Thanks for the kind words.
That's actually the very idea I'm planning to follow, Mike! I've started looking at pictures of crabs, shrimps, scorpions, spiders, ants, and the like for inspiration of Imperial Alliance ship designs.
For the Striker mentioned above, I created a Drone Craft-like spinoff named "Hive Runner" that transports eight Strikers:
Here is a Hive Runner by a Drone Craft, for size comparison:
I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with its design; so, I'm switching focus to working on models for the known "canon" ships. Over the weekend, I started on the most challenging of them all, in my opinion: the Imperial Battle Cruiser. Here's a shot of where it stands right now:
I'm using this excellent scan
from the Star Fleet Annual as a reference alongside the videos (which I have been playing constantly in a background window while working to keep me focused