I rigged it in blender, so i made 1 main bone for global orientation, and rigged the rest with 4 Armaturebones and Weightpainted them, afterwards i set up the bones to be segments, like this you get a much smoother transition between the bones. i hope i could help you (i only rigged 1 arm and dublicatet the whole thing)
yeah ! but i think luxrender has a much nicer workflow, but loooonger rendertimes like 12hours or so for my blenderF1 entry. but yaf(a)ray is very nice for interior rendrings like you do. have some earlyer pictures with yafaray in my gallery.