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Flaps out

Battle of Fallujah-Operation Phantom Fury

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Background

 

The Second Battle of Fallujah—code-named Operation Al-Fajr (Arabic: الفجر "the dawn") and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American, Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S. Marines and U.S Army against the Iraqi insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah and was authorized by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government. The U.S. military called it "some of the heaviest urban combat U.S. Marines and Soldiers have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968.

 

This operation was the second major operation in Fallujah. Earlier, in April 2004, coalition forces fought the First Battle of Fallujah in order to capture or eliminate insurgent elements considered responsible for the deaths of a Blackwater Security team. When coalition forces fought into the center of the city, the Iraqi government requested that the city's control be transferred to an Iraqi-run local security force, which then began stockpiling weapons and building complex defenses across the city through mid-2004. The second battle was the bloodiest battle of the entire Iraq War, and is notable for being the first major engagement of the Iraq War fought solely against insurgents rather than the forces of the former Ba'athist Iraqi government, which was deposed in 2003.

 

Concept and construction

 

Many other memorable points in military history have been captured in diorama's it is hard and often too soon or raw to recreate a combat scene. I do however think that we cannot let the past be forgotten. Through photos, articles, memorials and even dioramas that often adorn war museums its a tribute to our brothers in arms. I myself have served in the Infantry in Kosovo war and as Munitions Specialist in the Afghanistan war. Being a modeller as well I find it therapeutic as I build this diorama I reflect on my time in country the good and bad experiences.

 

I consulted on my own photo references of (battle damage) as well as online to capture the architecture common to Fallujah and the effects/results of the many military campaigns. I started with something that would bring the flavor of the region forward a "mosque entrance" then expanding outwards to create adjoined buildings. My plan moving forward is to add U.S. troops FIBUA fighting in a built up area with light armored vehicles in support.

 

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Need to make an iron gate that will be a final detail.

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I am using condensed foam in two grades that I trialed to see how they would react to cutting, compacting, tearing, solvents and adhesives. I found that super glue works the best and will not melt the foam for smaller piles of debris a spray adhesive common to craft stores or Mod-Podge works great and dries clear binding pieces.

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Here is a trial of the colour that the majority of the buildings will be painted in. I am working on some date pals to fall behind and a photo board for final back drop.

 

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I would appreciate comments and suggestions...more photos to upload as work progresses.

 

Today working on more debris additional corrugated metal. I am sure this is an old technique but it works well using stipped down cardboard then giving it a light sanding and a coat of hardner before a metal finish to lay down the fibers.

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Also tried a dry fit of the background to make sure the debris field and perspective matches. I might lighten the backdrop it took a lot of searching to find a good perspective. 

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A few nights ago I did some reserch on an idea l had to add a burnt out vehicle. What seemed to be common was the almost whiteish gray and black mottled appearance from intense heat. After the buildings are painted and weathered ill add a burn patch under the vehicle some smoke trails up the concrete and disintegrated tires melted off the rims.

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Stared the base layer of paint.

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June 15th  2019

I did some adjustment to the colours and switched from enamels to AK acrylics. The entire diorama was painted in CARC Tan 686 and highlighted with AK desert sand primer. Vallejo medium and dark grey wash was applied over the rubble to add depth and Vellejo weathering pencils for streaks on the concrete.

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I really wanted to capture the roll up metal garage doors that are a common feature in Iraq, also the spiderweb of downed power and service lines.

 

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The mosque gates and wooden door were handmade then primed and weathered a light mist of CARC tan was sprayed to give the effect of settling dust and sand.

 

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The rebar was painted with Vallejo metal-steel highlighted with a white weathering pencil then a mist of carc tan.

 

So the diorama is pretty much done last touch is a airconditioner unit or water tank on top of the second roof. Next I am moving onto the US armored vecled and troop. I decided to do them in combat patrol/ house clearing advancing up the road with the Bradley in support. I did alot of research on the proper paint scheme and models of vehicles for 2004-2008 occupation. Although the M3A3 was introduced in Iraq March 2003 with the 4th Infantry Division the "BUSK" Bradley urban survivability kit was not in service until 2008 so I will probably forgo installing the system .

 

I have ordered several upgrade kits from Live Resin for the SAG turret on the M1151. It will take me evenings until the winter to complete the diorama but I will keep posting the vehicle builds as I move forward.

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Edited by Flaps out
Update

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Looks like the makings of a fantastic diorama, I read a book about the operation back in 2013. It's was a very insit full into how the operation was achieved, it was interesting how the US forces TTPs changed rapidly from mandrolic house clearance to knocking buildings down with bulldozers.

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Thanks I have been looking at some figures like "Legend Productions" having a hard time fining Marines or Army for that period. The Army uniforms were the old second issue desert pattern and the Marines were wearing the digital desert multi cam it seems both branches were wearing integrated ballistic load bearing.  

040821-F-4884R-012

US Army

 

US Marines

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Better description

i-KVQpXF7-333x450.jpg

I can see on first Google search Tamiya has a Kit and possibly Trumpeter the more detail the better.

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I finished one of two armored vehicles posted on "Meng Bradley" and the figures for the diorama posted on "Marines in Fallujah" I am just wrapping up the M1151 Armoured up Humvee ill post soon. The figures are taking the longest as I am trying to decide do I want them as if they are under contact or more relaxed like a halt during a patrol.

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