A different kind of update here. What's notable isn't the model, but the background.
Up to this point I would render my models and then Photoshop them onto a starfield or spacescape of some sort. It works, but it's basically a messy cut-and-paste method that doesn't always get the best results.
But over the past few days I've been learning how to do it more effectively. Essentially I create my starscapes in Photoshop and save them as HDR images as a .exr file. I can then load those right into my rendering program (Maxwell Render) and have my 3D model right in the scene. The end result is being able to render the model already set in the scene it's meant to be in eventually. This saves a lot of time and avoids the messiness of cut-and-pasting the rendered model's image onto another image.
I'm reasonably sure I'll get more proficient at it as I go forward, but posted here is my first effort at generating a space environment with the (unfinished) model already in it.