Grave mistakes

Here’s the second diorama I’ve made. Inspired by my first real mistake in Dark Souls. I spent more time than i’d like to admit running into the graveyard and getting destroyed by skeletons until i realized there was another way to go. The armor on the knight is roughly inspired by the hunter starting armor.

I worked on this on and off for a couple of weeks, a few hours a night. Made some mistakes, learned that I should probably plan a little bit before I start gluing things in place, and had some fun learning to paint skeletons. 

The nice thing about the skeletons (Reaper Bones resin figures) is that they’re soft plastic; so with a knife and a little patience you can cut these guys to bits and reposition them into different poses. 

To make the landscape of the diorama I just used some blue insulation foam and dollar store foam board to get the general shape.

Used more foam for the grave stones, and some wire to make the tree.

I covered the tree and the landscape in a thin layer of air dry clay and painted it all up

I wanted the feeling of a cramped graveyard like in Dark Souls. In the end it looked a bit too cramped maybe, but I’m satisfied with everything overall.

Hope you enjoyed checking this out

5 thoughts on “Grave mistakes

  1. Not entirely sure how that one got past my attention (maybe you published it before I discovered your blog). In any case, that is a great scene and I recall how often I died to these damned skeletons in the game. I got better and advanced in level, so it worked out in the end, but the diorama catches the atmosphere and feeling of dread very well.

    The groundwork looks very naturalistic and I think you achieved a nice toned down appearance: No static grass glare, no brightly colour tufts.

    The idea to have a more haphazard arrangement of gravestones is something I wanted to try myself on a Necromancer base and I will use this as an inspiration. There is a good variety of headstone shapes and I think the detailing on them conveys the idea of writing and decorations well.

    The tree looks good as it is, with nice naturalistic ramifications.

    I also like the new skeleton poses you came up with. Generally speaking I don’t like the Reaper Skellies much, but until Warlord Games releases the Wargames Factory Skellies again I think we are out of luck to find cheap plastic skellies :).

    Here, too, some suggestions:

    – I would add some moss or lichen (there is a Vallejo effect paint for this) to the stones.
    – Add some fallen leaves to the grass to add interest.
    – The writing and decorative elements can be sculpted into Greenstuff to achieve a higher degree of detail. However, in that case I would make a press mold and duplicate a selection of gravestones. I work on something like this right now.
    – The tree would be even more impressive if you add a bark texture and cover up some of the wire showing through on the finer branches.
    – A carrion crow on the tree would add a nice final touch.


    1. All very good points. I definitely could have weathered things more. And for the tree I think I need to invest in some sort of putty or something to coat the tree and help get more texture. For this one I made the wire shape and covered it in milliput which was an insanely tedious process and didn’t let me do much more than smooth it down while trying to make it stick. So yeah I think I’ll try something different for my next tree to make it look more… barky.
      And skeletons: yes. A million times yes. I have seen several people using wargames factory skeletons and they look absolutely perfect. For the life of me I cannot seem to find anything better. I just want plain ol’ skeletons. Mantic has some beautiful sculpts but they’ve got a bit too much armor for my liking. One day, hopefully, they’ll start making those again and I’ll get my chance to pick some up. I love skeletons :p

      Thanks again for your input, it’s been great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In which country are you based? I could have a look if I can spare some skellies (or at least some parts). Maybe you have some bits (heads etc.) and we can make a trade.


      2. I am, but I’ll be in Germany very soon for the rest of the year. I’d say a small envelope should not be too expensive. Drop me a mail via my contact form and we can sort something out.


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