uv mapping is actualy rather easy.
ive never really used it myself because the shadows come out all wrong but its easy to learn.
i’d personaly keep doing it the way your doing it.
but make my own textures or find some more apropriate ones off the net.
if you download a blend model that has textures you like you can then unpack it and theif their textures.
or alternativly you can do all textures out of polygons rather than materials themself.
all of my textures were pure polygones on the space ship i did. i changed colours of things but never added a texture. actualy most of it is the default grey.
uv texturing is mainly used for games but can help in animations or stills.
keep it going