These damn trunk vents seem to be taking forever and sucking up hours of sanding, filing and shaping into something that I’m finally satisfied with.
Over the last two afternoons I believe that I now have them to a state where I can look at them and be satisfied. Could they be more perfect? Sure they could. If I wanted to spend another 20+ hours or so on them I could get them looking exactly like the ones on the hero car.
But I think they look pretty darn good and I would rather spend that time finishing up a few other items on the car.
After my initial headlights from a 1988-92 Mazda 626 did not work out very well, I went on a search for ones that would fit. The old headlights were simply way too long and could not fit into the front “horn” of the car.
There’s been lots of debate on which headlights were used for the car. From talking to other Batmobile builders there have been a range of lights used for their cars such as 90 Accord, 97 Mirage and 94 Mazda Protege.
Folklore says that the headlights were 88-89 Civic headlights that they flipped upside-down. Well, I went out and bought myself a brand new set of the 88-89 Civic headlights and they look like they are going to work just fine. There will be a little bit of fabrication involved but they’re not too long and not too short!
Today I finished up a couple more tasks from the TODO List that I’ve been meaning to get around to. Namely, finishing off the “bumperettes/winglets” and also building skidplates for the bottom of the winglets.
There’s a TON of front bumper on this car sticking out in front of the two front wheels which makes getting into places with steep slopes a nasty challenge. Fortunately I have lots of experience driving lowered cars, but the distance in front of these tires is a bit extreme.
What that means is that they will be the first point of contact for the car when it hits a slope of a driveway even when taking the entrance at an extreme angle and the suspension at full height. So I wanted to add some steel armor to the bottom of these points to limit the damage to the fiberglass.
This afternoon I was able to make some more headway on the speaker boxes. Yes, “boxes”, as in plural :)
First was cutting another 1/2″ strip of steel to finish the band around the speaker box to complete the fabrication. Next was drilling some holes that were the proper size for the pop-rivets that decorate the outer edge.
Overall I’m really happy with how the speaker box fabrication turned out. The passenger side opening is a slightly different shape, but I decided that I would build a speaker box the same size as the driver’s side and just modify the recess on the passenger side to fit. That will be the lesser of two evils.
The picture you see at the top of this post is a passenger-side speaker box from the “hero car” used in Batman Returns. This is the same car that’s currently on display at Warner Brothers studios.
As you can see there’s a recessed area in both the hood and this speaker box so that a latch can be used to help hold down the hood. I was able to pick up some accurate latches a while ago.
The goal after dinner tonight… make a speaker box that looks like the the picture. The good news is that these are entirely for decoration so I don’t have to worry about functionality :)
A while back I managed to get my hands on some grill cut-outs that go just in front of the canopy. These are recessed into the body of the car and look really cool.
Since I recently picked up my screen accurate mesh I figured I would move the work on the grills forward a bit. The grills on the movie car have the circle patterned mesh behind them providing a really cool layered look.
So I traced the outline onto some of my mesh and cut the mesh to size. One thing that I made sure of was to cut the mesh just slightly smaller so that it doesn’t stick out on the sides of the grills.
Yesterday I decided that I would get started on the front-end/nose of the body. So far I have been concentrating a lot of my time on the rear of the car. Since I’ve made a lot of progress on the back half, it was now time to see if we can get the front of the car into a matching state.
First on the list was opening up the front “horn” vents and cutting out the openings for the headlights. I was able to take some close-up pictures of these vents while I was on the WB tour.
With those pictures in hand I got started masking off the area to give me some guide lines for the rotary tool.