The Ballad of the M4 Carbine

Hi all,
Thought I’d try my hand at modelling an M4 Carbine. I live in Australia so I’ve never actually seen a real one, so I’m basing my model off flickr photos.

The following is the result of 5 hours work:

If you have handled a real M4 carbine and you see something that doesn’t look right please let me know!

I assume you are going for a very high detail model and will critique accordingly. The metal frame around the bolt forward-assist (as I think its called) is only about 3 mm in radius larger than the actual button. The removable portion on the bottom of the trigger gaurd doesn’t have a bend in it like your model has (at least, mine doesnt have that bend). All of the metal indentations (on the dust gaurd and the magazine area) have rounder corners. The pins that hold the dust gaurd in place are about twice the size of your model. The forward push pin thats holding the lower and upper together is also about twice the size of your current one. The pinhead in question is also not perfectly round. It has a flat spot on one side that is flush against one of the metal indentations. And finally, there is no line on your model defining the intersection between the lower and upper.

All that said, I should hope I am not putting you off. If you like, I can take some pictures (I have a pretty darn good camera handy) and send you a few images.

Really? That would awesome if you could! I’m struggling to find pictures of the things like the pins, and underneath the magazines, the end of the butt, closeups of the barrel etc.
If you could take some obscure photos and post them in this thread, I’d greatly appreciate it.

I’ve fixed a few of the things you mentioned. Including, making the bolt-group a separate object, adding the pistol grip, picatinny rails and the arch shaped end piece.

its an M16 :slight_smile:
i promise to give u feedback when i get home ,(cant upload images from work)

Here are a few pictures of the areas in question. Keep in mind that this is a civilian rifle and if you want to model the real deal, there will be more than just “safe” and “fire” on the selector switch:D Unfortunatley I had to scale down the original pictures ALOT. My camera apparently takes pictures in 3008x2000! Also, dont use those pictures for materialing your model. They were taken after the rifle came out of the AC and into the heat which means it was sweating. I took the carry handle off so you could see the picatinny rail. The pictures of the inside of the magazine housing are taken from the bottom of the rifle. Just let me know of any more pictures you need as you go along.

Right now the pistol grip looks a little big and so does the bolt handle.


there is some fixes in the image

you are doing a great job , i mean it :slight_smile:

keep the good work :slight_smile:


May I see a wire of your model?

the image didn’t turn out good
for top left part : more rounded , and for the “button” a bit bigger
for right part : add more cut (CTRL+R) and make it more round
for handle : i think the cranks for the finger are to much inside ,
they need to flow with the outer shape (hope i explain right )
(a subsurf will do ?)

really cool! wow but if you spend all your time moving things a mm here an mm there then it will take forever! Unless your an engineer and your making a visualization or something who cares! Put lots of detail, nail the shading and texturing, put it in a cool environment and it will be awesome. Maybe you are going for absolute accuracy, but honestly I wouldn’t care if the dust guard pins are smaller than the real thing. :slight_smile: At that point you would be practicing your anatomy of the m4/m16 series rifles and not practicing CG.

those photos are great, i will use those too, i am currently modeling my ak47, but i’m going to do a series of modern weapons, thanks…

any chance you could post photo’s of the rest of the gun, if anyone would like photo’s of my AK i can arrange that, though i dont think my camera is as good as the guy above.

Can you please send me some pics of you’re ak47? I was modelling one but gave up because I couldn’t find good reference pics for the details…!

Grtz. llx66

Thanks for the (really nice) pics Sharper. They have helped! I had no idea the M16 and M4 looked so similar!?

Some progress:

Still needs: butt, front grip, red dot sights and of course, textures!

By the way, those of you looking for reference photos, flickr is great for that. It contains heaps of really obscure high resolution closeup shots. It’s a 3d artists haven :slight_smile:

I am basing my model off this photo.

Looks great so far, great work on the magazine and the RIS on the front. One thing I noticed is that you have two forward assist knobs, on left and right, where it should only be on the right side. Other than that, it looks like its coming along nicely.

Almost finished the modelling! All it needs now is the front pistol grip.

The red dot seems a little bit too oversized to me… Also the pistol grip seems a little bit too wide. Otherwise superb modeling!
Keep it up :wink:

Wow, great work. My only crit is it seems a little too wide in the grip and magazine well.

Why did you widen it? The width looked right in your earlier images. Still, it must be said that you are doing a great job on all the details considering you only have reference images to work with.

@Lwerewolf: thats not a red dot. It is a holographic sight. It is magic in that (as you can see from the camera photo) you dont have to focus your eye in on the sight itself, just the target. Its also nice in that you can co-witness it with a night scope. I have never tried but I’m fairly sure you cant do that with a red dot.


Added front pistol grip and a couple of other things.

Rendered a quick turntable animation to see what it looks like rendered with materials:

Haven’t really put much effort into the materials just yet, it was more of a test to spot any problems in the modelling.

Looks good except for the fact its a perfect mirror on both sides. The left side of the rifle doesn’t have an ejection port or forward assist. Its also missing the firing selector (I believe on this model you want the options “safe”, “fire”, “auto”, and “burst”).

Like Sharper said, you need to make the left side of the receiver look like this
The animation looked good and all of the other parts of the M4 are modeled very well. Good Job.