Its been a while since I last rendered with the Liberator from Blake’s 7, but as I like GrahamTG background art so much I though the design would look very well indeed with it.
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.
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.
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
This is something I have asked and been asked a number of times, my answer has always been conditional, “I have to place them into difference classes, capital ships, fighter ship and freighter ships and so on”. I will share what my top 10 designs are and I have picked the designs based on how they look, how versatile they are so some designs that I like just did not make it into my top 10 designs. I won’t say what ones they are, some mystery in life is good for you. 🙂
I will also be using film or TV screen-caps where possible, instead of using fan made designs
These are my choice’s of capital ship designs that have Long Range abilities and that can transport a large crews over great distances, Interstellar or better, having hyper-light speeds or warp speeds and large cargo carrying abilities.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge
TOS USS Enterprise as originally designed and screened in the 1960s, The Enterprise was designed by Walter “Matt” Jefferies for Star Trek, and become an Icon from the moment it appeared changing how science fiction was perceived and is still as popular as ever.
The new USS Enterprise Refit for its transition to the big screen,in 1979 giving a new glorious look by Mike Minor, Joe Jennings, Douglas Trumbull, Harold Michaelson, Richard Taylor and Andrew Probert. One of my favourite Star Trek films to this day.
Both these ship share my 1st place in my list due to design legacy.
Over 1 nautical mile long or 1852 meters and for those who like it in feet (6076.1 ft) (its a scale supported by John Dykstra) and I found via my own work in cgi anything smaller does not work, as the launch tubes are to small for the Vipers to fit!. Containing at least 150 Vipers in my estimation when at peak fighting condition and a large number of colonial shuttle-craft which are between 85 ft and 110 ft long, and a unknown number of ground support units called Landrams.
As a battleship it is the equal of Star Wars Imperial Star-destroyers in my view, but perhaps having no where near the same crew compliment as the ISDs or the range, but in a toe to toe battle more or less equal. Ion Cannons and Tie Bombers could give the IMPs the advantage if the Viper screen fell.
but it does have more of a predator look than the ISD, always a fan favourite
2nd place on my list down to the design.
The Imperial Star-destroyer, One of the most imposing designs to appear on screen, designed by Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston among other ships for Star Wars. just under 1 terrestrial mile long 1,600 meters (5,200 ft) and has an impressive crew compliment Imperial-class Star Destroyers had over 37,000 crew on board— 9,253 officers and 27,850 enlisted personnel. The complement of 9,700 Storm-troopers added to a total of 46,803 crew and passengers.
While shorter in length than the Colonial Battlestar’s, The ISD is wider and taller and its over all design giving it more internal volume,
I think it should also be around 1 Nautical mile long like the Galactica, I know fans will disagree with my ideas here, but that’s all they are and I like both BSG and Star Wars with equal measure.
The ISD makes it to 3rd place in my list.
The DSV Liberator was an abandoned spacecraft found drifting in the second episode of Blakes7 TV series, The Liberator (originally called simply DSV 2) was created by the “System” an alien race that look very like young women in very tight outfits, so no complaint there. The design I estimate to be around 780 meters or 2559.06 feet long
The Liberator was not designed by a model or special effects unit but by the set designer Roger Murray-Leach, due to poor funding the effects where never stellar but the design is interesting and in my mind worthy of inclusion in my top 10 / 12 but never fully explored or as I think the show if redone should, its one of the few shows that should be remade and by the BBC.
4th place in my list
This is a stunning design and beautifully presented design from the film and I look forward to its appearance each time I watch it. I have no idea what its scale is.
5TH on my list
Ulysses 31 cartoon from the 1980s has a massive space craft Odyssey, controlled by a ship’s computer “Shyrka” and commanded by Ulysses. Ulysses is accompanied by his son “Telemachus” and his robot toy “Nono”, they are joined later by Yumi a blue-skinned girl and her brother Numinor. All the other crew and later Numinor are kept in suspended animation for much of the adventures, a curse by the Greek god Zeus and the crew only appearing from time to time under the control or others, a very good soundtrack by Denny Crockett and Ike Egan
Scale length 1224 m, width: 3125 m, height: 2005 m
6th on my list
Designed by the renowned Walter “Matt” Jefferies for Star Trek and is a fantastic design, more visually interesting than the season one Romulan Bird of Prey, The Klingon D7 was an instant hit and in my mind was not seen enough in Star Trek. . another Icon.
7th on my list
8th on my list
IAS Excalibur, The Excalibur is a big ship, a mile and a quarter long 2012 meters or 6,600 ft, powerful but with some limitations, when it fires itsbig guns they ship is powered down, power depleted unable to manoeuvre or fire back relaying on its resistant hull design to keep them safe.
I think it was based on the Liberator from Blake’s 7 and its a very elegant design and its a pity the series never reached its potential,
9th on my list
“Col Tigh: [Pointing at the model of a Cylon basestar] She has 300 fighters, carries two long-range megapulsars, here and here, and over a hundred defensive laser turrets. She’s an orbiting killer, capable of destroying every ship we have, including the Galactica”.
from the episode “The Hand of God” I cannot see Colonial Battlestar commanders going against Basestars with anything less than 150 vipers to fight those odds (2 to 1)
10th on my list
My Top 10 Enemy Fighters
Note: I have removed the Event Horizon in favour of the Excalibur for the
In 1978 a new British science fiction series aired on BBC 1 called Blake´s 7 and like Star Trek was very popular with science fiction fans. another common theme with Star Trek is it had a very small budget and at times looked it, but that did not detract from the top story and character development of the two main men, Blake and Avon.
The star of the show was also the Liberator, I loved the design from the moment I saw it on my TV screen back in 1978, watching with my father who had called me into the living room to watch. I liked Blake and Avon as they battled over control of the crew as they entered a guerrilla war with the Federation (what? the federation, they are the good guys in Star Trek, what happened? I remember thinking, ah innocence) the lovely Jenna, the cowardly Vila, the powerful Olag, the insightful Cally and the ships interactive computer Zen.
Worst part in the series was the destruction of the Liberator, as legend would have it, the series was not to be taken up again and so the ship was destroyed in a climatic end, once the show was renewed enter the Scorpio nice design or at least interesting, but no Liberator.
Again a design I like a lot, It was destroyed in the 3 season as far as I remember and I lost interest in the show from that point on and I was sorry that the actors playing Blake and Jenna left the show and it stopped working for me even then, as Avon needed Blake for the character to work.
Why has there been no fan film made based on Blake’s 7, I think it would be a lot easier than Star Trek