by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Live Resin is a Russian company specializing in producing high-quality weapons and accessories in 1/35 scale. Recently, Live Resin ventured into the full figure business, releasing their first three figures, all depicting US Army soldiers. These releases are definitely a turning point in how we perceive 1/35 scale figures today; not only are the figures sculpted using computer-generated process and delivered using high-tech 3D printer, but they also offer a new concept of "modular" figures with all the parts and equipment pieces in the kit provided separately, giving modelers a chance to customize the figures based on their own preferences.
This review covers the third in line of Live Resin 1/35 scale figures: US Army Modern Soldier (LRM-35003). The figure kit is packed in a hard cardboard box. The box displays CAD boxart images; the one on the front shows the full figure and lists the equipment the figure is supplied with, while the one on the back shows the figure part layout and lists all the extras in Live Resin accessory line which can be used to upgrade or convert this figure.
The box contains a zip-lock bag with resin pieces. Some pieces are very thin and delicate so I would suggest taking care when removing those from their carrier blocks. The radio antenna in my sample was damaged during transport, but I glued the broken piece back on without any problems. The pieces are cast really well, but I did find a seam line going along the right leg of the figure. Although the imperfection is not very pronounced, I had to clean it carefully trying not to damage the details on the uniform folds. As with all Live Resin offerings, the parts display impressive level of sharp details superbly executed in 1/35 scale.
This figure kit contains 39 parts. Here's a list of the parts included in this set:
- right arm
- left arm
- right boot
- left boot
- helmet accessories (4x)
- various equipment pieces (22x)
- weapon accessories (4x).
Live Resin makes their figures in a "modular" fashion, supplying main figure parts and all the equipment pieces in the kit separately. This way each modeler is able to customize the figure, organizing the equipment pieces to build his own optimal gear setup. Also, by combining this figure kit with other accessories from Live Resin range modelers are able to build a completely new and original figure.
The figure depicted in this kit represents a US Special Forces operative in action pose, firing his weapon from the hip. The figure is sculpted with the most modern uniform setup today; over his Generation II Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), the figure wears flame-resistant Army Combat Shirt (ACS) produced by Massif. The figure also wears Army Combat Pants (ACP), Oakley SI Assault Boots, Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves and sports Tactical Knee Pads. All these items are wonderfully reproduced in scale and feature loads of impressively sculpted details. I particularly like the details on the ACS, the carbon fiber knuckle plating on the gloves, the sole pattern on the boots, and, above all this, a tiny but extremely well defined Oakley logo on both the gloves and boots.
As for the equipment, the figure is supplied with:
- IOTV Lower Back Protector
- magazine pouches (7x)
- grenade pouches (2x)
- pistol magazine pouches (3x)
- medical pouch
- small utility pouch
- water hydration unit components (2x)
- MBITR radio pouch and components (4x)
- pistol holster.
Two different magazine pouches are supplied in this kit. The ones I used for this figure represent
b>HSGI Universal Modular Magazine Pouches. These can be attached to any MOLLE platform and can hold either three M-16, two AK or two .308 magazines. Additional MOLLE webbing on the sides of the pouch allow attachment of extra equipment. The Grenade Pouches included in the kit depict the ones produced by Tactical Tailor, as well as the Modular Zipper Utility Pouch which features modular webbing on the outside as attachment points for other gear and dual zipper pulls. The Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) Pouch consists of expendable medical items packed inside of a modified MOLLE 100-round SAW ammo pouch. Also, the kit includes Hydramax, Military issued Camelbak style hydration unit in MOLLE II hydration carrier. The pack carrier features carrying handle at the top and in the center, D-rings on the sides and MOLLE webbing on the front, allowing attachment of additional pouches. The drinking hose is not supplied and should be made from scratch, however the drinking bite-valve is included.
The figure carries M9 pistol safely secured in BlackHawk CQC Serpa Holster. The holster should be clipped to IOTV upper chest.
All this gear is beautifully reproduced in scale. I particularly like the magazine pouches with details of three magazines stored inside, and the utility pouch with nicely defined MOLLE webbing and two zipper pulls. The hydration unit bite-valve is incredibly tiny but superbly detailed. The only thing I'm missing are the hydration unit chest and shoulder straps; although some hydration carriers can clip directly to IOTV, I didn't find any evidence of this particular carrier without straps. I think the torso with the sculpted straps should do the trick perfectly, and I suppose Live Resin has already considered making different figure torsos with various backpack or hydration unit straps. That way a modeler would just have to add the equipment to the figure and not worry about replicating complex strap system from foil or some similar material.
A particularly well executed piece of equipment in this set is AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) in its large radio pouch. The pouch features an open top for easy access to controls and a hook and loop cover to conceal the keypad and screen. The radio extras include the Thales Dummy Blade Antenna, Peltor PTT and a tiny microphone for Peltor ComTac II Tactical Headset the figure is wearing. The radio equipment needs some wiring which could be easily done using thin brass wire: the MBITR should be connected to the PTT (which is usually clipped to the MOLLE loops on the IOTV) front, and the PTT connected to the headset. Also, brass wire should be used to replicate the microphone boom of the headset.
On his head the figure wears MICH helmet with cover and Surefire Helmet Light HL1-A. The helmet accessories in this set include ESS Profile Goggles (cast with Night Vision Goggles mount), goggle cover, PVS-14 Night Vision Monocular and MS2000 Strobe Light. The ESS Profile Goggles fit nicely to the goggle strap sculpted on the helmet, and the goggle dust cover can be fixed to the goggle strap as well. The night vision system is very delicate, but perfectly rendered. As for the MS2000, soldiers usually tape the strobe to the helmet, so I would suggest studying the reference pictures and using thin lead foil for simulating tape in scale.
The figure is armed with HK416 Assault Rifle, designed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch. The rifle uses the AR-15 platform, but includes HK-proprietary short-stroke gas piston system derived from the Heckler & Koch G36, which significantly reduces rifle malfunctions. The HK416 has been extensively tested by the US military and is in use with some law enforcement agencies and special operations units. This kit also includes Magpul PMAG 30 Magazine and three extras for the weapon: Aimpoint CompM4 red dot sight, AN/PEQ-15A Dual Beam Aiming Laser and a Grip Pod Vertical Grip Bipod. The magazine features a tiny stub which fits nicely to the weapon receiver opening, while the other weapon accessories in the kit feature indentations on their bases which fit perfectly to the weapon rail system. This way the 1/35 scale accessories can be fixed to the weapon exactly as the real things mount on a real Picatinny rail. If a modeler wants to add other accessories to the weapon, Live Resin offers a vast number of weapon goodies available separately.
As with their other 1/35 figure kits, Live Resin made this one in "modular" fashion. This means every single piece of equipment is supplied separately in the kit and the modeler has the chance to customize the figure to his own preferences. For building my figure, I decided to recreate the gear setup shown on Live Resin website, with only slight modifications.
The figure is designed very intelligently; all the figure body parts feature protrusions and indentations which help in aligning the main figure pieces correctly. As for the equipment, due to the huge number of pieces the cleanup process took quite some time. After cleaning all the equipment pieces, I added two HSGI magazine pouches to the drop leg platform and started attaching equipment to the IOTV: first I positioned the MBITR pouch, added two HSGI magazine pouches next to it and fixed two pistol magazine pouches. I also attached two grenade pouches, one to each side of the IOTV. Finally, IFAK medical pouch and utility pouch were added. I also fixed the M9 holster on the figure upper chest. On the IOTV back the hydration system was attached. I did not try recreating the drinking tube at this time or attaching the bite-valve to the IOTV; these are definitely better attached after the body armor was painted. The MBITR is one of the fine points of this set and I wanted to give it attention it deserves. I removed the bit where the antenna should be attached and drilled a hole to accept the large blade antenna supplied in the kit. I also drilled another tiny hole in the MBITR jack and two identical diameter holes on Peltor PTT, which was then fixed to the IOTV upper chest, next to the holster. Those holes would accommodate thin brass wires going from the MBTR to PTT, and from PTT to the ComTac headset. I decided to left these wires off to facilitate painting the body armor. I also did not attach the microphone boom to the headset; this will be added after painting the face.
After all the gear was in place, I fixed the accessories to the weapon. The forward grip was left off and instead inserted into the left hand. I had to enlarge the opening in the fist just a bit and the forward grip was grasped tightly. I had a small mishap with inserting the weapon to the right hand of the figure. I used a too much force and snapped the pistol grip in half. Luckily, that made fitting the weapon to the hand much easier and I could fine-tune it to the hand once I attached the arms to the torso.
I finished the figure by adding the goggles and goggle cover to the helmet. I also attached the strobe light, but I didn't use tape to secure it to the helmet. Some thin lead foil should do the trick.
The US Army Modern Soldier (LRM-35003) is another "modular" figure kit in 1/35 scale from Live Resin. Providing all the figure parts and equipment pieces separately gives Live Resin kits a competitive edge over other 1/35 scale figure sets. By combining different figure parts, weapons and accessories the modelers can create new and original figures.
The figure is well researched, nicely cast and offers unprecedented level of details for a 1/35 scale figure. The pieces fit great and the kit builds into one of the most modern US Army Special Ops figures on the market today. Once again, a very impressive work from Live Resin!