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Polar Lights' Batplane Kit Preview

By John Lester - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/48-ish - about 14"/35.8cm long when built
Parts: 18 black styrene + 3 clear
Instructions: Exploded diagram and text in French & English
Decals: Self-adhesive stickers
Molding Quality: 8 - good all around
Detail: 5 - not a lot, but then there wasn't on the "original"
Accuracy: Not really applicable
MSRP: $17.99 USD (~$28.59 CAN/ € 18.24 EUR) available from hobby retailers worldwide
Overall Rating: 8 - looks like a fun kit with a lot of potential

[Completed model]

Polar Lights® newest offerings are the Batman line of products, licensed from DC Comics. The first two out are the Batmobile™ and Batplane. Of the two, the Batplane really caught my eye.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Detail parts, all nicely molded.

Image: Fuselage halves

Image: Instructions are adequate

[Stickers vice decals]

Based on the classic Aurora kit from the 1960s, it's got that same "going-a-million-miles-an-hour-standing-still" look the F-104 had, but with bat wings. When I saw an built-up example at the 2002 International Hobby Expo, I knew it was a must-have for me.

What You Get

The kit is comprised of 21 styrene pieces (18 black, 3 clear) which make up the plane and a stand. An instruction sheet and a set of self-adhesive stickers for markings round out the package.

Molding is quite good - I found only a couple of sink marks and some small mold seams on my sample. The kit is a faithful reproduction of the Aurora kit, so what you get is 1960's technology pressed in 2000's equipment. There's almost no panel detail, engraved or otherwise, just as on the original (just the outline of landing gear doors); exterior details (such as the thick, squared-off intakes and the landing gear) are clunky by today's standards. No cockpit or wheel wells are provided. Instead, you get a plate with Batman's and Robin's heads, somewhat pinched, sticking up; the landing gear plugs into holes in the underside of the model. I see this as an opportunity to excel - cockpits and gear wells are easily scratchbuilt for those that want more detail. I'd also use some plastic stock to blank off the intakes -- after thining their edges down some.

Incidentally, the size of the Dynamic Duo's heads leads me to guess a scale for the kit at roughly 1/48th. That should greatly simplify finding pre-made parts with which to detail the kit.

Instructions appear to be a faithfull recreation of the original, though in French and English this time around. They're adequade for the job. Painting instructions are extremely simple - as befits the subject. Markings are provided by stickers, which I find disappointing. They're vibrantly colored and the "registration" appears spot on, which is a plus. I'd have preferred traditional waterslide decals - but my young neice, who is far closer to the demographic at which this kit is aimed than her pushing-forty detail-obsessed modeler uncle, probably appreciates the stickers.

Oh, well. Nothing says you can't use the stickers to make masks for painting the bat logos on.

Asssembly and Finish

I assembled the major pieces using tape to hold everything together. The result looks pretty good. You'll need putty at the wing and tail roots, and between the two halves of each wing on their underside (which I could have shown if I hadn't accidentally deleted the image!), but that's about all. It's certainly better than many of the airplane models I've built.


I think it's a good little kit with lots of potential. If you want to recreate a blast from your past, it's something you can have built and strafing the cats in under an hour. If you want something to cause an IPMS judge to do a triple-take, the elements are all there.I recommend it to any modeler with the interest.

Many thanks to Polar Lights® for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3000+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 10 October 2002.