Ahh, the Zeta Plus. My favorite Mobile Suit. So sleek. So beautiful. So graceful. So deadly. What better model to customize than the Zeta Plus. I've got to say that this model was a labor of love. This thing is my pride and joy and I'm so proud of how it came out. I think this is like a father seeing his baby being born. (I don't have that experience yet.) But I digress.
This is the Zeta Plus: Project Scorpion. The prototype with the swept forward wing design. Increased maneuverability and firepower the Z+ Scorpion is very beautiful and very deadly. I always wondered what a Z+ would look like with swept forward wings, so I made one.
The head was the most modified part of this model. It was inspired Zplus Dominance from Model Graphix March 2002. I loved the look of the side intakes of that head so much that I had to replicate it. I covered the lower part of the original head in Magic Sculpt epoxy putty. When it was cured, I went to work grinding, filing, sanding and shaping until the finished result was what you see. This took a very long time the hardest part was to get the head symmetrical. From there I scribed some new panel lines and added some armor plates from sheet styrene. After the head was done, I made a two part mold and copied the head in resin (I want to use this head again). The resin head was lightly sanded and I added some WAVE C-Pipe for the head vulcans. I installed a Kotobukiya ball joint also.
The main body was left stock, except for some WAVE Z-verniers on the upper chest and some detailing on the upper collar behind the head.
The upper arms were a little puny in my opinion, so I bulked them up a bit with some epoxy putty, and shaped them down. The lower arms were detailed with some armor plates from sheet styrene. The hands and shoulders were left stock.
The side cannons have had a little cut from the front and the barrel has been replaced by 3mm tube with WAVE A-spring around it. The original muzzle was used.
The legs have limited poseability, so I chopped the legs at the knees to make them able to twist. It was a pretty easy mod and is fully explained in the Progress Shots. I added a Kotobukiya minus mold to the lower knee armor.
The feet were detailed with some sheet styrene and new panel lines were inscribed.
The wings were a bit of trouble when it came down to having them fold down when in mobile suit form. I tried just turning them backward on the rod already inside the wing, but that didn't work. So what I did was grind out the entire inside of the wings and make plastic guides for the wings to move in. I figured it out on paper first and then I cut the guides from 1mm sheet styrene. The guides are a U shape that will fit a 3mm rod. I glued the guides into the wings and sanded them down a bit so that the surface of each would be parallel to each other. The wings have a slight taper to them. Using a small piece of 3mm styrene rod and the poly cap already in the wing I tested the new wing mechanism and it worked. The actual wing had a small problem with being turned backward though. The panel lines and the shape of the wing was for a traditional wing configuration. The flaps and lights on the ends of the wings were now in the front of the wing, which look terrible. I coated the surface of each wing with thinned down epoxy putty and reshaped and re-scribed the panel lines so that they looked right. I was so happy. The most important part of the Z+ Scorpion was in place.
The shield was also heavily modified. I really didn't like the look of the A1 shield, so I tapered the nose to be a little more aerodynamic. I cut the two side mounts that hold the little wings and installed some cannons made from 3mm plastic rod. The top of the shield was completely scrapped and replaced with the outer part of the lower leg of the original Zeta model. Creative, eh? It actually fit pretty nicely. A little epoxy putty to blend the two pieces together and some shaping and the shield, some new panel lines and it was done.
The rifle is fully scratch built using 1mm sheet styrene stacked together to make the main body. Details were added using 1mm sheet styrene, WAVE and Kotobukiya bits. The barrels were made from 5mm styrene rod and brass rod was used to make the top handle. I wanted a unique weapon for my unique Z+ so I made this. The handle is on the side of the weapon, much like the Gouf Custom's shield gatling. It's big and that's what I wanted
The paint was hell. Utter hell. Tons of masking and such made this sucker the hardest model to paint. Most of the problem was probably me being so particular, but still it's a hard model to paint. The color scheme was somewhat inspired by the Z+ C1. There are two shades of gray, white and a dark red. It blends together nicely with a very menacing look.
The Project Scorpion decals was custom made and printed out on Micro Mark decal paper using my ALPS MD-1300.
And that's the story of how my Z+ Scorpion came to life. Overall, sweet model, sweet details, and killer mods make this my masterpiece.
You can see the entire WIP gallery HERE.