The thing is, you have to make the texture subordinate to the form, an enhancement of the form, if you will. Look at the Apollo, Athena, Herc2, Ares. Their textures are designed to make the original form read better.
I would have to disagree with you there. I think you're confusing "adding complexity" with "complementing the form". Those examples you gave all have normal maps, which increases the apparent complexity. Increased detail and complexity does not necessarily enhance the form. Think camouflage; lots of detail serving to break up the form.
On a smooth piece of mesh, the eye slides easily along its length. In the art world this is often described as visual energy or visual flow. If you have a texture line perpendicular across its length, your eye stops at it, before moving on. This breaks up the flow of the form. The greater the strength of the line (more colour, contrast, etc) the more visual stopping power it has.
Normal maps are particularly good at breaking up the form of the model. Not only do they appear to be physical features attached to the hull, they have highlights and shadows that heighten the contrast between the various texture elements. Add to that, the nvidia DDS plugin on Photoshop tend to make very pronounced details. In the end, normal maps enhance the detail
of the ship, but not it's form.
So in the end, it comes down to a tug of war between the surface detail and the form. Too little detail and the form is visible but it might look plain (such as this fighter). Too much detail, and you won't be able to see the sweet curves of the ship (compare the before and after image of the Perseus on the wiki). Beyond that, and the ship will look like the Michelin man.
So anyways, those are my thoughts on that topic. For this ship, the paint job was intended to break up the form a bit and trap the viewer's eye. Same with the S-curve on the front wings. The colours (accidently) work well with the Suicide Kings' colour scheme, as well. I migth get rid of the star, though it has to be replaced with something. An Ace? Some eyes? A skull?