I only used the secondary hull and the deflector insert. Just to avoid eventual pylon sagging, I recreated the engine pylons with 3 laminations of Evergreen sheet. That also let me put actual vent grooves in the leading and trailing edges. I also replaced the resin side-sensor flats with thick sheet - it just seemed easier than trying to sand the resin parts to the same thickness.
The kit's paneling decals looked interesting, but they were so thin they crumpled up and ruined themselves before I knew what was happening. Definitely give them a lot of coats of laquer or Micro Liquid Decal Film if you're gonna use them. And I made my own markings for the Shangri-La (Using the Ships of the Star Fleet ship list), because the kit decals for the Decatur had two different NCC numbers for the saucer and the nacelles!!! :shock:
I wanted to try a darker color this time, so I went with Model Master Flanker blue, with darker panels in British PRU Blue.
Grid lines: First apply several thick coats of either the main color or a primer color. Then draw the grid lines on with a very sharp mechanical pencil. The pencil lead will score the paint but NOT the plastic underneath! Then apply the final coat of paint. So those saucer gridlines are only the depth of a few coats of paint, and the width of a thin pencil point, and are the same color as the rest of the ship. They really only show up at certain angles and certain lighting. It worked just the way I'd hoped!