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.

Small Scenics: Armorcast High-Tech Walls 1, 2 & 3 for Necromunda/Shadow War/40k

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Last week I shared some photos of Armorcast’s “Short” Sci-Fi Walls that I picked up during the ’90s. This time it’s the “High Tech Walls” from the same era. Back in the day they had three sets, all of which I picked up, and even got them painted! You might have spotted them in the background of the previous two “Army so far” posts.

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Once again, these were painted in a quick and dirty manner back in the day, and could probably use a bit of a touch-up today using some of my more modern techniques and materials. Some more detailing, a bit of a wash, edge highlight, some powders, etc. Tone down the coloured metallics a little and make a few more bits pop a little more.

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Obviously, these are perfect for games like Necromunda, Shadow War Armageddon (aka Necromunda V2) and of course – 40k. As well as many other sci-fi and post-apoc games. Given their low-end-high-tech look, they wouldn’t look out of place for DUST, Konflikt ’47 or This Is Not A Test/Fallout.

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

Armorcast High-Tech Walls

I think the random transfers I used throughout these sets of walls also improves their look a fair bit over the simple paint I applied. While these are no showcase models, either in terms of their sculpts or my rather basic paintjob of the 1990’s, even like this they look good on the table, particularly when paired with other complimentary scenery pieces. Perhaps I’ll buy some more?
Armorcast High-Tech Walls, Short Sci-fi Walls

Oh, and here’s a scale shot of these walls along with the Short Sci-Fi walls.

Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Dirty Roads Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

Here’s the last of the first batch of my gaming mat reviews of Urbanmatz‘ products from the Czech Republic. The Dirty Roads 6’x4′.

I’ve got a bunch of Deep Cut Studios and Gamemat.eu products that I’ve also purchased that I will be photographing and writing reviews for shortly as well. But today we’re looking at the Dirty Roads.

Oldhammer Zoat

Often when I buy something from a company, there’s a “key” item that acts as an anchor for other stuff you then add-on. In the case of my Urbanmatz order, it was this mat. After seeing several photographs of it online, I was sold. The overall colours and theme matches my bases once again, as the Urbanmatz Badlands mat did.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

As with the other mats I’ve gotten from Urbanmatz, the design is printed onto neoprene (mouse pad material) and is once again quite nice. This time, the game I’m using to showcase the mat is an Age of Sigmar clash between Dwarves and Ogres, set in an unnamed Old World city (because I can use the ruleset without the background!) We were trying out the rules, so it’s an actual game rather than a mockup.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

We made a bunch of mistakes, mostly due to not quite understanding all of the nuances and not reading warscrolls properly. I’ll put a lot of that down to the rules. Well, not the actual rules, but man-idiot Kirby’s insistence to the designers that everything fit on four pages in total. I’m all for streamlined rulesets, but 4 pages is a bit much (or not enough!) I’m looking forward to trying out 40k 8th with 12 pages of core rules.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

One thing that can’t be argued is that we had a good looking game of toy soldiers. While I consider the quality of my models and terrain to be pretty solid, quite honestly the mat really does add to it. And no, I’m not paid to say this and didn’t get a discount – if I were offered one I’d certainly  accept it – as I accepted the stained Snow Territory 6’x4′ mat, but I’d also state it upfront in my reviews, as I did there.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

I didn’t set up a full 40k mock battle, nor any historical skirmish games because it literally takes hours to get out all of the stuff, set it up, photograph it and take it away for photos, but the actual AoS game being played on it shows it’s versatilty pretty well, along with those scale shots. I think this mat works very well for a variety of genres and a variety of scales. I could easily use this mat for 40k and it’s derivatives, Fantasy Battles/9th Age/Kings of War with fewer buildings, Age of Sigmar and other more densely built up fantasy skirmish like Mordheim and Frostgrave (if you play outside of the snow!) or Malifaux (in a sectioned-off area, or the smaller versions). It also works across period and scale quite nicely, as demonstrated by the below set of photos, so 20mm games such as Flames of War/Team Yankee/Crossfire will work as well as Bolt Action or SAGA with Romans or SAGA with Crusaders.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Based on its similarity with the “Badlands” design and colouration for the non-road sections, I’ve also found that it works both with “forest” and “jungle” foliage when I was playing around with my scenery, so once again that’s a positive.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Once again, the mat came in it’s own, labelled bag at no additional cost, which is good. Until this one, I really liked these bags. Unfortunately, the zipper turned out to be faulty on me as I was putting the mat away after reviewing it. I’ve got it back in awkwardly by not drawing the zip to the end, which is awkward. Since this was only the third or forth time I’d had the thing out of its bag, I found this really disappointing. I’ll let them know about it, and update with their response.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Verdict: I’ve said this before, but this mat is very much what I wanted it to be. As I’ve mentioned, it was the “key” design that motivated me to buy this batch of mats from Urbanmatz, and I’m very happy with the final product, as I was with their service. I’m considering buying another batch of mats in the near future (another 4 or so). I figure that while I’ll have spent a fair bit on game mats in 2017, I’ll then be set for the rest of my life, assuming that the neoprene lasts!

Small Scenics: Armorcast Short High-Tech Walls 4″ and 6″ for Necromunda/Shadow War/40k

Armorcast Short Sci-Fi Walls

Another couple pieces of simple sci-fi terrain today, again dating from the 1990’s. These are Armorcast’s “Short” Sci-Fi Walls. Fairly simple casts, and rather simply painted by my good self back in the ’90s. These were a matter of spray black, drybrush gunmetal/chainmail/etc, and then pick out some parts using copper and brass before finally adding some burnt metal around the blast holes and a few decals for interest.

Armorcast Short Sci-Fi Walls

They look a little plain to me today. If anything, I think they could do with a wash of Army Painter Dark Tone (Black) to emphasise the panel lines and rivets followed by a bit of a detail pick-type drybrush of a brighter steel. Then a bit of either oil wash or rust. I might mentally file that as something to get done once the weather warms up again in November/December as it’s a horrible time of year for working on scenery right now. Then I can show these again!

Armorcast Short Sci-Fi Walls

Despite their simplicity and their age, I think these are still pretty nice pieces. Both the 4″ and 6″ versions are still available from Armorcast, and for a pretty reasonable price. If not for the current cost of shipping from the U.S., I’d probably drop a couple of hundred on some more of these and some of their other good looking stuff. There’s a July coupon with 10% off and free shipping over $200, and apparently it works for people outside the U.S….

Armorcast Short Sci-Fi Walls

As always, I’m not receiving anything for pimping their stuff, I paid full retail for these (in the 1990’s) and my opinions are my own – though after publishing this post I will be bringing it to Armourcast/Ginfritter’s attention, which is something I usually do after reviewing or sharing more obscure items, because why the hell not?

 

Sci-Fi Quonset-style Bunker for Necromunda/Shadow War/40k

Today I have a blast from the past. A quonset-style sci-fi bunker that dates from the 1990’s. I assume that it originated from either Amorcast or Epicast, though I can’t find it in Armorcast’s current online catalogue and it’s not made from the weird, expanded foam-like material that a bunch of my other Epicast buildings are made from, so…. dunno? I know if I could find it available again, I might be tempted to pick another one or two up.

With the recent release of Shadow War: Armageddon (aka Necromunda: Redux), my copy of the hardcover finally winging it’s way over to me, and the impending release of 40k 8th Edition, I thought it appropriate to share some of my older scenery pieces that perfectly fit both games.

I actually painted this thing back in the day when I got it, which means it’s also been used in any number of games through the years. I picked it up and painted it during the days of Necromunda, which explains the blue-grey of the base, and the hazard stripes around the door. Which to be fair, does look like it’d cut you in half pretty easily. At least it’s got some warning lights!

The rear view shows the sloppiness of what was considered good enough by many terrain makers of the day, especially for larger pieces like this. Not to mention my own indifference to filling small bubble holes. It looks like a Tamiya product lid of some description was added in by the original “sculptor” for some detail.

A Minotaur Space Marine provides us with scale for the terrain piece. Looks like it’d be a little crowded in there. Perfectly in keeping with Warhammer 40,000, then!

Small Scenics: 77136: Well of Chaos (Reaper Bones)

Another quick and easy post today – On a little bit of scenery from Reaper Bones’ 1st Kickstarter. It’s a nice enough piece, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi, though I think the name “Well of Chaos” is a little overblown for what it actually is.

It’s a little bigger than your standard 28mm figure (sorry, I forgot to get a scale shot!) I decided to KISS and keep the scheme nice and simple. Grey stone with a touch of dirtiness to it. Faded, aged bronze for the accoutrements, and a few layers of Vallejo’s Realistic Water for the, well, well water. The water looks a little weaksauce in these photos, but it looks fine in hand. I wanted to keep it to just clear water rather than getting funky by making it red or green or whatever.

I’ve probably got a few more random-ish bits of scatter terrain around from Bones 1 where I went all-in. I know they did some more in Bones 2 and 3, though I was much more conservative in my pledges for both of those. In a year or so, I’ll have a ton more of this sort of thing from the recent Mantic Terrain Crate Kickstarter, which I backed despite my misgivings around Mantic these days. I backed it with the knowledge that it’ll probably be 6 months to a year late, shipped in unintentional waves, and also mismanaged in some hilariously clownshoes manner. So forewarned is forearmed, I guess? As for this thing, it’s a decent piece of dungeon furniture, costs like three bucks, and does what it says on the tin. Can’t go wrong!

Small Scenics – Altar Bases/Shattered Monuments

Another couple of small scenic bits given to me some time ago that I have no idea of the origin of – these two resin pieces seem to be part of the same series, as they’re almost inverse of one another. Given their 60mm diameter, they’re pretty clearly meant to be scenic bases, but I felt that they’d work well enough – circular nature and all – as small bits of scatter terrain. Specifically, shattered burial monuments. I’ve been (very slowly) working on a graveyard/cemetary project for some time, inspired by Cheetor’s St Cranium’s Cemetary and based around several pieces, such as the old Unknown Grave I posted on awhile ago, the rather excellent Citadel Garden of Morr kit (now re-released with 2x sprues as the Sigmarite Mausoleum – it’s great, go buy one!) a couple of cool Scotia Grendel pieces and the Renedra Gravestones kit. So rather than using either of these as actual bases, they got roped into being part of the cemetery. Actually, the Bones Fountain would fit in perfectly there, too!

Painted in greys, with some brown and black washes and finished with weathering powders. A small amount of trim on each was painted as faded, aged brass rather than carved stone, simply to get a small additional spot of colour variation on them.

Not a lot else to say, really. Taken on their own they’re nothing especially exciting, but they’ll add nicely to the overall effect of the Cemetery when it’s laid out on the table.

If I had the time to stretch creatively with The Chapel Project over at Heresy of Us, these would very much be included in my output, so you can consider them that in spirit at least…