Every now and again, the LEGO community will be overtaken with a slew of builds in a common theme. The Baby Yoda builds are slowing down a little, but you can usually count on a new take on a Batmobile to surface every week or two. That’s understandable, what with the hype around LEGO’s UCS version of the 1989 Tim Burton design. I’m no different; I love the Batmobile in all its myriad designs. I didn’t think I could bring anything particularly new or interesting to the already amazing fan-builds that we’ve seen, though. So I took things a different (some may say “wacky”) direction. It’s probably safe to say you haven’t seen a Batmobile like this one before…
Yeah, I mashed the Burton Batmobile with the Unikitty! theme. It just seemed like the right thing to do. My first intention wasn’t to build this scale. In fact I had somewhat bigger plans. But, for now, I have both a minifigure and microscale version to share.
As is usual with my builds, I didn’t have much of a plan in mind when I started putting bricks together. I had a few key ideas; to use the unicorn horn and connecting stud as the turbine at the front, mimicking Unikitty’s ears as the front fender slopes, and that it needed to be built in as much bright pink brick as possible. Oh, and I wanted to replace the bat-fins at the rear with scaled-up versions of the tail brick. That last element turned out to be a bit of a stumper. How would that uniquely shaped piece fit into the build? After mucking about for a while at larger scales, I decided the better part of valor would be to scale things back a bit and see what it would look like in microscale.
I was relatively happy with the result, even if the tails weren’t quite as prominent as I had hoped. This is mostly a result of the compromises you have to make at this scale – if you want recognizable wheels (and I had decided another key design element was going to be orange wheels with stars as hubcaps) parts of the build are going to be locked in due to part selection. Sadly, the wheels and the tail sizing didn’t match up in “reduction”. It’s still recognizable as a Batmobile spoof, but I knew that larger scales were going to yield slightly different looks. But, whatever…I had a tiny scale model to prototype against.
I decided to try a “one size up” model next. In this case, that meant minifigure-sized. Happily, there are plenty of Unikitty figs out there, and thus plenty of color variations on the key parts to play with. I decided that I’d go with a more “traditional” Batman-look for my Unibatty character. I replaced the bat-symbol with a heart, changed the horn to yellow, and used a purple tail from Sleepy Unikitty. The rounded tiles for the eyes sit on headlight bricks to give them a little bit of an inset.
Embiggening the microscale Unibattymobile was a little trickier than I thought. Once again I was hamstrung by my stubborn determination to make use of a specific part. In this case, it was the hard plastic orange wheel from 2008’s Mars Mission theme. Building the wheel wells around that core piece lead to a more low-rider look than I was anticipating. Once again, this was a happy accident, as I think it really gives the right cartoonish twist to the normally menacing vehicle. The tail fins make good use of the interlocking curves that LEGO designed. It’s not a perfect recreation of the Unikitty tail, but it’s recognizable in context.
Speaking of happy accidents, I used Technic pins to create a SNOT connection at the base of the tail. That left a small gap between the pieces, but it looks pretty intentional to me. I may eventually find a better sticker to use as a license plate, but for now the one from the 3184 Adventure Camper has the right feel.
To me, this was an interesting exploration in how part choices can impact the “same” vehicle at different scales. The microscale is probably the “closest” to the Batmobile source material, but the minifigure scale has a lot more personality. Probably because I was able to use a much wider range of pieces.
Now we just need to see where I can go from there…