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Built Review
135
USMC Machine Gunner, 2015
Machine Gunner, the US Marine Corps, 2015 (AM35007)
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]

Introduction:

"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change" ― Heraclitus.

Military scale figures were traditionally made by hands of talented sculptors. Couple of years ago the first 3D designed figures appeared on the market and revolutionized the modeling world. Now, an even bigger change is coming… 3D scanning. 3D scanning is a process of analyzing a real-world object or person, collecting data on its shape and constructing a digital 3D model. The digital model is then scaled, transferred into the physical world by rapid prototyping, and voila… a copy of a real person is on your desk, in the form of a resin miniature. Can the figure get any more realistic than that?

Review:

Machine Gunner, the US Marine Corps (AM35007) is one of the latest releases from Assault Models, and definitely the most intriguing miniature in their entire catalogue so far. The figure has been manufactured using 3D scanning process and released as a 1/35 scale resin kit.

The figure is packed in a hard plastic box featuring an image of assembled and unpainted figure. Inside the box is a zip-lock bag with figure parts cast in grey resin. The kit consists of 10 pieces:

- head,
- torso,
- legs,
- pouch,
- weapon,
- weapon accessories (5x).

The cast is absolutely great. I found no imperfections in the resin whatsoever, with very impressive details all around. Check that thin hydration tube and how it "floats" over the figure's shoulder... wow! A word of advice though, be extremely careful when cleaning the weapon and its accessories, those are very delicate pieces and can snap easily.

The fit of the parts is really good. I understand making separate pieces from a 3D scan can be tricky, but Assault Models did a great job and there are no problems assembling the figure. Minor putty work is needed to make things perfect.

The figure represents a USMC machine gunner in a very relaxed pose, leaning on his weapon. Although some might find it boring, I like the posture very much and I think it offers many possibilities both displayed as a standalone figure and in vignettes. The figure is depicted in the latest USMC garb and gear: Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) uniform, Improved Modular Tactical Vest (IMTV) and Lightweight Helmet (LWH). All the equipment attached to IMTV is cast on the figure: SAW/utility pouch, M4 double magazine pouch and large carabiner on the front, assault pouch on the right side, SAW gunners pouch on the left side, and large hydration pouch on the back. Also, first aid pouch, flare pouch and two grenade pouches attached to the battle belt are cast on the figure, while the large dump pouch is provided as a separate piece in this kit. The LWH features helmet light and NVG mounting plate, as well as a piece of equipment that I wasn’t able to identify… perhaps a part of weapon cleaning kit or something like that?

The figure is armed with M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). It features a shorter barrel, Picatinny rails for the feed tray cover and forearm, and a buttstock based on the M4 carbine design. The ELCAN M145 scope is cast on the weapon while the 100-round soft pack, weapon light, AN/PEQ-15 laser illuminator, folding carrying handle and bipod are supplied as separate pieces in this kit. I wish the set also included a small portion of ammo belt going from the ammo pack to the weapon receiver.

The details on the garb and gear are absolutely astonishing: the folds of the uniform, vest loops, scissors and glow sticks secured on the dump pouch, thin hydration tube... amazing. The equipment has a slight sag to it, and it conveys the heavy feel really well. As for the facial features of the figure, the anatomy and the posture, it would be funny to talk about realism, as this actually is a 1/35 scale rendition of a real man posing in front of a 3D scanner.

Conclusion:

Machine Gunner, the US Marine Corps (AM35007) is one of the most positive surprises for me this year. It is an amazing figure, developed using state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology, perfectly transferred to resin with loads of details all around, and easy to build.

With this particular figure, Assault Models initiates a new revolution in the hobby. Using 3D scans of real people to produce military scale miniatures gives rise to a level of realism that cannot be matched by the most talented figure sculptors today. The future is now...

A big thank you to Pavel from Assault Models for this review sample.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: 3D scanning produces "mini me" of a real person. Combined with perfect resin cast, amazing details and ease of assembly, this really is the future of our hobby.
Lows: None.
Verdict: I really think it can't get much better than this. Very highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
99%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AM35007
  Related Link: Assault Models website
  PUBLISHED: Feb 09, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 94.92%

Our Thanks to Assault Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2018 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Can't for the company to expand their line to US Army in Iraq. Well done figures!
FEB 09, 2016 - 12:25 AM
I knew the figure's uniform looked a bit different...the FROG uniform! Nice review and info, Mario! I have this figure and it does look great. The "eye candy" detail is amazing with all these pouches, devices, and gear on the figure and the SAW. It's amazing how much detail could be added to a 1/35 figure and really shows how well equipped US troops are.
FEB 09, 2016 - 12:44 AM
For 1/35, that is amazing! If they got Hollywood props and uniforms, they could make every currently selling figure set obsolete.
FEB 09, 2016 - 02:04 AM
Thank you for posting this Mario!
FEB 09, 2016 - 10:02 AM
Thanks guys, it really is on of the best 1/35 scale figures I reviewed so far. Mario
FEB 09, 2016 - 12:18 PM
I like resin figures, I prefer them over plastic glued ones. These ones look good. The less seams the better. I bet it's fun to paint. That gun looks highly detailed.
FEB 09, 2016 - 07:14 PM
Video of the 3D scanning process on Assault Model's website. LINK Also a great visual reference on how to paint the figure.
FEB 17, 2016 - 07:17 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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