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Moebius Batman v Superman Batmobile

The latest cinematic chapter in the Batman saga — Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — means a new Batmobile. The Caped Crusader’s military-style Tumbler of the Dark Knight trilogy has been replaced with a lower, sleeker vehicle. It’s barely visible in the rainy gloom of the film, but Moebius released a kit before the movie premiered.

Molded in medium gray plastic, the parts show nice recessed panel lines and no flash or awkward ejector-pin marks. Some of the mold seams and edges need cleanup, mostly quick swipes with a sanding stick, to ensure a snug fit.

A small clear sprue supplies the wraparound windshield and headlights, and the tires are sturdy-but-soft vinyl with good tread.

Interior detail includes bucket seats, controls, and a dashboard. The latter has four circular bezels but no dials. I fitted Detail Master film and photo-etched dials for realism.

The vehicle’s design required painting in subassemblies and steps.

Construction starts with the generic-looking engine comprised of body halves and a head with molded pipes. The power plant is barely visible through the open rear body, so I painted the block black and the pipes aluminum.

I added the transaxle to the chassis, but left the engine and exhaust off for painting.

I assembled the front suspension and axles and sprayed it flat black. I painted the interior components separately and airbrushed the wheels gloss black before fitting the tires. A quick rub with sandpaper knocked the shine off the vinyl. I left the wheels off until near the end of the build.

Major body subassembliesm were painted before being attached to the car include: chassis; the inner front fenders; final drives; canopy; gun turret; upper body; wings; and rear struts. Everything fit OK, although I used a little filler to refine the rear wings. To ensure alignment of the rear struts in Step 7, I used slow-setting liquid glue and placed the assembly into its mounting holes on the transaxle to dry.

The kit calls for a dark metallic finish, so I mixed equal parts Tamiya flat black and gunmetal. After airbrushing the components, I added the side panels. I sprayed the body color again to touchup the joins. Repeating that process after each major step was time-consuming, but necessary for a clean build.

Follow the sequence in Step 8 precisely — upper body, wing support, then interior — as you can’t get the struts to fit once the interior is attached. After gluing, I sanded the join along the sides of the intakes behind the cockpit and airbrushed the body color for a seamless appearance.

Sharp frames make masking the windshield a snap. I clamped it to the canopy as the glue set because it didn’t want to sit in the opening just right. Note that you can leave the canopy loose to show the interior, but it doesn’t open the same way on the full-size Batmobile.

The rear wings posed the only challenge. Five struts attach each to the car, but not at the same angle. After widening holes in the wings for the coilovers (parts 7 and 8), I slid the wings over those parts from the front. Then, using fine tweezers to reach the struts in the narrow space, I worked the wings over the remaining struts. Patience pays off and the wings are sturdy once the glue dries.

Impressively large describes the finished model, and the gunmetal finish contrasts nicely with the black finish on other Batmobiles. Easy assembly means you can focus on the complicated painting process.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2016 issue.

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