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(Login ragers_texas) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 22.214.171.124
Hi all! I mentioned in the General Discussion Group that I just returned from Iraq, and it seems more and more people are building modern armor since I left. Having been there for over a year, I thought I might describe characteristics of the cities in case anyone ever decided to make a diorama. In the following paragraphs, I'll break down the main characteristics of my observations of the cities. Once again, I want to stress that this posting is based on what I have personally observed, so please, if you've also been there, don't send me emails telling me that I'm wrong or how what I'm saying is not always the case. I'm just trying to provide some background info to everyone else here.
Buildings: Let's face it, odds are that anywhere you look in a major city in Iraq, you're going to find large amounts of rubble. Many of the larger buildings are large apartment blocks...flat faced buildings, possibly with a small courtyard of some sort. Many of the larger buildings are made of concrete, so maybe model a concrete building with some bracing metal bars (called Rebar) sticking out. Each room (most often) has a small balcony outside. If you're interested in modelling a row of shops along a street, then use the same concept as before, but put the shops at street level (as many people live above their place of work, just like everywhere else.) The windows and doors would most likely be covered with metal bars or gates, like you might find in larger cities outside Iraq. Power lines often run from building to building with no order or safety checks, so you could illustrate that. Of course, grafitti is everywhere (I have written down some grafitti and had it translated...just have to find it in all my things.) For areas that you might consider the outskirts, families often build homes haphazardly, so there isn't always a grid pattern or anything. In homes set off by themselves, the builder might also make a small courtyard, surrounded by a small fence made of the same materials as the house (often these houses are made of mud bricks, other times, houses are made of materials salvaged from war-damaged buildings.)
Streets: Not surprisingly, the streets aren't in very good shape either (and potholes are the least of your worries.) In most if not all places, the streets have not been paved in a while, so cracks and chunks of the street may be missing. IEDs (the roadside bombs you hear about) are often placed on the curb of a sidewalk, so you could portray a damaged sidewalk and scorch marks on the street. Garbage litters many streets, and propaganda posters are often seen in many places. Streets are not always laid out in grid patterns (sometimes they are) so some streets tend to lead back onto themselves or come togther at strange angles. Many times, you'll find a small area at the intersection of streets which contains a statue or monument to a person or event long since passed.
Vegetation: Virtually non-existent. Most shrubs and trees will be found around areas of palaces or parks. In the courtyards I mentioned earlier, dirt is most likely the floor, with maybe some sparse grass or shrubs, but that's just about it.
Figures: I have seen advertisements for Mujahadeen fighters, but I can't remember the scale or manufacturer, so you'll have to do some research for this.
Vehicles: Don't place vehicles for dioramas in an alleyway. Most alleyways are too narrow for our stuff to fit down anyway. Other than that, do anything you want.
Oh well, that's about all the knowledge I can give without knowing specific questions that anyone might have. I'm not sure what type of diorama anyone might be attempting to make, but I thought I'd give some tips and descriptions to anyone who might want to try. Hope this helps.