yes, you can detect collision with specific meshes.
I guess you do not want to use several Actors and stick them together with ChildActorComponents. If you use a single Actor with multiple MeshComponents that should do. You can move the parts within the Actor like they would be separated parts/Ships. But you need to keep in mind that on movement only the root mesh collision will stop the Ship from going through obstacles. You can also put put a bigger collider around the whole ship to block movement.
Here something to start with:
You need to prepare a Pawn for that. Enable “Simulation Generate Hit Events” for the MeshComponents. And you get their OnComponentHit Nodes by selecting the Event on the bottom of the details.
I really a appreciate the detail of your reply. I will certainly be able to work with this. Thanks for the tip too about using ChildActorComponents. It may be better for me to rework some things to take that route.