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A Start on the Trunk Vents

I only worked on the car for a little bit today.  It’s a bit rainy outside so I did a little bit of work on the vents for the trunk and then came inside to watch some Harry Potter with my daughter.

I’m still working through exactly how I want to put mesh into these vents as there are a few options.  One being the same way I did the mesh in the top intake of the cabin.  That technique would work for all of the vents except for the ones at the very top which have their back’s sealed in with some of the support work that I did on the trunk.  All of these vents will be decorative only because I need the trunk to be water tight.

So I’m thinking through a few ways of making it work and hope to come up with a solution that will work for all of the vents.  The first step was to cut out the vent openings to get their general shape.  You can see a close-up in the picture at the top of this post.  This was done with a dremmel cut-off wheel and then further shaped with some files.

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New Wheel Bats!

Giddy-Up! New goodies arrived in the mail yesterday.   I had the extreme pleasure of having Ed Farrell (a well known costumer and prop builder in the Batman world) reach out to me on the Brotherhood of the Bat forum to offer an addition to the BatBerry.

Ed had some molds of the wheel bats from the actual 89 Batmobile and offered to make me up some for the project.  This was an extremely generous offer and of course I had to take him up on it :)

These are solid resin and will be modified to have a steel backing plate with a stud welded onto them.  They actually act as kind of an old-school hub cap fastener which threads into a structure that holds the “cones” in-place inside the wheels.

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Fiberglass Fabrication

Today was supposed to be filled with linear actuator fabrication for the bat-disc doors.  However, after a lot of attempts it looks like I’ll have to get different actuators.  The 18″ throw is just way too much and there’s no real way to make them work.  I looked at every possible angle  :(

I’ll likely have to grab some 8″ throw actuators and tuck them right up near the doors which “should” be easier.

After being disappointed on the actuator front, I decided to do some fiberglass fabrication since it was a nice sunny day.  There were two fiberglassing jobs that I wanted to try and complete.

One was fiberglassing the trunk latch core material along with filling the hole in the trunk.  The second was building the curved ends near the hinges of the drivers side bat-disc door.

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Driver’s Bat-Disc Door

After grabbing a bunch of needed supplies last Wednesday I was ready to start fabrication on the driver’s side bat-disc door today.  This door is also known as the clay pigeon door and the ammunition re-load door.  Either way, it’s the door that shoots out bat-discs :)

My supplies consisted of some 1″ steel pipe and four nickel garden hose shut-off valves.  There was a ridge on one end of the shut-off valves that gave the look I wanted and also would provide a snug fit over the 1″ pipe.

To begin I needed to cut a length of pipe that would fit in the door opening to act as a hinge.  I needed to cut it so that there was enough room for a washer on both ends of the pipe (more on the use of that washer later).

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Considering Some Canopy Arm Adjustments

After finishing the structural work for the Canopy I’ve been thinking about beefing up the rear arms that hold the canopy wheels.  Right now these are just a couple of bent pieces of steel.

With the added weight of the steel in the canopy I’m worried about getting some flex in this bent steel.  I had already noticed that there was a little bit of flex before adding the steel frame to the canopy.

The picture at the top of this post shows a close-up of the canopy arms from some hi-definition video of the actual Batmobile that I received from Matt which he took when all the Batmobiles were out to the original Bob’s Big Boy.

The production team used a bit of a different rail system than I did, but you can see how beefy the canopy arm is.  I also noticed from the video clip that there’s a lip on the body that reaches down inside the cabin around the edge of the canopy opening.  I’ll have to see if I can also incorporate that in my build.  I have a bit of rubbing on my canopy arms now, so I’ll likely take my time to both beef up the arm and correct the existing rubbing at the same time.

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Warner Brothers VIP Tour Booked!

I had posted on my BBM Channel (C00121FC2) earlier that I really wanted to be able to go and check out the 75 years of Batman exhibit at the Warner Brothers VIP tour in L.A.. Well I’m happy to say that I now have my trip booked!

It’s very rare when you actually get that many Batman movie related props, costumes, artwork and vehicles all in one spot.  The last time I actually saw the 89/92 Batmobile in-person was back in the very early 2000′s when it was at the Detroit International Auto Show as part of the OnStar promotions.  They had created a series of commercials with the car and since I was living in Windsor, ON at the time I was able to hop over the border and check it out.  At that time all my photos were with a point and shoot camera using film… yes that’s right, actual film :)

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Automating the Clay Pigeon Doors

Today was a bit of a mixed bag.  I was disappointed that my idea for the linear actuators to help me lower the hood onto the chassis didn’t work out, but was also a bit glad that I didn’t have to try and get all four of those actuators working in unison.

Essentially I needed a long throw on the actuators (18″) so that they would catch the hood before it touched the frame, but that length plus the motors made the actuator too long to fit vertically under the hood.  I was going to have ground clearance issues with the bottom of the actuators.

So I decided to think about different ways that I might be able to use some of the actuator which were not sitting there unused.  Then I remembered the clay pigeon shooters that I wanted to come to life. That inspiration got me started working on those doors to figure out a way for the actuators to push and pull them open and closed.

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