My Terminiator T-800 model build is half completed. It all started back in March 2021 with the arrival of a six-pack of boxes.

Agora Models offer a number of high-spec, detailed models to build; cars, ships, planes, even remote-controlled tanks.

My favourite film is James Cameron’s 1984 cult movie The Terminator with its iconic T-800 Endoskeleton, played (until his skin is burnt off in a burning tanker cab) by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So, I had to splash out and go for it! The model had been released for a while, so I jump started with an accelerated six-pack initial delivery followed by a six-month subscription. The full kit is now available, but was not back in March.

I didn’t want to make them all immediately, but neither did I want to make a box and then have to wait a month for the next installment. The “all episodes available now” approach on Netflix and iPlayer has changed the way we consume subscriptions. With six boxes up front, I would at least have the next box on hand ready to start.

I am enjoying building the model. Soon, I had a disembodied head and my build journey was on its way.

T-800 Head

The model is very detailed with hundreds of parts to put together. Each box comes with an assembly manual and multiple blister-packs of parts. Most screws and washers come with a spare, so I am collecting a bag of bits.

Mini Terminator - T-0.1 Build Tools With a small set of tools (and the little guy on the left to help with very small parts) the model assembles really well. The magnifier looks like the T-800’s little brother; a bit like a T-0.1.

The assembly instructions provided in the manual for each box are extremely comprehensive, with detailed pictures to orientate and guide you. These books end with an article on a related subject - vision for the first pack contain the eyes, assembly robots for the arm pack and discussions on various Sci-Fi movies - great reading after an assembly session.

Having never built such a detailed model before, I was pleased to only have a couple of problems so far.

First was a dogdy right shoulder rotator cuff that doesn’t rotate fluidly in both directions. The arm can be lifted easily but returning to the side catches making it more difficult. The left shoulder rotates smoothly, but I’m waiting to see how it handles with the weight of an arm. The model is already quite heavy. As I add more, it just keeps getting heavier.

The spring in the right shoulder seems to catch. I have tried online forum suggestions of greasing it and cutting the ends from the spring to shorten it. Neither provided a good result.

Having cut the spring, I asked Agora for a replacement and they kindly obliged. If you need replacement parts, quote the pack and stage number where the part is first introduced (and laid out with part numbers and names). Don’t quote the stage where it is combined with parts from a later blister-pack (you’ll get the parts from that later blister-pack instead).

Initially this miss-communication resulted in the wrong part being sent. This was no problem for Agora who sent the correct part when I realised. In fairness, I returned the wrong part back to them. Nothing seemed too much trouble.

I fitted the replacement spring and the shoulder rotates much better (though not as smooth as the left shoulder). I think it just needs some excercise.

The next problem was minor in comparison.

Hip 1 Hip 2 Stage 55, Step 7 (Pack 6) shows the combined hip joint sections from stages 53 and 54 fitted to the top of the right thigh. There’s no mention of gluing these hip joint sections. However, when the thigh was connected to the pelvis, I noticed the combined hip joint sections came loose from the thigh.

I hope a little bit of glue to hold them together (not indicated in the assembly instructions) does not cause problems later. After the glue had dried, there did not seem to be any problem with hip rotation. No hip replacement needed yet!

Soon after, the thigh muscles were attached to the thigh and pelvis as described in the assembly instructions and I have half a Terminator T-800 Endoskeleton:

Pack 6 Complete

In hindsight, I should have started a build diary from day one, but I was too eager to get building. I’ll try and keep a build diary going forward, keeping pages over in a Terminator collection.

Agora assembly instructions recommend the incomplete T-800 is protected when not being worked on, so I currently keep him in an underbed storage box on a matress of bubble wrap and packing polystyrene - sleeping in the lap of luxury!

<img src=”/assets/images/t800/gonna-need-a-bigger-box.jpg” class=”align-center” alt=”T-800 In Bed>

As you can see, and to paraphrase a line from the classic Jaws:

I’m gonna need a bigger box…