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 and in the same scale. (There must be 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.
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
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.
The Batmobile kit wasn't in hobby shops long before Aurora ceased production. No other major kit was ever produced. If a modeler wanted to build a Batmobile, there was a hard to find Japanese kit available in the 1980s which looked more like a toy than Aurora's little kit did. By the 1990s, there were polyurethane resin "Garage Kits" being sold which had names like the "Batura" and the "Batcar" but these kits were crude, required advanced modeling skills and were pretty expensive.
In the late 1990s, Revell re-issued its 1956-vintage 1/25 scale 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 also 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
Skyhook's kit was not a disappointment. The parts are beautifully cast
with no visible pinholes. Some cleanup would be necessary but the kit,
without a doubt makes the job of building the Batmobile much easier
than it would be otherwise. The resin parts fit the molded plastic parts
of the Revell kit perfectly.
The Skyhook kit does not include tires or wheels. The tires and hubcaps in the Futura kit are a far cry from the Batmobile's chrome mag wheels with bat-spinners. Looking for accuracy, it was important that I build the Batmobile with the correct hardware.
In 2011, Round2/Polar Lights announced plans to release an injected molded, 1/25 scale kit of the '66 Batmobile. George Barris gave them access to the original #1 Batmobile to insure that an accurate kit was produced.
Work on this conversion stopped. I did purchase the Polar Lights kit and
the work on that is not going much faster than it would be if this was
another scratch-building project. Progress on that can be seen here.
Some of the items acquired for the conversion have been put up for sale
Noodle's Basement. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get around to building
the Lincoln Futura.
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