Front page - Wheels - Chassis - Assembling - Body - Details - Cameras - Antennas - Laser reflector, instruments  - RTG - Lid - Odometer & Penetrometer - Moon base - Completed Model

Moon Base
The final phase of this model construction was building the model base. For this I used a 30 * 42 cm wooden board (roughly a A3 format) around which I glued a wooden border which I painted with mahogany varnish (figures 1). I wanted to make accurate wheel tracks so I designed dummy lunokhod wheels as shown in figure 2. These wheels had a smaller diameter than the real ones but the same width, their diameter was such that the space between each stud was identical to the lunokhod model wheels. both wheels were glued onto a styren rod and the distance between each one was the same as for the model (figure 1b).

I then used grey mortar to make the lunar soil. Once the mortar was spreaded onto the model base I used the dummy wheels to make the tracks. I also used either a spoon or a tea spoon to create a few craters and I include a few pebbles to make stones as shown in figure 3. The trick to make the base look like a real lunar soil was to spread mortar powder onto the base while the mortar was still humid. The powder was instantly wetted  and gave the apparence of lunar dust, when it dried it stayed glued onto the model base.

The last thing to do before completing the model was to create a plaque indicating the name of the model and its scale. I wanted this plaque to be in Russian giving it a bit more authenticity. I have to thank here my Russian colleagues Elena Oryekhova and Stella Lyubchenko at CLS and the Russian General Radio Frequency Center for their help in the translation. I first tried to find a correct Soviet expression on the Internet and got the necessary adjustment and correction from Elena and Stella. The plaque says :

Soviet Lunar Automatic Spacecraft
Lunokhod 2
Scale : 1/10

I found the pin on e-bay and bought it from a Russian seller. This pin makes reference to Lunokhod 2 and to "VDNKh - SSSR" which stands for the National Economy Achievements Exhibition - USSR (museum in Moscow). I wanted to have a bronze plaque but unfortunatly this could not be done in Cyrillic alphabet so I found a bronze background and designed a plaque on Word 2000 which I printed on glossy photo paper. This was fixed, using double face scotch tape, onto a 1mm styren plaque which borders were again painted in mahogany varnish. The result can be seen in figure 4. Eventually I fixed the plaque onto the model base to complete it as shown in figure 5.

The completed model won first prize at the IPMS 2005 National Convention held in Albi (France) on the 19th and 20th November 2005.

Fig 1a, b : Construction of the model base

Fig 2 : Dummy Lunokhod wheel

Fig 3 : Mortar to simulate lunar soil

Fig 4 : Lunokhod 2 plaque

Fig 5 : Completed model base

Photos by Vincent Meens - November 2005

Front page - Wheels - Chassis - Assembling - Body - Details - Cameras - Antennas - Laser reflector, instruments  - RTG - Lid - Odometer & Penetrometer - Moon base - Completed Model