True Scale Terminators – A size comparison guide
UPDATE 24/03/23: With the preview of the new Indomitus Terminator kit by Gamesworkshop, I have included a scale update at the bottom of the article.
I’ve recently gone down the True Scale Terminator rabbit hole. I love the idea of using terminators with my Primaris Minotaur army, but it seems like the standard terminators don’t really hold up in comparison to Primaris Intercessors as they are just too small.
The aim here is either to buy terminators and use them out of the box, if their size is large enough, or to use them as the basis for a conversion into something larger. An additional option is to use gravis armour with terminator components.
Before I went off buying models, I wanted to see if there was any size difference between the patterns of terminator armour in the various model ranges, allowing me to work out which are the largest terminators available. Photoshop seemed like a good way to put this to the test. What planned to be a quick job turned into a much larger project; it turns out Games Workshop sells a LOT of different terminators! I’ve tried to include as many of them as possible here, ignoring some of the older kits and character models.
Things to note:
- I’ve scaled each model to its correct base size.
- The red line represents the centre of the base, or the bottom of the feet/foot. This isn’t as easy as it seems due to how the models are posed or positioned on the base.
- The blue line represents the eye level of the Primaris Intercessor which is my comparison model.
- I’ve also included a Heavy Intercessor as a comparison as this could also be a good basis for converting true scale terminators.
- While as accurate as possible, there are some variables such as the angle of the photo, positioning of the model on the base, the pose of the model, and even things like different camera lenses which could all potentially lead to inaccuracies. However, even taking those things into account, this should be good enough to make some decision as about which models to use.
Narrowing down the list
I’ve listed below what I consider to be the best options, choosing the largest model, but also removing those from the list which won’t easily make a terminator squad. For example, I haven’t included Abaddon because it’s just one model. Similarly, Lord Filthius & Tainted Cohort have been discontinued. [EDIT: The Lord Filthius set is now back on sale so might be worth another look.]
With those models in mind, here are a few options for making True Scale Terminators. I’ve still not decided which route I’ll go down and I’d love to hear people’s opinions on these options or other methods which I might not have considered.
Option 1 – Indomitus Armour:
The easiest method is to just buy the Season 2 Heroes range. The Heroes range does feel like GW’s attempt at making true scale First Born. Getting hold of these minis might be tricky though. In the UK, you can buy Rise of the Orks which includes the five-squad model. Captain and Ancient models also exist in the Heroes range but are much harder to find – unless you live in Japan!
Option 2 – Relic Armour:
The Cataphractii pattern holds up well and the newer resin kits from Forgeworld appear to be larger than the standard plastic models. You could certainly take the Blood Angels and Dark Angels squad and remove some the chapter specific iconography. Tartaros currently seems too small, which is a shame as I really like that pattern of armour. If Forgeworld were to produce a Tartaros chapter-specific kit in the future, maybe these would also go up slightly in size.
Option 3 – Chaos Armour.
It’s certainly possible to de-chaosify a mini. I’ve already been doing this with the Abaddon model for my custom Asterion Moloc, so the standard Chaos Terminators would fit in well here. The Blightlord terminators are certainly some of the biggest terminators, but it would be a lot of effort to remove all the nurgle elements from the mini.
Option 4 – Custodes
While these are some of the largest terminators, the Aquilon being the largest of all them all, these are also the most divergent from the classic Indomitus pattern. You could make up your own armour pattern. Minotaurs are known for having Arkonak Pattern Tactical Dreadnought Armour, for which there are no visual references, so it would be easy to explain why your terminator armour looks different from the standard Indomitus Pattern.
The Aquilon armour has the additional handicap of only coming in squads of three from Forgeworld and also being very expensive. There’s a fantastic tutorial over on Death of a Rubricist on converting up Aquilon Armour.
- Kit bash using Gravis Armour / Heavy Intercessors. A few people have already done tutorials for this, such as Black Wing Painting and Pete the Wargamer.
- Upscale terminators using classic True Scale method:
- From The Warp has a guide which bulks out the waist, though I feel the legs also need to be larger. Maybe this method could be combined with Gravis legs? I’ve seen other methods adding greenstuff between the torso and legs.
- Veteran Sergeant has a tutorial showing what is considered a classic method for making true scale First Born minis. This method might translate into terminators.
- Master of the Forge has a detailed method upscaling a terminator and the scale looks very good. However it requires a lot of work with greenstuff so would take a long time to do a whole squad.
- Combine Terminator parts with Stormcast Eternal minis, something I plan to do for an Inquisitor conversion down the line.
UPDATE 24/03/23: New Terminators on the way
Gamesworkshop recently revealed that new Indomitus Pattern Terminators are on the way. I thought I would just do a new size guide comparing the new terminators against some of the old, in this case, the old Indomitus Pattern armour and the most recent terminator plastic kits, that from Space Marine Heroes 2 and the Chaos Terminaor.
You can see they’ve kept all the key elements of the original sculpts while increasing the scale, even larger than that of the Heroes range. Two design changes to note are the scopes above the head have changed sides, and the belt buckle has changed design from the Crux Terminatus to the standard belt buckle used by Primaris marines, a nice touch to keep the terminators inline with the new Primaris range and makes it nice and easy to add on some Ptergues to the model to kitbash these minis.