For the last few years, Mako Hatanaka has channeled his Terminator fandom into building animatronic T-800 models and busts. He’s currently up to version 2.4 on his busts with plans to build a moving arm and torso in the future.
These busts feature light-up eyes and animated features. Most of the bust moves, including the head, neck, eyes and jaw. Built in Hatanaka’s T-Studios, the endoskeleton even includes motions that are a bit jerky, mimicking how the frightening contraption acted in the original movie.
The busts are chrome plated using a process called “six-layer chrome plating,” giving them a ridiculously bling-y look. According to T-Studios, the other popular process for chroming objects is “vacuum metalizing,” which looks nice at first but tends to age quickly and turn a yellowish color. The six-layer process puts six layers of chrome on the object, which is supposed to reduce degradation and keep the shine.
Hatanaka built the busts using Terminator M1 soft vinyl kits. Before the chrome could be applied, he had to reinforce the vinyl with resins so that the chrome could be applied without deforming the vinyl.
You can actually buy the busts from T-Studios, but we couldn’t find information on the cost. Since they’re custom-made to order, we’re sure that the busts are more than the average collector is going to pony up. That said, T-Studios has stopped taking orders so that they can catch up on backorders — so someone is obviously buying.