Shape, Size, and Scale

Shape and Size

There are an almost infinite number of ways the modules may be put together to form a vessels. Here are a few examples and how to determine the approximate length of each.

Cylindrical: The ship is a few meters wide, a few meters deep, and very long. (On graph paper, the area units would be side by side.) Add together the number of area units of all the modules, and divide by 2 to get the length.

Ellipsoid: Ships designed this way have a squashed-egg appearance, a few meters deep and twice as long as they are wide. To get the length, add together the number of area units of all modules and divide by 3.

Spheroid: The area units of the modules are evenly divided throughout two or more layers. Add together the number of area units of all the modules and divide by 6 to figure out the radius. Note that spheroid vessels are not normally capable of atmospheric flight.

Wedge-Shaped: The ship is a few meters deep and wider at the tail than at the nose. To find the length, add together the number of area units of all the modules and divide by 4.

For other shapes, or vessels that use a combination of shapes (for example, saucer shapes connected to cylindrical sections), either draw out the section or simply use the ellipsoid formula, which is close enough to what the average result would turn out to be.

Determining the Scale

To figure out the scale of the ship, take the total tonnage and compare it to the accompanying chart, following the instructions given with it.

For Ships Massing 10 Tons or Less

Total Mass of Ship Scale
1 5
2 7
3–4 8
5–6 9
7–10 10

For Ships Massing More than 10 Tons

First 2 Digits of Tonnage Base Value
10†–15 6
16–25 7
26–40 8
41–60 9
61–99 10
Number of Digits after First 2 Numbers Value Modifier
0 +5
1 +10
2 +15
3 +20
4 +25
5 +30
6 +35
7 +40
8 +45
9 +50
10 +55
11 +60
12 +65
13 +70
14 +75
15 +80

†If there are no digits after 10 or they all equal zero, then the base value is 5 (not 6).

For ships of 10 tons or less, look up the tonnage on the first chart to the scale of the ship.

For ships over 10 tons, you’ll need to do a little work with one of two methods.

In the first way, look up the first two digits of the total tonnage on the second chart. Then count the number of digits after the first two numbers and look up the modifier on the second chart. Add together the numbers to get the ship’s scale.

If you prefer scientific notation or are working with very large numbers, convert the tonnage to exponential format with two significant digits. Multiply the coefficient by 10 and look that number up on the first of the second set of charts to get the base value. Then, multiply the exponent by 5 to get the value modifier. Add the base value to the value modifier to get the scale value of the ship.

Shape, Size, and Scale

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