In-Box Review
US Army M4 carbine with RIS
US Army M4 carbine with rail interface system
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


The M4 carbine is a lightweight, gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, selective rate, shoulder fired weapon with a collapsible stock. A shortened variant of the M16A2 rifle with 80% parts commonality, the M4 provides the individual soldier operating in close quarters with improved handling and the capability to rapidly and accurately engage targets at extended range. In 2005, M4 carbine became the standard issue infantry weapon in the US Army.

Live Resin is a resin company from Russia, specialized in producing high quality weapon and accessory sets. This review covers their US Army M4 carbine with rail interface system (LRE-35002) set


The US Army M4 carbine weapon set comes packed in a zip-lock bag safely secured between a firm cardboard (9X10cm). The box art on the front shows all the kit parts, while the one on the back lists Live Resin offerings which could be combined with the basic M4 kit: US Army scope sets (LRE-35007 and LRE-35008), 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 kit consists of 12 parts: 6 M4s and 6 M4 ammunition magazines. The grey resin looks really good and I found no imperfections in the cast; there are no air-bubbles, no seam lines, nothing… even the tiniest and most delicate details are perfectly rendered.

The M4s depicted in this set are fitted with integral Picatinny-type accessory rail on the upper receiver and Knight's Armament Company (KAC) Rail Interface System (RIS) handguard. The upper receiver rail provides an attachment point for optical scopes, while RIS handguard could be fitted with various laser designators, forward grips, tactical lights or bipods. All the accessories are available separately from Live Resin and should be used to "pimp up" these M4s. The accessories are definitely a must for this kit... some may complain about buying more sets just to get a "fully functional" M4s, but I find it a plus as this enables combining different accessories and building the specific M4 setup.

Compared to the M16A2 rifle, the M4 carbine is 1.3 pounds lighter, 6 and 5/8 inches shorter with telescopic buttstock extended, and almost 10 inches shorter with the buttstock collapsed. Three M4s in this kit are depicted with extended stocks while the other three M4s are depicted with fully retracted stocks. In addition, two M4s are depicted with no ammunition magazines attached. The kit contains 6 additional, separately cast 20-round M4 magazines: classic M4 magazine (2x), M4 magazine with Magpul Ranger Plate USGI, M4 magazine with Magpul 5.56 NATO 3 pack, Magpul PMAG M4 magazine and Magpul PMAG M4 magazine with Ranger Plate... quite a selection to choose from, but even more magazine options are available in additional Live Resin offering: M4/M16 magazine set (LRE-35009).

I have seen the CAD drawings and 3D resin prototypes of US Army M4 kits on Live Resin website... I was impressed, but I really thought this level of details in 1/35 scale was too good to be true. After receiving the kit, I can definitely confirm the resin castings are absolutely amazing and the details on the weapon incredibly well defined. I have attached several pictures of real M4s and their accessories so you can see how well guys at Live Resin did their job.


This kit features the most common infantry weapon in US Army arsenal today: the M4 carbine. It includes 6 M4s with rail system on the upper receiver and RIS handguards, and 6 different M4 ammo magazines. The resin cast is absolutely perfect with extremely well defined details. These M4s definitely need some accessories (optical sights, laser designators, forward grips, etc) which are all available separately from Live Resin... combining the various accessories provides modelers with an option of building almost any M4 setup they want.

Similar to Hornet head sets, a well known "upgrade" for both plastic and resin figures, Live Resin weapon sets are perfect to bring your figures to the new level of realism.

Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for this review sample.


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Highs: Perfectly cast and with loads of details, this set provides a great basis for building any M4 setup possible.
Lows: Some may find the necessity of getting additional accessory sets in order to build "complete" M4s irritating, but I actually feel it is a plus.
Verdict: Definitely the best M4s on the market. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LRE-35002
  Related Link: Live Resin website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 21, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Live Resin!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.


Not sure which thread to comment on since there are 2, but these look amazing! I can hardly believe the detail possible in 1/35. I have definitely got to buy some of their weapon sets. Thanks to Mario Matijasic for the review and to Mario Krajinovic for posting it. One question though: Do the two M4s without a magazine have the slot to accept one or does it have to be drilled out? Anirudh
SEP 20, 2011 - 09:26 PM
From what I've seen it has a recessed slot in which the protruding part from the mag fits.
SEP 20, 2011 - 10:35 PM
One of the casting block plugs attaches to that particular part of the M4, so there are no slots for the magazine... As far as I can tell, if you cut the magazine from their carrier well, you would just need to glue it in place. I would only drill the M4 if I wanted to show the weapon without the magazine. Mario
SEP 21, 2011 - 12:29 AM
Great poster photo as reference of the M4 with accessories all laid out around the carbine. I don't recall ever seeing that poster until your review. Great review...thanks, Marios (plural)!
SEP 21, 2011 - 02:56 AM
Very nice stuff indeed. I haven't seen it firsthand, but the images appear to indicate a first rate product. A couple of weeks ago I said I'd post some SF weapons for comparison. I'm sure they won't mind - it might actually help to see what can be done with these. I know they also make different optics for the M4. Also important is how we mount them and any associated remote switches. And of course a BUIS. Here's a fairly standard setup. Note the Vltor stock - at one time an over $240 accessory. It does give a better cheek to stock weld in addition to providing compartments for spare batteries. Here's a view of the remote switches: A second weapon, with the far cheaper CAA buttstock. It does about the same thing as the Vltor. For good measure, here are shots of our M320. We don't mount them on the M4, but use the separate buttstock for it:
SEP 21, 2011 - 10:31 AM

Click image to enlarge
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