More Progress Photos

More photos of different BatBerry parts are emerging from Gotham Cruisers showing how the kit comes to life.  These are all being created in-house by Doug and his team using fiberglass molding techniques.

First we can get a better look at the gun doors, fuel cap inserts and the ammunition doors that we saw in my first post.  All the parts shown in the below photos are still a work in progress. Some requiring more layers of fiberglass, and others requiring trimming and clean-up, but they are coming along nicely!

Continue reading More Progress Photos

Parts Popping out of Molds

I recently received and email from Doug at Gotham Cruisers letting me know that some of my BatBerry parts are now coming out of their molds. The main car shell is still a work in progress and some of the smaller parts and accessories are being produced.

In the above picture you’ll see the gun doors as well as what looks like the inserts for the fuel caps and the ammunition side doors.  Things are getting more exciting now that it’s a matter of a few weeks before I head down and haul back the body shell and accessories.

Doug also mentioned that there would be some more photos coming, so I’ll be sure to post them up as they arrive 🙂

Back from Bali and the Mailman has been here!

Today I arrived back from Bali, Indonesia.  After about 30 hours of total travel time I’m finally back home.  I was in Bali presenting some sessions at BlackBerry DevCon Asia on Jan 13-14.  It was a great show and I had an opportunity to meet lots of great people and also take in the beautiful scenery of Bali!

I can tell you that I’ll take their weather any day over the snow I was shoveling this morning 😦

We also announced at the show that the first release of the BlackBery WebWorks SDK for BlackBerry PlayBook was now available.   This is the SDK for the software that I’ll be using to automate the BatBerry.

The really cool thing is that when I came home I had a bunch of notices from Canada Post…. and you know what that means… PARTS!!

I now have my headlights and tail lights, the throttle quadrant and my coveroo BlackBerry Torch battery cover.  There were also a couple other things that came in.

You wouldn’t think that finding 1/2″ amber LEDs would be that hard.  But man, it sure is.  I managed to find some from an online PC parts website so I made sure I ordered 10 of them and also picked up 6 blue ones too that are now in my LED bin.

I also received my “flicker” circuit that I’ll hopefully be using to create a flame effect from the afterburner.  It allows for 3 different light sources that all run on different circuits and randomly flicker to give a flame effect.  This is the same type of circuit you find in those fake candles that use LEDs.  I plan to run different orange and red flexible LED strips in around the afterburner where you can’t see them and have the flicker circuit do its thing.

I’m not sure how this will all work out, but I’ll add more posts on my afterburner effect after I start to try it out.

The BatBerry gets some 30Cals!!

In my efforts to track down all the tough to find parts for the BatBerry, I’ve been trying to source some nice 30 caliber Browning M1919 machine guns.  These of course were the ones used in the scene from the original Batman movie where Batman blew up Axis chemicals to ruin the Joker’s plans and the Batmobile needed to get through a closed garage door.  The guns sliced through the door like butter and Batman successfully busted into the factory.

It’s really hard to come across some nice realistic guns that are both sturdy and don’t cost an arm and a leg.  There are some fantastic working replicas out there but they cost A LOT of money.  Don’t get me wrong, they’d be a ton of fun, but I’ll have a hard time with the local Police if I’m wielding working machine gun replicas on my car 🙂

One of the things I’ve learned about sourcing parts for the BatBerry is that if a good opportunity presents itself you need to make sure you take action.  These items just don’t grow on trees such as the WWII throttle quadrant I posted about previously.  So when I came across “R2lou” on the CLTC forums making solid resin castings of actual 30 Cal machine guns that were used in the movie Death Race, I had to contact him to make me a set.  The image you see at the top of this post is the original machine gun used to create the casting molds.  As a result, there are a nice set of these solid resin screen accurate bad-boys heading my way!

R2lou is creating his own Batmobile and he also makes solid resin remote control R2 replicas.  The very cool part about his projects are that they are both non-profit charity programs created to bring some joy or aid to those who may be less fortunate.

Continue reading The BatBerry gets some 30Cals!!

It’s Alive!!! The Donor Lives!

I received some great news from my Dad today!  My Dad and his neighbour Glen headed out to see if they could take another try at getting the 1991 Caprice Classic donor car to start.

We’ve had a stretch of above zero weather and rain so it made accessing the driving shed where the car’s located quite a bit easier.  With most of the snow gone, the bay door could be opened a bit to get some light in there.

They went armed with an Air Pig to put air back into the tires, gas line anti-freeze (to remove any moisture in the 1/2 full 3yr old tank), some hi-octane fuel, and a fresh battery for the car.  The tires inflated and held air and the new fuel was added.  There were multiple attempts to get it to turn over with the new battery, and it did labor quite a bit to fire up, but sure enough it did fire and run 🙂

When it first started running they realized why it took so much to get it to initially turn over.  The clue was that they started smelling burning rubber.  It was the belt that was attached to the air pump which seemed to have its pulley seized.  They turned the car off, released the tension from the belt on the air pump and the car fired up like a champ with no trouble at all.

They also put the car in gear and did some successful forward/reverse tests to make sure nothing else was seized.

It looks like we have a way to get the car down here to work on, and I just may have access to a heated garage in Feb to strip down the donor!

A big “Thank-you” goes out to my Dad and Glen for their effort in helping this dream become a reality 🙂

Excitement is growing!!!

The New Year “Shifts” into Gear

One of the hardest parts to find for the BatBerry is a screen accurate shifting mechanism for the car.  This is because the screen used shifter isn’t your ordinary automotive column or floor mounted shifter.  No, it had to be an aircraft part from a vintage WWII bomber!

To be exact, the most screen accurate shifter to be found is that of a WWII TBM Avenger torpedo bomber from the US Navy.  In this case it isn’t actually a shifter, but instead a throttle quadrant.

With the help of some of the guys on the CLTC and scouring the Internet, I’ve been able to track down one of these bad boys still new in the box… Yes, still new from 60+ years ago from stock as a replacement part 🙂

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but as you can see from the below photos, the throttle quadrant used in the movie Batmobile is almost a dead ringer for the TBM Avenger quadrant shown at the top of this post.  I want to try and keep the BatBerry as screen accurate as possible, so this throttle quadrant is a “must have”.

You can see on the passenger side of the throttle in the above photo the mounting bracket/holes on the side that were used to mount the throttle quadrant to the side of the bomber’s cockpit.

My next challenge will be getting the lever’s hooked up so that I can use the tallest push button lever as the automatic transmission shifter for the BatBerry.  I’m not quite sure what I’ll use the other two levers for quite yet, but I’m sure inspiration will strike as I move along with the project.