Rather than draw the entire ship from scratch in order to work out the detailing, I decided to switch gears and start from a 3D rendering, then add the detailing as a "paint over."
This is about 70-75% finished, I would say:
I figured I would go ahead and post this and get some feedback on it before I go any further. I am now at that delicate stage where I am beginning to add details that I have had in mind all along, but everyone else has been looking at the simpler versions for so long that the refinements can be rather jarring. Fortunately, some of the early design sketches included a lot of these details, so it shouldn't be too bad.
A couple of specific notes:
1. I realize the name and emblem don't look very military, but I figure they were held over from the ship's former life as a civilian research vessel. Not yet shown is a cluster of ID codes and registry numbers on the bottom half of the disc. Dennis sent me a graphic for that some time back but I seem to have misplaced it. I'll probably need to have him send me another copy. Size and placement is still negotiable.
2. The color scheme is not final. I rather like the blues, grays and blacks but almost anything could still change. At one point we were considering more of a red or orange color for the stripe on the side of the main engine housing instead of black, in which case some adjustments to the overall color scheme would probably be in order. I've kept those markings separate in the Photoshop document so they can be adjusted at will.
3. The feature just in front of the lander module is a significant addition. This is a large airlock for EVA operations and is called for in at least one scene in the script. The EVA suits are more than mere space suits, more like small capsules with helmets and manipulator arms, and this is where they are launched and retrieved. The airlock is oriented in alignment with the ship's internal decks, so imagine stepping out on the lip of this thing like a ledge on the side of a tall building, with the lander module just below you and the weapons pylon looming over your head. Probably there are two of these, one on either side, though I'm still debating over making one of them a dedicated docking port or locating it elsewhere, perhaps in the mirrored position on the other side of the lander.
4. Two of the four landing struts are visible in this image, at the trailing edge of the main engine cowling and the tip of the upper tail fin. These extend out and downward, partially unfolding into stabilized landing pads for those rare occasions when the ship actually touches down on a planet's surface. The position of the drive sails is actually about where they would be in a landed configuration.