|Lando Calrissian 4-up Hardcopy Paint Master (460-016)|
|Of the 5 or so fully-assembled hardcopies made for each action figure or Micro Collection piece, around two of these would be fully painted. The purpose of these pieces, which are commonly referred to as paint masters, was to demonstrate the final color scheme that the figures would bear once in production. Such fully painted hardcopies might also be used for marketing purposes, in promotional/packaging photography or at Toy Fair; but they are uniformly rare and, being beautiful, handmade examples of pre-mass production prototypes, are highly valued by collectors.
The 4-Up Micro Collection paint master you see here came from an incredible find of hardcopy material, which, quite amazingly, included a paint master example of nearly every Micro Collection figure made (over 80 total pieces). Its fully painted (spray-painted, probably, with some areas painted by hand), in the same colors used on the small production figure, and the large size really makes it impressive to look at.
Its interesting to note here that, in addition to their being used in a developmental capacity, such 4-Up paint masters are also rumored to have been used by Kenner as presentation pieces. According to an ex-Kenner model maker, Kenner produced at least one platform or shelf-like base on which were displayed several of these large, attractive pieces. Supposedly, this was presented to Lucasfilm at the outset of the Micro Collection line (1982), but I have never heard of its existence elsewhere.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Jon Peck|
|Film:||Empire Strikes Back|
|Category:||Prototypes / Micro Collection|