I did one layer of 1/8", followed by another layer of 1/8" with the flames cut out. I was considering (as you suggested) not padding the inset flames at all, but I wasn't sure how that would look. I was worried about needing more padding on it where your arm would normally rest but it turned out exactly how cushy I wanted it. I used leather from the neck of the hide, seemed to be about as stretchy as I was going to get. Found a plastic coat hook laying around that I used to define the lines along the flames while the glue was still wet, it worked pretty well.
You mean I can still go back (5 days later) with the heat and try to force the contours of the flames?
I wasn't happy with the gun I used. It was a little touch-up gun with a little pressure regulator I mounted to it. I really couldn't get even coverage out of it, I wound up running it at 50 PSI, 40 was to globby. I'm going to try my bigger gun next time. That's a great tip about leaving the paint in the gun and taping off the hole. I'm definately going to try it after cleaning the gun once already.
My little 3-gallon compressor wasn't keeping up, either - had to run to a friend's house and use a bigger compressor.
But all in all, it was a good experience. I didn't totally screw up the part, got a good idea how the cement works, I know how much I can stretch that leather now and I got a little practice. All thanks to some great advice from you guys on the board here.