The Star Trek Adventures game system uses a simplified system for representing the size of starships, with each spaceframe being assigned a scale. There’s a range of lengths and widths between starships of the same size. Because there’s so much variability between ships of the same scale, let alone between scales, it’s sometimes hard to picture how ships compare. Especially as, in a few cases, scale is often rounded up to denote the increased potency of a ship.
This article compares the sizes of most of the official spaceframes and ships released by Modiphius. To avoid scaling or perspective issues, I restricted myself to ships that can also be found in Star Trek Online and further limited myself to ships where I could find semi-official sizes for on Memory Beta.
Scale 3 ships range from the tiny 68-meter Jem’Hadar strike ship to the 170-meter Defiant-class starship. At times, these can be only slightly larger than some small craft.
Arguably, since the Maquis’ raiders were comparable in size to the Jem’Hadar attack ship, the difference between a scale 2 small craft and a scale 3 starship is less a factor of size and more the ship’s capabilities and versatility. Or even just the number of crew able to serve on the bridge at one time.
This is the rough scale of most starships in the 23rd and 24th century, and is roughly comparable in length to a modern aircraft carrier.
These ships range in length from the 237-meter Miranda-class and the 228-meter Klingon D7 cruiser to the 415-meter Prometheus-class and 425-meter New Orleans-class, which is only 25-meters shorter than the Luna-class.
At this length, most starships are as long as two or three city blocks. They might have the height of highrise. With 11 decks, a Miranda-class is comparable in height to a 10 to 12-story office building.
Ships of this scale range from 450-meters to over 500-meters, such as the 525-meter Ambassador-class. Even well into the late years of the 24th Century these ships were large and required a lot of resources to construct.
The odd-ship-out here is the Klingon, K’Vort, an upsized B’Rel bird-of-prey. Officially, this ship is a beefy 678-meters in length, dwarfing the supposed flagships, the Vor’Cha. The reason for this is poor scaling in a few visual shots of The Next Generation, where the bird-of-prey models were presented as much too large compared to the Enterprise.
This scale is the largest ships the various powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants can produce.
The smallest ship here is the 682-meter Negh’Var, while the D’Deridex, at 1041 meters, is so large was it was mistakenly sized as scale 7 in early printings of the Core Rulebook.
It’s been noted that the saucer of the Galaxy-class is roughly the same size as the Pentagon; although the saucer is three times the height, it’s probably not that much larger in terms of volume given the sloping hull. Amusingly, the saucer is also roughly the same length as the Constitution-class. The original Enterprise could comfortably fit in the primary hull of the Enterprise–D.
What gets me is that the Constellation class is bigger then the Constitution or Miranda classes, but was always shown as having a cramped bridge.
@Steven Ross Maybe Starfleet overloaded it with scientific equipment and specialist areas in comparison to the Constitution.
FWIW, I’m presently trying to calculate (by which I mean guesstimate) the scale of starships and space stations greater than scale 6. Using the Eaglemoss Collections to-scale pictures of their Star Trek miniatures (dated October 2020, so it’s the latest and most up-to-date to-scale comparisons of Star Trek ships and stations), I’m trying to get accurate scale stats of everything from Deep Space 9 (it should be Scale 8, not 12 as written in the Alpha Quadrant Sourcebook) to Earth Spacedock and Starbase 74 (I’ve estimated Scale 14 and 15 respectively).
My research continues.
Which source is everyone using to get the lengths of various ships? According to the Eaglemoss PDFs I got, the D’deridex is 1,353 meters long, not 1,000, which would make it at least Scale 7 if not Scale 8. Also, the Neg’var is 682 meters long, not 382. That’s almost half the length of the Neg’var cut off right there.
Ugh, and now I can’t find the link where I downloaded the Eaglemoss PDFs detailing all the scale size comparisons. Good thing I have the PDFs in my computer, though.
As I said in the article, I used Memory Beta as my source, often preceded by Memory Alpha.
This has the D’deridex at 1041.65 (rounded down an even thousand for descriptive purposes in the text)
You are correct that the Neg’var is way off. Curious. I don’t know where the 382 came from. It’s possible I made a typo when copying the length in my notes and ran with it. Or someone editing the site made a typo that has since been corrected.
Either way, I will have to edit the photos and correct that error when I have the chance.
Double checked and the typo was strictly in the article. The ship in the image is the correct size. So the error was all me.
Thanks for checking!