In retrospect I might have build a bit too many controls into the hand. However, like with the body having more controls allowed me to override problems in the mesh. It was also good practice to set up a hand rig with IK controls in the fingers.
These are some notes I wrote to Salem Abi-Hanna about designing the ship. You can see the final design in the lower right-hand corner. Filling out this page was a way for me to unload all the ideas I had in my head. What I ended up going with was a much simpler solution.