I have also always had a fondness for the Middlehammer-era Chaod Dwarves, the so-called "Big Hats" adorned in Babylonian trappings. There is something about them that recalls for me the Russian fairytales of my youth. A certain endearing character in their warthog-toothed grimaces.
The deal was for painting his 40K Squat army. He sent me 70+ miniatures, and I assured him that I would lavish my painterly skills upon them.
My goals were lofty. I would wetblend all the skin tones. Each bit of hair and beard would be unique. 3-5 colour shades on every bit of clothing. I drafted out a colour scheme, bought paints and brushes, even some "True Metallic" paint from Vallejo for the visors and shades.
and...it went badly. In a very short time, my excitement for the project dissipated and working on the space dwarves became a grueling activity. For 6 months, I painted nothing for myself. I found myself procrastinating more and more as the Squats became a chore and any joy from the hobby leaked out in the face of a pile of primed lead. Partly it was because it was simply a subject matter I have no enthusiasm for. Partly I'm sure it was the awareness in the back of my mind that I wasn't painting these for myself. Later on there was even resentment towards these things stealing all my hobby time away from my Skaven and Nurgle. Add into that an increased workload at my job, a strained relationship with a girlfriend I barely got to see, and in the middle of the whole thing moving apartments, and overall that half of a year was a grind of self-defeat and mounting guilt as time wore on. Stubbornly, I refused to give up. But by the end I hated those dwarves.
Looking back on the pictures now, they aren't as bad as I recall them in my mind. My memory is of one failure after another, finished off with just hackwork. This is another case where the crappy cell pics work in my favour, however. The end results were nowhere near what I expected of myself nor promised. At the time I really had no idea how to do proper "human" skin. The rushed work meant the paint was way too thick. And the eyes...Zues's Bear, those eyes nearly broke my sanity. I cant say how many weeks were simply spent on redoing eyes.
To Be Continued...