Building The Round 2 Snap Batmobile Pt. 2

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Okay, the video is only to show some photos of the finished snap-kit and a few WIP shots. Clearly it isn’t the best um – “review” we’ve done. We discovered the “Songify” app for the iPhone and what can I say, I’m easily distracted.

I was putting off this build because I wanted to have my 10 year old son Alex do most of it with me and we’ve been very busy with school starting etc. And I wanted to compare it to the glue kit, which we just got  a couple weeks ago. So we carved out some time the other night and I was happy that he was much more interested in doing this model with me than the last couple projects we attempted together. Score one big one for Round 2. It’s not easy creating an easy snap kit that adults will enjoy, or creating an accurate Batmobile kit that a 10 year old can build.Round 2 have done both here.

Let me remove any suspense by saying that I absolutely LOVED building this kit. Way more than I expected to. Yeah, it’s the Batmobile and yeah it’s the first real kit version of it since the aurora, but I really didn’t expect it to affect me this positively.

Before this gets all teary gooey lovey dovey, let me point out a few problems with the kit. And let me underscore that I am not reviewing this kit as its potential as a Batmobile adult kit – but as a snap kit, which is what it is. As a snap kit (marked as ages 10 & up) it is phenomenal. But there are a few issues with it that we should point out:

  1. Instructions. The Instructions contain a few small  mistakes. I would have chalked them all up to possible translation issues, but I think they’re more likely just catches that didn’t get caught. To be fair, most of them — like showing the Futura steering wheel center hub as going on the compass, are because of decal issues (see below) and for the most part, my 10 year old son was able to follow them easily. There are a couple angled drawings that could be clearer for a kid. And I’m not sure why they’d bother to have you install the rear taillights only to cover them up by solid plastic grilles. (The deluxe kit will have photo-etched metal grills) But these are minor issues.
  2. Decals. The decals are one of the weak links of the kit. Some of the designs are too small to be read. Some are about 20% out of scale. I would be more lenient about these, but I am holding the beautiful wet-slide decals that we had made for the 1:18th Hot Wheels car and they’re much better than the ones included in this kit. The two-part designs that seem to be the Futura and the Edsel wheel centers are both too big. The bazillion placards are too hard to read, and many of the small designs are out of register with the white layer that sits underneath the top art. Some of them should have had white under but didn’t. The assortment is great, but the quality isn’t up to modern decal standards. For example, the Barris emblems are so small, and don’t have enough white behind them that when you install them, they just blend into the car too much. Also, they are not easy to get off the backing sheet. They are tough for a kid to work with.
  3. Parts & etching. 98% of the parts work great and look great. A few notable exceptions are the smaller details like the homing button, rollbar side indicators, start buttons, the rear antenna, and as mentioned – the beacon. For some reason, there’s no Batram lever for the dash in this kit. (maybe because they didn’t include the Batram itself?)
  4. Quality. It IS  a snap kit, but there are still a couple issues with the QC on this one. 1 – there are a couple tiny chunks of plastic actually missing from the tops of my doors (see the images in the video) and there is a bad glue/paint bubbled up spot on the passenger side of the kit right at the top fin pinstripe. Not big deals, but they wouldn’t be acceptable if this were a “good” glue kit pro-build and would have to be dealt with.
  5. Fit. Only a few things don’t fit together perfectly. The Batphone cord is maddening and doesn’t work the way they wanted it to. A few things, like the steering wheel, bat-beam, headlights etc. needed gluing. But for the most part, it works amazingly well as a snap-only kit.

As a bit of advice, anyone that’s planning to do take on the more challenging and adult level glue kit versions should absolutely build this kit first. It will show you many weaknesses or issues and allow you to figure out ways around most of them ahead of your master build. Some really, really nice work was done here and I’ll talk about some of that in my upcoming interview with Jamie Hood from Round 2 Models.

I have to confess that I enjoyed this kit more than I expected to, and I expected to enjoy it quite a bit. In building this model, it brought back memories of sitting on the porch as a kid with my Dad, assembling the AMT Enterprise (and learning to hate airplane glue with a passion.) The whole reason I model today as an adult is because my Dad built models with me. I’ve built models with my son before, but this one was different. Perhaps because of the care that went into making this an easy-assembling, but great looking kit. Perhaps just because it’s the Batmobile. But either way – Kudos to Round 2 for creating an experience instead of just another model kit.

Oh, and I promise I’ll be more specific and critical when I get to the glue kit.

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  1. Alexander Rivera

    September 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Very well done,Scot.

  2. admin

    September 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks Alex.

  3. Kevin

    September 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Could,ve done without the “songify” ;D

  4. Tim

    September 12, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Scooter,

    Loved Alex’s video! Did you have something to do with it? ;)
    Unlike Kevin’s thoughts, I felt that the vocal track was a neat addition-didn’t know that Alex could do that!

    Regards,

    Sir Winston O’Boogie

  5. admin

    September 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Tim, I had less to do with this kit than anything else we’ve built together. But I did take all the photos and helped him with the silver canopy trim.

    I’m thinking about auto-tuning all the videos we do from now on… Loads of other songs available. Gotta keep it fresh, yo. :)

  6. Kevin

    September 13, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Just got my glue kit today, and the decals are just as poorly registered in mine. My guess is the machine was poorly set up so there’s most likely an entire run of these decals. Here’s hoping PL fixes it quick.

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