The HMMWV was originally envisioned as a soft-skin vehicle, primarily intended as a personnel carrier and cargo truck. Under the pressure of combat experience, especially in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the HMMWV family has expanded to include up-armored and heavy variants.
All hardtop HMMWV variants feature a roof hatch with a 360° rotating weapons ring. A short pedestal mount is attached to the ring to support the pintle or pintle adaptor for all standard US military machine guns. Many different mounting systems have been developed to utilize the basic roof hatch gunner arrangement, especially in response to the MOUT and counter-insurgency environment of Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, in order to provide the gunner with front protection and some side protection from small-arms fire, the Gunner's Shield and various Gunner Protection Kits were developed. In addition to weapons mounted at the roof gunner position, HMMWVs have been outfitted with pedestals in the open truck bed, with side weapon mounts designed to be used as firing ports, and with armor boxes to create a convoy escort gun trucks.
This review covers US Army M240B/M249 H24-6 MG Mount w. HMMWV mount and armor shield (LRE-35017), the first release in a series of vehicle upgrade sets from Live Resin.
The set comes packed in a zip-lock bag protected between a standard Live Resin cardboard 9x10cm backing. The box art on the front shows all the parts included in the kit, while the one on the back lists several accessories available separately from Live Resin which could be combined with this kit.
This set depicts one of the most common HMMWV mounts for accommodating M240/M249 machine guns and it also includes armor shield and M240B weapon system. With 19 parts, this kit is one of the most elaborate Live Resin offerings so far. The pieces are molded in grey resin and look really good. I found no imperfections in the cast whatsoever, however be very careful when cleaning the pieces from their carrier blocks as some are really thin and delicate.
The parts are organized on 5 resin blocks; the first one (LRE35017A) carries the M240B and its accessories, the second one (LRE35017B) carries the large gunner's shield, while the last three (LRE35017C, D, E) carry the weapon mount and ammo feed system. The M240B included in this set is identical to those in LRE-35014 (US Army M240B), so for a detailed review of the weapon please check this link
Therefore, this review will deal with the parts of the weapon mount and ammo feed system exclusively.
Although the box art shows all the parts and can be used as an assembly guide, the set is pretty extensive so be sure to gather some references in order to understand which part goes where. Here are some of the technical details on the H24-6 mount system I found on the internet:
The Bearing Sleeve is designed to mount into the A-Frame on a vehicle's turret and it accepts the Universal Pintle Adapter (UPA). UPA accepts any "standard" gun mount (such as the MK93 or M35) and its Y-shape arms connected by a traversing bar extend back to allow the attachment of a Traverse and Elevation Mechanism (T & E). The T & E can then attach to the gun mount for precise control of the weapon. The H24-6 Machine Gun Mount accepts both the M240 family of medium machine guns and M249 family of light machine guns. The Adapter Kit allows the H24-6 mount to be used in conjunction with the UPA and the T & E.
I know it all sounds pretty complex, but everything gets much easier with good reference pictures. A vast number of authentic references showing the M240/M249 weapon ring platforms from the different theaters of operation can be found on the internet. I attached the pictures of the individual parts of the mount and some CAD images from Live Resin website to this review so the readers can see the mount in more detail. These CAD images can also be utilized when building the mount; there are several optional parts included in this kit which provide the possibility of slight variations in the build… two different main UPA parts enable building the mount with or without armored gunner’s shield, while two types of ammo box cradle provide an option of excluding the ammo box from the mount. Also, H24-6 mount accepts M249 light machine gun, so this weapon can be used instead of the M240B supplied in this kit. I really like the different build options as those give modelers a chance of customizing the vehicle mount according to their preferences.
The resin pieces looks really good and I found an excellent match to the real HMMWV weapon mount. The details like the tightening screws on the bearing sleeve, the elaborate lock mechanism on T & E, and various intricate fine points of the H24-6 mount itself, are all wonderfully executed in scale. The M240B is a real gem and fits perfectly to the mount. I like the addition of several ammo belt portions which should be used to super-detail the ammo feed system… one of the ammo belts is molded to fit both the ammo box and enter the weapon through its feed opening. Very nice! Finally, I tried attaching the mount to old Tamiya Humvee weapon ring and found it fits really well. I suppose there should be no problems attaching the mount to other Humvee models, but I can’t guarantee it as I haven’t tried it myself.
This is first of the vehicle weapon mount update sets from Live Resin. We can expect more releases in the same line of products very soon, with mounts for heavier machine guns and grenade launchers, and mounts for miniguns as well… something many modern vehicle modelers are eagerly waiting for.
Using 3D sculpting software and high-resolution printing technology, Live Resin found a really cool way to reproduce one of the most common HMMWV mount system for accommodating M240/M249 machine guns in 1/35 scale. The resin pieces are perfectly cast and offer loads of accurate details. With 19 pieces, the assembly can be considered as complex, but with the help of some reference pictures the build should not prove too difficult for an average modeler. The highly detailed M240B weapon system is included in the kit as well. Priced to about $9, this set gives an absolutely great value for the money.
Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for the review sample.