Revell 1/25 Batman Forever Batmobile
|Advantages: Extremely detailed, good driving compartment, nice sized vehicle. 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, impossible to turn 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!
Annnnddd when Michael did took over, he started to go down the campy comic inspired route with neon colors, soft lightning to add some light into the darkness, and Val Kilmer to star as Batman since Michael Keaton quit too (one of the reason was the villains always seemed to upstage him. Batman had to keep a straight no nonsense face, limiting what Michael can do. Meanwhile the villains can seriously cut loose. Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the first one for ex. Then Michelle Pfiffer really stole the show in the second one with a penultimate, knock out the floor sexy sensual performance as “MEEOOWWW”……Catwoman….Ironic since the original role went to Annett Bennings. But before shooting began, got pregnant and lost the role to Michelle). To this end, a new Batmobile was designed.
Larger and possesses a massive inline engine, the new Batmobile also has cutouts all along its chassis to show off some of the parts. In line with the now neon funky comic campy Gotham, blue neon lights showed off these cut outs, including the wheels, which had a stabilized, blue neon lighted bat symbol in each hub that will not rotate as the wheels spun. And no, that was no computer generated imagery. That was all mechanical.
Trickery included the fact the wheels can be rotated horizontally, so the vehicle in a pinch, can travel horizontally to dodge incoming trouble. A massive hook and winch in front of the vehicle can be shot up vertically onto a building so the car can travel up a wall if needed and two machine guns hidden underneath the two side fins, which can pop out if the vehicle is in trouble. Unfortunately, after the Riddler figured out Batman’s identity, the car was blown up in the film, necessitating a brand new vehicle that was fugly beyond belief and a film that ended Batman in the cinemas for a long time until Batman Begin (There once was a plan to make three films after Batman and Robin. The next one was supposed to be Batman and Robin: Unchained but after the total thrashing the film received, George Clooney promptly backed out and that plan was shoved)!
This is the original Revel…Yeah, AMT lost the license to the films since one of the reason Warner went with Michael Shoe and a more campy Batman films was the poor licensing sales of toys etc. Well…….Just how well THAT turned out? These days, these model kits can still be had on eBay for sometimes $40 or less. Meanwhile, AMT (now Round 2) Tim Burton Batmobiles sells at the same price…But remember those kits of Batman Forever are from the 90’s while Tim Burton’s still sell very well to this day with Round 2 making new ones! Didn’t pan out did we?
Still anyways, I bought this kit while on a summer vacation trip to Boston in 1995 after Batman Forever first came out. It still stuck with me all those years in that box at my friend’s basement until I got it back. It actually survived pretty well. Again, don’t think Revel still make them cause Michael Shoe’s Batman is generally panned these days, especially Batman and Robin so even if Revel cleared copyright hurdles, the sales may not be there (again, compared to Round 2 and the Tim Burton Bat model sales. All four of the original Batvehicles, the Batmobile and the Batmissile especially are still available from Round 2) but you can still find the original 1995 ones on eBay for at most $45.
The kit is generally like their AMT predecessors. Not a whole lot of parts, good details for those days, and chrome plated parts that are not welcome. The fit generally is better but still require putty here and there. But like their AMT forerunners, pretty easy to make.
Construction begins with the cockpit. Again, not a whole lot of parts. The seats are molded in but since the cockpit is all black, that doesn’t matter much once the canopy goes on. I painted the necessary parts silver before putting it on the bottom chassis.
Then I went in with the first step, which was to put the chrome detail parts onto the cut outs on the upper chassis. Yeah, back in those days, I loved those chrome plated parts. These days, I would’ve definitely sprayed them with Tamiya grey primer before toning them down with silver of my own. But back in those days? Nope! But I did use paint thinner and put a coat of thinned flat black on them to pop out the details. Since the paint don’t stick too well onto the chrome parts, I can easily wash the unwanted parts off later. These are held inside with super glue.
Next, the drive rods are added to the bottom of the chassis. At this point, the front, best called the ribbing section was added and then the front wheel housing attached. I also assembled the central big tail fin. This part is in two halves since it can be also assembled with the fin open as per one scene of the film when Robin stole the Batmobile for a joyride. I however, closed it up. To successfully insert it onto the back of the vehicle, you have to remove the location tabs on the fin to do so. At this point, the rear wheel wells are also assembled.
After this, it’s just putting the upper hull to the lower hull. Painting time!
|COLORS & MARKINGS
Yeah, if you read any of my Enterprises review, then you will realize I didn’t have a spray gun when young cause my parents won’t get me one so I flat out hand painted this! As it turned out, it didn’t turn out half bad.
The main color is Testor’s Gloss black in the small bottle. I had to thin it down to paint properly….This has to be really carefully worked around the cut out ribs so as not to paint the chrome plated parts underneath. But in the end, this was done. Not much weathering cause again, all the Batmobiles in the films sans Batman Begin Tumbler were pretty clean and two, it didn’t survive long enough to get dirty before getting blown up by The Riddler. After that, painting is done.
This consists of just putting on the wheels and the canopy. The canopy glass was a little haphazard since its split in half, unlike the AMT version…GRrrrrr…… One side has slight glue damage when I messed up. The wheels received the same treatment as the previous AMT Batvehicles, mainly, inner wheel halves were snapped onto their plastic holding rods, then tires were superglued on from the inside, before the chrome plated outer hubs are attached. Now there are no markings, but the small decals sheet does contain the four bat symbols for the wheel hubs. I painted the inside with a thinned coating of light sky blue to denote the blue backlight here. Of course, unlike the real vehicle, the hubs inside will rotate but that can’t be helped so normally, I just hold the bat symbol in the upright correct position. Now, there are black highlights on the outer section of the rims so I used my flat black paint for that. They are almost all worn off so I probably need to go back to apply that again. But still, after that, another Batmobile on the shelf!
Well, a vehicle from one of the lesser known, and not well received Batman films (Though not as badly panned as the recent Batman vs. Superman and Justice League films and especially Batman and Robin). This is my second favorite Batmobile. My third is the Futura Batmobile from the original tv show (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Have to do this! Sing along with me folks! Batman, Batman Batman Batman…..Batalalalalalalalalaaaaaa….BATTTTMMMMAAANNNN!!!!!!)
Fourth is the Tumbler….Again, this especially drives my Batman Begin friends batty (pun intended)! They could not for the life of them understand how such panned film vehicle gets the second spot while the Tumbler gets fourth on my list! Even I can’t explain it…..They mostly accept the fact that for me, Tim Burton’s Batmobile is num. 1 cause even some of them admit to its sinister ominous look. Futura Batmobile….I think in everyone’s heart there is a place for Adam West campy show! But Batman Forever? They just couldn’t understand it! But for me, this vehicle, though campy and spread with neon lighted cheese, still has a dark sinister look, with a rakish raked back and high spread tail that still look sleek….Tumbler is…Again, can’t place it….It’s big, dark and all muscle but just lack the finesse and sleek ominous, sinister look of this vehicle and especially Tim Burton’s version! In fact, looking straight at this thing from the front, it looks like a skull! This is something that Joe Stinky Shoes forgot when it came to Batman and Robin’s Batmobile, which look like something ugly about ready to puke something ugly from the mouth!
Anyways, with that out of the way, you guys gotta sing along with me again! (again, to the tunes 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……..
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