Ship stats are wrong


I first noticed this when I got a look at the Vehicle Sizes table on p. 68 of the B5 RPG and Factbook and compared it to ships in this book and Signs and Portents. Almost all of the ship size estimates are dead wrong.

According to (which gets its information from JMS and the B5 production staff), the Omega class Destroyer is 1,717 meters long, much larger than the Colossal IV category (512-1,024 ft.) listed in Signs and Portents. The correct info given would make the Omega a Colossal VI vessel. Listed below are B5 starships with the ship's size as provided to, the wrong size category given by the publishers, and the correct size category:

Ship Size (meters) Wrong Category Correct Category
Hyperion Cruiser 1025 Colossal II Colossal VI
Nova Class 1502 Colossal III Colossal VI
Sharlin Warcruiser 1600 (height) Colossal III Colossal VI
Primus Cruiser 1586 Colossal IV Colossal VI
Vorchan Cruiser 608 Colossal III Colossal V
G'Quan Cruiser 1400 Colossal III Colossal VI
T'Loth Cruiser 1050 Colossal III Colossal VI
Vorlon Transport 131 Gargantuan Colossal III
Drazi Sunhawk 350 Colossal II Colossal V
Vree War Saucer 350 Colossal II Colossal V
Raider Wagon 250 Colossal V Colossal IV
Minbari Fighter 22 Large Colossal
Sentri Fighter 22.25 Huge Colossal
Narn Frazi 15.8 Huge Gargantuan
Delta-V Raider 16 Large Gargantuan

They even got the size of Babylon 5 itself wrong. In the book it's listed as 7962 meters, when it was clearly given as 8.0645 km in the episode "And Now for a Word." What is up with all this :?:
the reason why they are the way they are.. and this topic has been talked about before.. Mongoose has stated was because they decided to use the Dragonstar ship combat system they had to make a few sacrafices and they also stated the ship sizes are only a guide.. and if you also remember in the show ship sizes changed do to the Plot at the time... and that we will probably get an advanced ship combat system in the future if more people want them.
According to (which gets its information from JMS and the B5 production staff),

The site is PURELY fan-based speculation, with a few pieces of data from the wet dreams of Tim Earls, the man who's responsible for the "magically growing WhiteStar" of late B5 CGI. Most of the data on this site seems like stuff some guy dreamed up to win "my favorite starship can beat up your favorite starship" discussions with fans of other SF shows, and has NO relation to ANY canon information (count the weapons they say those ships have for example, and then compare those numbers to WB-cleared info like in the games or the Sierra CD...). DON NOT take anything from that site without a Large grain of salt.

But it's a great site to look for ship pictures, that I have to admit. And while their conclusions -especially the tech stuff- are often quite whacky, some of the info is worth looking at.
Tim Earls was the CGI / Special Effects director for Babylon 5. The people at aren't pulling stuff out of their backsides. Didn't you read the footnotes at all? They use extensive episodic and print references, not to mention consultation with B5 production staff. I saw no real reason to discount the veracity of the information I read. You may not agree, and that's fine, but if you have verified sources of info for the B5 ships I'd love to see it.

starfury88 said:
Tim Earls was the CGI / Special Effects director for Babylon 5. The people at aren't pulling stuff out of their backsides.

Actually - they do in quite a few cases... ( is a case in point - they categorically state the Liandra doesn't have Jump Drive which actually contradicts dialog in the movie...), the come up with power ranges for weapons, armour thicknesses, masses for ships for which there is NO EVIDENCE at all).

starfury88 said:
Didn't you read the footnotes at all? They use extensive episodic and print references, not to mention consultation with B5 production staff.

And the site seems to have a certain bias against the the stuff AoG produced as well, which is odd considering AoG (just as Mongoose has to) had to pass everything before the B5 Production staff for approval, something that (apparantly) Chameleon Eclectic forgot to do once or twice). They also keep quoting from the B5 Technical Manual which jms is on record as saying "stinks" and was a bad move

starfury88 said:
I saw no real reason to discount the veracity of the information I read. You may not agree, and that's fine, but if you have verified sources of info for the B5 ships I'd love to see it.

Tim Earls was one of the CGI designers for Babylon 5, not the director. He designed the Warlock for instance (and boy has that caused problems...).

Some of his stated sizes are just plain wrong (the Whitestar is the prime example) as they do not tie up to on screen sizes (there's a very good argument at for more rational sizes).
starfury88 said:
For further corroboration of the b5tech info, check out

Interesting, but the one thing to remember is that the Warlock didn't actually use any weapons other than its missiles in the show. Tim may have intended the weapons to be such and such, but first they'd have to survive contact with the rest of the SFX team and story constraints. (This explains why we have variant hulls for ships in B5, just to take into account the whims of SFX guys. (The B5Tech approach is that all hulls of a particular type have every weapon shown to be fired by any single example).)

The problems with the Warlock was Tim added lots and lots of cool toys (some of which were meant to be obsolete...) to a ship in quantities that were just unreasonable compared to cannon cleared information.

Contrast and compare these two entries from the IMDb...

Tim, was at points the SFX Art Director, he wasn't the SFX Supervisor though. His authority was in how things were designed, not how they were deployed.

He may have stated that the Whitestar was 375m long but it was never used at that length on screen because it wouldn't have looked right (a classic example is the where the Whitestar carrying Sheriden to Minbar at the end of Season 5 lines up on CnC. If it was 375m long, then Sheriden must be nearly 10-12ft tall!).
The people at aren't pulling stuff out of their backsides. Didn't you read the footnotes at all?
Actually, some of their footnotes prove that they ARE. Really, just take some of their weapons loads, and then read the footnote saying "Weapons payload and terms observed directly from the show and AOG suplimental material..." to try and justify the Sharlin carrying something like That:
18 Gravitic Neutron Cannons
18 Gravitic Fusion Beam Cannons
24 EM Neutron guns
24 EM Fusion Beam guns
42 Electro-Pulse Guns
4 Missile Launcher
1 antimatter Cannon
Optional Mass Driver

I wonder how they managed to misread an AoG SCS showing a total of 6 Neutron Lasers, 18 Fusion cannons and 1 EPG. Of course, mis-quoting licensed stuff sounds better then admitting there's still fecal matter clinging to their conclusions...

But there Are three good things I have to say about B5tech too - some of their stuff IS pretty well thought out (just almost none of the technical details), they and their sibling-site are a great place to go looking for pictures and their incorrect stuff is at least good for laughs...

But in the "canon" department the only thing they have going for them is called Tim Earls, whose "endorsement" lends this site dubious semi-credibility. Sure, he once was involved with B5 CGI... all the worst parts of it; from magically growing meshes (even though his size charts have been declared official, they are clearly wrong in some cases, and create illogical events in others...) over the out of proportion compared to what went before on the show, munchkin wet-dream Warlock armament to visual range battles (though to be fair that last one was probably more for the benefit of the audience then just his own bad idea.)
But what happened here is that after he left the B5 team, he started yapping about his personal ideas of hos things are in B5 and this site soaked it up like it was the word of the great maker, while the guys who Actually have the power to declare something to be acceptable in the B5 universe were looking elsewhere - like at the stuff AoG and nor Mongoose had to send to them for approval before they could release it!
Make no mistake - everything a licensed product contains HAS to be signed off by the ones who hold the rights on this stuff - which ultimately is Warner Brothers, as JMS sold them his idea. That is what makes these things "official" (even though noone is perfect and even among those official infos there are some that just don't make sense - but hey, even the screen info contradicts itself from time to time... or how was the Drala Fi TRULY destroyed...)
But everything else is just speculation - nice speculation in some cases, stupid spaculation in others, but nothing more then speculation in any case. And that's exactly what b5tech is... though IMO much of it is more on the stupid side, as it's clearly over-done (I assume some sort of inferiority complex compared to similar sites that took Star Trek and Star Wars tech and pulled their dreamed-up stats out of a lower body ofrice...).

That's why I always go off like this when someone tries to sell this fan-based speculation as holy writ, and why I always say take everything you find there with a Big grain of salt, and Really check Every reference to see what it Truly says, not what they interpreted from it (see example above)
Given that the ships had whatever was needed for the plot at the time, any reasonably considered system of sizes and cpabilities should work just as well as any other. The only thing we can ask is that the designers be consistent,
Incidentally, is there an online errata for the books so far released by Mongoose? I recently picked up the base book, and there's a glaring error under vehicle rams.
The mistakes are not that critical. If you know what they are, then you can take it into account. The stats to the WhiteStar don't mention anything about the adaptive armor that in the show it has. Just something you got to add in.
A better source for weapons loads is the stuff AoG did, the one downside is they never gave ship dimensions however that can hopefully be taken care of at some point, come up with cast iron lengths and widths to use regardless of what happened form episode to episode.
LoneStranger said:
...the one downside is they never gave ship dimensions...
Actually they did, once, during their first edition. Got burned by all the flame-mails though, because their sizes were based on the one screen from S-1 that had the Sharlin at 360 meters or so... and found that many, many fans have wildely different and strong opinions about how big those ships really are. So for their 2nd Ed. they dropped all size estimations, and basically said "won't touch this" ever after...
Yeah I remember seeing those, kinda sucked considered how helpful those were. It was nice seeing definite dimensions for once instead of "oh well this ship is bigger than this ship". Annoying.
A better source for weapons loads is the stuff AoG did

better, but not perfect, none of them are. :roll:

C.E. messed things up, so did A.O.G. (no mention of unidirectional pulse cannons for the Thunderbolt , even though Sheridan specifically mentions them. Heavy phasing pulse cannons for the Shadow Omega?!! The ship never fires one, just fires lovely blue beams of destruction).

There are plenty more for all companies involved in making stuff for the show but they are all "official" , signed off by Warner Bros.

fan sites might have the odd bit of good info, and are usually great for pictures, but for accurate stats you`ll be be mostly barking up the wrong tree.

ship sizes wander all over the place and according to JMS himself "the Whitestar flies at the speed of the plot". :lol:

basically if it doesn`t interfere with your game just ignore it, nitpicking only leads to irate posts, high blood pressure and a nasty headache.
AoG's minis are somewhat to scale... somewhat.
In full scale some ships are to scale within their size class, some are not.
In FA scale most ships are to scale - more or less.

And then of course, some ships Really mess up the whole scaling system, no matter what - like the Raider Strike Carrier, the size of which can be easily guesstimated from the size of the attached raider fighters in the scene is was introduced (Signs and Portents) - at not too much more then 150 meters or so. And then it has a Jump Engine, and is suddenly a capital ship in B5W... Brrr. And it looks pretty foolish in B5W too - the raider fighters on the full scale ship are exactly as big as the ones for FA... which of course terminates every claim that the mini is to size with, say, the Omega...

But aside from trapfalls like that, the AoG minis are a good way to at least get a feel of which ship is how much bigger then what ship...