This is a quality piece of work, and I really love the design.
The art, in general, is beautifully done. It has weight and presence, and I could totally picture it drifting through space.
I only awarded 3 stars in originality, because the ship is very evocative of Homeworld (from Relic Entertainment), which is not a detractor at all. This design (and many of your others) could easily replace the existing art in that classic game and no one would bat an eye. But that is a compliment on the quality and refinement of your work, because in my opinion, Homeworld has not been surpassed since its release 14 years ago.
You commented on your practice of studying real military hardware, and it shows! The armor panels on the ship bear the unmistakable gunmetal gray of real naval vessels. The guns are placed for maximum coverage. The bridge holds a dominant position on the ship. It's very utilitarian and functional. The ship has a purpose, and nothing is for show.
very difficult to criticize this design because I love it, I also think that this version is the most appropriate to what I feel its role is.
but if I were to say something that would be that I feel this reactor lookting section in the front was not completely refined, could maybe be a cargohold or adjust the design there. it coud be super god!
and I think the front is not completely symmetrical, would absolutely love to see this design completely refined.
my favorite ship design iv seen yet tho, so youve already sold me hope to se it back, mabe do a 3d anime. cause i like the engine idea u got on here.