Composite Painting for Die-Cast Imperial Cruiser "Special Offer" Backdrop
In my opinion, pieces of original toy artwork--the master images and forms used to generate mass-produced objects--represent the pinnacle of prototype collecting. All such items are one-of-a-kind and they're the products of painstaking labors of craftsmanship. It just doesn't get much better. What you see here is the original artwork that was used to generate the cardboard backrop that was packaged with the Special Offer version of Kenner's die-cast Imperial Cruiser. It's fairly large in size (refer to the penny near the lower right corner to get a sense of scale) and it's wonderfully detailed.

In this close-up you can see the escape pod which R2-D2 and C-3PO use to escape from an Imperial Cruiser at the outset of Star Wars. If you recall the film, you'll know that the Imperial baddies manning the vessel's guns decide not to fire at the pod. But who really cares about accuracy anyway? In this image you might be able to make out the slight ridge that exists where the pod shape meets its space background. The pod, like the two Cruisers, is actually a painted cut-out that's been pasted onto the larger painting.

Here you see a close-up of the two Cruisers. I like the airbrushing technique that was used to create the engine burn.

A still closer view. In this one you should be able to make out the lip of the cut-out shapes that comprise the Cruisers.

This final close-up reveals the color details that were painted onto the two vehicles. At this proximity you can see the actual brush strokes in the paint. It's always great to find that something of this nature has survived. This piece, along with its Millennium Falcon and Y-Wing Fighter counterparts, hung inside of metal frames at Kenner's Cincinnati headquarters for many years before being discarded. You can see the mock-up backdrop that was generated from this artwork by clicking here.

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


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