by: Jason Bobrowich [ ]
GAS, GAS, GAS! Those three words should be exceptionally well known to the majority of men and women who have served in many military forces around the world. The threat of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) warfare in various forms since WWI to the present day as Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) has led to specific training and a plethora of evolving protective equipment around the globe.
The M17 Protective Mask was developed for the U.S. Military and entered service in the late 1950s/early 1960s. The M17 mask comprises essentially of the face mask, filters, and lens outserts. Voicemitter amplification units and drinking tubes were added as the mask versions evolved. There were also eyeglass inserts available as well to provide prescription glass wearing personnel regular vision.
For an added level of protection against enemy attacks the M6A2 Chemical-Biological mask hood was introduced and fitted over the M17 mask in order to provide full head and neck protection against vapour and droplets. It was made of a Butyl-Rubber coated fabric and had integral eyepieces, inlet valves, and a voicemitter opening to match the M17 mask as well as draw strings/slide fasteners and underarm straps to secure the hood and cape.
Ideally the M17/M6A2 combo would be worn in conjunction with the MOPP (Mission Orientated protective Posture) battledress overgarment, gloves, and boots in full MOPP Level 4.
Modern NBC and CBRN protective equipment has been for the most part ignored by 1/35 figure producers. There have been a limited amount of Soviet era figures in the past and the now out of production Verlinden NBC protected Infantry figures and M25A1 wearing tank crew figures.
Live Resin now steps up with a variety of 1/35 head sets dedicated to the M17 Protective Mask.
This set is the 1/35 Live Resin LRE-35267 M17 US Protective Gas Mask with NBC hood and PASGT Helmet-Gulf War-Modern Period. It consists of six heads wearing the M17 Protective mask and the M6A2 mask hood in addition to PASGT helmets.
The PASGT helmet first entered US service in 1983 during Operation Urgent Fury the invasion of Panama. They became mainstream issue around 1985. If you want to use this head set strive for the mid 1980s onward to about the mid 1990s when the M17 was replaced by the M40 gas mask. This should lend itself to great Cold War USAREUR and Desert Shield/Desert Storm projects. There are always anomalies with respect to equipment entering and leaving service so make sure you use good references.
This is the first Live Resin set that I have examined up close and personal. I am very impressed with the quality of the product. I am always skeptical when model producers wave fancy high tech CAD images as advertising but this set is very impressive.
The set includes three forward looking heads and three left looking heads. Three of the PASGT helmets have only the helmet cover and helmet band. The remaining three helmets have a set of Sun-Wind-Dust Goggles (SWDG) fitted on the helmet.
The level of detail on the heads is very high. You can easily see details associated to the eyepieces, voicemitter, and the inlet valves.
The mask hood encompasses the entire head and extends on to the shoulder area. The slide fastener is visible under the neckline. The hood for sure captures the baggy look commonly seen.
The PASGT helmets are terrific. The subtle texture of the helmet cover is visible and adds an additional level of realism. Fabric seam lines and the holes for placing camouflage are visible. The goggles attached to three of the helmets look the part. They still retain an element of separation from the helmet and the goggle strap is nicely replicated.
Attaching the helmets to the masked heads should not be an issue as all of the helmets are completely hollow. Three of the heads have a raised flat resin component on top that is likely for properly fitting the PASGT helmets. The remaining three heads can be used with our without helmets as the mask hood is complete. Cleanup will be straight forward and simple of both the heads and helmets.
As the heads include the shoulder portion of the mask hood it will be interesting to see how they will actually fit to the 1/35 figure of your choosing. The shoulder area of the hood mask are contoured to fit over figure shoulders and are hollowed out underneath. However, I would recommend some very diligent dry fitting to ensure you get a proper seating and fit of the mask hood on a figure. I suspect that removing details such as uniform collars and possibly some of the upper shoulder details might be required to make sure the mask and mask hood don’t look like they are floating ala “Headless Horseman”.
I like this set very much. It adds a new element to figure projects related to the Cold War and Gulf War. However, given the fact that the M17 mask and mask should ideally be worn with the MOPP Level 4 we are still severely lacking 1/35 figures in MOPP gear or even figures in the old OG U.S. rain gear. Perhaps we will see some new 1/35 MOPP gear figures and the AFV M25A1 gas mask in the future?
Live Resin also produces other sets related to the M17 gas mask including bare heads with the mask fitted, masked heads with the M1 helmet, masked heads with the M1 helmet and battle damage, masked heads with the mask hood, and the M17 pouch. Add to this the Live Resin Soviet era gas mask head sets and you are ready to create a variety of NBC/CBRN related projects.