The Moebius Dark Knight Trilogy Batmobile is a kit lots of modelers have been waiting for — and the first impression on opening the box is that it was worth the wait.
The box is packed full of black sprues along with a clear sprue for the windows, a metal rear axle, vinyl tires, and a full-color instruction sheet.
Those instructions can be a bit tricky at times. Although the drawings are excellent, sometimes they just don’t tell how the parts fit together. Several times I had to move farther along in the instructions and look for the same area drawn in a different way to make sure I was doing something correctly. There are also several instances in which the left- and right-side part numbers are flipped, namely on the engine-housing braces that hold the rearmost wing (parts 71 and 72), as well as airfoil brackets on the center wings (parts 62, 63, 125, and 126). If in doubt, check the fit and check the image of the finished model at the end of the instructions.
The first steps concern the cockpit, at the center of the model. It is built up from a floor, two sides, and the rear bulkhead. It is tempting to build up all the walls like a normal interior, then drop in the seats and other interior parts. Don’t do it! Follow the instructions and the interior will be free of headaches. I tried to jump ahead to make painting easier and instead brought on a lot of fit problems. The interior includes two seats, a center console, as well as the control yoke and computer screens — enough to make the place look busy and provide some nice detail-painting opportunities.
The front suspension comes next. The glass for the front cockpit extension is a bit fragile, so take care cutting the parts loose from the sprue. Also, the fit of the three glass pieces inside the nose is a little tight. The other problem on the front end is that the two sets of braces on each side need to be bowed out slightly to fit and be locked into their respective holes on the fire wall and nose cone. Everything else in front is fine.
At the rear of the vehicle, everything works off the rear bulkhead of the cockpit. As mentioned before, the supports for the rear wing need to be flipped. Also, the rear upper body segments in Step 6C are drawn incorrectly. Check the drawing in Step 6J to see how they should be put together. This is important because, later on, several body panels depend on this installation being correct. With all that sorted out, the heavy-duty rear wheels and tires can be mounted.
The final steps add the outer bodywork and wings. Slots in the sides of the interior walls will need to be enlarged slightly to make sure all the panels snap into place. Patience is needed: A lot of parts are added at the same time. Follow the order in the instructions and make sure everything is lined up before moving on to the next piece. The roof snaps into place, making it removable to show the interior once complete. My fit was a bit off, so I glued my roof down.
There is a lot of black, obviously, so I varied shades of black and gray paint and masked different panels to break it up.
With all the panels in place, it really is a striking model. Sure, there are a few instruction-sheet errors to navigate around, and a couple of fit issues as mentioned, but it is rewarding to see the completed model, which captures the look of the Batman “Tumbler” well. After having built this one, I can see how building a second one would be a lot easier. A tan camo version from the “Dark Knight Rises” to go alongside this one? Maybe! If you liked the movies, it’s worth giving this model a shot.
Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2014 FineScale Modeler.