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Old September 12 2006, 07:23 AM   #147
Captain Robert April
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Location: In selfless service to fandom, on the road to becoming a Star Trek trivia god...
Re: Deck Plans V: The Not-So-Final Go Around

^ I saw such a photo, but it was a closeup view, with no indication of what stage of evolution the model was at when the little thingie was present.

As for it intending to be the phaser emitter, well, here's one of those cases where it was best that those initial intentions were discarded. It seems to me that the animators seemed to focus in more, as best as they could at the time, on the ring surrounding the lower dome (certainly makes it easier to do twin phaser beams, rather than trying to connect them up to an invisible surface detail and deal with fan letters asking why the phasers seem to fire from several feet below the saucer).
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