Features

Building the Batmobile Tumbler [Hachette Partworks: Issues 3 – 4]

First revealed in Christopher Nolan’s iconic The Dark Knight trilogy, making its debut in Batman Begins no less, the Batmobile ‘Tumbler’ holds military-level stealth tech as its inspiration, can break through concrete walls, has bullet-proof bodywork and is unreservedly one of the finest additions to Bruce Wayne’s Batcave/hidden underground workshop… and now, we get to build a 1:8 scale model!

After kicking off with Issues 1 and 2 (head here for that post), we’re taking on the Hachette Partworks challenge, and you can also build your own extensively detailed replica here, because it’s too good to resist. While we’re in the early days of a longer-term project, and if you’ve also done one before you’ll appreciate what I mean, I thought it’d be good to blog the build – and always feel free to ask questions in the comments below.


Issue 3

Build your own Batmobile Tumbler is the assembly, alongside sticking and screwing together die-cast parts, plus plastic-moulded ones for the smaller details, and it’s going to be a monster when you start realising how many features are eventually here to highlight.

Issue 3 isn’t the most complicated to put together but the magazine is a great insight on the build of the real-life Tumbler, how they’d eventually get it to steer (and I remember those tests you see in the film, which took place at ExCeL in London), and some behind-the-scenes shots of the custom metal skeleton for the Batmobile, all built by skilled craftspeople by hand and… they built six of the beasts! It’s an incredible feat of Engineering and the level of work there can’t really be underestimated.

For this build, it’s mainly a push-together-the-parts setup, but it is also a large section to eventually become the front panel of the passenger compartment, plus shiny black windows and click-in wipers. Whilst there’s not a lot of precise skill needed, do make sure you’ve got the left and right windows and click them in the right way around, and don’t use any glue here, it’s steady force, but don’t over-power as it could be easily broken with excessive force.

You don’t want to use any fixing methods, etc, because this section has to be clean and flush in the fitting, keeping that sharp aesthetic, without any dry glue sitting around the windows and it’s achievable, and looks stylish when complete.


Issue 4

Now Issue 4 is when we start getting into the complex, more intricate and equally important section: the front right suspension. Now, I’ve built this similarly on the DeLorean 1:8 scale model and don’t underestimate the weight that the wishbone, steering rod/bracket, brake discs and wheel pins will end up taking because when you finish this, you’re adding the front wheel from Issue 2 to form the right front suspension as a whole.

I’ll highly recommend patience with this type of detail and, trust me, as the build gets deeper and the little things come together, you’ll want this right the first time as it can be a harder to try and correct it later. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t meant to throw fear into the build, if anything it is an interesting learning process, especially if you’re new to the game.

Starting with the double connector, you’re getting the right steering rod attached to the wishbone – and then simply screwing the brake discs together. From that, you’ve got the brake housing but make sure you’re switching on to get everything screwed in together the right way around. Those screws can be pretty fiddly, so you might even need an extra pair of hands but also make sure they’re turned in tight, due to the aforementioned weight you’ll be applying at the end.

After adding the stub axle, you’ll fit all these parts together with the lettered screws – as guided in the magazine – but again, make sure you’ll getting them in tight as you won’t regret it! Finally, it’s grabbing that wheel, slotting it into the notch (and keep an eye out on Part 15 if the guidance as I missed it first time!), and then screwing it in together – and I hope you’ve kept the washer and nut with the wheel from Issue 2!

And that’s Issue 4 complete, and give that wheel a push around because it definitely should move. If you’ve screwed it in tight, it might feel stuck for just a second but it’s supposed to be go around, as a wheel would. What’s next – you ask… ? It’ll be the front bulkhead, bar attachments and shock-absorbers in Issue 5 and 6, plus eventually adding in that right steering bar before eventually moving onto the left-hand side, and more wheels in our future… can’t wait!


My Batmobile Tumbler Build Blog continues soon… Fancy starting yours?

Head to Hachette Partworks: https://batmobile.hachettepartworks.com


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