Cyclotron Sculpting


Original wax sculptings are considered by many collectors as the pinnacle of three-dimensional prototype stages to own. Their fragile nature makes them as rare as hen's teeth too! Each sculptor has his or her preferences, but some prefer to begin the sculpting process using clay as a medium to produce a rough sculpting, sometimes referred to as a clay rough. Others skip the rough clay stage and begin their work solely in wax. The ultimate goal, whether starting in clay or starting as a less refined preliminary sculpting in wax, is to produce a final "wax master" sculpting for each figural component like the ones shown in this entry. The final approved master sculpting is used to make silicone molds of each figure component.

The photos above shows what are believed to be the sole surviving components of the Cyclotron action figure sculpting. The three missing components include the two-piece torso (upper half and lower half)and the face mask.

The plastic discs are still present in each upper thigh region. These discs serve as attachment and alignment points to ensure an exact fit to the torso. The lower right thigh is missing its connector and shows minor damage, but the figure's left thigh still retains it. You can see part of the connector where a small fragment of wax has chipped away on Cyclotron's left thigh. Each leg piece also contains a plastic component that is incorporated in each lower leg sculpt to ensure a proper fit into the knee area of each thigh.

Once a sculpting served it's purpose, to cast silicone molds used to make hardcopies, the discs were sometimes removed for re-use and in some instances the wax was melted down for other sculpting projects. While collectors view these sculptings as works of toy art, they were often viewed as a means to an end whose value was worth nothing more than the raw material once the silicone molds were poured; an action figure byproduct of sorts, if you will.

Each component is sculpted in pink sculpting wax. Wax choice essentially came down to sculptor preference and availability, but the most common colors are light pink, white, and sometimes tan. Kenner employed both in-house sculptors and also contracted work out to freelance sculptors to help meet project deadlines. A sculpting, like it's future hardcopy spawn, is slightly larger than the eventual injection molded production figure. The details are extremely crisp and noticeably more defined than its production counterpart since some of these details are lost or softened throughout the production process.

While I wish the entire sculpting survived and still maintain a sliver of hope that the two torso and face mask components may still surface, the photographed components likely represent all that remains of the original Cyclotron action figure sculpting.

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