M240 is the US military designation for the FN MAG, a belt-fed, gas-operated, air-cooled 7.62mm medium machine gun. Manufactured by Fabrique Nationale in the 1950s, the MAG (Mitrailleuse d'Appui General) was chosen by the US military in the late 1970s as a replacement for the M60 machine gun. M240 was first adopted as a coaxial tank gun, but the weapon eventually developed to a family of sub-variants for a wide range of applications… it is used in the infantry role, mounted on vehicles and helicopters, and as coaxial tank machine gun. All variants are fed from disintegrating ammo belts and are capable of firing most types of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
M240B is the standard infantry medium machine gun of the US Army in Afghanistan and Iraq. By no way a beauty, it is extremely reliable and proven design, serving as a powerful supplement to the lighter 5.56mm-based M249, M16 and M4.
Live Resin is a resin company from Russia, specialized in producing high quality weapon and accessory sets. This review covers their US Army M240B 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (LRE-35014) set.
The US Army M240B weapon set comes packed in a zip-lock bag safely secured between a firm cardboard (9X10cm). The box art on the front shows all the kit parts, while the one on the back lists Live Resin offerings which could be combined with the basic M240B kit: US Army scope sets (LRE-35007 and LRE-35008) and Insight's Technology AN/PEQ-2, AN/PEQ-15 (LRE-35010).
The kit consists of 21 parts organized on 3 resin casting blocks. Each block carries one M240B and weapon accessories: ammo feed system parts, carrying handle and bipod. The grey resin looks really good and I found no imperfections in the cast; there are no air-bubbles, no seam lines, nothing… some very tiny flash residues are present, but those are easy to remove. All the delicate parts are superbly rendered in scale.
The M240B depicted in this kit is the version currently employed by US Army to Afghanistan and Iraq. It features several additional upgrades to the original weapon: handguard with heatshield to provide thermal protection to the operator and picatinny rails on the receiver cover and forearm. The rails serve as attachment points for different optical systems and target illuminators which are available separately from Live Resin and can be used to “pimp up” these M240Bs. On a side note, I wish Live Resin would also consider releasing M240L, a lighter version of the weapon featuring titanium construction, short barrel and new adjustable buttstock instead of the standard plastic stock. The M240L is 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) lighter than the current version and is expected to replace the M240Bs in the 2011/2012.
All M240Bs are fed from disintegrating ammunition belts. Live Resin supplied an ammo belt in this kit, but also the M240B combat ammo pack. The pack enables direct attachment of a lightweight ammunition container to the weapon, holds 50 rounds of linked 7.62mm ammo and protects the belt from dirt and debris. The combat pack also allows better movement of the M240B during initial insertions and engagements. As with their US Army M249 SAW (LRE-35013), Live Resin added a small piece of ammo belt going from the ammo pack to the weapon itself... a detail giving extra realism to the kit.
The carrying handle is not only used for transporting the weapon, but also for barrel replacement procedure. The M240B handle in this kit looks good and very delicate. Study the references before attaching the piece to the barrel in order to see the correct handle/barrel connection point and angle of the attachment as well. Take your time when cleaning the handle, it is delicate.
The folding bipod is attached to the M240B gas chamber and there are mounting points on the bottom of the receiver to fit infantry tripods or vehicle mounts. The kit is supplied with both open and closed bipods, with the unique shape of M240B bipod extremely well rendered. Again, be careful when cleaning the bipod from casting blocks, the parts are very delicate.
The CAD drawings and 3D resin prototypes of US Army M240B kit on Live Resin website look amazing... I was really impressed, but I never thought this level of details is possible to achieve in 1/35 scale. After receiving the kit, I can definitely confirm the resin castings are absolutely wonderful and the details both on the weapon and the accessories incredibly well defined. Check out the picture of a real M240B I attached to this review, compare it with the resin 1/35 scale piece, and see for yourself how well guys at Live Resin did their job.
This kit features M240B version currently employed by US Army in Afghanistan and Iraq. It includes several ammo feed pieces, carrying handle and bipod... All together 21 resin parts for building three M240Bs. The resin cast is flawless and features incredibly well defined details. With some optical sights and AN/PEQs which are available separately from Live Resin, these M240Bs can be built into real 1/35 scale masterpieces.
Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for this review sample.
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