Well its been going slowly, but every step I continue to refine my understanding of the process. I've been sloppy by comparison to the ideal way to work. I'm continuing to learn how and why to work the way you read about. I was bouncing between LOD0(in game hi) and LOD1(in game lo) THEN trying to make a baking high rez mesh. Thats a slow way to work, with a lot of tweaking that gets redone over and over. Here's the high rez mesh for the helmet, now I'll make the other levels of detail from this (duh) hah.
Edit Some Alt versions to break up or change the cross b/c its too symbolic and the symbolism doesn't really match.