Well I have carved one more Santa pilot and this is probably the best one I have carved. Off of some images and photos off of the web I got more detail put into the goggles and will be able to high light those even more once I paint it. I have gotten into the habit of taking a "u" type gouge and making my first cuts a bit shallow to get a feel for the layout of the different parts that make up the carving. Once I see the general layout is pleasing to me I then go in and finalize the cut and move onto the next section.
I had seemed to have gotten into a rut with the way I was carving but the last two I have carved more over this one has made very happy. I will be the first to admit I am very hard on my carvings and my abilities as a carver at times, but this one I really seem to like. I still haven't found a way to carve a beard that I feel consistent or happy with, so there is still work to be done. Yet minus this issue of my own making, I am extremely happy with this carving and will be painting before the day is through. I will mimic the technique I used to paint the last goggles as I felt this gave the look I was after. Not sure about the colors for the cap though, I don't like having identical carvings even when it comes to the paint scheme. Stay tuned to see the finished product, paint and all.