help with samus torso?

Outbreak is going good, environments are very detailed, and storyline is planned out okay, but as for sprites, i need to make new ones because of the fact that i changed the storyline 3 times :angry: , so anyway, i am making something like a ride-suit, for a bonus character, or simply some destructive fun :smiley: , so right now i need a few things to make this the way i want…

  1. Samus, with the breastplate of her suit showing from a sideview (simply 2d)

2)any favorite weapons out there? feel free to list them

  1. should i use a basic 3 shadowing layers, or move ahead to 4 or even a gradient?

Thanks guys, Outbreak is going good because of you, if you want screenshots, feel free to ask for me to post them (have to sign up for imageshack first though :frowning: )