need advice on adding verisimilitude and improving on background

Howdy, am working on a book cover. It’s coming along okay I think. I purchased a good. .exr for the world environment background.
But the ship just looks like a plastic model. How can I improve on this? Make it look like the ship belongs in that space?
Thank you

I think the first thing you need to do is to work the lighting …
I think there is too much differents lights in your scene. Try to start with one sun lamp as a main light source and get the best of it before adding other ones.

Maybe by putting the yellow part in the background in the opposite corner, and light the ship as it’s coming from there…
Here is a quick mockup :

If the ship is metallic it should reflect the environment too…

Thank you, your blend looks really cool, a question. My model is metallic, but why isn’t it reflecting then?

I think one of the contributors to the “plastic model effect” would be how the parts look like single pieces. Some panel lines, or parts that have slightly different colors/reflectivity would give a better sense of being constructed rather than cast. Look at the ships in Star Trek (TNG and later) or Star Wars for examples.

How did you get the clouds/god’s rays effect? Blender or post render photoshop/compositing?

Very, very soon, you need to print it.

Or, with the assistance of a printing professional, put the image through “pre-flight” software which will accurately portray what the image will look like in the CMYK color-gamut and with the actual materials that will be used in preparing the cover.

I can tell you right now that you will have very difficult printing problems with both of these images.

An “ink-jet printer” will not give you an accurate prediction of what a digital printing press will do.