Definitely the way to go Matthew Gresham it would give you a better finish and be much much quicker. I painted mine with stone effect plasticote the airbrushed the details. To cut the patterns just use a soldering iron. If you dont have one then heat up the tip of a screw driver. Also if you get adventurous you can always add to it at a later date. I went the whole hog with mine and built the lot..... with retracting pedestal centre when you try to steal it.
That idol isn't painted, it's a bronze idol that Hand Schaub made a few years ago.
As for my pedestal, I took a couple of foam cake forms from the craft store and covered them with spackle, then patted it down with crumpled up plastic bags to make it look like stone. After that I sprayed on some of that stone spray paint you can get at the hardware store to give it extra texture. Then I sponged on black, white, and gray acrylic paint until I got it to a stone looking color I wanted. Next, I used a toothbrush dipped in black and white paint to fling paint on and make the speckles. Finally I did a black and brown wash over the whole thing to dirty it up and a little green here and there to make it look like moss had grown there.