Starship Dimensions: Battlestar Galactica (TOS) Part 1

Battlestar Galactica

Space Ship Dimensions


“what size is your ship ?”

 This is a question many have wondered about for years, especially when Galactica was first shown (same for Star Wars and the older Star Trek series) fans did not apparently spend too much time working out the smaller finer details. OK perhaps a few did when you see the amount of fan made blueprints or drawing from the period.

In 1978 a Battlestar Galactica Annual published by Grandreams in Holland and I rushed out to get one and poured over it in delight, reading some new stories and looking at some great art, when my eye spied a double page showing the vessels with some general stupefaction to consider.

Here it is, now read down to the length which is at 0.264 miles or 2000 ft.

(If you click on the Images they will enlarge)

That even then gave me pause for thought, 2000 ft. even at a tender age I could tell this did not add up (believe me or not), but I shrugged it off and continued to enjoy the book, I would read it every few years (I still have it somewhere). but as I got a little older that original thought came back to me that old thought, “it looks bigger than 2000 ft ?”. by then I knew the size of Star Treks USS Enterprise, which was 947 ft long, which I think also needs some revision of thought.

The difference in the apparent scale was too much, the Galactica appeared larger than the elegant USS Enterprise or its first big screen outing the Enterprise Refit, That is 1000 ft long .

Now the scale of the Vipers launched from the launch tubes are between 29 ft and 30 ft depending on what source you’re looking at, in another page we get to see the other estimated scale of both the Viper and the deadly and cool looking Cylon Raiders.

The full-scale mock-up of the Viper was 28.5 feet long, however this mock-up is proportionally shorter than the filming miniature. Currently don’t have any information about the difference but in the visual effects shots, the Viper should normally be considered longer. For these measurements I will be using the 28.5 foot length however.

The source of this information is on the ravensbranch website

BSG Scale 003

So using the super model of both the Galactica by Folkrm and the Refit Enterprise at a 1000 ft by Dennis Bailey and I scaled a striped down Galactica to save on render times from 2000 ft up to another scale of 4150 ft (I forget the source) then to the Glen A Larson and John Dykstra supported scale of 6080 ft or 1 nautical mile.

BSG Scale 006

BSG Scale 004

BSG Scale 005

Even from here you can see that 2000 ft is not possible at all even without showing other images with the 4150 ft scale (because I cannot find them) and I think they are needless as the scale I do favour is the 6080 ft PLUS scale, the launch tubes would be smaller than the EVA hatches of the Enterprise.

BSG Scale 007
If you look at this image, you can see a 29 ft Viper just fitting the rim of the launch tube exit.
BSG Scale 008
Here you see the 110 ft shuttle launching from the bay and to my mind is as close to the scale they depicted in a numbers of scenes from the TV series.

In closing I think even the Galactica could be a little larger, if the scale of the launch tubes are a guide to go by, but not by much. The 2 mile scale, I think is by far too big!  but that is only my view on it, I know a few fellow colonial fleet members favour that scale. What are your thoughts, comments are welcome and feel free to disagree, but no insults or spamming or flaming comments will be allowed, respect the views of other posters

I will have a few more images showing the scale of the Galactica with the Enterprise A – D and the imposing Imperial Star Destroyers.

6 thoughts on “Starship Dimensions: Battlestar Galactica (TOS) Part 1”

  1. I like 6080, that looks pretty good. Smaller is not right, that’s for sure. 2000 ft is laughable, it’s clearly way bigger than any Starfleet ship seen to date. Of course, the problem is, this was all done with models that aren’t to scale and it changes from shot to shot on the show, so it’s hard to be certain.


    1. Its the only scale that I found would fit whats on the screen, and you make a very valid point with the models also not to scale.

      In fact looking at some of the renders I made (I altered the models in Lightwave to scale with a small degree of error) I have the Galactica at 6087ft and the 30ft Viper fits perfectly.

      But I think if the Viper was the apparent canon 29ft the 6080ft works just as well…. ?

      I think it really depends on the scale you like.

      I am basing that on the width of the lower wings of the Viper as it travels through the end of the launch tube.


  2. Cool work. I would have to see it beside the film footage to really agree. The documents have some incorrect statements I should also add. There we’re episodes where an extra person was in a viper (supporting a 30 ft length). A 6076ft (1nmi) vessel would need to have a larger crew.


    1. Thanks and I agree with you.
      some people think it should be smaller….. but that does not work for me.. larger yes… 🙂


  3. Anyway, let the math teacher chime in…

    “Here it is, now read down to the length which is at 0.264 miles or 2000 ft.” That the dubious one liner that gave birth to the 2000 foot idea.
    However, 0.264 miles doesn’t equal 2000 feet. 0.264 miles = 1394 feet. It he whole 2000 foot idea was just wrong. 1 naughtical mile works with most of the show, although I feel like 8000-9000 feet would work better with the shuttle and Eastern Alliance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a friend who agrees with something over 8000ft + long and it works for me too:). the other scales I read over the years esp 2000 feet or 4000 feet never looked right, I knew the basic scale by John Dykstra was the Nautical mile and the Viper around 28.5 or 30. feet long depending on the source you use just about fits the diameter of the Galactica Launch tubes according to the scale work I did on the model, I used the Viper as it has the most important relation to the physical scale to the Galactica and its Launch tubes.

      The Shuttles where estimated to be around 110 feet long by Dykstra but I have heard of another scale as 85 feet long, the shuttle can fit at that scale with some head room to spare you can see images I rendered on the blog

      The Eastern Alliance ship is a very cool design and large. its the one design that we have that enters the landing bay and we know very little about. but I have seen fan estimates of the scale by Jim Steveson

      Thanks for the comment


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