Wooden Pattern for Wing to Darth Vader's TIE Fighter
Much of the original artwork for the vintage Kenner toys was "patterned" from hard woods such as cherry or mahagony. Ideal for non-organic shapes, such as the hard lines and mechanical details of droids, weapons and vehicles, this process was equivalent to the sculpting done in wax and acetate for most of the figures in the 33/4", 12", and Micro Collection lines. Carved in several different pieces, both by machine and by hand, such patterns also incorporated numerous outside details, which might themselves be carved from another material or hand-cast from a rubber mold. Such patterns were often created at twice their intended production scale in order to allow for a greater degree of detail in the final production molds. Unfortunately, the intricate details of most patterns were destroyed during the creation of production tooling, having been torn off or distorted during the taking of negative epoxy casts, which would then be used in the final pantographing process.

Showing a patterned piece of much less complexity than something like the Millenium Falcon or Sandcrawler patterns, this photo of the wooden master for one of the wings of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, still reveals much of the exacting detail that went into this type of toy creation. Much of the wing detail of the final toy is discernible here, the flat "panel" areas having been added to the vintage toys with decals, rather than being texture on the actual injection-molded pieces as they are in the case of the current POTF2 TIEs. The fact that much of the tooling for the newer Kenner toys was simply refurbished from what was available from the vintage line, is testament to the quality of the work done on patterns such as the one you see above.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Anonymous
From the collection of: Anonymous
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Prototypes / Product Artwork


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