Attorney and artist Victor Hardy looks back on the now-infamous 2004 Golden Demon Awards event.
Famed around the world for his miniature painting masterpieces and his involvement with the popular wargame Warhammer 40,000, Victor Hardy, from Austin, Texas, is also a well-respected attorney. Currently holding the title for the top-rated piece of miniature painting ever on the hobby’s biggest website, the lawyer and artist takes a look back on a now-infamous Golden Demon event held in 2004 centered around Warhammer 40,000 and associated artwork.
Sponsored by Games Workshop, the Golden Demon Awards are named after the most coveted award presented during the annual competition of the same name. “Held annually, the awards represent the pinnacle of miniature painting,” explains Hardy, “and often demonstrate the finest work from the world’s best miniature painters.”
Despite occurring 15 years ago, Hardy’s tale of the now-infamous 2004 Golden Demon Awards event had, until fairly recently, not been told. “At the now-infamous Golden Demon Awards 2004 event, I had the pleasure of spending the day with, among others, Bruno Grelier, Jeremy Bonamant, David Waeselynck, and Jacque Alexandre,” reveals Hardy. “These guys were crazy!” exclaims the artist and attorney.
The group, from France, he says, were all so enthusiastic and passionate about the miniature painting hobby that they were on another level. “Even today, 15 years on, I still have so much respect for their talents,” adds Hardy.
The French, he reveals, swept the 2004 Golden Demon Awards, with Jacque Alexander taking home the prized Slayer Sword trophy. Victor’s now-famous piece, Golgotha, however, which was entered into the 2004 event, was controversially disqualified. “My new friend, Bruno Grelier, had, as it happens, entered into the same category,” explains Hardy, “and subsequently won.”
Now, he says, comes the amazing part. “Bruno, having seen that Golgotha had been disqualified, gave me his own Golden Demon trophy and asked me to take it,” reveals Hardy. “He insisted that I should have it because he believed that I deserved it,” he adds.
In offering Victor Hardy his Golden Demon trophy, the Frenchman was, the artist and attorney says, giving up one of the most precious things that a miniature painting award competitor can hope for. “We barely spoke a common language,” points out Hardy, “and, yet, he gave this incredible award to someone who, the day before, was a complete stranger.”
Sadly, a few years later, in June 2012, Bruno Grelier passed away. “Only someone who was completely passionate and crazy about the hobby,” adds Hardy, wrapping up, “could’ve done what Bruno did, and he remains fondly remembered by myself and countless others from the miniature painting scene in the U.S., Europe, and around the world.”