So, I recently learned of the term "greeble." This is what wiki calls it:
A greeble or nurnie is a fine detailing added to the surface of a larger object that makes it appear more complex, and therefore more visually interesting. It usually gives the audience an impression of increased scale. The detail can be made from simple geometric primitives (such as cylinders, cubes, and rectangles), or more complex shapes, such as pieces of machinery (sprockets, cables, tanks). Greebles are often present on models or drawings of fictional spacecraft or architectural constructs in science fictionand is used in the movie industry (special effects).
Greebles allow you to add detail very quickly to models without having to affect the geometry. It is very easy to generate a greeble with Gimp and Blender. All you need is the Insane Bump Plugin for gimp (requires the NormalMap plugin) and knowledge of how to apply a normal map in Blender.
Supposedly greebles were used for the Star Wars space ship
This is my most current Greeble:
I made a 3d model in sketchup and viewed it in Orthograpic mode with shadows on. I then exported an image and used the Insane bump plugin to generate the greebles.
Just a tip for people who may not know about it.
Note: Insane bump also generates Displacement maps if you want to affect the geometry also.
Found tutorials for InsaneBump: