Wheel Bats/Cones Completed!

“Holy progress Batman, that was a productive day!”

Things got started around 10am and rolled on through until about 7:30pm with grinders whirling and welders zapping.

Yesterday I was in the groove and managed to make a ton of progress.  The goal… finish the wheel-cones and wheel-bat fabrication.  Mission accomplished 🙂

I picked-up where I left off on Friday by cutting out the tops of the 3.5″ tubes which will be used to hold everything together.  First step was to weld on some nylon lock nuts which was a tricky affair.  I could only do a couple of spot welds at a time before the nylon would start to melt on me.  So it took a bit of time going back and forth and waiting for the metal to cool between welds.

Continue reading Wheel Bats/Cones Completed!

Bat-Disc Doors and Wheel-Bats

Today was a little bit of back and forth between working on the passenger bat-disc door and starting on the wheel-bat fabrication.  I spent the morning running errands and picking up supplies but was able to put in a full afternoon of work.

The work on the passenger side bat-disc door was pretty much a repeat of the work done on the drivers side.  I was able to file down and shape the area that I filled in to provide a better fit around the square tube that runs through the door as an accent.

I was also able to fasten the steel backing plate to the door and weld in the square tube and cross brace.

Continue reading Bat-Disc Doors and Wheel-Bats

More Bat-Disc Door Progress

The other day I posted a teaser picture of some orange LEDs on my BBM Channel (C00121FC2) wondering what I might do with them.

I actually had the suggestion from a fellow Batmobile builder on what to do with the little small circles that were part of the recessed area of the bat-disc door.  I was thinking about what material I would use to get the look of those circular accents when he suggested making them into side turn signals for the car.

This was a great idea because the front headlights aren’t really that visible from the side, so the front turn signals will be hard to see from an angle.  Having some extra side signals will be great for extra visibility on my intent to turn.

Continue reading More Bat-Disc Door Progress

My Last Day at BlackBerry

This week has seen two events I wanted to mention.  First, this past Monday was my last day at BlackBerry.  Second,  today is July 23rd which is officially considered Batman Day (and my daughters birthday… coincidence?)   🙂

It’s been 9 1/2 years since I joined BlackBerry via an acquisition of a small start-up company called Nextair.  It’s been an incredible journey and  I gotta say, I feel really weird and have lots of mixed emotions!

While BlackBerry is the target of a lot of media, one thing that doesn’t shine through those judgemental blog posts are all of the AWESOME people who work for this company!

I’ve had the extreme honor of calling leaders & mentors like Adrian Gould, Alec Saunders and Chris Smith my boss during my time at BlackBerry.  I’ve worked with some of the most talented and passionate people in the world whom I’m extremely proud to call my colleagues & friends.

Continue reading My Last Day at BlackBerry

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.

Continue reading A Start on the Trunk Vents

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.

Continue reading New Wheel Bats!

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.

Continue reading Fiberglass Fabrication

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).

Continue reading Driver’s Bat-Disc Door

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.

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 🙂

Continue reading Warner Brothers VIP Tour Booked!