Yep - without is looking meaner - and these are really satisfying paint-ups, Dan - well done :) I like it a lot!
Gosh I thought this was 3D :o Well done :)
I think the cogs lend it some unwanted cuteness - like ears almost... I keep checking back to see what I think about it - and if I still think what I think about it!
Without the cogs, they seem superfluous to function and disrupt the silhouette somewhat.
Looks awesome Dan!Although I think he might look a bit clean and, excluding the tale spikes, almost modern. Maybe a splash of ornamentation would give him a more medieval/fantasy look. Also, his face still looks kind of cute to me :)