New to Blender, Airplane model & question

Hello all,

I’m very new to blender and 3D modeling in general. I’ve been a programmer for about ten years now, and like to sketch cars/etc on paper, but after running across a 3D World magazine on the newstand, I thought I’d give Blender a shot (truth be told I dorked with it about eight years ago, but never got past creating a sphere!).

Anyways, I started playing with it about a week and a half ago, and I’m very happy with my progress (see below). It’s supposed to be a Russian WWII vintage airplane… a Polikarpov I-16, the cockpit isn’t on yet (I kinda forgot that little detail!), but it’s pretty close to finished for now.

As it says in the title, I have a question as well… where do I go from here? I want to put a (I think this is the right term?) texture on it, basically “paint” it. I have found some info on using UV unwrap, but this pretty much blows my mind. Could you give me some pointers, or better yet, point me to existing content that would help me get started? Books, magazines, articles, forums, links… anything would help. Thanks in advance!