AMT 1/25 Batmissile
|Advantages: Good detail, good driving compartment. Disadvantages: Soft fit, Chrome plated parts not really needed and serious liberties taken.
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!
For the sequel Batman Returns, the Batmobile has one more huge trick up its sleeve. When the Penguin and his gang stole the blueprints to the Batmobile and modified it so the Penguin can remotely control it, nearly implicating Batman in the destruction that followed. Batman, after taking over, was caught with a narrow alleyway in front of him and several Gotham five-0’s behind him. After punching out several buttons, the Batmobile shed its outer layers, changed from a double seater to a single seater, pulled its wheels in to form the much narrower “Bat-Missile” and made a clean getaway. In 1993, then AMT/Ertl released the new Batmobile with the pull out turbine and computer panels that I reviewed earlier along with the Batmissile and the Batskiboat. This is the “new” Batmissile, now released by Round 2.
This is Round 2 AMT redux of the 1992 Batman Return Batmissile. It’s a “new” kit but yeah…As can be imagined, this is just the redux of the 1993 AMT/Ertl release. It’s the EXACT same kit. I should know because I finally built that kit back in 1996 but eventually have to give it up to a friend who is a HUGE Batman fan, especially the Tim Burton films….He kept my original Batmissile and the Batskiboat….He was desperately trying to pawn the Batmobile off of me too but I didn’t bite…Much to his disappointment! This, along with the Batmobile I reviewed earlier were bought off of Culttvman during this March Atlanta con. He was selling it for $20 bucks, $10 off of the asking price so I bit immediately and bought this with the Batmobile and later, I also bought the Batskitboat and the Batwing off of Amazon to completely my Tim Burton Batman Quadfecta.
Construction is easy. Not much to say. It’s just the cockpit with the steering wheel, a generic throttle, a bucket seat. I did dry brush the instrument panel with silver but…That’s about it. This originally was a snap kit so everything still snaps. But I cemented the parts all on. Again, the chrome plated parts are not welcome. I sprayed the wheel hubs, the turbine face with Tamiya grey primer so I can repaint them and tone them down.
Now, the wheels…Notice there are eight wheels. In order to let the Batmissile sit on the ground by itself, AMT took some serious liberties with the wheels. In the movie, the Batmobile pulls the wheels together in line with each other in a straight line. So, there should be a “turntable” with the drive arms folded to hold the wheels. But of course, this will mean the whole entire assembly in model form will be flimsy, not to mention the vehicle will be incredibly unstable and can’t stand up on its own. To solve these issues, AMT first made a “catcher” that would snap into each wheel well. Each catcher will hold two plastic connector rods with two wheels on opposite ends of each rod for four wheels in each well. This way, not only is each of the wheel assembly much more stable, but also much tougher…..Just ignore the fact the model all of a sudden spawned four extra wheels!
Anyways, after the cockpit is done, I added the side air vents, then put the top and bottom half together. Again, like the Batmobile, the fit here is kinda soft, especially around the side air intake vents. I had to really squeeze and cajole them in, and then made several passes with my red spot putty glazing to patch up the seams here. Umm….Yeah, that’s about it…Main assembly is complete. I left off the exhaust nozzle, which seemingly grew 2 inches out of nowhere (compared with the nozzle on the Batmobile) and the turbine face later as those will be silver. To the paint shop we go!
|COLORS & MARKINGS
There are no markings. The Batmobile have always been devoid of markings and thus, so is the Batmissile. The color is the same overall gloss black. In fact, I sprayed this alongside the Batmobile just so I can save some time. Again, not dirty and very little weathering since the films shown the vehicle to be pretty clean. The only touch up are some scratches and silver linings along the side. In the film, the Batmissile did scrape the side of the alleyway so there gotta be some scratching and silvering of the metal underneath. Other than that, in two passes, painting complete.
Final construction involves bringing everything together. Again, like the Batmobile, the canopy was taped from the inside so now I removed the tape and then cemented the glass in. This is easy since the glass is a whole complete piece, not just windscreens. This mean I can apply regular tube cement to the top of the canopy roof and then stick the glass right on there without affecting the windshield section! Very smart move on AMT part! I then added the exhaust pipe and nozzle, painted silver outside and exhaust on the inside…This piece look nothing like the part on the Batmobile…..Again, just ignore the liberties taken….The turbine face was painted in Testor’s silver in the small bottle and slightly weathered before being superglued onto the front of the vehicle…Now the wheels.
Finally, I painted the wheel hubs black with gold highlights. Like the Batmobile, these are insert with the back end first onto the connector rod. Notice like the Batmobile, the back wheels are slightly larger than the front one so don’t goof. Then the tires are trapped in between, with several drops of superglue inside to hold them in. After that, the front of the wheel are inserted in and superglued on. This is where things gets a little complicated. Notice that only one end of the wheel has the proper wheel cap. The other end has the “back” end of the wheel instead! This is confusing since remember, in movie, the Batmobile pulls the wheels inside into a straight, in-line with eachother! But on the model, as I’ve mentioned, they took serious liberties by giving the Batmissile 8 wheels so you have to think two wheels is actually one so think of the front two wheels as the left wheel, the back two wheels as the right wheel….Even though both have two wheels each. This is why two “holder” pieces, representing the gear rods, now pulled together, are inserted into the “back end” of the wheels.
If you come to this point and get confused, just remember this. If one side, the front of the wheel is the complete hubcap, then the rear one will have to be the rear end with the hole. This mean on the other side, the front is the rear end hole, to represent the “single” left wheel, and the rear one is the complete hubcap, to represent the complete right wheel….So yeah, you gotta start thinking 8 =4 and two wheels is actually one complete wheel.
After that sordid mess was sorted out, I completed the wheels assembly and then inserted the four “drive rods” into their proper slots. Model complete!
Yeah, despite the somewhat sordid confusing mess of a wheel assembly, this is one weird batvehicle to say the least! I totally agree with one magazine reviewer back in the day who said there is no way this vehicle is close to being possible, not unless it has some memetic polyalloy available…Read……..T-1000 Liquid Metal Terminator…Or least the liquid metal that allows it to transform from one thing to another. Or better, some nanotech that make up the T-X Terminitrix from T3 (bad movie not withstanding). Otherwise, yeah, it’s impossible! Those wheels are pulled directly into the cavity where the turbine engine is so there goes all the vehicle means of power! Meanwhile, where did the passenger seats and the rest of the floor board went? Does that mean if there is a passenger…He or she gets ejected out?...UGH!!! That would not be nice for the passenger!
Anyway, just look at the wheel assembly carefully and understand where goes where and you should have no problem with this kit!
3 September 2019
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