Batman 1989 Speargun


While getting hyped up to see the Dark Knight Rises I found myself getting nostalgic for the 1989 Batman movie and I got fixated on the Bat-Spear which was Batman’s grapple gun. I searched for as many pictures of it that I could find but they all seemed slightly different designs so I picked one which seemed like a good middle ground and got started.

grapple gun parts


The first thing I did was print the picture out to the size I wanted and made measurements from it. I then went on a supplies run. I brought a metre of 3.5mm steel cable from Homebase for under £3.00. Some washers . Milliput from the art supply store called Spectrum here in Birmingham and some tent pegs from the pound store.

grapple gun template

I glued two pieces of MDF together that I had spare from my Hover Board project and traced out the design. Then I hacked out the pieces.

grapple gun parts cut up

I needed something to make the barrels out of so I scavenged the work shed and found the handle of an old telescopic magnet that I had bought from the pound shop. Which I cut the magnet of and used for something else. I found a jumbo marker pen and a piece of copper pipe. I then assembled them using the Milliput to form the details.

Milliput is a two part sculptable substance thats sets hard enough to sand,cut or drill

I had never used it before so this was a bit of an experiment for me. It starts of very sticky. After a couple of hours it dries and has some rigidity so you can cut it with a knife and it goes completely hard over night. So you can sand it and cut it with a saw.

Making the large barrel was going to be a problem so I just went on Amazon and bought a cap gun for £2.60 it was the perfect diameter. It was lust about half a centimetre too long so I put it in a vice and sawed off the excess.

donor parts. a toy cap gun

the barrel was cut up and the toy thrown away

I then took a small file and added some more detail.

file work

my only vice

For the top barrel I fixed the sculpted Milliput barrel to the MDF section I cut and then inserted a tube. The tube came from the telescopic magnet which I was also using for the other barrel.

upper barrell

I then used my Dremel to bore out a circle in the handle section for the cable to go into . I had to cut a small lip into it as I thought this would help hold the cable in. as the project moved on I realised there was no way I could bend the cable tight enough to go around the circle. I t was just too springy and keep jumping out and whipped at me. So in the end I cut it into three sections and glued it into place. I didn’t need for the cable to go all around the drum anyway as you can only see half of it.

raw coil section

In hind sight I wasted a lot of time realising this. I then set about making the enclosure for the cable drum. I made this out of artists board that I had lying around my room. It is in a few sections . The top plate which is split into two halves. A piece which is glued under it to hold the two top sections together and the last piece is the spinning disk with the holes in it so you can see the cable. I then put a hole in the handle for a nail to go into.

In the next picture you can see what it looks like altogether . The top two sections . The spinning disk and a spare piece.
To make the disk spin and also look like it does in the movie. You take three washers of decreasing size and glue them together. This creates the look you want. You then get a nail that is small enough to fit into the cavity made by the washers. I had to grind a bit of with the Dremel so it wasn’t so tight.


grapple gun details

I then painted the whole thing as I knew once I assembled it all I wouldn’t be able to paint it was well as one piece. While waiting for the paint to dry I cut the head off ten small screws. I would use these later for details on the face plate and on the back handle. I also scavenged a small button sized piece of plastic from an old pen to use as the trigger.

screw heads

I realise that I haven’t mentioned the back of the hand piece yet. Oops. As you can see from this picture the back has a fold out handle.

the two sections of the grapple gun

It fit’s the hand piece so that it doesn’t stick out when folded. I made a small centerpiece made from an off cut of wood and filed it into an oval shape. I then drilled a hole right through it. This would act as a hinge. I slide a small metal rod through it. And glued it in place. The fold out handle was cut by using the hand piece as a template to get the shape and size right. I marked it out on the same off cut of wood that I make the hinge from so that it would be the same width. I drilled a hole in each of the arms all the way through . I then put it in place. The metal bar is slid through the arm holes and the centre block. Once in place I used body filler to fill the top of the holes. Locking the folding handle onto the hinge. I then glued the screw heads in place and set about assembling the whole thing.

handle made from wood

haven’t forgot about the dart. Do you remember that I bought tent pegs? Well I also picked three disposable knives from a canteen. They are usually made from cheap plastic but these where made from wood. Have you ever tried to eat using a wooden knife and fork? Its about as pleasant and as stupid as it sounds. Anyway using a photo scaled to size I the tips of the knives off. I took the Milliput and sculpted it into shape. Then used body filler to stick the blades on. When the Milliput dried over night it was hard enough to drill. I drilled a hole in it and stuck the tent peg in. I then sawed of the tent peg so it was the right size. Done.

I do have a confession. The middle barrel is too long. I selected a piece of copper tube for it that was the right size. But during the build the wrong one was glued on. I should have checked but I didn’t. So now the centre barrel is too long. Right now I don’t feel the need to cut it of and reset it as I kind of like it. I just wanted you to know I’m aware of the mistake. I’m hoping Batman would forgive me and not hunt me down and dangle me of a roof top.

close up back section

close up handle side

close up hero side

close up front view



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