Though ironically the reason for the extra bits on the Enterprise-B was to avoid cutting into the original model, so it could be damaged and subsequently restored to its original condition.
Was it this - or was it just that the side sponsons provided an easy way to build the necessary interior bits
of the damaged section, much easier than first cutting a hole in the existing hull and then inserting miniature decks and whatnot?
And were such interiors incorporated in the sponsons? Or was the damage all CGI in the end? The Lakota
version wantonly flaunts undamaged sponsons...
John Eaves describes the design process from the aesthetic viewpoint, attributing the sponsons to his desire to imitate the Catalina flying boat, but he does say in the passing that the basic idea of the extra bits was to spare the original model, or "...so that the Nexus ribbon could whip off a chunk of the ship without destroying the whole ship". But the irreversibility of the modifications might still have been clear from the start.