Sentinel programmer Geoff Crammon was ‘bowled over’ by this first chess set based on characters from his game, says the maker.
There’s just one of these sets in the world, and it’s the work of London photographer Peter Clements. As a hobby he’d produced the limited-edition hand-cast Sentinel badges (102 in existence) and went on to make the chess set based on Firebird’s Issue 40 Smash.
It all started when the game got the better of him. ‘On reaching Level 2974 of The Sentinel I gave up my quest,’ Clements recalls, ‘aching fingers and sore eyes having got the better of me.’
So he turned to the older, but equally time-consuming, game of chess: It took Clements 600 hours to make the set, and ‘I did get bored but I didn’t give up.’
Each figure in the set is based on a Sentinel character. The kings are based on The Sentinel himself, the queen on the Robot, the bishops on the Sentry, the knights on the meanie, the rooks on three stacked boulders and the pawns on trees. They’re painted in colours from the game: the pieces on one side red, yellow and black, the opposing side is green, white and black.
‘The new chess pieces seemed to fit their role perfectly,’ observes Clements.
He traced them from paused screens and first carved them in epoxy putty; the finished pieces and the board are made from polyester resin.
And after six months’ work, Clements is hanging on to his unique game from a game — but, he admits, ‘if someone offered me the price of the new Acorn Archimedes I might just be tempted.’