Lex Luthor Unpainted Hardcopy

Showcased here is an unpainted Lex Luthor hardcopy. The piece is cast in a green urethane, commonly referred to as "dynacast". This material was prominently used for hardcopies during the mid-80's. You'll notice immediately that this hardcopy has a white first shot armor piece on it. I think the white contrasts very nicely with the green hardcopy.

Hardcopies are produced using a silicon mold (this mold is created from the original wax figure sculpting). Once it is removed from the mold it may serve a number of purposes. It might remain unpainted and ultimately used in the creation of the steel tooling for the figures. In this case the hardcopy is referred to as a "tooling hardcopy". A negative epoxy hard mold is created from the tooling hardcopy. The hard mold is then used to cut the steel mold from which all production figures originate. Extra hardcopies are also poured as a precaution, should something happen to the tooling master. These extras would remain unpainted as well. If a hardcopy is not destined for tooling or backup, then it will more than likely be handpainted for use in catalog photography, trade shows, or as a paintmaster. Most paintmasters for the Super Powers line are cast in a milky white proto plastic (commonly referred to as internal first shots), but I have seen dynacast paintmasters.

This shot shows the prototype in disassembled form. Metal dowels were used to attach the limbs and head to the torso. Harcopies are often missing these metal pins, so seeing this one with them intact is quite a treat.

This shot illustrates a nice comparison between the hardcopy and the production figure. The astute collector will notice the hardcopy is slightly larger than its production counterpart. Resin is not susceptible to shrinkage like injection molded plastic, which explains the size difference. When purchasing a hardcopy one should always look for this size difference as well as the absence of footholes and copyright markings. The copyrights and footholes are added much later in the production process.

Finally we see a shot of Lex with a white box in which the hardcopy was stored at Kenner. You'll notice the box indicates the piece is a "tooling hardcopy". It is quite possible this was the exact hardcopy used to create the negative epoxy molds.

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