Someone on the Starship Modeler Forum posed an interesting question today. The question was "whether anyone knows if the original miniature actually HAD a shuttle bay or whether what we saw on screen was matted in?" Specifically referring to the exterior shot of the studio scale model in space dock where Kirk and Scotty are approaching the ship in a travel pod, and the shuttle bay doors are open.
Outside of the film, I have seen several pictures of the studio model but none with the shuttlebay doors open. Screencaps I have looked at from Star Trek TMP appear, at least to me, like the interior of the shuttlecraft hanger is matted in. I also read where Andy Probert mentions that all the shuttlecraft hangar sequences were done with a combination of live action and matte painting effects. Is this true for the exterior model shots where the hangar doors are open as well? Can anyone here confirm this? or was there actually a miniature shuttlecraft hangar deck built into the studio model?