Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) is a communication platform designed to track friendly and hostile forces on the battlefield. It increases a vehicle commander's situational awareness of the battlefield by gathering information on vehicle locations collected through the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) line of sight tactical radio network and Blue Force Tracking (BFT) satellite network.
BFT system consists of a computer, used to display location information, a satellite terminal and satellite antenna, used to transmit location and other military data, a GPS receiver (to determine its own position), command-and-control software (to send and receive orders, and many other battlefield support functions), and mapping software that plots the BFT device on a map.
(adapted from Wikipedia)
I’m sure most of you are familiar with Live Resin, Russian company utilizing 3D rapid prototyping to produce high quality weapon and accessory sets in 1/35 scale. This review covers their Blue Force Tracker antenna with Base Matching Unit (LRE35160).
The set is packed in a zip-lock bag secured between a firm cardboard backing. The CAD box art on the front shows contents of the set, while the one on the back displays the BFT antenna mounted on a Humvee, stating this set can be used with all 1/35 scale vehicles from any manufacturer. The kit consists of 2 resin casting blocks with 10 parts for assembling 5 BFT antennas on a vehicle mount. The parts are molded in grey resin and the cast is of highest standard with no air-bubbles or seam lines. One of the thin mounts was damaged in transport and badly warped.
This set depicts Comtech’s MT-2011 mobile satellite communications transceiver, a component of the US Army’s BFT program. The transceiver is actually a compact box measuring 8.75’’x8.75’’x4’’ and featuring single interface port for connecting to terminal power, devices and military GPS. Live Resin used CAD software and 3D printing technology to produce an accurately sized and extremely realistic copy of MT-2011 transceiver, with the details nicely delivered in scale. The transceiver can be installed on different military ground vehicles using various mounts. The mount included in this set is the one usually seen on Ground Mobility Vehicles (GMVs), a special operations version of the Humvee used by the US Armed Forces. The mount attaches to the left side fence of the vehicle cargo bay and features a vertical support with a plate the transceiver is fixed to. A protective 3-sided wall is usually fixed to the plate, however this piece is missing in the Live Resin set probably being too thin to cast in resin. Modelers will have to find a solution using custom PE or very thin styrene sheet to reproduce this detail themselves.
Altogether, this is a useful set for vehicles in 1/35 scale featuring satellite comms setup, but as far as I’m aware, the BFT mount included in the set limits its application to GMVs only. I do wish Live Resin would also consider making other models of Comtech’s BFT transceivers together with other, more common vehicle mounts (i.e. windshield mount).
For other reviews of Live Resin products on Armorama, please check this link
Blue Force Tracker antenna with Base Matching Unit (LRE35160) is another very useful addition to the growing range of Live Resin vehicle accessories in 1/35 scale. It includes five MT-2011 transceivers with GMV side fence mounts. Well cast and nicely detailed (although missing a part), this set offers a ubiquitous model of BFT antenna for your Special Forces Humvee builds.