Showcased here is a painted Superman hardcopy. The hardcopy is cast in a green urethane, commonly referred to as dynacast. The colors are incredibly vibrant as the piece is entirely hand painted.
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 be used to create a negative epoxy "hardmold", which is used in the cutting of the steel production mold. This negative epoxy mold is essential since one cannot pantograph from a positive object to yield a negative mold. The process must be done from negative to negative. When used for this purpose, the hardcopy is referred to as a "tooling master" or "tooling hardcopy".
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 hand painted prototypes for the Super Powers line are cast in a milky white protomolded plastic (commonly referred to as internal first shots), however a few like this Superman have been found in resin.
The above photo affords a comparative look between the painted hardcopy on the left and the production figure on the right. Site visitors may also enjoy seeing the matching unpainted hardcopy and internal first shot (protomolded) from my collection.