There are aspects of Venardhi's
variant that I like -- the Kiaga
-esque darts pointing aftward from the thrusters were something that I was going to add if I did another illustration. (I'd make them much shorter, however) I like his hull pattern. However, I'd consider blending these details with the existing ovoid fuselage (as we have modified it-- with the aft built up).
The real question then is whether to go with the broken aft ring as he shows, or the horseshoe shield as you have built it. That's a tough one, and I must admit to being torn. There is something appealing to that broken ring, and it has the functional logic of being part cover, part weapons holder. It also looks not so much "designed" as retrofit. however, it's not as "pretty".
There is also something about all the detailing and direction that sawtooth vent/thruster added that I find hard to let go.