Advice on Textures and lighting

Hey all. I’ve always gotten good input from y’all so thanks in advance.

I’ve been working on this model for a couple different purposes. I posted it in the cg cookie contest for robots just for the heck of it. The final purpose of it is cover art for a book so I had two reasons to work on it.

I’ve gotten different feedback on ways to improve it so I look forward to some comments.

I’m a little new to cycles so advice on lighting and so forth would be great.

I’ve also heard I could use some improvements on the textures.

For the final scene, I hope to have the creature standing near the porch of a modern cabin. It should be twilight. The light from the porch should have a faint halo as if there is a tiny bit of fog. I was thinking about some trees. This would help tie the cover art into the story a little. On the other hand, if the scene gets too busy I know it can detract from the overall impact. Thoughts?

DUDE, that’s a big robot!! 0_0

I can hear crickets chirping…
Usually people are quick to make comments.

I’ll post again when I have some more of the scene composed.