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Polar Lights 1/25 scale 1966 Batmobile

Kit:POL824 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$29.95
Polar Lights, 888-910-2889
Well-detailed and engineered; good fits; faithful replica
Solid-plastic grilles; translucent interior decals; decals have a matte finish
Injection-molded, 115 parts (4 vinyl), decals

Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed! As a 14-year-old comics fan, I was really excited to finally have a new live-action, comics-based show on television. While I was disappointed in the show’s campy approach, there were some things I really liked about the 1966 Batman TV series. One was the cool Batmobile delivered by George Barris. When the production schedule of the show was moved up, Barris was able to turn the Lincoln Futura concept car into the Batmobile in only three and a half weeks.

With the Batmania created by the show, it is surprising that it took 45 years from the first episode for someone to make a detailed injection-molded kit of the Batmobile in 1/25 scale. Polar Lights has come to the rescue of Batfans everywhere.

Molded in black plastic, the body is sectioned into pieces with a separate rear deck molding to accurately capture the rear fins. The hood and trunk are also separate to show off the full engine upfront and the mobile crime computer in the back. The well-detailed interior includes a Batscope and Batphone. A decal sheet provides trim and decals for the interior. Optional decals are also included to represent subsequent changes to the vehicle. The instruction pamphlet features clear assembly diagrams and basic detail-painting instructions.

I started assembly with Step 5, the body. The fit of the rear deck was good, though the lower front and rear panels required minor filling. Once that was done, I painted the body with Testors Model Master classic black enamel. While that was drying, I painted and assembled the engine and chassis. The only picture I could find of the engine was as it appeared in 2001 with gold valve covers, so that’s how I painted it. All parts have clear and strong attachment points. The front suspension is easy to build and allows the front wheels to be posed.

Next, I turned to the interior. The chassis pan has a few heavy ejector-pin marks in the floor. After scraping them down, I textured the floor with Mr. Surfacer 500 to represent carpeting. I spent a lot of time finishing interior parts. After painting them with Tamiya semigloss black, I used Bare-Metal Foil to detail the dash, seat frames, and several panels on the console. The label decals for the dash were a disappointment. They are translucent and all but disappeared over the black base coat. The decals also have a matte finish, which made the decal film more noticeable. While I had the foil out, I used it to trim the windshield edges.

Putting the pinstripe trim decals on the body was a major project. The trim of the actual Batmobile is listed as “fluorescent cerise.” Depending on the source of light, it can look deep red or light orange in photos. I thought the decals looked a little too orange on the sheet, but once applied they do a pretty good job of replicating this elusive color. The decals fit well, but care, patience, and Micro Sol will be needed to place the larger ones. I found the scalloped rear fins were the most difficult area. While applying decals there, I noticed the edges of the vertical fins are a bit thick. Were I to build another kit, I would thin these down before installing the rear deck. The decal sheet includes plenty of extra trim pieces should you need them.

Once the decals were dry, I brushed on a coat of Future to give the body a nice gloss and cover the matte decal film.

I was disappointed that the slotted mesh for the grilles and the headlight covers were molded solid. At least the headlight covers were molded clear, but they still don’t capture the look of the real thing. This would be a great area for some photoetched metal. The rear antenna is way too thick; replace it with wire or stretched sprue.

The Internet is filled with information on the Batmobile. One of the best sites I found was The 1966 Batmobile.

It took me 23 hours to build my Batmobile, mostly for painting and decaling. Assembling the kit is something any modeler with a little experience can handle, but the painting and decaling will require more-advanced skills. 

Holy Replica, Batman! More than 40 years since the TV series ran its course, Polar Lights has finally given us an excellent rendition of this 1960s icon.

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