Basically it creates corrupt UVs with a size of 0 0 - so it doesn't matter what texture I apply, it comes out as a flat colour.
I've searched around and checked all the suggested fixes - community stuff being a lot more helpful, if also usually dead threads, than the FBX help doc. Which I couldn't even get to load properly.
It's set in map channel 1, the texture .bmp is in the same folder with the same name as the Max material. I tried messing around with real world coordinates and no luck, didn't change a thing.
Also, using max 2010 and the most recent FBX version.
Anyone know what I'm missing here?
EDIT: It seems Noesis is the one to blame - re-importing the FBX into max brings its texture with it.
Also, I've never seen the model textured in the Noesis preview window - just blank white.
Further trawling through the various forum and it seems this is a bug in Max itself, with some sort of fup in how it does vertex normals.
Senor Casaroja / Mr Adults:
"FBX support is there. It's pissing me off though. Max seems to discard per-vertex normals when you import meshes with skin deforms on them. But those FBX files import back into Noesis just fine. As far as I can tell I'm doing exactly what they're doing for skin deforms in the FBX SDK example code. So, dunno what the problem is. I would like to know if the Maya and Motion Builder FBX 2012 importers do the same thing or not. I suspect they don't."
Going to give OpenCollada a try, since it seems this was never resolved, as far as I can tell from the changelog (and my own attempts).