yeah Donny that's the thing, there's no need to get a notepad file for every texture to set the config for it. This is so much easier.
Also, Unless I'm completely doing this wrong, you no longer need a separate model file for the physical hitbox of the model, it looks like CryEngine determines the properties from the mesh itself automatically.
I agree regarding the death of brushes, I'm probably still going to use them for the basics, but they really do seem like they're only supposed to be for very very simple things like floors.
Thanks for the offer of help with reference materials, I may well take you up on that. I've got as many images as I could find on the web, and admittedly the new TNG Blu-rays are turning out to be incredibly useful :-D
Here's a few screenies of todays progress. I'm going overboard with the specular and gloss, but I'm just enjoying these new toys too much, I'll tone them down.
Also, there's like zero texture work here, I'm just using RGB diffuse maps currently, I'll start getting proper textures on here soon.