What Defiance said, plus in my situation, I am in the final run for my PhD, which makes things a bit harder. The thing is, I know what I am supposed to do to get the ships ingame with the new version of the engine, but I still have to learn how to do it, which will take some time I am not sure to have at the moment. With the usual mod tools, which simplified the process quite a lot, it could take a few hours to fully integrate a single capital ship in the mod, and I do not know how long it will take with the new method.
You're welcome.Kevin's excellent Blender Commander scripts.
the colour at index 0 of the MAT palette/CMAP is transparent by default
If there's no colour that isn't used by the UV map (e.g. the black areas), I'd recommend converting to indexed colour using 255 maximum colours, and then adding another colour to the palette, and swapping the new colour for the colour at index 0.
On the other hand, the MAT palette can either be embedded in the MAT itself, or the MAT can reference an external PAL file.
Oh, and also: apologies for not responding to your questions lately
Either that, or life is trying to teach me a lesson about running away from the game industry complaining of crunch times