Archive for the ‘Batman’ Category
Hi guys. I know it has been a while since I have posted. My only excuse is my usual one of just not being able to find the time. Still, I feel guilty for not finding at least something quick to show you. So, I’m going to try to at least do a quick post every couple of weeks. It will be a sign of life at least. Wonderfest is coming up and I didn’t want to miss making the point that we’ll be there once again to meet face to face to talk about any of the sci-fi products we offer.
I recently got in a time pinch (can you believe it?). Our usual go-to car modeler, Mike Wherry, got buried in a small rush of buildup work and I was in need of a buildup of the AMT1989 Batmobile which will be coming out later this summer. I gave the kit a quick look and did a little poking around on the net to see what others had done with it. Eventually, I got to the point where I thought to myself, “Ya know. it isn’t a really complex kit. The car is all shades of black with some steel accents. Maybe I could build it myself and I could have it done in a couple weeks.” So I did.
When I was a kid, I usually built cars and I left the hobby behind after getting frustrated with assembling engines that I never truly understood and with getting runs in the body paint. My younger brother on the other hand loved to chop tops and do mods to his cars. I couldn’t compete, so I built a couple jets and a couple of my dream cars before moving on to other things. The first Burton Batman film came out in the summer after my senior year in high school, and as a Batman fan I was a completist. So I bought and built an ’89 Batman kit when they first came out. So, as I was thinking about this build, I had vague memories of that one in mind. I remembered having to fill the seams in the tail fins and that there was a pull out turbine engine (only to relearn later that the pull-out feature was added to the Batman Returns edition which I would later buy). As you may know, I rarely build models to completion, but I fully understand the concepts and techniques used to build and finish them. The materials available these days and my ability to airbrush would give me a huge advantage over my younger attempt.
How did it go, you ask? Well enough for what I needed it for. I ran into the same problem I had as a youngster in that I got a little impatient with the spray paint (in this case a Testors lacquer). The first coat went down the best, but it didn’t cover 100% and my seams were still showing through. The second coat had runs and orange peel, so I sanded a bit and hit it again and a bit of orange peel remained, and some details started filling in, but it covered well enough and figured I could help the surface irregularity in Photoshop when I used it on the packaging. I’m sure that more practice with a rattle can would have gone a long way. If I had all the time in the world, and really wanted to do an outstanding job, I would have decanted the paint and ran it through my airbrush to get much better control.
The interior turned out well enough though. I left the seat unpainted black plastic as I felt the sheen and color looked like vinyl or black leather. I hit some bits with flat black for contrast and try brushed the dials lightly enough to have them stand out, but not look heavy handed. I decided to hide most of the chrome to make it look more like the real thing. It was good enough to do the job, but I have nothing on the skills of someone like Mike Wherry.
It wasn’t until I was finished with my build that I realized that the last model I ever built and painted to completion was the same kit. Two builds nearly 25 years apart, and having done none (in styrene at least) in between. Anyway, I figured I would share the fruits of my labor. I’ll see if I can dig out my old build. I’m sure I’ve still got it in a box somewhere.
The first pic shows an unaltered pic of the buildup. The second shows how I plan to incorporate it into the box lid (pending licensor approval). The rest of the pics show a few other angles of the buildup.
New York Comic con is just around the corner – October 10-13, 2013!
Round 2 will be there – stop by and see us at booth 443. You won’t want to miss our new model kits, die-cast cars, slot cars, Forever Fun, Captain Action, and even the Wicked Witch of the West will be in display.
Let’s face it. Sometimes things just don’t turn out right. If you are lucky enough you can get a makeover. If you are really lucky you get to put on a brand new face… okay, I’ll can the puns and get on with it. Let me show you the new face parts we’ve come up with for our Captain America kit.
We were pretty excited to land the license to do Marvel Comics model kits. As I’ve said before, I’m a comic book collector and so is Bob and Andy, our web manager. Hard core comic collectors tend to think of themselves as either Marvel or DC fans. I can’t say I love one more than the other. My two favorite characters are Batman and Wolverine. Having to choose between the two depends on how the publishers handle them in a given month. So to say the least, I’ve been overjoyed to work on THE Batmobile and now I get a chance to work on some other iconic superheroes.
Spider-man will be out in the next couple months. We’ll follow him up with Captain America shortly after that. In reviewing the kits, it was pretty obvious what Cap needed. The original face sculpts though roughly reminiscent of the vintage kit was just… eew! I really can’t find words to describe it. One word that could not describe any of them was “heroic”. So that’s what we set out to change. It was a tricky job to capture just the right amount of realism and still keep a silver-age Marvel comic style. We found that going all the way Jack Kirby didn’t quite work out. It wouldn’t allow a “realistic” build. Plus, the rest of the body didn’t necessarily carry the chiseled look of a Kirby illustration. We settled it down to a John Buscema or Jim Steranko level and added just a touch more real life to temper it a bit. Hope you like it.
It seems like I can go on for months doing packaging artwork for our Round 2 model kits or working up PR plans and not have anything of great import to share on the blog. It sucks because I like to show the progress on stuff when I can. I received a package in the mail today that I thought would draw a little interest. Then I looked at what else was sitting around on my desk and thought, “hey, that’s not a bad lot of this and that.” So, there it is.
First, the thing that came in today is the mockup of the Lief Ericson. This is essentially the proof of concept model that the factory developed. Essentially, what it shows is that they understand and can execute all of the tooling changes I asked for to the UFO tooling. Usually, no tooling work is done at this point but this case may be an exception. I believe they are showing test shots for the first time of the clear parts. I hadn’t seen them before now but they’ve had the file long enough and the parts look crystal clear. I’ll be checking on that over night.
I’m also showing the Batmobile snap buildup that arrived the other day. Mike Wherry put this together from a resin mockup and parts from the early test shots. He did an awesome job especially the way he handled the striping. I’ll need to touch up some spots in photoshop including adding the doorbats, etc. The Corvette came in the same shipment. The Batmobile snap box is a package mockup that you’ve probably seen before (Makes for a bigger picture though).
Lastly, you see the Dark Shadows boxes. Barnabas comes from Tom L’s collection. The Werewolf is new to us. We found it just as we needed it. I haven’t started retouching the werewolf yet but I did Barney a while back. Anyone with appreciation for photoshop work should note that I edited out all of that type on the side of the box in order to re-typeset it. It was a bit of a challenge. Like I said. Some of this stuff isn’t so exciting…
Oh, one more thing. We like to put up polls on our website but we haven’t updated it in a while. The Batmobile buildup inspired one that will let you give us a little input on the final kit. Check it out on the Round 2 Models homepage.
After a month of work, our factory has revised the tooling of our new 1966 Batmobile snap kit. The first test shots had their share of problems that was to be expected from a brand new tool. There is still work to do. The body still needs some blemishes worked out and more polishing. There are still a few fit and assembly issues to work out but all in all, the kit is really starting to shape up.
So here it is folks, for all intents and purposes, this is what it looks like. Like I said, we’ll still do some refining here and there. I also forgot to go ahead and glue in some parts that weren’t snapping. So fear not about the missing fire extinguisher. You know it’ll be there.
Hi folks. I got word yesterday that 1966 Batmobile model kit test shots are on their way here. Like I did with the 1:1000 scale U.S.S. Enterprise 1701 Refit kit, I’m giving one of these test shots away.
I’ve been working with Eric Seltzer who runs the 1966 Batmobile website on the Batmobile model project all along. He has been my go-to guy for information on the car. His website holds a wealth of information on the car. In return for his help, I’ve been sharing exclusive pics and info on the kits. So I’ll be using his message board as the contest site. Just go here… http://1966batvehicles.yuku.com/topic/4157 …to for the details to sign up. You’ve got about a week to register so don’t wait and miss out. Good luck.
Another iHobby has come and gone, and as Jamie said, it seemed a little quieter this year in comparison to last year’s all time high attendance record. Although I wasn’t there this year on consumer days, I did see photos of Round 2’s booth stuffed with people checking out all our products. No doubt, the new Auto World John Force Drag Strip Slot Car Set was a huge hit. I finally got a chance to try it myself on the trade days and absolutely loved it. Gotta’ have one myself! Clearly, there was much excitement over all our product lines and we are very happy about that.
A nice selection of die cast and slot car products was on display from the Auto World brand, including a new 1/25 scale slot car chassis we’re developing. We plan to release it in conjunction with plastic bodies from our 1/25 AMT and MPC car and truck kits. We’ll post more information as the project progresses. It’s gonna’ be good!
There were many upcoming 1/64 slot car bodies on display too, including the ’66 TV Batmobile, some awesome funny cars and pro stocks with amazing deco detail and even the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine! Auto World has some very exciting programs coming indeed.
For plastic car and truck kits, we of course showed the mockup of the 1/25 ’66 Snap-Together Batmobile kit and the excitement is just as strong as when the announcement was made that Polar Lights would be doing a 1/25 scale kit in both snap and glue versions.
As always, we showed built up models of some current and upcoming kits. The upcoming 1962 Thunderbird kit with the ‘never before released’ custom and additional parts added was on display – a fabulous build by Mike Wherry. Mike’s box art models of the 1966 Olds 4-4-2 and 1969 GTX were also on display, as well as his build of the upcoming 1/16 scale General Lee. Bruce Pearce built a super cool Depth Charger for us, and a fantastic green chopped ’25 ‘T’. Great stuff to see!
For 2011, we’ve got some great kits cookin’. We’re planning on doing the necessary backdating to reissue the clear-bodied Richard Petty Nascar Charger kit in 1/16 scale. I also hope to fill in the T-top roof of the 70’s AMC Gremlin kit, and potentially backdate it to the 1976 “stock” version it once was. If you want to see this happen, send an email to email@example.com and tell us!
If all goes well, the Opel GT will be reissued with more of its original parts. I am looking at including real aluminum injector stacks for the drag motor option. We’ll see!
For the MPC Road Runner Rail Rider, Beep ‘T’ and Wile E. Coyote with his Wile E. Willys, these kits are going to all include pre-painted vinyl figures. Warner Bros. would not approve the original snap-together plastic figures originally included in the kits in the 1970s, and we found they didn’t assemble well anyway. The new vinyl figures look amazing and the kits will be great for attracting youngsters to the excellent hobby of building models.
To follow up on the great success of the AMT 1925 ‘T’ “original version” reissue with its chopped body and other restored parts, we’re planning a release of the second “Tall ‘T'” issue with all its related parts for 2011. By the way, if you want to see the ’25 ‘T’ Fruit Wagon and Paddy Wagon versions reissued in the future, email us!
Probably my favorite mockup on display was the ’40 Ford Coupe, for a new program that will be called the “Original Art Series”. Over the past few years we’ve been fortunate to gain access to some original AMT box art paintings from the 1960s and 1970s. We also have a great group of “new-retro” paintings from Brad Leisure. The plan is to use these vintage and yesteryear styled paintings and reissue some of the corresponding kits, in a box size similar to the vintage AMT Elegance Series kits of the 1960s. While we won’t be including any spray paint like the Elegance kits did, we WILL be including special prints inside the kit, printed on the same card stock as the box lids, giving you a robust piece of classic artwork that you can frame or just display as is. This is some of the coolest and memorable automotive artwork ever created and we want to share it with all the modelers who remember it so well.
For the big rig truck fans, a built up by Tim Ahlborn of the upcoming Kenworth K-123 kit was on display, as well as the Fruehauf flatbed trailer, Transtar 4300 Eagle and White Freightliner Dual Drive tractor. We’ve got more great truck and trailer kits planned for 2011 such as the Diamond Reo and White Western Star.
Overall, it was a great show, and I think 2011 is going to be even better than 2010.
Thanks to everyone who came out to give us feedback.
The pedal is to the metal!
I showed images a while back of our Batmobile mockup. Unfortunately my stream of consciousness writing distracted some folks from the real point of the post- showing pictures of the Batmobile mockup.
Anyway, I figured I’d give an update. The step after the physical model is for the factory to scan the mockup into the computer. The files generated are then used to cut the steel tooling for the kit. Sometimes the digital model is done first as was the case of the Enterprise Refit. In the case of that model, the physical mockup was made from the files. I’m guessing the choice to make a physical mockup of the Batmobile was due to the way I delivered my instruction. Looking back, I supplied the details of the car as best I could but in the end it was kind of piece meal… or at least I think it might have been perceived that way. (either that or it was just information overload)
Once I saw the digital file, I figured that some more tweaking could still be done and be done easier than if I had asked them to change the mockup by hand. I had some edges rounded such as the window frames. This stage also showed a bit of misunderstanding about the track width. Oddly enough, the distance between the tires on the snap kit was accurate but for some reason, the glue kit’s tires had become separated too widely. This was an easy enough correction make though. Things like correcting the turn signals on the dash were a breeze. Probably the most significant last minute catch was the front wheel openings being way too wide. I’m not sure how that had been missed before. The front wheel opening on the real car is significantly wider than the rear but I felt this went way overboard. It was easy to spot in the computer-generated images because they were almost orthographic views. I was able to tighten the opening up a little bit. I also made the tires a touch bigger to fill the wheel wells according to the look of the ’66 period. One cool thing they showed me was a cutaway of the car. I knew how the parts went together but it was still cool to see so I figured I’d give a peak at it. Btw, pay no attention to some of the spoilers shown of some parts to be included in the deluxe version of the kit later next year. I’ve got just a few more elements of that kit to finish then the whole Batmobile project will be buttoned up. The tooling for the snap and glue kits is being cut right now.
The 1:25 scale 1966 Batmobile was one of our biggest new kit announcements last year. We were thrilled to sign the license and motivated to get started on it right away. We brainstormed ideas on how to get the most out of the subject and put our plan into motion to put out a kit that would give the subject its due. It was a kit most people thought could never be done… but we were up to the challenge.
It seems like the only thing we can depend on around here is that a project will take longer than expected or hoped. The nature of the problem is simple, we are working with partners overseas who are on the opposite side of the clock form us, (most) don’t speak the same language and were not brought up on American pop-culture. How does that cause a delay?
Time difference- means little direct communication. It takes a full day to turn around an answer to any question from either side.
Language barrier- though the CS reps we email to write English very well but if I word something strangely or if I’m not giving direction clearly enough, there is a breakdown in our game of telephone. I tell them, they tell someone else who does the work.
Pop-culture- anyone familiar with our products knows of them inside and out. They grew up looking at books, magazines and TV shows. The people working on our projects overseas have never seen or heard of the Batmobile let alone a Bat-ram. (The CS girls took great delight seeing for the first time how Batman handles being dipped in the ocean on a rope ladder with a shark biting his leg when I showed them the DVD on my trip in earlier this year)
After tons of emails, pictures of the mockup, hair lost and weight gained, we end up with something that looks like something we know and here we are rolling out the Batmobile. Originally, we hoped to have it out last Spring. Then it got pushed back to Christmas time. And here we are pushing it back to early 2011. It should hit stores in February now. But I’m betting no one cares about the long sob story and you just want to see the pictures. Well, here ya go…
Whew! Wasn’t this year’s Wonderfest a great show? I can’t wait to see you again next time.
Wait… what… I dreamed it all? Well at least it wasn’t a nightmare like Bobby Ewing coming back from the dead. (That was a great Family Guy episode) All right. I was going to tell you about the 1966 Batmobile model kit.
First, we’ll be showing our 1:32 scale 1966 Batmobile. It looks like some retailers at the show will have the basic kit available for sale there. Feel free to ask me about the delays in the kit. It turned into quite an epic story.
We’ll also be displaying our Classic Batmobile™ Collector’s Edition tin version of the kit. I’ve tried describing the kit but any explanation falls short. You truly have to see it to appreciate it. I know not all builders care about anything that says “collectible” on it and I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. I just know that this product really turned out nicely.
Lastly, if the stars align (and UPS cooperates) We’ll be showing the full mockup of the 1:25 1966 Batmobile glue kit that will be out next spring. A simplified snap version that uses some of the same parts will be out before the end of this year. I’ve really done my due diligence on this model to make sure the details are done right. The mockup is dialed in at about 90% complete. I’ll be reviewing the mockup for the factory to see if there is any work left to be done before proceeding. Stop by and take a look to see what you think.
This week’s previews only touch on some of the high points of the show for us. Feel free to stop by and ask questions about these and other projects like the Star Trek Movie: New Enterprise, Enterprise 1701B and the 1:350 Enterprise (like I need to give you permission to ask…). We’ve got these kits and more in the pipeline.