by: Eric Buchanan [ ]
This is a review of Live Resinís set, LRM 35009 USMC soldier figure for MCTAGS and LAV-25 turrets with realistic M40 gasmask (Live Resinís description).
The set comes packaged, like all medium sized items that Live Resin makes, in a small zipper bag in a small, white card stock box. The box has color photos with renderings of the assembled figure. The set comes with eight pieces attached to two pour plugs in medium gray resin. The resin color allows for clear photos to be taken of the pieces. The attachment points on the main parts that make up the body are large and hard to remove. Attachment points for the six smaller items are smaller and are much easier to remove.
The resin is as strong as styrene and is easy to work. As with styrene, the smallest pieces must be handled with care as they may break during removal from their pour plugs and during assembly. The detail on the castings is very sharp. There is significant undercutting on all of the parts showing detail that canít be reproduced on a similar figure in styrene. I only encountered two small air bubbles on the figure. One is on the back of the figureís belt, and the other is on the right forearm. The one on the right forearm only became visible once the casting stub in that location was removed.
As far as I can tell the figure appears to be wearing the USMCís FROG (Flame Resistant Organizational Gear) pants and shirt along with the MTV (Modular Tactical Vest). These uniform items are in current use with the USMC. The figure also appears to be wearing hard knuckled gloves. The figure is posed bent over slightly at the waist, with his arms meant to be holding the grip of a weapon, while looking down the sights. The packaging shows the figure being used with Live Resin set LRE35321 which is a USMC MCTAGS (Marine Corps Transparent Armor Gun Shield) Propaganda version. I can assume that the gas mask is to protect the figure from CS gas used during crowd control operations.
The detail on the head with the M40 mask is great. The ears, the hair and the straps of the mask are sharp. The detail on the hands is outstanding. The individual fingers of the hands are very well defined. I was easily able to open up the right hand which should be posed holding the grip of a weapon. Details on the uniform are well done. The detail of the pockets is sharp with all of the pleats and the flaps being well defined. The MOLLE webbing detail on the MTV is also very sharp. The MTV looks as heavy as I would expect it to be from looking at photos of Marines wearing the vest. The one drawback here is that there are no pouches for the vest. It seems to me that, at a minimum, someone riding in a vehicle should have ammo pouches for a personal weapon. I think the proportions of the body are good.
Like most Live Resin sets, there are no instructions included. Studying the photos on the box should allow the average modeler to assemble the set. Fit of most of the parts is very good. The head fits to the body very well. The positioning of the head allows for the figure to look down weapon sights in a very convincing manner. The arms fit to the body with no gaps. The one difficult point in the assembly is between the torso and the legs. The pour plug attachments are large and hard to remove in a way that allows the two pieces to join tightly. There is a gap that I had a hard time eliminating between the pieces. Some sort of filler will be required. The fit of the feet to the legs is also flawless, with no gaps. The final piece, the gas canister fits well.
This set is another solid offering from Live Resin. It is an unusual subject that can be used in a variety of settings. I can see it being used in a crowd control setting in a Middle East country or a post-apocalyptic setting with equal impact. The pose is natural and believable. It has great detail and was easy to build. I highly recommend it.