Cary, could you elaborate on your thoughts regarding the bridge not being able to fit into a 947' ship? As you may recall, last year I completed my model of the bridge in Google Sketchup (As discussed here: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=44981
), and was able to fit the bridge into Jefferies' cutaway sized up to 947'.
The one difference I see is that you appear to be assuming that Deck 1 does not drop into the space of Deck 2, whereas I assumed that, just as Jefferies' drawing shows, Deck 1 does drop into the space of Deck 2. With this assumption, I got the bridge into the dome with no problem.
Actually, there are two main issues with the 947' take. First is the "deck elevation" of the bridge, and you're correct, you can compensate for that by setting the deck level down a bit.
The problem is, you can't compensate for the lift-shaft location that way. I'm using McMaster's bridge plans, here. I know that there are some minor issues which have since been found with his work (mainly that the wedges on the real set weren't EXACTLY 18 degrees all around, which is something I'm assuming here, because it makes more "real life" sense to me). But I'm taking his lift location number as canon.
I saw your sketchup model of the bridge (and have a copy on my hard drive). Forgive me if I'm mistaken here, but you didn't model the lift car, did you? If you did... did you notice how much farther aft it has to be, beyond where the "on-the-model" tube is? That was actually my PRINCIPLE scaling decider... I didn't want to do what a few other folks have done (and set the bridge a deck lower) and I wanted the lift tube to, in fact, be the lift tube. That is the ONLY hard-and-fast scaling feature on the entire ship, as far as I can see. There is a clear distance between the centerline of the primary hull and the centerline of the lift tube, and that results in the scale I eventually determined to be the "best fit."
Of course, my "on the model" centerline locations are based upon third-party drawings (in my case, I've been doing a bit of a synthesis between Synclair's and ... oh, geeze, I'm blanking here at the moment but most of you know the other "really accurate" set out there.... ). Is it possible that these aren't really 100% accurate to the model? Of course. So I'm also being a bit flexible in that regard.
It just turns out that with the 947' version, the lift tube doesn't even remotely line up with the "real set" location of the lift tube. That, and the hangar deck stuff, are really my two major "beefs" with the 947' number.
One other thing... if you look closely, my bridge DOES "sink into deck 2." However, I only have it doing so in the central region of the bridge (captain, helm, navigation) which are setting on top of the computer core. That was really one of two reasons I wanted to put the core in that location... you can have a reduced ceiling height in a two-level "core" area without any real impact - plus, the bridge really ought to be directly wired into the computer core, I think.