So just a recap here is what the top tree looked like, scuffed up, painted black, crappy looking. (I'm keeping the choke pull though!
Sand blasted for a fresh start. The gauged ear lobes hanging off the front had to go.
An ugly casting seam ran all around the piece
Filled in some divots in the casting on the underside that otherwise would show through. Also built up a ridge of weld so I had enough material to reshape the piece. Big thanks to Adam for help with the tig welding!
Cut the tabs off and sanded area to get my basic shape.
Filed off the casting seams.
Half polished, started with 100 grit all the way up 400 then wet sanded with 600. I could go further but, it looks good to me.