Related to this question, in The Terminator we have this dialogue:

REESE: Pay attention. The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. But these are new. They look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait 'til he moved on you before I could zero him.

From this and other dialogue, we are told that the Terminators are infiltration units, designed to look and appear human. In this way they can get back to the human base and start shooting, thus wiping out large amounts of resistance members.

But when you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you don't exactly blend in. The resistance was not made up of giant musclemen, but weary ordinary humans with a lot of courage.

We know that Skynet eventually learnt its lesson, making units like Cameron and the T-1000, but why make a giant muscle guy? Wouldn't it just grab a resistance person and make a copy of them?

Looking for canonical answers please. Also, that deleted scene from T3 doesn't count. The T-800s had more than one face.

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    Because the terminator exoskeleton is bloody massive :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 0:17
  • Any comment on my answer, Tim?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 12:33
  • @FuzzyBoots - I'm looking for canon answers. Your answer also lacks any references to back up your statements.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:07
  • @Tim: What degree of canonicity are you looking for? I've linked images from the official trading card game and from the licensed comics. I will admit that the bit about the T-800 we see being an assault model is somewhat speculative as well as the possibility of miniaturization.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


Not all Terminator units are huge. For example, the CSM-111 T-806 Recon Infiltrator is child-sized.


Most of the T-800 series that we see are very large and muscled, but that is probably because they were the first T-800 models, and had not benefited from advancements in technology to further miniaturize the components. Alternately, they might have been assault models, meant to be able to sustain heavy fire and return the same from within the base. Other, later, T-800 models have appeared more svelte.

Z000.M D800.L Cop unit

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