Almost a month of very hard work...
I would like to express my gratitude to:
@frikkr for your invaluable feedback during all stages of the project, from the early iterations of the modelling process to the final tweaks in the shading and compositing. Thanks mate, I applied most of what you said this time and it shows!
@jodyls27, @gutendog, @phoenix4690, @sabre363 for your patience and extremely useful and immediate (!!!!) feedback during the whole project. I know I can seem a bit hyperactive/spammy at times, it's just that I spend a fck ton of time doing this and because of that I can sometimes ask a zillion questions in 10 minutes, posting an image that looks almost exactly the same as the previous one with a slight adjustment. That whole discord channel of ours keeps me motivated all the time.
@jonathan_l for your suggestions on the lighting. I changed the whole lighting setup because of your last comment, which (in my opinion) made a huge difference. (Such a stupid, little and seemingly insignificant thing, these lights.... well - NOPE)
And finally @theluthier for your amazing tutorial on shading the sci fi helmet. Guys, if you haven't done the tutorial - do it! It's one of the best courses available on this site. The course alone is worth a month's subscription price so go and get it.
Enough blabbing - here we go:
Modelling (20-30 hours):
Shading ( 3-6 hours):
Modelling / texturing the environment, playing around with lights, positioning etc. (I lost count of how much time I spent on this...)