Well, to my extreme pleasure, I've had a second request for this cake and jumped at the chance to redeem myself (if only in my own mind, lol!). I am much happier with the result of this latest attempt!
- I cut out the panels from fondant, instead of feebly trying to outline them with royal icing. Piping a straight line on the vertical side of a cake is NOT one of my strong suits, haha! Plus, I think the cut outs give it a more "realistic" look.
- I also, have learned how to properly smooth icing on a round shape, so R2D2 did not come out so "cone-headed" this time!
- Another thing that I've learned (the "hard" way) is to properly measure for good spacing and placement. Instead of just winging it. It's hard to fight the urge to jump right in with decorating, but doing the preliminary work of measuring makes the job so much easier, and it just looks better!
- Use a ruler! Not only to do your measuring, but to cut straight lines, lol! I know this should be a "duh" kind of thing... but as you can clearly see on the first cake, I thought I could eyeball it... well, I cannot! So I always have my trusty straight edge nearby :)
- And one final thing, that has made all the difference in the world in my cake decorating... always have Tylose Powder in my decorating kit. When I am working on fondant embellishments, I always knead a little in... it helps stiffen up the fondant so it isn't so stretchy. so when you are lifting a fondant ribbon, square or any shape you have cut out... it doesn't loose it's shape and sharpness...
Happy Caking :)