Monday, June 29, 2009


I just watched Terminator Salvation last weekend and left feeling someone conflicted. I can sum it up best like this:
As a movie fan I found it acceptable for summer time action fare. It's not going to win any awards for best actor or best writing.
As a mecha fan I thought it was EXCELLENT. Great designs.
Overall I felt neutral about it.

Now I know this blog is primarily about Gundam plastic models but I'm going to expand the boundries a bit to talk about "MECHA" in general. Today I'm going to talk about the evolution of the "Terminator".

What got me into this was an article I saw in a Hobby Japan a couple of months ago showcasing some of the new Terminator models/toys/busts that are coming out soon/available. If you don't know, the machines in Terminator 4 predate the ones used in the original Terminator movie, so those of us who have seen all of them and are also mecha fans will get a bit of a treat in this movie as we can see a bit more of the Terminator R&D process.

Take a look. After I saw this (and the movie) I realized that the mecha design in the Terminator series is actually quite deep and has a fairly comprehensive technological evolution tree.

Showcased here are the T-600, T-700 and T-800 versions.

Here are some more pics.

Mentioned in the original Terminator movie, shown in the Sarah Connor Chronicles and in Terminator Salvation. Large, heavy, slow, plodding, covered in a latex rubber skin that is easily detectable by humans, thus easily disabled.

Shown briefly in Terminator Salvation. Hardly used and ended up being more of a touchstone for new technology culminating in the T-800. Lighter, smaller, faster than the T-600 but never seen with skin.

The Terminator that we all know. The most successful model; it was used in the first movie and almost every Termintor movie or TV show since. This is the most compact one. It has living skin so it is able to fool humans for prolonged periods of time thus earning the title of "infiltration unit". Because of it's learning CPU these Terminators are prone to "self awareness" after extensive periods of activation, usage and human contact.

Finally here's a shot comparing them.

From left to right. T-600, 700, ?, 800 (I know what the ? is now but in order for you to know you'll need to watch the movie.)

All info and pics (except for the magazine scans which I did myself) are from the Terminator Wiki.