Han Bespin Freeze Chamber 4-Up (Alternate Sculpting)
Many of the Micro Collection's dozens of figures underwent considerable revision in the early stages of their development. Heads of figures would be cut off and re-attached at slightly different angles, bases were enlarged or cut down, arms would be re-positioned--in short, modifications were made during the production process whenever it was felt that the product could be improved in some way. Often, hardcopies would be made from the original wax sculptings before these changes were enacted; but in a few cases, figures seem to have actually made it to the final production stage (meaning the stage at which they could be produced as metal miniatures) before they were altered. In these latter cases, modifications were cut directly into the production molds, since going back to the earlier, pre-tooling stages would have been too expensive.

Here we have an example of a figure--a Han from the Bespin Freeze Chamber that was subtley changed during the sculpting/hardcopy phase of production. I believe the changes made to this one primarly concerned the face and some details of the outfit and belt. What probably happened here was that, after Kenner received the 4-up from the vendor that produced their hardcopies for them, they decided that the figure should be detailed in a slightly different manner. So they either modified the existing sculpting or had an entirely new sculpting made, and had another round of hardcopies made of the revised sculpt.

Here you see the bottom of the figure's base, on which has been written the intended production number and the word "tooling." The "tooling" bit indicates that this particular 4-up was at one time intended to be used in the creation of production molds. However, since this is an unproduced sculpting variant, that probably never happened.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Rob Amantea
From the collection of: Rob Amantea
Country:United States
Film:Empire Strikes Back
Category:Prototypes / Micro Collection


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