Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Classic Size Comparison Chart

 (Click to enlarge)

The drawing on the left was created around the production time of Star Wars A New Hope, to show the relative size comparisons of the major vehicles. It's an old favorite of mine, and has appeared in several Making of Star Wars books. Recently, I've been building replicas, in Sketchup, of the full scale movie props from A New Hope, (using production blueprints) and I wanted to see how the sizes of the real full scale props matched up to this charming chart.

I started with the x-wing, the movie prop of which was about 39' long, and scaled the drawing to fit. With that ship in place as a reference point, I pulled in my model of the Millennium Falcon, which comes in at about 86'+. At that point, the relative scales in the drawing actually seemed to be looking pretty good. I don't yet have a complete TIE fighter, but then there never was a full scale prop constructed for that. There are blueprints from pre-production of the TIE Fighter studio model, but they don't have exact dimensions. So, I went by the cockpit set of the TIE Fighter, which is noted in Rinzler's Star Wars the Blueprints as being 7' 6" wide on the inside. Adding another 6" total for a theorized bulkhead thickness of 3" brought the sphere of the exterior cockpit to about 8' ( a measurement that comes up a lot in set design on ANH. The Falcon's cockpit, for instance, has an 8' diameter, as do her corridors.). With those dimensions in place, the rudimentary TIE Fighter model I drew up from those studio model blueprints fit the scale comparison drawing perfectly.

Next was the Sandcrawler. The fullscale set built for the Sandcrawler, seen when R2 and 3P0 are sold to Uncle Owen, only had the crawler's caterpillar tracks and entry gangway, with a bit of skirting over the treads to imply the rest of the vehicle looming above the actors and droids. I built my model from production blueprints of the full scale treads themselves, and then added the rest of the hulking machine scaling up a recreation the studio scale model used in the miniature shots. The results show that the scale drawing of the Sandcrawler, in the old comparison chart, was a bit on the small side.

I've yet to built a Y-wing, an old favorite of mine, but that will come soon. It seems probable that the Y-wing will fit as nicely as the X-Wing, Falcon, and TIE Fighter.

The Blockade Runner is going to present some problems of its own, since I think it's pretty obvious that the scale is not quite right to what's implied in the movie. Of course there was no full scale set of the Tantive exterior ever built, so I'll have to extrapolate from the interior movie sets, and use my imagination a bit.

Anyone familiar with this drawing will note that I cut off the final comparison between the Blockade Runner and a Star Destroyer. At this point, that's an issue for another day.

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