just dripping with extra details, sculpted rather finely as well. This is a figure I picked up a few years ago, rather than having purchased at release. His base tab seems to say “GW01” but 2001 seems a bit old for this model, and he’s not in any of the catalogues I can find over at Stuff of Legends until 2010 – though there’s only abiout thee useful catalogues there covering figures in the Noughties. Maybe the sculptor had a dyslexic moment, or perhaps it was sculpted for some time before being released. I don’t recognise the sculptor, either – perhaps Diaz? That’s something you could do with hand-sculpted metal figures, and as much as I enjoy the new digitally-sculpted plastics, it’s a nice little thing to be able to look at a model and recognise who the sculptor was. Something still very possible with smaller companies, of course. EDIT: Thanks to Alex informing me via the comments, the figure is Dark Angels Veteran Sergeant 1, and was released in 2004. That’s a decent amount of time from the date on the Tab to release, but as we know, it happens.

Dark Angels Space Marine Tactical Squad

His offsider here with the plasma gun is a metal torso married to a pair of plastic 3rd edition legs. The torso of course came from the Space Marine Bike Squadron, which appealed to me as a cool looking “plasma gun at rest” – as opposed to the limited MKVII armour options at the time this guy was built (there was not yet a plastic plasma gun in the modern style.) …you kids today, you have it so easy. Everything in plastic. Back in my day we had to walk to school uphill, in the snow, barefoot, backwards

Dark Angels Space Marine Tactical Squad


Two of these three are simply plastic 3rd edition marines (with a few pouches added), while their squadmate is the metal MKVIII model with plastic arms. He’s here essentially because of the Sergeant in MKVIII armour that I used in the other squad. It only took 20+ years for us to get the DeathWatch models in proper, multipart MKVIII armour, but I’m sure a few of those could be built and incorporated easily into regular marine squads. Hm….

Dark Angels Space Marine Tactical Squad

And here’s the back of them.

Dark Angels Space Marine Tactical Squad

And here’s the entire squad, finally complete with both sections fully manned now that I’ve finished their new Sergeant.

WAAAAGH! 40k Ork Slugga Boyz.

Warhammer 40k Ork Slugga Boyz

I actually started these models back in 2005, using a mixture of Fantasy and 40k Brian Nelson Ork components. I was originally making up one of those “Combat Patrol” forces (which is also how the DA and IW started life), though the entire Ork project was derailed hard due to a family tragedy which really hit me very hard. I’ve been eyeing the Orks I’d started back then a bit in recent months to get out and finish, and now I’ve started on them again. It’s been one of the reasons I’ve been getting back into painting the odd fantasy Orc and Goblin this year. Kind of “warming up” my greenskin painting skills. This army is going to be a tribute of sorts, so I want to do it justice.

Warhammer 40k Ork Slugga Boyz

The CP force originally had 2 mobs of 10 (or 12ish?) Boyz. One mob of sluggas and one of shootas, with ‘heavy shootas and rokkits as the support weapons, along with metal Nobz, led by a Warboss and with some grotz and a slaver on the side. While they were all (mostly) built, none were actually completed in terms of paint, so I’m getting onto that now – along with making some additions. I don’t want to get carried away though – if I’m working on too many forces, none will get done to any satisfaction, so the Greenskins will be a nice side, palette-cleanser project for the time being, and I can take a serious look at them when their codex comes out. If I can get them to around PL30+ or so while painting them in this way, then so much the better and they can hit the table before the book comes out.

Warhammer 40k Ork Slugga Boyz

I went with camo (or “kamo”) for their scheme because I enjoy painting it. It’s a lot more work than painting them in more basic browns and greys and blues and reds or whatever, but this way painting them manages to keep me interested. I won’t be doing too much with heavily green-based camo, since their skin is green and I don’t want them to blend into one another. Also, being Orks, I can vary the patterns and colouration as much as I like, since uniform isn’t exactly a strong concept to them.

Warhammer 40k Ork Slugga Boyz

While I guess painting them in camo makes them nominally Blood Axes when it comes to having to choose a Clan for rules purposes, I have to admit I never liked the Ork Clans or many of the background changes when it was introduced during late-RT and early 2e. The whole “fungus men” thing has never sat with me, so I simply ignore that aspect in my own head-canon. (Similar to how I ignore “Mon’Keigh – and may Gav Thorpe forever burn in hell for that one!) Some of the Clans were conceptually okay (Snakebites – the semi-feral Orks, for example) but too many of the examples and paint schemes went way too far down a ridiculous and garish road, reducing Orks to a silly sideshow of the comedy joke army of the 40k universe. I can handle a few jokey things, like squigs and the way gretchin are portrayed (and the Goff Rokk Band), but generally speaking, I like my Orks guttural, angry and brutal, and want to reflect that with my force. Much more original RT-Rulebook (and ironically, 3rd ed Rulebook) than ‘Ere We Go.

Warhammer 40k Ork Slugga Boyz

Anyway, these are the first of what may never be a huge army (horde armies have a LOT of models to paint), but what should be a cool looking, brutal force. 🙂
I’m glad to have these guys back on the painting desk after so long.

Vikings: Book Two so far…

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Michael and Alan Perry Vikings, Citadel F8 Vikings

With so much of my focus lately on getting my various years-old Space Marine forces updated to the point of simply being legal to play with in the new edition of 40k, my Vikings have been… well, not my immediate focus. Much like my Dwarven Slayer project that’s also still very much a thing and something I’d consider active – just briefly paused for a few weeks – or a couple of months (the time, it goes so fast!)

Anyway, here’s a group shot of those “Book Two” models I’ve completed so far. Hopefully it won’t be long until the final five join them!

Minotaurs Space Marines – IX Squad: Devastator (2 Section)

Taking a brief diversion from Dark Angels (still need to finish their Tac Sergeant – hopefully later today!) – but instead I have the Bolter half of a Devastator Squad for the Minotaurs. Once again, with luck I’ll finish the heavy half of the squad later today, but with poor weather for spraying in general, work tomorrow and so forth, it’ll likely be a few days at best until I can get them photographed and posted up.

Minotaurs Space Marines - IX Squad

As with a lot of my Minotaurs, I’ve added in a few third party components here, which today are all from Anvil Industry, who are one of my favourite suppliers of unofficial bitz. Two of the marines have scopes added to their bolters while once again I’ve sprinkled in a couple of Anvil’s “Spartan” helmets. The tabard is also from Anvil, though they’re currently OOP for some reason.

The other additional parts are of course Forge World’s Minotaurs shoulder pads that look pretty impressive as always. My only gripe with them is that some of them seem completely inappropriate for the left shoulder pad. I did finally come up with a solution for that, which I’ll post up a bit later on.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this short update, and hopefully I’ll have more from both the Dark Angels and the Minotaurs ready to show and ready to go very soon!

Dark Angels Librarian Gadreel, 2nd Octavius Crusade Company.

Dark Angels Librarian, Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40k

Today’s model is another Dark Angel. One that is – once again – a long, long time in the making. The model itself is one of the original Space Marine Librarians from 1990-1 – right around the time of the “Death Eagle Marine” variants, and like those figures, sculpted by Mark Copplestone. This particular fellow is imaginatively titled “Librarian with 2-handed Force Sword”. As you can see, he’s had a late-Rogue-Trader-era/2e Metal Jump Pack strapped (pinned!) to his back, allowing him to get stuck right into his foes.

Dark Angels Librarian, Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40k

Again mirroring the Death Eagle Marines, his helmet is a proto-MKVII helm underneath the psychic hood.

Dark Angels Librarian, Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40k

The trim comes from an old Epic transfer sheet, though he took a shelf dive at some stage and so one corner had to be repaired with paint. In the original small, DA force that I built in the past his job was (obviously) to join the Assault Squad and give them a more hefty punch in close combat. The transfers on his jump pack symbolise his twin allegiances to both the Dark Angels Chapter as well as the Inner Circle/Deathwing.

Dark Angels Librarian, Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40k

After sitting about 3/4 complete for a good decade or so, he’s now finally complete and likely to purge the Emperor’s enemies while hunting the Fallen.

Dark Angels Librarian, Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40k, Assault Squad

I mentioned earlier the plan of running him alongside the Assault Squad, so I snapped a shot of them together. They’ll be coming to the table soon!

Dark Angels: 2 Section, 4th Squad (Tactical), 2nd Octavius Crusade Company.

Recently over a couple of posts I shared the 3rd Squad (Tactical) of what I am calling the 2nd Octavius Crusade Company – which is my Dark Angels army that I am rebuilding for the latest edition of Warhammer 40k. Today I’m sharing 2 Section of the 4th Squad (Tactical). The (Veteran) Sergeant of 1 Section is still a WIP on my desk – once completed, I’ll also post up 1 Section and the whole-squad pic.

The Corporal of this squad was originally a regular Sergeant. Back at the time I first started building these models, one would pay extra for a Veteran Sergeant who had an extra attack and was able to take additional wargear. In the current rules, Marine Squads just come with what would once have been called a Vet Sgt as standard, so I’m re-designating my non-Vet Sgt to a Corporal who will act as a section leader, and have also built a pair of Corporals for 3rd (already seen) and 7th (coming soon) Squads. When built, I gave him an Auspex scanner, which was purely decorative for awhile, then had rules, and now is back to being decorative. Shrug. I did bother to give it some detail, though.

The heavy weapon of 2 Section is a Missile Launcher, once again it comes from the 1993 Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition starter box set.

The other troopers in this section are all 2nd Edition Marines armed with 3rd edition Bolters and 3rd edition …arms. Two of the three were painted in my recent push to get this squad up to 10 men.

Finally, the section image. I’ve spent all day working on the sergeant to complete the other section and therefore the entire squad. One of the most fiddly figures I’ve painted in a long time, but I’ll complain about him more when I’m showing it – hopefully in a week or so since it’ll be dependant on the weather being nice enough for another coat of spray varnish and then having time to cure – and then the basing, and then the photography…