In-Box Review
US Army M4/M203 with RIS
US Army M4 carbine with rail interface system and M203A1 40mm Grenade Launcher
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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. Like all the variants of the M16, the M4 can be fitted with many accessories and is capable of mounting an M203 grenade launcher; the M203A1 with a 9-inch barrel as opposed to the standard 12-inch barrel of the M203 used on the M16 series. 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 in 1/35 scale. This review covers their US Army M4 carbine with rail interface system and M203A1 40mm Grenade Launcher (LRE-35003) set.


The US Army M4 carbine w M203A1 grenade launcher 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 this M4 kit: US Army scope sets (LRE-35007 and LRE-35008) and Insight's Technology AN/PEQ-2, AN/PEQ-15 (LRE-35010). I noted a slight error in nomenclature of the kit as grenade launcher depicted here is actually the 12-inch M203, not the short 9-inch M203A1.

The kit consists of 6 M4s with M203, 6 M4 ammunition magazines, 6 grenade launcher leaf sights and 6 M203 grips... all together 24 parts. The grey resin looks really good and upon inspection I found no imperfections in the cast; even the tiniest and most delicate details are very nicely delivered in scale.

The M4s depicted in this set are fitted with M203 40mm grenade launcher. The device attaches under the barrel, the launch trigger being in the rear of the launcher, just forward of the rifle magazine. A separate sighting system is added to rifles fitted with the M203, as the rifle's standard sights are not matched to the launcher... this kit includes leaf sights which are to be used with M4 front sight post. The kit also includes M203 grip with tactical handle. The handle attaches to the M203 by clamping around the barrel... the locking ratchet system works by turning the handle which closes the clamps around the M203 barrel and locks the grip. The system disengages by pushing a button.
The M4s in the set are also 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 and tactical lights. All the accessories are available separately from Live Resin and should be used to "pimp up" these M4s. As with the other M4 offerings from Live Resin, 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 definitely need to find new superlatives for describing Live Resin weapon sets... it gets harder to write the closing paragraphs of reviews without sounding cheesy, but it just needs to be repeated; everything in Live Resin kits is impressive: the packing, the cast and the level of details present on the weapons. With some accessories these M4/M203s will turn into real 1/35 scale masterpieces.


This kit features the M4 carbine with some extra firepower: the M203 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. The set includes 6 M4/M203s with rail system on the upper receiver and RIS handguards, 6 leaf sights for the launcher, 6 M203 tactical grips and 6 different M4 ammo magazines. The resin cast is absolutely perfect with really well defined details. As with other M4 sets from Live Resin, these weapons definitely need some accessories (optical sights, laser designators, 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.

Thanks to Yaroslav from Live Resin for this review sample.


Global Security
Federation of American Scientists
World Guns
Highs: Perfectly cast and full of details, these weapons provide a great basis for building any M4/M203 setup possible.
Lows: None noticed.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LRE-35003
  Related Link: Live Resin website
  PUBLISHED: Oct 01, 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.


Great review, Mario! Thanks! Live-Resin seems to be the best in the 1/35 market! The extended and collapsed buttstocks is a great idea. I'm kind of surprised that there wasn't a 40mm grenade in the accessories.
OCT 01, 2011 - 08:22 AM

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