Instant Picture Panorama No.5: Pirate Island (K47) 1965


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

All five of the original Letraset Panoramas (see Lunar Base for details) kept their respective backgrounds constant throughout each of their incarnations. This is the background for Pirate Island:

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Here are the revamped colour sheets, K47A & K47B. We can't show you the monochrome sheets yet, unfortunately, because we haven't finished restoring the scraps we have. Please get in touch if you have any of the monochrome transfers!

We don't know who it was, but this artist did a pretty good job of adding colour to Frank Wheeler's original monochrome artwork.

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A typical encounter with a child would result in this bumpy plastic effect, which I've heard described as "the wrong kind of 3D":

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Although we haven't any unused monochrome transfers to display for now, we can show you what Mike Cosford did with his monochrome set. Before you all start shouting, no: they're not in colour. He just very creatively coloured them in. Adding plenty of extra smoke & gore. Notice that, as usual, the monochrome sheets contain very many more transfers than the 4-spot colour sheets.

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Here's a different copy, penny plain:

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The back cover of this monochrome set gives you some idea of what the transfers would have looked like, except that instead of being in the form of eight rectangular panels, they were supplied as two long vertical strips (i.e., four panels stacked on top of the other for each strip). Here they're displayed as if each strip has been cut along the dotted lines — which are NOT shown.

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As you will have seen from the other Panorama pages, the backgrounds are simply the reverse sides of the covers, which when unfolded would look like this:

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However, two of the sets we feature on this page weren't scanned unfolded in that way; the front covers & the back covers were scanned separately.

So let's compare the folded covers of four variants…

1965 Letraset Monochrome "Instant Pictures":

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Later Monochrome (still Letraset; "instant pictures" no longer capitalised):

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WADDINGTON/Letraset 4-spot:

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WADDINGTON/Letraset 4-spot, 1971:

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The 1971 version, with its garish & counterproductive orange borders, advertises on one of its back panels which products were available at that time. 'Junior Panoramas' are exactly the same as Busy Bees, but stuffed in an unnecessary orange envelope along with a plastic stick. The fact that twelve of each is listed is curious, since there were sixteen Busy Bees in all… furthermore, the Character Panoramas don't get a mention at all.


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