Best Yardsticks

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2046
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Best Yardsticks

Post by 2046 » Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:45 am

Been playing with Sketchup again, which is the tool I used for Starship Volumetrics stuff. It may also serve as a nice way to keep the place tidy by being able to have ships to play with that don't take up any actual space, but don't tell anybody I was playing with toys. ;-)

Image

I once made a big mash-up of Starfleet shuttles, which then grew via Star Wars fighters, then the Maquis raider, then the Falcon, and by the end of it I had a KBoP and a Raven-type sitting there and instead of "Shuttles2" it just became "110m-and-below".

While it's far too busy a mash-up for video use, it remains fun to see them all together like that. For real comparisons I prefer to just have a ship or two together, which brings me to the question of the hour. What, in your opinion, is the best large-ish object for use as a yardstick that is of immediately recognizable and even touchable size? I'm going for something bigger than a person but where everyone knows it well enough to be able to, say, guesstimate if it would fit in a certain room, or on a certain area of an office or outdoors. I settled at first on cars, but that's a tricky one, too.

Considering the previous ubiquity of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, with Vics even in Moscow and the Middle East, I went for that . . . but, other than TV use, that leaves it a bit mysterious for Europeans. The Toyota Hilux is a worldwide thing, but I'm not sure many of the circa-1990 ones that really have that famousness about them are around in sufficient numbers. The Volkswagen Beetle may be a good choice, too, but also a bad one for the same reason as the Hilux . . . yeah, there *were* a lot, but now? I wouldn't know where to find one, and I couldn't tell you if it would fit in this room, but I can lay hands on a Vic in minutes by calling 9-1-1 (though some areas no longer have them active), trying to find an assisted-living facility or bingo hall, or checking the Wal-Mart parking lot for those stripped police cars people buy.

Technically, I could use the Toyota Corolla, which is currently a worldwide bestseller . . . but, as I noted, I want something recognizable. I mean, sure, with weeks of careful study to distinguish all the goofy Far East cars, one might be able to ID a Corolla to approach and get to know the size of in person, but who has that kind of time?

I've also thought of shipping containers, though of course those have issues, as well . . . heaven forbid I use a standard 40 footer only to have someone misapprehend the size when they see a high-cube or a custom-size one, or a high-cube custom, for that matter. But, as a side note, hooooly crap, neither Trek nor Wars can even begin to deal with such containers with small vessels . . . Yikes.

Any other suggestions?

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Re: Best Yardsticks

Post by Praeothmin » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:58 pm

A Hummer!
Pretty sure everyone in the world would recognize the Hummer, and its size is pretty much easily related to...

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Re: Best Yardsticks

Post by 2046 » Fri Oct 29, 2021 3:41 pm

Hmm . . . not bad. It's probably superior to the Crown Vic insofar as "people who have seen one worldwide", though the Crown Vic has the advantage of being a big-but-normalish size car . . . I mean, a German who hasn't seen the random guy with a Crown Vic Police Interceptor on the Autobahn (which strikes me as utterly hilarious, by the way . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTBjBKKGzgo ) can at least mentally compare it to some big Mercedes or something, but the Humvee is an abnormally large vehicle.

Maybe a Jeep would work better for this?

Ooh, a quick search says yes: https://cj3b.info/World.html . . . holy crap. I'd seen the Indian fake-Jeep before but didn't realize how many there were around the world. I might ditch the Hilux for this, because (a) screw Toyota and (b) the Hilux many recognize is like thirty years out of date now, whereas a Jeep largely remains a Jeep.

Thank you!

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Re: Best Yardsticks

Post by 2046 » Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:00 pm

So here's what I'm going with, in size order.

1. SketchUp People

Just because.

2. WW2 Jeep

Modern Jeeps are somewhat larger but, internationally, Jeeps of original dimensions or nearly so are still made and around, e.g. the Mahindra Jeep clone. It should thus be relatively easy to find a copy or compare to a modern variant.

3. Volkswagen Beetle

My model is of the 1940 KDF-Wagen but mostly because it's the lowest-poly model available (thus easy on my PC's tired gerbil), and sizes never changed all that much. This vehicle was made in numerous markets for years and there are plenty around the world.

4. 2003-2011 Ford Crown Victoria

Not the most ubiquitous item worldwide, but I like it. Also, while the styling is a tad different than the 1992-2002 model and way different than the boxy 1980s version, the length didn't change, which is handy.

5. Intermodal shipping container, standard height, 40ft.

The entire planet is stuck with ships carrying containers using American-design footage. They're everywhere. Epic troll.

Also, all three vehicles fit atop it with just a little Vic hanging off, so it's like a buffet.

6. Baseball Diamond

All around the world folks use the same rules, so one of these should be relatively easy to find for most folks.

7. Boeing 747-400

At 70ish meters and still in production for another few minutes, this is an easily-recognized air icon that will be around for awhile. Unlike basically any other commercial aircraft that comes in various versions, the 747 was basically always the same length and, of course, is matched only by the A380 in recognizability. Seriously, there are more numerous commercial aircraft, but it's scarcely worth trying to distinguish them.

8 ?

I don't know where to go from here, if I even need to. I'd like to have something in the hundreds-of-meters range . . . multiple 747s would do, I suppose, to get me to half a kilometer, but that's messy.

Even at this point, we're a bit past the "something of comprehensible size folks can likely encounter/recognize" zone. ​I could use something like the Titanic, but of course Cameron's subscale model for the movie messed up people's perception.

I may use the Enterprise CVN-65, just because, with a 747 atop, but at that point I may as well use 1701 for scaling.

9 ???

If there's an 8, then 9 would have to be the Borg Cube.

10 ??????

Death Star?

11

The frickin' Moon.

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Re: Best Yardsticks

Post by 2046 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:59 pm

So I added a tennis court . . . those are probably more accessible than baseball diamonds, though many amateur courts are probably the wrong size.

I also had added the Enterprise CVN-65 until I realized the Essex Class was more numerous and accessible . . . I've been aboard one, myself.

http://weblog.st-v-sw.net/2021/11/scali ... ticks.html

Despite not caring for most physical models anymore, I think I want to make easily printable versions of this at different scales for those who want a paper referent to hold up against models they may have. Might be cool.

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