(since haggie let kitty outta the baggie in "just found" anyway )
as many of this forum's vets know, a few months back a number of us were offered the opportunity to obtain galoob 3-d Prototypes of a wide range of scifi mm ships. these handmade protos were an intermediate step between 2-d concept and production, and were used for almost all package photography. only four of each ship were made, which means a one in four chance that any one proto was the one shown on packages the world over
because the trafficking of these protos could be considered illicit, this offer was circulated via email only among trusted regulars of this forum. (even though hasbro's long shown zero interest in all things mm, and this kind of trafficking among collectors is hardly unprecedented, hasbro Could claim that these are technically Their property and go after both buyer and seller. never mind that hasbro would have no use for or interest in them and they were made long before hasbro entered galoob's picture )
but now that the deals've been done and they're starting to arrive, there ain't nuthin hasbin can do about us Discussin em here, right? after all these represent a view unto mms most collectors never see, so it'd be a shame not to share reports with our fellow collectors:
b'jr (who's never been a forummer but who's long been known to many of you, mainly via my representation of his trading interests here) axed me to get him a b5 earth force one, which just arrived today. i own a pretty good copy of the production version but next to this proto it looks like a blurry picture of itself the proto's certainly sharp enough to be a revelation- almost an unwelcome one, cuz most production versions can't compare. the proto outclasses production ones the same way real hasbro figures outclass crude hongkong knockoffs of same.
the ef1 proto is scaled up about 1/9 larger than the production version, a barely-noticeable difference when in the midst of massmade ships. it is constructed from 7 or 8 separate pieces rather than the massmade's more streamlined 3-piece assembly. (there seems to be a separate piece connecting the forward pod and the main hull. also, all four fins are molded & mounted separately- only the bottom fin's gluejoint is sloppy, while the top fin is unglued, but fits snugly). the additional parts do not account for significant additionally-enabled detail.
the ship's earth logo- a sea-blue dot on the massmade- is here outlined by a thin, darker blue-green circle, which is in turn outlined by a thin yellow circle. (and i could just be imagining it, but a very slight difference in sea-blue paint shades within the dot could in fact depict earth's continents.) the ef1 proto's paint colors match the production run exactly, but they're much more precisely applied. consistent matte finish and perfect thickness but no brush strokes, so i'm guessing stenciled airbrushing as used on the massmades, only painstakingly done by hand. as for the depiction of the 8-pointed star on top of the forward pod, i prefer my massmade's version cuz it just pops more
while the detailing never gets more minute than that featured on production versions of, say, an ssd or med frigate, there is more of it and it sits deeper. for example, the engines have rear thrust holes while the mass version does not. and even when a detail is also present on the mass version the clarity of its depiction here is often illuminating; that is, past a certain size often one couldn't be certain whether a vagary on the mass version is an intentional detail or a mere imperfection. this is most apparent in the forward pod's notches
overall design matches the mass version except for the main hull's frontal outer ring of 15 evenly-spaced "spokes". in the proto, the "odd-numbered" spoke points straight down, while the mass version has it straight up. also, the 15 outer "grid" or "window" areas (separated by the prev-mentioned 15 spokes) are about 40% more minute and arranged not in the mass version's radial "sunburst pixel" pattern but instead share a uniform-square orientation in which almost all grids are set ~43 degrees off the ship's centerline. this suggests multilayer composition of the hull's surface using prepatterned pieces, rather than the "lathe (latitude) & spoke (longitude)" etching of the mass version.
a few of us are participating in an "borrowing tour" in which we will send our protos to trusted others here so that they may also view them in person for a few weeks. they will then send them on to the next person etc. until finally returned to their owners. so you may see multiple reports on the same proto from different people here
to anyone interested who missed out on this offer due to its necessarily discreet handling i can only say: 1) maybe you shoulda been makin more of a mark on this here forum all this time; non-lurking has its priviliges and 2) who knows, if you indicate your interest on this thread maybe you'll be contacted by the supplier's intermediary (whose anonymity we will maintain here on the forum just to be safe) and you could still get proto(s) of your own? if so, maybe you'd like to participate in our exchange tour
so who else got a proto? tell us all aboot it