Shortly after the acquisition of Proto Saber I had the opportunity to get another piece of Zoid history.
I awaited the arrival of this unit and referred to it as the "second coming". Proto Spine Fin arrived
one cold morning here in New Mexico. I was anxious to get my hands on this piece as I had not seen actual
pictures, and just had a short description of the piece.
Taking a gander at the first bag of pieces:
Nothing out of the ordinary, just the normal green, grey, and black pieces.
Moving onto the body unit which U received assembled:
Everything seems to check out on this as well, I noticed that the majority of the pieces are not
properly trimmed and little pieces of the sprue are still very prominent on some parts. Could this give us a clue as
to how this was assembled hastily perhaps just to view the over all product?
The next pieces were different, wrapped in heavy tissue that almost resembled a light cloth herein lies the prizes. I started with a bindle that felt as if it
contained about three pieces and I anxiously unwrapped them to reveal four gold chrome head pieces:
A look at the back reveals a highly silver plastic. Unusual and not like the black or cream white
plastic that normally lies under Zoids 2 chrome.
I has struck gold. Not just a pale half ass version that could possibly be considered to have "a little gold", these were
gold enough to unmistakably see yellow. It was the four pieces of the head I first laid eyes on.
Upon further inspection I saw what appeared to be bubbling in the chrome on one of the upper portions of the
I dont know the exact reason for this as the bubbles are solid and do not look as if they would peel. Doing some research has led me
to believe that this is the result of poor plastic quality, which would make sense if this unit was created out of
scrap plastic (as many prototypes are) just to perform finish testing. Next was the set of four fenders.
The back of these are similar to the head pieces.
Last, was the four chrome tail guards and pilot:
Here you can better see the contrast of the chrome. I have no idea if this is the original pilot
that accompanied the piece from the start, or even if it had a pilot.
It was not time to build this Golden Version of Spine Fin, I started with the head.
The head pieces do not fit together well at all. The pegs don't line up and are not thick enough to form the normal tight seal.
The eye piece is not present.
One set of feet were assembled and the chrome fenders placed.
There is the same problem with the fenders that also do not fit very well.
The other side was started:
The tail was then assembled:
And attached to the main body.
Next it is time to attach the fins. Note that there are only 5 of 6 fins present.
The last step is affixing the miscellaneous guns.
Gold Spine Fin is complete:
Yet another cloud of mystery surrounds this piece. It is unclear if this was a prototype or just a factory reject.
Observation and testing proved that this is indeed factory chrome, and not paint. The finish seems to be at least twice
as reflective as the normal factory chrome:
The source this piece came from is very viable and I was informed it was from the same region
as the protosaber. With recently learning that protosaber came with the production slip that indicated it was "version two" it leads
me to believe that this may just be one of several sample variations of the Zoids 2 Spinefin.
Examination of the TOMY mark on the motor proves that this is an official piece. Produced around 1996,
this was before the mass availability of products like mira-chrome which could be air brushed on to give
a semi convincing chrome effect. I do not see any overspray or evidence of this chrome being painted
on. I toyed with the idea of robbing some pieces to make this complete, but somehow it seems
fitting for a prototype to be missing a couple of pieces and in my mind makes it even more complete.
As with my other pieces, I will cherish this as a reminder of what could have been. Enjoy
Proto Gold Spine Fin:
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