The Batman is one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and while I've never been much of a fan of Batman Returns, I always thought that TB-stylized version of the Penguin's duck car from the film would go great with the more comic-relief version of the character featured in the show. This contest was the perfect chance to see if I could both design and build such an outrageous vehicle.
This is going to be a big write up, so I'm gonna break it up into parts. Let's start with the most obvious-
The Penguin- The Penguin was the simplest of the figures in the set to make, but he was far from easy to get finished. He's nothing more than a repaint of the TB line's "Deluxe Tux" Penguin figure, but I spent so much time getting the colors and highlights just right that it felt much more involved than a simple paint job. I know that repaints aren't allowed in contests, but I felt that it would be alright to enter him along with the rest of the set.
Kabuki Twin- I've always loved the Kabuki Twins. They're mysterious, and a bit scary, just how I like my baddies! I made this girl from an X-Men: Evolution Storm figure. About 3/4" was cut from each leg to bring the height down, with a bit of length taken from the left arm as well. The right arm was hollow and couldn't be sanded as much as it needed to be, and was replaced with a paint brush handle. I sculpted over all of the seams and surface details that couldn't be sanded off, and added a sculpted-over TB Bruce Wayne head. All extra surface details were sculpted. The feet came from a JLU Superman, with the toes sculpted on. Finally, the claws are plastic fork prongs. I REALLY love this figure. I can't imagine how much closer she could have come to the source material. Now all I need to do is make her sister and we'll be set!
The Duck-Mobile- And here we... go! Alright, get comfy, 'cause this is gonna take a while. My vision for this was that Penguin stuck an old recliner in the back of a carnival ride and made it his new set of wheels. It started as a duck-shaped chlorine dispenser found at a pool supply store. I carved off the duck's feet, mohawk, and sunglasses, (don't ask) and carved off the big chlorine carrier on the bottom. After that, I cut a rectangle out of the poor thing's back and sawed him right in two. I halved a couple of thick PVC pipes, which were run along the insides of the duck to lengthen him by about five inches. The head was also sawed off and moved forward on the body. Eight sticks of epoxy were used to sculpt out the duck's body. The sides were filled in, the bottom had to be completely re-sculpted over a sheet of styrene attached to the underside of the car, and the face, eyes, and forehead feathers were sculpted onto the head. The tires came from a random military Jeep found at Big Lots. They were removed, then attached to axles (made from wooden dowel rods) that were inserted through holes drilled into the sides of the duck. By doing this, I was able to keep the wheels straight and level, preserve the car's ability to actually roll, and best of all, the wheels move in perfect coordination with their respective counterparts. Coincidentally, the dashboard/steering wheel came from the very same Jeep the that tires were taken from. I was amazed at how well it fit into car after just a little modification. The seat was made from scraps of wood I had in the garage. Some of the sharper edges were smoothed down, and I added a piece of wire for the spring. The tears in the upholstery are the tufts of hair from several TDK Movie Masters Joker Goons. The little X of tape was made from rubber bands. For finishing touches, I added an antennae, (made of wire and a little Styrofoam Christmas berry) another tape X on the side of the duck, (again, made from rubber bands) and a big, twisty exhaust pipe made from a thick paintbrush handle and a rubber band.
ALL of the painting you see here was done by hand. No tricks were used to create the duck's eyes or the Kabuki Twin's face or anything. It's all paint, baby!
Only as I write this do I realize just how utterly time-consuming and frustrating this project was. Even then, I love how all the pieces turned out, and I have absolutely no regrets. I hope you all have as much fun looking at them as I did making them. Be sure to let me know what you think!