Hot Wheels 1:18 Batmobile Mods: 3

Pimp My Batmobile 3 Comments

Leonard Leon is a engineering robotics technician, and a precision tolerance specialist who also is an accomplished Batmobile modeler! We welcome him as a contributor to Pimp My Batmobile! He is the first modeler we’ve seen that has opened and hinged the hood and trunk of the standard model Hot Wheel 1:18 1966 Batmobile. It looks like Leonard has some great mods started and more on the way! Check out his dash lighting and running boards.

Here are Leonard’s hood hinging techniques:

Materials:  You will need some aluminum tube stock 3/32 in diameter. Any hobby shop will have it.
Some JB weld (the 5 min J.B. weld is not recommended)  5 min or 2 ton epoxy. Hardware store.
Some sheet styrene 1/16 thick, look for the roof slat that are less than a 1/4 inch wide.
Sand paper.
I’m getting ready for bed so here is the short version. Hopefully it can get you started.
First the hood must be removed. The very tip of the hood dips into a little slot when it pivots open. This slot under the front is very rough. You must file this smooth so you will not damage the tip of the hood when it opens. Don’t worry the filing is all done from the inside of the slot.
If you look  under the very front of the car  you can see  on both sides of the hood a channel. This is where Mattel is going to hinge the hood. If you look at the trunk you can see the the same channel. But it is under the rocket tubes. Cut the aluminum tube 1 and 13/16″ long. This will fit into both sides of the channel. You must attach the aluminum tube to the hood but there is a gap. I used strips of the sheet styrene to fill in the gap. I sanded the back of the hood and each side of the styrene. Washed everything with warm soap and water. (very important)    I used the Jb weld to attach the 1st piece of styrene to the hood, this will be the obvious failure point. So make sure to get a good bond.  (cover the nose holes with masking tape) then J.B. weld the styrene to the tube.  I went over the tube with the J.B. weld.  I use J.B. weld because I don’t like to mess around. It can be sanded, drilled and painted. It can also be easily removed if you mess up.  Crazy glue crystallizes and one tweak will shatter the adhesion.  Then you must remove all the crazy glue mess to start again.  If you look past both sides of the tube you will see a step with a hole and a pin next to it. The hole and pin is were Mattel is going to put some bar stock to hold the hinge in place. Mattel will tap the hole with threads and the pin is to keep the piece from rotating. It also helps speed things up in production. They also save money by not using 2 screws.  I just ran a 1/4 inch piece of the same sheet styrene across the span over the aluminum.  Later I  will replace it with a nice strip of brass. Mattel will use 2 pieces about 1/2 inch long to secure the hinge down.   Meaning the hood and trunk will HAVE to be diecast. I drilled the pattern of the holes and the pins. I used some tiny screws into the holes to hold everything together.   The other mounting points in front behind the grill, I can only assume is to mount the mesh grill.

The trunk is a little different. I will have to explain that in detail later. I am sure you guys get the general idea.
I will be working on pictures to add to this post.
Leonard Leon   

  1. Tim Meyer

    April 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm


    Thank you for the kind comments about my car and it’s auction! I must say the inspiration to light that car came from your great looking model which I saw on Eric’s site. So thank you for the inspitation…and also the great looking running boards!

    Warm regards,

    Tim Meyer

  2. Danny Redd

    July 4, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I bought the standard version of the Hot Wheels 1966 Batmobile and I want to hinge the hood and trunk.Can you tell me all the materials I’ll need to do it and any instructions that I’ll need to do them.I’m going to try to do them but I might not be able to do it because I’m in a wheelchair from Rhuematoid Arthritis and my hands are bad with this disease.I was wondering if I start to do this modification and I find I can’t do it,would you be able to do it for me?Thanks for your help and I hope to hear from you soon.

  3. Leonard Leon

    July 23, 2008 at 3:00 am

    BatDan, I recieved your batmobile yesterday and I am happy to do up your car for you. I will add a surprise or 2 for you also. Just give me some time.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *