Macross Delta is the latest series in another one of Bandai's long-running space opera mecha space fantasies. Full of intense dogfights and aerial acrobatics, the Macross series always boasted exceptional mechanical designs, especially in their planes and capital ships that mirror real-world designs.
As opposed to the high-performance prototype, one-of-the-kind protagonist machine that our hero(es) always use - in Delta's case, it's the VF-31 Siegfried - I always prefer the mass produced, grunt-level machines that are deployed en masse. Although there are many models of cannon fodder used throughout the Macross universe, the VF-171 Nightmare Plus doesn't really fall into cannon fodder territory, although its portrayal in Delta seems to indicate otherwise.
Back in Macross Frontier, the VF-171 Nightmare Plus was a top-of-the-line mass produced unit of the NUNS Forces, the main combatant and line of defense against the looming Varja threat. Bristling with anti-Varja weaponry, the standard Nightmare Plus was able to hold its own against the far superior Varja forces, albeit with specialised EX part modifications. Nevertheless, it wasn't your usual GM that explodes when pierced with a pin; it is a sophisticated, well-built machine that can be downright lethal in the right hands.
As if to prove that point, Macross Frontier protagonist Alto Saotome piloted a custom Nightmare Plus in the final battle as his Messiah was on the Macross Quarter that was off to do some investigation on the Macross Galaxy (long story). Alto would pilot the Nightmare Plus to deadly effect, nailing wave after wave of Varja forces while being powered by Sheryl Nome's song, only getting shot down in the name of plot after a huge Ranka Lee hologram appeared and messed with his head (another long story).
So far, we haven't gotten a proper model kit of the Nightmare Plus, only two iterations in the pricey Chogokin format. Only with the debut of Macross Delta did we get a new MechaColle rendition of the Nightmare Plus, albeit only in its Fighter Mode. But hey, maybe Bandai will make a full 1/72 model kit of this unit sometime in the future.
We can only hope.
But right now, enjoy these little Nightmares, one in the Outer Rim Colonies Model colours and the other in NUNS standard colours!