Integrating luci and modules into image

Successfully compiled from source with some kernel modules and LuCI. Successfully flashed to WRT1200AC but LuCI was not installed nor were my modules, ex: kmod-md not listed in lsmod.

LuCI was built as <*> so I dont understand why its not in the image. Had to manually install with opkg from the feed.
The kernel modules were built as <M>, so do I just need to enable them? If so how?

Or do I need to use the LEDE Image Builder?

No [*] mean build in to the image & [M] just build the ipk + deps all as module you have to change it and run make again
or copy ipks manual to the router. And install it with opkg

It isn't intuitive - would you please spend the time to explain? I would really appreciate it.
I assumed as well the [*] means - build it and put it as part of the Root FS image. Yet it is not there. When I download and flash the Raspberry image, LuCI is there, preset to work on the Ethernet port. When I build the Beaglebone Black the build goes great, I flash the image and there is no LuCI.
I used Menuconfig to enable the Luci SSL through collections. It puts the LuCI Base as a dependency <*>. Is there some configuration I am missing to bind it to a specific firewall zone or an interface? How was that done for the Raspberry image?

check if luci was just failed to init, or totally not there. Luci will be installed at /usr/lib/lua/luci.

find /usr/lib/lua/luci

normally a bunch of lua and htm files will be listed. luci also requires an http server, normally it will be uhttpd. you need to check if uhttpd is in your rootfs too.

find / -name uhttpd

if luci or uhttpd was not there, you may have something wrong with your build. or, try logread to see if there's something wrong with the sys init.