Now you mention that, I remember the Klingon Battlecruiser from the 2009 film was a good design but only glimpsed in the background for about 2 frames on the bridge simulator viewscreen.
So the good ships that were introduced are under-utilised. The bird of prey from the second film is not a fabulous design.
This prototype doesn't quite nail it either for me but it is nicer:
http://www.pierre-drolet-sci-fi-museum. ... f-prey-bop
One thing that strikes me about action damage in Star Trek is that the use of the shields and the inability to really damage the star model of the series made that whole topic more realistic.
In TNG, you wouldn't see the Enterprise battle-scarred and bits broken off even though parts of it would stop working.
That, to me, has a certain realism and they pushed it completely the other way in Voyager, especially Year of Hell when they had CGI to alter the ship however they wanted.
That was a good thing for them to do because it was memorable and new and they pushed the story-reset button afterwards.
The Dreadnought ship in Into Darkness is suitably menacing but it has no design qualities that are admirable.
An enemy like that should also be smooth and attractive but this was neither.
*** I'm afraid we're entering into maximum spoilers here... ***
The raygun-concealed-in-a-planet was a bit of a sticking point in my acceptance of the film at the time.
I know they had to have a one-up-manship on the Death Stars but in the novels, you have the sun crusher which is a little-enough ship that can blow up stars.
That, to me is more terrifying and more realisable to portray on screen. But never mind.
So, the planet-gun fires out a giant ray without killing the space-Nazis on the surface who are looking at it.
It then went halfway across the galaxy for all we know, breaking up and homing in like an ICBM and took out a number of planets.
So it's a planet-scale cluster homing laser. TVTropes.com should have fun with that.
The reason that the Alliance didn't find it earlier never entered my mind because I was busy trying to make sense of what I was looking at.
If in doubt, *** ACTIVATE X-IMPULSE ***.