It's not often I shit my pants these days, but a recent visit to Evandale Market found me staring down the barrels of a not-so-minigun and thinking I should've slipped on a pair of Emergency Use Geriatric Strength custard-catchers before leaving the house.

And it wasn't just the gun-up-the-nose routine. It was the fact that the weapon was attached to a life-sized T-800 endoskeleton staring down at me through its glowing red eyes. Even for those who are not sci-fi fans, the Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Terminator must be one of the most recognisable robots of our time. Now it seemed the bastards were taking over Tasmania - quick Dazza, hide the phone books!

Callen and T-800

The creative genius behind the T-800 is local artist and appropriately-named Callen Best. "I started with the gun and worked from there," said Callen as he described the long hours of planning and building which went into the formidable piece. At 185cm and weighing-in at approximately 150kg it's not so much a replica as an artistic impression, built from spare parts, some of which are readily recognisable.

The head had to be ordered online and includes those menacing, glowing (LED) eyes from the films but the rest is all hand-crafted and welded by its creator. Built during some CoVid downtime in his Invermay workshop, Callen reckons it took him about 150 hours of work to physically complete, not including planning and periods of nocturnal excitement and (brain) emissions. And the man's no stranger to combining art and engineering in creative ways: his market stall contains a number of original pieces, including a full size guitar made from chunky chain and other substantial-looking components. Heavy Metal indeed.

The T-800 is available for purchase for AU$3K which is a fair bit of wedge. However if you calculate all the planning and building time taken and cost of materials it's probably very reasonable. Consider that 'movie replicas' online can easily fetch ten grand or more and for less than a third you can be in possession of a unique, one-off piece of locally made Tasmanian fan-art. How many man-caves can boast such exclusivity!?

Callen can be contacted on 0492 143328 and says he's happy to deliver within Tassie. I reckon once the word gets out it's gonna go quickly. Callen is already planning his next projects so why not pop down to Evandale on a Sunday morning to check out his work or maybe even commission a one-off piece.

- AndyM

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