Tuesday, July 19, 2016


AMT CONTINUES ITS CELEBRATION OF Batman movies by reissuing the Batwing air combat vehicle. The kit is to 1:25 scale, so it assembles to make a good-sized model, even if it is only a single-seater.

Mat Irvine: Perhaps the most distinctive of Batman’s flying machines, the Batwing kit has been reissued much as it was when first released in 1990, shortly after Tim Burton’s Batman movie of 1989 had become a smash hit. 

The box base for this kit (below) includes plenty of useful extra information. 

The kit includes a couple of beneficial updates. The stand is now a solid metal rod, rather than a plastic component, which makes for a sturdier structure. The rod fits into the original plastic base, depicting the famed bat-signal.

You also get a diorama background, as is now common with AMT and MPC reissues from Round 2. This one features a spectacular cyclorama of the Gotham City skyline. But the kit itself remains much the same.  The components (below) are moulded in black and transparent plastic.

You are basically building an aircraft, so there are upper and lower wing halves with air brakes, and twin fins, much like an F-14 Tomcat. The fuselage is split into upper and lower components, slightly unusual for an aircraft kit, but not totally unknown.

The front-mounted ‘wire cutter’ (above) is sandwiched between the fuselage halves, and can be positioned open or closed. The landing gear can be assembled retracted or lowered, and the single-seater cockpit has an opening canopy.  There is also a flip-up Gatling gun.

Rear view (below) shows the neatly moulded engine exhaust louvres, and the positionable air brakes, one per wing.

The pilot is (of course!) Batman, though I’m not totally convinced that he has been sculpted to the stated 1:25 scale. The figure looks a touch too small for this - more like 1:28 - but OK, maybe the seat is undersized, and he’s somewhat hunched up!

The Batwing is finished in overall black, and I used satin-finish spray paint to overspray the base plastic. There are decals for the cockpit panels, and for various features on the wings.

The finished kit (below) looks excellent, especially when posed against the supplied moody backdrop. 

There are plenty of opportunities for weathering the Batwing. I dry-brushed aluminium paint to bring out fine detail and to give a visual indication of wear and tear.

The cockpit area (below) looks extremely busy, with the somewhat undersized Batman working hard at the controls.  

The support stand has been improved with this kit. The 1990 original (below left) used a plastic support leg. The new kit has a stronger and taller metal support rod (right).

Scale stats
AMT: Batwing
Scale: 1:25
Parts: 62 
Assembled wingspan: 325 mm (12.5in)
Manufacturer’s ref: AMT948

SMN note: Not a criticism of the kit, but of the original design… The Batwing’s landing gear looks about as feeble as the ridiculous appendages supplied by Revell on its otherwise excellent SnapTite aircraft models. Sooo… use the supplied Batwheels to stay true to the original, but for a more realistic look you could swap them out for bigger wheels, or even use skid-type gear, perhaps from a Star Wars X-Wing.