by: Mario Krajinovic [ ]
With the use of protective armor, the number of fatalities has decreased dramatically. Unfortunately armor protection hampers fluid movement and mobility and comes with a weight increase. To address these issues modern body armors and plate carriers provide protection to key body areas, not the entire body surface. A lot of gaps are left to close and one of them is the lower head area not protected by ballistic helmets. Rounds often break apart upon impact with nearby walls and hard surfaces so to reduce the possibility of fragments entering the unprotected back area of the head, a protective insert for the helmet was introduced. Well-known manufacturers such as GenTex and Crye Precision offer these pads as standard issued protective gear to US military forces.
Neck Armor Protective Enhancement (N.A.P.E. in Crye nomenclature) pad is a simple, drop-in, ballistic frag protection for use with most combat helmets. It protects the otherwise exposed brain’s occipital region and even helps stabilize NVG’s. It exceeds IBA and USASOC frag requirements.
The interior portion is made of fire retardant fabrics, is flexible to accommodate various shapes, weighs less than 4 ounces and provides over 16 square inches of added ballistic protection. The N.A.P.E. pad easily attaches, without the use of tools, to the X-Harness retention systems used with the U.S. Marine Corps Lightweight Helmet (LWH) and the Tactical Ballistic Helmet (TBH-II) or the H-Harness Retention used on the U.S. Army ACH and MICH style helmets.
This is a review of Live Resin’s latest offering in 1/35 scale: US Army NAPE Pad for ACH/MICH Helmet [set LRE-35118]
Live Resin products come in a standard zip-lock plastic bag clamped in a cardboard 3D box-art. The front image is showing the parts layout, while the back image illustrates the optional resin accessories released for this weapon system.
The set includes 6 N.AP.E. pads. The molding block is numbered 35118A. Like always, the casting is as superb. There are no imperfections, bubbles, no flash or any other types of defects in this sample. The molding stubs are very thin and it will be very easy to detach the pads from the block. A few light passes with a sharp blade and you’ll be on your way.
The pads nicely done and feature everything just like on the real item. All the loops, retention straps, a couple of D rings and Velcro tabs are present. The shape is curved as to fit the helmet portion and the back of the head. The straps will fall into place with the existing straps on the helmet so you won’t have to scratch your head what fits where. Everything is very sharp and looks really the part.
This is a very smart detail for your figures. Often overlooked, the helmet is an important focal point of the figure. Combine it with LR’s earlier releases i.e. the ACH/MICH helmet set, ComTac headsets, NVG's, strobes, etc. to give some variety for your squad. You may be set off a bit by the price for how small package you get, but remember the modular rule of LR releases. Any way you look at this, you get 6 pieces to detail and hook up your entire squad and I feel this comes in a very-recommended category of accessories.