Making your models truescale is a task not lightly taken. Lots of us would love to try it out, but the work involved can quickly become overwhelming. Truescale models are not something we see very often either. Kinda like Space Marines are to your average Imperial citizen in 40k universe. They are part myth, part curiosity and you might go your whole life and never see a real one.
I've never seen a real truescale model until recently. I'm not talking about pictures online either. In that case, we've all seen them I'm sure. I'm talking about real life models. I've always thought it would be cool to make my Terminators truescale. As soon as the reality of the amount of work involved set in, I quickly abandoned the idea. And it's not just the troops either... once you scale them up, suddenly your tanks seem a bit too small and your dreadnoughts are no longer those huge, hulking machines they were before. Then everything needs to be super-sized.
So I started looking at proportions
I know the terminators are kinda squat in their stature. I'm keeping this discussion limited to terminators since that's what makes up my army and it's the only experience I have right now. I don't have any power armoured troops. I know everything is not to scale already, but once you start down this road, you need to be willing to make adjustments across the board so everything "fits." And that's the work. So I went looking to see just how a person would fit in a suit of terminator armour.
Now I know I'm not the first person to do this and lots of folks will tell you that Marines are X feet tall and so on with all kinds of crazy stats and measurements, but I wanted to see if a normal proportioned person would fit in the armour. You can always make them "bigger" with more muscles, but I figure the proportions would remain the same.
Being the computer wizard I am, I took Leonardo Da Vinci's human body proportion drawing and superimposed it over a Forge World drawn terminator suit. You can see how scientific this is and that I take this very seriously leaving no room for error. After some fiddling around with the armour, I found out I really only needed to do one thing to make the biggest change. That one thing was to increase the height of the torso by about one head. Not even one head really, maybe 3/4 of a head in terms of height.
Now that's not the only "problem" with terminator armour. Some folks complain about the leg armour and it's lack of bulkiness. I'm sure there are other things too if you really get into it. But here's the thing. It comes down to what you think looks cool.
Truescale or what looks right to you
This is perhaps the biggest conclusion I came to with all the looking around I did... it comes down to what you think looks cool no matter what the scale. I went thumbing through an old issue of White Dwarf and found this small conversion tucked in the bottom of a page that showcased the new plastic terminators (many moons ago).
All he did was extend the abdomen of the model slightly. By about one head it seems. You can really tell on the painted model that he added the abdominal armour in there. I like this minor conversion. I think that little bit of extra height just makes the model look "right" to me. I can let the other things go as they don't really bother me that much.
Except for the arms. Those bother me. In terminator armour, they come out of the side of a marine's head... way above where his shoulders would be. But I can fix that too. No big deal.
But what about third party truescale bits
I don't know of too many compaines out there making truescale bits. Most of the work these days is done by artists converting each model by hand out of other bits and extensive greenstuff work. Now there are more companies getting in on this whole truescale notion as of late with some bits here and there you can add to a regular boxed sets of marines. I'm going to be looking at one of the terminator truescale conversion kits out there by Three Stage Studios. I picked one up to see just how well they accomplished the truescale task and more importantly, how easy it was to work with.
I know trying to convert a squad by yourself is a tremendous amount of work and sculpting. The next option is to get someone else to do it for you which can cost a huge sum of money as well. Barring those two options, it's buying bits that "up-scale" your models and adding all the little extras to them yourself. I've got my truescale model built now. As soon as I get him painted, we'll do a little comparison of the two sizes in the next post to see how well the model comes out.
Next we look at the Three Stage Studio truescale terminator armour.
Side note: Since I started putting this post together, it's grown from one post to a series of three or four depending on how much information I end up including. I won't dump all of them on you guys at once, so I plan on posting one of them each week until I cover it all or you guys revolt. Whichever comes first.