How big is the Yamato/Argo?

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Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:48 am

  • How big is the Yamato/Argo? Is it really rebuilt from the wreck of the World War II Japanese battleship Yamato?

    In the original series, Yamato/Argo was the same length as the IJN Yamato, 265 metres. The premise was that the wreck of the 20th Century battleship had been rebuilt into a space battleship.

    In Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the length of the Yamato has been revised to 333 metres in length. This has been reverse-engineered from the dimensions of the main bridge. For the interior space of the bridge to be proportionally represented outside, they had to increase the size of the ship. If the Yamato were 265 metres long, the bridge would appear oversized compared to the rest of the ship or would be spatially incorrect.

    This is additionally justified in 2199 by the fact that the Yamato is no longer rebuilt from the original’s hull (which the original series implied). When the original Space Battleship Yamato was created, the wreck of the Japanese battleship had not been found. It was found in the early 1980s, and found to have broken in two when it sank.
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Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:36 pm

  • I know what they're saying now is the new size is figured on fitting the Main Bridge, but everything I recall seeing some time back says the main, the significant factor in any change is the main fighter bay.

    Simple math shows that to fit the old Black Tiger or Cosmo Tiger II fighters in the shown stacks (3 long, 4 high, sometimes two deep PER SIDE) would require something like 85% of the internal hull volume. And that's not even taking into account the topside hanger.

    Cramming between 34 and 52 fighters with an average length of 17.5 meters each just didn't work out. :) Note that this doesn't even take into account lifeboats, torpedo bombers, landing craft, one-man helicopters, scout craft, seamless planes or bulk transporters.

    Of course this is only a problem if one is locked into the idea of the 'visual internal layout' of the Yamato matches the famous Studio Nue cutaway generated long, long ago. It was all the rage to have have 'X-Ray' or cutaway views of , well, EVERYTHING back then. Robots, Monsters, Trains, Aircraft, Hydro-electric power plants.

    It seems well established that Eagle magazine in England, published in the '50s to about the middle '60s (and then taken over, revised, revised again and so on) led the way in producing cutaways in obsessive detail every week of all manner of things, and this carried over to their main SF comic strip, Dan Dare.

    The key was, make it LOOK real. Just cram lots of gears and hydraulic cylinders and structural supports in the spaces- you can see this in any vintage Mazinger Z cutaway. With Yamato, they did try to fit functional 'blocks' for all the needed spaces, but scaling got the better of them. Still looks neat however. :)
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Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:39 pm

  • Steve, that was certainly what the intention was behind the redesign of the fighter bay... I always wondered, what the heck happened with each deck once it reached bottom? I don't think that was ever explained well enough, although I think it was implied it was something akin to an escalator's stairs.

    One thing that they managed to sidestep in 2199 though is recovery. While it seems fairly straightforward as to how recovery of the fighters would occur (pretty much reverse the launch sequence seen in Episode 5 minus the part where they retract the undercarriage), it would have been nice to see it once.
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Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:10 pm

  • DanGeorge wrote:Steve, that was certainly what the intention was behind the redesign of the fighter bay... I always wondered, what the heck happened with each deck once it reached bottom? I don't think that was ever explained well enough, although I think it was implied it was something akin to an escalator's stairs.

    One thing that they managed to sidestep in 2199 though is recovery. While it seems fairly straightforward as to how recovery of the fighters would occur (pretty much reverse the launch sequence seen in Episode 5 minus the part where they retract the undercarriage), it would have been nice to see it once.


    Well, the redesign has an additional problem, at least to my mind.

    It's stated that part of the 'magic' of the Wave Motion Engine is artificial gravity. Why this is isn't clear, it may well be a side effect, or the math suddenly filled in some 'blanks' that allowed for gravity generation. I'll skip just how major being able to generate gravity is for the moment. :)

    The redesigned fighter bay is kept in micro-gravity, usually called 'Zero G' by most. This is a state imposed on it WITHIN the generated gravity field. Still with me? Good.

    What happens within the gravity field of a planet? What happens if the artificial gravity (and the imposed zone of Zero G within it) is cut off? At BEST you have a situation where you can only man half the planes until they launch and you can flip up the remaining planes. See the problem?

    And yes, it's somewhat odd that for all the work done on launching, there seems to be little to no thought given to recovery. In Original Yamato there is a passing mention of a recovery/landing gantry to latch on to each returning plane, which of course was never used for that purpose. Well, correction, it did drop a Type 100 recon out the hatch...
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Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:37 pm

  • If memory serves me correctly, during pre-production of the '74 series, the Yamato was supposed to be 333 meters long (corresponding with the length of Tokyo Tower as a scale). This was changed later by creator/producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki. Additionally, I believe that Junichiro Tamamori, Yutaka Izubuchi and the staff of 2199 worked out the fighter recovery system (they had almost four years of pre-production to think about such details); they just didn't get around to showing it — this grew out of decades of fans discussing such probkems and conundrums within the '74 series. As for the artificial gravity in 2199, I believe that the generator is in the Third Bridge, as is the Wave Motion Shield generation, IIRC. My feeling is that one of the publications published in the wake of 2199 might reveal such information.
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Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:56 am

  • August Ragone wrote:If memory serves me correctly, during pre-production of the '74 series, the Yamato was supposed to be 333 meters long (corresponding with the length of Tokyo Tower as a scale). This was changed later by creator/producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki. Additionally, I believe that Junichiro Tamamori, Yutaka Izubuchi and the staff of 2199 worked out the fighter recovery system (they had almost four years of pre-production to think about such details); they just didn't get around to showing it — this grew out of decades of fans discussing such probkems and conundrums within the '74 series. As for the artificial gravity in 2199, I believe that the generator is in the Third Bridge, as is the Wave Motion Shield generation, IIRC. My feeling is that one of the publications published in the wake of 2199 might reveal such information.


    I know that 333 meter length has been referenced several times in recent interviews, but I can't find any first-case source data on that. Of course it may have been in planning material that was so rough and pre-production it hasn't been reproduced, but going by the Acadamy-published 'Three silver book set' which I'm sure all would agree is just about the most exhaustive and detailed contemporary chronicle of a production ever made*, it's just not there.

    There *IS* a reference to the Yamato being 2 km long, 1 km wide and 500 meters tall in the 'asteroid ship' production material. (silver book 'beginning' volume page 266). There is also a picture of the 'Super Tokyo Tower' which is the communication mast that keeps Earth in touch with Yamato.

    I want to be very clear here. I am NOT saying Izubuchi pulled that 333 meter number out of his a** and is bulls**ting everyone. I'm saying that whatever production materials he's referencing have not come to light in anything I own.

    Oh, and Original Yamato was 265.8 meters long. :)

    *The recent insanely bulky and heavy Making of Star Wars books are close and a solid, honorable second, IMHO. :)
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Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:14 pm

  • Information about how truly large IJN Yamato was differs. I've seen numbers from 250 to 265 meters long.
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Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:44 pm

  • August Ragone wrote:As for the artificial gravity in 2199, I believe that the generator is in the Third Bridge, as is the Wave Motion Shield generation, IIRC. My feeling is that one of the publications published in the wake of 2199 might reveal such information.


    In Episode 6, after Yamato receives the radio communication from Kato that he's engaged the enemy at Target 5, Enomoto reports to Okita that with the Wave Motion Shields, they've "done what they can", in the same communication mentions that the inertial control system is back online, after which he turns to his offsiders and says, "now we can fight with both feet on the ground", providing additional confirmation that they're talking about the gravity control system. That they've been working to bring the Wave Motion Shields back online and can instantly say the inertial control system is back up and running as well can imply that they're situated in the same location. Episode 20 would later confirm the WMS generators and control centre are situated in the third bridge.

    This was confirmed in an interview with mechanical director Masanori Nishii, in Hyper Hobby Issue 169 (published September 2012, in between Chapters 2 & 3) which has been translated on the main site as part of 2199 Report 11. Question 6 confirms what is implied by the episode 6 dialogue (to find it, just do a search of the text for "third bridge"). Nishii-san confirms that both the inertial control system and the WMS generators are in the third bridge.

    As for publication content, I'd be absolutely amazed if the plethora of technical drawings for Yamato in the Earth book didn't mention where the control is located, since Nishii-san would have overseen or authored this.
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Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:56 pm

  • Chris wrote:Information about how truly large IJN Yamato was differs. I've seen numbers from 250 to 265 meters long.


    I was at the Yamato Museum in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, in August this year. I can confirm that the 1:10 scale model of the Yamato that is its centrepiece, a 1:10 scale model is 26.3 metres long - it is explicitly stated at the museum's website which would make the ship's length 263 metres. The Space Battleship from the original saga is 265.8m long, the extra length coming from the thruster nozzle of the Wave Motion Engine.

    For the record, the model is a sight to behold. If you ever visit Japan, it is more than worth a journey to see if you're in the Hiroshima area (Kure is a 45-minute train ride from Hiroshima Station). There is a 1:1 scale representation of the Yamato's forward deck outside the main museum, and you can even see where the ship was built from there. If that wasn't enough incentive, a short 15-20 minute walk away is the Yamato Gallery Zero - a gallery of Leiji Matsumoto's work, and home to two very large models of Yamato, including one of two cutaway models over 2m in length.
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Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:18 am

  • Yes, Izubuchi did state that the original Yamato was supposed to be 333, and Nshizaki struck that so the ship could conform with the supposed length of the IJN Yamato. I also remember fans telling me this years ago, here, or during my stay in Japan during the '80s. In any case, since Tokyo Tower was the largest building in Japan (and Asia) at the time — later beaten by the Sunshine 60 Building in the Ikebukuro ward of the captial, it's perfectly plausible. I'm sure that Ryusuke Hikawa, Yamato Fan 0, might be able to shed some light on this. I'm sure that there are a lot of documents concerning the '74 production that have yet to see the light of day (at least in the West).

    I hope that we will be able to obtain and share as much rare material as possible in English in the near future.
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