Yuri Gagarin vs Alien custom dunny

Gagarin Dunny 1
Here is the tribute to Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968), Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, the first human in space. He completed the orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961 in Vostok spacecraft. He was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of Soviet Union, the nation’s highest honour  and became international celebrity. His short life ended when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting crashed giving the base for many conspiracy theories.

This dunny is a first of series of three customs I made for collector from Moscow in Russia, Alex. He came to me with the mashup concept of Gagarin vs facehugger from Alien Ridley Scott sci-fi movie. I liked his idea very much and saw it as opportunity to mix the style of painted only characters I did before with heavy sculpted and realistic Alien facehugger. I incorporated dunny’s ears to design but they were too wide on the top, so I cut them off and sculpted new set of legs with claws and pasted them in the same position as original. The head is twisted 180 degree so I had enough flat surface to paint Gagarin’s portrait and helmet without dunny’s bump on face, which is part of the design of original toy. For durability all the sculpting was made with Milliput and Games Workshop green stuff in places where fine details were needed.
Gagarin Dunny 2
Alex showed me few great photos of dunnys from his collection in outdoor scenery so I asked him if he could make me few pictures of the customs I made for him. Here they are, pictures from CCCP Museum of Retro-Technology, the settings and photos are great!

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I am reading Yuri Gagarin biography on Wikipedia and it looks like his life went from zero to hero. Can I call it “Russian Dream” ?? :)

He was born in the village of Klushino, near Gzhatsk (renamed Gagarin in 1968 after his death). His parents worked on a collective farm: Alexey Ivanovich Gagarin as a carpenter and bricklayer, and Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina as a milkmaid.

During World War II. Klushino was occupied by Nazis in November 1941 and an officer took over the Gagarin residence. The family was allowed to build a mud hut, approximately 3 by 3 metres on the land behind their house, where they spent a year and nine months until the end of the occupation.

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 At the age of 16 in 1950, Gagarin entered into an apprenticeship as a foundryman at the Lyubertsy Steel Plant near Moscow, and also enrolled at a local “young workers” school for seventh grade evening classes. After graduating in 1951 from both the seventh grade and the vocational school (with honours in moldmaking and foundry-work),he was selected for further training at the Saratov Industrial Technical School, where he studied tractors. While in Saratov, Gagarin volunteered for weekend training as a Soviet air cadet at a local flying club, where he learned to fly. He also earned extra money as a part-time dock laborer on the Volga River.

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After graduating from the technical school in 1955, the Soviet Army drafted Gagarin. On a recommendation, Gagarin was sent to the First Chkalov Air Force Pilot’s School in Orenburg, and soloed in a MiG-15 in 1957. Post-graduation, he was assigned to the Luostari airbase in Murmansk Oblast, close to the Norwegian border, where terrible weather made flying risky. He became a Lieutenant in the Soviet Air Forces on 5 November 1957; on 6 November 1959 he received the rank of Senior Lieutenant.

In 1960, after much searching and a selection process, Yuri Gagarin was chosen with 19 other pilots for the Soviet space program. Gagarin was further selected for an elite training group known as the Sochi Six, from which the first cosmonauts of the Vostok programme would be chosen. Gagarin and other prospective candidates were subjected to experiments designed to test physical and psychological endurance; he also underwent training for the upcoming flight. Out of the twenty selected, the eventual choices for the first launch were Gagarin and Gherman Titov due to their performance during training sessions as well as their physical characteristics — space was limited in the small Vostok cockpit, and both men were rather short. Gagarin was 1.57 metres (5 ft 2 in) tall.

On 12 April 1961, aboard the Vostok 3KA-3 (Vostok 1), Gagarin became both the first human to travel into space, and the first to orbit the earth.

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After the flight, Gagarin became a worldwide celebrity, touring widely abroad to promote the Soviet Union’s accomplishment of putting the first human in space.

He later returned to Star City, the cosmonaut facility, where he spent seven years working on designs for a reusable spacecraft.  Soviet officials tried to keep him away from any flights, being worried of losing their hero in an accident. Gagarin was backup pilot for his friend Vladimir Komarov in the Soyuz 1 flight, which was launched despite Gagarin’s protests that additional safety precautions were necessary. When Komarov’s flight ended in a fatal crash, Gagarin was permanently banned from training for and participating in further spaceflights.

Gagarin had become deputy training director of the Star City. At the same time, he began to re-qualify as a fighter pilot.

On 27 March 1968, while on a routine training flight from Chkalovsky Air Base, he and flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin died in a MiG-15UTI crash near the town of Kirzhach. The bodies of Gagarin and Seryogin were cremated and the ashes were buried in the walls of the Kremlin on Red Square.

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 I am super excited that this little custom was featured on one of my favourite websites TESTED.COM, check it out, they have few amazing podcasts there and I listen them regularly.

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