The Colt company developed various carbine versions of the basic AR-15/M-16 rifle starting in the 1970s. These carbines were intended for all markets: military, law enforcement, civilian. But early in the 1990s, an old idea of replacing the pistols in the hands of the troops with something more effective (a shoulder-fired weapon) rose again in the thinking of the US military. So in 1994, the US Army adopted the Colt Model 720 selective-fire carbine (basically, a shortened M16A2 rifle) as the US M4 Carbine.
The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) put its eye on the M4 as a possible universal weapon for the Special Operations community. For this purpose, the M4 was modified with the M16A3-style flat-top receiver with integral Picatinny-type accessory rail instead of the M16A2/M4-type integral carrying handle. Specially for the SOCOM M4A1s, the US Naval Surface Warfare Center developed a SOPMOD M4 kit that consisted of the M4A1 carbine equipped with Rail Interface System (RIS) instead of the standard hand guards. The kit also included a variety of add-on goodies, such as various sights (ACOG 4X telescopic, ACOG Reflex red-dot, detachable back-up open sights), laser pointers (visible and infra-red), detachable sound suppressor (silencer), modified M203 40mm grenade launcher (with shortened barrel and improved sights), and also a detachable front grip and tactical light. Trumpeter has now released a set of 1/35th M4 rifles.
The kit has four assault rifles on three sprue trees molded in black plastic, plus one fret of photo-etch. The first two sprues include four individual M4 w/pistol grips and extra magazines. The third sprue includes scopes, extra hand grips, laser sights, flashlight, and two variants of the grenade launchers. The photo-etch includes four 2-point sling assembles. The parts list is on the face of the wrapping, with the instructions on the back.
Upon examination, I found four M4 with extended butt-stock and including pistol grips and silencer. The weapons are highly-detailed, with the barrels recessed, giving them a little depth. There were very few mold lines or flash (only in the butt-stock framework). The attachments to the sprue tree are in convenient spots (butt-stock and the top of the rail/hand-guard).
The third sprue tree has 16 pieces of attachments for three different sets of sights, two Infrared laser aiming devices, and two 40 mm grenade launchers with recessed barrels (a short and a long barrel). Also, a hand grip with visibility light. The connections to the sprue tree are placed mostly where an item would attach to the weapon, minimizing clean-up. There is very little mold lines, and no flash.
The PE tree has the 2-point slings for the M4, and contains 24 pieces (6 parts for each sling).
I found the instructions easy to follow. The only thing major that bothered me was the parts are not listed by what they are, and are therefore hard to identify.
This is an excellent weapons set from Trumpeter. The guns are great— far better than anything on the market today.
Highs: Highly-detailed kit; love the sling assembles.Lows: Parts list peels off with the plastic wrapping.Verdict: Overall a nice accessories kit to spice up a older figure kit or include in a vehicle.