by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Along with the recent offering of the Twin .50 Cal M2 Machine Gun in 1/35 scale, Live Resin released the US Special Forces figures specifically designed to handle the powerful machine gun system. This review covers one of two slightly different versions of the miniature: US Army Special Forces Gunner for .50 Cal M2 and Twin .50 Cal M2 Machine Gun Vehicle Mount (LRM-35011).
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box. The box features two CAD images; the one on the front shows a cool depiction of the figure manning a twin M2 .50 Cal Machine Gun, while the one on the back displays the miniature in more detail, with a recommendation to use the figure with twin mount M2 sets (LRE-35289 - LRE-35290) or single mount M2 sets (LRE-35048 – LRE-35051), all from Live Resin catalogue. Based on the way the figure holds the weapon, I would say twin M2s are the only way to go. Inside the box is a zip-lock back containing the pieces, additionally protected within a layer of bubble wrap.
The set includes 24 resin parts. The two main figure parts are supplied each on its own casting block, while the smaller pieces are organized on several longer blocks. The resin pieces look absolutely great; there are no imperfections in the cast whatsoever, with the pieces delivering amazing details all around. Live Resin had an amazing casting service before, but I feel the company upped their game and now offers even higher level of resin perfection. Take a look at the tiny microphone boom supplied in the set and you’ll see what I mean… how is a delicate piece like this even possible to be cast in resin? Wow!
The figure depicts Special Ops operator checking the perimeter from the Humvee/GMV turret, with his weapon ready for any sign of hostile activity. The anatomy of the figure looks good with the facial features nicely defined. The figure wears Crye Precision Gen2 AC Combat Shirt and Pants, the uniform of choice for US Special Forces, with an assortment of ammo magazine, utility, radio and hydration pouches attached to his MBAV plate carrier. The Lowa Zephyr GTX boots, tactical gloves, shades and a long beard add to the Special Ops feel of the figure.
The set provides no assembly instructions, but it is not difficult to deduce which piece goes where. Main figure parts are a no brainer, while the equipment pieces can be attached to the tactical vest in different arrangements, obtaining slightly different rig setup. I decided to follow the box art images for assembling the review sample figure.
This review shows the pieces annotated on their carrier blocks and displays photos of major subassemblies, noting the position of each part. I started the build by fixing the main figure pieces, attaching the torso to the legs first, followed by both boots. These pieces (as well as the arms, hands and head) are designed featuring protrusions and indentations, which help to position the corresponding pieces optimally. The putty work can be kept to a minimum, which is a big plus in my book. I fixed the equipment pieces to the tactical vest next: the ammo magazine and utility pouches to the lower front of the vest, triple pistol ammo magazine pouch to the upper front, a tiny strobe light to the right shoulder, and an assault pack to the back. The MBITR pouch was attached to fit the radio wiring cast on back of the vest, which was in part damaged while manhandling the figure. Finally, a super-delicate Thales antenna was fixed to the MBITR.
I attached the head and the arms, omitting the tiny microphone in this build thus reducing the possibility to damage the piece while handling the miniature. The set includes two slightly different pair of hands; one pair is cast holding the M2 spade grips, while the other pair is hollow and the grips from the twin M2 machine gun sets should be inserted into the openings. I prefer the first pair as these ensure a good hold of the weapon. My suggestion is to attach the hands to the weapon first, and then the hands to the arms. This process would guarantee the optimal placement of the weapon to the figure.
The figure can be fitted onto the turret ring included in the twin M2 machine gun set (LRE-35289 - LRE-35290) using part 14 which fits under the figure’s rear end. Alternatively, the figure can be also used with Hexagon turrets from Live Resin (LRE-35291 – LRE-35293). I did a test fit on both setups and it works really well. A bit of dry fitting is necessary to ensure a perfect alignment of the figure with respect to the turret and the weapon system but after all is done, the complete setup turns into a focal point on any US SOF Humvee.
US Army Special Forces Gunner for .50 Cal M2 and Twin .50 Cal M2 Machine Gun Vehicle Mount (LRM-35011) is another amazing 1/35 scale figure from Live Resin. Perfectly cast and with lots of details, the figure assembles without any problems and builds into a really impressive rendition of the US Special Forces operator.