Last pic of the day! Also where my anger stemmed from...
First trial is the bottom mangled piece (I got annoyed and crushed it to throw in the garbage... but it proved to be useful in this explanation), top piece is my second attempt, and the difference is huge.
Took 2 days again, first day was riddled with mistakes, second is about solving main points, what to keep, what to modify, and what needs a completely new pattern. The bottom, I was hoping to divide the sections, so it was easier to shape, also the darts were too wide, which caused the center to raise too far up. The top was also too flat, and I preferred the in-game ears rather than the concept art's.
You'll also notice that each side panel on the top is actually one piece, with grooves and borders to give it different height and dimension. I used the same technique as my Hylian Shield, taking a very thin piece of cardboard, and running it along the edge to raise the details.
I want to stress, how important it is not to give up, and that mistakes will happen, a LOT. So if your first prop turns out rough looking, take a step back, learn from your mistakes, and try again. If you have patience & determination, it doesn't matter what skill level you have, you can do it.