ATTN JMS OR GEORGE: ships changing size?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sun Apr 27 06:16:09 EDT 1997

From: Boris Skrbic <ibctel at>
Date: 25 Apr 1997 14:11:12 -0400
Lines: 38

Over the last couple of months I've been trying to determine the dimensions
of various ships featured in the series, and I must say that, although I
very much appreciate the scientific accuracy portrayed in this show, it
isn't easy. I'll give you a few examples:

1. Hyperion. In the scene where the Hyperion and B5 are scanned by the alien
ship, it seems as if the Hyperion changes size from one shot to the other.
In the first shot, it's about 1/5th as long as B5, or about a mile. In the
second, it's only as long as the front section of the station, or about 300
meters. Foreshortening can't be the problem here, as the first shot is from
the alien ship's point of view, and the second looks at these two from the
other side of the station, meaning that if in the first one it was closer to
the camera, it must be further away in the second.

2. Minbari War Cruiser. Although the length of the Minbari War Cruiser is as
300 meters in the Babylon 5 Screen Saver, there are scenes which show them
far behind the station and still several times longer than the front section
of the station (c. 270 meters). Of course, there could be several different
sizes, but these have *exactly* the same proportions (guns and everything)
as the others.

3. White Star. This one changes size sometimes as well. In "Shadow Dancing",
just before it makes the jump into hyperspace, we can see it alongside B5.
It's about half the size of the front section, or about 130 meters. This is
consistent with several other lines of evidence, but there are several
scenes in previous episodes where it seems to be several times longer.

Question: do you change the scale of ships in order to make them visible?
Please tell me that all this is just a case of my distorted perception of
foreshortening. :) And to all RPG owners, if you have the real specs, I'd
very much appreciate if you could please send them to me. Thank you.

From: George Johnsen <ndeiprod at>
Date: 25 Apr 1997 17:53:36 -0400
Lines: 17


Actually, we never change the size of the ships. (Okay, before you start
furiously typing...)   The lenses that we use change often, and
depending on the style of lens selected, the ships may appear closer or
farther away from another object.  This makes things confusing for
sure.  Add to that that the relative distance between two objects may be
compressed to allow for better screen composition, and we may start to
explain what you are realizing.  The hardware of B5 is a bit "undefined"
from a tech point of view.  This will be remedied in upcoming

George Johnsen
CoProducer, B5

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