The main things I wanted to achieve were 1. Increased stability and 2. A slimmed down silhoutte for the part. So I cut a lot of stuff off and sanded a lot.
One mistake I made was that I'd already painted and decaled the part but I just got so frustrated with that damn shield that I said "**** it. I've come this far so let's just do it right."
After cutting, sanding, puttying and sanding again.
Primed again to check for errors. There were lots.
After another round of sanding.
I could have done a better sanding job because the surface is slightly uneven, texture wise but... at times like this you have to think of the time vs. looks/functionality ratio. It fell within acceptable parameters so I left it alone. It was a good call because the part isn't even really seen very well underneith the shield.
Not re-applying any decals to this part. Just leaving it as is. I don't want to **** with it any more because I basically have it how I want it. Sturdy and uniform. It's time to move on and put this horrible shield linkage design behind me.