Dash Panels converted to Vector Art

I spent the day yesterday converting the dash panels that I had created before as images into Vector Art.  Typically the engraving/cutting machines take in vector art in the form of Adobe Illustrator, EPS or PDF format.  From what I’ve seen these machines also generally take in a maximum sheet size of 12″ x 24″, which is how I’ve laid out the panels.

The lines that are 0.001″ thick will typically be cut by the machine and the lines thicker than 0.011 will be engraved into the surface.  Typically the artwork needs to all be in black and white where the black areas are the surfaces that will be engraved. Another modification that needs to be done when exporting is converting all the text/fonts to paths so that the machine knows how to engrave them.

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Side Mechanics Part #3

After picking up a few necessary household items from Canadian Tire the other night, I started in fabricating my side mechanics today.  I started out by loading my trusty PlayBook with all my side mechanic pictures so that I had a reference guide out in the garage.

One of the trickiest things that I’ve been trying to do is ignore the optical illusion that these things give off.  When you look at them, your first impression is that they have really large diameter pipes… but that is where the illusion lies.

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Side Mechanics Part #2

The Teddington hot air valves started to take a bit more shape today.  These are the most illusive parts of the side mechanics that we’ve been able to track down the part numbers for, but nobody has been able to find a place that can source them.  So I’m making my own 🙂

I started off by cutting out 6 pieces of 1/2″ plywood based on the template that I drew.  I “think” 3/4″ would have been too thick.  Once I get the build-up on both sides it will likely look more chunky. It would have also been nice to have a scroll saw handy but the jig saw had to do.

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Side Mechanics Part #1

The holy grail of a Batmobile builder’s project is some accurate looking side mechanics.  These can make or break the look of the exterior of the  car and are the first thing that a builder looks at when they check out a replica.

A good set of side mechanics means the builder paid attention to details and likely did a good job elsewhere.  They give the exterior of the car an industrial look and solid chunky accurate ones go a long way to giving it that movie car feel.

I’m about to embark on the challenge of creating some good looking side mechanics for the BatBerry.  I’ll be trying to keep them as accurate as I can using various materials and techniques.  I’ll also be painting mine bronze to match my other exterior accents (wheels, afterburner, exhaust).

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Checking out Universal Designs

I’ve always wanted to go and check out the work done by David Pea at Universal Designs, and when I found out that they were going to be at the North American International Motorcycle show here in Toronto I had to go and check it out!

Universal Designs is a company that creates full protective motorcycle suits that are replicas of your favorite superheroes or movie characters.   I’ve been following David’s work for many years and he has done lots of fantastic movie grade costume work in the past and has always been kind enough to share his tips and techniques with the community.

Then over the last little while he has been working with leather.  I remember his first experimentation work with Daredevil and then expanding his work into lots of other characters and obtaining the official licensing rights from the different studios to create the garments to sell to enthusiasts.

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A place to rest my feet

This afternoon I headed back out to the garage and started work on the floor area where my feet will rest while driving.  This means no more Fred Flintstone for me 🙂

I started off with building up some wood on the floor of the garage so that it was at the height where I wanted the floor and things felt comfortable with the gas pedal.  I also had to build a little platform that would go over top of the bar that’s used as the support for the transmission mount.

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New Hood Latches

 I received a nice box of goodies in the mail the other day from Bat-Vader from chickslovethecar.com.  In the box were some hood latches that he was able to track down that look just like the ones on the actual car.

What’s always tricky is to find parts that look accurate but also fit.  Especially if you don’t have your own body shell to take measurements from.  So I was able to try these out on my body shell to check out the fitment.

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Some welding here and there

I’ve managed to sneak in a couple hours of welding here and there over the last week or so and I figured I would post up an update.  First of all I managed to get the driver’s and passenger’s floor pans finished.  Everything is seam welded for strength.  I’m just waiting to put the driveshaft loops in before I weld on a top plate along the driveshaft tunnel.

The bottom of this car is now built like a TANK!  1/8″ plate steel all around the floor pans and driveshaft that should take any land mine that the Joker sets for me 😀

I’ve also started to tie the back tube into the front with the 1/8″ plate and created a support structure above where I’m going to cut the 2×2 tube above the driveshaft.

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An update on the wiring

After my last post on the BatBerry wiring my brother in-law pointed out some wiring finds at Speedway Motorsports and after some digging around I found a great deal that was too good to pass up.

A 20 circuit wiring harness full with signal flashers, ignition connections, headlight/tail light circuits, relays and standard GM steering column connectors for signal lights, hazards and horn plus more for only $150!  I managed to order this along with an external in-line fuel pump and a couple of keyed ignition switches to keep the shipping costs down that are now on their way to me.

This harness has some great reviews and IMO is a must have for any hotrodder.  I suggest following the link and checking out what’s all included and taking a look at the instructions PDF.

Which means I’ll be keeping my engine wiring harness and then throwing out the rest of the harness that I have and replacing it with this one that has nice instructions and labeled wires and connectors 🙂