So it seems to me that the Steamrunner could use some visual options that go beyond to unmodifiable design as it currently stands and I would like to make the case for at the very least the option of picking an overall alternate appearance.
The current design was created with what I can only assume was an effort to preserve its iconic look as best as possible. Despite the difficulties of taking a ship that was primarily only ever a background ship and putting it into the foreground for us to use and marvel at, I'd say the art and design teams did one hell of a job. The ingame model seems to fit almost every reference picture readily available from the various episodes and sources to which it has made an appearance. The only significantly glaring issues being brought up by many of us players are the incorrect placement of the impulse engines, "barcode" windows on one texture skin and the lack of registry/ship name lighting (though admittidly no registry lighting is ever seen and can be accepted as cannon even though many of us would prefer it had it anyways).
There are many similarities between the Steamrunner design and some of the Fleet Escorts that at least on the surface it seems like there would be the possibility of some part option crossovers (nascels and saucer sections most specifically). Though those options would be a nice addition I don't believe it would fit the spirit of the Steamrunner as a whole which is why I would like to put forward a completely alternate appearance which fits the more modern starships available. The alternate appearance I would suggest and put forward is the Steamrunner Revamp Concept designed for, but not used in, First Contact by Alex Jaeger the designer of the original Steamrunner.
Researching as much cannon*ish material as I can find on the Steamrunner I have been able to find that production on the Steamrunner class began between 2350 and 2365 (some believe as late as 2369 but there are a few references to Steamrunners being in service several years before that). Giving those dates and the current year being 2409+ puts the Steamrunner (giving normal starship operational service times being right around 50 years) 44-59+ years into service with regular refits/upgrades at 5-6 year intervals. This means that the Steamrunners are at the end of, or well past, their operational runtimes (yes I realize several others are as well but I'm only addressing the Steamrunner ).
I beleive this would require not just a refit but a complete updating and redesign of the hull using modern starship building techniques to which the Revamp Concept fits well especially for the higher tier Retrofit. The new placement of the deflector dish as well as the new/modified positions of the nascels and pylons seem to fit well in regards to reducing subspace eddies that can damage subspace (which was also taken into account on the new Oddy design). The streamlined, reinforced hull fits well with the idea of the Blockade Runner's speed and heavy armor/armaments and keeps with the mordern, clean lines of current starships.
As stated before this is a proposal for a new skin/design not a whole new ship/layout and meant to get the mind rolling on updating the Steamrunner with some cannon*ish info to help back the idea.
"STO - To boldly frakk up what wasn't frakked before...."