Tactical military communications are communications in which orders and decisions are transmitted from one command, person or place to another within tactical forces. Historically, the first military communications had the form of sending and receiving simple signals using drums, trumpets or flags. Each sound or banner would then have significance for the soldier who would respond accordingly. In modern times, militaries of an informational society conduct very intense and complicated communication activities using modern high-tech telecommunications and computing methods.
Live Resin is a company from Russia, specialized in producing high quality resin weapon and accessory sets. This review covers their 1/35 scale US Army AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (LRE-35029). The AN/PRC-148 is the most widely fielded handheld multiband, tactical software-defined radio, in use with NATO forces around the world.
The US Army AN/PRC-148 set is packed in a zip-lock bag and safely secured between a firm cardboard (9x10cm). The box art on the front lists designations of each piece of the set. I was a bit surprised not to see the back box art showing all the kit parts, but I guess that’s just the omission on my review sample. The header image of this review shows what the back box art should look like.
The kit consists of 6 resin casting blocks. One of the blocks carries AN/PRC-148s while the other five blocks carry the accessories. All together the kit comprises of 31 parts. The parts are molded in grey resin and are perfectly cast. Here is a list and some information on the kit contents:
The AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR)
is a rugged, lightweight, multiband handheld radio. It operates in the 30-512 MHz frequency range and provides inter/intra team communications ground-to-ground, ground-to-air, and over satellite. The MBITR was developed by US SOCOM and Thales Communications in the 1990s and went into production in 2000, replacing over 60 pounds of equipment with a single radio weighing less than 2 pounds, without losing functionality. Two MBITRs in this kit are depicted without cover, while four MBITRs are rendered inside a pouch. This radio pouch is MOLLE compatible and was designed specifically to hold AN/PRC-148 MBITRs. It features an open top with cord buckle for easy adjustment of radio control knobs, and a flip up cover to expose the screen and program buttons.
The MBITR accessories in this kit include:
Peltor Comtac II Communications Headset
combines sophisticated surround sound listening electronics with a slim-line profile cup designed for comfort under PASGT, MICH and ACH helmet. “Talk-through” ear-cup microphones powered by AAA batteries maintain situational awareness by amplifying weak sounds while offering hearing protection by suppressing loud impulse noises. The headset down-lead terminates with a plug for quick-disconnect from the Push-to-Talk (PTT) adapter. The boom microphone can be mounted on either side of the headset to accommodate left and right handed operators.
Thales 25 Palm Speaker / Microphone
fits in the palm of the hand or attaches to web gear with spring clip on its back. The device features its own Push-to-Talk (PTT) switch, volume control and an earphone jack.
Sonetronics Radio Handset H-250
is a standard handset for many PRC series radios and military man-pack radio equipment. The H-250 utilizes an earphone element, dynamic noise canceling microphone and six foot retractile cord terminating with an audio connector.
Motorola XTS 5000
is a digital portable radio which can communicate with MBITR. The XTS 5000 radio meets the Project 25 standard and works on the ASTRO 25 Network. It is Motorola’s newest maximum performance two-way XTS radio, reliable, rich in features and with robust design. The radio is IP-enabled, offering a full array of sophisticated features and progressive technology.
All the pieces in this set are perfectly delivered in scale; the small knobs, buttons and number of other details were probably very difficult to define well in 1/35 scale, but the result is truly amazing. Check out the pictures of the set and compare them with pictures of real equipment to see how well the guys from Live Resin did their job. The only thing missing in this set are the wires, coiled cords, boom microphones and MBITR antennas - those are impossible to cast in resin and modelers will have to add those themselves using brass or lead wire.
This is the first set from Live Resin so far that does not represent weapons or weapon accessories, instead delivering modern US Army communication gear. The set depicts AN/PRC-148 MBITR, the most widely fielded handheld multiband, tactical software-defined radio, in use with US Army and NATO forces. The kit comprises of 6 MBITRs (4 of them molded inside MOLLE pouches) and 25 accessory equipment pieces: Comtac II headset earphones, Palm Speaker / Microphone, H-250 radio handset and Motorola XTS 5000 digital portable radio. All these pieces are wonderfully executed in scale and perfectly cast with amazing details.
Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for this review sample.
(requires registration for information access)