Map the texture on to the wings
UVW-unwrapping a complex object is torment, so let’s skip that. I add a top view of the hull’s paintwork to the wing texture and acquire the UVW mapping from the wing. Using a planar UVW means you get some defects where the surface rolls over away from the image plane, but they’re easy to correct. It’s enjoyable deciding what details to add and where to locate them.
Tweaking to perfection
All steps require a bit of tweaking to get them right, but I make an effort to step back and review the work. Pondering proportions, nudging parts, altering textures in Photoshop. I apply the warmer-cooler principle: did my last change move me closer or further away from what I want? Many small nudges in the right direction ensure the design is developing nicely.