Custom Hot Wheels 1:18 Batmobile Mods: 7

Pimp My Batmobile 3 Comments

I was reminded by another poster that I hadn’t shown any of my  own custom work yet. There’s a good reason for that. I had decided not to do ANYTHING but collect parts until I saw what the Elite and Super Elite had to offer.  I’m going to get one of each anyway, so why search for perfect seatbelts etc. if one of the other models is going to come with them? I reeeeally doubt that they will – but you never know.

But since we are issuing a parts upgrade set I am getting to play with and tweak and modify a bunch of small parts. So I thought I’d show some of that work. This is the Futura wheel I am currently working on.

I am constantly checking products for usable components and I found this beveled eyelet at Michael’s and thought it would fit the new wheel barrel I had made from a pen.


I wanted the center speedo and instrument cluster to be able to be ‘gently’ back-lit so the empty center area is going to work well for backlighting. The first thing I did was file down the back of this bevel a bit to have a flatter base to mount to the barrel I was working with. (tiny item up in the right is an early sculpt of the Futura turn signal torpedo that sits under the wheel struts)


Next I punched out a clear disc from a toy packaging bubble to mount to the bottom of the bevel so when I mount the decal to the bevel, it will have a bottom to stick to.


I then used a pipecutter tool to cleanly slice a chunk from a cheap black rollerball pen.

Note – this pen has a matte finish and the Batmobile/Futura wheel column was glossy. I will use a glossy pen barrel or a blank white styrene round stock in the next one I do. This one could be repainted or gloss-coated as well.


The next step was the inner wheel struts. I carefully trimmed the inner struts from our replacement wheel part and attached them to the sides of the pen barrel segment.

NOTE: The barrel was intentionally left longer than I need for more careful placement and fit later. Better to be able to cut it down than have it too short.

The ensuing gaps had to be smoothed out and filled a bit. (A good reason to stick to the stock replacement part we’re putting out. LOL)


The next step is a little tricky – mounting the rounded wheel section to the 2 struts. We are still modifying this section for our parts kit, so that it includes the two rubber stoppers Barris plugged the ends with after he hacked the one-of-a-kind Futura wheel apart at 10 and 2. But for now – the wheel section is as pictured.


Here it is painted and set aside to dry. (Yes, the rear of the wheel section does feature the contrasting square nubs)


Now it sits waiting for our new decal set to come in so I can mount it in the middle of the bevel and light it from inside.

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  1. Robert Tist

    May 21, 2008 at 10:48 pm


    I am amazed at the detail and work that is obvious in your customized versions. I was considering purchasing a Super Elite but I would looooove to have you build one for me as custom as possible, as if it were your own… …Thank you sooo much. I see and meet some of the most talented artists in the world and the work you do is great!

  2. Tim

    October 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Hi, I had a gentleman from Pimp my Batmobile lower the body on one of my bats several years ago. He did a fantastic job! I believe that he is no longer with us,…. would you know of anyone that could modify a 1966 Hotwheels 1:18 scale to turn it into a “sort of” low rider? Thanks!

  3. admin

    January 19, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Hi Tim, yes Doug has sadly passed on. We have a few other modelers who are up for that kind of work. Email us:

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