|Hoth Stormtrooper Unpainted 4-up Hardcopies (668-001 & 668-005)|
|Micro Collection figures were sculpted in either wax or acetate at four times their production size in order to get a maximum amount of detail into the finished products. A silicone mold would then be made of the piece, from which hardcopies like the one you see above would be cast in a hard, ceramic-like urethane capable of reproducing the sculpting down to the last detail. Typically, approximately three such hardcopies would be created of each piece, the functions of which might range from sculpting approval, to vendor reference, to, the hardcopy's most important purpose, the creation of 1:1 scale production tooling.
Nearly all vintage Kenner hardcopies, whether they be from the Micro Collection or the action figure line, were cast in a urethane known as Dynacast, a two-part product consisting of tan and blue portions, which, when mixed, would harden into a distinctive emerald green color. In itself, this is an interesting fact, but where it becomes important is in authenticating vintage hardcopy pieces. No vintage hardcopy should be blue in color!. If it is, its a 90's fake, made either from original silicon molds still in existence, or from molds created using authentic hardcopies. Authentic 70's/80's Kenner hardcopies should be either green or grayish-tan. As a word of caution to anyone wishing to seek these items out, there are alot more fakes out there than real ones. Authenticate what you buy.
For prototype collectors, "4-ups" provide an interesting item to collect. They are large, detailed, considerably different from their production counterparts, and look great on display. These two Hoth Stormtroopers from the Hoth Generator Attack are really nice "4-up" examples, their action poses and all-over smoothness making them especially interesting to look at.
|Description by:||Ron Salvatore|
|From the collection of:||Michael G. Mensinger|
|Film:||Empire Strikes Back|
|Category:||Prototypes / Micro Collection|