The BatBerry is For Sale

Well…. It has come to that point.  Life changes, and as it does, we also need to change with it.  My life is taking me in some different directions lately and because of those changes I’ll be moving to a location that no longer provides the space required to store, and work on, the BatBerry.

It has been an incredible journey that has led me to meet some fantastic people along the way, put a lot of smiles on faces, and learn some great new skills.  I love the challenge of trying to create something new, and the BatBerry has given me so many opportunities to push my creative and fabrication skills.  It’s also given me a chance to give back to the replica community by documenting my build, sharing ideas and designs.

If you know of someone who would like to pick up the torch and complete the remaining 10% of the BatBerry build, please do send them to this website and give me a call (Please serious calls only).

My contact information is listed at the bottom of the website.  I would love to see this car go to someone who will enjoy it as much as I have and continue to bring smiles to the faces of others 🙂

Remaining Side Mechanics 3D Models Uploaded

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the BatBerry blog.  I’ve been heads down working hard to bring Brainiac to market.  I’ve had a few people ask me to upload the remaining 3D models for the Side Mechanics.  I haven’t had a chance to test print every piece yet so please provide any feedback if there are parts of the model that still require some adjustment.  All of the 3D STL printable files can be downloaded from here.

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The BatBerry Heads To ImportFest

Last Saturday we decided to take the BatBerry down to ImportFest for its first outing.  The car isn’t finished yet but was good enough to bring some smiles to people’s faces.  Unfortunately I was too damn busy at the show to take many photos of the car, but from the amount of people taking pictures I figured I would be able to find a bunch on Instagram and other photo sites 🙂

I had been working on 3D printing the side mechanics for the car, but with the sheer amount of work to get things ready and the length of time it takes to print larger objects, I simply ran out of time to get them finished for the show.  We had a blast demonstrating the car and were able to wire up the 30 cal machine gun actuators, bat-disc doors, canopy and air suspension using Brainiac.   We even got featured as part of the ImportFest coverage on Dave Thomas’ blog Stance Is Everything.

Of course I see all of the things that are wrong with the car and need to be fixed, but no one else seems to notice them.  I’ll do some follow up blog posts that show how I put together some of the different parts of the car, but for now I figured I would post up the images I found floating around the internet.

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The Holy Grail: Hot Air Valves

The quest to have a screen accurate Batmobile leads you on journey to try and find a set of most difficult to find parts.  The parts I’m referring to are the side mechanics that are positioned on the sides of the car near the ground.  These are a combination of bends, flanges, valves, faucets and end pieces that seem to have a mysterious origin.  Story has it that when they were building the car for the movie they took a trip to an old military aircraft bone yard and started picking out parts that they thought were interesting.

There have been those who have tracked down the origin of many of the parts, but finding something you can get your hands on is next to impossible.  Because the likelihood of having real parts is very low, many of us resort to building our own.  The downside to this is that the side mechanics are very intricate parts so accurate reproduction is very difficult and it takes forever to fabricate.  For those of us in the car building community, an accurate set of side mechanics is the badge of honor for any replica builder.

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The Infamous Donut

Now that we have a 3D printer at Workshop 12 I decided to teach myself how to do some 3D modeling.  Typically I’ve left this work to others in the past but it has always intrigued me and wanted to learn.  So late Friday night Rob suggested using Fusion 360, so I downloaded it and got to work.

I figured I would start off with a fairly small project to try and learn the software and general capabilities of 3D modeling tools.  So I decided to try my hand at creating the “Donut” which is a circular disk down on the side of the car near the side mechanics.  In the first Batman movie this was used as an area for a grappling hook which shot out the side of the car to help make a sharp turn.  In Batman Returns it was just a decorative piece on the car, and the decorative piece is the current one used for the car on display at Warner Brothers Studios.

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Seats Turned Out Great!

I had been waiting to have the interior finished before getting the seats re-upholstered to make sure that everything fit and there was no need to keep installing/removing the seats all the time to check spacing.  All the in and out of the car can take its toll on nicely finished pieces, so I wanted to beat on the old seats before finishing them off 🙂

There were a few options for finishing off the seats but I really wanted to do them in vinyl instead of leather.  Vinyl would give a durable surface for me to step onto when getting in and out of the vehicle that I wouldn’t be thinking “oh god not my shoe on the leather” every time I had to get in and out.  Simple and easy to clean.

But that posed a bit of a challenge.  I’m used to re-upholster kits where you get the leather pre-stitched and then you remove the old cloth and attach the new leather.  But these kits rarely come in vinyl and they are usually for all 4 seats in a vehicle.  That meant I was likely better off looking for a custom job from a local upholstery shop.

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Some Odds and Ends

This last week has been a little bit of work on a few TODO items as we get the car prepared to attend ImportFest in August.  After finishing the interior work I now need some nice re-upholstered seats to go along with it.  I’ve been delaying this for a while now because I wanted to be sure that I had the interior completed and would be able to set the seats somewhere where I wouldn’t need them for test fitting any more.

For my build I’ve been using some seats from a 1998 Honda Civic with some modified seat rails to sit lower inside the cabin.  To get these ready for some new vinyl I needed to clean up and paint the rails and seat pans as well as take care of the plastic trim covers.

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Interior Ready To Rock

After many long years of working on this car I am really happy to now be at the point where the interior is complete and successfully fitted into the car 🙂

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been in and out of this vehicle from starting with building the tube chassis, floor pans, driveshaft tunnel, firewall, and everything in-between.  But now the interior is finally finished and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.  The photos were the best I could get with the poor lighting of the garage.  I definitely can say that you don’t want to drop anything black inside this car because it will be lost in a sea of black carpet and vinyl!

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Interior Almost Finished

I was really hoping to finish up all of the carpet and vinyl work this weekend but I came up just a bit short.  One more full day of work should likely have things finished up.  I did however make quite a bit of progress.  Things started off by finishing up the carpet work from last weekend.   I still needed to complete the outer side carpet as well as the footwells and firewall.

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Carpeting and Gun Doors

First off I’d like to wish all the fathers out there a happy belated Fathers Day.  In honours of Father’s Day the picture at the top of this post is one of my favorites when my Dad was visiting and helping me with the car 🙂

My weekend was spent working on carpet for the BatBerry.  My original plan was to use some red vinyl as a template material which I could lay down on the cabin floor and trace to then transfer over onto the carpet.  But that didn’t work out very well because the material was just too floppy on the vertical sections.  So I ended up using good old bristol board as the templating material which was much easier to work with and I could cut and fold it to my will.

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