There was a time in development that I had considered an oval deflector, more like the Galaxy or Intrepid:
I ended up moving towards a small round deflector, as that's what the Sovereign had (and I felt my design was too old fashioned) but in retrospect, that was because for the Sovereign they had to match the deflector to a physical set in First Contact
, and a small round set is much easier to construct and film than a big oval one.
It was also the last aspect I finished as it was facing away from the camera in my submission shot, though you can still see it in the orthographic view: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...1&d=1295299530
It was also many people's least favorite design element in my promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEUf9UfRpSU
So I put the extra work into polishing it afterwards, but after the contest ended the contest judges said they were
looking for an oval deflector, so it may well have ruled out my design, so it's something I've always second guessed.
The wrap around windows in place of the torpedo bay is a great choice.
I wanted an observation deck on both the saucer and the star drive, and that seemed a good place for one, as I had moved most of the torpedo launchers to the bottom of the saucer, as the Sovereign had them away from the non-neck, almost replacing (and some say obstructed by) the Captain's yacht.