Batmobile: 1989 Movie

Published on
June 30, 2016
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Company: Round 2 Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Round 2 Models - Website: Visit Site
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I first made this model shortly after the 1989 release of the new Batman movie, having been fascinated by the transfiguration of this iconic machine from the old 1964 Adam West series, even going so far as to mail order the optional “cocoon” shroud for it. As the movies have proceeded, I’ve liked the Batmobiles featured less and less, as they have evolved from a snazzy convertible into heavily armed paramilitary vehicles much the way Batman himself has evolved from the noble “caped crusader” into a sociopathic vigilante. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I rather liked the idea of a crime fighter exclusively using his fists to deal with villains.

In any case, I never had a opportunity to model the re-release of this interesting machine after the second movie, where AMT added an exposable turbine engine and retractable computer controls. This latest incarnation not only features these lovely bits but also a card stock “background” display. What fun!

The first order of business, of course, is prepping the body. There are some fairly prominent mold seams overall that need to be sanded out. In addition, there are two separate inserts for the inside halves of the “batwings” at the rear of the chassis. Unfortunately, these are a fairly loose fit and require a little TLC to blend in effectively with the rest of the body. Take your time here, as this will show. The side panels holding the intakes are a better fit and shouldn’t require much filler, if any.

To more accurately display the pop-up computer controls which normally hide underneath the vents in front of the cockpit, I elected to cut these vents out and back the resulting holes with some very thin plastic card. The relatively soft plastic made this task much easier than it might have been. Obviously, if you don’t intend to show these you can skip this procedure.

There is some flexibility in terms of the body finish. The first movie featured a semi-gloss black, whereas the second movie went to a flatter finish. To be honest, I opted for a glossier finish simply because I think it’s more visually appealing. In any case, as Henry Ford said, “Any color as long as it’s black.”

The interior is nicely finished with a minimum number of parts, so careful painting can make the details stand out. I opted for an off-black overall to contrast more effectively with the exterior. As a note here, most of the chromed parts on this model shouldn’t really be chromed, as they were polished steel on the real machine. I used an ink wash to tone down these parts before application.

The hub caps are listed as “bronze” but I believe they were actually anodized gold. I replicated this with a mix of Tamiya Clear Yellow and Smoke. I also used this mix for the front headlights.

The only other subassemblies worth doing at this point are the machine guns, turbine engine and computer pop-ups (if you choose to use them). Then it’s mostly just a case of adding parts to the chassis and body. A note here – if you are going to display the turbine engine, the rear set of rollers either must be left off OR you must integrate this subassembly with the body’s intake shroud before final assembly. This would permit the turbine to roll in and out on the rail inside the body, but with the front gurney attached it still wouldn’t slide all the way in even so. I chose to leave it on permanent display and left off the rear rollers.

Make sure you add all the inserts from behind as well as the cockpit on the body before putting it onto the chassis. You might want to put the little round windows in before you add the cockpit backing plate as it simplifies things a bit.

That’s about it for this quick and relatively easy assembly. Glossy or flat, this Batmobile model certainly captures the low and sinister curves of the original to a “T.” If you elect to permanently use the optional display, you might want to glue it onto a sturdy backing, though.

Nice! A simple, fun build with a lot of glamour and style. I wish to thank AMT for re-releasing this cool machine and to IPMS/USA for giving me a chance to wallow in a little nostalgia. Highly recommended.


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