Little Armory M4A1August 16, 2015 at 03:14 | Posted in Little Armory | 4 Comments
Tags: 1/12 scale, assault rifle, リトルアーモリーM4A1, Little Armory, Little Armory M4A1
I’ve always liked the way certain Gunpla looks with conventional military weaponry. Master Grade kits (1/100 scale) fit well with 1/6 scale weapons. But for 1/144 scale gunpla, there wasn’t anything equivalent. That is until Tomytec started their Little Armory line of 1/12 scale weapons. They’re meant for 1/12 scale figures like the Figma series, but I thought they might look decent with 1/144 scale gunpla.
Each box features artwork by Techno Fuyuno and inside, the weapon itself is unassembled. Like other plamo, the parts are on runners and standard tools (nippers, hobby blade, glue) are required for assembly. The instruction manual is simple, if not a little plain. Some color illustrations or art would have been nice.
M4A1 assault rifle
This is the first release of the Little Armory line, and it costs approximately 1,000 yen. One of the selling points for me is the box art, as you can see below:
All parts are molded in glossy black plastic. Some observations during assembly:
- For such a small scale, I was surprised at the large number of parts.
- Some parts can be very small and can be lost easily if you’re not careful.
- Friction alone is not enough to hold all the parts together, so modeling cement is needed.
You can leave it unpainted, but it will look plasticky. For that reason, I decided to paint it. After priming, I used gunmetal, german gray, olive drab and tan brown paints from spray cans. Using the same methods with other gunpla, I filled some panel lines with black enamel and applied dry-brushing using silver enamel. Also took the liberty to add some waterslide decals. After that it’s the flat topcoat layer.
This kit comes with optional parts, namely a lengthened stock, laser module, forward handgrip and scope. This means that just like the actual assault rifle, you can mix and match to get the combination you want. Also included is a night-vision goggle.
The final configuration I went with was the short buttstock, carrying handle instead of the scope, forward hand grip & laser module attached to the barrel. The overall length from buttstock to barrel is 6.5cm. The following is a size comparison with some other weapons that I have. From top to bottom is HGUC Jesta Beam Carbine; MSG AK-12 type; MSG HK416 type; HGUC GM Custom 90mm machine gun; Little Armory M4A1.
Here are some closeup shots:
I don’t have any Figma models, so I decided to use the closest thing I have: the Revoltech Skeleton Warrior. Mr. Skeleton is about 14cm tall, so it’s not so different from typical Figma models. Unfortunately the skeleton hands cannot grip the rifle properly, so posing it was a bit of a hassle. And in some photos, I attached the night vision goggles using some blu-tac.
Now you may be wondering, does it fit nicely with 1/144 gunpla kits? To address that issue, I called upon the services of my HGUC GM Ground Type. It’s fitted with articulate fingers from spare RG parts so that gripping and holding the rifle won’t be an issue.
As you can see, the M4A1 is a bit on the small side, especially compared to Kotobukiya’s MSG Assault Rifle. But generally, it looks like a natural fit with my GM. However, on slightly larger HGUC kits like the Jegan, the rifle can look a bit puny.
And there you have it. I personally love this Little Armory line. I bought it to complement the arsenal of my various HGUC kits and as you can see from the pictures above, they can fit nicely together. One caveat is the hands. Since standard HG kits come with fixed, preformed hands, they may not be able to grip the weapon properly. You can get over the problem by swapping hands from an RG kit like my GM.
To conclude, this 1/12 scale Little Armory M4A1 assault rifle kit may not be for everyone, especially beginners. But if you like a challenge, love military weapons, and have some poorly-armed 1/144 gunpla (or Figmas), then by all means get one.