esarai: Thanks! The first model (Sabre, the triangly one) actually took an entire week, cause I had to puzzle out the proper way to convert the model to import sucesssfully to PCS2--you'll notice some of the geometry issues that accumulated over that course of time. Texturing took a bit of time to figure out a style to stick with as well. But yeah, it's been 2 weeks since then, and once I got all the basics figured out (the tutorials in the forum and wiki are a big help!), I can work much faster.
Andrew of Doom: Thanks! I'm sure that converting Stellar Assault over to FreeSpace at that degree of speed is no small feat either.
How would I go about making this animate? I just want the back "tentacles" to wave around, and I have them set up so that each tentacle is 2 subobjects, like this
and the pivot points for each subobject at the terminal point of its parent.