by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
While countries like the USA have been using 40mm grenade launchers as standard equipment for some time, Britain has lagged behind. As the MoD article noted, “views coming back from the front line were that [.50 cal machine guns] needed some high explosive back-up to provide full force protection and security to airfields and forward operating bases.” To fix this problem, in November 2006 Britain bought 40 Heckler & Koch 40mm grenade machine guns for use in Afghanistan by the Royal Marines. The weapon is exactly what its name implies, firing up to 340 grenades per minute to burst around enemy up to 1.5 km away. Although the ammunition can be used against light armor, its main role is infantry suppression. These are true crew-served weapons with a weight of at least 30kg, however, so many will be mounted on WMIK (Weapons Mount Installation Kit) Land Rovers.
This review covers the latest 40mm grenade machine gun in 1/35 scale released under Live Resin label: GMG "Granat Machine Waffe" 40mm H&K Grenade Launcher on WMIK for Land Rover RAF (LRE35244).
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box. The box features CAD box art images showing the weapon system mounted on Land Rover WMIK. Opening the box reveals a single zip lock bag securing the pieces cast in grey resin. The cast is absolutely wonderful and upon closer inspection I found no imperfections in the resin whatsoever, with the pieces displaying sharp details superbly executed in scale. Although a pretty complex kit, the instructions are not provided in the box but need to be downloaded from Live Resin website instead.
Cleaning the pieces was a breeze. It is amazing to see large casting blocks feature such thin pour stubs with a minimal contact point to the piece itself. This facilitates the removal of the pieces from their carrier blocks and greatly reduces the necessary cleanup. The fit of the pieces is absolutely wonderful. Live Resin designs their products using 3D technology and this shows not only in the impressive amount of details, but also in the intelligent engineering of the pieces, most of which feature protrusions and indentations to help in their optimal alignment.
The set depicts GMG (Grenade Machine Gun), an automatic 40mm grenade launcher developed by Heckler & Koch, with the specific WMIK Land Rover mount. Comparing the 1/35 scale model to references found online, I have to say I’m impressed. Live Resin made a great job on replicating the weapon system in scale, particularly all the details on the receiver body, specific motorcycle-type grips with handguard, stabilizing shoulder rod, sighting system, 40mm ammo can with ammo belt segment, tiny barrel carrying handle… wow! The mount is also nicely depicted, although I have seen several slightly different WMIK mount versions and I’m not completely sure if this is a “correct” version or not. Perhaps someone who actually served on this weapon can offer his thoughts on the mount included in this kit.
Consisting of 19 pieces, many of which are very delicate, this set does require some modeling experience to put together. Before actually starting the assembly, I would suggest taking the time to identify all the pieces in the set, check the references as thoroughly as possible and download the instructions from Live Resin website. Lack of printed instructions in the box is actually the only gripe I have with this set. Since my computer is far from my modeling desk I had to jump to and fro in order to check where each piece is supposed to go… I could have printed the instructions myself, but I feel they should have been included in the set, as with all the complex weapon sets previously produced by Live Resin.
For this review I annotated the pieces on their carrier blocks and I’m also showing photos of major sub-assemblies noting the position of each part as well. The main weapon assembly is shown on photos 1-4, and the weapon mount with traversing & elevation mechanism on photos 5-6. The rest of the photos show the completely assembled GMG on WMIK mount set (LRE35244).
As for fitting the set to Land Rover WMIK model, I plan to use the GMG with Accurate Armour 1/35 scale offering. I will comment on the fit once I actually build the model, but I don’t expect any serious problems with it as the GMG mount connects to the weapons ring in a single point. I would think the same could be projected for Hobby Boss WMIK offering.
Utilizing the advanced CAD modeling and high-resolution 3D prototyping technique, Live Resin is able to produce true masterpieces in 1/35 scale. This kit is a really good example of Live Resin quality.
GMG "Granat Machine Waffe" 40mm H&K Grenade Launcher on WMIK for Land Rover RAF (LRE35244), is an excellent kit all around: the cast is perfect with ton of exceptionally delivered details, the fit of the pieces is absolutely amazing and, although this could be perceived as a complex kit, the assembly is very much straightforward.
I almost forgot how much fun Live Resin sets are.