Zeta+ C1 [BST] Hummingbird

GBWC 2016 North American Champion

The Hummingbird has been my constant companion, my obsession, for the past four years. This model kit has consumed my thoughts, my energy, and my passion. It’s been an ever-evolving journey, with the Hummingbird transforming countless times as I’ve reworked, refined, and reimagined every aspect of it. Calling it a labor of love would be an understatement – this build has demanded blood, sweat, tears, and more than a few late nights hunched over my workbench.

There’s not a single millimeter of the model that hasn’t been touched, customized, or scratch-built in some way. Every piece has been subjected to my relentless hands and exacting eye. Panel lines have been deepened, fitment improved, details added – no part has escaped modification. It’s been an obsessive pursuit of perfection, a quest to bring my vision of the Hummingbird to life.

The original Katoki line art provided the initial spark, but I’ve taken extensive creative liberties to craft the Hummingbird in my own image of what a refined prototype might look like. It’s not a literal translation, but rather a reflection of my personal style and sensibilities as a modeler. Every modification, every scratch-built detail, bears my signature.

Starting from the top, I tackled the head first. It was lengthened slightly, just a couple millimeters, to capture more of that iconic “Sentinel” look. The mohawk was the first thing to go – in its place, I fabricated a sleeker, more detailed replacement from scratch. Panel lines were rescribed and metal details added to give it a more realistic, lived-in appearance. The result is a head that’s both familiar and uniquely mine.

Moving down to the shoulders, I designed and cast custom mounting hardware for the booster arms. No off-the-shelf parts would do – everything had to be bespoke. The arms themselves are complete scratch-builds, laboriously crafted and then duplicated in resin for uniformity. Plastic card, putty, and metal details were used to create a more complex, mechanical look.

And those shoulder boosters… barely anything remains of the original Master Grade Ex-S parts. I started by armoring up the interior with plastic plating, creating a heavy-duty, industrial aesthetic. The exterior is festooned with option parts and hand-made details, each one adding to the complexity and realism. Scratch-built side panels, custom barrel replacements, metal thrusters – no part was left untouched. Days were spent on these assemblies alone, but the effort was worth it.

The backpack stabilizers presented their own challenges. Major surgery was required to achieve the look I wanted. I opened up the top and scratch-built an entirely new detail section to fill the void. Side panels were modified to accept additional detailing. For the boosters themselves, I fabricated a master part and then duplicated it in resin. Each copy was lovingly detailed and panel lined, with metal inflation needle tips serving as the business end of the thrusters.

The wings feature modified fuel tanks sourced from an aftermarket set, along with custom decals, additional surface details, and integrated parts from an HG Freedom kit. Mounting hardware for the tanks was hand-made and cast in resin to ensure a secure fit. Every inch of the wings has been customized and detailed to create a more realistic, functional appearance.

I probably spent more time reworking the chest than any other part of the kit. The stock parts were extensively modified, reshaped with epoxy putty and plastic card to create the unique almost-exoskeleton look I had envisioned. Countless hours were spent scribing new panel lines and integrating metal details. Even the cockpit hatch and vents were upgraded with new parts and additional layers of detail. The result is a chest piece that looks more like a piece of futuristic armor than a traditional Gundam part.

Reshaping the torso to match the elongated Hummingbird silhouette was an exercise in creative problem solving. Kitbashed parts from an RGM-79G and a Zeta were heavily modified and blended together to create a new unified whole that captures the unique proportions of the line art. The fuel tanks are complete scratch-builds, laboriously crafted from PVC pipe and detailed with plastic card. I even embedded custom fasteners to allow them to securely mount to the new torso structure.

The arms were completely rescribed and the contours painstakingly reshaped with layers of plastic plating. The stock hands were replaced with fixed-pose resin alternatives and the armor was modified to fit and accept additional details. Exposed mechanical elements emphasize the elbow joints, adding to the real-world feel.

For the legs, I once again turned to parts from an RGM-79G kit, but you’d be hard-pressed to identify them after all the work that was done. The thighs have been bulked up considerably, giving them a totally new silhouette. The leg boosters were extended and detailed, with custom connection points and scratch-built knee guard spikes. Plastic plating was used extensively to create a heavily armored look, an aesthetic reinforced by the addition of metal detail parts, kitbashed elements from an FA ZZ, and machined aluminum bell housings. The result is a leg assembly that looks both elegant and formidable.

Of course, I couldn’t leave the Hummingbird’s signature cannon and shield alone either. The basic parts were reworked with new surface details and a completely reconstructed radome assembly from an MG Ex-S. A custom internal mounting system was fabricated to connect the cannon to the beam gun, adding stability and realism. The gun itself was enhanced with plastic plating, scribing, and metal components.

Even the base is a complete scratch-build, made from a laminated sandwich of MDF board and plastic sheet. I carefully laid out the design and then painstakingly cut each letter and number by hand from 1mm plastic card. Display stand-offs support a clear acrylic nameplate, while the detail elements on the top surface are all custom fabricated from plastic stock. A metal support rod connects the base to the kit itself, providing stability and allowing for the unique posed silhouette.

With the modifications complete, the Hummingbird was cleaned, primed, and meticulously painted using Mr. Color and Alclad lacquers. A razor-sharp masking job and liberal application of Tamiya panel line wash bring out the details and make everything pop. Markings are a combination of custom ALPS-printed decals (mostly for insignia and unit markings) and aftermarket Hi-Q decals, adding the final layer of realism.

I poured every ounce of my passion and skill into this project. Countless hours, an embarrassing amount of money, and a few drops of blood all contributed to the final result – a one-of-a-kind representation of an elegant and formidable Hummingbird that never was. It’s been an incredible, sometimes frustrating, always rewarding journey to transform a pile of disparate parts and raw materials into a singular work of art.

The Hummingbird is so much more than a model kit to me – it’s an expression of who I am as a modeler and artist. It’s a reflection of my style, my sensibilities, and my relentless pursuit of perfection. Every detail, every modification, every decision bears my signature.

In the end, I hope my dedication and hard work are evident in the final product. Moreover, I hope the Hummingbird inspires other modelers to think outside the box, to push their skills, and to pursue their own unique visions. If my build can do that, then all the blood, sweat, and tears will have been more than worth it.

GBWC 2016

the Hummingbird was honored with representing North America (this was the last year that the US and Canada were combined) in the 2016 GBWC World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. It was my first time  and I had an absolute blast. Made a few new friends and met a few old friends for the first time.

Hummingbird Artwork

Hummingbird Merch

Available in the Child of Mecha Store!

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