Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

A Tale of Five Heretics – The Failure Years

Sorry this is a little late. I had a deadline, then the world’s shittiest cold, and then I was back in the motherland seeing Monster Magnet with Graham McNeill. As evidence by this hauntingly grainy yet very treasured selfie, taken during ‘Space Lord’.



Anyway, as promised, here are the photos of what the Heretics sighingly call the Failure Years. This is a grab bag of photos to highlight the best bits, because uploading everything that Eddie and Ead managed to get done in the last 2 years would use all of the internet’s megabots and gigatrikes, which I’m reliably informed are totally real things.

In a few days, I’ll get to our Feb pledges for the rebooted Tale, which – thankfully – are actually going pretty well so far. I’ll also talk about my newest, most annoying, least surprising army change yet.

But for now, I give you the highlights of the Failure Years. Most of these are presented without their army background for now. We’ll shift back into those gears once the first month’s pledges are up and running.

Let’s start strong, with Neil’s Ultramarines. Yes, that lovely guy that does the HH novel covers.

10922690_10155044638605486_3715491978131789887_n 10428004_10155044638665486_6461423344834462154_n 10806337_10155044638570486_2790044017864525076_n 10915240_10155044638705486_319340508031930267_n 10917405_10155044638730486_1870983651165253367_n 10919005_10155044638575486_3747354077744448535_n

Next up, John’s Blood Angels, which ended up largely being allied Mechanicum because those models Goddamn those Mechanicum models though amirite.

10922674_10155044640815486_6287204217055721668_n 1907374_10155044640925486_2590574020567574126_n 10393862_10155044640810486_9007782167254338214_n 10891545_10155044641025486_503664187924631698_n 10898204_10155044640900486_8898010809048904066_n 10917433_10155044640800486_2239727574384863028_n 10917862_10155044641010486_2212504215686218019_n

10373615_692218390876128_7705034103196381765_n 10375157_598729096891725_1324586536780468510_n



As an aside, John’s first Knight here is from House Orthos – the Knight Household John and I dreamed up together. Orthos was allied with the Blood Angels Legion in the Heresy, and took its oaths down the millennia to the Red Seraphs and the Angels Numinous – the two Blood Angel Successors we’re working on.

Moving on to Ead’s Iron Warriors:

15271_10155044649460486_8508810600153168497_n 1507703_10155044648105486_8517424907298168991_n 10155680_10153018609479349_1618966589794898531_n 10888789_10155044648715486_2102079888847724675_n 10891880_10155044651085486_3899190768392169074_n 10891966_10155044651255486_1017811971822576460_n 10896896_10155044647930486_8435611354496018809_n 10897811_10155044648840486_6807872535097669860_n 10898212_10155044649470486_7866046286797724559_n 10906148_10155044649675486_3342448020963094533_n 10906195_10155044648325486_9178520879777231057_n 10906378_10155044648305486_9128176329917308853_n 10915215_10155044649610486_3050205906733742324_n 10917066_10155044649705486_5526995808226278171_n 10917066_10155044650740486_7487450078308125644_n 10917069_10155044648375486_2220197261273927569_n 10917104_10155044651180486_3475990742028622029_n 10922662_10155044648785486_2007538687398692668_n 10923216_10155044648440486_973472405340543176_n 10923216_10155044650685486_9000611931670245295_n 10923389_10155044648220486_1333369513204029547_n

Jesus Christ, that guy likes his tanks. Not looking forward to facing him on the tabletop.

Annnnd here’s Alan with the Alpha Legion:

10926375_10155044642335486_4650106178722243293_n 532951_10155044642700486_5268637413044962996_n 10891584_10155044642655486_5534196713754812316_n 10897770_10155044642235486_6200138975848071917_n 10898331_10155044642620486_3253859729245997099_n 10906393_10155044642570486_6226395488065033055_n 10906411_10155044642230486_8628987886816442797_n 10906517_10155044642430486_7465204069692031085_n 10915274_10155044642455486_1788932897293505005_n 10915286_10155044642260486_7505866603170334224_n

Cyber-mastiffs always win my heart. As do hammers.

Alan’s still going to guest star in the Tale as we go forward, so expect more from his traitorous, Blanchian brush.

But now, what every fucker and their dog has been waiting for…


Eddie’s Fallen Angels. Let’s start with the Dreadnoughts, Venerable Brothers Claudin and Accolon:

10888685_10204970625639136_7501206127022270276_n 10888875_10204970625079122_3114242688590704575_n Venerable Brother Accolon Venerable Brother Claudin

…and here we have Yvain, the Lost Knight of New Caliban:

10613155_10204970636079397_6032969038392379407_n 10407877_10204970637119423_8818682866052547900_n10898199_10204970635239376_6700360823048690171_n10906109_10204970740041996_7659563558870021739_n11022_10204970636039396_54343335894780607_nYvain the Lost Knight of New Caliban

…sigh. I love Eddie, I really do, but sometimes knowing him is a burden.

Here’s the Black Lion of New Caliban, described by Eddie as (get this, kids) “pre-Daemonification”:

10891992_10204970626479157_6311057157224057649_n10891640_10204970626159149_4000515391839037484_nThe BLack Lion of New Caliban (Pre-Daemonification)

And yes, before you ask, he’s done the Black Lion post-Daemonification, too. Because of course he has.

The BLack Lion of New Caliban (post-Daemonifcation)10897022_10204970637399430_5955023978215019918_n

I find it profoundly difficult to ever pick out one or two details I like in Eddie’s stuff. It’s just this sensory overload of “Jesus Christ, that’s a good idea” moments. I mean, the lion even has tusks, for fuck’s sake. Look at that flail. God, what a lovely scroll. Look at that helm! Dude, those wings. Jesus, plague censer nodules? Man, what a flail. What’s that leash even made from? God, even the base is glorious.

Let’s move on before I grind my teeth to dusty, jealous powder.

10917275_10204970631159274_2230914606779138150_n 10915347_10204970630319253_9122550888274801233_n10922825_10204970630679262_911266087485450286_nLionstrike Interceptor

That, my pretty chickens, is a Lionstrike Interceptor. Now you know.

10924726_10204970631519283_7908031180317465427_nWhirlwind (or sometimes a Rhino with a Havoc Launcher) Caliban's Roar

This is a Rhino with a havoc launcher.

Let that just sink in for a few minutes. That is a minimally-costed basic transport option in Eddie’s army. That fucker right there.

It’s okay to hate him, you know. Don’t feel bad about it. I sure don’t.


Some daemon allies. Grody.

10898016_10204970627319178_8082462102159127093_nMotivated underclasss of freedom fighters disenfranchised with an entrenched political class

Eddie refers to these as a “motivated underclass of freedom fighters disenfranchised with an entrenched political class”.

Are we done, yet?

Nope, here’s the Aldurukh-pattern Land Raider, ‘Arrogance’s Redoubt’:

Aldurukh-pattern Land Raider 'Arrogance's Redoubt'10906550_10204970633239326_5605732742466862017_n

And who’s this?


…who indeed.

Then you have the handsome jerks of Veteran Knight-Legionary Squad Durnure:

Veteran Knight-Legionaries of Squad Durnure10897068_10204970627599185_1820583667137808622_n

Closely followed by the Knight-Legionaries of Squad Cadorius:

Knight-Legionaries of Squad Cadorius10906109_10204970628959219_6413139756721615786_n10891757_10204970629599235_9165804643768663575_n

And lastly, the Havoc Squad, Caliban’s Thunder:

Caliban's Thunder10897068_10204970623679087_2259211338194375448_n

And before we sign off for a few days, let’s just remind y’all of the Failure Years’ true failure.

Here’s a Blood Angel that I got bored of doing:



Here are some Space Wolves that I fucked up when I tried to paint them:




Here’s the usual level of conversation that takes place in our private Facebook group:



Here are some Iron Hands heads I got bored of doing:



Here’s more Facebook chatter in the secret group, wherein Eddie explains his process:



And a brief moment of confession where I reveal the depths of my true feelings:


So, those are the Failure Years, which – for several of the Heretics – were plainly successful, after all.

Up next: February’s pledges from the rebooted Tale, and a squillion words explaining my army idea.


Thought for the Day: “Pooh of the Tau would be a way better book than The Tao of Pooh.”

February 16, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Wow, thanks for sharing the pictures. Lots of Inspiration here.

    Comment by David Stanley | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  2. I actually also painting a Soviet of infantry, by the way. That’s a technical amont.

    Comment by ead101 | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  3. I think you did a great jobw with the Blood Angel! 🙂

    Comment by Forkmaster | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  4. Time flies, I remember excitingly reading your first plans for this like it was only yesterday…

    Comment by Bobajob | February 16, 2015 | Reply

    • excitedly rather

      Comment by Bobajob | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  5. I haven’t been painting long and this just drives me into a spiral of “ugh, why bother”.

    Comment by Anthony Lambe | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  6. I think I hate Eddie Eccles! It was the converted knight which made me realise! The Iron Warriors are also particularly awesome. They need more tanks though… I like the way the Iron Warriors have been photographed just randomly on top of the paint-station!

    Comment by Steve Woodward | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  7. Space Lord. Truly epic song. I am jealous.

    Nice models too.

    Comment by Recalcitrant Daze | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  8. Ah Monster Magnet. You made the greatest rap video of the 90s that wasn’t a rap video.

    Comment by Achilles | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  9. Devastators firing autocannons casually from the hip make me feel flushed and tingly. And then the sword-wielding DA Contemptor rompastomps in and then it’s just pfffff ‘kay and I’m done.

    Comment by triceratopping | February 16, 2015 | Reply

  10. Reblogged this on Amaranth Ink and commented:
    Aaron’s blog, featuring some heresy miniatures, some of my Alphas included!

    Comment by khorazin | February 17, 2015 | Reply

  11. some very inspirational models! though the mold line on the ultra’s head is killing me ;p
    and i seriously envy you the monster magnet concert!

    Comment by Wicced | February 19, 2015 | Reply

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