final note, basically...it worked!
The beauty of insomnia is I had a lot of time to finally finish this up yesterday / early this morning, and while there's still one little issue I'm working on it's more or less as good as it's gonna get. I still have no idea how to make new files but this isn't too unusual, per se. Even editing skins in ut99 I tended to take existing files, copy them to another directory, and then edit & rename them.
Sadly, that modus operandi doesn't work as well with ut2k4 files. Largely as I've no clue, presently, how to edit the Karma Data or the Animation files. Those're still new to me.
Loaded up all of them to the player menu so I could watch them ingame:http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7grb3http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7hab9http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7kterhttp://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7pa1chttp://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7qfgxhttp://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7rkq2http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7sda2http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7tg5whttp://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7wq4ghttp://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7xx4x
There were some subtle glitches I wasn't aware of when I started. For one thing, for whatever reason, ut2k4 seems to like reversing texture files. Not sure if that's a normal thing or with just the ut99 male soldier model. For the most part this wasn't an issue except on the Red Shirts as it put their uniform insignia on the wrong side of their chest.
Also with the blue team color for the Dark Hero skin as that one is Superman and what initially came out was a Bizarro 'S'.http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b81rt3
Both were fairly easy to fix.
There's also an oddity in the .int files I hadn't noticed before. It's common with all of the skins & models in the game so I'm currently unsure how to get around it. The form of a model is broken into 2 categories: Bodyskin & Faceskin. There's an additional one for portrait but that largely is only for the menu and possible conversations ingame.
On the Male soldier it makes it so that team colors only effect the upper torso, nothing below the waist. Oddly the ut99 Skaarj Hybrids use the Faceskin to detail what goes on below the waist...and still display their faces fine. I may opt for that, hoping the portrait just knows what to do with itself with the Male Soldier as it does with the Skaarj Hybrid.
In some cases it didn't look so bad:http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7y8yd
Others it was just plain ugly!http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b7zs2c
In the meantime, I've opted to change the pants for those skins that looked particularly bad, which I may change eventually:http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b82ge6
I'm still not thrilled with the Dark Hero pants. Superhero spandex seems to wish to resist looking dark/unshiny.
I may ultimately choose to not keep these due to 2 things. The upper torso in ut2k4 gets angled to the left, it doesn't ever stand totally straight and prefers to twist at this angle for most gameplay. This has a distorted effect on some textures:http://pics.livejournal.com/evilgrins/pic/00b8005b
Also, the color white tends to lead to a really annoying glare under most lighting conditions.