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Author Topic: Scale  (Read 35645 times)
Death 999
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Scale
« on: April 20, 2005, 02:15:51 am »

I recently dropped by merzo.net, where the ships from various science fiction franchises are shown to scale.

Scale is one of the biggest problems in SC.

I have endeavored (in a post on merzo.net, as drachefly) to determine the size of the Vindicator. Based on the intro slide #4 and the cutaway of the crew module, it looks like it's only around 140 meters long.

Does anyone have other visual evidence they'd like to present to better establish the scale of the Vindicator or other vessels?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2005, 02:17:04 am by Death_999 » Logged
Robert_Frazer
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Re: Scale
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 04:08:35 am »

Considering that Star Control, whilst being an excellent game, certainly hasn't accumulated the masses of background-enhancing 'fluff' we see associated with Warhammer 40,000 or Star Wars, I doubt that an authoritative 'canon' statement of dimensions will ever be defined.

Personally, though, I imagine that the number of men involved in your campaign against the Ur-Quan Heirarchy is much larger than the dialogue in the game might suggest. Warships and suchlike cannot function exclusively on automation, as it's too delicate, and the large extent and scale of battles and fleet engagements involves far too much complex analysis and interaction to be handled by a mere handful of ratings and an officer. Vessels need large crew complements, even if they're just redundant reserves to ensure that losses in vital sectors can be replaced.

As such, when an Earthling Cruiser says it needs "18 crew", I envisage it being closer to "1,800" and that the former figure is simple indicative "crew units" that demonstrates the relative size of vessels to each other.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2005, 04:09:30 am by Robert_Frazer » Logged

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Death 999
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Re: Scale
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2005, 04:42:27 am »

Check intro slide #4. That clearly shows the scale of the Vindicator. If that ship is freaking huge, there's no way a cruiser has 1800 crew.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2005, 06:22:19 am »

welll.....with other things the spathi say there ship can hold 30....does this mean that fwiffo is 1,000 spathi?
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Re: Scale
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2005, 08:57:47 am »

Maybe spathi are 1000 times harder to kill
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Re: Scale
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2005, 10:10:39 am »

I love the easter eggs on his site.  Notice the "real life ships and buildings" in 1X and the 10X scale  Roll Eyes

The Sa-Matra might pose a more interesting scale problem.
The hardest part about putting SC ships:  all of his scale drawings are from the side.  :-/
« Last Edit: April 20, 2005, 10:12:28 am by Culture20 » Logged
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Re: Scale
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2005, 03:49:50 pm »

Quote

welll.....with other things the spathi say there ship can hold 30....does this mean that fwiffo is 1,000 spathi?


Well.... It DOES fit their type to always insure that it won't happen to them - just the person(s) next to them. Therefore fwiffo was just a clone to get shot first at the window screen... The REAL fwiffo was in the far back cowering. Wink

Does anyone know how big Vela II is? Because if so, it might be a little easier to caculate - I thought I heard it somewhere - I could be wrong. Anyway the Vindy is larger than our moon - or at least should be.
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Death 999
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Re: Scale
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2005, 08:52:36 pm »

LOOK AT INTRO SLIDE 4. That thing is not moon-sized.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 05:26:24 am »

To be frank I'm a bit tired of the 3km long ships that every scifi must boast.

I'd like to think that the SC universe has some sort of limit to shipsize (with the technology available for the lower species anyways).

If I were to guess from the crew/HP:


Earthling cruiser : Medium sized passenger plane (but more bulky). 40m

Shofixi scout: Something like a large motorboat, mostly engine, warp, explosives taking up space inside though. 7-10m

Then everything pretty much sticks around those sizes (Millenium Falcon for medium sized ships), except maybe the ur-quan ships that could goto 60m or so tops.


The Androsynth space station hijacking story maybe has some hints?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 05:32:32 am by Arne » Logged
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Re: Scale
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 11:24:56 am »

Well, the Androsynth space station story kind of implies that Androsynth Guardians are based on the design of actual space stations intended as long-term habitats (though they may be scaled up or down, of course), one of which (the "Starlight Hilton") was a luxury hotel. So at the least building-sized, perhaps two or three stories in scale.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2005, 11:34:53 am »

Quote
To be frank I'm a bit tired of the 3km long ships that every scifi must boast.

I'd like to think that the SC universe has some sort of limit to shipsize (with the technology available for the lower species anyways).

If I were to guess from the crew/HP:


Earthling cruiser : Medium sized passenger plane (but more bulky). 40m

Shofixi scout: Something like a large motorboat, mostly engine, warp, explosives taking up space inside though. 7-10m

Then everything pretty much sticks around those sizes (Millenium Falcon for medium sized ships), except maybe the ur-quan ships that could goto 60m or so tops.


The Androsynth space station hijacking story maybe has some hints?


Why does everyone think the Scout has to be so tiny? Look at the name -- it's a *Scout*, not a fighter. It may be cool to play with the idea that you have little F-4's limping about in space without any support -- it makes the image of Tanaka in his little single-seat cockpit more romantic, and all -- but the Scout as it functions in Star Control 1 *can't* be a single-seat fighter the way everyone seems to assume it is from that Tanaka image.

I mean, *come on* -- TFB actually say they have 6 crew, and now we're *lowering* the in-game numbers? It's a scout ship -- that means it not only has to carry weaponry and drives, but also lug along enough life support (air, water, food, waste management) for really, really long trips -- and, the way Shofixti Scouts work in SC1, where it's explicitly stated that they *look for places to start colonies*, they'd have to bring along equipment for landing expeditions on planets and large-scale research and data gathering at the very least. They'd *have* to have at least a small team on board -- investigating a planet and putting down the beginnings of even a temporary command post there would require more skills than one trained professional would be likely to have.

They've got to be at *least* the size of a large double-decker bus (if we assume really miniaturized future tech) -- I would argue the size of, say, one long corridor of a building, at least 30 m long. "Large motorboat" is just ridiculous. A Scout *is* intended to do more than just be a missile.
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Re: Scale
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2005, 11:46:06 am »

Also: The "passenger plane" size for a Cruiser is canonically impossible. There's no friggin' way you can hold *any* number of ICBMs, or even ICBM warheads on highly converted delivery systems, on something the size of a 747. A Cruiser has to at least be the size of an aircraft carrier in order to be firing nuclear missiles at things, probably larger.

Another thing: Remember that the Vela colony is colonized by the crew of the Tobermoon. *Just* the Tobermoon (it's a major plot point that they only have one ship that they used to get there, and when it leaves they're stranded). The Tobermoon was capable of delivering enough people to Vela to start a self-sufficient colony and have several families -- that ain't an 18-man vessel. A 747 could hold enough people to start a colony, but it couldn't feed and house them for several-month-long voyages through space. It really strongly implies that to keep that many passengers comfortable a Cruiser'd have to be at least ocean-liner sized. (And yeah, there might be only 18 crewmen and lots of passengers -- but Cruisers are supposed to be first and foremost war vessels, and I actually doubt you could find that much free space lying around for that many passengers on a ship that was designed to have only 18 crew.)

About the Vindicator: Those are Precursor-sized machines working on it in the slide, not human-sized machines (the bulldozers and cranes and things) -- remember that the manual says that the factory is imposing because all the *parts* of the factory are on immense scale, before the Vindi even starts being built -- everything's so much larger that it's impossible for humans to manipulate the manual controls. (The Precursors are supposed to be scaled on the size of dinosaurs.)

Yeah, there are little human figures there, but the drawing isn't really that hi-res and I'm not quite certain how close each figure is supposed to be to the Vindi, or how far back the Vindi stretches as it stretches away into the distance. It's not really a clear enough drawing to rest a definitive case on, except to say that the Vindicator's definitely bigger than a car and smaller than the Moon. (Though in the game we *do* mistake the Sa-Matra for a moon from a distance, remember? ...And the Vindicator fits neatly into a docking bay in the Sa-Matra that's large enough to be an obvious feature of the Sa-Matra, seen from a closer distance. I would say that the way I picture the Vindi is something like city-sized, like the size of what a colony ship like the Battlestar Galactica is supposed to be. I would certainly write it that way if I were making novels set in the SC2-verse.)
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Size Wize.
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2005, 09:23:36 pm »

Let's not forget, that every species is a different size. I shofixti scout is probably the size of a F/A-18 super hornet, as it's crew might be rat-sized little hair balls. Ur-Quan are about 5 times the size of humans, so a dreadnaught might be 10 times the size of a cruiser.
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Arne
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Re: Scale
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2005, 12:15:14 am »

30 meters huh? Look here. You have 2 things to judge from, Pilot pic and ship pic. The cabin on the ship is pretty large.
http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/sc2/aliens/shofixti.shtml



Looks like 6 would fit. I could size it up a bit though, to like 13m, that would add a lot of volume.


Space hotels can be small. It can basically be a bus sized thing. The luxury part is being in space, not in a president suite.

An atomic sub can stay under for a long time, and it's <100m and can take ICBMs, and 100 crew.

ICBM in space do NOT need to achieve earth escape velocity, thus the propulsion unit can be much much smaller! As anyone knows, the propulsion unit+fuel makes up most of the mass on rockets/missiles. I'm guessing you can get them down to like 4 meters and 2 feet thick.


I'll draw the earthling cruiser soon.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2005, 12:18:00 am by Arne » Logged
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Re: Scale
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2005, 01:09:59 am »

Just 30 meters. Crew compartments in the mid section, bridge and weapons front. Engine at the back of course, pods could be fuel.

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