One of the prop-making blogs I follow is that of Harrison Krix -- Volpin Props. I have an amazed admiration for the care he takes in the final finish, in smoothing and sharpness of detail and surface treatments. He is also expanding more and more into technologies necessary to achieve the effects he is after.
That's not my model. Given my time and lack of concentration my intent is to leverage technology and every other time-saving, labor-saving shortcut both the long history of theatrical prop-making and the recent Maker Movement have made available.
And, yeah, I bet that laser engraving, possibly combined with some CNC routing, would have breezed through my current prop. Instead I've been hacking it out of raw wood with a primitive and basic selection of tools not too much evolved from obsidian flakes; X-acto blade, razor saw, and Squadron scribing tool.
Which also means a stop-and-start process; at every step I need to wait for glue to set or spot putty or primer paint to dry. Such as the detail being applied in the picture above.
I've looked at a lot of pictures, and even took screen shots from a Let's Play video. And I can definitely say the in-game model is inconsistent. In-game, it is created from several different shapes which are pushed together in a way that 3d rendering allows but physical materials do not. And there are other artifacts of the 3d nature of the original; textures, for instance, are flood-filled and are scaled inconsistently. The stones inside the blind arches, for instance, are of a different scale depending on how the model is being used on a particular game level.
So I'm having to tweak and change and choose to find compromises that look nice, are representative of the bulk of the images, and are mold-able: I'm also having to worry about gaps and seams and undercuts and blind corners that might be a problem when casting the final prop.