Halls of Terra

A special treat to kick start the hobby weekend, is Thistle’s second Pilgrim piece, the Broken Road. It is exploring a more diffused, impressionistic light and effect, something “between Turner and Ridley Scott “as he puts it.

These are a major inspiration for building the table. But I think I want to build one of those Skull Stalker machines now.




30 thoughts on “Halls of Terra

  1. yeah im to long in the tooth to go digital – whole new set of skills – im still a traditional pen and ink man and thoughts of turn of the century illustrators as well as the above mentioned spring to mind – its always a shock seeing stuff on screen and bigger than the original – it looks so vivid like this ….

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  2. Beautiful again — the pilgrim-masters, I feel, or ushers almost, in crimson, the skulls seem almost like a means of recognising them amongst the throng, so that your party knows to follow the skull through the winding streets of Terra, with the pipes of the augmetics that sustain them, like their master on the Golden Throne. Then we have the little grey figures of the pilgrims, the winding cables (faintly reminds me of M.C. Escher, a reminder that the world of forty thousand years hence is in many ways deeply strange), the skulls scuttling about and the wonderful incense-smoke (as a Catholic, an actual one, not a ‘puts it on the census and shoves off’ Catholic, I’ve seen a good deal of incense and you’ve caught the white-grey stinging smoke perfectly), I imagine Terra is full of incense, the vastness of the diagonal span in the distance and the only just indicated gallery of arches in the distance — this place stretches for mile on mile. The birds remind me of the doves released on Candlemas day.

    I get the impression that the ushers are attempting to control the pilgrims on the ‘Broken Road’ while the skulls feverishly repair the break. I don’t know if they will ever reach the pinnacles and spires of Terra or if they will die down in the catacombs, but surely that death is to them sweet, to die on the soil of the temple world.

    Sorry for gassing on at length, a wonderful painting. The fact it makes me think and produce that indicates it has moved me, even if my ramblings are inadequate to catch the wonderful quality of the work.

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  3. very well put mr grey – an interpretation which i enjoyed a great deal – im not a catholic nor have i been to any church service but the ritual of it just fascinates me – thanks ….

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    1. Fits how I reacted to them quite well after getting to read the comment. I think the Skullstructs built some of terra at the pinnacle of human invention and are now demented relics of ages past and venerable relics to pilgrims.


    2. Thank you both (Laurence, Toni and Migsula). It really is an honour to for my ideas to chime in a little way with three real craftsmen and get a ‘like’ from two and a reply from another. I hope I’m not ‘being a sook’ as we say in Scotland (flatterer, fawner), I really mean it, you should all be immensely proud of the Pilgrym even as it stands, it fascinates me as I’m sure it has many others and has captured and refocused my interest in the wonderful setting of 40K by concentrating on all I find fascinating in it.

      I pointed out in a post on the first set of Pilgryms that I think the Pilgrym, when all is done, should be published in a book, all of the fluff, the story, the photographs and art — rather like Mr Blanche’s Emperor’s Will (my present to myself come pay day).

      Laurence the elder: thank you. The ceremonies and rituals of the Church are indeed endlessly interesting — a Monsignor described them as being a bit like a dance — it may interest you to know there are whole books of commentaries on mystical meanings of a single action. I can imagine the Ecclesiarchy producing similar.

      I like Migsula’s idea of the skull-constructs having a practical purpose, but now surrounded by a quasi-mysticism and reverence built up around them, they’re walking ‘memento moris’ and I’m sure the pilgrims see it in that light.

      It seems to me that the skulls which cover Imperial architecture, clothes and so on are not, to my mind, simply there because they make things look grim (some people accuse 40K of having rashes of skulls) — which they do — to a devout human, they’re constant reminders of an Imperium which is founded on, sustained by, reveres and venerates death and sacrifice. The sacrificial death of thousands in the sweet choirs of the Astronomican keeps the Imperium alive, so does the bleeding of billions of Guardsmen and the inexpressible psychic agony of the Emperor.

      The largest one seems to be covered with stubs of candles. I don’t know if this is ‘practical’, to light their way in a tunnel, or mystical, perhaps pilgrim-votives. Another little thing — merely a personal interpretation again — is the possibility that pilgrims who are too frail, or cannot afford (you mention that the Hospitaliers are corrupt — perhaps an offering or, if corrupt, a bribe to be taken higher?), to reach higher in Terra, might pay less to a Hospitalier guardian to put a candle on one of the skulls which happens to be going on a high repair route so that their petition is carried up the cables a little way towards the pinnacles and spires. A surrogate for lighting a candle in a great basilica, especially as it has the skull image that, according to the Inquisitor Thorian sourcebook, represents the Emperor on the Golden Throne — in a mystical, surrogate way you plead before an image of the Emperor.

      I am sorry, it is largely your own fault you’ve got this screed here 🙂 ! If you encourage me I will spew out all manner of rubbish from my mind at complete strangers!. Back on topic, thank you very much for this blog, which I take immense pleasure in — it makes my day.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is beautiful – the scene balances compelling and repugnant in equal measure, and absolutely captures everything I love about 40k. I feel like I did when I opened Rogue Trader the very first time – the fascination, and the urge to create. Thank you 🙂

    Question for Migs – is there some way that a humble journeyman can contribute to this project?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. We Welcome EVERYONE to build pilgrims. Let your imagination run wild. Only caveats are that they are unarmed, and painted predominantly either black or white! (For sorrow fast or worship pilgrimage)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Truly a window to another world. Seeing true art like this and witnessing this project unfold into such epic measures is utterly fantastic. You are creating something unique indeed and I sincerely hope The Pilgrym gets all the attention it deserves. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful Master Elder! I’d give my left nut for just a fraction of your imagination.

    There really is something Turner-esque about this one. The sepia tones and golden light.


  7. Gorgeous! Very turneresque indeed.

    And more biomechanical and organic than I would’ve expected. The twisting root like road makes me think of the earliest depictions of the golden throne in Rogue Trader … I like thinking of these huge twisting tendrils/veins/cables leading as being connected directly to the golden throne, like the Emperor/throne has grown throughout the entire palace …


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