Dale Stringer’s Review of
Polar Light's Batboat and
About three years ago I built my first Batboat. At that time, I didn't do any research or anything. After completing it, I wasn't satisfied with the results. Among other things, the colours turned out to be wrong. They were too dark. Also, the J.T. Graphic dry transfers I used were hard to use and didn’t work out very well.
Then, earlier on this year (in mid-January) I became interested once again in the Batboat. Originally, I saw a water base by ODG Studios (a.k.a. Dan Golembiewski) at Steve Iverson’s CultTVMan website. I love that base – it captures an iconic scene in the movie.
When a subsequent thread was started at The Clubhouse Modeling Forum Website on the colour scheme for the batboat, the fever was back! I wanted to build the Batboat again.
I ordered a bat-water base, purchased another Batboat, and began work. This turned out to be an ideal modeling project. I ended up attacking it on weekends and in early mornings, (when I couldn’t sleep).
I worked on it off and on from the middle of January until April.
The main reason it took me so long to complete is because I ended going around in circles, trying to make it as accurate as possible. I was wheel spinning a bit on the colours, along with trying to make the cockpit as accurate as I could make it.
I used information from the Glastron Website (http://www.glastron.com/our-history-1960s.aspx), along with Darren Nemeth’s 1966 Batman Batboat Blog (http://batboat.blogspot.com/) for additional help with reference pictures.
Although I wanted to detail the cockpit more when starting out, in the end I bottled it. This was due to the bane of many a modeler - impatience! I used the photos I obtained from these sites, along with some others to just make a few minor changes to the model.
During the first weekend in April, I ended up banging it out. I wanted to just “see it” finished! (You know how it is when the “fever hits”? What we envision as a completed model and what we end up with is usually a trade off, unless you're a master modeler, like Randy Cooper).
I used Loc-Tite super glue - (which is a brush-on type) – to glue the parts together. This is all I use.
The Batboat was built straight OOB with two changes – the steering wheel was replaced with a round one, from a junked Mokeemobile, (which is all I could find in my spares box. I wished I'd drilled the holes in the spokes, though).
Also, I covered over the rear bulkhead upright portion of the center console with plasti-card,
I got really hung up on the center console and the dash board insert panels. All the photos I had gathered showed a flat smooth area where the model is corrugated. This really shut me down and I went into the usual Modeler's-Merry-Go-Round, researching and wondering how to modify it. (...Or, was I seeing things?)
(Photos obtained from Darren Nemeth’s site: www.batboat.blogspot.com)
In the end, I just inserted the plasticard over the back portion of the center console on the aft bulkhead, smoothed it and painted it to match the rest. (This was done so it would look like it did in the movie/TV series).
I left the rest of the model stock and just carried on building and painting.
The Batman and Robin figures were a bit of pain. There was lots of small filling and filing to cover seams and holes. Lots of seam cleaning needed to be done.
The wheel I used didn't match Batman's hand. So, I had to do some major surgery on it.
I found sample photos of the flooring and seats, and used this as a basis to start, (since the model construction starts there anyway).
I painted the floor light Tamiya blue (spray can – it’s all I use). Then, I dry brushed with flat white, to match the floor texture as close as possible. As per the photo below, I sprayed the seats a two tone metallic blue with Tamiya spray cans again and coated them with about two coats of Vallejo gloss coat.
I was also wheel spinning a bit on Batboat's colours. Again, I used a Tamiya Metallic Spray can paint. Scale Metal Flake is tricky, but I like the way Tamiya does it.
In addition to painting the seats a two tone Metallic Blue, the cushioned arm rests and center forward panel were painted the Dark Blue colour.
All trim work was masked and spray painted with Tamiya paints, except for the Silver colour. For it, I used Humbrol Chrome Silver for that, (along with the hull trim and windows) - All spray can stuff.
(I'm still not happy with the dashboard and center console - I think it's all Flat Aluminum Plate inserts on the real boat, while the model has them "corrugated" (the ones inside - not the pads on the fore-deck) - Another future build? - He-He-He.
Painting the Batman and Robin figures was easy. I used Tamiya “Flesh” bottle paint, brushing it on as a base. Then, I applied a wash of Burnt Sienna Oil Paint.
I used the DVD box and websites for colour schemes. (Batman’s Dark Purple Blue mask and cape, along with other areas on him, appear shiny & sparkly. So is Robin’s cape).
I tried to create accurate figures. These are my interpretations of accurate uniforms for West and Ward. They’re not bad, once painted and in the boat.
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Copyright © 2014 Anthony I. Wootson Sr. & Dale Stringer, No material may be reproduced without permission of Anthony
I. Wootson Sr. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.