When I tried to image project the registry number and pennant on the side of the hull it kept treating the whole thing like a texture wall over the hull, which of course isn't what I want. In the end I got fed up and just added the pennant as a physical detail.
I've gone this route as well. One thing I have done to do the hull numbers and other text labeling is to cut-and-paste a copy of the target surface, rotate it appropriately for use with the drape tool. Depending on circumstances, I usually will put the text on a surface above the target, make the necessary adjustments to the text and drape it onto the target. Then it is a "simple" matter of moving the target back into position, explode the group, reselect and regroup .
The markings on my entry this month
were done this way, only I created two different noses...and left myself a blank target in case I wanted to add more ships.
Excellent job BTW.