To steal a page from @funvill’s playbook, here is a post-mortem:
One thing I re-learned in this process is that even though I absolutely loved the result that I got with the settings on the test pieces, those same settings were a bit too low for on the final piece. For example Hiro, the purple character, lost all detail in his face which had previously etched just fine. This could be the fact that the laser itself was at a slightly different focus, or the moisture content in this piece of wood or any number of other variables that could have changed in the almost two weeks since I did the initial test etches. It took almost 7 hours on the laser so I very much doubt I’ll run the full image again at a stronger setting just to add in a little detail.
In the future, I’d suggest making your layout to include a test piece and running it the same day in order to eliminate as many variables as possible before committing to a day of babysiting a project you don’t feel 100% happy with. I am nitpicking, and she is still going to love it, but there are always lessons to be learned and improvements to be made.
The original image as downloaded and the final product: