Hey, Cliff, I've noticed something odd. My game has stopped using the Ships2.dds file.
I was originally concerned that my file modification had done something, so I reverted back to the original file. I even went so far as to rename ships.dds and ships2.dds--swapping their file names. Nothing works. Regardless of which file I use, it only loads 4 different ship images instead of the full 8.