Blake’s 7 Liberator
My final work on Blakes Liberator and Federation Civil Administration Prison Ship London, I think so anyway.
The final scales I think works based on my own scale testing, not only using images from each episode of the ship, but also based on set and character situations, by no means definitive but a workable guide, I got a lot of help with Simon Atkinson recent restoration of the original model who also built it for the show.
The background image is by artist Tim Pyle, who creates many awesome images depicting NASA/JPL/Caltech discovery’s or conjectures
In recent weeks I have been working on the Liberator from Blake’s7 and this has been commented on, thank you, Ed Diment, for your comment, I was away on holidays and could not make a more detailed and considered response.
but I also like to check as many sources as I can when I look at a ship design scale, like Star Trek original USS Enterprise, the Battlestar Galactica and Blakes7 Liberator and there are a number of sources available to me now that where not there before, but as with most if not all sci-fi designs they don’t always work, and we all have our views and imagined preferences, the internet allows us to share and to agree or disagree which is perfectly understandable.
Commenter Ed Diment suggests a scale of 450m and he suggests a number of sources so for a complete look I have scaled the Liberator accordingly too 4 different lengths.
The last scale length is by model maker Martin Bower who detailed the model, though he did not build it, it was designed by Roger Murray-Leach though is also credited as the designer is Ian Scoones, but from what I have read its Murray-Leach.
The scale of 1000m was given to me by another fan who said it was suggested by Martin Bower who detailed the model over 4 days, this was in a unnamed magizine, so I thought that it would be in either Starlog or Starburst sci-fi magazine late 70s early 80s when Blakes7 was still in production.
I found it and it was not 1000m long but 1000ft/304.8m long according to Martin Bower STARBURST issue 34 from 1981 found on archive.org, here are the pages in question.
Now I find this scale does not work for me at all. so like the classic USS Enterprise 947ft I am going to say, does not work for me. next is 450ft for the Liberator, and it does work far better than 304.8m but again I am going to say, it’s not for me, not wrong just not for me. I still favour a 700m to 780m length.
The London Civil Administration Ship works best at 55m long, in terms of internal and external arrangement as I explored it a few years ago, smaller scale it becomes more difficult
More Blake’s 7 renderings Liberator and Federation Persuit ships and one with the London, the Liberator is scaled at 780 m, if you look at one of the image’s with the approching London you can see a 6ft crewman.
Also playing with background planet and nebula art created by friends who are kind enough to share, Ali Ries, Graham Gazzard whose work never fail to inspire and delight.
Large images once you click on them, none of the compression of facebook.
My second Liberator model, no textures, I built this in just over a week, a new record. London prison ship is older, 2015 when I was testing its plan and possible layout.
For those that enjoy such details, the Liberator is 780m long as with my older one, its the scale I favor most. the London if memory serves is 54m
The background art is by GrahamTG
Its only a model
I have being working a little more on the London’s internal layout, and for the most part I think I have it more or less worked out to my satisfaction, the only area that I cannot match up to the screen shots is the Airlock, it look like this section is placed on the wrong side of the London, where the London Airlock is on the Port-side
Commander Leylan enters the Airlock section, I am assuming he is entering from the forward section which places the hatch on the Starboard side of the ship, where as the model has it placed on the Port-side aft.. so I am using creative licence and making this change.
None the less for viewers who have never seen Blake’s 7 this means absolutely nothing 🙂 perhaps its over thinking on my half but given that Star Trek and other shows get a lot of attention, this is refreshing and open area to explore. Its not a big deal, viewers back in the day did not look this closely at TV shows, its a more recent interest I think sparked of by Star Trek technical manuals and the desire to know how things work. but only my opinion
Its only a model!
As with most of my CGI-model work, I like to figure-out the best scale for the fictional design, especially if its never been fully stated, and I have never found a scale in most Science fiction series that work under close examination or even consistent, when using CGI which makes the process much easier to visualise I can try to establish a working scale.
The Liberator has always been something of a mystery when it comes to scale, its a question most fans ask and like I did for the Battlestar Galactica a few years ago, I have turned my attention on Blake’s 7.
The only really guide I can use on the model is the side docking ring, which I have posted in the past. but then there is no harm posting again.
On to the London
While this was useful and the docking hatch is very useful as a guide, I still needed to play with the scale to fit other aspects from the London sets, so at best compromises where needed, these are my results, (I am not going to say final, it never ever works out that way). For those of you who have never watched the show, this means absolutely nothing, but to help visualise what I am trying to do is fit the live action and sets with the miniature, which is at best difficult and next to impossible.
This is a character called “Nova” , its sounds scifi so it must be good. anyway he volunteers to follow a key character called Avon to the Computer room so they can take over the ship, and meets a sticky end, basing on the direction he takes I have placed the computer room at the rear of the ship.
01. Nova has entered the access tunnel and drops down and heads aft
02. Nova has reached the intersection
03. Nova is looking “up” into the new tunnel
04. Impacts on the hull surprises Nova
05. Air pressure changes
06. Nova tries vainly to block the holes with his hands
07. Foam nozzles activates
08. Fear as he knows well that the foam will trap him and solidify entombing him.
09. Nova looks to go up the intersection tunnel to escape
10. The Intersection hatch closes
11. Nova looks for other route of escape
12. No escape
13. Foam erupts from nozzles
These plan views of the London are my attempt to show how things could be arranged and how I am now using a over all length of 49 meters or 160ft for the London which will also effect the over all length of the Liberator.
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 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.
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.
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