Almost there now.
I've been spending an hour or so each night over the past few days refining the belt master, and it's coming along really nicely. I levelled off all the lumps that were in the straps by using a block sander and a bunch of patience. I find that a block sander suits this purpose best, as it takes all of the organic guesswork out of sanding that usually accompanies hand sanding.
So if you're going for a flat surface, use that block.
The most time consuming part turned out to be the buckle. So many compound curves and hard to reach places. It's really come a long way from the lumpy mess it was that I started with. And that's not meant to discredit the original sculptor. It's a beautiful sculpt. It just got warped during handling and my molding/casting process. So there were a lot of boogers and junk to clean up.
I think most impressive are the way the straps turned out. Not only are the lumps gone, but a lot of the inconsistencies along the ridges have been cleaned up. I have to say, I'm even a little surprised at how good it turned out. Just goes to show what a little patience and a lot of primer and putty can do.
As of these pictures, the entire belt has been coated with its last coat of primer. The only remaining task is to wetsand the entire thing until it is mirror smooth. I figure I can bang that out in a night, which still puts me one day ahead of schedule. So I'm pretty stoked.
Just for giggles, I've put together a little comparison shot. You know, before and after magic. The top picture is the master as it came out of the mold. The bottom is how it stands tonight. Granted, the angle is a little off, and the focus isn't as sharp on the after, but I think you get the idea.
There's obviously a MAJOR difference between the two. All of the macro lumps are gone, and all of the fissures caused by the cracking finish are totally gone. Heck, all trace of them are gone.
So yeah, I'd say it's coming along nicely.