While the Prometheus Class Carriers had a formidable offensive armament in the form of its attack craft, it was sorely lacking in defense. The Scutum Class Cruiser was developed to fulfill that role in the fleet. With the powerful Scutum Integrated Defense System, the Scutum Class is a master of anti-ordnance warfare, allowing all nearby ships to combine their defensive systems in a protective shield around the group.
While its offensive armament is lacking compared to other cruisers, the Scutum almost always acts in company with a Prometheus Class Carrier or other offensive platforms, providing defense for the fleet as a whole.
As I had recently created the Prometheus Class Carrier, a ship which had essentially no armament other than its own attack craft, I decided to make a defense ship for it. Since the Prometheus' offensive power is ordnance, I decided to make its escort an ordnance defense ship, having a role similar to the roles Aegis Cruisers have in protecting U.S. aircraft carriers. Instead of being an "Aegis" Cruiser, mine is the "Scutum" Cruiser.
In that regard, the Scutum Class has a lot of similar features to a modern missile defense cruiser. It has a Vertical Launch System (36 cells forward, 46 aft), which launches Anti-Ordnance Missiles (AOMs). On the stern there are two torpedo launchers, one facing to port, the other starboard, similar to the Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile Launchers on the sterns of many modern US ships. On the port and starboard of the main hull, the Scutum has a pair of radomes, similar to those on the superstructures of missile defense ships. Ok, so I copied tons of stuff from present day ships. Despite this, it's still just a conversion of the standard Imperial Crusier design, so it looks "gothic" enough to fit with the other Imperial Ships.
To make it, I trimmed off parts of the basic cruiser's superstructure, to make room for the VLS' and the stern torpedo launchers. For the sides of the ship, I did not add any of the normal weapon systems, but filled it in with plasticard and greenstuff. For the bow I drilled some holes and loaded it up with sensor masts.
I also shifted the bridge structure forward from its usual aft position and onto the forward "hardpoint" where you normally could attach a mast or a lance battery. Imperial cruisers, with their bridges aft, looked disturbingly similar to Imperial Star Destroyers from Star Wars to me (along with the prodigious size of the vessels themselves). Moving the bridge forward makes the ship look more aggressive in my opinion, and is also in line with the bridges of real world warships.