Gundam Project Apocrypha / Anachronia


This is my idea for a science+fantasy Gundam isekai story. There are a lot of Gundam series so I wanted to do something exotic, a big WHAT-IF. What if basic GMs ended up in ancient Not-Greece, fighting monsters? Humans represent crunchy powerful physics ("Real Robot" / 08th MS team), and the monsters the yelling and shooting off magic. The story is focused more on strategical GM combat rather than on a main character in a Gundam. In a sense the main character is the what-if, with a bunch of characters at the helm offering their expertise (i.e. it's about the world arc, not personal arcs). The audience could pick their favourite. I think the strength of isekai lies in... "what would happen in this scenario?". Act, character arc and conflict structures are sluggish and overrated I feel. If the audience remains interested in what will happen next, that's good enough. If they remain interested and engaged even after it's over, even better.

Tonally, it's a more positive story about the protagonists helping people in the new world by using their wondrous powers. The story initially explores certain technological aspects outside of Gundam battles, such as... uh, building a bathhouse using wondrous technology, I don't know. There could also be some political/class play and friction.


It's UC0085 or UC0090. An E.F.S.F. space shuttle some 50-60m in length enters the shot. Inside the cockpit is the crew engaged in a discussion of their mission. They're heading for a small moon or asteroid where they are setting up an experimental "autofactory". One of them is expressing disdain that the Zeon prototype mobile suit is not included on "the list" for the first 12 months because she'd love to see it. The others joke that she's a traitorous Zeon nut. Some of their personalities and jobs/capabilities are first established here. They appear to be engineers. We learn that they have brought a black suitcase with schematics for several known prototype designs, including some Zeon ones (captured/acquired after a war, so it's peacetime). None of these designs are not the latest and greatest unfortunately.

While autofactories can manufacture almost anything given the proper resources, they are not suitable for mass production of goods. They're not simple 3D printers either, but something more advanced, using multiple technologies like containment field moulding and procedural techniques. Components are assembled by hand (by robots) outside of the machine. The medical and chemical units are separate. There are also recycler units ("Maxwells"?) which can be used to automatically separate junk into the basic raw materials (with some losses), so they're capable of processing ore as well. These are nuclear powered. An autofactory (and its robotic crew) can be set up to follow a program, thus needing little human oversight. This means it can be dropped onto a moon or asteroid and deliver goods (or installations) according to some timeline, but the program will have to take resource availability into account or the process will stall.

Anyways, the shuttle is suddenly rammed by a transporter ship (it's truck-kun) which has gone haywire, and goes up in flames. But, just before there was a weird magic glow in the cockpit, along with strange four letter runes which all say the same thing ("copy copy copy" though this is unreadable).

The glow subsides. The shuttle appears sitting on the ground in an enormous summoning circle. That's right, this is a Gundam isekai. The shuttle was copied at the moment of impact.

Robed figures apprehensively approach the strange shuttle. They are primitive, similar to ancient Greeks. That's right, this is a Dr. Stone type isekai (with cheats).

One figure takes the lead, identifying a door, tapping it with a staff, speaking foreign words, then backing off. The crew comes out, blasters in hands. Attempts at communication fail. Then Haro-1 appears, wearing an exo skeleton which makes it look fairly humanoid. It thinks it will be able to translate, given enough input. The natives are acting friendly, but there's a sense of desperation in their faces.

There are three Haros in different colours. Whole rows of more basic worker robots wearing the same exoskeleton can be seen (folded into compact cubes). Inside the cargobay is also the autofactory (a large one and some smaller ones), and various containers. The shuttle fin can flip up and extend into a crane arm for unloading.

Some days pass and Haro-1 to 3 have each been communicating constantly with the primitives to build a vocabulary on a variety of topics. They report back to the human crew. Perhaps there's some sort of headset which moderately facilitates learning new languages (it could also be used later on the natives and it's related to a piloting device used later). It is now first revealed what has happened.

The natives are part of the nation of Arinthos which is under attack by gods and their monstrous minions. What has happened in surrounding nations is mostly unknown but it can be assumed to be equally as bad. Every other year the gods demand a bloody sacrifice (harvest), usually a sizeable chunk of the population, then they withdraw to some unknown location or perhaps move on to other areas. The sacrifices are picked from prisoners of raids, criminals, slaves, political enemies, unwanted ethnic groups, lottery losers and finally volunteers - usually the sick and old (though old age in this era is not that old). The rich and influential have spared themselves. Occasionally men of fighting age will attempt to resist, but are easily put down. This has skewed the demographics of the nation somewhat.

Bones pile up on the tithing fields outside of the city, corroborating the story. The Arinthians aren't even able near to bury the remains due to some curse or unseen danger. Eventually they got fed up and sacrificed their entire supply of magical crystals to summon a saviour from the realm of the dead, or rather, a burial ship as they had imagined it (this happens to be the entire crew & shuttle).

Upon hearing about these atrocities, the crew decides to help the Arinthians. There's a time limit as the next harvest is in 20 months. While the ship carried some rare raw materials but not enough to build an army. They decide to dismantle the ship for parts, then excavate a hidden underground base. Judging by the position of the planets and stars, and geography, they are somewhere on a parallel Earth in ancient times. Perhaps the story revolves around some Arinthians (later pilots), the shuttle crew, and the Haros. It's not really known what they're up against but eye witness accounts are gathered and it appears to be various forms of large monsters of the classical variety (Minotaurs, Basilisks...) as well as titans.

Phase 1. The first few weeks are spent planning, and producing a handful of wondrous (and essential) vehicles, medical instruments, medicines and other devices using the autofactory. The goal is partly to increase morale to win over the population. Resources are scarce but fortunately the ship carried some in the cargobay and the rest can be scavenged. They simultaneously begin prospecting mining sites (which proves easy since they have historical data on Earth in their databases). Initially it could make sense to have the autofactories self replicate, but this requires resources, some of which need special attention and time. Only autofactories can make computer components early on as those otherwise require fairly complex production plants and processes.

Phase 2. Some month in they have a few basic mining sites set up. Initially just the robots and local population is used as labour, but eventually most of the population (some 3.5 million) is enrolled into the project. Over the coming months they have to slowly build up basic modern infrastructure such as roads, public transport, industrial agriculture, sanitatary facilities, and also begin social, educational and healthcare programs.

Specialised factories begin to churn out materiel, such an adaptive all terrain vehicle (a requirement until proper roads have been built). Villages begin to get access to public transport (ATV bus-trucks), and even a little motorbike. These silent electric vehicles could come in handy during evacuations.

Phase 3. After eight months they have several deep-mining sites up and running. They've also established a few covert rare-resource extraction sites outside of the nation's borders, utilizing Nightwing air transports for logistics. They can now begin production for the large scale defense effort and speed up the modernization effort.

At this point little is known about the monsters and what would be effective against them. It is believed that they might be smaller than a mobile suit. The monsters have been harassing nations with increased frequency over the last 60 years. Before that they were only the stuff of legends. Small arms fire might not be effective, so even infantry weapons are made fairly large caliber.

One major strategical advantage is that the Arinthians know exactly where and when the monsters will appear, so preparation of the battlefield begins. Simulation training begins. Certain Arinthians are selected as pilots. Most Arinthians receive some form of military training alongside their basic education. Some stratospheric balloon drones reveal nothing too surprising... there are other nations out there, but few city-lights. News are delivered in printed form and over public screens in villages and cities. The state (i.e. the main characters) have total control over information networks (and propaganda) but at this point quality of life has increased to such a degree that most people are happy (aside from a few old sects stirring up trouble). It will be a while before crop yields increase though (dependent on seeds and such). Year-round temperature controlled hydroponic greenhouses are built, greatly increasing yields (no pests either). For the open fields auto irrigation systems and industrial harvesters have come into play.

Phase 4. 18 months in they have their first batch of GMs (chosen because they are simpler to produce and handle) and practical training starts in earnest. Defending an entire nation with just a few mobile suits might be difficult, so simple to maintain infantry weapons and armour has also been mass produced.

2 months later a portal opens up on the tithing fields. The monsters appear by the hundreds. They find the human sacrifices standing waiting on a field. The monster ranks advance, ready to feast. 8 meter tall Minotaurs, 11 meter Basilisks, 14 meter Cyclopes, lead by a 22 meter tall titan, vaguely angelic. A signal is given. The sacrifices duck into hidden trenches, ten thousand rifles open fire. Many of the Minotaurs in the front rank fall to the overwhelming barrage. (Different types of experimental ammkunition is used here, too see which works best.) Enraged, the Basilisks open fire with their eye beams, but the Arinthians have already been ordered into the tunnel system where escape transports were standing ready. Decoy figures remain on the surface to draw the monsters in. Then 60mm Vulcan auto turrets hidden in the vegitsation wake up, with devastating effect.

The monsters panic, and some are driven into a minefield which is detonated remotely, nearly causing a cave-in on the escaping transports in the tunnels. After the smoke settles on the battlefield, five large figures appear. It's the GMs, towering over the monsters. The Beam Spray Guns prove effective, punching holes into the Basilisks. The Basilisk rays only cause superficial damage to the GMs. Eventually the GMs have take to their beam swords and shield, hacking and slashing. A Cyclops loses a wrestling match and is stomped into the mud.

Suddenly a tremendous ray sends a GM flying, arm missing. The Titan has advanced, holding fancy staff. The remaining GMs open fire utilising the last E-cap reserves. The Titan staggers, but oh-no, some sort of energy wings has protected it. The GMs are out of energy. The Titan fires off another ray, but this time the target GM was prepared, managing to block it with the shield, which is damaged beyond use leaving the GM open. Unit 6, you have your target. Grid 44-06, take it out!

Somewhere in the distance, a 6th GM (sniper head) lies prone, holding a Beam Rifle. The Titan comes into the view of the scope, showing grid 44-06...05 and E-cap 16/16. The titan is backing off and has opened up an escape portal.

Don't let it escape! someone crackles over radio. Firing. A beam screams across the battlefield, kicking up mud. It runs the Titan through, reducing its chest cavity to a bloody mist. It falls to the ground. The portal collapses.

The smoke settles. Not one monster remains standing. People in shelters break the silence, cheering. However, back at HQ new preparations begin. The monster might retaliate with even more potent forces, and soon. Now they have a whole nation to defend (maybe the world), and production must be maintained and increased. Some surviving monsters have been put in cages, to be examined and interrogated later. Any captured armour and weapons will be studied. It's believed that the monsters are not regular animals, because of their size, movement, strength and death rays. But how the monsters work is just as much a mystery to the humans as it human tech is to the monsters.

The monsters are banded into in factions, each with their own territory where they feed and perhaps harvest some kind of "newtype" energy vaguely present in the Arinthians. Having faced such massive trauma under the boot of the carnivorous monsters, it reasonable to assume that the Arinthians themselves would take issue with eating meat. At any rate, agriculture would probably have been partially automated by now, with the workforce being needed elsewhere. Possibly gene sequencers have been put to use to increase crop yields. Synth meat is a possibility. The Haros' and ship's databases might be extensive.

Anyways, since one monster faction has now gone missing, an opportunist faction might swoop in from some new direction, one comprised of a different set of monsters and another god/boss character. After those bite the dust the monsters become aware of the threat as a whole.

Phase 5. The world is been mapped in greater detail by high altitude drones and a few blackbody micro-satellites. The production capabilities of the replicated autofactories (tended to by a large robotic/Arinthian workforce) is reaching full power given the local resources. Expansion becomes necessary. Envoys are sent out to other nations. Running undisturbed mining operations on the moon (Luna Titanium?) is a possibility. The dismantled ship provided boosters for early space operations.

Several other grunt suits come into production, but only appear in small numbers. The GMs become more numerous. Personal cars become available (simple small 3-seaters... Tri-van T /Trabant). Previously cars may have existed only as VIP transports.

Phase 6.

The monsters might first try a brute-force multipronged attack, which could be difficult to defend against unprepared, but the Arinthians already has surveillance in the sky. Some sort of GM flight module seems reasonable to develop if defending a nation. The monsters (now lead by some eclectic council of leaders who don't seem to get along very well) try to employ more elite units, outfitted with armour, effective against infantry fire but not beam rifles.

Poisons are being developed, using the captured monsters as test subjects. Unfortunately these strong poisons are also deadly to humans and harmful to agriculture, and since the doses have to be so large it won't do to deliver as a gas. Instead certain types of ammunition is made. Thus, low-end emergency personal defence for the general population now includes poison prods & pikes, a small needle gun, and clothing impregnated with noxious musks, and repellent musk grenades. The infantry will later have to shift to using snipers with high powered rifles, focusing on soft spots and vulnerable targets.

Additionally, the monsters will use indoctrinated/enslaved humans (appearing as refugees) as saboteurs and spies, attempting to cripple industry. Expecting this, several honeypot installations have been set up to flush infiltrators out. More difficult to defend against are hit and run attacks against infrastructure and crop fields. Also, entire populations of defenceless foreign nations could be held hostage. At this point the Arinthians must go on the offensive. A true Gundam is now be finished, along with a satellite beam cannon to snipe commanders and key monster lairs (though most factions appear to be nomadic). Resistance cells have been prepared in some foreign nations. The shadowy monster king reveals itself.

The monsters are so large they can't manipulate small objects well. This likely has made it harder for them to develop (and reverse engineer) technology, though they have other powers as substitute. Up until now, humans could simply be crushed or eaten as-is. The monsters' lack of dexterity (and perhaps patience) is exploited by the humans in project PorcupineStinkBug, aiming to make humans... well, inedible. Frontline soldiers, and in some cases exposed civilians are given PSB armour with spring-loaded foot long spikes that can be deployed at a moments notice. Slamming a button in the belt also releases a cloud of noxious gas. Additionally, the uniform itself has been impregnated with a substance which according to research taste very bad to many monsters, or even cause sickness. These measures act as a deterrent, and a way to deny the monsters their sustenance.

Small fast vehicles are used for countryside defence. Vast minefields have been laid down (high pressure triggers). The mines show up in the HUDs of mobile suits and can be manipulated as needed. A mine has four modes, on, off, detonate, and ping (for easy recovery). Skilled pilots can fight in a minefield, drawing monsters in and detonate mines at will. Finally, a sort of newtype pilot emerges, able to pilot the first Gundam "GodKiller", a crossbone-like model with a lot of complex parts demanding a lot of focus. It's built using the moon metal.

The Gundam? Not too close to the Crossbone as it came later in the UC timeline.

Vehicles which might eventually appear. I guess they had a lot of captured Zeon schematics. Zeon designs were perhaps efficient to produce, given that they had less resources than the EF. The Zeon also experimented a lot (villain/mecha of the week). Fitting a 60mm (6cm bullet diameter!) Vulcan gatling cannon into a Gundam head is a pretty tight squeeze. The curvature of the head doesn't leave much room for the barrels. The bullets can be made pretty squat if caseless and I suppse it doesn't have to be a gatling even though some of the concept art shows it. They kind of fire more like SMGs though. The ammo goes in drums inside of the head. The head vulcans aren't used much so I don't think a single barrel risks being overheated like on the suppression turret Vulcans with larger ammo capacity.

Hairstyle tests. Haven't sketched much on the characters yet.

GM, maybe with a Greek theme, Aspis shield, Gladius, Trojan style Tallgeese helmet and some ear bang armour from Nobell/Astray.

Minotaur skull for scale. Maybe 30-40cm of monster bone, possibly magical defence, and tough leather skin (scales on other monsters). Kind of tough for infantry to damage but poisons might do it. Hollow-point might make for excellent delivery. The 60mm Vulcan might be loaded with hollow point too, doing terrible damage against fleshy targets (no need to overpenetrate). At some point against armoured targets darts will have to be used though. Caseless ammo could eventually hold big advantages over brass casing, such as being lighter and more compact, less flare, no ejection needed, uses less metal resources.

If a Pilum can penetrate the skin, they could also be used to deliver poison using a detachable stinger, though you'd have to get within 30m so maybe a big nope on that.

A large monster naturally has a quite large brain too, but much of it is blue brain matter which "does the magic", and a lot of it is needed to get an effect. It somehow supports their immense top-predator size and durability. Perhaps they acquire blue matter by eating people. It's possible that the monsters use magic to regenerate, but can't cast "cure poison" and need to bring expensive potions, which is a bit of a trope in RPGs.

DAMe. One of the aces?

Beaky Zaku ace?

Another ace, based on Nobell. Missing an arm here. Some weapons based on Iron Blooded Orphans designs.

Guncannon design... unsure if suitable.

Overcomplicated Guntank. Will probably skip it. I wonder if the design inspired the old whitehead Zoids (RMZ 1-10).

A sneaky scout Ball for tough terrain, with Saku legs.

Speaking of the Saku. It's one of my favourite designs that's always at the back of my head when doing pill-bot robots and tentacle limbs. I adapted the design to be more functional as a toy, with plate feet, a belt, hands, and a subtle waist. The design might be suitable for mass production because it has many repeated segments, and is overall simple in terms of main body armour and internal fitting.

GOGG variant. I suppose it's possible to make the arms somewhat retractable/extendable by using an internal sliding piston per segment but it's tough to also make them bend well as that requires double jointing, I would think. In the show it seems they can be pulled into the torso, leaving only the hand under the shoulder.

Story idea 2

Some story I sketched on set in the Build Fighters/Divers universe.


I suddenly got the idea of making a list of my favourite suits from the Gundam universe. I've gone through a few lists by other people and often don't agree at all. People go for different things, like specs, appearance in cool scenes, details like wings, or nostalgia. I often prefer the functional simplicity of grunt suits even though they often get the short end of the stick in the shows. It's sometimes difficult to judge a design when it has many incarnations in the shows, or as models, with different sub-variants, grades and colour schemes. Perhaps a unit looks great on the screen but the kit is badly proportioned or the more honest hard surface presentation somehow highlights a fundamental problem in the design, or, it's the other way around. In some cases, just small changes in a kit between grades can completely redeem a design. Because the suits are very humanoid the appeal often lies more in expression within those confines, like shape harmony, consistency, proportion and detail cleverness.

Top 3

GM/GM / Gunpla Mafia's Mobile Suit

Grade & scale: HG 1/144
Date: 2017 (bought/in prod 2019)
Series: Build Fighters : GM's Counter Attack OVA (briefly)
Box number: 059
Model number: RGMGM-79

My comment: Simple and great. Quite possibly takes the #1 spot. I like the sculpt but would love to see a ~2000 Yen customisable variant with alternative shoulders, chest, knees and heads, and a tommygun (perhaps a take on the Zaku one with the round mag). My only real complaint about the GM/GM is that it looks a bit too heroic and sporty, so that's why I'd like some primitive/clunky options for the shoulders/chest/head. The GM Camouf looks similar but has a fun DOM-like head going on and simpler knees. Appears to be out of production writing this in 2021. Had trouble snapping the lower arms together fully around the PC cuffs... probably fixable with internal filing.

Gerbera Tetra AGX-04A1

Grade & scale: Gundam Fix Figuration 1/144
Date: 2002
Series: -
Box number: 0010
Model number: RX-78GP04G(AGX-04A1)

My comment: This was the first Gundam that I bought. The model is a bit heavy. It's not regular kit plastic as it's prebuilt, and it doesn't hold together well with armour bits and hands falling off. But, I love the red and the shoulder/back detail. It (AGX-04A1) is a bit different from a regular Gerbera Tetra. There's a GP04G inside but I never display it in that mode.

HY-GOGG / Principality of Zeon Amphibious Mobile Suit

Grade & scale: HG 1/144
Date: 2003 (bought/in prod 2019)
Series: UC 0080 War in the Pocket (/0096)
Box number: 037
Model number: MSN-03C

[Waiting to be built] It's easy to install an LED in this kit due to the big torso. I drilled out the Abdominal Machine Cannons (1+mm or so) and the socket for the clear pink light pipe (3+mm). Then I installed female Duponts in the cannons, to work as a charging port for a 5.5V 0.33F Super Capacitor. It's like a battery but charges really fast. For charging protection I used a BAT85 Schottky diode and a 10 Ohm current limiting resistor. It's just what I had on the desk. A 5817 or 5819 could work too I guess, and probably an even smaller resistor. At 5V, the the PSU draw is only 40mA for an instance then it drops to 20... stays at 10 and dips below after 40-50 seconds. I'd say it's mostly charged in a minute or two... diminishing returns. Unlike a battery, a supercap won't need much of a charging circuit, it can just sit on the power rail and will eat when hungry. My LED went across the supercap with a 3.3K resistor. I used a white superbright F3 LED as the pink light pipe colours the eye correctly. A one minute charge lasts some 20 minutes, enough for a photo shoot, but the LED stays on dim for an hour or two. The curve here depends on resistor value for the LED. 1K to 10K is probably fine. Used greenstuff for mounting. Painted LED & pipe silver. Pics: Drilled, Installed.

Usually I don't like these kind of designs, but this one pulls it off so well it's somehow a top-3 for me. It has a great scene (Attack on Arctic Base). It's an older kit. No undergating... not sure when they started with that. The gray parts on mine are very gloss... could definitely use a dull coat.

Some other kits I have bought:

RX-78-2 GUNDAM / E.F.S.F. Prototype Close-Combat Mobile Suit

Grade & scale: HG 1/144
Date: 2015 (bought/in prod 2019 for cheap)
Series: The original show and onward.
Box number: 191
Model number: RX-78-2

This particular incarnation is not the best representation. The head is a bit small and the limbs are quite twiggy. Anyways, I think the design of the RX-78-2 is effective in its simplicity. It gets to the point right away, and perhaps the benefit of being first is being able to occupy the obvious design space, a bit like many of the first generation Pokémon. Later designs are sometimes forced out into the peripheries so they don't infringe on the original stuff, and this can make them gradually less... direct. The colour scheme is very controlled. The form holds together well because the colour fields are contained to specific areas. It stands in contrast to e.g. the Destiny Gundam which is very fragmented by its colour scheme and many pointy sprawling bits.

There are some things which I don't like about the RX-78-2 though, like the sides of the head (maybe too much detail on the head overall), and the thing going down on the belly messing up articulation (I think it's part of the core unit/fighter). There are a ton of RX-78-2 kits. I think the larger ones end up looking a bit too sharp and detailed. The newish cheap Entry Grade version honestly looks pretty well proportioned. Imagine if something like that had been released back in 1980... though, the reason gundam kits are so well made nowadays is probably because of computer modelling. Back in the day the moulds were made by running a pantograph over a hand made model.

ZAKU II F2 / Principality of Zeon mass productive [sic] mobile suit

Grade & scale: HG 1/144
Date: 2010 (bought/in prod 2019)
Series: UC 0083 Stardust Memory
Box number: 105
Model number: MS-06F-2

The Zaku design is distinct from the Gundam, pulls off what it needs to, and has lasting appeal. The leg cables I could do without and posability is so-so. I like this F2 model because it's very clean. I also have the ZGMF-1000 Zaku Warrior and MS-06S Zaku II (HCM pro 1:200). And a SD Blaze Zaku Phantom. The Geara Zulu variants are nice, with the slimmer legs and taller head.

Tallgeese EW

I had the Tallgeese on my wishlist back in 2000 or so, and finally bought a Real Grade in 2019. Not sure when I'll have time to build an RG though (-_-U).


Cool but kind of mainstream/safe cool instead of wonky-cool or simple-elegant which I often prefer. It's kind of detail heavy and I also don't like oversized weapons. Keeping them the size of the Heat Hawk or Beam Rifle/SprayGun works best for me. Still, clearly a good design and I'm glad to have one (and a Kyrios variant).


I like more organic/rounded designs but sometimes they can feel a bit off when imagined as an 18m tall giant robot (e.g. Geara Ghirarga). Somehow square shapes feel more justified, like on the Cherudim. With the Grimgerde the whole giant knight impression makes it work though.

Nobell Gundam / Neo Sweden Mobile Fighter

Well, I'm a Swede, so.

Gundam Astray Red Frame

A cool design which is a bit more detailed but manages to represent a Gundam fairly well. Some of the details feel like they're just there for show though, without function. The breast plate looks undersized... or perhaps it needs more ribs/lats.

Union Flag

This spindly design is an interesting departure from typical gundam design, but it is a departure and perhaps feels like it could be from a different show.

Tieren Ground Type

This one is bulky instead, and also a departure. It's a good design but I'm not sure if I like it.

Keeping an eye on

Kshatriya, Sazabi, Sinanju, Qan T, Crossbone, Testament, Hobby Hizack (fun colours), HGBD 00 Diver (nice for the price), GN Archer (without backpack). The Cherudim has nice consistent use of the coffin & rect shapes, and not overly complex, which I like. The Graze is a pretty cool grunt mech from Iron Blooded Orphans, though not classic Gundam in appearance. The Leo has some good points. Not sure if I'm imagining things, but it seems to have a subtle W shape theme (it's from Wing). The NPD version has a a few neat helmet variants. I'd like to include suits like the Vidar or Barbatos, but the feet kind of ruin the designs for me.


This is my method for estimating volume and weight of spaceships: I (try to) make a "perfect" clay cube, then turn it into a ruler, or I make two identical cubes. One cube is turned into a ship shape (minus long antennas if any). This 180cm spaceman is ~4¼ cubes long. 180/4.25 = 42.35 (i.e. the side of a human-as-cube), then ^3 = 76000cm3, or 76KG if water, a number which seems quite reasonable even though the sculpt here was sloppy.

By using this method you can quickly figure out that almost every sci-fi series out there has gotten volume & weight completely wrong, with ships often being light as aerogel (0.0015), or sometimes heavy as solid lead (11.3). The Birmingham-class Battleship from Gundam is 398 meters and has a "Max Weight" of 88.5K metric tons. Most sausage spaceships are 3-4 cubes long. My sloppy model ended up being 3.2. 88500 / ((398/3.2)^3) = 0.044 but 0.1-1.0 seems reasonable for military things depending on role, but the Spaceshuttle... might approach ~0.05? Naval ships are probably 0.2 territory. Tanks are heavier. The Birmingham-class battleship doesn't seem to have any cargo or MS carrying capacity, so there probably aren't any large empty bays inside. Perhaps the decks are quite light with most of the weight being surface area armour. Foam metal is a thing in the Gundam universe too. A caveat to my method is that the sculpts can be inaccurate, and the ^3 magnifies the error significantly. Here 3.6 = 0.065 and 3 = 0.037.

Still, at least you won't be off by an order of magnitude when using this soft clay method to estimate figures like weight or cargo capacity. Most stuff crewed by humans will probably have lots of airy corridors bringing density well below 1. IIRC, an Abrams tank is close to 1.0, and it has spots of high density armour (DU=19.1). Tanks aren't made to float, and being below 1.0 isn't enough to float well anyways, which is why there are boat'y buoyancy addons for tanks trying to do the floaty thing. Battleships float! I did some sloppy calculations in the past, putting military planes around 0.1 ±0.05, and battleships upwards 0.2 ±0.05, so not that heavy. Being like... 0.7+ probably wouldn't give a good margin for staying afloat in bad weather and boom boom scenarios.

The Legend of Galactic Heroes Battleship is one of my favs. I wish it had a nice plastic kit.

Art (c) Arne, 2019-2021,