The project seems to be progressing nicely! Those metal parts look nice and seem pretty substantial. Hopefully that will translate to the model holding up well over time.
I agree that onscreen the original Enterprise model didn't look to have much weathering or detail, but I think that probably has more to do with the studio lighting, quality of the effects that lost detail and a low-quality TV image. Honestly the main surface detail I noticed in the original TV show was film grain. Just because we couldn't see weathering in the effects shots doesn't mean the model didn't have the detail. It's quite reasonable to think the modelers pushed the detail to get some of it across on film. I usually prefer idealized models to accurate prop replicas because that is how I remember/imagined them, so I completely sympathize with that point of view.
At $599 shipped there can't be any room for making different variations of this and TOMY always said this was a weathered Smithsonian version. TOMY is already producing a fewer number of models than they hoped to sell. Any sort of customization would add steps and a separate way to inventory products through the process. TOMY might need additional Paramount approval for a different finished version as well. Different paint jobs would also change the expectations, adding to the likelihood of upsetting customers or people wanting the "other one" when they see pictures after the release.
Tomy looks to be producing exactly what they said it would be. In this case, I actually really like the weathering.
Hopefully if enough people asked for it, TOMY will do an idealized run of these in the future. There would probably be room for profit in that since they have already done all the engineering. It would be fantastic if people had that option, too. People who want a more idealized version might be able to sell the weathered one at a profit after release.
I am a bit worried about the diecast parts pics. The huge fastener holes in the side of the secondary hull and
on the bottoms of the nacelles and saucer. Hopefully these are filled with something other than plastic plugs.
Don't want big circles where the plugs are inserted. Hoping for some sort of filling and sanding of the plugs
I think Chris specified in one of the online videos that joints would be "filled and sanded", but it's a good question. Plastic plugs would be bad.