by: Mario Krajinovic [ ]
The Dillon Aero M134D is an electrically powered, six barreled, Gatling type, small caliber, defense suppression weapon capable of fixed firing rates of either 3,000 or 4,000 shots per minute (the muzzle velocity of an M134D Standard Barrel firing NATO 7.62mm Ball is 2750 Fps /-). That equals 50 shots per second. No other 7.62 MM weapon comes close to this rate of fire. Why is shooting fast important? Because only fast guns such as the M134D can achieve the extreme shot density needed to suppress multiple targets in compressed periods of time. More importantly, fast guns are more accurate than slower firing weapons.
The M134D is a modular system, allowing easy adaptation to any existing platform. This flexibility allows it to perform equally well in the fixed-forward fire or crew served mode. It is simple to load and easy to maintain. The M134D is currently deployed worldwide for convoy escort, border patrol, and VIP protection. In the naval role Gatling guns are employed in the force protection role on board the US and Royal Navy blue water fleet, and as fire support weapons on Special Operations boats. However, it is in the helicopter that the M134D is most often found. It is used throughout the world, employed by the US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Jordan, and Colombia.
The minigun is designated M134 in U.S. Army service. In the Navy and Air Force, it is designated GAU-2/A on a fixed mount and GAU-17/A on a flexible mount.
This is a review of Live Resin’s latest offering in 1/35 scale: M134D Barrel sets [LRE-35105].
The Standard Dillon Aero Barrel is a replacement/upgrade to the original GE production barrel. Dillon added 1/8th inch of material to the diameter of the Standard Barrel making the taper consistent from breech to muzzle reaching 22” length in total and overall weight of just 14.7 lbs./set. The added material eliminates weak points that will fail when the barrels thermal limits are exceeded. Greater thermal resistance allows for longer firing times with greater resistance to barrel failure.
The Barrel Clamp/Flash Suppressor serves two functions. First, it acts as a clamp, holding the barrel group in alignment. Second, it reduces flash emissions by enabling the mixing of air with unburned powder. Dillon's Barrel Clamp/Flash Suppressor began life as a one-piece version of the two-piece GE Slotted Barrel Clamp/Flash Suppressor. However, after extensive testing the slots were eliminated in favor of the slot-less model. The advantages offered are increased flash suppression and decreased muzzle debris making the Dillon Barrel Clamp/Flash Suppressor better suited for use with Night Vision Goggles. It is available in either stainless steel or titanium version.
Live Resin products come in a standard zip-lock plastic bag clamped in a cardboard 3D box-art. The front image is showing the parts layout, while the back image illustrates the optional resin accessories released for this weapon system.
The set includes 5 barrels with/without flash suppressors and 2 separate flash suppressors. Two molding blocks feature 2 barrels and are numbered 35105A and 35105B while the third block (LRE35105C) has a barrel and a non-slotted flash hider. A small part with the other type of flash hider (LRE35105D is cast separately and care is needed not to lose this guy. Like Always, the casting is as superb. There are no imperfections, bubbles, no flash or any other types of defects in this sample. The molding stubs are thin and you will not have to worry about removing the parts from the plugs, or sanding anything off. This is not the case with the separate flash hiders. They are very thin and I urge you not to be hasty or heavy handed while taking these off the blocks.
So what do you get and how useful is it? If you have seen any other barrel replacement set for the Minigun you will love these. PE counterparts are usually extremely fiddly to work with and you always have issues with straight parts, small PE inserts, gluing etc. Other sets usually have fused-together barrels or represent older types of the weapon system. (For any of you that have tried to scratchbuild yourself a slotted flash hider – you know what I mean).
Live Resin gives you options. You get 4 later style barrels and a single barrel with extra two forward flanges. This latter style is very common on airborne mounted weapon systems. Two barrels are “easy” kits that have the flash hiders already molded onto them. The two barrels with the slotted flash hiders also feature slight notches in the forward part of the barrel; another distinctive feature and a very nice detail that was not overlooked. One type of barrel has a slotted, while the other features the non-slotted flash hider. While looking down the barrel of the gun, you will not find anything molded inside (i.e. the 6 barrel ends). They are a quick and simple replacement for your model. That’s where the separate parts come in. The other two later style barrels feature separate barrel ends that need to have the flash hiders fitted. The beauty of LR sets is just this. The separate slotted flash hider has perfectly cut and clean notches and everything will be nicely detailed and seen once completed.
There is only one nitpick this time. If you’re building a helicopter weapon system or something that requires two sets of the same barrel type you will end up with one flanged barrel (what about the other side of the helo?) You can choose to do 2 later barrel body types but then you get one flash hider with cut-out notches, while the other one has them just indicated. Either open them up or use a heavy wash to make them visible… The only safe side you’ve got is 2 later style bodies with the non-slotted flash suppressors. Either option, one barrel has barrel ends while the other hasn’t.
This is not a specific set to place on a single model and shouldn’t be looked at as one. If you need more than one weapon systems, you need to get two of these. The price of this set is not high and you will be able to come up with the setup you need easily. Accuracy wise, the barrels are perfect. Nothing wrong shape wise either. The more I see of these modular releases of Live Resin the more I get thinking of what I can use them with. They are very handy to upgrade your models. Recommended.