Well, I’ve finally done it! I finally had the courage to build the last Metal Earth Batmobile, which is actually the first one. The windshield of this Batmobile, from the Adam West tv show, along with the complicated front-end, have intimidated me for some time. But I finally built it. And even though I did not do a good job with either of those two sections, I am glad to add it to my collection. And I mostly have fun building it, too.
As you can see from the video above and the gallery below, I have built a Batmobile that has seen better days. Let’s just say that it’s a version of it from after a particularly tough episode. At least, that’s what I’m thinking of it as. Because that’s the best way to explain all the wrinkles in the trim around the grille, as well as in the windshield and the weirdly bulging roof panel (though from the picture of the model on the packaging, that one is not my fault.
You know, it’s kinda funny, I feel like I’m really inconsistent in how many photos I take of the various models. I didn’t think I would have that many photos of this model, but then I ended up with a ton of them. It really, I guess, depends on how many distinct details there are. And this has a lot more than I was thinking it did. And good angles to capture them. And, ignoring the wrinkles from my overforming, this model really looks slick.
So it’s probably no surprise, but I think I’ll be calling this one a rather challenging build. It challenged me, at least. There’s a lot of it that isn’t that hard, but some parts are diabolical. And, like both of the other Batmobile models, joining the two halves (top and bottom) together is going to drive you mad (though this one isn’t quite as bad as the other two). But mostly that cursed roof piece…
The first part of the build starts off pretty easy, though I would suggest that you curve the dashboard section of part 1 before you attach anything to it. The instructions suggest waiting until you’ve attached the three cylinders and the roof support, but I find that I personally prefer to shape curves first, when possible, so that other attached objects do not interfere with being able to shape around whatever object I’m using to help establish the curve.
But then things move quickly into something that seems intimidating, but not impossible: the roof / windshield. And, this part, all on it’s own, would be a bit challenging, what with matching the curves to match the body. But the real problem is that the strip in the middle, between the front window and back, seems to be too long. The instructions make it look like it’s just curved over smoothly. But, to get it attached in place, the strip in the middle gets compressed and bows up into a big bump. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much it would be doing that when I started attaching it to the body. This resulted in the device that mounts on top of it angled downwards in a really funny way. So I spent a lot of time re-adjusting the roof, which deformed the windows. Trying to introduce a hard fold while the part was attached to the rest of the model was a messy process. So… I would suggest that you consider adding the hard fold upwards before attaching it. Anyways, I tried to make a mockup of how the part actually ends up formed. But you can check the 360-view for a real-world example.
Next up in my review advice are a couple of opportunities to reference future parts for how to form sections where the directions are not as specific as you might want. First are the fins along the sides of the back. You can look forward to part 18, where there are triangular flaps that fold up and provide the back of the fins. It’s not a perfect reference, but it gives you something. This can be used for both the insides of the fins (as seen below) and the outside fins.
The second part is for the very front of the hood. Part 37 shows that there is a bit more of a curve across this section than that shown in the instructions. Not knowing this made completing the model (joining the halves) quite challenging, as I had to introduce that curve after having actually attached the side panels of the card. It was not fun, and it’s not optional – the tabs are partway down the slope of this curve. It was also complicated by the fact that I interpreted the first part of this step to mean that the trim around the grill was folded sharply. Its not. Just leave it part of the smooth curve over the front. So much extra wrinkles in that trim now, from unfolding it.
Speaking of those side panels of the car (okay, that segue was a little rough, since I mentioned them halfway back in the previous paragraph), the directions for forming the flap on the front of these panels. These flaps fold over and curve down to enclose the headlights, once attached. In the instructions for the first side-panel, there’s an extra fold line inserted into this segment and it’s not highlighted as a curved surface (though there is a blue line). For the other side-panel, it’s much more clearly identified as a curve, but it doesn’t look, to me, anything like the real curve. In fact, I found that this flap folds over almost 90 degrees, and then there is a slight curve across it, with a sharp curl at the end. But, because it has to be difficult, that sharp curve tapers out as you move down the panel towards the back, so you can secure it to the hood (which is it’s own mini-challenge). I’ve tried to put a rough diagram of how it forms, from end on, in the graphic below (the blue line).
So, after you have fought all those battles, and then formed up the rest of the model, which is pretty simple by comparison, you get to join the two halves together. And, if you are lucky, then you won’t be fighting with the poorly formed hood when trying to do this. Because it’s already rather challenging, due to having to line up the three tabs through the hood, one of which is in the middle of the hood, underneath the special centerline feature. Yeah, seriously. You have to (a) line up the tab, that is inside and unreachable, (b) with a slot you can’t really see very well, and then (c) fold the tab in a narrow cavity that is hard to access. Oh, and you have to align two other tabs while you are at it. So… my advice? Do that first. Then worry about the tabs/slots along the side-panel and back of the Batmobile.
And once you’ve mastered this feat of alignment magic, you have finished the build! And you have accomplished something to be proud of, and a snazzy little model at that. It took me three and a half hours to complete the build, despite all my mishaps and frustration. I really expected it to take longer, given how challenging and detailed the model looked. You can watch my build process, foibles and all, in the playlist below: