Built Review
Iraqi Street
Iraqi Street Scene
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


Building a diorama can either be a grand adventure, or a freaking pain in the ***.

You can probably tell I'm mostly in the latter camp.

So it's no wonder that Dioramas Plus has found a niche supplying hydro-cal buildings for 1/35th scale modelers (see my previous review of their small ruins here). Hyrdo-cal is the same plaster doctors use for casts: it sets fast yet is strong.

One of their recent releases is an Iraqi street scene complete with base, "conduit," and a rat's nest of wires to replicate the rather casual look of many Iraqi buildings when it comes to their electricity.

the kit

Inside a moderately-sized cardboard box are:

4 pieces of hydro-cal plaster building pieces plus 8" x 10.5" paved street & sidewalk base
3 bare metal aluminum wires for conduit
4 green wires for making electric lines
2 pieces of white plastic card stock
1 sheet of Arabic signs
instruction booklet

the review

The casting of the pieces is very crisp, and they all shipped without damage, though one advantage of plaster buildings in a wartime diorama is that any breakage probably will make the end result better!

Construction is pretty easy and straightforward. DP recommends 5-minute epoxy for gluing the parts together, and I found it to be a good choice over white glue or CA glue. The diorama represents two storefronts and a rat's nest of electrical cables & conduit. The instructions pretty much give you carte blanche for how the cables are arranged, though I followed their illustrations.

Painting the buildings is pretty easy, too. I used Tamiya Wood Deck Tan and "Dunkelgelb." After they dried, I streaked on a wash of acrylic Burnt Umber and some pigments for both dust and rust. There's quite a bit of latitude for creativity, and the street is sufficiently beat-up that you can add things like spilled oil or trash of any variety (the kit even includes a filled trash can).

The last addition were the kit-supplied Arabic signs, complete with plastic card stock for mounting. The result is a base waiting for a Humvee or small tank. The street portion of the diorama is 10.5" (26.7cm) by 5" (12.7cm).


While not cheap, pre-formed plaster buildings take the hassle out of making dioramas. This particular offering looks recognizably like a Middle Eastern street scene, and will provide a believable base for a Humvee, AAVP or other vehicle.
Highs: Sharp casting, good details, everything you need in the box for the build.
Lows: Pricy.
Verdict: A great instant diorama suitable for almost any vehicle from Desert Storm through today.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: DP18
  Suggested Retail: $44.95
  Related Link: Order it here
  PUBLISHED: Dec 16, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Iraq / لعربية

About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright 2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Bill: Thanks for the review. I've been thinking on this one for some time and your review has definitely moved it onto the wish list. Maybe Santa will throw some cash my way and I can order it. Happy Modeling, -zon
DEC 15, 2012 - 06:32 PM
Lots of potential for a street scene. What are the actual dimensions of the road portion? It would be good to know in advance so potential customers can eye ball the maximum size of vehicle that could be used on the base.
DEC 15, 2012 - 07:03 PM
The street portion of the diorama is 10.5" (26.7cm) by 5" (12.7cm).
DEC 16, 2012 - 10:17 AM
DEC 16, 2012 - 02:12 PM
hello thanks for the review , the model is very nice
DEC 17, 2012 - 05:48 AM
Thanks I would recommend it!
DEC 17, 2012 - 10:53 AM
Glad you liked the kit! Other than really putting a lot of detail & character into the master patterns one of the main things I wanted these kits to have was ease of assembly. In most cases you can get the 3 or 4 castings glued together & have them ready to paint (the fun part!) in about 15 minutes. I wanted these kits to be an alternative to the vacuform kits on the market now. I've seen that type of kit built up to look great but man does it seem to take a lot of work to get them glued together & the seams filled. With our type of kit it's "Wham bam paint it Mame". : ) Cheers! Randy Pepprock Dioramas Plus LINK
DEC 19, 2012 - 12:46 PM
Keep up the excellent work Randy. I look forward to seeing your soon to come modern releases.
DEC 19, 2012 - 06:17 PM

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