New Headlights

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!

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Skid Plates and Bumpers

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.

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More Fun with Speaker Boxes

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.

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A Start on the Speaker Boxes

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 🙂

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Canopy Grills

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.

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Getting Started on the Nose

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.

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A Trip to the Mattcave

As soon as we booked our trip to L.A. I knew I had to reach out to Matt Munson to see if we could drop by and check out his build of the Mattmobile.

It’s rare when you can actually meet a fellow Batmobile builder in person and ask questions and share ideas and experiences.  It’s also nice to finally meet someone where your main form of communications and getting to know them has been via the “interwebs”.

Of course I was instantly jealous of the space he has acquired for his build of the Mattmobile (among other cool projects like his Tardis).  Although there’s some colorful characters roaming the side-walks LOL 🙂

It was great to talk shop and extremely convenient that Matt only was about 5 miles away from Disneyland where my daughter and I spent the day having a ton of fun!

Thanks again to Matt for allowing us to come by and check out his build!

Warner Bros. VIP Tour: Part 2 (The Vehicles)

Following up on my Part 1 article on the costumes and props, I figured I would do a post dedicated to the vehicles on the tour.  This is an area that I really wish we had more time to spend with the cars.

We were only in this area for about 10 minutes and it was pretty dark with all of the mood lighting.  It made it a bit difficult to get good pictures.  If you used the flash it washed out the photo, but getting good focused shots in low light is always a bit difficult.

The exhibit had pretty much all of the movie vehicles used, but I didn’t see the 60’s car or the Batman and Robin car.

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Warner Bros. VIP Tour: Part 1 (Props & Costumes)

Today was the day… we were up early and set out North to Burbank to take part in our 10:30 am tour at the Warner Brothers studios.

Overall it was a really good tour to see how Movies & TV shows are created.  Back-lot façades for exteriors of buildings and then the front-lot sound stages for creating interiors or whole new worlds.

Selfishly I wish more time was spent in the Batman areas.  You spend about 20 minutes in the museum where all the props are and then maybe 10-15 minutes with the cars.  Of course I could have spent all day in those two spots 🙂

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Only 2 Left

Yesterday I spent the afternoon working on the trunk vents again.  I believe I’ve spent a total of about 12 hours trying to get them to their current state.  Building-up, filling, sanding and then repeating over and over again.

I think my neighbours think I’m a bit nuts spending all that time sanding.  I personally think it’s the little details that make the car special and seem more finished or polished.  But at least you’re outside on a beautiful day and able to talk to everyone as they pop by to see what you’re working on.

I now have all of the vents except the two top vents recessed and smoothed/blended with body filler using 80 grit sandpaper.  They will still need some spot filler and final 200 grit sanding, but they’re looking exactly as I hoped.

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