by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Live Resin released their first figures in 1/35 scale couple of months ago. These miniatures are quite different from the resin figures we are used to... not only because they are sculpted in 3D software and prototyped using a high-resolution printer, but also because these figures present a new "modular" concept with all the main body 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 second 1/35 scale figure offering from Live Resin: US Army Modern Soldier (LRM-35002). The figure kit is packed in a hard cardboard box which features CAD boxart images; the one on the front shows the full figure from several different angles, while the one on the back shows the figure part layout. The boxart also lists the equipment the figure is supplied with and all the extras in Live Resin accessory line which can be used to upgrade or convert this figure.
The resin pieces are secured in a zip-lock bag. Some smaller pieces broke off from their carrier blocks during transport, but I managed to find all of them in the bag. As with all Live Resin offerings, the pieces in this kit are cast to perfection and feature loads of extremely sharp details.
I'm sure most of you have already read reviews of Live Resin figures and understand their concept of "modular" figures: the idea of supplying all the equipment pieces separately in the kit results in a large number of parts within a single figure kit and increases the complexity of the build, but also gives modelers a possibility to organize the equipment to his own preferences. This particular figure kit contains 50 parts. Here's a list of all the pieces included in this set:
- right arm
- left arm
- right boot
- left boot
- helmet and helmet accessories (5x)
- various equipment pieces (32x)
- weapon and weapon accessories (6x).
The figure in this kit represents a US Special Forces operative with the most up-to-date equipment. The figure wears flame-resistant Army Combat Shirt (ACS) and Army Combat Pants (ACP). His Generation II Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) features Deltoid Auxiliary Protective Shoulder Pads, while the Lower Back Protector, although noted on the parts diagram as a separate piece, was missing in my kit. The figure also wears Oakley SI Assault Boots, Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves and sports McGuire-Nicholas Tactical Knee & Elbow Pads. All these clothing items are thoroughly researched and exceptionally executed in scale with numerous fine-points all around. There are several tiny details that are particularly impressive to me: the carbon fiber knuckle plating on the gloves, the sole pattern on the boots, the complex non-slip texture on knee pads and, above all this, a tiny but extremely well defined Oakley logo on both the gloves and boots. Amazing work from Live Resin sculptors!
The extra equipment supplied in the kit consists of:
- rifle magazine pouches (7x)
- grenade pouches (2x)
- pistol magazine pouches (2x)
- 12-round 40mm belt (12x individual 40mm ammo round pouches)
- utility pouches (2x)
- water hydration unit components (2x)
- MBITR radio pouch and components (4x)
- pistol holster.
Condor MA18 Open Top M4/M16 Magazine Pouches are designed to hold a single 5.56mm 30rd magazine. These pouches feature bungee retention cords with nylon tabs to secure magazines in place and additional MOLLE loops for attaching extra equipment to the front. The pouches in this kit are not all identical to each other, instead featuring slightly different position of bungee straps and pull tabs. The Tactical Tailor 40mm 12-round belt should be assembled from individual round pouches supplied in the kit, however this particular kit does not include the adjustable belt itself. The belt, usually worn around the waist or slung across the body, could be made of lead foil or a 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 and Thales Palm Speaker Microphone. The MBITR and Palm Speaker Microphone should be connected by wiring which is easily recreated in scale using thin brass wire. 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 Eagle Industries Universal Drop Leg Holster.
On his head the figure wears MICH helmet with cover. The helmet features ESS Profile Goggles strap which fit nicely to ESS goggles sculpted on the figure's head. Goggle protective cover is supplied separately in this kit. As for the other helmet accessories, the kit includes PVS-14 Night Vision Goggles and MS2000 Strobe Light. The NVG pieces are extremely delicate in 1/35 scale, so take your time when removing them from their casting blocks. The pieces fit to the MICH helmet NVG mount assembly perfectly. 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 M4 carbine with HK M320 Grenade Launcher Module (GLM) and AN-PSQ-18A laser scope. M320 GLM is the US military designation for a new single-shot 40mm grenade launcher system to replace the M203 in the US Army. Its integral AN-PSQ-18A day/night sighting system is located on the side of the launcher, in a position that reduces interference with weapon sights, making the attachment of the launcher a single operation, and also eliminating the need to re-zero after reattaching to a weapon. The M320 can fire all NATO high-explosive, smoke, and illumination grenades. Its breech opens to the side, allowing it to fire a variety of newer rounds which are longer. 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.
Although the kit consists of 50 resin pieces, building the figure is pretty much straightforward. The main body parts feature protrusions and indentations which help to align the main figure pieces correctly. Adding all the equipment to the figure took some time, but it was a fun process… I opted to recreate the gear setup shown on the boxart with small modifications only. I did not connect the MBITR to the Peltor Speaker with wiring or add drinking tube to the Hydramax, deciding to do this after the figure was completely painted.
After the build, I have to express my only gripe about this figure. Its pose is absolutely identical to that of LRM-35001 figure reviewed previously on Armorama. I really wish Live Resin opted to change the pose between the figures slightly; that way the two figures would not be so alike and could be used together in a Special Forces vignette.
As with all the Live Resin figures released so far, this figure represents US Special Forces operative with the most modern garb and gear possible. The kit consists of 50 resin pieces, which might make building the figure a bit intimidating for novice modelers. However, it really is not such a big deal… Due to the very intelligent engineering of its main pieces, the figure builds very easily and the fit is perfect. The “modular” design enables customization of the equipment setup which is a big plus in my book. Finally, the figure is well researched, perfectly cast and delivers loads of well executed details in scale. The M4 M320 GLM is a real gem and with all the extras it builds into a state-of-the-art weapon system.