Tuesday, August 4, 2015


BATMAN MODEL KITS and collectibles are as popular as the movies themselves, and this 1:25 scale Batmobile kit from Polar Lights is no exception.

Mat Irvine: The Polar Lights Batmobile is actually an ensemble of variations on a theme, as there are no less than five kits to discuss, each with its strengths and weaknesses. That said, it's Kit Number Three that's of most interest, because it is a 'proper' kit, complete with attractive detailing in the form of a photo-etch component sheet.

Batmobile Kit 1 (below) is the simplest of the lot, as it features snap-together ('Snap-it') construction, and is pre-painted, as are the supplied Batman and Robin figures.

Batmobile Kit 2 (below) is a conventional plastic assembly kit, but is supplied without figures.

Batmobile Kit 3 (below) is the de luxe edition. In the box are plenty of photo-etch components, various optional parts, and figures.

Batmobile Kit 3 (below) has a box base that shows many of the options available during assembly.

Batmobile Kit 4 (below) comes in a portrait-shaped box, and is a double-kit that combines Kits 1 and 2.

Batmobile Kit 5 (below) is basically a reissue of Kit 2, but with new-style figures.

All five boxes (below) show a range that provides a collector with plenty of choice.

The three body variations (below left to right) used in the Batmobile Kits 1, 2 and 3.

The comprehensive parts layout of Kit 3 (below). Note the two chassis pans (middle) and photo-etch parts (lower right). The comprehensive decal sheet is supplied with all except Kit 1.

Batmobile Kit 3 (below) provides options such as two roll-bar variations.

I have painted the body in gloss black (below) and now the decal application needs to be started. In fact, they are somewhat more straightforward to apply than may first appear.

The body now has a complete decal set (below). These benefit from a top coat of clear varnish to seal them.

The extreme rear edges of the fins (below) can benefit with paint, to fill the gaps where the decals do not reach. I used Humbrol 132 Satin Red, which almost exactly matches the reddish-orange of the decals.

Details of the trunk lid (below) with decals applied, and the onboard computer. Some full-size Batmobiles (there are reckoned to be up to 14 of them) do not have the arrow stripes.

The top-mounted indicators were touched in with Tamiya X-27 Transparent Red (below) over silver.

The optional jet-turbine engine in place (below). It manages to look reasonably convincing.

I used thin graphic tape (below) to add red stripes to the seats.

Photo-etch parts (below) are supplied for such items as the rear speakers.

Building up the wheels (below) here using photo-etch bat logos, though plastic versions are an alternative.

I used separate aluminium tubing (below) to replace the single-piece plastic rocket launchers supplied with the kit.

Three versions of the rear antenna (below). A complete version is supplied (left) but I used very thin steel wire (middle). Another base (right) is also included.

Completed body (below left) ranged alongside floor pans mounted with the two powerplant options, turbine or V8. There aren’t enough parts to assemble these completely though - the picture shows the maximum I could achieve with the parts supplied. However, if you used a second kit for spares, then you could build two complete chassis units and swap the body over, as you like.

Optional parts in Kit 3 include a Bat Ram (below left), Penguin umbrellas (middle) and jet-turbine exhaust (right).

Batman and Robin components (below) compared with the TV series actors (bottom).

Both sets of figures built and painted (below). At left are Batman and Robin from Kit 3, also supplied as pre-painted figures in Kit 1. The other pair come with Kit 5, and look much more like the actors Adam West and Burt Ward. The increased realism of this Kit 5 duo meant that I used them for the Kit 3 build, instead of the figures supplied.

The completed Polar Lights Kit 3 1:25 Batmobile (below).

The Batmobile races to a crime scene in Gotham City (above, below) seen here against an industrial-tech backdrop I created.

The real-life Batmobile was originally modified from a Lincoln Futura show car. The Revell kit of this vehicle (bottom) is somewhat smaller than the 1:25 scale Polar Lights Batmobile, but not by much.

Scale stats
Polar Lights Batmobile
Scale: 1:25
Parts: (Kit 3) 160 styrene, 40 photo-etch
Assembled length: 230 mm (9 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: POL881