by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
We have been witnessing a radical change in the concept of 1/35 scale resin accessories initiated by Live Resin: the advanced 3D modeling and high-quality printing technique Live Resin employs to produce their 1/35 scale goodies works incredibly well with actual resin products offering a level of details that was impossible to achieve in this scale so far. Ever since Live Resin announced the company will venture into full figure business, the anticipation to see the first computer-designed figures in 1/35 scale was building up. However, in all the excitement I’m sure many of you were pestered by the same questions: Is the computer software capable of presenting the human form realistically? How would digitally tailored and 3D printed figures compare to the traditionally sculpted figures? Although I have followed Live Resin and witnessed the unparalleled quality of their 1/35 scale offerings over and over again, I must admit I too had my doubts…
The first three full figures from Live Resin in 1/35 scale have been released just couple of weeks ago and soon after that, I received my parcel from Models-Hobby. Once I opened the boxes, inspected the contents and assembled one of the figures, my doubts vanished: not only can these computer-generated figures match up to the best resin figures on the market, but they also offer an innovative "modular" concept which will slowly but surely transform the way we build figures today.
Welcome to the revolution.
This review covers the first full figure release in 1/35 scale from Live Resin: US Army Modern Soldier (LRM-35001). The figure is packed in a hard cardboard box which features CAD boxart images; the one on the front shows the full figure and lists the equipment this particular figure is supplied with, while the one on the back shows the figure part layout and lists all the extras in Live Resin accessory line which can be used to upgrade or convert this figure. Interestingly, several accessory sets listed for this figure are not available yet, however the list definitely confirms some of the future releases from Live Resin are decal sets.
The box contains a zip-lock bag with resin pieces. The parts are molded in grey resin and upon closer examination I did not find any imperfections in the cast: there are no air-bubbles or seam lines to clean. Some pieces are very thin and delicate so I would suggest taking care when removing those from their carrier blocks. All the parts display impressive level of sharp details superbly executed in 1/35 scale. Here's a list of the parts included in this set:
- right arm
- left arm
- right boot
- left boot
- helmet accessories (4x)
- various equipment pieces (31x)
- weapon accessories (3x).
All together the kit consists of 47 resin pieces. It's not a typo... there are 47 pieces in this 1/35 scale single figure set! Thus far the usual way of producing 1/35 scale figures was in as few separate pieces as possible, so why are there so many parts in this particular figure set? With this kit Live Resin introduces the concept of "modular" figures. The idea behind this concept is to provide main figure parts and all the equipment pieces in the kit separately so that each modeler can customize the figure to his own preferences. Also, there is a possibility to combine Live Resin figure kits with other accessories from their range and build a completely new and original figure. Sounds great, doesn't it?
The figure depicted in this kit represents a US Special Forces operative sporting the most modern equipment today. 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 Groin and Lower Back Protectors are supplied as separate pieces in this 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 well researched and wonderfully executed in scale with number of fine-points all around. There are several tiny details that are particularly impressive: 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. Wow!
As for the equipment, the figure is supplied with:
- IOTV components (2x)
- 7.62 magazine pouches with open top (10x)
- grenade pouches (2x)
- pistol magazine pouches (2x)
- medical pouch
- 12-round 40mm belt (12x individual 40mm ammo round pouches)
- canteen pouch
- drop leg holster.
Tactical Tailor 7.62 Open Top Magazine Pouches are designed to hold 7.62x51 NATO magazines and feature bungee retention cords with nylon tabs to secure magazines in place. Additional MOLLE loops allow attachment of extra equipment to the front of these pouches. The Grenade Pouches are also produced by Tactical Tailor, as well as the large Medical Pouch and the 40mm 12- round Belt. All these are beautifully reproduced in scale. I particularly like the 7.62 magazine pouches with well defined MOLLE loops and super-delicate retention cords and pull tabs. One more thing to mention is that most of 7.62 magazine pouches are not identical to each other, featuring slightly different position of bungee straps and nylon tabs. The 12-round 40mm belt should be assembled using 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, should be made of lead foil or a similar material.
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 side accessory rail connectors providing direct mount for Predator Facial Armor System (FAST) mask. Other extras for the helmet in this particular set include 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 also sports ESS Crossbow goggles.
The figure is armed with FN SCAR-H CQC with Mk13 Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM). This kit also includes three extras for the weapon: ELCAN SpecterDR 1-4x SU-230/PVS dual field-of-view combat sight, FN Fire Control Unit (FCU) and AN/PEQ-15A Dual Beam Aiming Laser. These accessories feature indentations on their bases which fit nicely to the weapon rail system. This way the 1/35 scale accessories can be attached to the weapon exactly as the real things mount on a real Picatinny rail! Something like that was never before done in 1/35 scale and it makes fitting the accessories to the rail system extremely easy. If a modeler wants to add any other accessories or replace these included in the kit, Live Resin offers a vast number of weapon goodies available separately.
Have you ever seen a single 1/35 scale resin figure consisting of 47 parts? I must admit I was surprised with the number as well... The buzzword for Live Resin figures is "modular"; every single piece of equipment is cast separately and the modeler has the opportunity to customize the figure to his own preferences. However, I would suggest checking the reference photos to get the sense of how US Army soldiers like to arrange the equipment on their IOTVs. Two slightly different equipment configurations for this figure are shown on Live Resin website and those could be used as reference guide as well.
The figure is very intelligently designed and all the figure body parts feature protrusions and indentations which help in aligning the pieces correctly. The main figure parts assembly is shown on photos 1-8. The fit of these pieces is perfect and I didn't have to do any extra putty work. Fixing the weapon to the right hand of the figure was a slow process and I had to use some force, but the final result is impressive... the grip is as tight as if the hand was cast with the weapon!
As for the equipment, due to the huge number of pieces the cleanup process took quite some time. Several pieces are extremely thin and delicate so they should be handled with extreme care. Since I wanted to recreate the equipment setup as seen on the boxart picture, I used all the gear from the kit. I fixed the groin and lower back protectors to the IOTV, and then added the pouches. The pouches fit well to the IOTV. As there are a lot of gear to add, the process takes some time but it is well worth it... the fully loaded IOTV looks extremely busy. Die-hard modelers could opt for making the 40mm round belt and attaching all the 40mm ammo around the figure's waist. Although the figure sports ESS Crossbow goggles, I decided to use night vision equipment as well, simply because I wanted to show all the gear included in the kit. If I was building the figure to my own preferences, I would probably decide not to use NVGs. I also attached the strobe light to the MICH, but I didn't use tape to secure it to the helmet. Some thin lead foil should do the trick.
The finished figure is shown on photos 9-34. In order to facilitate face painting, the Predator Mask was only dry-fitted to the figure hence the slight gap between the mask and the helmet.
So, what's so special about this figure?
First of all, the figure is sculpted using computer-generated process and was delivered using high-tech 3D printer; something that was, as far as I know never before done in 1/35 scale. Also, with this figure Live Resin initiates a new concept of "modular" figures... the company decided to provide main figure parts and all the equipment pieces in the kit separately, giving each modeler a chance to customize the figure based on his own preferences. There is also a possibility to combine this figure kit with loads of other goodies from Live Resin and end up with a completely new and original figure.
These facts, along with the perfect resin cast, great fit of the pieces and impressive level of details, make this figure a real gem. The figure is easily compared to the best resin offerings on the market today. With all the options the new "modular" concept provides, I would say this is the first step to the future of resin figures.