Fruitless in my efforts to find a good clip for your review, I did find this funny blog entry
that illustrates what Hawk's ship did. I don't remember it looking very convincing, even for the time, but special effects back then were different ... they weren't realistic, they were a sort of icon that gave you a rough idea what was going on.
I loved the model work done in Buck Rogers. A lot of it was very beautiful.
"But the fun with sci-fi is not everything has to be logical." See, this is where you and I part company. No, not literally, I'm not walking out on your discussion, but I think it's very important for science fiction to make sense. Once you start jettisoning that, you move closer and closer to fantasy. Star Trek did that a little too often for my tastes, especially as time went on, but it was at its best when it went the other direction. And if we're sitting here daydreaming about what we'd like to see next, don't we really want to see the movie be the best it can possibly be? Sure, keep the imagination and excitement, but also keep it logical and as scientifically accurate as possible.