In-Box Review
Checkpoint and Iraq Street
Checkpoint and Iraq Street Part C
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by: Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]


This is the second review of a Phoenix Models diorama base. This time comprising of a concrete tower, typically seen in Iraq, set on a diorama base. Once again it is entirely vac-formed release and this will require careful assembly.


Inside the a sturdy cardboard box complete with a number of illustrations of the box contents the modeller will find:
  • 1 x base sheet in grey styrene
  • 1 x sheet containing the tower walls
  • 1x sheet comprising the middle section of the tower
  • 1x circular roof panel
  • 1x optional square roof panel
  • 1x roadside blast wall made from four pieces
  • 1x road barrier
  • 1x assembly instruction guide
  • 1x instruction sheet


The base represents a road with a section of pavement the road has a well-worn appearance as has the section of pavement. The tower has been split in half into thirds this may prove awkward to assemble and the modeller should take time to ensure that the sections line up correctly. There is no interior detail and this could be added using sheet styrene. There is a doorway at the base of the tower and this will need to be opened up if required.

The centre section is made up of a split ring if the modeller chooses to add the interior then a hatch will be required, there are two options for the roof a square one and a circular both can be seen on reference photographs. The road barrier is a little basic but with some work it could easily be left workable. The roadside blast wall is a little curious it seems to be of an unusual design. It could be used however there are a number of examples already available if the modeller chooses not to use it.

Painting and weathering will be very rewarding and this will bring out the many details featured on this release. There are a number of opportunities to really try out a number of weathering techniques and it is this that will be the most rewarding.


Overall another welcome release from Phoenix Models and this is quite a nice base. It can be incorporated into other sets to extend the base, as a standalone this could display a smaller vehicle – Humvee or similar but a large AFV or tank will overhang the edges.
Highs: Quite an original release, pretty much a diorama in a box.
Lows: It is a vacform, no interior and the blast wall is an odd design
Verdict: Highly recommended for all diorama fans.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: HQ35006
  Suggested Retail: $11.99
  PUBLISHED: Mar 01, 2015

Our Thanks to Lucky Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Brian O'Donoghue (brian638)

I began modelling way back when Matchbox appeared on the scene with their new range. It began an interest in a hobby that has spanned 40 years.... and has seen the greatest resurgence in recent years. The only breaks in the hobby have been for the usual reasons that most modellers experience; caree...

Copyright ©2021 text by Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review. I've built MiniArt vacuform stuff so I'm not adverse to the medium but frankly I'd rather scratchbuild something than use this kit... But the photos are useful for reference. Cheers, Christophe
MAR 01, 2015 - 03:13 AM
Hi Christophé, the tower is nice but the barrier and blast wall less so. But for those who find scratch-building too much of a step it is ideal. For me the base along with the other sets are quite useful.
MAR 02, 2015 - 12:48 AM
We had a few of these around my COP. They model looks a little squat, but I'm sure they came in many sizes. IT need the steel ladder rungs inside to complete it.
MAR 02, 2015 - 05:31 AM
Cheers Rob, now that explains what it looked like inside. I had wondered if it was a ladder. Do the towers have a trap door or just an opening on that top level?
MAR 02, 2015 - 05:34 PM
Ours only had an opening, and a fall would have been serious because they didn't stagger the openings as they could have. We had occasion to haul some heavy stuff up, with little help. There was rope, but rather useless if you're the first guy up. No trap door, but certainly could have been covered with a sheet of plywood. And it only had the rungs, like on a boxcar - no side rails. I'm away on "business" right now but can post up a few photos when I return home.
MAR 04, 2015 - 12:53 PM
Hi Rob, thank you for the info. It almost sounds like that the tower was designed by the military top brass..... Yes I think that any further images would be very welcome. When you get back home after work you can either upload them here or email them and I can add them to the review. Stay safe buddy!
MAR 06, 2015 - 02:25 AM
Further images it shall be! As shown kit depicts round roofs and floors, which I did see, but the square roof and floor seemed far more prevalent, at least in my neck of the woods. (Syrian Border)The squared ones are included as an option. This is our corner of the Iraqi base we were on: I stated earlier that our ladders had no side handles, and I know that some towers were that way. However, the photo below and another further down show a complete ladder: Railroad tracks outside our house (the warehouse) ran straight from Syrian border 200m away. Trains would come by and dudes could be seen jumping off of it. House in photo had windows that looked right into our compound. Good thing we trusted that family. Steel door in photo separated us from the wild west. Another view outside of our house. Iraqis manned the square tower: Again, note ladder, and lift rings for the base. Similar lift rings were on the roof pieces. A nice detail to add - I assume these holes are for lifting the sections: Another Iraqi tower on our COP. It must not have had an interior ladder:
MAR 17, 2015 - 10:09 PM
Hi Rob, Now they are seriously useful photographs, thank you very much. I prefer the 'traffic' cones/stones in use in your photographs. Much safer than the ones we encountered in Bosnia..... mainly anti-tank mines! It could be easy to add a 'middle' section to add height tot he supplied tower. Cheers & stay safe Brian
MAR 18, 2015 - 11:46 PM

Click image to enlarge
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