Here are the step-by-step instructions of how to build a full scale prop of the Tumbler from the Batman Begins/Dark Knight movies. I've also included some information for making an entire Batman themed display with things such as a life sized animatronic Batman, a rig of flying bats, and, of course, your own bat signal. It's the kind of project that I've always wanted to do since I was a kid. (Hasn't everyone wanted to own a Batmobile at some time in their life?)

My goal for this display was to make it as realistic as possible while keeping it affordable. I also wanted everything to be durable, reusable, portable, able to set up quickly by one person, and that it wouldn't take up much storage space when not in use. The cost for the completed Tumbler was about $600. It easily could have costed two to three times that amount, but I was able to use lots of scrap materials, found some freebies and saved a lot by purchasing used items on eBay. Most of the year was spent figuring out which items were needed and trying to collect everything on the cheap.

Please know that I am not a carpenter, and only have basic tools and limited construction knowledge. I'm sure there are more efficient ways to do this project (a table saw would have really helped), but I think it's good to show that anyone can do it. Also, I did this project in my spare time while running a business and juggling family responsibilities, so it's difficult to judge the true time required. Included are some notes about the general time line counting down until Halloween in italics.

Step 1: Research

The Tumbler is a very complex vehicle.  But, unlike the earlier Batmobiles which had lots of curves, this one consists of many small, flat facets which makes it a little more possible to construct something from ordinary materials and make it look like the original.  The trick is figuring out the jigsaw puzzle. 

I started by finding as many pictures as I could online and organizing them into different sections of the vehicle for later reference.  From Target, I bought a $10 Tumbler toy (which a standard action figure goes into) so I could see what it looked like in 3D (very helpful).  There is a lot of good source material about the car on the movie DVDs and YouTube. 

Blueprints are readily available online with side, front and rear views of the vehicle.  I also found the instructions and printouts of a paper model (one page pictured) online for free.  It was good to see all the pieces involved and an example of how the shapes fit together.

The best resource is the website www.chickslovethecar.com.  These guys are the real deal.  They spend years building perfect working replicas of Batmobiles from the '60s to today.  Many have posted their progress in 'build logs' that they continually update.  The members are very willing to answer questions and give suggestions.  They also have the most comprehensive Batmobile image database around, including the Tumbler.

Note- At this time in the project, it is November '08 (one year before Halloween).

<p>Jerry,</p><p>Thanks for this article, we're making ours now, and hope to have it completed this weekend (I'm also off on the 31st for any last minute work). I'm curious if the weight left any dents in your car. I'm using my 2013 Ford Fusion and I'm trying to minimize any damage. We're using padded moving blankets, foam pipe wrap, and I've constructed the frame in such a way that it takes some of the weight off of the car (I hope). </p>
<p>Hi Ray! This made my day! So awesome! Thanks so much for writing, and I'm looking forward to seeing more picts. To answer your question, it didn't dent my car at all, but it was hard to avoid a few minor scratches. However, it sounds like you are being careful with the blankets (which is a great idea). Please keep me posted. I can't wait to see it finished.</p>
<p>Jerry,</p><p>I also ran out of time and didn't get to finish it completely (more to do for next year). Attached are some photos of what we did get done. Luckily the puck light headlights did much to obscure missing details and defects.</p><p>No dents but there is a ding from the PVC pipe on the driver door when disassembling.</p><p>Another question I had for you was how did you configure the cyclone of bats? I've been trying to devise a good way to do that. Do you have any photos?</p>
<p>nice job</p>
Wow you make me want to build an awesome batmobile like yours
Where are you located? Would love to rent this for my Batman themed party!
<p>In Lansing Michigan. I do 'event production' for a living, so I'd love to help out!</p>
Your work is amazing! I'm actually in Jersey City, NJ ...Im sure thats an inconvenience for you but anything you can help me out with would be greatly appreciated!! The party is for my first borns sweet 16 and I want it to be fabulous! She wanted more of an elegant batman themed party so I been following some ideas from a batman wedding. Totally wish I had the time to make the bat mobile. Think you could give me some decorating ideas?
<p>Thanks so much! The biggest &quot;bang for the buck&quot; would be the bat signal. Send pictures after the party!</p>
Crazy amazing
<p>Hi , guys i cant watch this video , anybody can tell me video url on youtube?</p><p>please! i want to make one .</p>
<p>Hi , guys i cant watch this video , anybody can tell me video url on youtube?</p><p>please! i want to make one .</p>
<p>Hi , guys i cant watch this video , anybody can tell me video url on youtube?</p><p>please! i want to make one .</p>
<p>Wow... just Wow... Pretty darn Cool!</p>
Holy Crap! :O
hope its street legal
That's awesome. I was hopeing to buy a tumbler for 1.4 M but that was expensive so i tried to find how to build a tumbler. If you are able to modify it to drive, please tell me how!
Amazing work!!
Holy Movie Quality, Batman! I can't stop checking this out!! Scope and Grandeur is nothing short of Amazing and Awe-Inspiring! And for someone who claims to NOT be a carpenter... you should be working on a Movie Set as a Production Designer! Gotta show this to my Girl's cousin, he will go APE S%^! Fav'd and Following...Thanks for sharing, Mr. Wayne.
Thank you sir, for the kind words!
You are quite welcome! If I ever attempt, I will post some pics. Definitely inspirational, esp your use of things you had available. Spectacularly achieved!
Holy Hot Wheels, Batman! <br>That was one Herculean effort. You are a true Batman fan. <br>Nicely done!
Beautiful!! That has got to be my favorite use of a pt cruiser! I wish you could drive with your car like that.
Wow!! That is so amazing. Love it!
that is so cool!!
Can you modify it so that it's drivable? If so, what mods would be needed and what construction would be necessary?
OMG!! how you..how you..ok i'll put out there YOUR CRAZY!!!!! who can make this stuff?!?!? (Besides you)
LOL, too bad you couldn't make a go-cart look like one...
https://www.instructables.com/community/DIY-Batman-Tumbler-Go-Kart/ <br> <br>been done :)
lol :D
wow amazing could you make it out of metal and acutallly drive i have a old car i might mod to do this but i would like it to work
AMAZING! Very cool,thank you for sharing!
That is absolutely amazing. Not your average DJ!
This is sweet, great work from start to finish! <br><br>-Graham, www.pypline.com -the online community for makers.
a thousand claps for you sir.
hahah you are crazy :D but in the positive mean
What ever happened to this? I mean after Halloween? Did you through it out, or take it apart, or give it away?
Es muyyyy buennnoooooo!!! No me canso de verlo y mostrarlo. Felicitaciones!!!
How did you ensure that the seperate pieces of the panel were angled the right way when folded down? Extra pieces of scrap wood, I suppose?
Amazing, can you actually drive it?
Unfortunately, I'd have to do some major modifications first (the wheels don't roll). It would be embarrassing if the batmobile started falling apart on the road.<br><br>I really loved the time machine you built! Nice job on the whole Back To The Future theme (one of my favorite movies).
I would so drive-thru Wendy's in that car.
wow! that has to be the awesomest thing i have ever seen, you should have driven it around the block, imagine the looks that would get.
Im at a loss of words (appropriate ones) dude this is a work of genius. The fact that you made it out of everyday home depot stuff is amazing. My hats off to you.
I'm aMazed by the sheer scope of the project. I love yard haunting, and this, kind sir, is nothing short of magnificent.
Dude, as a yard haunter and huge Batman fan, I just have to say you definitely deserved to win! Nice job!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Jerry Jodloski and I'm one of the founders of How-To Halloween, an annual event in Lansing Michigan that celebrates everything d-i-y ...
More by jerjod:Build a Bat-Pod (out of junk) Life-Sized Spider-Man Themed Halloween Display UFO Invasion at Area 51- 2.0 
Add instructable to: