by Marco Scheloske
The not-so-far future: mankind has established a permanent moonbase, “Port Luna”.
Over the years it developed from a pure scientific outpost to a civilian one as well. More and more tourists came to visit the moon, and an acute businessman saw the need for some special attractions to show the travelers more than rocks and dust.
That was the date of founding of the “Mons Viatoris Space Race Memorial”, a monument in the tradition of Mount Rushmore honoring the brave ones who extended the final frontier further and further.
Soon “First Time”, as the sculpture was named colloquially, raised to THE place to visit when arriving on the moon, either as a tourist or as a new crewmember of the moonbase. It shows busts of Laika (first living being in space, 03. November 1957), Yuri Gagarin (first man in space, 04. April 1961), Alexey Leonov (first spacewalk, 18. March 1965) and Neil Armstrong (first man on moon, 21. July 1969).
This diorama, showing two astronauts visiting the “First Time” memorial, was built completely from scratch. A couple of pictures were used as references for the busts, which were sculpted from Apoxie Sculpt (bodies) and Magic Sculpt (faces). The “Mons Viatoris” (what means “mountain of travelers”) landscape was made from a styrofoam core, plaster of paris and automotive putty on a wooden base. In the next step the four figures were encased into the sculpted rock.
The model was first painted dark grey (“Adeptus Battlegrey” from Citadel), then drybrushed with several lighter greys and finally a little bit with white. I avoid a wash, because for my taste the model would have looked too smooth - the lights and shadows are harsh on the moon, so drybrushing only was the way to go for me.
The astronauts are originally n-scale (= 1:160) diver figures from Preiser. I chopped their heads and the flippers off, then I used little balls taken from pen ink cartridges as helmets.