Sunday, April 29, 2012

Batmobuild #4: Holy #^#%, BATMAN!

So I've been chugging along. And then... THIS HAPPENED!
I began to attach the underside body parts to the front and tail when I discovered this unfortunate development. Not quite sure what happened, but basically a hole was eaten into the top of the rear left fender. What's interesting is that, when I first painted the body of the car, this section repelled paint. Something odd and definitely funky is going on!
I have now patched it with red putty and sanded it, over and over, getting it closer to what it was before. Really irritating to have to do, since the paint job was perfect! But soon we'll be able to continue. Man, not even Batman's villains could hatch such a heinious plan! If I had a pair of green Robin gloves, I could punch my palm and look off in the distance, brooding...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Batmobuild #3... Getting There

Yes, I'm creeping along. Last night, I got through the extremely boring "normal car part" assembly, and now have the wheels (sans bat-rims) on, the engine in, and the silver trim for the windows done-- something that I was DREADING, but was able to pull off.
It took very careful masking, using crepe tape for the curves along the edges of the frame, before spraying the windows with Rustoleum chrome silver. I'd dreaded this from the day I'd bought it!
I decided to not give in to my natural laziness, and opted to paint the underside with alternating flat black/charcoal grey. This way I had some separation where often it was just one whole piece of molded plastic.
Another part I was sort of dreading, but for a different reason: extreme boredom! I hate assembling ordinary things, like cars. My other Batmobiles didn't have actaul, normal engines under the hood. Shoot, they didn't even HAVE a HOOD! More soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Batmobuild #2

Well, obviously not much has happened in the "Batmobuild"! Just a tiny piece here, another one there, all of them the boring enigne stuff. I'll be honest, I have almost no experience building car models, and so I've had to utilize Google images quite often so far to familiarize myself with the parts! That's just how much of a nerdo-geekazoid I am! I've only been able to put together a few pieces so far, but I know how I build: I'll do these tiny fragments, and then I'll smell blood and go on a major tear and be almost done with it in two days or so! I definitely need to pick up some chrome-finish paint, as I see that the windows will need it for the framing. I'm debating whether or not to paint the red piping on the seats. I need to do more investigating to see if it was part of the original, or just something I saw in pics of the many fan-made '66 Batmobiles out there. I took these pics back in 2006, at the preshow for the California State Fair. I had a painting showing there, and right next door was a room that was devoted to superhero-related works of art: paintings, amazing Lego sculptures, AND this Batmobile. Since the exhibit wasn't scheduled to open until the next day, those of us who'd been invited to the preshow got to see as the Batmobile was driven in and parked in its temporary place of display. If you look in one pic, you'll see the purse of whomever was riding passenger STILL in the car! At first, there was NO ONE in the room, and I contemplated getting in and letting my wife take a pic of me. But in about a minute, the opportunity was lost. #1 #2 #3 #4 Sorry that these are old "film" pics and not digital ones. Who knew that all of these years later, these pics would be reference material!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Robin, to the Batmobuild!

So yesterday was my "Friday," and for those of you who do not utilize this method of counting down your workdays until you've reached your days off, when we working folk refer to OUR Friday, we're saying that we've reached the final day of our work week. Anyways, I wanted to do a little celebrating, especially since mildly summer-like weather is here.

And when the weather gets remotely summerish, that means it's perfect weather for spray-painting! As I look back, I can see that most of my modelling took place during later spring and the heat of summer. There's just something about warmer weather that makes me want to build. When it's wet/cold, though, I find that I tend to draw/paint.

Back to the business at hand. I went to my "local" hobby store, about a 20 minute drive away, in a nearby town (the one in our town went out of biz a while back). I went in with the idea that I'd look for some brush-on dull cote, some brush-on gloss cote, and some decal set. Miracle of miracles, they had all three things! I was on a roll.

But then I went to the local Hobby Lobby, just to see if anything would be there in their model section. First, I saw a BIG 1/16 scale General Lee "Dukes of Hazzard" model kit, and I was tempted. But, I've already got a smaller scale General, and that was enough for me. I also saw they had Grandpa Munster's dragster! Oh, the temptation. But then I saw what I was secretly hoping to find.

There were THREE different kits of the 1966 Batmobile from the short-lived but beloved TV series! I could choose from a prepainted metal version, a 1/32 scale Polar Lights version, or a 1/25 scale version that also was from Polar Lights. I went with the 1/25, since a.)I didn't want somebody else already painting my model for me, and b.) I'd read some negative things about that 1/32 version with its inaccuracies. The chosen kit was $31.99. Jeez! But it IS the George Barris Batmobile, and I HAVE wanted this kit for years....

So I got in line, rueing the hard reality that I didn't have a coupon, and their models were not on sale that week. I get up to the register, and the lady waiting behind me gives me her 40% coupon! Can you believe that? I ended up only paying about $21, and I left feeling not so guilty.

So it's been one day, and I've already primed all of the parts. At first, I thought that since the body was already black, I'd just paint my black spray right over it. Why oh why can't I just listen to myself when I warn myself?! The paint inexplicably puddled up in certain places and actually REPELLED off of other spots, resulting in a terrible, blotchy paint job! I'd washed the parts, and could not understand what happened. I ended up soaking the body in Purple Power and this morning I primed the clean parts and re-applied some paint, this time some cheapie satin black Valspar paint, which, surprise surprise, worked out beautiful.
So check back to see the slow progress, as I really do build this thing. It'll probably take me a couple of weeks, with my work schedule as it is. I was thinking how that in the past, I've mostly only built models of spaceships or figures, and that the last time that I built a car model was another Batmobile, the '89 Anton Furst version! So it looks like it's gotta be a Batmobile for me to get enthusiastic enough about something on wheels to build a model of it!