Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Batman Forever" 1/4 scale Batboat movie prop

Recently, a slick piece of Dark Knight-era movie memorabilia was offered to me; a 1/4 scale fiberglass Batboat movie prop from "Batman Forever." I'm more into the pre-1980s comic book and TV show vessel and had to pass it up.

It is an unfinished fiberglass kit and supposedly one of four made for the film. I figured some of you who watch the new films may be interested in this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another unusual watercraft. A late 1960s "Air Cycle".


Some photos were recently posted at the Fiberglassics.com forum of a late 1960s hovercraft called the Air Cycle.

I've never seen anything like this in my life! It is 250 pounds, gas powered, and rides over snow, land and water. The propeller is at the FRONT of the craft!

I did a search and found this article with photos in the March 1970 issue of Popular Science at Google books.

There sure was a market for strange and inventive fiberglass vessels in the 1950s through the 1970s!


Steering wheel

More samples arrived from Gary's Upholstery

The original '69 blue Naugahyde (above) and two texture samples.

The matches for my Glastron's four decade old blue Naugahyde came in today.

I need a match, but in black, for the Batboat's side compartments and the areas under the windshields.

The one to the left, Naugaleather MI 2284 Raven, is good but does not have the luster or the thickness of my original.

The other is bu alg coal @ $20.99 yd (this one is not on their website). It almost matches the texture, thickness and shine of the original. The leather grain is not as tight but it looks great.

Strangely, bu alg coal feels like the stuff I saw when I was at JoAnn Fabrics last week. Will check it out tomorrow.

The black vinyl and the floor vinyl mentioned in the previous post will be ordered by Friday.

Stay tuned! Some of the backlog of Batboat rebuild updates will be uploaded here this week.

The best has yet to come!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Vinyl Samples Arrived Today

On Saturday I requested some samples of marine vinyl from Gary's Upholstery, Tampa, Florida. http://www.garysupholstery.com/. To my surprise, they arrived today three days later.

They are the only vendor I've found that will send samples and their prices seem lower than most others so I'll get the stuff from them.

The large square in the upper left is Dark Blue 323980 vinyl flooring http://www.garysupholstery.com/ntomarfloor.html. It is slightly darker but almost a dead ringer for the coloring of my original floor vinyl but not dark enough for a Batboat. I'll have to figure something out.

Nautolex Marine Vinyl Flooring - Dark Blue 323980

Sample of the original flooring.

The interior of the 1966 Batboat seems to have been a sold blue and the only solid color decking I can find is marine carpet but carpeting in boats is a bad idea because of moisture retention and mold issues. Perhaps I can put carpet over the vinyl floor? Or dye the vinyl floor a solid dark blue? Or leave it as is? This is something to think over.

Only 2 or 3 foot of the deck will be visible because of the seats and I am moving the dash back one foot.

The two sparkle samples shown to the right of it are "Zodiac" Naugahyde Cascade ZD 20 and Blue ZD 21. Cascade won't work. It's got some green in it. However, the Blue looks like a close cousin to the blue metallic used in Glastron's 1967 V-143 Jetflite. One inch pleats would have to be sewed in.

"Zodiac" Naugahyde is the stuff you'll find upholstered in kiddie carnival rides and looks great.

"Zodiac" Naugahyde Blue ZD 21.

Pleated glitter blue vinyl as found in a 1967 Glastron V-143 Jetflite was probably the same material Glastron used for the 1966 Batboat's arm rests and seats.

The small side storage compartments in my craft were originally lined with black leather vinyl with one inch pleats built in. For this I requested a swatch of Charcoal Grey "Zodiac", seen in the lower left corner of the samples. I thought that may work. Its nice stuff but has way too much sparkle. The sample in the lower right is Black BRK 43 http://www.garysupholstery.com/naugahyde/ngburksh.html. Something of this type will be fine. About two foot of it on each side of the boat will be barely visible anyway.

Black BRK 43

The material used in the side storage compartments in my 1969 V-145. Leather texture with one inch pleats built in.

This morning I mailed in a sample of my original "Ocean Blue" dashboard Naugahyde for Gary's Upholstery to match for texture but in black. Whatever they come up with will be used for the compartments and for the spaces under the Batboat windshields.

My swatch of vinyl is from 1969 and probably close in manufacture to what was used for the dashboard of the 1966 Batboat.

I will have to act fast on the blue vinyl flooring because it is no longer made. Apparently, folks want only earth tones these days. (blah) Its $20 a yard and I'll have to order three yards (I need six feet four inches, actually.)

First I have to come up with rent money. $200 $80 more to go. :P

Friday, September 18, 2009

A '70s Batboat In Sea World's Super Hero Water Ski Show

Sea World's Batboat appears at :37 and :48 seconds

Here is an amazing home movie that was shot at Orlando, Florida's SeaWorld's Super Hero themed water show in the late 1970s.

I saw the same pageant at Sea World in Sandusky, Ohio when I was a kid and remember it very well. This was a skiing, daredevil and magic show featuring DC comics characters and Batman and Robin were the stars, naturally.

In this great video we get a look at their Batboat. Chinewalker from the iboats.com forum says it looks like a modified a Starcraft judging by the hockey-stick strip down the side. Perhaps the Stinger S-19 model.

Here is brochure image of a 1977 Starcraft Stinger S-19.

The S-19 was rated for up to 180 hp, measured 19'4" long with an 86 1/2-inch beam. Weighed about 1210 lbs. dry.

The ski boats that do all the fancy maneuvers are Crosby Hydrodynes, the staple of many ski shows throughout the 1960s to the 1990s.

The one memory that has always stood out for me for over 30 years was seeing a full sized elephant on water skis riding along behind a boat! To this day people don't believe me that this happened. An elephant skiing behind a boat on Lake Erie on king sized water skis!

If I recall correctly, the skis were two connected platforms or pontoons that the elephant stood on. It rode on this like skis behind a boat and at a good speed, too.

My dad took several photos during the show, including one of the elephant on the water. We still have them except for that one shot. I remember taking it to school to show friends but never put it back in the photo album. Its "somewhere" however. I'd never throw something like that away. I just have to find it. lol!

Here are more photos of that show at the Plaid Stallions site http://www.plaidstallions.com/waterski.html and at my favorite forum http://www.66batman.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1253220701/0.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to work on the Batboat

After a break lasting over two weeks I am getting back to work on the Batboat today. There is enough resin to glass in the remainding two and a half foot of deck under the bow. Later I plan to repair the splashwell with resin from the local store. After that the weather will be too cool for fiberglassing so I will work on the eyes and dashboard in the basement.

My PC is still at Best Buy. No word yet on what the problem is but I hope it is not expensive.

There are a lot of updates going back to the beginning of August to upload. When I get the PC problem squared away I'll work on that.

Stay tuned. The best has yet to come!

Batboat and Penguin Sub studio blueprints sold on eBay

Last night, September 6th, an auction ended for a set of plans for the Batboat and Penguin sub. They sold for US $350.00 and consisted of two sheets for the sub and one for the boat.

These are old copies of the original drawings made at 20th Century Fox for the 1966 movie.

I put in the first bid of $99 but the auction's photos were so detailed I saved them and let the others bid it up.

A similar plan for the Batboat sold on eBay a few years ago for over $200.

Here are the auction images of the Batboat sheet. Click on each to see them in their original resolution.

The auction description...

This is a set of 3 rare blueprints for the Penguin submarine and the Batboat that appeared in the 1966 BATMAN movie, based on the popular TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward.

Two of the plans are for the Penguin submarine and the other plan is for the Batboat. These are blueprints that were made from the original studio plans, that were designed by Serge Krizman, the art director for the Batman TV series and movie.

One of the Penguin submarine blueprints measures 55 x 26", and 6 pictures of it are shown. The second blueprint for the submarine measures 55 x 28", and one picture of it is provided. The blueprint for the Batboat is 36 x 24" in dimension, and there are 5 views of it.

Condition of the blueprints is very good, with some light handling use. These would be nice collectibles for fans of the Batman TV show, or a skilled modeler interested in building scale models of the Penguin submarine and Batboat. If you have any questions, please email the seller.

Question answered by the seller..

Q: Hi! So are these blueprints from the 1960's or a copy of the vintage blueprints? Thanks

A: The original studio plans were drawn by pencil on tracing paper in 1966, which is the date shown on the plans. I am not advertising the original pencil on paper plans. What I am advertising are blueprints on blueprint paper that appear to have been made directly from the original plans. I cannot pinpoint exactly when the blueprints were generated, but I acquired them over 30 years ago from a source with a connection to the studio.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another unexpected eBay deal.

(click on the image for the full resolution scan)
Here I am. This time its from my parent's computer. Mine is all but useless now but not too long ago it was stable enough for me to put in a couple of snipe bids on this item.

Its an original 8 x 10 photo that was sent out to the press promoting an upcoming appearance of one of the two original Batboats, dated 1967!

Starting price was $14.99 with $6 postage. Strangely, there were no other bidders. Just me. That's good because my last second increased bids were really "up there" and the PC needs $$ for a new harddrive.

I figure this still possibly originated from Glastron, the builder and owner of the two Batboats, and sent to the San Francisco Examiner by the promotor of the event.

The blurb on the reverse says"BATBOAT!" FIRST WEST COAST SHOWING

The sensational new "BATBOAT" by Glastron, featured in the Batman TV series, will be shown for the first time on the West Coast at the San Francisco National Sports and Boat Show, celebrating its 25th Silver Jubilee this year at the Cow Palace, Feb. 3 thru 12.

... and rubber stamped "Recieved Examiner Reference Library Jan 10,1967"

Its another unexpected great deal that will help out with rebuilding my Batboat.