@ Rankor, how you group your model is all down to what you want to achieve with it, if your happy with a single component (ROOT) CMP with no destructables, and a resized vanilla SUR then carry on. But if you want to stand out from the masses then think multiple components, we've had a CMP exporter that can do them for quite sometime now, it just needs the model to have multiple groups and arranged properly in the group list to work. Add damage models and custon SURs and you'll have a ship that works as close to a vanilla ship as we can get ATM.
@ Rest, When modelling you use the methods that your skill levels and desires allow.
Milkshape is ideal for modeling game content and about average for difficulty of use, gmax & blender are free but they like most of the "big programs" are complicated to use with more features than you'll ever use for game content.
Texture mapping for games depends on your abilities with a paint program, Tile Mapping doesn't need any abilities as you can use other peoples tile textures, or your own primative textures for your model. UV Mapping requires a high degree of artistic skill for game content textures as all of the detail is added to the texture instead of the model.
For game content I stick to milkshape and it's texture coordinates editor (Ctrl+T, don't use the tile mapper under tools as that can give weird results), non game content (Poser etc) I use MAX and/or Lightwave and either Lith or Classic for mapping, my lack of abilities with photoshop still allow me to make damn good textures for bodies and clothes.
**shuffles of with a new headache**