The HMMWV roof-mounted weapons arrangements have evolved from a simple ringmount, to a mount with gunner's shield, to a fully armored turret incorporating the shield and 360-degree protection for the gunner who is otherwise exposed to threats like Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and small-arms fire.
The latest HMMWV armored turret issued to US Special Operations vehicles is Save-A-Gunner (SAG) turret, developed by US Global Nanospace. Designed to interface precisely with HMMWV rotating rings, SAG turret is constructed using experimental lightweight nanotech G-Lam anti-ballistic material, which is over 100 times stronger than steel and stops 12.7mm (.50 caliber) projectiles. One test using 7.62mm ammunition even showed six successive strikes near the same spot did not penetrate the armor, outperforming ceramic plates in conventional composite systems.
Live Resin is a well-known name in scale modeling. The company revolutionized the model making process by employing state-of-the-art 3D rapid prototyping technology to produce high quality weapon and accessory sets as well as number of different HMMWV upgrades in 1/35 scale. This review covers their Save-A-Gunner turret (LRE 35151), while the other reviews of Live Resin goodies on Armorama can be found here: link
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box featuring CAD boxart images. The boxart on the front shows the content of the set in a simple assembly scheme, stating the turret can be mounted on all HMMWV models in 1/35 scale by using Armor Turret Base (LRE35152) available separately from Live Resin, and listing all the recommended weapon and accessory upgrades for the turret. The boxart on the back shows the turret in more detail and displays several different turret weapon setups.
The box contains a zip-lock bag with 17 parts cast in grey resin. The resin looks really good and, other than some thin flash residue which can be easily removed, I found no evidence of any casting imperfections… Live Resin invests a lot of time and energy in a quality control process, as vast majority of their kits I reviewed feature absolutely flawless cast. The parts display impressively sharp details superbly rendered in 1/35 scale. The parts include:
- turret ring
- turret side shield (4 parts)
- hatch cover (3 parts)
- turret rotation mechanism (2 parts)
- weapons mount base
- pintle adaptor (2x)
- ammo box tray (4x)
This kit features Save-A-Gunner (SAG) turret, one of the most advanced turret setups in use on Special Ops Humvees, providing full wrap-around protection for the gunner using experimental nanotech anti-ballistic material while still ensuring the gunner’s ability to engage targets effectively. Finding any information about SAG turret is not an easy task, however, there are number of photos on the internet which could serve as a reference for anyone interested in this particular type of turret. The turret consists of several sub-system elements which have been faithfully reproduced in scale by Live Resin.
The turret ring
serves as a mounting point for all turret components. It features brush type seal around the circumference of the ring as well as two gunner's backrest cushions providing back support for a gunner positioned in weapon station. Gunner’s sling, which serves as seat rest for a gunner positioned in weapon station, is not included in this set and should be added from scratch using lead foil.
The turret shield
provides ballistic protection for the gunner. The complex shape of armored walls is nicely portrayed in scale with numerous rivets and two sockets for the Swing Arm weapon systems, one on each turret side.
Manual traversing unit (MTU)
attaches to the traversing gear ring and includes traversing gear unit, traversing handle and engage/disengage lever. The thin lever handle is not included in this set and should be added from scratch by the modeler. Also, the set is missing turret brake mechanism; although located below the ring and probably extremely hard to notice on the completed model, I wish Live Resin went the extra mile and included this piece of the traversing system to the set.
The turret hatch
opens backwards and folds on both sides when open. The hatch in the kit is made of 3 separately cast pieces, offering assembly in either open or closed position. These pieces are impressively detailed inside and out, featuring hinges, retaining clips and handles as well as interior padding.
A-frame weapons mount base
is used to attach primary weapon system to the turret. The central opening is designed to accept bearing sleeve from any of Live Resin’s main weapon system offerings: M2, Mk19, Mk47 or M134D. Two adjustable-height pintle adapters are included in the set as well. These are actually brackets for mounting Swing Arm weapon systems to sockets on turret side shields. Modelers have an option of choosing any Swing Arm system from Live Resin and install it to these adapters, making a SAG turret weapon setup of their own preference.
Finally, the set includes four ammo box trays
, two for each turret side. Various ammo boxes can be added to these trays, depending on the main turret weapon and side weapons choices. Reference images show straps or some form of additional racks which hold the boxes in place, so modelers will have to find a way of replicating those themselves in scale.
I didn’t encounter any issues building the turret whatsoever. The pieces are very intelligently engineered and most of them feature protrusions or indentations which help in aligning the parts correctly. The fit is really good and I didn’t have to use any putty throughout the build process. The only advice I could give for all those who bought both the SAG Turret (LRE-35151) and Armor Turret Base (LRE-35152) from Live Resin is to attach the turret rotating mechanism after installing the completed turret on the armor turret base.
This review features short photo summary of my build: I annotated the parts on their resin carrier blocks and I'm showing photos of all major sub-assemblies noting the position of each part as well. The turret ring assembly is shown on photo 1, the turret hatch in open / closed position on photos 2-3, and finally the completed SAG turret is shown on photos 4-5 (note the turret hatch is now folded and displayed in opened position). The following photos display the SAG turret in detail as well as the turret fitted with various Live Resin weapon sets and accessories to this review… these photos shows one option of customizing the turret.
As for fitting the turret to different Humvee models, Live Resin claims the turret can fit 1/35 scale HMMWV models from all manufacturers. I believe this to be a valid statement… if the turret opening in the Humvee roof is too tight, it should be easy enough widening it to accept SAG turret from Live Resin. Also, if the roof opening is too wide, the turret ring from this set can cover the opening. Besides, most modelers would probably prefer using both Armor Turret Base (LRE-35152) and SAG Turret (LRE-35151), and if one manages to fit the turret base to the Humvee roof, the turret itself should present no problems.
SAG Turret (LRE-35151) from Live Resin represents 1/35 scale version of one of the most advanced turrets fitted to Special Ops HMMWVs. The kit consists of 17 resin parts which are perfectly cast and feature remarkable details all around. Due to intelligent engineering, the parts fit perfectly, making the assembly very easy. The set should fit well to any Humvee model in 1/35 scale.
The SAG turret presents a great base for fitting various weapon systems and accessories available separately from Live Resin, offering the possibility of building almost any kind of turret setup. This set, along with the Armored Turret Base (LRE-35152) is a must for anyone building Special Ops Humvee in 1/35 scale.