As with all of the modeling projects I've taken on over the years, the
conversion chronicled in this tutorial was started with the best of intentions.
With the 2011 release of an accurate 1/25 scale Batmobile kit by
Round2/Polar Lights, however, this conversion project has been stopped
as has the writing of this tutorial.
It's a known fact to most modelers that the amount of work that goes into scratch-building a model of a subject not available as a kit is directly proportional to the likelihood that a kit manufacturer will soon release a full kit of that very subject. (Quantum physics probably has an equation for that.) Round2/Polar Lights was kind enough to announce their plans to produce their Batmobile kit long before I had reached any Point of No Return in this conversion.
And, yes, I did purchase the Polar Lights kit.
I originally posted this tutorial as an informal building log. Photos and text were added as the work progressed. I decided to leave it in it's unfinished form after the work was stopped. This unfinished modeling project and tutorial is dedicated to all of my fellow modelers who have ever busted their butts converting or scratch-building a particular subject because no kit was available only to see that subject be released in kit form after doing all that work.
Scale Modeling Tutorial by Alan Nadel
|ADVANCED MODELER SYNDROME
The need or desire to superdetail every model, often at the expense of completing any.
From Fine Scale Modeler magazine's "Scale Modeling Glossary" (Nov. 2011)
I grew up in the 1960s and was fed, from early on, a steady diet of television.
As a result, I'm convinced that the Batmobile from the 1966 TV show
BATMAN is probably . . . no, definitely the coolest
car ever to be designed and built. This work of Car Customization Art is
still impressive years after it was created and is considered by many Bat-fans
to be a better looking Batmobile than any later form of Bat-Transport.
As a scale modeler and former 11-year-old who loved the show, I always
wanted to build a good replica of the car George Barris customized from
a 1955 Lincoln Futura show car.
I built Aurora's kit when it came out in the late 60s and put my heart
and soul into building and painting that model. The paint was heavily slopped
on by hand and the color scheme was nowhere near accurate (my sole knowledge
of the look of the car was from watching the show on a 17 inch black &
white TV) but I was busting with pride over it. That was until the Fourth
of July fireworks season a few years later when I learned that the Batmobile
couldn't fly but Batman could if you placed a firecracker in just the
In the late 1990s, Revell re-issued its 1956-vintage kit of the Lincoln Futura, the concept car that George Barris customized to become the Batmobile of the TV series. The kit was bought by many for the purpose of converting it to the Batmobile as Barris did to the real thing.This would be a job for an advanced modeler with the time and the drive to do some work that may be more of a challenge than the typical modeler might be willing to take on. I wanted to take on that challenge. At least my intentions were good. All I needed was the motivation.
That motivation was, to be kind, elusive. Having been an avid modeler suffering from AMS (Advanced Modeler's Syndrome), I already had several large, labor-intensive, long-term modeling projects in the works and I just wasn't up to taking on another one. The Futura kit sat on the shelf.
In 1999, Skyhook Models, a manufacturer of polyurethane resin garage kits released a conversion kit designed to turn the Futura into the Batmobile. The kit is a collection of replacement parts designed to fit perfectly with Revell's Futura parts. While not complete, it provides an excellent start to an accurate conversion. I was familiar with the quality of Skyhook's kits, having purchased from them before. I ordered the conversion kit direct from Skyhook without hesitation.
Some of the items acquired for the conversion have been put up for sale on Doctor Noodle's Basement.
TUTORIALS AND KIT REVIEWS
Science Fiction Spaceships
The History of Space Exploration
People, Creatures and Dinosaurs
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