Lets look at this from this angle
Where is the final model going to be used?
Game, Image, TV/Film
If Game is the final output I would go for textures and normal mapping or maybe a bump map as its just the scope for a gun.
If Image is the final output method then go for Normal Mapping or Displacement Map, this is the same for TV/Film...
All these are always dependant on how prominent this model will be to the viewer. Far way dont spend too much time nit picking, if its under there nose then get it as real as possible.
Normal Mapping and Displacement Maps and Bump Maps are all totaly different and I will try to explain as best I can...
Bump Maps as generated from Black and White Imges or Greyscale images and the height or depth is determinted from black to white (Back pushes out and white is depth, if I remeber right lol).
Normal Maps are generated by High Polygon Detailed Models and then "imprinted" onto the low poly model, and at render time produces a lot poly image with high poly details.
Displacement Maps are like bump maps, and are used to fake distortion of the geometry.
Forgive me if I get a few details wrong, I have not been spending that much time on the subject of 3D for a while and may have got it totaly wrong :blush: .
These are very basic explanations of the terms so go to the following links for a better explanation on these subjects:
Bump Map http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_map
Normal Map http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_Map
Displacement Map http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_map
Chris (formerly R@nSiD)
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will truely know peace - Jimmy Hendrix
Winner SM VFX Challenge 1
3rd Place SM SteamPunk Challenge (May 2007)