"I must become the bat"
It has been a dream of mine ever since the animated Batman cartoon (BTAS) aired in 1994 to make a diorama of the animated Batcave. Here it is! I’ve been taking pictures of it under construction since day 1.
The Batcave measures 4 x 4 foot square, is fully wired with illumination, and the outside will look like a WayneCorp shipping crate. The hinged doors will open up into a scale model of the Batcave that will host the animated figure line, vehicles, contraptions, standard batcave trophies, and more.
Non-batfans that have entered into my workshop don’t get it. They’ve just scratched their heads and christened it as a doll house for boys…all I can say is, if they’d had doll houses like this when I was a kid, I’d have worn a dress!
As promised, here is a station by station tour of the Batcave. If it’s your first time here, pan down to the bottom for a play by play of the Batcave’s development.
Here’s the bathook veiw from above…
DUST...the Batcave's arch enemy
- SUSPENDED LIKE BATS ….The Bat Jet and Bat Plane…erm…I guess one is faster…
- VROOM…VROOM! The custom Batcycle with attached helmet (batman obeys the law kids!), and the sports coup Batmobile…where’s Robin when you need a carwash?
ALFRED, YOU'VE REMODELED THE CAVE... The Batcomputer. It's where the magic happens...and the drinking of herbal tea...and crime fighting, yeah crime fighting too. Anyways, the back lighting is to give the luminous effect that evokes the cool vibe in the cave. I was pretty pleased with it. Once again, thanks to Iron Cow Productions for the computer screen download for the top part of the display.
- ALFRED, HE’S BACK AGAIN…The story of the Dinosaur…Glad you asked. Years ago, when Dick Grayson was having to forego athletics, Alfred suggested that Batman start getting him some trophies as a sort of compensation. As Grayson was intensely athletic, he would have won all the events. Batman decided if it was worth getting him trophies, he’d make them worthwhile. Their next night out, they faced a mechanical dinosaur, and when Robin kicked it’s metal can, Batman hauled it back to the cave in order to surprise Dick. Kinda cool…and now you know.
The giant Penny is also a Bat-staple for any cave. Believe it or not, the cave wouldn't be right if it didn't have these two trophies. It came from a robbery attempt by Two-face on the Gotham mint. Special thanks to Matt Cauley at Iron Cow Productions for the awesome print-out of the coin.A penny for his thoughts
NICE RACK...The next bit is the armory. Batman has to train, and hone his skills. In addition, he's got to train Batgirl and Robin and uses a host of weapons to keep them on their toes. Here is the arsenal at a glance.
POWER DRILL ... ARRR! ARRRRR! In addition to weapon storage, Bruce also needs a place to repair his equipment, make modifications, or upgrade his gadgets. It keeps Joker asking "where does he get those toys". Here is a drill with a utility belt on the table for modification. If you look closely in the left of the photo, you'll see the a lead safe with the rock of Kryptonite that Superman gave Bats "just in case" he needed to be taken down. Of course, Bruce was all to happy to oblige.
THE DARK KNIGHT...LITERALLY. The suit of armor is a tip of the hat to the Elseworlds series which was the coolest thing in Gotham when I was a spud.
OLD WOUNDS... Batman has never been known for his touchy feely side, but occasionally he lets it show that he’s not so hard-nosed as he appears. After falling out with Dick Grayson, Batman simply displayed the costume in a case in the Batcave. I know that it’s Jason Todd’s originally, but like Back to the Future’s Marty McFly in the Prom scene, he kinda never happened in the animated universe, so you’re just gonna have to control yourself from geeking out on me. The other day I figured out how to float the mask part of the costume, so that’s probably going to be on it’s way soon. Anyways, here is the costume that Batman displays to show he’s not hurt at all by Dick’s leaving the team…ahem...
AQUABATICS... The batboat, hydrobat, aqua-bat...who knows what to call it. I don't care. I just think it's one of the coolest parts of the Batcave in general. I love water effects, and this allows Batman to get into the sewer system and Gotham harbor. You can read more about the making of it in my earlier post detailing my failed attempts at getting the cartoon water effect. At least for now, this is my favorite bit of the cave.
MY PRECIOUS...Pretty soon after Batman started collecting trophies they seemed to be more about what he wanted to collect, rather than for Dick. I tried to stick to the animated line for my trophies, but I bent the rules on one item. I'm sure you'll spot it. As for the Freeze head, it's a bit pre-emptive, but Bruce does actually have the head in a case in the Batman Beyond continuum. My favorite trophy ever, so I had to include it, even if it's slightly off the continuim. If you don't like it, then like Bruce said to Clark after giving him a glowing green butt-kicking, "get outta my cave"...
BEATS A LITTLE GOLD MAN ON A STUMP... Trophies are cool...so here's another shot...check out the target in the background complete with discharged batarangs.
OOOOF!!!! Before I steal into the shadows, let me tell you about the batarang target practice station. These three goons with batarangs were my first idea about making the cave. I wanted this to go with some gymnastic stations, punching bags, and dojo-style equipment in order to simulate the training that takes place in the cave. I thought it’d be cool to show the training area, but it got booted out instead for the Armory. My first idea...and the last executed.
BEST BATMOBILE EVAH!!!! I can't tell you what this Batmobile did for me, but this was it...I got my figures, stuck them in a glass case. That was fine, until I bought this bad boy. This is the peice that got me thinking with my little display, "wouldn't it be cool if somebody made a huge Batcave to put it in?" Well, nobody did...at least not one that I could get my hands on. So I made one. Years later, this little peice of plastic cost me over 600 dollars in the end... even though I bought it for 20. Go figure.
Well, that’s me giving something back. Check the older posts to see me build it step by step. If you’re going to build one and you need some advice, email me. I’d be happy to get you started…heck, I could tell you how to build it better than I did. Hindsight and all that…
A special thanks to Casimir, and Matt Cauley for their advice and inspiration over the years. To Bob Kane, what can I say? You live on dude. To my fellow Bat-fans out there, it was cool to be a part of the obsession that like Bruce, has gripped us since we were young.
Fight the good fight…Keep the faith…