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Round 2 models: 1989 Batmobile

posted by JamieH 10:51 AM
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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.


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23 Responses to “Round 2 models: 1989 Batmobile”

  1. Richard says:

    Hey, great job! That box art would make me want to buy one. I’m definately picking one up (As long as it’s molded in black); I lost mine a couple of years ago. A cool kit.

  2. spock62 says:

    Your build is very well done. Hard to believe it’s your first styrene kit in 25 years! Ties as my favorite Batmobile along with the ’66. Have an original AMT release in my stash, partially started. Bleached off the chrome a few months back. It’s on the “short-list” of kits to finish, hopefully this year!

  3. Mach7 says:

    Great build on the batmobile Jamie!

  4. Mr Andy says:

    I just did the same kit with about 20 years apart.
    The first one was hand painted, now I airbrushed the car.
    Very proud of it now. 🙂
    Love yours, very nice build and article.

  5. spencer1984 says:

    Nice work! This isn’t a terribly complex kit, but a very enjoyable one (having built three so far and having a stack yet to build as “variants”)

  6. Bats says:

    Nicely done Jamie!

  7. David Weimer says:

    Oh ya another Batmobile 1989 I just got the hole collection movies on Blu-ray last week ago.
    I cannot wait for the Batwing next from the first movie
    that came out same year 1989 that would be cool to have
    thank you Jamie.

  8. Rocketfin says:

    Nicely done. 🙂 Are you planning on using chrome parts again? I think you may be able to save a few $$ by just doing those in black plastic, or maybe even gray /matte silver / matte gold. I bought a bunch of these back when they first came out, and I still have one left sealed. But now I can get a few more without the collector prices. Very cool ! I did like the removable engine in the second issue, That’s a great feature, but I was never able to get it detailed out quite the way I always wanted it to be.

  9. Bats says:

    What might this bode for the other Bat ’89 kits like the venerable Dodge Monaco Gotham Police/ Joker Goon car? 😀

    • JamieH says:

      I gave that one a quick thought, but A) From memory, the cars they drove in the movie weren’t actually Monoco’s and B) even though Ertl brought it out under the AMT brand, we’ve reverted it back to its MPC lineage. We’ll have to give serious thought as to whether we want to do that kind of thing again and C) It’s a Goon car…

  10. Jeff says:

    If you can say anything about upcoming R2 releases from/after Wonderfest, it would be appreciated, Jamie. Thanks!

  11. Peter Hicks says:

    Jamie – I have just read the news from Wonderfest, and wanted to thank you deeply for proceeding with a 22 inch Eagle kit. We sometimes give you and other kit makers a lot of grief about all our petty complaints, so it is high time we applauded loudly when you make a great kit . Well done!

  12. Rob says:

    So how about a blog update? Wonderfest is done. It’s nice to hear about the Eagle, but where is the Galileo? At least a tentative release date?

  13. Exciting to see this one return, James! The IPMS Nationals often have a Photoshop category. Your model might not win an award, but your box art renderings might. 😉 It was good to talk with you at WonderFest 2015 and also to learn that R2 is going to be releasing more figure kits. Viva la Witch!

  14. Tomh, Esq says:

    Hi Jamie!

    Do you have any news for those of us that couldn’t make it to Wonderfest?

    It sounds like you will have a 22″ Space 1999 – Eagle coming out in the Fall.

    I’ve also heard rumblings about re-tooling happening so the Excelsior can come out once again…

  15. Robert Cass says:

    looking forward to the re-release of the 89 Batmobile. I lighted mine, you can see pics on FB of it.

  16. Robert Taylor says:

    Any news on when this comes out? There’s nothing on the Round 2 website and I’ve heard nothing here in the UK.

  17. Tom K says:

    This is so funny. I built the original when it first came out. I actually removed the rear red lights and replaced them with led. I also placed yellow led just behind the front lights and ran wires. In the original kit there was a battery case under the car with a switch I believe. The kit looked like it was a thought of making into an actual rc then abandoned. I just saw this kit in hobbytown this morning and was tempted to purchase it and build it again. I was wondering if the current kit out there has the same battery compartment under the car like the old one.

  18. fortress says:

    Not to go too far off topic what you did with the Barris Batmobile was just
    Amazing and long overdue I am hoping that you will expand 60’s television show
    Kit subjects with possibly an in-scale Bat copter again from the iconic show.

    If memory serves there has not been a scale model ever produced of that subject
    Which would mean you would be the first to plant that flag in collector’s territory, it is indeed a long overdue subject and would lock in well with your
    Existing 60’s Batmobile kit!


  19. Frank says:

    Any chance you still have the 1989 batmobile you did for the re-release box art? If so are you willing to sell it?

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