Something just finally clicked with me the other day. An old Enterprise
design first seen in one of Geoffrey Mandel's Star Fleet Handbooks
in 1978, said to be by Mike Minor for Star Trek II
The script excerpt of The God Thing
says it's the 'familiar' form of the Enterprise
in drydock (not some radical redesign, certainly not some all-new ship), with an 'improved, new' warp nacelle open on the side for antimatter refueling. The design seen above seems perfect for such an image.
I'd always wondered where that design fit into the Phase II
timeline. But given that the rest of the design (except for a smaller deflector dish) is otherwise identical to the TOS version, and they were talking a $5 million budget in 1975, maybe I was thinking of the wrong Star Trek II
! Maybe this was the redesign intended for The God Thing
. Maybe they would've got the TOS model back from the Air & Space Museum somehow, slapped on the new engines and roll camera.