Badab After Dark – Tale of Gamers Challenge

Badab tag


The Badab War fought between 901.M41 and 913.M41, raised questions about the sovereignty of its warriors, its borders and the workings of the Adeptus as a whole. The war was fought in the Badab System, a cluster of star systems in the Segmentum Ultima, between the Loyalist forces of the Imperium of Man and the secessionist Astral Claws Space Marine Chapter. Led by Chapter Master Lufgt Huron, the Astral Claws rebelled against the Imperium, seeking greater autonomy and control over the Badab Sector.

The conflict involved numerous Space Marine chapters, Imperial forces, and even Xenos mercenaries, resulting in a devastating war that left the Badab System in ruins. Ultimately, the Astral Claws were defeated, their Chapter disbanded, and their leaders condemned as heretics. The Badab War stands as a tragic tale of betrayal and the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

And thus a new challenge is born. WELCOME to the new season of A Tale of Gamers in which our warlords tackle the book that started the entire Heresy – The Badab Wars.


YOU, yes you, can participate in this. Simply add #badabafterdark to any social media post that you write and we will find you. We will round up all entrants at the start of each month and comb over the fine hobby produced.

This is an open-ended challenge. Feel free to build and paint however much you like. For our part the challenge will be focussed on producing Kill Teams over 1 year and will culminate in a game held at Adeptcion ’24.

We hope to run games in the UK as well, but that is the acorn of the idea that will one day become the mighty oak.

To summarise:

+ Kill Team forces focussed on the Badab War campaign books. Be they Space Marine, Inquisitorial Agent, Tyrant Legion, or the duplicitous reaver from the Maelstrom, creativity is KING!

+ The event will culminate at Adepticon ’24. Max, Alex and I will gather to fudge our way through a Badab War scenario – but who knows how big it could grow?

+ Use the # #badabafterdark on all social media posts for us to find you. bonus points if you use #taleofgamers as well!

Sign up to our Youtube channel to keep up to date with vlogs, live streams and showcases! 

Kieth – Imperium – Howling Griffons

Mournival Podcast

So, I’m back;

Hi this is Keith I’m a podcaster, event organizer and commission artist from

After my epic fail last time, I was surprised to be invited back for this one and if I’m honest I was a little unsure about doing it. Then I found out a little more about this challenge and when they said Badab Wars and Kill Team, I thought why not?

With the decision to take part (which wasn’t really that hard), it’s now time to think about which chapter to do. Now this was a little tricky for me as there are a few that interest me. The Carcharodons, I love the idea of these, but being a Space Wolves player am I just swapping Wolves for Sharks? Then there are the Marines Errant. These seem fun and interesting but don’t excite me from a lore perspective and my fear is to lose momentum like last time. So, what would excite me, Star Phantoms? There is something as a painter that I could get on board with, making a potentially boring paint job (Black and White) interesting has its rewards. But my final decision is revisit to an old army of mine. Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time….

When I started the hobby way back in 1993, I played nothing but Space Wolves, I have always done a Space Wolves army and – at some point around 2012/2013 after 20 years of playing nothing but Wolves – I decided to start playing a different Marine army. Now, when you have painted grey for as long as I have you want to try something different, something completely out of your comfort zone. After many months of looking at different Space Marine Companies, I found one that inspired and would challenge myself and this was the Howling Griffons. The red and yellow quarters and the alternative black armour opened up so many possibilities, and that was when I started a new chapter of my painting life. For some crazy reason – as if the red and yellow quarters weren’t hard enough – I decided to do all my weapons in white. This is

something I am not going to do again lol. But after 10 years of not doing this army, I would love to see what I can achieve now. 

Jeremy – Loyalist Carcharodons

@ Dark Horse Painting

Hi, everyone! I am Jeremy, an American living in Germany. I have been painting miniatures since around the age of seven but only figured out how to put a whole army together within the last ten years or so. I am very honoured to have been invited to participate in this challenge and very motivated by the caliber of artists here (although admittedly, I am also just a bit intimidated). 

The Badab War involves some very interesting Space Marine Chapters, which is a good/bad thing for this lover of Space Marines. I have at least started painting units for 16 of the 18 original Legions in Horus Heresy…

I initially chose Salamanders as I had everything I needed on hand from a Heresy project. However, I also already had an established paint scheme meant for painting large squads. During my flip through the Badab books, the Carcharodons piqued my interest, and I started envisioning various possibilities. Over the last week or so, I could not get them out of my mind, and I kept having conversion, 3D printing, decal, and freehand ideas. The Carcharodons would allow me to concentrate on making each model unique unto themselves. If you were not previously acquainted with the Carcharodons, you would see from the source material that their armour has some really unique patterns. I cannot wait to take a crack at that!

From a personal standpoint, my last unit in the military was called the Tigersharks. This name has significant meaning in our army’s aviation history. Our AH-64E Apache Helicopters even had the classic shark teeth prominently displayed on the front of each aircraft. Once a Shark, always a Shark! (But please stay away from me with that Baby Shark song – I do not have children, so I do not find it amusing.)

As a final note, I want to reiterate how honoured I am to have been invited to participate in this challenge. I look forward to seeing everyone else’s monthly offerings and showcasing my own!

Alex – Imperium – Raptors

Crescent Edge Studio – The Death and Betrayal Podcast

We’re back! For those of you just joining us, I’m Alex from Crescent Edge Creative and I love expressing myself through bespoke character creations.

After I drastically fell off the wagon in the Heresy Tale of Gamers, I am back to redeem myself with one hell of a bespoke badab bad-ass kill team. Why Raptors? Well because I love wings and I can’t escape avians. After over 3000 pts of heresy era Ravens and over 3000 points of their Ashen Claw brethren – it only seemed fitting.

Well, that and I don’t get to paint green a lot. Plus, there is AMPLE inspiration and an opportunity to mix the practicality of the Chapter with modern and “traditional” elements. Like my counterpart Max – artist influence has been a plenty for me – and I’m excited to pair my birds of prey against his killer bug enthusiasts in the jungles of Badab after Dark at Adepticon.

Tune in next month for the first marine with a tactical edge!

Dan Palfrey – Imperium – Howling Griffons

Cambrian SynodInstagram

Hey folks, Dan here! You might remember me from such internet challenges as Tale of Heresy Gamers 1 where I worked on my Blood Angels force for Heresy 2.0.

The Badab War has always been a bit of a white whale for me. Though I’ve dabbled a few marines for the #badabbrothers challenge on Instagram a few years ago, I’ve never fully delved into this era. But now, the time has come to make it happen!

While my heart lies in the Horus Heresy, I can’t deny the origins of my passion in Warhammer 40,000. Badab War in many ways represents the 40k counterpart to the Heresy, capturing that same narrative focus and thrilling “alternate history” feel that I adore in the Imperial Armour and Heresy black books. With the inestimable Alan Bligh penning Forge World’s account of the war, it could be seen as a spiritual predecessor (descendant?) of the Heresy.

So which legion – sorry chapter am I going to focus on?

Those classic posters showcasing various camouflage and alternate colour schemes always caught my eye, and I’d love to do a camo space marine project one day, but it was the bold quartered red and yellow of the Howling Griffons that truly stood out and still captures my attention now.

In the world of Warhammer 40,000 the Howling Griffons embody the philosophy that space marines wear proud, colourful heraldry to make the enemy fear them (as opposed to the Imperial Guard who wear camo so the enemy can’t see them). It’s a mantra that I’ve always loved and is so very ‘40k’. Despite my yearning to paint camouflage space marines, I couldn’t resist the allure of these glorious warriors. They’re one of the poster-children of the Badab War, and I’m ready to do justice to their legend.

After tackling a few massive army projects recently, I’m looking for a smaller-scale endeavor that would allow me to spend time on each model. I also wanted to challenge myself by experimenting with true-scale marines, an area I hadn’t explored much in my years of gaming. With the jaw-dropping sculpts from Tortuga Bay tempting me, I decided to create a small squad of veterans, perfect for Kill Team games. 

And there you have it—my exciting journey to craft a small, but impactful, collection set in the Badab War begins. I’m ready to push my painting skills to the limit and lavish attention on these models. Stay tuned for the next installment, where I’ll start planning the force and begin assembly. It’s going to be an epic ride!

For Mancora and the Imperium!



Myles David – Successionist – Unknown

Lil’Legend Studio

When you hit a certain age your personality decants into one of three vessels.

You either start a podcast .

Invest in Crypto.

Or open a bar.

This is my version of opening a bar.

It’s the morning after 10th ed 40K is announced and gathered around a good-sized, hang-over buffet sits a conclave of big hitters. Unfortunately, I can’t say who was at that table, but we were all long-time heresy heads, and whenever you get those types together, they scheme.

“Let’s start a podcast,” said Alex

“Let’s invest in Doge Coin” said Max

No says I, let’s do BADAB!

Yes, the precursor to the heresy, the thing that kicked it all off, the Badab Wars. Who hasn’t fantasized about getting involved in a campaign? Well, this is out version. Inspired by the tasteful thickness of the new Terminators and a strong desire to give the new 40k a test run, we settled on the terms of the challenge.

I’m a father of 2 now. And I have a dog, and a wife and all the trappings of a middle-wage suburban lifestyle – finding 2 hours to go game with friends is a huge chore right now! Collecting Kill Team scratches that hobby niche, without the dolorous commitment of painting 20-man-sized tac squads that squat on objectives, or get nuked by a super weapon. 5-10 dudes, highly detailed, all narrative. Ahhh, bliss.

I’m taking a relaxed view of this challenge. No set targets other than meeting up next year to play a couple of games at Adepticon 24′. I’m going to bounce around a few paint schemes to see what I want to develop further. I’ve painted a Lamenter using Wilph’s excellent Bertie ‘Badab’ sculpt that you can download for free via Diverging Realms on Cults 3D

Max – Succecionist – Mantis Warriors


Max – @bearfoot.miniatures – Mantis Warriors

Mantis Warriors! So, my love of playing the (labeled) “traitor” faction or as we all know, clearly the good guys, made an immediate cut of half the chapters from which chapter I could choose.

Really, I’m drawn to both tragic falls from grace. This pretty well encompasses most of the Badab chapters caught on the wrong side of history, no help there.

I wanted to start with something that would be different from my Iron Warriors/militia/solar colour schemes and lean a bit more into the 40k universe, of colours that reflected these shining examples of humanity!

Well that ruled out my alternate pick of Astral claws…. There’s only so much silver I can paint in one lifetime.

At this point there was actually, despite all the good reasoning in the world, a clear pick for me. I mean it makes no sense I was trying to work it out with good reason! But sometimes when you know, you know…you know?

From there I started with a few different sources of inspiration: cruising Instagram and Pinterest for peoples’ interpretations and fan art, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History on the empire of the rising sun, and finally I started watching samurai movies. 

Pretty soon the idea for a few models was forming itself in my head, particularly one image (shown below) of a Samurai standing in front of a cherry tree. But sadly, I’m now nearing the end of my (tyrannical) word limit imposed by Myles and Alex, so I’ll have to leave you wanting more till another segment.

If you find yourself wanting to follow along more there’ll be (monthly) videos on my youtube channel – Bearfoot Miniatures – where you can be entertained by my progress on the project as well as the mistakes I make along the way! 

Keith Hixson – Successionist – Executioners

Loyalists are Boring

Keith – Loyalistsareboring – Executioners

Hi everyone,

My name is Keith aka @loyalistsareboring on Instagram. A little bit about me: I live in the Pacific Northwest United States. I am very happily married with two beautiful children. For my day job I’m an engineer at a dirty chemical plant, and I love building/converting/painting miniatures!

When the group pitched the idea of doing a monthly hobby project involving the Badab War; I was instantly interested. The Badab War combines everything I love about the Horus Heresy with everything I love about Warhammer 40k. It has the hateful, contemptuous, tragic, brother vs brother warfare from the heresy combined with grim, pious, righteousness of 40k space marines.

I ended up choosing the Executioners Chapter. Their story arc of joining the Astral Claws as unwilling renegades, to a completely rogue element in the conflict, then ultimately rejoining the Imperium and going on a penance crusade for atonement was really compelling to me. Being a longtime Night Lord player in Horus Heresy; their brutal style of warfare and tendency to adorn their armor in the flayed skin and skulls of their enemies also helped my decision. Its just cool!

This project for me is all about the painting and converting. I don’t plan on putting a huge army on the board with this. What I want, is to use this is a tool to create a small number of really high-quality models. I think total I’d like to have a squad of tacs (5-10), an HQ, a box dread, and a squad of terminators.

I’ve done a couple of testers already to test out my conversion ideas and color scheme. Traditionally it seems Executioners have a dark blue metallic armor, and a gold metallic helmet/shoulder pads/backpack. I don’t particularly enjoy painting metallic schemes; so I put my own twist on it:

I built these using Tortuga Bay’s Mk7 bodies, GW Mk7 heads and backbacks, then plastic Mk6 heresy armor arms and bolters. For basing I’m using the new GW Void War plastic bases. I envision my guys as being the vanguard in a brutal close range boarding action

For painting; instead of a metallic I did a Grey Blue for the armor and a bright yellow on select armor bits instead of the gold. Then a gold metallic on the backpack and select bits. I wanted the eye to be drawn to the helmet area, so I focused the highlights there; painting the brightest value right on the helmet and surrounding areas. 

I’m a little self-conscious that these just look like Space    Wolves (lol), and I can totally see how someone would think that. But theres a distinct lack of reference material on the internet for Executioners; so I’m making my own 😊

That’s it for my intro. I’m really looking forward to working these more. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the group comes out with!

Wilfrid Armstrong – Successionist – Unknown

Diverging Realm

Hi all,

First off an Intro to me: I’m Wilph, once painter but now mostly 3D modeller/sculptor; I took the leap in Covid (as many did) to try something new, so I moved out to France and launched my own Patreon, called DivergingRealm, supplying 3D files along with commission sculpts and my own versions of Horus Heresy units for my personal Ultramarines force.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the more ‘Far-Future Fantasy’ elements of the 40k universe; preferring a cleaner aesthetic with a focus on marines as ‘knights’ and the technology as secondary justification; and Badab is a perfect excuse to escape the more ordered and standardized Legions of the Horus Heresy and lavish some time on a small band of heavily themed warriors. 

So, how does that waffle translate into a force on the table? Since I live outside the UK I decided to use the challenge as a test of my own skills rather than aiming to play with the models at the end, my goals being the following:

  • A chapter based on more ‘fantasy’ or ‘ancient’ themes
  • Something with a bit of savagery to allow me to experiment with trophies, pelts, cloaks and more individualised marines
  • Something with good potential for variety and depth in the models and theme (I would quite like to be able to do some non marine components or play around with non standard marines)
  • Something simple enough to paint, since this needs to fit in and around my larger projects/work

My favourite Badab chapters have always varied between Astral Claws, Minotaurs, Executioners and Red Scorpions. The Executioners are tempting since they tick so many of the boxes, but my good friend is a major fan so I don’t want to end up with the same army as him; Red Scorpions have a ton of support and character; but there doesn’t feel like there’s a huge deal of creative room left in them as a result (and beyond the apothecary angle, I’m not sure what drives them). 

So the choice is between Astral Claws and Minotaurs. 

My inclination at the moment is to cheat and pick a main of Astral Claw with an option for a Minotaur side (thematically a duel would be cool!) but I think the Claws will definitely be my leaping off point. After some consideration, I think my plans will be the following:

  • Push the Assyrian theme found in some of Banshee’s unreleased work in progress pics
  • Aim to make a few of the Tyrant’s Legion – with an emphasis on linking them thematically, visually and at an appropriate scale to the Astral Claws
  • A 5 man combat squad; trying to maximise the variation found in 40k armour whilst keeping them strongly tied to the 5th ed style I love so much.
  • A few terminators, following the same rules as the combat squad
  • Maybe the Tyrant himself, or at least a suitably ornate and grand Captain.

If I pursue the duel concept, then the Minotaurs would be along the lines of:

  • Lean into the savage vibe that Moloc is attributed in the fluff; with a more early rather than golden age greek look. Furs, hammered armour, trophies etc; i guess a slightly more civilised and greek iteration on some of the angron art (as weird as that sounds)
  • Cataphractii armour and terminators more than standard tacticals, but perhaps some variant mk4 armour.

So with all the pontificating out of the way; I have some renders of work I have either started for the Challenge already or might bring across.

Bertrand was a free test model I made up for the Tale of Gamers Crew so they could practice schemes and I could work out how I wanted to make mk7 armour.

Whilst I was super pleased with the proportions and result when he came off the printer; my own personal work will have a lot more ornamentation and decoration.

Using Bertrand as a base; I’ve started feeling out a general look for the Claws, referencing art of Assyrian warriors and generally trying to capture that ‘ruthless for what they consider the right reasons’ vibe. 

Rereading the Imperial Armour books I was always struck by the impression that Huron and the Claws as a result truly, arrogantly, did think they were making the correct choices; and had circumstances been different they might have been a great boon to the sub-sector.

A sculpt initially intended for a future Blood Angels HH army; I see myself modifying and reusing elements if my appetite stretches to Minotaurs.

Whilst not as brutal as I would have liked; I feel like if paired with heavier shoulders and cloth/skulls/fur they could make some Minotaurs that looked both suitably oversupplied by the High Lords as well as imbued with the savagery of their Master.

Finally, I’ve been playing around with designs for Indomitus armour recently and would love to find a place for him amongst either of the Chapters.

That about wraps up my intro; a lot of maybes and potentials; but I’m hoping that a goal of 1-2 models a month will be both achievable and will also give me time to really dig deep on them and refine both my skills and the models themselves.

Rob Nancekivell – Successionist – Executioners

Rob Paints

So here we are, I’m tackling my first proper painting challenge with a group of great artists and sculptors. So why would I attempt this? Well the answer is twofold

1.It looks like a lot of fun and

2. It will scratch the Badab itch I’ve had for a long time.

 So once I decided to commit to the project the first main question was which chapter and why? There were quite a few great models released with the Badab War books and it would have been great to paint up Lugft Huron, Carab Culln or Asterion Moloc but as a Heresy Imperial Fist player I’m drawn to the Executioners. I’m looking forward to embracing the extreme side of the legion and although the secessionists didn’t all fall to chaos, the Executioners already looked and felt brutal as a chapter before the war so should be a fun army to model and paint for just that reason.

Next question was what to base that army on. I wanted to do something a little bigger than a Killteam but wanted something more contained that my sprawling Heresy armies. There were the original Imperial armour books and although they’re superb for fluff and art I wanted something I could use in modern games. So I decided to use the second edition Heresy rules and base my army around their parent legion the Imperial fists.

So the last question was what sort of army do I want to build ? I’ve had a lot of fun playing 1.5k games recently. This seems like a great way to build a small contained force that is also big enough to play some meaningful games with. Given the history of the legion and their love of ship boarding I’ve decided to go with a Zone Mortalis army. So it’ll be a week or two before I nail down my list when I’ve had a look though the new siege of Cthonia book and the latest ZM rules. What is clear from the fluff I’ve read and watched though is that my army will include a Death speaker ( the Executioners chaplain) and a Veteran squad kitted out as a classic Sternguard veteran unit.

So that’s it for now, it’s a few weeks of digging through my bits box and deciding on how to tackle the painting side of the project. So June will see some test models and a firmer idea of what units and characters will be in my army.


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

For the Maelstrom!

For the Imperium!

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