Batplane IV

(1968)



Click to see larger version
Click to see larger version
These panels are from Batman in the Sixties, 1999

The basic design of Batplane II, the jet-powered Batplane introduced in 1950, was used with minor variations through the '50s and most of the '60s, in much the same way the design of the Batmobile stayed fairly stable. However, the introduction of the "New Look" Batman in 1964 provided variations in the depiction of both of Batman's primary modes of transportation. Unfortunately, while we did get some modernized designs for the Batplane, we didn't see them very often. The focus of the comics moved away from adventure and science fiction action to focus on crime and detective oriented stories which just didn't use the Batplane much. I found a version of the Batplane that I liked, though; the one featured here based on the F-101 Voodoo fighter. It was an attractive design and buildable, since it was based on a real aircraft for which there are plenty of kits available.

When I began the model, my only references were two drawings that were, apparently, supplementary material. The first, and primary, reference is a cutaway of the Batcave that was originally published in Batman #203 (July 1968). I didn't have #203 at the time, but the cutaway drawing was reprinted in two different trade paperbacks. I started with a B&W version of the Batcave illustration (from Tales of the Dark Knight: Batman's First Fifty Years: 1939-1989, by Mark Cotta Vaz, published in 1989) which I had picked up sometime in the late 1990's, and that's about when I started this model. That picture shows the wings of the Batplane as having scalloped trailing edges, just like all the Batplanes before it. So that's how I built my model. I even extended the wings about a scale six feet, which I thought made them look better for a Batplane than the Voodoo's stubby wings. I figured the extra lifting surface was needed anyway, to compensate for the scalloped trailing edges. I later acquired a color version of the Batcave cutaway, published in the Batman in the Sixties collection. Color didn't really add anything and the model was already well under construction by that time, but is was still nice to have the higher resolution image to confirm my interpretation of the wing shape. The second reference is also a reprint appearing in the Batman in the Sixties collection (published in 1999) and it also originally appeared in Batman #203. This second reference was a two-view drawing that was clearly recognizable as a Batplane based on the F-101 Voodoo, even though the artist had not been particularly careful about accurately reproducing the Voodoo. The engines are not proportioned correctly and the wings and tail are drawn straight and not swept as on the real Voodoo. It also showed the wings without the scalloped trailing edges that are normally found on a Batplane. I like my wings, based on the earlier drawing better. The main thing I took from this later drawing was the VTOL "rotors" on the bottom of the plane.

As it turned out, the Voodoo-based Batplane's only appearance in the comics was in the "behind-the-scenes" diagrams in Batman #203. It never actually made it into a story. I don't mind. It's still one of the better Batplane designs and made a nice looking model. It was obviously considered significant by others, too, as evidenced by it's inclusion in several reprints, collections and histories.

The "A" model is the prettiest of the F-101 variants, but I needed the two seats of the "B" to make a Batplane. Got to have a back seat for Robin. Fortunately, I found exactly the right kit for my conversion - an old Matchbox release. It had raised panel lines (much easier to sand off than to fill all those tiny recessed panel lines on modern kits) and was molded in nice thick, strong plastic that stood up to a lot of cutting, filing and sanding.


Model of the 1968 Batplane

1/72 Scale

Click here for more pictures and description of the construction process for the Batplane.

'68 Batplane 3 view plan




Art of the 1968 Batplane

'68 Batplane VTOL in action, copyright 2007 John Dunaj           '68 Batplane in flight, copyright 2007 John Dunaj          


1968 Batplane Wallpaper

'68 Batplane wallpaper           '68 Batplane wallpaper          




Back to the Batmodels Page

The character of Batman, the emblems and the comic book panels on these pages are the property of DC Comics. All text and photographs are 2007-2013 Dan Thompson, except where otherwise noted. This website is not intended to infringe on the copyright of DC Comics to its characters, but was created out of gratitude to all the talented writers, artists, and editors who created the Batman.