The Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle, used by special operations forces units of both the US Army and US Navy, is a heavily modified light designated marksman derivative of the AR-15/M16 rifle family. Originally intended as just a replacement upper receiver as part of the SOPMOD light sniper weapon program, it was initially known as the Special Purpose Receiver (SPR). A decision to standardize the system as a complete weapon led to a type classification by the US Navy as the Mk 12 and the term SPR being changed to mean Special Purpose Rifle. The Mk12 is chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge firing from semi-automatic, gas-operated rotating bolt action.
The US Navy Mark 12 Mod0/1 Special Purpose Rifle entered service with the US Special Forces in 2002 and has seen continuous use since then. The weapon has been featured prominently throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters in the hands of the highly trained specialists.
Live Resin is a Russian aftermarket company which generated a radical change in the concept of 1/35 scale resin accessories. All of Live Resin products are digitally sculpted and printed on high-resolution 3D printers, with the actual resin products offering level of details never before seen in small scales. This review describes a 1/35 scale weapon set from Live Resin featuring US Navy/SOF Mk 12 Mod 0/1 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) (LRE-35034).
Live Resin weapon sets are packed in zip-lock bags protected by hard cardboard backings. The front features CAD generated box art showing the contents of the kit, while the back image lists the accessories which can be combined with the basic Mk12 SPR set: US Army scope sets (LRE-35007, LRE-35008 and LRE-35028), Insight's Technology AN/PEQ-2, AN/PEQ-15 (LRE-35010), Forward grip set (LRE-35011) and Harris bipod set/Surefire tactical Weapon Lights set (LRE-35012).
The set consists of 6 Mk12 Mod 1 SPRs, each weapon on its own casting block. The set also includes a block with 8 ammo magazines cast separately from the weapons. As with all Live Resin sets I reviewed so far, the resin pieces look really good and there are no defects in the cast. Some flash residue leftovers which are extremely thin are present, but those can be easily removed without damaging any weapon details.
The Mk12 SPRs depicted in this kit are all Mod1 variants. These feature flat-top upper receivers with integral rail system, Knights Armament Company’s (KAC) M4 Free-Floating Rail Adapter System (RAS) handguard and M16-style fixed buttstock. The barrel features specific muzzle brake and collar developed by OPS Inc. for installing and centering the suppressor. This kit includes three slightly different variations of the Mk12 Mod1 SPR: the first (designated LRE-35034C) has fully accessible rail system, the second (LRE-35034B) has KAC rail flip-up front and rear sights installed, while the third version features OPS Inc. Suppressor and RAS rail covers completely covering the rail system (LRE-35034A). I always liked the idea of including different variations of the weapons, but I wish Live Resin chose a bit different weapon versions this time… First, I would love to see most of these Mk12s with suppressors attached as majority of “in theater” photo references show these weapons suppressed. Second, most of these photos also show Mk12 SPRs with partially covered handguard rail system; rail covers protect the soldier's hands from direct contact with the RAS metal parts and also protect rail surfaces from excess wear and damage. However, Live Resin included only one pair of suppressed Mk12 in this set and those have their handguard rail systems almost completely blocked with rail covers, preventing attachment of any accessories except the bipod. Perhaps it would have been a better choice to include rail covers as separate pieces to this set. Or even better, to make a separate set of rail covers which could be used on different weapon systems.
An important novelty in this set is the fact these Mk12s are cast without their ammo magazines. Instead, 8 different ammo magazines are included in the set as separate pieces which can be fitted into a tiny opening in the Mk12 lower receiver assembly. The selection includes: classic 30-round M16 magazine (2x) with Ranger Plate USGI (1x) or 5.56 NATO 3-pack accessories attached (1x), 30-round magazine with coupler attached (1x) and with ranger Plate USGI (1x), as well as 30-round Magpul PMAG (1x) with Ranger Plate USGI attached (1x)… quite a range to choose from, but even more magazines are available in additional Live Resin offering M4/M16 magazine set (LRE-35009).
Finally, all the Mk12 SPR features are clearly identifiable and well defined in this 1/35 scale kit. The level of details is absolutely amazing… digitally sculpted and developed using high-resolution 3D printing technology, these sniper rifles are a work of art: each rail segment is sharp and well defined, the barrel with the specific muzzle brake and collar perfectly rendered, all the tiny details on the receiver magnificently executed. One thing modelers need to note though; these Mk12 Mod1 SPRs are presented in their basic configuration and need to be upgraded with various accessories available separately from Live Resin… addition of different magnifying scopes, forward grips, laser designators and Harris bipod will make these weapons come to life.
This kit features US Navy Mark 12 Mod0/1 Special Purpose Rifle which is in use throughout the Middle Eastern theaters by the Special Forces operatives. The kit includes 6 Mk12 Mod1 SPRs in slightly different variations. The resin cast is absolutely perfect with extremely well defined details. As with many other Live Resin weapon offerings, these Mk12 SPRs should be enhanced with accessories (optical sights, laser designators, forward grips, etc) available separately from Live Resin.
I wish Live Resin would consider making Mk12 Mod0 SPR as well. That modification is held in even higher regard by SF operatives due to its continuous top rail and round shape of the handguard.
Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for this review sample.
Wikipedia Mk.12 article