Prop Detail Explanation~
Some people asked me how I make my props free-hand, so here's a little walkthrough on how I get to each finish point.
I start off with finding as many reference pictures of the project possible. Concept art and in-game art are both just as useful, because you want to know what changes were made in the transfer.
Once I have every angle, or as many side views as possible, I'll start drawing the details on a sheet of paper, this is the blueprint stage. All measurements are noted on the sheet, and any troubleshooting issues that may occur. It's good to think of what might go wrong, because you don't want to start putting several hours into a project, to find out it doesn't even close properly, or it ends up slanted/bent, etc.
Once I have my blueprint, I start building the bulk shape, this is the foundation and critical part. If your frame isn't correct, the details will never fit properly on it. I literally measure each step dozen of times before moving to the next step. Better safe than sorry.
Frame finished, I "tattoo" the pattern directly on the base. This gives me a clear finish view of what angles are needed, and how shapes should be cut. I'll trim each piece several times until it fits just right, which is time consuming, and very tedious.
This might seem backwards logic, but once I have my 3D version, I actually revert it back to 2D. Sort of like an origami, you have an odd shape, but once put back together, it will have the finish you're looking for. Picture above shows both the 2D pattern (left), and 3D cut-out (right). This allows me to have raised details on flat surfaces, just like my Hylian Shield.
Those pieces are then glued directly on the frame (bottom), which is the last step. All that is left, is for it to be primed & painted.
Hope this helps~ :)