DC & Independent Comics Character Models

Last Updated: April 7, 2009 ...

  • updated Batman diorama (above)
  • 1/8 scale models of Batgirl and Riddler
  • added Batman Movie diorama
  • 1/6 scale model of Robin from 'Batman Forever'
  • cleaned-up (using image processor) some of the older photos

Thanks for visiting my Gallery of DC and Independent comics character models. In this section, I am displaying the models I built that represent DC and Independent comic-book characters, even though five of the Batman kits are from the Movies.

Be patient as the thumbnails for this gallery loads. To view the full size image, click on the smaller image, which should open a new window or tab with the full size image. Note: If you have 'Automatic Resizing' set for your browser, than any of the "larger" images may be reduced to fit your browser window.

Note: some of the images for the earlier models I built, are scans of non-digital photos that I took of those models. These scans are not as sharp as I would like. The images of some of the more recent models are created from digital photos, and are much better. In the future, where possible, if I still have the model, I may take new digital photos for this site.

DC Comics Models

Starting in 1989, when the first Batman movie came out, Horizon made a series of 1/6 scale vinyl models based on the movie versions of the characters. Though not the versions of Batman characters that I grew-up with, since these vinyl models were new to me, I started building some of them. The neat aspect of it is that these models are based on actual actors and their costumes, so in that sense I was building a model of something "real".

Horizon 1/6 scale Vinyl

Batman (from Batman Returns)

This is the Michael Keaton version of the Caped Crusader. In 1992, Horizon released a series of kits for the main characters in this movie. I built this one in 1994.

Aside from the fact that in the Batman movies, I hate the way they changed Batman's costume to this all-Black thing ... boring !! ... this is a very nice kit. In the photo that I took, the lighting is just right, such that some who sees the full size 8x11, thinks it is actually a picture of Michael Keaton in Batman garb

Oddly enough, the finished kit is a bit smaller than the companion Catwoman kit below. I think its because they made the Catwoman sculpture "very leggy", such that she came out taller than she should be ?

Horizon 1/6 scale Vinyl

Catwoman (from Batman Returns)

This is the Michelle Pfeiffer version of the Feline Felon. I have built four of this "very popular" kit !! Originally released in 1992, it was later re-released by Horizon in 1996, in slightly thicker vinyl, and without the shiny black plastic base. The photos are of the last one I built, in 2000.

I added the whip (which did not come with the kit). Tom Sosenko milled me the handle from wood dowels. He then came up with the idea of using piano wire pushed inside of a very thin styrene tube. The tube could then be shaped into a "flowing" whip. The fingers and palm on the right hand had to have cuts made into them, in order to wrap the fingers around the whip. The main challenge of this kit is painting the approximately 250 - 300 stitches in her costume. There is more than 50 alone on her headgear ... refer to the closeup of the face/headgear in the (slightly fuzzy)second photo.

Also, getting the patent leather look was accomplished by using Krylon Acrylic clear coat. Testor's Glosscote does not seem to "work well" over the acrylic paints I use.

Note: The kit shown is the initially released one and came with the black, polished base. The later re-issued kit, made with heavier vinyl, does NOT come with any base. For the re-issued kits that I later built two of, Tom made me a couple of round plexiglass disks to glue her feet to.

Horizon 1/6 scale Vinyl

Penguin (from Batman Returns)

This is the Danny Devito version of the most-Fowl of Felons. I built this 1992 released kit, in 2004.

I wasn't going to get this kit since I thought the Devito Penguin was very boring and not interesting, but I have a Batman Returns diorama which had room for another figure, so I decided to add this kit. Actually in terms of painting this kit, it was more interesting than I expected. Also the fact that they added one of the rocket-carrying "henchman" penguins was a nice twist and add-on

As per correct scale, the Penguin stands much shorter than the Batman or Catwoman models. The challenges of painting him are:

  • The pants required black stripes on them, but unlike the Joker model below, the stripes were not "grooved" into the pants to make painting them on easier. So I used 1/16" black graphics tape and pressed them onto the pants. Of course if you look very closely you can see that the stripes are "raised" but I found this a nice trade-off to having to paint all of the stripes "free-hand"
  • The tie (cravat) has little white flowers (painted as crosses) with yellow dots in the middle of them. I never noticed them in the movie.
  • I wanted the coat to look textured tweed, and not like a leather coat, so I used a stipple brush to add dark grey "specks" to the coat.
  • The painting instructions with the kit said that after dry-brushing the vest silver, many small rows of white dots were to be added. When I looked at the Batman Returns video I noticed that the vest had a "scaled" silvery look to it. I guess the white dots were meant to emulate this, but I decided to just leave the vest just all silver.

The henchman was a challenge in that the painting instructions gave very little idea as to how to color a real penguin, so I had to find some references. Also, as with the Penguin's pants, I did not want to free-hand the red barber-pole-like stripe on the rocket, so I painted some white graphics tape with red paint and wound that around the rocket. In the close-up photo you can see the red stripe looks "raised".

Horizon 1/6 scale Vinyl

Horizon 1/5 scale Resin


In 1993, Horizon originally released the Joker kit in Vinyl at 1/6 scale. Later, they released the same model in Resin, supposedly at 1/5 scale, which included the "bank vault" diorama. I built both kits, and the resin one was only 1/2" taller than the vinyl one, (not the 2-1/2" difference which should account for the difference in scale). I did not feel that the resin version was worth the price difference.

Vinyl version. I built this one in 1994. This is one of my favorite kits, for color, accessories, suitable pose, etc. To me, this is the comic book version of the Joker. The cane was a cool touch, and also helps to balance him so he can stand without a base. But the coolest thing is that the instructions came with "cut-out" playing cards, that can be glued together to form cards that are fanned-out and held in the Joker's right hand; I had to color them in. My photo is poor, and you can't see the black stripes in his purple pants, which was a pain to paint in the crotch area. There was also three strands of hair that could be hung down over his forehead, to give him a more wild look. I did not like that effect, and chose not to use them. I grew up with the "classic" Joker, and not the more wild looking "modern" one.

Resin version. I built this one in 1997. I am NOT a fan of resin, though it does have it's advantages. This kit reinforced that feeling. The pieces on the Joker and the diorama fit together poorly, and I had to do a lot of carving. Also, the mold line went through the Joker's hair, and it was almost impossible to clean that flashing from between the strands of hair. The diorama colors are sorta cool, but I prefer diorama/bases that look "real". Also, they replaced the playing cards from the Vinyl version with dollar bills. I ran off many copies of the bills, so that I could have extra bills that were tumbling out from the vault, as well as the ones being fanned-out in his right hand.

Revell 1/6 scale Vinyl

Batman (from Batman Forever)

This is the Val Kilmer version of the Caped Crusader. When Horizon didn't get the license for the third Batman movie, in 1995, Revell made a short-lived foray into the Vinyl kit market with three kits from this movie, the Val Kilmer Batman, the Chris O'Donnell Robin, and the Jim Carrey Riddler.

I think this is the "prototype" suit that Kilmer wore at the end of the movie, after the Riddler destroyed all of his other "regular" Batman suits. This one was supposed to have a "metallic" look to it, so I added silver paint to the black before I air-brushed the entire suit. You can perhaps just get a hint of the silver in the photo ? As with the Keaton Batman suit, it is still kind of boring to me, since it is essentially one color.

The one cool thing that Revell did with this kit is that the Batarang is actually made of real metal !! I was originally going to paint it a bright black as it is in the movie, but I left it the original "pot-metal" silver, so the viewer can see that is real metal.

Revell 1/6 scale Vinyl

Robin (from Batman Forever)

This is the Chris O'Donnell version of the Boy Wonder. Since he is supposed to have armored vest and leg plates, the red and greens are darker than in the comics version, so I painted them as such, though the photo to the left doesn't really show it that way ?

All of the gold areas, inner cape, collar, and vest laces are colored with Gold Rub-n-Buff. Those who have seen it says that the cape looks very real. You just can't get that effect with acrylic gold paint. For the utility belt, I mixed gold Rub-n-Buff with Copper Rub-n-Buff, so that it looked more like brass.

Another thing I did was that for the eye black inside the eye holes, rather than paint over the flesh tones, I used a very sharp charcoal pencil and blackened-in the area around the eyes with it. That gives it a different texture than the mask, and you can also sort of see the flesh tones through the charcoal.

As with the Batarang in the Batman model above, the Batarang is actually made of real metal !! I was originally going to paint it a bright black as it is in the movie, but I left it silver, so the viewer can see that is real "pot-metal".

In 1995, Horizon made a series of 1/8 scale models based on the comic-book versions of many of the Batman characters. Each character was produced in both a resin and a vinyl kit. I was really interested in finally having a Batman with gray suit and dark-blue cape, and a Robin with classic red-green and yellow outfit. But as much as I wanted to build and paint these versions, I didn't want to build 1/8 scale models, since they wouldn't go with my 1/6 scale ones !! Recently (in early 2008), since the price on these kits have come down, I decided that I had space for a shelf where I could put these 1/8 scale models, so I bought the three main characters.

Something else that I realized after I started building these three models, is that the Batman and Robin are NOT the "Silver-Age" (1960's) versions of the characters that I grew-up with. Rather these are 1990's versions, as evidenced by Batman having no shorts, and Robin being the more modern Tim Drake version . More on this in the write-ups below.

Horizon 1/8 scale Resin

Batman (Comics version)

As I mentioned above in my write-up for the resin Joker kit, in general, I hate resin kits because of all of the clean-up of the mold lines, that run the perimeter of each molded part. For this kit, the cape came in five pieces. The vinyl version had a one piece cape.In the first photo, note how I had to putty in between the seams of the five pieces that form the cape. The photo also shows the clever way that this model was designed. The head is mounted into a recess in the top of the cape. The cape assembly then mounts into a recess in the upper torso.

As you can see from the last two photos, I painted Batman's tights with gray, but when it came to painting the insignia, utility belt and cape in the comics colors, I couldn't bring myself to do that. I like to paint my models as though they are shrunken-down versions of "real-world entities". So I painted the cape black, and drybrushed the high-points with dark blue .. .sort of the way it's done in the comics. This effect didn't really show-up that well in the photos. I used a light coating of gold Rub-n-buff over yellow paint to give the emblem and belt a brass-look, since I feel as though those items would have been brass.

As you can see in the third photo, I painted in his shorts. Though this is supposed to be 1990's versions, Batman just doesn't look right without shorts ?

Horizon 1/8 scale Resin

Robin (Comics version)

This was the first of three 1/8 Batman series of models that I bought. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I had finished assembling it, by gluing the cape on, and started to paint it, that I realized it was not the 1960's Dick Grayson version. If I had noticed it earlier, I may have been ambitious enough to convert it to the Grayson version. I would have had to grind-off the pouches on his sleeves, the collar above the cape, the tops of his boots, and his utility belt. I would have left the logo as-is. I would have then had to make his feet have those little "booties" that Dick Grayson wore. The hardest thing to do would have been to create the "skirt" around his shorts. I probably could have made the old fashioned belt from a strip of thin styrene, wrapped and glued around his waste. Maybe if I ever find another of these resin kits, I will make the Grayson version.

I took the third photo, showing Robin from the back, to show that the back of the cape is black, unlike the Grayson version which is an all-yellow cape. Also, I took this picture with the model setting on the base that came with the kit. This street-scene base, with the manhole cover is in all the box with all three of these 1995 kits. I did not need the base in order for the model to stand. But some model builders may want to glue their models to the bases for stability. There is actually a hole already started in the heel of each of these models such that a metal pin could be inserted there. The other end of the pin would then be inserted into a similarly-sized hole drilled into the base.

Horizon 1/8 scale Vinyl

Batgirl (Comics version)

I always liked this kit because it is of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, as she first appeared in Detective Comics #359. So I finally got one in late 2008.

On the kit's box, they painted her purse yellow, whereas in the early issues of Detective Comics, it was red, with a Bat-insignia. I thought red was "too garish" so I painted it like her red hair, and then put the Bat-insignia on it.

Note that I had to use two plexi-glass discs under her feet. With those high heels, it was too difficult to get this model to stand without them.

Horizon 1/8 scale Resin

Catwoman (Comics version)

When I got this kit I was already well aware that this is Jim Balent's big-breasted version of Catwoman, though the sculptor for this model did seem to tone it down a bit !! The painting for this model was pretty straight-forward; the toughest thing for me was deciding on the "purple" color. I wound-up going with an acylic 'Lavender' with a wash of 'Purple' around the collar-bone, ears, and cleavage areas.

The whip was made from very thin insulated 24-guage wire, painted with Air-brush black paint ... the acrylic paint would have been "too brittle" to stick to the wire's insulation. The left hand came out of the mold missing her index finger. So I used a same piece of this same wire to create the missing finger. I carefully puttied around the wire to give it body. A dab of super-glue formed a protective shell for the brittle putty.

Per the third and fourth photos, you can see that the strap for the whip's handle was molded such that the inside of the loop was closed-off. I carefully used my Dremel tool with #60 drill bit and drilled out the excess resin. To me, such details are important

Finally, except for having to make a long skirt, this model would have been fairly simple to convert to the 1960's green and purple version of Catwoman.

Horizon 1/8 scale Vinyl

Riddler (Comics version)

I got this kit in late 2008, mainly to fill my shelf and to balance the colors. The Riddler is not one of my favorite villains, but he is another one from the SA-era. This kit has a cool likeness, and I enjoyed assembling and painting it ... UNTIL I had to do all of those question marks !!! It took me 2-3 weeks to complete the painting because I could only paint a dozen or so "?'s" before my eyes gave out for the evening. Model building is supposed to be an artistic endeavor but painting all of these "?'s" turned-out to be tedious drudgery .

Independent Comics Models

Basically those models which are not of DC or Marvel characters goes here.

Inteleg 1/6 scale Vinyl


Ever since I read in the Letters Section of the Spawn #2 comic book (1992 ?), that there was a Spawn model kit, I had wanted to build it. Well, in early 2007, I finally got around to it !!

When I first got it, I was disappointed that it had to be used with the base. I always like to build the kits "free-standing" so I can pose them with other models. However, there are two things that made this not feasible with this kit ... 1) the "floating" part of the cape merges with the "grounded" part of the cape that is part of the base; 2) the left leg is formed such that the foot rests on the raised pedestal.

As mentioned in the letter in Spawn #2, the cape can be VERY difficult to assemble mainly because the instructions are AWFUL !! I had to do a lot of playing around with the parts of the cape to finally figure out where they were meant to go. I can see how an inexperienced figure model builder could become frustrated.

After I painted most of the model (red, black, white and silver Rub-n-Buff areas), to me, the model seemed "bland" ... too much red and black ? After I painted the logo with Createx Airbrush transparent 'Leaf Green" and 'Light Green', I realized that what makes the kit look cool on the box is the use of the green via the big word SPAWN on the box. The green seems to be a good complement to all that black and red ? So aside from the small amount of Leaf Green for his eyes, I felt that I still needed more green to balance that of the logo, and to offset all of the red and black. The box front shows that his left hand is "glowing" green, which makes it look cool, but they used some sort of "special effect" on the box art to make it that way. I didn't want to just paint his hand green as suggested on the box. So I got a large marble and I airbrushed it wth the Leaf Green, not really a glowing hand effect, but as a prop to represent a glowing green globe ?

The other challenging aspect of the kit is to get the chains to float, since each link has to be glued to form the desired shape of the floating chains. I came-up with my own scheme as to how I wanted the chains to look. I have the top portion wrap around his back. Each lower portion goes partially around his back before dangling to the ground behind his legs.

Box photo

My version
Hypno-Kits 1/8 scale Resin

The Tick

This is a limited edition kit (only 35 made) from a small Minnesota company. I built this for an on-line buddy who bought it in Minnesota in 1994. He had it for 4 years, with no one to build it for him, until I built and painted it for him in 1998. The top image shown is the photo from the box. On the bottom is the version I built. I basically built the kit the same way as the box photo, EXCEPT ...
a) that I chose to stick the shurikens into the chimney, and the ledge, instead of just having them laying flat on the roof.
b) that I chose to go with a brick-red color motif, rather than the dull looking sandstone color used in the box photo.
c) I did not make my highlighting, as intense as in the box photo, because I have come to learn that what looks good in terms of taking a photo in 2-D, does not work as well when viewed in a real 3-D world.

Other notes: You may not be able to tell in the right photo, but I used Wal-Mart's 'Just-Like Chrome' paint on the sword and the shurikens, to give them a true metallic look.

The antennae came as three segments (his left one) and two segments (his right one). To make them somewhat "impact-resistant", i.e. so as not to break-off if struck, I carefully drilled holes in the ends and through the center of each segment, and one at the top of his head where the antennae go in. I ran 24 gauge bare wire through each segment, and into the holes in his head. I could then put super glue only on the wire (and thus the hole). This allowed the antennae to flex a bit, since the wires kept the antenna segments in place, not the super glue.

Halcyon 1/7(?) scale Vinyl, and mixed types

Judges Dredd, Andersen and Death (from British Comics series)

To me, these were actually somewhat cool, but generally lousy kits because ...
a) The scale is not consistent ... the Judge Andersen finished model is actually much taller than the Dredd model ... in the comics, he is a big guy, and should tower over her. That's why in the diorama scene that I built, I put Dredd on top of one of the coffins. I think Halcyon was trying for 1/6 scale, but I am guessing they achieved 1/7 based on the finished size of Dredd of less than 11".
b) certain non-vinyl parts were poorly implemented, such as Dredd's gun, which had a "droopy" gun barrel; Death's head was a solid block of vinyl or other type of plastic. The weight of the head made it difficult to keep it from breaking off, as well as throwing off the balance of the model.

Also, the Death kit has these solid vinyl legs, which would bend when the weather is warm. I had to drill holes through his heel, and up into the legs, and put 3" nails up through there, to keep the model from drooping.

I went with color schemes that I gleaned from reading the comics, using dark blue for the base uniforms. The shield emblems on the good judges' belts were not etched-in the kit, but were meant to be just all gold. I added the red-white-blue shield to make the models "flashier".

In the diorama, I am using the given poses to remake one of the scenes from the comics where there are lots of bones from the many souls that Judge Death has killed. I made a gun-flash bubble, like you tend to see in comics, for the tip of Dredd's gun, and an "exit wound" out of the front of Death's stomach, with the bullet coming out.

Hanging on the wall, is one of the shield bases that came with each kit ... I painted the shield to add red-white-blue, and added a black background behind the word 'JUDGE'. Normally this shield is all gold ... borrinnggg !!