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M153 CROWS II with M240
M-ATV SOCOM Version upgrade.Part 1 - M153 Protector Crows II with M240. Set includes M153 Protector Crows II mounted M240 Machine Gun with realistic detailed adapter, monitor with joystick
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]

Introduction:

The M-ATV SOCOM is a member of the Oshkosh family of M-ATV mine protected vehicle designed especially for Special Forces units.The M-ATV SOCOM variant features a modified cargo deck, intended to accept specialized equipment based on the requirements of each mission, as well as larger front windscreens for increased visibility.The rear storage is accessible through an armored cargo access hatch in the passenger capsule, which can seat five while operating a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) or four with a gunner.

Live Resin produces a comprehensive four-part set to deliver the complete M-ATV SOCOM CROWS II system in 1/35 scale. The first set features M153 CROWS II with M240 (LRE-35223), the second set includes CROWS base and armored hatch (LRE-35224), the third set provides the back armor cradle with ammo (LRE-35225), and the fourth delivers spent shells in CROWS II basket (LRE-35226).

Review:

This review covers the M-ATV SOCOM Version upgrade. Part 1 - M153 Protector Crows II with M240 (LRE-35223), while the reviews of other M-ATV SOCOM sets from Live Resin can be accessed here: link.

The set is supplied in a hard cardboard box which features CAD image of this particular CROWS II set, as well as the image of the complete M-ATV SOCOM upgrade system consisting of sets LRE-35223, LRE-35224, LRE-35225 and LRE-35226. Opening the box reveals a zip-lock bag securing the pieces cast in grey resin. The cast is very impressive; I found no seam lines or air-bubbles with only some thin flash residue easily removed with the back of X-acto blade. There are no assembly instructions in the box; instead these need to be downloaded from Live Resin website.

The set represents CROWS II system, the complete weapon station as well as operator monitor and joystick. Although this set is offered as a part of M-ATV SOCOM upgrade, the CROWS II set can be used with many other modern day vehicles like Humvees and MRAPs, with only possible modification being the weapon station base.

The pieces of the set display sharp details superbly delivered in resin. Comparing the pieces with the reference images, I noticed an excellent match… Live Resin did their job extremely well. My only nitpick with the set are solid resin optical lenses which I would prefer in transparent resin instead. Live Resin already showed us what the company is capable of, so going an extra mile with these would definitely make the set shine. Die-hard modelers might want to add the clear lenses themselves, as well as design stencil decals to level up the model even further. Regardless of these details, the set is definitely one of the most impressive sets produced by Live Resin.

Assembly:

Consisting of 39 pieces, many of which are extremely delicate, this set is aimed at more experienced modelers. Before starting the assembly, I would definitely suggest taking some time to identify all the pieces of the set and check the references as thoroughly as possible. Downloading instructions from Live Resin website is a must. Since I don’t have a computer on my workbench I had to jump back and fro in order to check where each piece is supposed to go. I could have printed the instructions myself but these are designed on a dark background and my black cartridge would probably choke printing 7 almost completely dark pages. So, Live Resin, please include the instructions in the box as you did with all the previously produced boxed sets or design the instructions in a more printer friendly manner.

I have to say this was one of the most complex Live Resin assemblies I did so far. Although the company goes into great effort to make things as easy as possible with series of protrusions and indentations helping to optimally align pieces, it took quite some time to build the model and preserve the geometry of the system. For the purpose of this review I annotated the pieces on their carrier blocks and I’m also displaying photos of three major subassemblies noting the position of each part; the weapon cradle is shown on photos 1-4, optical elements on photos 5-8, and the CROWS base on photos 9-12. After fixing the subassemblies together, the weapon and weapon feed system is fitted and shown on photos 13-16. Finally, the rest of the images show the complete CROWS II system.

I also included images of the fully assembled CROWS II system to this review, showcasing all the Live Resin M-ATV SOCOM upgrade sets together.

Conclusion:

M-ATV SOCOM CROWS II is the biggest project from Live Resin so far. It includes four resin sets which can be used together to build a highly-detailed CROWS II system for 1/35 scale M-ATV models.

M-ATV SOCOM Version upgrade. Part 1 - M153 Protector Crows II with M240 (LRE-35223) is the first and most complex part of the M-ATV upgrade and, as the title suggests, it includes CROWS II with M240. The set is very impressive; the resin pieces are nicely cast and delivered with astonishing detail all around. The fit of the pieces is amazing, but the assembly is not for the faint hearted… It takes a lot of patience to build the system, however the end result is well worth the extra effort as this is by far the most detailed and realistic rendition of the CROWS II system in 1/35 scale.

A big thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for this review sample.

References:

M-ATV MRAP in Detail (G044), Wings & Wheels Publications

Special Operations Patrol Vehicles, Afghanistan and Iraq, Osprey Publications

Oshkosh M-ATV Photo Walk Around, AK Interactive
SUMMARY
Highs: Amazing set all around. Nicely cast, loads of details, perfect fit... the set builds into the most realistic replica of CROWS II system in 1/35 scale.
Lows: Complex assembly might give some modelers cold feet. Lack of printed instructions.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LRE-35223
  Related Link: Live Resin website
  PUBLISHED: Dec 07, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.95%

Our Thanks to Live Resin!
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 Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2018 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.



   

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