::update:: I have remodelled the Prospero (the merchant vessel in the foreground) and finetuned the starfield to make it less garish.
There's a story to go with this pic, but this isn't the place for it. This is based on a digital painting I did five years ago, but taking advantage of everything I've learnt in the meantime. It has actually turned out looking better than I had imagined, which is rare.
Both ships were modelled and textured in 3D using 'Cinema 4D'. The basic shape of the beast was modelled in C4d using Hypernurbs. After rendering I took it into Photoshop where I made some minor cosmetic changes to the ships and proceeded to hand-paint the beast with my tablet so it has that nice, icky texture to it. Starfield, nebula and engine glow all done in PS.