Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ambulatory Triptych - 40K Altarpiece

I neglected to post my favorite build of 2019, the Ambulatory Altarpiece I built for the Instagram #sentinelchallenge. It was an unofficial community based challenge to make a conversion using a Games Workshop Sentinel. Luckily I had a pair of legs I'd ordered for no particular reason a couple years ago.

The altarpiece is mostly styrene, I added a few extra bits later.

The operator is made from a few sources- I think the torso is a Mordheim Mercenary, I beleieve heads and arms are from the Flaggellants kit. I magnetized the platform and altarpiece so it could be removed.

I wanted to paint the thing in a Renaissance technique, using red under the gold and starting with a 'grisaille' underpainting to establish tones and form, followed by thin glazes to get the Northern Renaissance look.

The image has borrowed from Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Brueghel with some 40k favorites blended in.

Bosch, Temptation of Saint Anthony, detail:

Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights,  right panel:

Brueghel, Fall of the Rebel Angels:

Some more views:

I've developed a story for the iconography in the altarpiece, as well as why the pilot is installed- I'll probably put that into another post. Thanks for looking!


  1. Amazing! I particularly like the Boschian blue beaked defecator and skull-faced harpist in the left panel. But the whole thing's a great concept, brilliantly executed!

  2. Absolutely amazing work. I can't begin to imagine how you did the triptych. I like the idea of a relic mounted on legs: I made one a while back to replace a penitent engine, but the painting's nowhere near as good as yours.

    1. That's awesome, thanks for sharing it! I love that kind of thing.

  3. :O
    I want one of these so badly now!
    Wow, this is enormously inspiring. The idea is pure genius, but the execution is blowing my mind. Awesome work.

    1. Thanks, I'd been wanting to make a 40K altarpiece for a while, as is often the case a random internet challenge got me actually making something :)

  4. This is pretty much peak 40k I think - that mating of gothic extremes with bizarre servitor-driven tech. The ambulatory element is really nicely done. I like the counter-weight position of the driver, and the little hip-mounted icons.

    The triptych is absolutely beautiful - I'm in awe of your brush skills. The composition is instantly recognisable as being both religious in nature, but also pulling on both Bosch and Brueghel.

    1. Thank you sir! I spent a lot of time thinking about this one, I'm glad it turned out well.

    2. I echo all of these comments by Axiom, it sums up my thoughts exactly. Great idea, flawless execution, a stunning result and just so damn grimdark-40K--brilliant.

  5. I am catching up with your blog (and all blogs) after a couple of months away, and I had to stop and comment on this post.

    Simply amazing work. I was already excited about the piece at the start of the post, but then the actual alter painting was even more amazing.

    Truly superlative work.