AMT 1/25 Batmobile (Tim Burton)

KIT #: 1107
PRICE: $35.00
REVIEWER: Donald Zhou
NOTES: Advantages: Extremely detailed, good driving compartment, detailed turbine engine. Disadvantages: Soft fit, Chrome plated parts not really needed.


First started by Bob Kane and Bill Finger for DC Comics back in 1939, the “Cape Crusader” tells the story of one Bruce Wayne, millionaire (now billionaire) who resides in Gotham City. When Bruce parents was killed in front of him by a petty thug (Bloody unlikely as one sarcastic stripe showed…..The likely hood of Bruce the elder and his wife going out alone with their only kid is highly unlikely, especially in such a crime ridden city. As the comic strip showed, the instant that petty thug appeared, he got pasted by 20 guns fired from 20 bodyguards while Bruce the elder just quip, “like we travel alone!), Bruce made a vow and dedicated his life to fighting crime and spent his entire life training to build up his body, skills and mind to be the perfect fighting machine. The discovery of a cave complex, riddle with bats served two purposes, 1. It created the perfect hide out for the soon to be vigilante justice hunter and 2. The bats gave Bruce the idea that soon would strike fear into the hearts of all criminals and Batman was born!

In order to travel to the city and back and forth, Bruce, now Batman needs a vehicle to transport him and soon some of his friends and helpers. At first, the vehicle is just a generic bat faced car. Soon this evolved into a heavily armored machine loaded with gadgetry. Over the years, the car kept on evolving into various different machines to suit the crime fighter’s needs in order to combat deadlier and deadlier foes such as the Croc, the Penguin, the Riddler, sometimes foe, sometimes lover Catwoman, and the always infamous Joker. By 1985 or so, Warner Bros. was set to release a new Batman movie well away from the campy and cheesy Adam West tv series (AHHH…I will always have a place in my heart for that series! The third tv show I ever saw when I arrived here as a 9 year old in 1985 was 1. Transformers cartoon, 2. The ToS Star Trek, and 3. Batman, Batman, Batman, Batman, Bata-lalalalalaaaaaaaaaa Batman!!!!!). The movie will feature a far more serious tone with none of the “ZAM! ZAP! POW! YEOW!!!! ZAP!!!! that characterized the tv show and far far darker. Tim Burton was hired as the director and created a far more gothic, bleak Gotham City with Michael Keaton in the leading role as Bruce/Batman. As well as Gotham, Anton Furst was hired to design the myriad of gadgets and vehicles including the batarang, batgrapple, the Batwing and ultimately, a new Batmobile as the main ride for the titular hero. The main design of the vehicle was done by conceptual illustrator Julian Caldow, main construction was done by prop builder John Evans, with final body sculpting by Keith Short. The vehicle was originally supposed to be based on either the Jaguar or the Ford Mustang. When both failed, they took a Chevy Impala and modified that instead.

The vehicle features a large turbine engine up front and an afterburner in the back. Gadgets eventually included two browning .30 cal machine guns, two side mounted disc throwers loaded with 15 discs each, belly mounted “shin breakers”, and two side mounted grappling hooks that can be ejected out to grab onto an object and allow the vehicle to make otherwise, impossibly tight turns (That was later proven to be impossible to do by the Mythbusters). The vehicle also features an impressive shielding system that can be activated with voice command “shields”. When activated, a fold out retractable metal shield system will cover the vehicle from head to toe. Once shielded, four small deployable bombs can be dropped to ward off any intruders.

When released in 1989, the film quickly became popular and became a huge success, earning over 400 million for Warners and despite initial reluctance from fans that Michael Keaton isn’t really cut out for Batman (says who?!?!?? LOL) and he wasn’t wearing tights and spandex, but rather a threatening ominous all black vinyl plastic (we’re man in tights, hey! We’re MEN IN TIGHTS), it quickly wore quickly and made even ardent fan agree that colorful tights and spandex were no place on the big screen. The batmobile itself soon cut a huge shadow also. It’s sinister, all black no-nonsense appearance and jacked up firepower is a far far away from the 60’s campy tv car based on the Futura and quickly garnered many fans. Too bad after Batman Returns, the film soon fell out of favor when Michael Schumacher took over!


This is Round 2 AMT redux of the 1992 Batman Return Batmobile. The original 1989 Batmobile made by Esci/AMT is still owned by me….Sans a wheel that I lost over the years (Sigh, wonder if I can get Round 2 to send an extra one lol). This version, after Round 2 bought out AMT and cleared through the royalty rights brouhaha is the exact same version as the 1992 version, which now have completely replaced the 1989 version since it features a pull out turbine engine on a dolly and two pop up computer panels (despite the box saying this is the 1989 version).

I always loved the Tim Burton Batman movies cause that’s the first serious Batman that I saw. I always have a soft spot for the Adam West version but this is my favorite Batman of all time…..Which does not please many of my friends who are all about Batman Begin Batman and the Tumbler…..And the first time I saw that Batmobile as a young 13 year old, it became my dream car! I always imagined whenever I gain my license, I will be driving that dark sinister “ultimate chick magnet” down the street, honking at every pretty girl I see, going 300MPH, machine gun blasting at every bad guy that out there! Alas of course, I never got to do that….Least of which, is that machine even street legal?!?!? Anyways, I always wanted a model of the said vehicle….Since the real thing is just that, a dream. When my original 1989 model broken down with a missing wheel…I wanted a replacement….This year at my IPMS local Atlanta show, a man…Make that Culttvman was selling this thing at $25! $10 cheaper than asking price! I promptly jumped and bought this with the Bat-missile!


Again, this is the 1992 Batman Return version with the pull out turbine and the pop out computer panels. This is one of the earlier re-release version with a 1/25th resin figure of Batman that doesn’t look anywhere close to Michael Keaton (I guess fair is fair though. Can’t really quibble cause if it did, Mike and his lawyers will be knocking down Round 2 doors for royalty money!) I really don’t want to paint it. But as soon as my oldest saw it, he badgered me into painting it cause well, looks like Batman will last well into the future cause he’s already a HUUUGGGEE “I’m Batman” fan. I tossed all of the above gimmicks and the side mounted grappling hooks and top shoulder mounted machine gun cause I really really LOVE that sinister look of this machine and those brouhahas really ruin that famous line.

There are not a whole lot of parts. Some red color rear lights are provided along with a single rear end metal rod for the wheels. Now the change to the kit is 1. The top part where the computer panels are are hollowed out so you can place the panels in there if you wish…I just cemented the covers shut. 2. The front metal rod is gone. For the front wheels, two plastic rods, inserted into the front wheel housings are the replacement since of course, the forward cavity is now reserved for the pull out turbine engine that I just assemble, color the forward turbine face, and then permanently cemented into its housing.

The biggest fault of the kit is the fact the chrome plated parts are still there. This is NOT welcome! As a kid, the chrome struck my fancy and I love playing around with it. This time, I sprayed the chrome parts with Tamiya grey primer base so I can tone down the shiny silver myself.

Main construction begins with the cockpit. Again, chrome plated parts are here in the steering wheel and the throttles. I repainted those myself and silver dry brushed the instrument panel off…Which my youngest son soon broke off nearly all the throttle handles…Grrr…..That little kid is all over especially since he loves cars and slowly is becoming another “I’m Batman!” fan and loves ANYHING with wheels! I made replacements with stretched sprue instead. Two little fuel caps and two little windows are inserted from the rear before the two chassis halves were closed up.

Fin inserts are now added to the inside of the tail fins. The machine gun covers I cemented shut and tossed the machine gun parts, which are chrome plated and look way too shinny! The wheel hubs, chrome detail parts etc I already sprayed with the primer and will be reserved for final assembly, same with the turbine engine. I took the windshield and taped it from the inside and placed it on the cockpit. The windshield fit much better now. Guess Round 2 made the adjustment cause my original 1989 model, the windshield does not fit nearly as well. The bottom always “flap up” quite a bit, leaving a large seam there.

The second biggest fault of the vehicle are the large seams between the wheel wells. The top and bottom did not fit well and left large seams there. I guess when the wheels went on, they would not be noticeable but they bothered me to the point I spent 4 days using stretched sprue and red spot putty glazing to fill them up. In the end, with the wheels on, they mostly cannot be seen. But still, I felt comfortable that I made sure they cannot be seen at all!

To the paint shop we go!


There are no markings. The Batmobile have always been devoid of markings. And this vehicle comes in only one color, black and black, ohh what was Henry Ford’s famous saying? “The customer can get whatever color they want, so long it is black?” Well, this fit this vehicle to a T…Model T that is!!! He-he-he-he….I’ll check myself out of the building now.

Base coat is gloss black with NATO black offset…Just not a whole lot and not a whole lot of weathering…..This vehicle looks clean and shiny in the movies and it will stay that way. After the second coat is dry, I spray on a third coat and that is that. Main painting done.

The detail painting includes black for the hub with gold highlights, silver for the side piping and black for the afterburner intakes and exhaust for the inside of the exhaust pipes. After a day to allow everything to be dry, final assembly can begin.


Final construction involves bringing everything together. The first is the front headlights at the front. I used headlight amber for the inside and carefully cemented on the clear lens. The turbine is next. I just painted the front face and then cemented inside its housing. Not planning on taking out and again in order to keep that sinister silhouette clean.

The windshield was removed, the two clear pieces carefully cemented in and then placed onto the cockpit. The rear end consists of the afterburner exhaust first. Again, this was painted exhaust on the inside and superglued on. This followed by the main gas exhausts, with the red tail lights at the end.

The last major piece are the wheels. The rear ones has a long metal axle so I first insert one end and inserted it through the chassis out the other end before capping it off with the rear of the wheel. The front of the wheel had the tires trapped in between before they are superglued with the front wheel halves. The front wheels assembly are similar. Rear end first, tire in the middle and finally, superglued on with the front halves last. Batcar done!


 To say this vehicle look like nothing else is to say the least! Again, the reason why this is one of my favorite, even all-time favorite is that sinister, no non-sense, not a very nice guy (hey, if you read some of the darker Batman comics and seen some of the films, even cartoons, Batman: The Killing Joke comes to mind, then you would know Bruce has a real dark side) look! A lot of my friend keep on telling me to make a model of the Tumbler. Yes, I do know Moebius makes a model of that but the Tumbler just doesn’t capture my imagination like the Tim Burton Batmobile. I don’t know what it is…It’s a brutal, large vehicle…But lacks the 1989 Batmobile’s sinister dark, menacing look. Hence I never bought it…As for the follow up vehicles, the less said about the Batman vs Superman (what I like to call Ben-A-man films) and Justice League (Way to go DC and Warner…Way to go in f’ing up the DC Cinematic Universe!) Batmobiles the better! For me, nothing can capture the imagination quite like the original film’s vehicles, and this Batmobile tops them all! So yeah, now SIINNNGG it with ME!!!!! (to the tune of Jingle Bells)__

Jingle Bell, Batman Smell, Robin Laid an Egg!!!!!

Batmobile, threw a wheel, and the Joker got away! HEY!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I’ll show myself out the door now……..

Donald Zhou

16 July 2019

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Review kit courtesy of my wallet.

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