The best example regarding this on the Millennium Falcon model are the armor plates. You know, all these tiny little plates with the little edges missing? Well, there are about 500 on the Falcon! Each one I had to cut out by hand, and regarding the edges, since I had to cut them out anyway, so why not do it right! They all are exactly where they are on the original model (as far as I was able to tell from the pictures I had)!
When I first started, it took me 1 hour to make 6 panels...! (basically, because I had to figure out where exactly onto the surface they go and in which radius they are curved. The panels for the sides of the "exit tunnels", for example, did not take that long because I needed the same set of panels 8 times and I only had to take measurements once.

Onto these panels I then glued about another 500 tiny (real TINY! between 2x2mm and 5x5 mm) square pieces of almost paper thin styrene for more detail. I also used thin styrene coated stainless steel wire for the little cables on the surface.

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