30+ Layers and one week later, my masterpiece is finished! Presenting the Tenth Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver from Doctor Who.
It really is amazing to see how simplistic techniques can yield awesome results. Most of this piece was constructed with Shape3D plugin in Paint.NET and distorted/manipulated to suit my needs. Lots of S3D and Gradients (with Curves+). Less prevalent is my use of bulge, Polar Inversion, and subtle transparent gradients to make highlights.
Another fun fact: at about 33% magnification, this image is the same size as the toy which I used as a prop which, in turn, was used to create the prop for the main show.
Full Size DL 3000x1500