A Tale of Heresy Gamers. Part 2: Best laid plans.

What is the Tale of Heresy Gamers challenge?

This is the Warlord’s journey. The path of power, or of ruin. We’ll be charting army selection, choice of units, painting woes and victories! We’ll be capturing every triumph and misfortune of coming to grips with a new system and a new force. This will be a series about the collecting of a new army. It will focus on the collecting and painting side of things, but we hope to bring you some insight into how the collection plays on the tabletop. Charting the development of an army from conception to finish is one of my fetishes, and I get to indulge in it with all my friends.

We’ve decided on collecting toward 2.5K – a good round number for Heresy armies – but this is a loose target. Some of our Warlords may be adding to an existing collection, some will be starting from scratch. There is no wrong way to collect an army, and no right way to approach the TALE OF HERESY GAMERS. We hope that you will find something of yourself reflected in the words of our Champions.

This is month 2 of the challenge – lets see how our warlords did shall we?


Myles David – Traitor Sons of Horus.

Lil’Legend Studio

I’ve had a baby. 

Well, my wife has had the baby, but I’m having to tidy, pick stuff up, do bottles; keep a tiny sack of baby alive until it is independent enough to tell me to F*ck off. 

Physical hobby has been thin on the ground, but I have toe dipped in a vital, yet oft-overlooked portion of army painting – the planning stage. Creating a robust design brief at the start of the project can really help iron out any problem that may arise later on. It keeps focus and maintains inspiration in the dark hours of the soul when that new model/ race comes about and spins your head. 

I’ve been drawing inspiration from the classics: Visions of Heresy and the 2nd edition Chaos Space Marine codex. There’s a wonderful 2 page spread in the 2nd ed Codex that gives notes on how to customise your Chaos Space Marines. Fur pelts, goblin heads attached to shoulder pads and Chaos Warrior helmets give a distinctive visual look to the force. And it’s led me onto thinking about what troupes I can use army-wide – the fetishes, symbols and hidden layer of authority that exists underneath the strata of the Legion. 

Bu in between the baby stuff I’ve snatched half an hour here and there to add micro-abrasions to my Praetor. Arduous work, but well worth it. Until next month!

Sumeet – Traitor Night Lords.

The Legiones Astartes

This is do over month for me. Between 2 Indian weddings and a heat wave, it’s left precious little time to hobby. I need to create these monsters under the cover of night, not in blazing sunshine. NEXT MONTH!

Craig V. – Traitor Emperor’s Children

Death and Betrayal Podcast

This has been one of the most difficult paint schemes I have tried to perfect in a long time. My goal was to move out of my comfort zone and try new techniques. This proved very difficult as the models were not turning out the way expected. I started using Turbo Dork People Eater metallic purple, as I loved the look of the color, but after MANY test models I could not achieve the look, I was going for. This proved frustrating at the best of times. I spent many hours researching different ways others had painted their EC. Speaking with my Co-Host Alex several times on the matter and began to doubt my choice to do the third legion.

We nailed it, the formula was found and rolled out. I went on to start my Praetor, Joseph Chevalier de Chemos, which became its own ordeal. I used Saul Travitz model as a base for the model and used the large sword from the new sword Praetor from the starter box. Finding A Saul Tarvitz model had me jumping through hoops, as he was sold out on the Forge World website, luckily, I was able to source one from a gentleman in my local community and got to work immediately.

With my paint scheme finally figured out, a list and theme for my army, the arduous work begins. Building and painting an entire army. I am excited for what lays a head for me, as I am not on this journey alone. I have my friend and co-host Alex, along with all the wonderful guys who have joined the Tale of Heresy Gamers. Also I have you the readers and anyone who listens to Alex and my podcast. The excitement for this new Legion is palpable for me.


David Taylor – Traitor Death Guard


1st month has come to a close on the taleofheresy gamers. Progress has been slow but I was able to finish my test marine for the Death Guard. I ended up keeping the mini relatively clean.  My original recipe was very sloppy and I used to just slap on an oil wash, and not bother with any clean up. This time I want to be more specific with the placement of oils and battle damage etc, to give a more refined finish which I like, but I think I will push this more going forward. 

Overall Im happy with the piece its not exactly like I envisioned when I set out wanting a more Nurgle touched scheme. But I think I’ve changed my mind on that and the force will be set on Isstvan 5 which ties in more the event that is planned for next year. 

Along with painting the test mini I’ve gathered parts for a terminator and veteran squad, as well as assembling a Dreadnought. I want to have these painted up for next month, so I’ll have more to show then. 

Chris Schou – Traitor Sons of Horus


I haven’t actually finished any models yet or done a test piece, since I’m just expanding on my current legion I didn’t feel it was necessary. But I have been busy assembling and slightly converting 30 Tactical Marines, 5 Recon Marines, a Dreadnought and a Praetor/Centurion so it’s not like I’ve been sleeping in class.

I’ve converted/modified all my MKVI marines quite a bit as you can see, into some sort of MKV amalgamation and I think it has been quite the success. You might also be able to spot the odd skull, chain or mirror/lodge coins on most of the marines. In the new Liber books there are a small section for each legion about how they would “bling” out their armour and this is such a fun and relatively easy thing to do for most Legions that I’d highly recommend anyone to give it a go. 

At my old age i’ve gotten a bit bored with building stuff straight out the box, why spend hours trimming mould lines and assembling miniatures just to end up with what everyone else has? When you can just spend a few extra minutes* on each model to make yours special, more unique. On these I’ve kept if fairly simple, basically just a head, backpack and shoulder replacement with some 3d printed parts my mate printed up for me. Now I understand not everyone have access to a printer or someone to hook you up with sweet sweet printed resin, but just having a rummage through your bits box to spice your models up can make a huge difference.

I dislike the design of the new Praetors immensely, so I gave one away to a friend and tried to do a more thorough conversion on the remaining one, which required a bit more patience and time, I think it worked out okay, it isn’t perfect, but definitely more to my own taste.

I’ve managed to get the base colours down on roughly half of the project and I still got a lot of Tactical Marines to paint green. Hopefully I’ll have this done before the week is over (if I don’t die from heatstroke).

So wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll have more to show next month!

Until then follow the hashtag #taleofheresygamers on Instagram to keep up to date

* in some cases many hours.

Keith Hixson – Traitor Night Lords

Loyalists are Boring

In my professional life; I work in maintenance at a chemical manufacturing plant. Our operation is 24/7; smart maintenance is paramount to the safe and reliable operation of the plant.

To a casual observer wandering through the plant. It might look like a dump. A lot of equipment appears to be dirty, rusty, ugly, and in poor shape. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. That rusty hunk of junk likely has a series of carefully crafted inspections, testing procedures, and preventative maintenance tasks associated with it. Reliability is king, appearances are secondary. This is how I think about my Night Lord legion vehicles; Like this Night Lords Legion Kratos Heavt Assault Tank

The tank is banged up, the tracks are filthy, its streaked with rust, and the base ceramite can be seen where the paint has worn away around the edges. Ultimately these are all superficial issues and do not impact the reliability of the tank. Why would the legion spend time painting a tank that still works? A lot of the traitor legions are portrayed as insane murderous idiots, which is true for a lot of them, but I like to think of them (atleast my Night Lords) as still having a pragmatic, well functioning military apparatuses at their core. Yeah sure; Shraal and the boys have been skinning the starboard gunnery crew’s faces off for the last couple of days, but damnit their gear is well maintained.

This philosophy doesn’t just justify my weathering, its also justifies not having more weathering. It’s really easy to go overboard with oil streaking or pigments. My goal is a restrained, realistic application of the techniques. I think I hit that mark pretty well with this one. Overall this was a joy to paint and has ended up being one of my favorite models to date.


Alex – Loyalist Blood Angels

Crescent Edge Studio – The Death and Betrayal Podcast

Now that my box set is in hand I couldn’t wait to get the concept of Kaspar Roist and the Stand of the Swiss Guard underway. While I mulled over the concept of how I wanted to visually tell the story on the tabletop, I got started with the backbone of any good Legion – the tactical squad:

You’ll notice I’m making a few changes from the stock standard loadout of Mark 6 armour – most noticeably – a change in heads. As the Blood Angels heads are no doubt coming, I’ve often looked at this piece of art from Visions of Heresy and noticed an opportunity I just couldn’t forgo:

The “blankness” of these heads leaves a sense of disconnection and sinister aggression that I think fits so well with the Blood Angels and contrasts the regal filigree and gold trim so often modeled. This leads to a stark juxtaposition of something revered as “angelic” both in their Primarch and in their future incarnations that I just vibe with. Now, obviously, for financial sake, I can’t exclusively use these helmets, especially when 10 heads come per upgrade kit, and I saw here an opportunity for individualism among my legion. Cracking open my bits, I saw that Mark 3 pistols, Primaris Pistols, and Mark 4 pistols all gave small degrees of Legionary Preference with little effort – further capitalized on by the mixing of chain and standard bayonets based on the regality or aggressiveness of the faceplate on any given marine.

And while the inclusion of Conversion World weapons and Unreal Wargaming Studios bases really give a differentiating flare, the last point of pride for this squad is a model I knew I had to make the moment I sat, expanding with excitement, during the trailer reveal at Adepticon:

The amount of work I’ve been passionately and painstakingly forging into each miniature has slowed my painting progress understandably but, just like in golf, you need a couple practice swings. Finally getting to experiment with the Artist Series from Scale 75 I’m really digging the luminous and rich colours I’m planning on laying down en masse. With that, I’ll leave you until next time when we’ll dig into a couple of the Elite units I’m working to include in the force.

James Wright – Loyalist Salamanders

Wright’s Adventure Guild

I’ve been working hard through the extreme heat we’ve been having to really get a good start on this force. You’d think this would be the perfect weather for Salamanders but sadly it has lead to a lot of airbrush clogging and having to abandon my sessions a bit early. Felt like I was working on Nocturne itself.

My main aim so far is to complete a test piece to help me really get a feel for how I’m going to put everything together both in terms of style and technical detail. I started by creating a rich vibrant and fully tonal green that was pleasing to the eyes and would stand out both on individual models and at a distance on the table. I started from a flat green and pushed up through 3 airbrush and 2 brush stage highlights concentrating on getting a smooth transition to make them as striking as possible!

Most importantly with this project, I wanted to capture the heroic nature and creative personality of the XVII. They need to look regal and proud but without the frill and extravagance of some of the other Legions ( I’m looking at you Emperor’s Children)

Because of the small-sized army, each model is getting VIP treatment. I decided this was the time to really practice and hone my sculpting skills as I’m not going to improve unless I actually commit and get out of my comfort zone. So on each model I have used green stuff to place individual scales on tabards and cloaks, adding interest, and complexity and tying together the overall look. In addition, I have also sculpted an extra layer of scales on each of the power fists. It took me a lot longer than I expected (surprise surprise) however I hope you all can agree that it was worth it in the end. I just need to decide on basing I’m thinking the black sands of Istvaan V what do you all think?

‘Vulcan Lives’ – Artellus Numeon

Here is a first look at the details of the army I’m planning on tabling:

The Promethean Cult
1st Company of the Salamanders Legion. The Fire Drakes

Praetor in Cataphractii Terminator Armour: Rite of War (Pride of the Legion); thunder hammer; master-crafted weapon; dragonscale storm shield 200

Herald in Cataphractii Terminator Armour: thunder hammer; master-crafted weapon; dragonscale storm shield 140

Primus Medicae in Cataphractii Terminator Armour: thunder hammer; master-crafted weapon; dragonscale storm shield 165

Flames of War
6 Cataphractii Terminators: Cataphractii Sergeant (thunder hammer; master-crafted weapon); 5 Cataphractii Terminators; heavy flamer (dragon breath’s); 4 × dragonscale storm shield; 5 × power fist 325
• Land Raider Proteus: hull-mounted twin-linked heavy flamer (dragon breath’s) 205

Shields of war
5 Cataphractii Terminators: Cataphractii Sergeant (thunder hammer; master-crafted weapon); 4 Cataphractii Terminators; heavy flamer; 3 × dragon-scale storm shield 4 × power fist 275
• Land Raider Proteus: hull-mounted twin-linked heavy flamer (dragon breath’s) 205

The Pyre Guard
6 Firedrake Terminators: Firedrake Master (Dragonscale storm shield; thunder hammer; master-crafted weapon); 5 Firedrake Terminators; 5 × Dragonscale storm shield; 5 × thunder hammer 390
• Land Raider Spartan: hull-mounted twin-linked heavy flamer; flare shield 400

Contemptor Dreadnought: gravis lascannon; gravis power fist (Dragon’s Breath heavy flamer) 200

2,500 points

Rob. Dark Angels. Loyal(ish).

Edge of Empire Podcast.

First Job was to write a list based on the box contents, I’d had plans to theme a list around an option that hasn’t made it into the new edition so there were some pretty major changes to be made there. Luckily I’m a sucker for Seekers too so it wasn’t too stressful a change.

I’ve stuck to the box contents because I wanted to showcase one possible way of using the box & a few model choices to leapfrog up to a 3000 point army. 3000 point lists are a staple of the show on Edge of Empire where we have our regular list challenge section where we attempt to write an army to a brief set each month & assess it on battlefield effectiveness, fun to play with and against, and finally cost.

With those criteria in mind I set about how best to use the absolute mountain of sprues in the box. And here’s what I came up with.

3000 Points Dark Angels Serpents Bane R.o.W HQ

Cataphracti Praetor 135 (Warlord) Paragon Blade 30
Combi Disintigrator 10
Grenade Harness

Firewing 180

Corswain 200


Seekers x 10 165 (Firewing) Combi Melta x 10 100 Artificer Armour 10

Seekers x 10 165 (Firewing) Chain Bayonets x 10 20 Melta Bombs 50
Artificer Armour 10


Land Raider Proteus 220
Front mounted Twin Linked Lascannon 15 235

Seekers x 10 165 (Firewing) Combi Plasma x 10 100 Artificer Armour 10

(Forgeworld Model £31 with Combi Weapon from Forgeworld upgrade kit and Sword from Conversion World)

(Converted from Power Axe Praetor with sword from Conversion World)

(Converted Mk6, Anvil Industry Hands with Forgeworld Combi Weapons

(Converted Mk6, Anvil Industry Hands and silencers on converted Forgeworld Combi Weapons)

(Unknown, Hopefully Plastic)

(Converted Mk6 Anvil Industry Hands with Forgeworld Combi Weapons)

Tactical Support Squad x 10 145 (Dreadwing) 10 x Rotor Cannons 50
Augury Scanner 10
Artificer Armour



Contemptor Dreadnought 175 Twin linked lascannon 20 Meltagun 15

Cataphracti Terminators x 10 325 (Firewing) Chain fist x 5 75
Autocannon x 2 30
Combi Melta 10

Combi Plasma 10 Grenade Harness 5 500

Heavy Support

Legion Land Raider Spartan 350
Hull mounted (Front) twin linked lascannon 25 Flare Shield 50

Sicaran Arcus 215 Sponson Lascannons 10 Skyspear Warheads 15 240

3000 points.

(Mk6 from the box + plastics)

(Plastic from the box)

(Converted plastic with Forgeworld upgrades and swords from Conversion World)

(Plastic from the box)

(Unknown. Plastic with Forgeworld Turret?)

The Serpent’s Bane Rite of War allows Seekers to be troops’ choices (although without the ‘Line’ rule). Also, if given the ‘Firewing’ rule from the Dark Angels Hexagrammaton, then they gain +1 to wound on any unit that contains an independent character. Pretty handy with terminators in spartans jumping out from behind every corner. Even better is that in this Rite of War up to three troops’ choices with the Firewing sub-type can be given infiltrate. Super sneaky sneaky.

There are only 3 models in this army that don’t come in the box, or art least don’t *mostly* come in the box, the terminator Praetor, The Land Raider Proteus and the Sicaran Arcus, The latter two of which I’m hoping for plastic releases, or at least a change to ‘turrets only’ from Forgeworld once the previewed plastic Sicaran is released. The removal of the Land Raider Phobos from the list fills me with the hope that we’ll see a plastic Proteus; be that a rebranded MK2b with wraparound tracks or a plastic remake of the existing resin Proteus; either way I’m hoping its shown off soon.

At the time of writing, I’ve got most of the building done for box contents, 30 seekers, 10 support marines with rotor cannons, Dreadnought, 10 Terminator 90% of a Spartan & 95% of a converted Corswain model.

KEITH – Loyalist Space Wolves

Mournival Podcast – Grim Dark Painting

Of all the different Legions in Horus Heresy, I find the Vlka Fenryka are one of the most interesting. With their Nordic imagery and ferocious battle tactics, they are the ultimate close combat warriors. This combination of distinctive imagery and battle-winning skill has made The Rout my favourite Chapter/Legion since I started the hobby way back in the mid 90’s. I think that my love affair really started when I saw Kim Syberg’s Space Wolves in White Dwarf issue 185, this was my dream army and is still one of my all-time favourite armies even after 27 years have passed. 

Now with an Adults salary and a child’s mind, I am going to have a go at recreating this legendary force for my Tale of 30k gamers. 

Planning this Project. 

When I got asked to join in on this quest with Myles and his band of merry men, I knew I was going back to my roots and doing a Space Wolves army, but since he asked me I have been struggling with theme and direction. I wanted to do a force that would push me and excite me but wasn’t sure what my final goal was. I’m not the most competitive player, but I do want an army that can hold its own on the table. So I started writing lists and looking for inspiration, I started looking at what I had done before, seeing what other people have done, then I stumbled across a picture of Kim Syberg’s Grey Hunters remembering how much I loved this army and how much time I spent trying to work out every little piece he used for his conversion. 💡 I still have that White Dwarf, I can do a Heresy army as a Homage to Kim’s. So here goes, Grey Stalkers time. 

I knew I wanted to add as many details as I could using different kits and greenstuff. I’m not the best with greenstuff it’s something that I’m working on so I didn’t want to jump straight in on a character model, so let’s start with the humble troop choice of the new Grey Stalker unit, this unit is ideal as I can use the reference of Kim’s Grey Hunter unit as a basis of my build. 

Bryan Hartley – Loyalist Mechanicum

Horus Heresy Painting and Modelling Group – Instagram – Facebook

My project began in earnest a few weeks ago. I dug out the Mechanicum minis that I had been slowly collecting and assembling for the past couple of years and primed them all with good old reliable Halfords Grey Primer.

Once that was out of the way, I needed to decide upon a guinea pig that I could test my chosen paint scheme on. Which mini to choose… “Go big, or go home!” was my immediate thought, and I, therefore, decided to go with one of the largest minis in my army so far: A Domitar Battle-automata!

The paint scheme that I chose was largely inspired by the Dark Troopers in season 2 of The Mandalorian. I absolutely loved these cold, stomping, emotionless battle-droids, and there was something about their glossy black armour, red glowing eye lenses and bright silver exposed robotics that really spoke to the machine spirit in me.

I had a few factors that were very important when I was considering my recipe:

1)   First and foremost, it has to look good. Simple, but striking is what I am aiming for.

2)   Secondly, the recipe has to be relatively quick, so that I would be able to complete the army within the time frame, whilst also working full time and spending time with my family.

3)   Thirdly, I wanted to try a few new techniques to push my limits: For this army, I have chosen to use Lacquers for varnishing, and all the washes and grime will be done with oil paint washes.

With these factors in mind, I got started!

The first step was to airbrush the entire mini silver, which I did with Vallejo Metal Color Dark Aluminium. After that, I added some shade in the recesses with Airbrush Vallejo Metal Color Gunmetal Grey and then used Airbrush Vallejo Metal Color Aluminium for a zenithal highlight.

Next, I hand-painted in all the armour panels with Vallejo Model Colour Black, and used various metallic brass/gold/copper paints to add in a few small details. Once all that was dry, the model was lacquered with Halfords Gloss Lacquer and left to cure completely for 24hrs.

After that, I applied the decals and lacquered them again, then washed all the silver areas with an oil paint wash (50:50 W&N Lamp Black/Burnt Umber, thinned with W&N Sansador). Once the oils were dry, they were sealed in with a layer of Halfords Satin Lacquer and the final details such as chips/scratches and the glowing eye lenses were added to complete the mini.

And here it is!

I’m very happy with it, although the fluorescent glow around the eye lenses needs some refinement which I will work on as I progress onto the rest of the army. As a test mini, I think it fills my brief very well – It’s got that grimdark feel, but also has the shiny black armour panels and glowing red eye lenses inspired by the Dark Troopers.

Next up, I will be turning this recipe into a production line process for the rest of my army, and further refining the paint job for the different types of units.

Dan Palfrey – Blood Angels

Cambrian SynodInstagram

We’ve had an early casualty! Joe has had to drop out, but into the breach Dan jumps with his Siege of Terra themed Blood Angels (I’ve dedeciting a theme when it comes to the IXth players in this group).

Hey folks, I’m Dan and I’m going to be working on a new Blood Angels / Militia army themed around the Siege of Terra.

When Heresy 2.0 was officially announced, I asked myself a question no doubt repeated among most of the Heresy community; “which legion should I do next?”

I played World Eaters and Daemons throughout Heresy 1.0, with a brief dalliance into Emperor’s Children for #returntoisstvan. So I could certainly bolster those forces with some sexy new mark 6 marines, but I decided in the end to start a whole new legion.

With the help of a series of polls on my Instagram stories, I whittled down 16 army concepts to the final two, with the Blood Angels coming out on top.

Blood Angels were the first army I collected way back in the second edition Warhammer 40,000 and I remember fondly poring over the art and photographs in those rulebooks (and the venerable Codex: Angels of Death). For me, the bright red/orange paint scheme with lots of black and yellow is quintessentially THE Blood Angels scheme and so it was a natural choice to combine it with the nouveau-classic breakie marines from the new Age of Darkness boxset. 

In terms of concept, I was massively inspired by the Siege of Terra novel; Lost and the Damned where a severely under-equipped and under-trained militia regiment mans the outer walls against the vast tides of Horus’ mutant and abhuman meat-shields. The regiment are assisted by a small contingent of Blood Angels who appear as true angels descending from the heavens to help them.

The Lost and the Damned of course takes its’ name from a classic chaos army list that has had many iterations over the years; large units of traitor guardsmen, mutants and beastmen supported by small units of chaos space marines (often single marines leading squads of humans). This force has always represented the lowest of the low goaded into battle to soak up bullets while the real troops advance behind. 

I wanted to create a mirror image of this but defend the walls of terra rather than attacking it. The chaos-marked unending waves of filth and flesh will crash against the unending waves of filth and flesh-wearing imperial Aquila. In order to create this vision, I will eventually be building an Imperial Militia detachment but as no such rules exist for them in 2.0 yet I will concentrate on the Astartes detachment for the time being. 

The idea of the newly forged Inductii units inspired me and fit into this theme I feel new space marines who are rapidly indoctrinated and pressed into service defending the Sol system in the waning years of the Heresy. My marines are little better than the humans they serve alongside; albeit better equipped and pumped full of growth hormones. These marines have never even met a Praetor, let alone their Primarch! They share blood that dates back through Baal, Signus, the dark days of the Revenant Legion and even back as far as the Unification Wars, yet these warriors have never left Terra or known any other truth than war vs their brother Astartes. Despite this, the untrained militia look up to them as saviors, as avatars of war, as Angels of Death. 

This month I’ve managed to finish a tactical squad and a couple characters; a librarian and a tech-marine/forge lord. I have another tactical squad, a Kratos, more characters and a few other squads in the works. I don’t have a set list in mind yet, I’m just working on what looks cool while I get used to the new rules but I’m hoping to have a small Zone Mortalis force done by next month to get a few games in!


Anuj Malhotra – Defenders of Sol

The Legiones Astartes

I got married! Which left very, very little time to do anything but dote on my new bride. Do over for me. Coming back hard next month!


And so out the cast of characters are formed.

If you would like to join the journey please write an introduction to your project and post it up on your social media with #taleofheresygamers. Every month keep apace with the warlords in creating your own collection.

For the Warmaster.

For the Emperor.

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