Empire: Total War Ship Model Crash

I’m currently porting the HMS Victory from Empire: Total War into Garry’s mod at full scale, and I’m running into problems.

I export with 3Ds MAX as usual, StudioMDL compiles fine (no errors from either), and all textures are powers of 2. The bizarre thing is that sometimes when I view the model in model viewer, subobjects are missing entirely, and other times, it just crashes the viewer. The same exact thing happens in GMOD.

I’ve checked the .vmt files over and over to make sure it wasnt just force enabling translucency, but when I check the wireframe, the actual mesh piece is missing!

However, that very same part of the mesh shows up when compiled by itself, so it really does rule out an incorrect texture type, faulty geometry etc.

The only thing I can think of is that there is some sort of face limit, or a high resolution Texture limit (total MBs are about 5, 10 total for the normals and gloss maps, but I have not linked these in the vmts yet)

To reiterate: with seemingly the exact same export/compile circumstances, sometimes it loads with missing textures, other times it just crashes model viewer/gmod when I try to load it.

What know issues/limitations could cause this behavior?

What is the poly count?

I’ve heard, the Souce engine can’t handle shit :S

Being from an RTS, the poly count can’t be that high…

At least you’d think it wouldn’t be…

You’d think, but I’d wager they are the most detailed models of sailing ships ever created for a game.

I managed to solve my problem by simply compiling for Orange Box Engine, rather than EP1. Who knows. I know that face count is 20,000…

The main ship is almost done, but I just need to find the mast, bowsprit, sails, etc wherever they are hiding in the ETW packs. Ill post pictures later.