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Polar Lights 1966 Batmobile snap kit

RELATED TOPICS: 1960S | POLAR LIGHTS | 1/25 | SNAP
Polar Lights 1966 Batmobile
1966 Batmobile
Batmobile interior
1966 Batmobile underbody
1966 Batmobile
Polar Lights No. POL824
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene snap kit
Molded Colors: Prepainted
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $25.49
Pros: Good finish; decent overall quality
Cons: Finicky fit on fragile parts, occasional heavy-handedness in detailing

Polar Lights’ new 1966 Batmobile has a significance that transcends the appeal of the classic Adam West/Burt Ward show and the nearly half-century wait for a standard-scale model kit.

As the first of three variations to include standard and deluxe glue kits, it serves as Round 2’s first comprehensive foray into all-new tooling for an automotive subject.

So how does it function as a snap-together model? And how accurate is it?

For ease of building, the kit fares well enough, if not entirely without issues. It’s wise – especially in the
case of the more-delicate parts, such as the wheel center bats, cowl radar, and antenna – to assume that mounting holes and bosses will need reaming with a hobby blade until their mounting pins will fit.
The three rocket launcher holes in the deck may also need the same treatment, as might the mounting flange on the chrome muzzle unit.

The rear deck is a separate piece encompassing the entire upper surface of the fins and rear body from the door shut lines all the way back, already installed in this snap kit; be aware that it’s nearly impossible to remove that section and reinstall it without breaking those pins. And if you want the rear fascia screens to fit, you’ll have to leave the taillight lenses off – but you wouldn’t have seen them anyway.

Otherwise, the model is fairly straightforward in its assembly – not beginner-ideal, but certainly not beyond moderate skills. More notably, this is the first 1/25 scale plastic model openly documented as developed from 3D laser scanning of the prototype – specifically, scans taken for the Mattel 1/18 diecast, likely explaining some of the similarities you may see between the two.

It’s not flawless; molding considerations have rendered the rear aerial out of scale, the corrugated surface of the instrument panel a little overstated, and the top-mounted casing for the strobe light a bit sad-looking, with too- few side apertures; for this last, you might consider using a red Sharpie to detail those few apertures you get.

You should also be diligent when it comes to putting the “antler” lights on the central greenhouse hoop; the parts callout numbers were reversed on the review kit’s instruction sheet.

But beyond this, the model has solid proportions and a dead-accurate appearance. There’s been a lot of talk about the adjustments necessary to get something looking right in scale, and in one fell swoop, this model renders all that talk distinctly suspect. It is fully the match of any other contemporary plastic car model kit in accuracy, and superior to most.

Processing and overall quality are satisfactory. The body has some sink marks if you know where to look, but the paint is smooth and glossy. The tampo-printed pinstripe graphics are handled reasonably well except for a slight misalignment between the upper doors and the deck panel; if you need to touch any of them up, Testor’s Chevy Engine Red is a fair match.

The tires are decently crisp, presenting useful fodder for other 1960s subjects, and sliding molds are used to nice effect in parts such as the rocket launchers.

There’s a comprehensive decal sheet with doubles of most gadget label graphics, and the Batphone, fire extinguisher, and Bat-turn lever are all accounted for. There are even finished Batman and Robin figures, though these are more comic-book and less realistic in style.

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