Clay and Wax Sculptings for Rancor Keeper Figure
Here you see all that remains of the original wax sculpting of the Rancor Keeper action figure. As you can see, the head, arms and legs were sculpted in a whitish color wax. The torso (which is more like a belly that's been partially evicted by a diaper) is made of the casting material known as Dynacast. The whole thing is assembled via the metal pins one typically sees on hardcopies and wax sculptings.

This is the sculpt for the fat man's cowl. It was sculpted atop a hardcopy of the figure's torso which was modified with clay and wax in order to fill in the gaps between the arms and the torso.

Here you see two different castings made off the above cowl sculpt. One is made of Dynacast, the other of silicon rubber identical to that used to make silicon molds.

These shots show what is probably the most interesting Rancor Keeper item I have. It's the original rough clay sculpting for the figure's right leg. Generally, when working on a figure, a toy sculptor will begin by roughing out his desired shapes in clay. Then he'll make a mold of his clay roughs, pour molten wax into the mold, and refine his detail from there. This is one of the very few clay roughs to have survived intact from the vintage Star Wars period.

The Fat Man has a posse.

All these figure prototypes played a part in developing the Rancor Keeper action figure. Here's a shot showing several of my RK prototypes. From left to right: hardcopy (with first shot cowl), protomolded, sculpt, first shot, and partial hardcopy. The last hardcopy features a torso that was used to make modifications to one of the hip joints. Putty was built up around the joint to raise it slightly. I believe this hardcopy, not the missing wax torso, was ultimately used as the master when it came time to create tooling masters for this figure.

Here's the silicon mold for the torso. These days, silicon molds for Micro Collection 4-ups are fairly common. Why? Because the former employee who saved them dreamt of using them to cast a giant chess set comprised of Star Wars characters. No lie. Just one more reason to be thankful for lunatics. Few such molds for 3.75" figures have survived, perhaps because...well because they couldn't be used to make chess sets.

Here's the exterior. In case you're wondering: Yes, that is indeed dried blue urethane crusted on the surface.

And what, you ask, is blue urethane doing on a vintage mold?

I'll let the last photo answer your question.

Don't hate him because he's beautiful.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Ron Salvatore
From the collection of: Ron Salvatore
Country:United States
Film:Return of the Jedi
Category:Prototypes / Action Figure Related


Checklist by Duncan Jenkins, Gus Lopez, and the Star Wars collecting community
Software by Chris Nichols

All information © 2014 Star Wars Collectors Archive