Instant Picture Panorama No.4: Lunar Base (K48) 1965

Background & cover by Patrick Tilley; transfers by Frank Wheeler (Patrick Tilley Associates).

This is my favourite Letraset product of all time — & directly responsible for the formation of SPLAT, since it was while searching for a surviving copy of this Panorama that I found other people regularly bidding on Action Transfers, & invited them to form a group.

The complex history of Panoramas is dealt with elsewhere, but here is an opportunity to show some of the variations that applied to this particular set. At the top we have the cover of the original version from 1965; this is followed by Waddington's early adaptation from 1966, & then their later reworking of the monochrome transfers into four spot colours (this one is from 1971).

There are several significant changes, but none of them affect the background, which is consistent throughout. Note how the card is folded so that the ends meet in the middle of the back, where they are fastened by a round gold sticker. The sticker is missing here, but you can see examples further down the page. The whole thing is then wrapped in cellophane; you can see a wrapped Panorama on the index page of this website.

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Here's the background. The Panorama backgrounds have a very distinctive style, which goes for artistic effect rather than realism. IMHO this makes them far more effective than later products.


And now for the transfer sheets. There seems to be some kind of disturbance going on, featuring Gemini astronauts, four-armed alien astronauts, & what are presumably the indigenous fauna of this moon (which is not, of course, OUR moon). The hardware features many designs which would have been familiar to anyone interested in science fiction & the current state of the space program in 1965, & I have been asked to point out that this is considerably before Star Trek was broadcast, so no — that is not supposed to be the starship Enterprise.

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Always keen to re-use artwork & transfers whenever possible, Letraset provided the 1965 Lunar Base transfers for Bata's August 1969 promotion for Moonshot shoes. This is covered in its own article:

Wayfinders Moonshot Shoes Promotion

As noted elsewhere, when John Waddington Ltd. commissioned a revamp of the transfers using the same colours as their other Panoramas, the original artwork was reused in a fairly crass way, essentially by splashing a bit of red & blue on top of the previous version. Whereas the Panoramas provided their monochrome transfers in two long strips, the 4-spot colour versions have a pair of square sheets featuring considerably fewer transfers.

I can't show you sheet K48B, because we don't have one in the Archives. If you have one which you can give us or lend us for scanning, please get in touch.


Here's a used colour background, to show you what sort of malarkey young hands can get up to (in case you were in any doubt). As a bonus, if you look carefully, you might see a couple of transfers from the sheet we haven't got!


Panoramas were protected by containing a piece of corrugated card stiffener, which although pretty dull in itself is shown here for completeness. This one has two of the ubiquitous gold stickers on it, & as an extra FREE GIFT it has a typewritten note advertising the other Letraset products which you could hope to buy in 1965 (this significant note is discussed in main Panoramas page).

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Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives, with thanks to StellarX & Mike Cosgrove