Hobby Tutorial : Painting Graveyards and Churches

Happy New Year readers!

Neil of Orange here with some hobby hints and tips.  I received some nice scenery from Santa this year and have been working away on some of it in the last week or so.  I’ve been slowly adding to my collection for a few years now and a theme I keep coming back to is the graveyard.  I have an 28mm undead army that has long been a favourite of mine and I’ve also found skirmish games like Malifaux work really well over a nicely scattered scenic set up so I was keen to add more to this collection, and keep the same sort of colour palette to link everything.  Linking in this way by colour is a trick I am using more and more as collect ever more varied figures and the same is true for scenery.  Not everything is festooned in skulls and eagles (unless its GW) so styles vary.


First up is a selection of resin pieces from Ainsty Castings – from their cemetery plot range.


I was keen to add some variety to my graveyard – I still have loads of basic gravestones to do anyway, so these memorials were very different.

This large memorial was of a similar size to the GW Garden of Morr Statue I have so it seemed a good fit.


Finally for today’s tutorial, here’s a Renedra Church – all plastic and very easy to build.  This kit also comes with picket fencing and a couple of gravestones I haven’t built yet, great value.


Having assembled all the pieces for my project, I was able to measure out some bases for each piece.  I’ve used mounting card (I’ve got a pile lying around) but any firm material will do.


Everything is PVA’d in place before any painting starts.  I’ve lost the photo where I added sand to the bases, but I did this before undercoating.  PVA on the cardboard then dunk the model in sand.  Once this was dry, a watered down coating of PVA was added to the top of the sand to seal it.


Next, undercoat.  I’ve used army painter black here.  I didn’t get 100% coverage, so I used watered down black to ensure I had a nice finish in the places that needed it before moving on.  The key point of undercoat really is giving something for the rest of the paint to stick to rather than it being necessarily the base colour.


Once this was all dry is was time to get stoned.  I’m using GW’s Mechanicus Standard Grey (watered down 33-50%) as its close to the grey I used on my previous graveyard pieces and commonly available if I want to do more scenery in future.  As well as all of the cemetery stone, I’ve chosen to do the church roof this colour as well.  On my Garden of Morr, I did the (few that there were) slate roofs a blue-grey, however most of the pieces have this more standard grey on them so I wanted a stronger link than to just a few of the garden pieces.


Next a generous coating of GW’s Nuln oil wash is applied.  You don’t need to be too careful here, however its best to avoid pooling – especially on the roof as the wash will flow down thanks to gravity and the bottom tiles may get swamped, so remove the excess with a dry brush (ideally onto another model or back into the pot);


Next is dry brushing.  You can do this in as many stages as you have patience for.  I actually did a generous coat of Mechanicus again before moving to GW’s Dawnstone largely on the edges.


I actually went one further stage in a few places here using GW’s Celestra grey as a very careful dry brushed highlight.  I also started work on the bases.  The brown (watered down 33-50% again) is GW’s Mournfang brown, apparently the replacement for Bestial brown. Its actually a big brighter than the original shade but I’ve been using it on many figs now so I’m sort of stuck with it.


Next the church wooden panels needed doing.  I’ve used Karak Stone (undiluted) and plastered it on liberally.


Next is Agrax Earthshade as a wash.  This needed a bit of care as at the same time as wanting a good coating, the pooling will show up really badly if you don’t watch for it on this light colour.  Much as with the Nuln oil then you need to watch for the wash dripping down the walls and remove the excess with a brush.  I found I had to keep on eye on it a few times, the wooden panel details soak up a lot of wash and then slowly drip it downwards.


Once the wash was dry it was drybrush again with more Karak Stone.  I really like the effect this has given overall and I think its better than starting with a darker colour in this case (quicker too I imagine).


GW’s Steel Legion Drab was used for the various wooden beams and planks that are exposed on the church.  By this point I am finally using a medium (1) brush, till now I was using a 3!


Once this is dry, again our Agrax wash is used.  Once more pooling needs to be watched for.


So here’s the final finished church.  The door handles had some boltgun metal added and the bell painted brass.

The brown base was dry brush highlighted with GW’s Averland Sunset.  After that I added some flock here and there to match the mossy look my graveyard and undead army has on the bases.IMG_2063



Here’s the various memorials – I think they came out really well.  Some of them have interesting little plaques on them – not sure if you can make them out on this however!

IMG_2068Finally then a bit of a scene shot, my new church and memorials with my older gravestones and Garden of Morr pieces.  Its starting to look pretty good I think.

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