A huge model of the "Batwing," Michael Keaton's custom bat-plane from Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie, has been restored, and Mythbusters host Adam Savage paid a visit to the plane at The Prop Store. At about 6' wide, the plane is roughly a 1/4-scale model. You have to check out the video below, which features the plane situated between Savage and another man, to really get a sense for the scale. Savage visited the Prop Store in August, while the warehouse and storefront was doing an auction for Mythbusters-related props for charity, marking the first time members of the general public could own a piece of the long-running series.
The model features the "clippers" that extended from the "head" of the bat shape, so that Batman could steal away Joker's gas-filled balloons. It also has a Batman figure whose head rotates to face the camera (ironic considering that Michael Keaton's costume famously couldn't turn its neck), and some lighting effects.
"Models are interesting, because they're kind of like cars," The Prop Store's Brandon Alinger says in the video. "Time tends to take a toll on them, and they can be rebuilt and reworked and reset like cars."
You can see the video below.
Per its official description, in the video, "Adam Savage visits Prop Store to check out some of the thousands of original movie props and costumes that pass through their archives, including this incredible quarter-scale filming miniature from the 1989 Batman movie! This is the iconic Batwing model that was used for climatic flight sequence, restored to original working condition to showcase the practical motorized and lighting effects that were actually used in the film. It's one of the coolest pieces of prop history we've seen, looking like it flew right out of the silver screen!"
Alinger chimed in below the video in the comments to answer some common fan questions that seemed to come up.
"A lot of comments about the scale," Alinger said. "The original production drawings showed the Batwing vehicle was to be 27' in width. This model is about 6.25' wide, so its intended to be 1/4 scale. It's true that the Batwing figure is smaller. If you look at the sequence in the film when you see the 2' wide model (wider shots, shots where the Batwing is moving a lot), the Batman figure is noticeably larger within the cockpit -- probably more like the proportions the construction drawings intended.
"Regarding the mechanisms, nothing was removed. The original pneumatic cylinders are still present (but disconnected), and the original tracks, slides etc are still used. We just added linear actuators as 'helpers' to act in place of those cylinders."
Believe it or not, there are quite a few Batman-related props available at the Prop Store now. You can check them out here.