Blake’s 7: Liberator Scale Question

Its all a matter of Scale

Recently I have returned to an old design favourite, the Liberator DSV or Deep Space Vessel design from the classic BBC TV series Blake’s 7 from 1978. There is, like most TV shows that features space-ships designs, there is a question of scale.

The question was asked on a Facebook group for Blakes’7, so I decided to see if I could work it out for the fun of it, and see what the results could be, again this is all conjecture and its open to debate if its right or not.

The early guess work and fan imaginations was that the Liberator would be between 300 meters or 1000 meters long,  I liked it at the lower end more around 300 meters.

Model by Gerard Duffy
Too help me in this I am also using my own Lightwave3D model of the USS ENTERPRISE NCC – 1701 which I built to scale, the  USS Enterprise is around 288 meters or 947 ft long  (personally I think it should be larger by another 40 meters or so but I will stay on track with this)..
London inner hatch 3 meters overall length 55
This model of the London is by Cyberia23
Also I am using the Civil Administration ship London seen in the first 3 episodes as a reference, it has the one feature too help us, as you see it has an extendible tube to transfer crew from one ship to another, and crewmen along side, if we say the crewmen are 6ft, its a start. I used a poser character and scale it to 6ft or 1.8288 meters.
Models by Gerard Duffy
Models by Gerard Duffy

So I set the scale of the Liberator too 300 meters first and was happy with the result, (ignore the windows scale on the Liberator, they were added by me in an attempt to update the look of the design) but as someone pointed out, the Prison-Ship London should be taken into account.

How big is the London, well after a time a friend had converted Cyberia23 Model of the Civil Administration ship London by Cyberia23 to Lightwave3d and seeing what I was doing, sent me the file too help, saving me the trouble of converting it myself.

Model of the Civil Administration ship London by BBC
Untitled 9
Model of the Civil Administration ship London by Cyberia23
Using the 6ft crewman and a little working out I arrived to the scale of 55 meters long and possibly 4 levels tall, some people did not like the result, but its what I got.
Sub-commander Raiker’s deadly end
After a little time I found the scale that worked was 780 meters long or 2559.06 ft, which I think is maximum for the Liberator it could be shorter… perhaps 700 meters but I cannot see it reduces more.
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m BOW
Front View
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m AFT
Aft View
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m side
Side View
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m Side close
 Side Close up
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m lowpro
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m lowpro1
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m pro1
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m pro2
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m pro3 art
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m pro4 art
Liberator 780 m  London 55m Enterprise 288m pro5

This is the results I got, it is much larger than I expected. but its is conjecture and could be off by quite a lot.

Currently I am rebuilding the Liberator, a welcome break after the Nautilus, London Mesh build credit to Cyberia23


23 thoughts on “Blake’s 7: Liberator Scale Question”

  1. Very interesting stuff. As I’m sure you know, scale is important to me. However, in the plastic model days, they had to build ships to certain size specifications. IE: 4ft and 6ft models. Then they “scaled” them during the composition. And, of course, the sizes varied. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Blake’s 7. I really like the show, but I started watching it and didn’t continue. I need to get back into it soon. I agree with your size for the London, no matter what anybody else thinks. It’s a really easy to scale ship, given the scale cues. As for the Liberator, that number surprises me a bit, but not once I take into account how large it was on screen next to the London. I knew a thousand meters was definitely too big but, to be honest, I was expecting it to be more towards the 300m range. But, I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. With a 55m London and, given the size difference on screen, I can definitely see it being that large. Dang, it’s a big ship. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some people reactions can be quite interesting, its like an attack on their childhood? The Enterprise is too small or the reverse the Liberator is too big, the best is, the Enterprise would wipe out the Liberator and again the reverse.

      It is never about which is the bigger ship or the most powerful or who would beat who, its a question of scale only, what works. 🙂

      Like you I thought it more around the 300 meters mark, then I went to the 400 meters (grudgingly) and I thought I was done.

      You will remember my Galactica scale work, many where against the fact it was longer than the Imperial Star destroyer, but over all I think while the Galactica is longer, the ISD is taller and wider and has far more internal volume than the BSG.


      1. Whether or not people like it, the Enterprise doesn’t work at 289 meters, or whatever it is. There isn’t enough room in the teardrop for two decks. The saucer edge is an issue too. The “neck” is the worst. Some of the windows there don’t work on any sale. I think I “fixed” the saucer edge issue once and got around 400 meters. But, you can’t tell some fans this stuff.

        Battlestars are huge ships with crews in the thousands. I’m not surprised it’s longer than an Imperial class SD. The ISD has more bulk for sure. Now, if you’d said it was longer than an Executor class SD, I’d have said you’re nuts. 😛

        Man, I’m going to have to find that YouTube channel on which I was watching Blake’s 7. If memory serves, that’s the only way to watch the show in North America.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes I find the same,, with the Enterprise.. I tried it a few times and was never happy with any scale under 1060 ft and it needs to be bigger than that I think . 400 meters around 1312.34ft… I must have a look at that sometime… I did post a re imagined version here some time ago and it was 1060 ft as mentioned and that was still tough to get everything in 🙂


            1. It can be a problem.. and I do also appreciate your view on that one Greg,

              but its also something I like to work out, mainly for my own interest and sharing it can be interesting , until it gets to the arguments stage and then its time to exit. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Actually I’d go for 300m for the Liberator too, looking at the blue diagram of the London, the round hatch at the back is approximately 2m in diameter, the hatch is 1cm across, and the overall length of the London is 15cm, so the overall length of the London is roughly 30m not 55m. As Liberator is roughly 10 times longer than the London, its around 300m in length.
      The London however can’t exist at either 30m or 55m, there are 20 prisoners and at least 15 crew on board it for an 8 moth trip to Cygnus Alpha with no resupply stops. There just isn’t enough room on board for that amount of food, water and airplus the crew had another 8 months on the return journey, and yes 5 were killed in the attempted take over of the London.


      1. The 300m does not work for the Liberator at all for me that is, and the scale of around 30m is too small. does not work, I tried a number of smaller scales and they don’t work.. thanks for your comment ..


  2. Yeah, you have to do that on some of the shows. Especially stuff like Star Trek: DS9, where scales went out the window for a lot of their big effects shots. I’m way less critical of anything done during the plastic model days, as they didn’t build things to scale. However, there’s just no excuse for scaling issues in CGI. Just build everything 1:1 scale and you’re good to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do the same, build to scale and when I don’t I have to work it out.

      If I was going to build the Galactica I would build it to the scale of 6080 ft because I think it works best for the design. but the Basestar I am completely in the dark..

      Currently I am rebuilding the Liberator with the intention of UV mapping it .


  3. 700m is probably just about right. Just a little longer than the USS Enterprise D. According to the Horizon Technical Manuals the Liberator deck plan is approx. 405 by 200 feet(approx. 123 by 60 metres) which is a very small living area compared to the rest of the ship. The rest of the ship is main engine and seven energy banks, two in each weapon pod and one in the area where the solar panels are.

    Liked by 1 person

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